ASUS ZenFone Max M2 (ZB633KL) Hands-On, First Impressions

ASUS ZenFone Max M2 (ZB633KL) Hands-On, First Impressions

ASUS has released their first ever smartphone for this year, the ASUS ZenFone Max M2, which delivers promising specs-to-price ratio. Today, I will be taking my first look at this mid-range budget smartphone and check if it has the potential to be one of the best phones of the year.

The Max M2 comes with an aluminum unibody design with a matte finish which looks premium and simple at first glance. Its bottom bezel got thinner while the top now features the trending notch design of 2018. Just like with the ZenFone Max Pro M2, it looks thinner than its previous iteration and has this stylish vibe thanks to its blue color.

At the front is the 6.3-inch IPS LCD HD+ display which seems lacking in terms of resolution. The notch houses the LED flash, LED notification light, an oblong-shaped call speaker, and 8MP front camera. The Max M2 still comes with on-screen navigation buttons which lessens the bottom bezel significantly.

Look at the left side and you’ll see the tray that accommodates the dual-nano SIM card and microSD card slots.

On the right is the standard volume rocker-power button pairing. I didn’t like how the buttons are way too buried in the phone since this prevents my thumb to easily press them without giving much effort. Furthermore, if you equip its free jelly case, chances are, there will be an instance where you will fail pressing them.


On top are the 3.5mm audio port and noise-canceling microphone while the main microphone, micro USB port, and loudspeakers are located at the bottom. I like that ASUS ditched the usual grille design in the loudspeaker and just went with the open-speaker hole aesthetic since it provides a fresher look.

Flip on its back and you’ll see the dual 13MP + 2MP rear cameras, LED flash, fingerprint scanner, and the ASUS logo.

Just like with the ZenFone Max Pro M2, the Max M2 feels very thin and light which makes it a good traveling companion as it can easily fit inside your bag and/or side pockets. It also feels solid, premium, and easy to grip thanks to the matte finish. This is also good if you are not fond of having to clean the back of your phone every now and then due to fingerprint marks and/or smudges.

Powering the ZenFone Max M2 is one of the latest chipsets of Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 632, along with Adreno 506 GPU, and 3GB of RAM. During my initial tests, tasks such as browsing in Google Play, web browser, file transferring, and multi-tasking are a piece of cake and did not cause stutters or delays in its performance. Since this device is considered as a mid-range smartphone, expect that I will be testing it especially with gaming. Check out the benchmark scores below:

  • AnTuTu – 102,212
  • 3D Mark – 524 (SSE – OpenGL ES 3.1), 546 (SSE – Vulkan)
  • PC Mark – 5,787 (Work 2.0), 6,505 (Work 1.0)
  • GeekBench – 1,246 (Single-Core), 4,726 (Multi-Core)
  • AndroBench – 282.69 MB/s (Read), 78.11 MB/s (Write)

The Max M2 carries a 4,000mAh battery with fast charging and runs on Stock Android which is based on Android 8 Oreo. With a price of PHP 8,995, this phone has a lot of potential in dominating the budget smartphone segment. Stay tuned for my full review which will come out in a few days to know my final verdict!

ASUS ZenFone Max M2 (ZB633KL) specs:

  • 6.3? HD+ IPS display @ 1520 x 720px
  • 2.5D curved glass
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 1.8GHz octa-core processor
  • Adreno 506 GPU
  • 32GB storage
  • expandable up to 2TB via dedicated microSD card slot
  • 13MP + 2MP f/1.8 rear camera w/ PDAF, LED flash
  • 8MP f/2.0 front camera w/ soft light LED flash
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • 4G VOLTE Cat5
  • 5-magnet speaker with NXP smart amplifier
  • FM Radio
  • Fingerprint Scanner
  • Face Unlock
  • Stock Android (Android 8 Oreo)
  • 4,000mAh battery with fast charging

Vaughn is your go-to person when it comes to comparing gadgets especially smartphones. He's also a gamer by heart and the "Hackerman" of the team.

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