ASUS Zenfone Max M1: Camera test and review

ASUS Zenfone Max M1: Camera test and review
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We know it has great battery life, but can it yield great photos as well?

Aside from its hefty 4,000mAh battery, what else does the ASUS Zenfone Max M1 bring to the table? In our hands-on first impressions post, we thought it’s a well-rounded smartphone for its price. We keep that opinion of ASUS’ first 2018 entry to their “battery king” line, even though a more robust and equally recommendable option—the ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1—has already recently emerged.

However, one concern interested buyers have with any prospective phone is the camera. Is it good? Does it perform well? On our camera test and review of the ASUS Zenfone Max M1 cameras, we’re breaking down all of that.

ASUS Zenfone Max M1: Camera test and review

Dual cameras

For its price—the phone has a sub-Php 10,000 price tag—you can’t really complain about what you get with the ASUS Zenfone Max M1.  You get a dual camera setup with 13 MP (f/2.0) and an 8 MP wide-angle lens  (17mm, no AF). The results are generally okay, with good enough dynamic range, and surprisingly minimal warping on wide-angle shots. These results, of course, would get trumped next to the likes of Huawei P20 Pro, but you’d be hard-pressed to hate on this phone if you’re paying a fourth of what are supposedly the best phones out there.

The UI, too, is pretty intuitive. It’s fun to use. Switching to and fro the wide-angle mode is as simple as a tap of a button, making it convenient for when you simply have to capture that moment whilst traveling.

Here are some sample photos, taken on different modes of wide-angle shots:

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Lowlight performance

Lowlight performance is pretty dull with this one. There’s no OIS (optic image stabilization), but there’s gyro EIC, which even so, doesn’t always yield very pretty results. Often, the camera will crush pixels to the point of blurriness, and worse, the grain is notable.

ASUS Zenfone Max M1: Camera test and review

Front-facing camera

The front-facing camera—an f2.2 25mm 8MP with gyro EIS—performs just as decently as the rear-facing one. Photos look decent to great in ideal lighting conditions, but when you take photos in low light, you’ll find it difficult getting a good shot.

Often it will focus on the wrong area, as seen in the below selfies, but to its credit, it doesn’t succumb to hyper-beautifying modes that other smartphones are notoriously known for.

ASUS Zenfone Max M1 Camera Specs

Primary Dual: 13 MP (f/2.0) + 8 MP (17mm, no AF), gyro EIS, phase detection autofocus, LED flash
Features Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panorama
Video 1080p@30fps
Secondary 8 MP (f/2.2, 25mm), gyro EIS

ASUS Zenfone Max M1 Full list of Specs

Operating System Android 8.0 Oreo
Display 5.5-inch Full HD+ (2160 x 1080) IPS
18:9 aspect ratio
2.5D arc glass panel
Bluelight filter
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 430
64-bit octa-core CPU (8 x Kryo 260 cores)
Adreno 509 GPU
14nm FinFET technology
Storage 32 GB
Supports microSD card up to 2TB
Support Apps to SD card
Google Drive: 100GB free space (1 year)
Front Camera 13MP Camera, F2.2 aperture 85˚ wide-viewing angle
LED flash
Fix Focus
Rear Camera Dual Cameras (8MP Camera, F2.0 aperture / 13MP Camera)
120˚ wide-viewing angle
Auto Focus
0.03-second laser auto-focus
LED flash
Instant cameras switching
Battery 4000mAh Lithium (non-removable)
Dimensions 147.3 x 70.9 x 8.7 mm
Weight 150 g
Colors Metallic finish: Galaxy Black/Sunlight Gold/Ruby Red

ASUS Zenfone MAX M1: Pricing and availability

The ASUS Zenfone MAX M1 is available nationwide at official ASUS stores and authorized resellers. There are also a lot of online merchants, including Lazada, Kimstore, and Widget City. The phone retails at around Php 10,000 price range.

ASUS Zenfone Max M1: Camera test and review
ASUS Zenfone Max M1: Camera test and review
The cameras on the ASUS Zenfone MAX M1 yield generally serviceable results. On the exception of its lowlight performance, the camera is nothing to complain about, especially considering the phone's price.
Dual cameras
Lowlight performance
Front-facing camera
Reader Rating0 Votes
Decent dynamic range
Minimal warping in wide shots
Intuitive interface
Unsightly lowlight images
Middling front-facing camera
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