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The ZenFone Max Pro is probably the best stock Android smartphone under RM1,000

ASUS ZenFone Max Pro malaysia coming soon

ASUS had enjoyed great success with its original ZenFone and ZenFone 2. Both series offered top notch specs with generous storage at unbeatable prices. Unfortunately, the Taiwanese smartphone maker didn’t enjoy the same accomplishment as they moved upmarket with the ZenFone 3 and ZenFone 4.

With more competition heating up in the entry to mid-range segment, ASUS appears to be making a huge comeback with its new ZenFone Max Pro. This could possibly be the best smartphone you can get for less than RM1,000 in Malaysia.

As seen from the leaks, the ZenFone Max Pro M1 is quite similar to the incoming Redmi Note 5. It gets a 5.99″ FullHD+ (2160×1080) display in a taller 18:9 display aspect ratio. Available in Meteor Silver and Deepsea Black, it has a metal back that comes with a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor.

Under the hood, it also runs on rather powerful 14nm Snapdragon 636 processor that uses Kyro 260 CPU cores. The ZenFone Max Pro comes with three spec options – 3GB RAM + 32GB storage, 4GB RAM + 64GB storage and 6GB RAM + 64GB storage. If you need more, you can expand your storage further with a microSD card up to 2TB in capacity.

In the camera department, the ZenFone Max Pro comes with either a 13MP or 16MP f/2.0 main camera plus a secondary 5MP shooter for portrait mode. It can support 4K video recording as well as 1080p videos in 60fps. For selfies, it gets either an 8MP or 16MP front camera that’s assisted by a soft light LED flash.

In terms of connectivity, it is listed to support 802.11 b/g/n WiFi in 2.4GHz and Bluetooth 5.0. NFC is listed as optional so it might depend on which variant we’re getting. According to the Indonesian product page, it supports both FDD-LTE (Band 1,3,5,7,8,20 and TD-LTE (40) bands as well as VoLTE.

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When it comes to ASUS smartphones, we know there are those who disliked its bloaty ZenUI. For the first time, the ZenFone Max Pro will deliver a stock Android 8.1 Oreo experience out of the box. This should provide a smoother experience and hopefully quicker updates when it’s available.

Unlike most dual-SIM smartphones in this price range, the ZenFone Max Pro comes with a triple-slot tray which allows you to use two nano-SIM cards and a microSD card simultaneously. Powering the device is a 5,000mAh battery which supports fast charging via microUSB.

In Indonesia, the base 3GB RAM + 32GB storage model is officially priced at Rp. 2.299.000 (about RM646) while the 4GB RAM + 64GB storage option is going for Rp 2.799.000 (about RM787). Meanwhile, the top of the line 6GB RAM + 64GB storage option is priced at Rp 3.299.000 (about RM928). It’s pretty close to the Redmi Note 5 but you get a stock Android experience and a significantly larger battery.

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro is expected to arrive in Malaysia sometime in the middle of May 2018. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

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Alexander Wong