Notebookcheck

Asus ZenFone Max Pro (M2) Smartphone Review

Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 👁 J. Simon Leitner, Daniel R Deakin, 01/30/2019

Mid-ranger with high aspirations The Asus ZenFone Max Pro (M2) has been on the Indian market for some time, with ASUS bringing the model to wider markets post Mobile World Congress 2019. The focus of the ZenFone Max Pro (M2) is its large 5,000 mAh battery, its improved design and its more powerful hardware, which all suggest to us that Asus has made good on the criticism about the device’s predecessors. Read on to find out whether Asus has done enough to make the ZenFone Max Pro (M2) stand out from other midrange devices in what is already a highly competitive market.

The sub-₹15,000 (US$200) market has always proven to be a lucrative one. Advancements in SoC tech, availability of powerful cameras, and intense competition has resulted in many OEMs offering features in this price range that were once considered flagship territory. Asus tasted success in the mid-range segment last year with the introduction of the ZenFone Max Pro (M1). While the Max Pro (M1) was mostly praised for its good specs, a large battery, and a smooth stock Android experience, it was not without criticism. Asus seems to have heeded to feedback and recently announced the successor, the Max Pro (M2), alongside the budget ZenFone Max (M2). In this iteration, we see improved specs, a more appealing design, and an overall impressive package that is more than just a generational upgrade. 

However, the Max Pro (M2) is somewhat of a late entrant considering that phones from competing brands with similar specs have already tasted a good amount of success. The Oppo Realme 2 Pro and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro retail at almost similar prices and have enjoyed good patronage in the Indian market alongside the Kirin 710-powered Honor 10 Lite. The ZenFone Max Pro (M2) features the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC, but Asus uses an underclocked variant to possibly help with battery life. Unlike the Max Pro (M1), the Max Pro (M2) offers the same imaging capabilities across all RAM and storage variants. How do Asus's changes affect the overall performance and usability of the Max Pro (M2)?

Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL (Zenfone Series)
Processor
Graphics adapter
Memory
6144 MB 
Display
6.26 inch 19:9, 2280 x 1080 pixel 403 PPI, capacitive, glossy: yes
Storage
64 GB eMMC Flash, 64 GB 
, 51 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm, Card Reader: up to 2 TB microSD cards, 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: Accelerometer, compass, gyroscope, fingerprint sensor, proximity sensor, micro USB
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n), Bluetooth 5.0, GSM, UMTS, LTE, Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.5 x 157.9 x 75.5 ( = 0.33 x 6.22 x 2.97 in)
Battery
19 Wh, 5000 mAh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Android 8.1 Oreo
Camera
Webcam: 13MP, F2.0 aperture, 26mm equivalent focal length on small objective, soft-light LED flash
Primary Camera: 12 MPix F1.8 aperture, 27mm equivalent focal length on small objective, 6p objective, 0.03 second autofocus, LED flash
Secondary Camera: 5 MPix Depth-sensing, 84° field of view
Additional features
Speakers: Mono speaker on the underside of the device, Keyboard: Virtual, Keyboard Light: yes, 24 Months Warranty, SAR: 0.347W/KG (head), 1.460 W/KG (body), LTE Cat 4 (150Mbps/50Mbps), DRM-Widevine L1, fanless
Weight
175 g ( = 6.17 oz / 0.39 pounds), Power Supply: 65 g ( = 2.29 oz / 0.14 pounds)
Price
200 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

In the box, we find the ZenFone Max Pro (M2) itself, a 10 W USB charger, a USB to microUSB cable, a TPU case, a SIM ejector tool, and the usual paperwork. There are no headphones included. 

The Max Pro (M2) stands out among other phones in its class with its design. Although the phone is made of plastic, Asus has given the back a glass-esque finish that not only looks luxurious but also reflects light in an impressive pattern. It looks great but all that sheen is lost quickly as the back is a fingerprint magnet. At 175 g, it feels light but is also slippery so you might find yourself resorting to the bundled case. That being said, the build quality is good and the phone will survive drops from about waist height easily. Staying on the back, we find the 12 MP + 5 MP dual camera setup along with an LED flash. The fingerprint sensor is located at the expected spot and can be easily discovered. Both fingerprint and face unlock work fairly instantly.

At the bottom, we find the headphone jack, microphone, microUSB port, and the speaker grill. The top is fully plain and only houses the noise-canceling microphone. Moving to the right, we find the volume rocker and power button. These buttons are easy to press and are responsive. Finally, towards the left, we find a triple-card slot that can hold two nano SIMs along with a microSD card. 

Unlike the Max (M2), the ZenFone Max Pro (M2) is fairly endowed when it comes to the display. The 6.26-inch 19:9 screen is almost bezel-less save for the bottom chin and sports an FHD+ resolution with a wide color gamut (94% NTSC). At a brightness of 450 nits, the display is legible both indoors and outdoors. The notch is somewhat smaller than the Max (M2) and this helps in accommodating a couple of extra notification icons. The smaller notch size is made possible by locating the earpiece above it instead of within it. The notch houses the proximity sensor, a soft LED flash, and a 13 MP selfie camera. A multi-color notification light is present in the inner left-edge of the earpiece. It is not as conspicuous as the one in the Max (M2) but is bright enough.

ZenFone Max Pro (M2) - Front panel
ZenFone Max Pro (M2) - Front panel
ZenFone Max Pro (M2) - Rear panel with position of fingerprint sensor
ZenFone Max Pro (M2) - Reflective rear panel
ZenFone Max Pro (M2) - Top with noise-canceling microphone
ZenFone Max Pro (M2) - Bottom with headphone jack, microphone, microUSB port, and speaker grill
ZenFone Max Pro (M2) - Left with triple-slot SIM tray
ZenFone Max Pro (M2) - Right with power button and volume rocker

Size Comparison

162.5 mm / 6.4 inch 77 mm / 3.03 inch 7.8 mm / 0.3071 inch 183 g0.4034 lbs162.4 mm / 6.39 inch 77 mm / 3.03 inch 7.6 mm / 0.2992 inch 191 g0.4211 lbs158.4 mm / 6.24 inch 75.64 mm / 2.98 inch 9.55 mm / 0.376 inch 186 g0.4101 lbs157.9 mm / 6.22 inch 75.5 mm / 2.97 inch 8.5 mm / 0.3346 inch 175 g0.3858 lbs158.7 mm / 6.25 inch 75.4 mm / 2.97 inch 7.3 mm / 0.2874 inch 168 g0.3704 lbs158.6 mm / 6.24 inch 75.4 mm / 2.97 inch 7.3 mm / 0.2874 inch 168 g0.3704 lbs157.9 mm / 6.22 inch 75 mm / 2.95 inch 7.9 mm / 0.311 inch 156 g0.3439 lbs156.7 mm / 6.17 inch 74 mm / 2.91 inch 8.5 mm / 0.3346 inch 174 g0.3836 lbs156.4 mm / 6.16 inch 75.8 mm / 2.98 inch 7.5 mm / 0.2953 inch 169 g0.3726 lbs154.5 mm / 6.08 inch 74.8 mm / 2.94 inch 7.4 mm / 0.2913 inch 156.2 g0.3444 lbs151.4 mm / 5.96 inch 71.8 mm / 2.83 inch 8.5 mm / 0.3346 inch 180 g0.3968 lbs

Connectivity

Asus has equipped the ZenFone Max Pro (M2) with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 AIE Mobile Platform featuring the Adreno 512 GPU. The 14 nm Snapdragon 660 is actually a 2.2 GHz part but Asus has underclocked it to 1.95 GHz. The Snapdragon 660 performs better than the Snapdragon 820 and is below the Snapdragon 835 in terms of raw CPU performance numbers. We will shortly see how Asus's underclocking will affect the scores. The ZenFone Max Pro (M2) comes in Blue and Titanium colors and you can choose between three RAM and storage variants — 3/32 GB, 4/64 GB (our review unit), and 6/64 GB. You can also expand the storage using a microSD card and on top of that, you also get a complimentary 100 GB of Google Drive space, which is valid for one year.

The Max Pro (M2) offers all standard connectivity options including dual-SIM dual-standby (DSDS), 4G VoLTE, 802.11n wireless (only the 2.4 GHz band), WiFi- Direct, Bluetooth 5.0, and GPS. Sensors such as accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, proximity, ambient light, and fingerprint are available. The 12 MP rear camera can record 4K 30 fps video but only without EIS. The selfie shooter is a 13 MP f/2.0 sensor.

The Max Pro (M2) continues the tradition of its predecessor in offering a beefy 5,000 mAh battery, which should offer long runtimes when coupled with the power-efficient SoC.

Software

Sensing market preferences, Asus has preferred opting for a stock AOSP Android 8.1 Oreo OS instead of the heavily customized (and feature-rich) ZenUI that was seen in the ZenFone 5Z and even the ZenFone Lite (L1). Our Max Pro (M2) review unit got the last OTA update (15.2016.1812.179) on January 7, which brought in the December 2018 security patches, updates to the camera, touchscreen, and optimizations for FM radio. An update to Android Pie is expected to happen soon, according to Asus. The company has since pushed out the February 2019 security patch too, which gives us hope that the company will continue this in subsequent months and years.

While opting for a stock ROM is a welcome move, you will have to find substitutes for popular OEM ROM features such as call recording, app twinning, themes, etc. The Settings page is more or less similar to stock Android apart from a few additional options such as Ambient Display and ZenMotion gestures. There is no bloatware either and the only pre-installed apps include the usual ones from Google and Facebook. Asus's only offerings include Sound Recorder, FM Radio, and Calculator.

Pro Tip: For those who like to assess the overall performance of their phone and whether all components are working as they should, Asus has a nifty SMMI test utility that can be invoked by opening the Calculator app and entering ".12345+=". The SMMI test utility can help you test all the individual components of your phone in case you feel something isn't right before sending the device for service.

About phone
About phone
Homescreen
Homescreen
Preinstalled Asus apps
Preinstalled Asus apps
Default app drawer
Notification shade
ZenMotion settings
SMMI test app

Communication & GPS

The ZenFone Max Pro (M2) covers basic telephony quite well. Network reception was up to the mark and there weren't too many issues or dropped calls. While the phone tries hard to latch onto the best possible signal, it switches over to 2G/3G in areas with poor reception. Both SIMs are VoLTE compatible.

Wireless works great, but you get to use only up to wireless-N speeds over 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi networks. Faster 5 GHz networks are out of the question, unfortunately. It is definitely not an SoC limitation as other Snapdragon 660 phones such as the Nokia 7 Plus have wireless-AC and both 2.4 and 5 GHz bands enabled. We hope Asus enables this in its firmware at some point. 

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro
354 (min: 313, max: 366) MBit/s ∼100% +385%
Nokia 7 Plus
247 MBit/s ∼70% +238%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
73 (min: 70, max: 76) MBit/s ∼21%
Honor 10 Lite
48.4 (min: 42, max: 52) MBit/s ∼14% -34%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Nokia 7 Plus
307 MBit/s ∼100% +423%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro
272 (min: 212, max: 313) MBit/s ∼89% +363%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
58.7 (min: 56, max: 62) MBit/s ∼19%
Honor 10 Lite
41.3 (min: 29, max: 56) MBit/s ∼13% -30%

Legend

 
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Nokia 7 Plus Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro Qualcomm Snapdragon 636, Qualcomm Adreno 509, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Honor 10 Lite HiSilicon Kirin 710, ARM Mali-G51 MP4, 64 GB eMMC Flash
0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370Tooltip
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash; iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø72.4 (70-76)
Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro Adreno 509, 636, 32 GB eMMC Flash; iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø353 (313-366)
Honor 10 Lite Mali-G51 MP4, Kirin 710, 64 GB eMMC Flash; iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø48.3 (42-52)
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash; iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø59 (56-62)
Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro Adreno 509, 636, 32 GB eMMC Flash; iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø272 (212-313)
Honor 10 Lite Mali-G51 MP4, Kirin 710, 64 GB eMMC Flash; iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø41.4 (29-56)
GPS test: Inside
GPS test: Inside
GPS test: Outside
GPS test: Outside

The ZenFone Max Pro (M2) uses GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, and QZSS for locations services. The phone did have trouble in locking on to a satellite when indoors but could easily latch on to the signal in outdoors with up to 3 m accuracy.

Our review unit also performed about as well as the Xiaomi Mi 9 on our bike ride on which we took both devices. The ZenFone Max Pro (M2) had a surprisingly high battery drain during this task though, which is a shame.

GPS test: Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2 - Overview
GPS test: Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2 - Overview
GPS test: Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2 - Corners
GPS test: Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2 - Corners
GPS test: Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2 - Roundabout
GPS test: Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2 - Roundabout
GPS test: Xiaomi Mi 9 - Overview
GPS test: Xiaomi Mi 9 - Overview
GPS test: Xiaomi Mi 9 - Corners
GPS test: Xiaomi Mi 9 - Corners
GPS test: Xiaomi Mi 9 - Roundabout
GPS test: Xiaomi Mi 9 - Roundabout

Telephone Features & Call Quality

Overall, the ZenFone Max Pro (M2) has decent call quality with both sides of calls sounding clear throughout our tests. The earpiece gets incredibly loud too, but it also audibly distorts at high volumes. Thankfully, our call partner’s voice sounds even clearer and is free of distortion if we turn the volume down slightly. Oddly, the earpiece would not get as loud again if we then turned the volume back up. Hence, we suspect that there is a bug somewhere that needs addressing. Calls made over speakerphone sound a bit dull too, but they are still loud, nonetheless.

Even the FM Radio seemed to have lot of background noise and interference. Asus claims to have addressed the FM Radio noise issue in the latest update. While the audio quality seemed to be improved, there is certainly room for more fine tuning when it comes to overall audio performance while using the radios.

Dialer and Contacts app
Dialer and Contacts app
Network settings
Network settings

Cameras

The ZenFone Max Pro (M2) offers good primary and selfie cameras. The camera app is easy to use and offers most features within reach. Asus offers 13 AI scene detection modes that should cover most scenarios. You can choose between Auto, HDR, Pro, Sports, and Night modes along with several Beauty modes and live effects. There is no Camera2 API support enabled, but it is possible to enable it via ADB commands without unlocking the bootloader and install the Google Cam Arnova Mod as outlined in this XDA thread. However, be aware that some features might not work and your mileage may vary.

Shooting modes
Shooting modes
Settings for shooting stills
Settings for shooting stills
Settings for shooting video
Settings for shooting video
Beauty settings
Live filters

Rear Camera

Asus has equipped the ZenFone Max Pro (M2) with a 12 MP f/1.8 main camera that uses the Sony IMX486 sensor with a 1.25 micron pixel size. There is also a supplementary 5 MP sensor for bokeh shots. For a mid-ranger, we felt the Max Pro (M2) clearly punches above its weight when it comes to overall picture quality. Sure, there are areas for improvement but the overall performance of the primary shooter seems to be good. The camera could pick up details in most lighting conditions ranging from foggy to bright light. The bokeh effects were well pronounced unlike the Max (M2) thanks to the 5 MP depth sensor. HDR mode did help in highlighting some of the darker parts of the scene, but we felt the overall image could have been even brighter. 

Night shots were good, although, we did notice a fair amount of noise at 100% crop and the colors felt a little muted. We recommend shooting night scenes in the Pro mode as that gives better control and seemed more effective than Asus's algorithms. That being said, expect to see future updates that fine-tune the low-light shooting capabilities.

Video recording is supported up to 4K 30 fps with no limit to the length of the video. Quality of the video is good; however, there is no image stabilization that can be activated while shooting in 4K. You do get EIS for other shooting modes, though.

Foggy light
Foggy light
Macro depth effect - 1
Macro depth effect - 1
Night shot - 1
Night shot - 2

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images

Front Camera

Front camera sample
Front camera sample

The front camera in the Max Pro (M2) is a 13 MP sensor with an f/2.0 aperture and a 1.12 micron pixel size. There is a soft LED flash that helps taking selfies in the dark. Picture quality is fine as long as there is sufficient light. The darker areas of the image often turned out noisy. There is enough overall detail in the image. However, there is a tendency to smoothen the image beyond what is needed and that often leads to loss of detail near the edges of the object. We feel there is still scope for eking out better performance from the selfie camera given its higher resolution sensor. Recent updates have also added EIS support for video recording and a portrait mode. The portrait mode does a fairly good job of blurring the background. 

A photo of our test chart
A photo of our test chart
Our test chart in detail
Our test chart in detail
ColorChecker Passport: The lower half of each area of colour displays the reference colour
ColorChecker Passport: The lower half of each area of colour displays the reference colour

Accessories & Warranty

Asus includes a 10 W USB charger, a USB Type-A to micro USB cable, a TPU case, a SIM tool and some paperwork in the box. Our review unit did not come with any headphones.

Please see our Guarantees, Return Policies & Warranties FAQ for country-specific information.

Input Devices & Operation

The touchscreen in our review unit reacted quickly and precisely to inputs during our tests even into the edges of the display. The display has comparatively slow reaction times according to our tests, but we did not notice anything in everyday use.

Moreover, the powerful SoC and plentiful RAM allows the device to change display orientation relatively quickly. Oddly, the fingerprint sensor initially refused to recognise our registered fingerprint, but a restart permanently fixed this problem. Since then, the sensor has recognised our fingers reliably and comparatively quickly for a midrange smartphone.

Using the default keyboard in portrait mode
Using the default keyboard in portrait mode
Using the default keyboard in landscape mode
Using the default keyboard in landscape mode

Display

Sub-pixel array
Sub-pixel array
Widevine CDM L1 support
Widevine CDM L1 support

The ZenFone Max Pro (M2) sports a 6.26-inch FHD+ notched 19:9 display. Viewing angles are good, and text and graphics appeared to have good detail and sharpness. At a brightness of 450 nits, the display makes for easy viewing under most lighting conditions. Outdoor legibility was really good and there was no apparent wash out of colors as is generally the case. Unlike the Max (M2), the Max Pro (M2) does not suffer from the auto brightness bug. However, we did notice some sensitivity issues with the touchscreen firmware. Some of the recent updates have addressed it to a large extent, but we did encounter missed touch responses occasionally. 

There are no additional color-tuning settings available. However, you do get the Night Mode for blue-light filtering. Just like the Max (M2), there is also a neat Ambient Display feature and ZenMotion gestures for turning the display on and off with just a couple of taps. Unlike many OEM ROMs, you cannot hide the notch unless the feature natively makes it to stock Android. That being said, the notch seldom posed any hindrance to full screen viewing or gaming. 

The Max Pro (M2) supports Widevine CDM L1 so streaming Netflix and Amazon Prime in 720p or above shouldn't be an issue.

491
cd/m²
526
cd/m²
499
cd/m²
491
cd/m²
511
cd/m²
473
cd/m²
488
cd/m²
506
cd/m²
463
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 526 cd/m² Average: 494.2 cd/m² Minimum: 6.37 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Center on Battery: 511 cd/m²
Contrast: 1043:1 (Black: 0.49 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 8.3 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.1
ΔE Greyscale 8.1 | 0.64-98 Ø6.4
Gamma: 3.31
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
2280x1080, 6.26
Honor 10 Lite
IPS, 2340x1080, 6.21
Samsung Galaxy A7 2018
Super AMOLED, 2220x1080, 6
Motorola Moto G7 Plus
IPS, 2270x1080, 6.2
Screen
20%
45%
4%
Brightness middle
511
467
-9%
570
12%
537
5%
Brightness
494
446
-10%
565
14%
525
6%
Brightness Distribution
88
89
1%
93
6%
85
-3%
Black Level *
0.49
0.58
-18%
0.58
-18%
Contrast
1043
805
-23%
926
-11%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
8.3
1.5
82%
1.5
82%
6.41
23%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
12.6
4.5
64%
3.6
71%
10.86
14%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
8.1
2.4
70%
1.2
85%
6.7
17%
Gamma
3.31 66%
2.22 99%
2.07 106%
2.099 105%
CCT
7648 85%
6387 102%
6504 100%
8310 78%

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 2336 Hz ≤ 20 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 2336 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 20 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 2336 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9689 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

We should point out that the ZenFone Max Pro (M2) uses pulse-width modulation (PWM) to regulate display brightness, but only at 20% and below. Our review unit flickers at 2,366 Hz when it activates PWM, which should be high enough to not cause any issues for even those who are PWM sensitive.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
24.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 7.6 ms rise
↘ 16.8 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 38 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (25.4 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
55.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 26.8 ms rise
↘ 28.4 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 90 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (40.6 ms).

Our spectrophotometer and CalMAN analysis software also confirm our initial impressions about the display. The panel has a strong blue tint to it that makes colours look cold and results in high DeltaE deviations. The display is by no means bad, it is just not as colour accurate as the ones in the Honor 10 Lite or Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018).

CalMAN: Colour Accuracy
CalMAN: Colour Accuracy
CalMAN: Colour Space
CalMAN: Colour Space
CalMAN: Greyscale
CalMAN: Greyscale
CalMAN: Colour Saturation
CalMAN: Colour Saturation

The ZenFone Max Pro (M2) gets bright enough to use outdoors, although its highly reflective screen can make the device tricky to read in direct sunlight. Our review unit has decent viewing angles though thanks to its IPS panel, so you should have no real issues with reading the display even at acute viewing angles.

Ambient Display with notification LED
Ambient Display with notification LED
Display outdoors at auto brightness
Display outdoors at auto brightness
Display outdoors at max brightness
Display outdoors at max brightness
Display indoors at auto brightness
Display indoors at auto brightness

Performance

The ZenFone Max Pro (M2) is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC. Asus has underclocked the faster Kryo 260 cluster to 1.95 GHz instead of the stock 2.2 GHz. Combining this with the large 5,000 mAh battery should help in longer runtimes. The slower Kryo cores run at the stock 1.8 GHz, however. As we will see below, this does have an effect on the benchmark scores. That being said, performance in day-to-day use is very good with little to no lag even when taxed with multiple apps running simultaneously in the background. We would recommend opting for at least a 4 GB variant to minimize any memory bottlenecks. 

CPU and GPU Benchmarks

We ran a suite of synthetic CPU and GPU benchmarks to see how the Snapdragon 660 in the Max Pro (M2) stood up to the competition. The numbers are somewhat disappointing. In AnTuTu, the Snapdragon 660 scores well below the average score for the SoC, and consequently, below many other Snapdragon 660 devices. A similar ~15% performance deficit was observed in BaseMark and Geekbench scores as well. GPU performance was also on the lower side with the Adreno 512 in the Max Pro (M2) scoring the least when compared to other devices with the same GPU. The difference in the actual values is not too high in GFXBench tests unlike 3DMark, which showed a ~10-15% drop in performance.

AnTuTu v7 - Total Score
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
143551 Points ∼100% +23%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
142189 Points ∼99% +22%
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
141701 Points ∼99% +22%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
140878 Points ∼98% +21%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
140875 Points ∼98% +21%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
140714 Points ∼98% +21%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (116346 - 143551, n=10)
137699 Points ∼96% +18%
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
126462 Points ∼88% +9%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
116346 Points ∼81%
PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 performance score
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
6124 Points ∼100% +5%
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
6077 Points ∼99% +4%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
6052 Points ∼99% +4%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
6047 Points ∼99% +3%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (5789 - 6187, n=10)
6022 Points ∼98% +3%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
5995 Points ∼98% +3%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
5965 Points ∼97% +2%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
5844 Points ∼95%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
5789 Points ∼95% -1%
Work performance score
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
7026 Points ∼100% +7%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
6926 Points ∼99% +5%
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
6825 Points ∼97% +4%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
6723 Points ∼96% +2%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (6274 - 7026, n=10)
6654 Points ∼95% +1%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
6573 Points ∼94%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
6338 Points ∼90% -4%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
6332 Points ∼90% -4%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
6274 Points ∼89% -5%
BaseMark OS II
Web
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1146 Points ∼100% +12%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1108 Points ∼97% +8%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
1105 Points ∼96% +8%
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1101 Points ∼96% +7%
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1092 Points ∼95% +6%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (1027 - 1146, n=10)
1092 Points ∼95% +6%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
1086 Points ∼95% +6%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1078 Points ∼94% +5%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1027 Points ∼90%
Graphics
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
2332 Points ∼100% +18%
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2298 Points ∼99% +17%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2295 Points ∼98% +16%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
2293 Points ∼98% +16%
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2288 Points ∼98% +16%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2279 Points ∼98% +16%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2257 Points ∼97% +15%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (1970 - 2332, n=10)
2257 Points ∼97% +15%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1970 Points ∼84%
Memory
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2503 Points ∼100% +44%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2494 Points ∼100% +44%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2470 Points ∼99% +42%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
2393 Points ∼96% +38%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (1737 - 2799, n=10)
2360 Points ∼94% +36%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2347 Points ∼94% +35%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
2269 Points ∼91% +31%
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2256 Points ∼90% +30%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1737 Points ∼69%
System
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
5282 Points ∼100% +41%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
5237 Points ∼99% +40%
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
5229 Points ∼99% +40%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
5063 Points ∼96% +35%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
5048 Points ∼96% +35%
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
4976 Points ∼94% +33%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (3745 - 5282, n=10)
4957 Points ∼94% +32%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
4797 Points ∼91% +28%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
3745 Points ∼71%
Overall
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2394 Points ∼100% +26%
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2369 Points ∼99% +24%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
2364 Points ∼99% +24%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2343 Points ∼98% +23%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
2332 Points ∼97% +22%
Oppo R11
Adreno 512, 660
2330 Points ∼97% +22%
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2330 Points ∼97% +22%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2322 Points ∼97% +22%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (1905 - 2428, n=11)
2314 Points ∼97% +21%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1905 Points ∼80%
Geekbench 4.3
Compute RenderScript Score
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
5811 Points ∼100% +17%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
5688 Points ∼98% +14%
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
5672 Points ∼98% +14%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
5640 Points ∼97% +13%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
5542 Points ∼95% +11%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (4983 - 5811, n=9)
5524 Points ∼95% +11%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
5486 Points ∼94% +10%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
4983 Points ∼86%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
5893 Points ∼100% +20%
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
5867 Points ∼100% +20%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
5860 Points ∼99% +20%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
5856 Points ∼99% +20%
Oppo R11
Adreno 512, 660
5850 Points ∼99% +20%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
5843 Points ∼99% +19%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
5826 Points ∼99% +19%
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
5806 Points ∼99% +19%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (4895 - 5913, n=11)
5694 Points ∼97% +16%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
4895 Points ∼83%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1646 Points ∼100% +15%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1642 Points ∼100% +15%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
1621 Points ∼98% +13%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1620 Points ∼98% +13%
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1617 Points ∼98% +13%
Oppo R11
Adreno 512, 660
1610 Points ∼98% +13%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
1601 Points ∼97% +12%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (1431 - 1646, n=11)
1598 Points ∼97% +12%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1579 Points ∼96% +10%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1431 Points ∼87%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Physics
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2797 Points ∼100% +32%
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2789 Points ∼100% +31%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
2774 Points ∼99% +31%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2764 Points ∼99% +30%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
2758 Points ∼99% +30%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (2121 - 2797, n=10)
2654 Points ∼95% +25%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2615 Points ∼93% +23%
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2431 Points ∼87% +15%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2121 Points ∼76%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Graphics
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1268 Points ∼100% +11%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
1268 Points ∼100% +11%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1267 Points ∼100% +11%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
1265 Points ∼100% +11%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1244 Points ∼98% +9%
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1239 Points ∼98% +9%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (1134 - 1268, n=10)
1235 Points ∼97% +8%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1139 Points ∼90%
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1134 Points ∼89% 0%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1442 Points ∼100% +14%
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1441 Points ∼100% +13%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
1438 Points ∼100% +13%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
1433 Points ∼99% +13%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1432 Points ∼99% +13%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1417 Points ∼98% +12%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (1270 - 1442, n=10)
1403 Points ∼97% +10%
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1287 Points ∼89% +1%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1270 Points ∼88%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited Physics
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2815 Points ∼100% +26%
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2768 Points ∼98% +24%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2758 Points ∼98% +23%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2756 Points ∼98% +23%
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2752 Points ∼98% +23%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
2751 Points ∼98% +23%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (2238 - 2815, n=10)
2700 Points ∼96% +21%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
2645 Points ∼94% +18%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2238 Points ∼80%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited Graphics
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2033 Points ∼100% +13%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2024 Points ∼100% +12%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
2015 Points ∼99% +12%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1981 Points ∼97% +10%
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1980 Points ∼97% +10%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (1734 - 2033, n=10)
1934 Points ∼95% +7%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1806 Points ∼89%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
1757 Points ∼86% -3%
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1734 Points ∼85% -4%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2151 Points ∼100% +14%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2148 Points ∼100% +14%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
2142 Points ∼100% +14%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2121 Points ∼99% +12%
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2114 Points ∼98% +12%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (1887 - 2151, n=10)
2055 Points ∼96% +9%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
1898 Points ∼88% +1%
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1889 Points ∼88% 0%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1887 Points ∼88%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
2759 Points ∼100% +47%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2757 Points ∼100% +46%
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2749 Points ∼100% +46%
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2737 Points ∼99% +45%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2700 Points ∼98% +43%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2628 Points ∼95% +40%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (1883 - 2759, n=10)
2573 Points ∼93% +37%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
2073 Points ∼75% +10%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1883 Points ∼68%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1201 Points ∼100% +13%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1196 Points ∼100% +13%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1195 Points ∼100% +13%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
1193 Points ∼99% +12%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
1185 Points ∼99% +12%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (1061 - 1201, n=10)
1173 Points ∼98% +11%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1164 Points ∼97% +10%
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1161 Points ∼97% +9%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1061 Points ∼88%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1)
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1372 Points ∼100% +17%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
1365 Points ∼99% +16%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1364 Points ∼99% +16%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1361 Points ∼99% +16%
Oppo R11
Adreno 512, 660
1354 Points ∼99% +15%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
1354 Points ∼99% +15%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (1175 - 1372, n=11)
1339 Points ∼98% +14%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1335 Points ∼97% +14%
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1332 Points ∼97% +13%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1175 Points ∼86%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2780 Points ∼100% +17%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
2741 Points ∼99% +15%
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2736 Points ∼98% +15%
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2734 Points ∼98% +15%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
2719 Points ∼98% +14%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (2383 - 2834, n=10)
2700 Points ∼97% +13%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2680 Points ∼96% +12%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2638 Points ∼95% +11%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2383 Points ∼86%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1938 Points ∼100% +13%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1936 Points ∼100% +13%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
1929 Points ∼100% +13%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
1918 Points ∼99% +12%
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1895 Points ∼98% +11%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1891 Points ∼98% +11%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (1711 - 1938, n=10)
1891 Points ∼98% +11%
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1856 Points ∼96% +8%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1711 Points ∼88%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2071 Points ∼100% +13%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
2062 Points ∼100% +13%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2059 Points ∼99% +13%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
2054 Points ∼99% +13%
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2035 Points ∼98% +12%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (1825 - 2073, n=10)
2025 Points ∼98% +11%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2023 Points ∼98% +11%
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1999 Points ∼97% +10%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1825 Points ∼88%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
21016 Points ∼100% +39%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
20437 Points ∼97% +35%
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
20224 Points ∼96% +34%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
20173 Points ∼96% +34%
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
20085 Points ∼96% +33%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (15088 - 21016, n=10)
19357 Points ∼92% +28%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
19050 Points ∼91% +26%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
18523 Points ∼88% +23%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
15088 Points ∼72%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
29422 Points ∼100% +15%
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
29333 Points ∼100% +15%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
29306 Points ∼100% +15%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
29116 Points ∼99% +14%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
29065 Points ∼99% +14%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
28984 Points ∼99% +13%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (25561 - 29496, n=10)
28566 Points ∼97% +12%
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
26322 Points ∼89% +3%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
25561 Points ∼87%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
26731 Points ∼100% +21%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
26702 Points ∼100% +21%
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
26610 Points ∼100% +20%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
26605 Points ∼100% +20%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
26175 Points ∼98% +18%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (22145 - 26731, n=10)
25808 Points ∼97% +17%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
25783 Points ∼96% +16%
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
24669 Points ∼92% +11%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
22145 Points ∼83%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
51 fps ∼100% +13%
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
50 fps ∼98% +11%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
50 fps ∼98% +11%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
50 fps ∼98% +11%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (43 - 51, n=10)
48.2 fps ∼95% +7%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
46 fps ∼90% +2%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
46 fps ∼90% +2%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
45 fps ∼88%
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
43 fps ∼84% -4%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
52 fps ∼100% +24%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
51 fps ∼98% +21%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
50 fps ∼96% +19%
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
48 fps ∼92% +14%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
48 fps ∼92% +14%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (42 - 52, n=10)
47.8 fps ∼92% +14%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
47 fps ∼90% +12%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
47 fps ∼90% +12%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
42 fps ∼81%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
23 fps ∼100% +15%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
23 fps ∼100% +15%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
23 fps ∼100% +15%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
23 fps ∼100% +15%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
23 fps ∼100% +15%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (20 - 23, n=10)
22.3 fps ∼97% +12%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
22 fps ∼96% +10%
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
21 fps ∼91% +5%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
20 fps ∼87%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
23 fps ∼100% +21%
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
22 fps ∼96% +16%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
22 fps ∼96% +16%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (19 - 23, n=10)
21.3 fps ∼93% +12%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
21 fps ∼91% +11%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
21 fps ∼91% +11%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
21 fps ∼91% +11%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
21 fps ∼91% +11%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
19 fps ∼83%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
15 fps ∼100% +15%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
15 fps ∼100% +15%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
15 fps ∼100% +15%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
15 fps ∼100% +15%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
15 fps ∼100% +15%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (13 - 15, n=10)
14.5 fps ∼97% +12%
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
14 fps ∼93% +8%
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
13 fps ∼87% 0%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
13 fps ∼87%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
15 fps ∼100% +25%
Oppo R11
Adreno 512, 660
15 fps ∼100% +25%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
14 fps ∼93% +17%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
14 fps ∼93% +17%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
14 fps ∼93% +17%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
14 fps ∼93% +17%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (12 - 15, n=11)
13.7 fps ∼91% +14%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
13 fps ∼87% +8%
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
12 fps ∼80% 0%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
12 fps ∼80%
GFXBench
off screen Car Chase Offscreen
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
9.1 fps ∼100% +12%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
9.1 fps ∼100% +12%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
9.1 fps ∼100% +12%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
9 fps ∼99% +11%
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
9 fps ∼99% +11%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
9 fps ∼99% +11%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (8.1 - 9.1, n=10)
8.88 fps ∼98% +10%
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
8.3 fps ∼91% +2%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
8.1 fps ∼89%
on screen Car Chase Onscreen
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
9.8 fps ∼100% +31%
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
9.1 fps ∼93% +21%
Oppo R11
Adreno 512, 660
8.6 fps ∼88% +15%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
8.6 fps ∼88% +15%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
8.6 fps ∼88% +15%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (7.5 - 9.8, n=11)
8.58 fps ∼88% +14%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
8.4 fps ∼86% +12%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
8.3 fps ∼85% +11%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
8.3 fps ∼85% +11%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
7.5 fps ∼77%

To understand how the Snapdragon 660 in the Max Pro (M2) throttles under load, we ran GFXBench Long Term Manhattan ES 3.1 and Long Term T-Rex ES 2.0 for about 30 iterations. The performance, unfortunately, does not appear to be very consistent. In Manhattan ES 3.1, we see a dip in performance after 15 iterations and the SoC is seen to recuperate only after around the 22nd iteration. We also see only one core (CPU 8) being extensively used and the maximum clock (1,950 MHz) could be attained barely a few times, with 1,750 MHz looking to be a sweet spot under load.

Long Term ES T-Rex 2.0 also showed a very inconsistent performance with a drastic drop in the 20th iteration. Interestingly, the CPU clocks weren't going above the 1,400 MHz mark for the big Kryo cores and above the 1,108 MHz mark for the LITTLE ones apart from occasional spikes. The CPU temperatures hovered around the 47 °C mark during both tests. 

These results show that the Max Pro (M2) has noticeable issues in handling stress, so expect to see performance dips under continuous load such as intense gaming over long durations. However, for most usage scenarios in this target demographic, it is not always the case that the CPU would be taxed 100% so you might not even notice throttling affecting your workflow at all.  

We also feel that Asus can tweak its firmware so as to allow the custom Snapdragon 660 to play nice under stress. While the lower clock speed certainly helps with battery life, leaving it at stock would not have made much of a difference anyways. 

CPU temperature readings in GFXBench Long Term Manhattan ES 3.1
CPU temperature readings in GFXBench Long Term Manhattan ES 3.1
Drop in performance after 15 iterations in GFXBench Long Term Manhattan ES 3.1
Drop in performance after 15 iterations in GFXBench Long Term Manhattan ES 3.1
CPU clock speeds in GFXBench Long Term Manhattan ES 3.1
CPU clock speeds in GFXBench Long Term Manhattan ES 3.1
CPU temperature readings in GFXBench Long Term T-Rex ES 2.0
CPU temperature readings in GFXBench Long Term T-Rex ES 2.0
Drop in performance after 20 iterations in GFXBench Long Term T-Rex ES 2.0
Drop in performance after 20 iterations in GFXBench Long Term T-Rex ES 2.0
CPU clock speeds in GFXBench Long Term T-Rex ES 2.0
CPU clock speeds in GFXBench Long Term T-Rex ES 2.0
Web browsing in Chrome
Web browsing in Chrome

The Max Pro (M2) fared well in the Mozilla Kraken and WebXPRT 2015 tests but lagged behind its contemporaries in the JetStream and Google Octane benchmarks. We tried running WebXPRT 3 but the test always stopped midway despite clearing the browser cache and starting from scratch. Nevertheless, browsing the web was a breeze and we encountered no issues in both Chrome and Microsoft Edge. Graphics-heavy sites and FHD videos played back flawlessly without any stutters. We could also play Interland in Chrome without any issues in responsiveness or fluidity. 

JetStream 1.1 - Total Score
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 68)
54.672 Points ∼100% +21%
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 60)
53.89 Points ∼99% +19%
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 67)
53.309 Points ∼98% +18%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 71)
52.897 Points ∼97% +17%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 67)
52.139 Points ∼95% +15%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash (Chrome 70)
51.786 Points ∼95% +14%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 67)
49.396 Points ∼90% +9%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 71)
45.31 Points ∼83%
Average of class Smartphone
  (0 - 273, n=470)
37.8 Points ∼69% -17%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 60)
10945 Points ∼100% +29%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 71)
10378 Points ∼95% +23%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 68)
10300 Points ∼94% +22%
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 67)
10174 Points ∼93% +20%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash (Chrome 70)
10145 Points ∼93% +20%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 67)
9995 Points ∼91% +18%
Oppo R11
Adreno 512, 660
9642 Points ∼88% +14%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 67)
9582 Points ∼88% +13%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 71)
8463 Points ∼77%
Average of class Smartphone
  (3126 - 43280, n=620)
5926 Points ∼54% -30%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Average of class Smartphone
  (603 - 59466, n=639)
11089 ms * ∼100% -151%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 67)
4768.9 ms * ∼43% -8%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 71)
4421.4 ms * ∼40%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 67)
4093.5 ms * ∼37% +7%
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 60)
3937.3 ms * ∼36% +11%
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 67)
3926.9 ms * ∼35% +11%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 71)
3879.5 ms * ∼35% +12%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash (Chrome 70)
3841.8 (min: 1) ms * ∼35% +13%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 68)
3796.2 ms * ∼34% +14%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 71)
182 Points ∼100%
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 67)
173 Points ∼95% -5%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 68)
173 Points ∼95% -5%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 71)
171 Points ∼94% -6%
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 60)
168 Points ∼92% -8%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash (Chrome 70)
167 Points ∼92% -8%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 67)
159 Points ∼87% -13%
Average of class Smartphone
  (251 - 362, n=313)
118 Points ∼65% -35%

* ... smaller is better

The Max Pro (M2) uses eMMC flash for storage, and it performs better than the implementation in the Max (M2). Our unit is equipped with 64 GB of storage of which ~51 GB is available to the user. Sequential write performance was excellent and almost on par with the scores posted by the UFS 2.1 storage in the Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018). Random write scores were better than most of the competition. Read speeds, however, weren't as good as the UFS 2.1 flash chip but are comparable to other eMMC-based devices. 

Therefore, you will not have problems in reading and writing large chunks of data to the internal storage. You can also slot-in a microSD card of up to 2 TB for additional space. 

Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
Xiaomi Mi 6X
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
AndroBench 3-5
-21%
6%
4%
-26%
-25%
-29%
-25%
Random Write 4KB
88.19
18.75
-79%
19.79
-78%
77.87
-12%
17.18
-81%
6.89
-92%
15.43
-83%
19.62
-78%
Random Read 4KB
74.92
81.25
8%
116.76
56%
94.18
26%
56.78
-24%
72.98
-3%
51.25
-32%
54.65
-27%
Sequential Write 256KB
198.95
172.43
-13%
194.65
-2%
207.87
4%
208.39
5%
203.7
2%
204.83
3%
211.6
6%
Sequential Read 256KB
285.54
282.62
-1%
426.63
49%
277.65
-3%
273.14
-4%
271.98
-5%
280.78
-2%
283.12
-1%

Games

The Adreno 512 in the ZenFone Max Pro (M2) scored low in synthetic graphics benchmarks, but that does not stop it from performing well in gaming. However, keep in mind that all titles will not play at 60 FPS. Most of the demanding titles such as PUBG Mobile, Arena of Valor, and Asphalt 9: Legends were playable at high settings at a constant 30 FPS without any noticeable frame drops. Dialing down the graphics quality should be able to get one closer to the 60 FPS mark. Sdorica: Sunset could be played at 60 FPS but suffered frame drops in heavy scenes.

We could not install Shadow Fight 3 for some reason on the phone. Vulkan titles play well and games like Vainglory could easily touch the 60 FPS mark. 

PUBG Mobile 30 FPS (HD)
PUBG Mobile 30 FPS (HD)
Asphalt 9: Legends 30 FPS (High)
Asphalt 9: Legends 30 FPS (High)
Area of Valor 30 FPS (High)
Sdorica: Sunset 60 FPS (High)
Vainglory (Vulkan) 60 FPS
PUBG Mobile
Balanced
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
30 (min: 1, max: 32) fps ∼100%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (24 - 30, n=2)
27 fps ∼90% -10%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
24 (min: 21, max: 25) fps ∼80% -20%
HD
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
30 (min: 6, max: 31) fps ∼100% 0%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
30 (min: 25, max: 31) fps ∼100% 0%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
30 (min: 1, max: 32) fps ∼100%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (30 - 30, n=3)
30 fps ∼100% 0%
Asphalt 9: Legends - High Quality
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
30 (min: 1, max: 60) fps ∼100%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (28 - 30, n=4)
28.5 fps ∼95% -5%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
28 (min: 24, max: 30) fps ∼93% -7%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
28 fps ∼93% -7%
Arena of Valor - high HD
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
60 (min: 47, max: 60) fps ∼100% +100%
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB eMMC Flash
60 fps ∼100% +100%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512
  (30 - 60, n=3)
50 fps ∼83% +67%
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
30 (min: 1, max: 57) fps ∼50%
PUBG Mobile
 SettingsValue
 Balanced30 fps
 HD30 fps
  Your browser does not support the canvas element!
Asphalt 9: Legends
 SettingsValue
 High Quality30 fps
  Your browser does not support the canvas element!
Arena of Valor
 SettingsValue
 high HD30 fps
  Your browser does not support the canvas element!

Emissions

Temperatures

The Max Pro (M2) stays relatively cool even under stress. The underclocking of the Snapdragon 660 could have played its part here. We found the normal CPU temperature to hover around the 40 °C mark while the normal battery temperature was around 35 °C. Under synthetic stress, we noticed that the CPU temperature was close to 47 °C. Playing games such as PUBG Mobile at HD High settings also saw similar temperature readings. We are happy that it did not go above that and the phone remains quite comfortable to hold even during long hours of gaming. 

Heatmap of the front of the device under load
Heatmap of the front of the device under load
Heatmap of the back of the device under load
Heatmap of the back of the device under load
Max. Load
 30.5 °C
87 F
30.9 °C
88 F
34.9 °C
95 F
 
 30.4 °C
87 F
30 °C
86 F
36.1 °C
97 F
 
 30.1 °C
86 F
30.5 °C
87 F
35.8 °C
96 F
 
Maximum: 36.1 °C = 97 F
Average: 32.1 °C = 90 F
29.1 °C
84 F
29.9 °C
86 F
30.7 °C
87 F
29.2 °C
85 F
29.9 °C
86 F
30.4 °C
87 F
29.2 °C
85 F
29.7 °C
85 F
30.8 °C
87 F
Maximum: 30.8 °C = 87 F
Average: 29.9 °C = 86 F
Power Supply (max.)  26 °C = 79 F | Room Temperature 21.6 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 32.1 °C / 90 F, compared to the average of 33 °C / 91 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 36.1 °C / 97 F, compared to the average of 35.5 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 30.8 °C / 87 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 28.2 °C / 83 F, compared to the device average of 33 °C / 91 F.

Speakers

Pink Noise speaker characteristics
Pink Noise speaker characteristics

There is a single speaker near the microUSB port at the bottom that can output mono audio. We found the audio from the 5-magnet speaker to be loud thanks to the NXP Smart Amplifier, and the distortion is not very perceivable unless you crank up the volume all the way to the max. There are no built-in audio customizations or enhancements such as Dolby or DTS:Headphone X on the device so you will have to rely on individual apps for EQ settings. Audio from the headphone jack is clear and while the profile seemed to favor the highs in our SoundMagic E10C earphones, a bit of EQ tuning gives appreciable lows and mids. Do note that there are no headphones supplied in the box.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2039.431.12528.330.93118.723.14026.721.95033.231.46322.622.58021.825.110024.422.212523.827.816018.544.120017.144.325017.850.831515.55840014.161.45001464.763013.866.680014.768.2100015.470.1125015.271.5160014.374.1200014.576.4250013.977.9315014.676.9400014.176.6500014.378.2630014.576.1800014.873.61000014.8721250014.867.4160001553.4SPL26.887N0.867median 14.8median 68.2Delta1.511.134.434.730.432.32732.333.12934.631.529.126.92423.923.621.721.231.421.140.618.841.118.747.217.650.116.657.115.861.715.864.515.369.616.370.814.771.31668.61570.714.768.714.769.414.372.914.868.915.16215.257.914.456.814.462.714.462.86063.75527.580.912.915.59.30.947median 15.3median 62.71.39.9hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseAsus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KLMotorola Moto G7 Plus
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (87 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 27% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.9% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (4.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 7.7% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (2.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (21.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 22% of all tested devices in this class were better, 12% similar, 66% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 50% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 41% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Motorola Moto G7 Plus audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (80.9 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 24% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 5.7% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (6.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.8% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (6.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (21.2% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 21% of all tested devices in this class were better, 11% similar, 68% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 49% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 43% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Battery Life

Battery settings
Battery settings

The ZenFone Max Pro (M2) offers a humongous 5,000 mAh battery. It is good to see Asus cramming in a large battery without adversely increasing the weight of the device (175 g). For comparison, the Honor 8X features a 3,750 mAh battery for the same 175 g weight while the Redmi 6 Pro offers a 4,000 mAh cell in a body weight of 182 g. Asus says that the Max Pro (M2) features 12 battery safety technologies including temperature, input over voltage, output over voltage, OTG, and JEITA protections among others. Given the large capacity, you can also use the Max Pro (M2) as a power bank and reverse charge other mobile devices.

Practically speaking, we did find the battery draining at a faster pace than expected. The drain is especially high while using GPS or playing games. For normal use though, the Max Pro (M2) will easily outlast your typical workday and you'll still be left with enough charge before hitting the bed. There is no Qualcomm QuickCharge support, but the bundled 10 W charger can charge the battery from 0 to 100% in about 2.5 to 3 hours, which we feel is good enough for a battery of this size.

At a brightness of approximately 200 cd/m2 and all connections on, we observed a battery drain of about 28% in 3.5 hours in the PCMark Work 2.0 battery test, which approximately equates to about 13 hours before the battery gives up. 

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.01 / 0.14 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.76 / 2.18 / 2.22 Watt
Load midlight 3.47 / 7.22 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
5000 mAh
Honor 10 Lite
3400 mAh
Samsung Galaxy A7 2018
3300 mAh
Motorola Moto G7 Plus
3000 mAh
Battery Runtime
-48%
-35%
-23%
Reader / Idle
1533
1467
WiFi v1.3
927.7
484
-48%
605
-35%
715
-23%
Load
178
273
196
H.264
502
836
809
Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
15h 27.7min


Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 ZB630KL
5000 mAh
Honor 10 Lite
3400 mAh
Samsung Galaxy A7 2018
3300 mAh
Motorola Moto G7 Plus
3000 mAh
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
 
Average of class Smartphone
 
Power Consumption
-14%
4%
-15%
-6%
3%
Idle Minimum *
0.76
1
-32%
0.71
7%
1.1
-45%
0.738 (0.56 - 1.2, n=10)
3%
0.882 (0.2 - 3.4, n=705)
-16%
Idle Average *
2.18
2.19
-0%
1.36
38%
1.7
22%
1.903 (1.4 - 2.2, n=10)
13%
1.736 (0.6 - 6.2, n=704)
20%
Idle Maximum *
2.22
2.2
1%
1.47
34%
2.1
5%
2.21 (1.54 - 4.1, n=10)
-0%
2.02 (0.74 - 6.6, n=705)
9%
Load Average *
3.47
4.64
-34%
5.13
-48%
5.1
-47%
4.61 (3.47 - 8.2, n=10)
-33%
4.06 (0.8 - 10.8, n=699)
-17%
Load Maximum *
7.22
7.7
-7%
7.89
-9%
7.9
-9%
8.22 (5.93 - 12.2, n=10)
-14%
5.85 (1.2 - 14.2, n=699)
19%

* ... smaller is better

Pros

+ Good design aesthetic
+ Relatively cool operation
+ Vibrant display with Corning Gorilla Glass 6
+ Fairly accurate GPS
+ Good rear camera performance
+ Widevine CDM L1 support
+ Responsive fingerprint sensor and face unlock
+ Stock Android experience
+ Good battery life

Cons

- Underclocked Snapdragon 660 SoC
- Throttling under load
- Touch registration not always accurate
- Rear camera low-light photos need fine-tuning
- Front camera needs improvement
- Higher battery drain under certain scenarios
- No fast charging

Verdict

Asus Zenfone Max Pro (M2). Review unit courtesy of Asus India.
Asus Zenfone Max Pro (M2). Review unit courtesy of Asus India.

The author has been evaluating the ZenFone Max Pro (M2) as a daily driver for about a month and the phone has lived up to most expectations. The faux-glass design of the phone is not something we often find in this price range and will surely turn heads — as long as you keep it clean. The display is vivid and the Gorilla Glass 6 protection helps in preventing scratches. With respect to the overall design, you get what you pay for with a little extra pizzazz to make it stand out from the crowd.

Overall performance in both synthetic and real-world benchmarks was satisfactory. The underclocked SoC might seem disappointing when it comes to scores, but it should not adversely impact daily driver workflows such as calls, texts, social networking, photos/videos, or even gaming at medium settings. That being said, the SoC does experience perceivable throttling at sustained loads. We feel that some of these issues can be alleviated via firmware optimizations.

The Asus ZenFone Max Pro (M2) offers performance that matches yesteryear flagship performance and a design that is contemporary at a price that is competitive. Factoring in the stock Android experience, a very good display, above-average cameras, and a timely update schedule, the ZenFone Max Pro (M2) counts among the best mid-range smartphones under ₹15,000 (US$200) that can easily replace your flagship-killer without you even realizing it.

Asus seems to have listened to the feedback it received for the ZenFone Max Pro (M1) and implemented improvements based on user suggestions in the Max Pro (M2). It's not perfect but we're glad for what's on offer. As we head further into 2019, expect to see Asus and competing brands battle it out and offer even more formerly flagship-grade features in the sub-US$200 price range.