#SmartphonesFaceoff: Zenfone Max Pro M1 vs Redmi Note 5 Pro
India's mid-range smartphone market, for quite some time now, has been dominated by the Redmi Note 5 Pro. But finally, ASUS has thrown down the gauntlet with the launch of its latest smartphone - the ZenFone Max Pro M1. In this smartphones faceoff, we pit against each other the two mid-range heavyweights to see if ASUS can replace the reigning mid-budget king. Here's more.
In this smartphones faceoff, we compare Redmi Note 5 Pro 4GB RAM/64GB variant, which now sells for Rs. 14,999 (price recently increased by Xiaomi) while the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 4GB RAM/64 GB variant which costs Rs. 12,999.
In terms of design and build quality, both the phones have similar design aesthetics. Just like the Redmi Note 5 Pro, the ZenFone Max Pro M1 also features a tall display with slim top and bottom bezels and a metal unibody casing. On the back, both have an identically positioned fingerprint sensor and vertical dual-rear cameras with LED flash modules. Under the hood, both the phones run the same octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 SoC processor.
Again, both the budget beast smartphones are pretty identical in terms of their displays. Both the ASUS and Redmi handsets feature a 5.99-inch full-HD+ (2160x1080) IPS LCD panel with an 18:9 aspect ratio and 403ppi pixel density. Unlike the ASUS handset, the Redmi Note 5 Pro comes with a Corning Gorilla Glass protection. However, given the Rs. 2,000 price difference, it's not a winning-factor.
In terms of optics, the Redmi Note 5 Pro sports dual camera setup with a primary 12MP f/2.2 lens + 5MP f/2.4 secondary lens. Similarly, the ZenFone Max Pro M1 sports a 13MP f/2.2 OmniVision sensor + 5MP f/2.4 sensor. Importantly, the ASUS phone supports 4K video recording while the Redmi offers only 1080p video recording. Again, given the price point, ASUS looks good.
On the front, the Redmi Note 5 Pro features a 20MP f/2.2 Sony IMX376 sensor with an LED selfie-light and Beautify 4.0 image enhancement technology. The ZenFone Max Pro M1 bears an 8MP f/2.0 selfie sensor. While both phones also support 1080p recording via their front shooter, the Redmi Note 5 wins the selfie race by a significant margin.
ASUS has taken a brave step to offer stock Android UI in a mid-budget smartphone over its ZenUI. The ASUS smartphones runs the latest stock version of Android 8.1 out-of-the-box. On the other hand, the Redmi Note 5 Pro runs MIUI 9.2 on top of Android 7.1.1 Nougat which comes with a lot of pre-installed bloatware.
In terms of connectivity, both dual-SIM(4G) phones come with VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11, GPS, GLONASS, Micro-USB and 3.5mm audio jack. The ASUS handset supports Bluetooth 4.2 with AptX while Redmi gets the latest Bluetooth 5.0. The significant difference lies in their battery capacities. The ZenFone Max Pro M1 packs a 5,000mAh battery with fast charging while the Redmi Note 5 Pro gets a 4,000mAh battery.
So, given both the phones feature the same processor and internals, the obvious choice comes down to what one does better than the other. The ASUS offers a bigger battery (both phones weigh 180grams) and stock Android while Redmi has a clear edge in the selfie game. However, considering the price difference of Rs. 2,000, ASUS's smartphone might just be the new king.
In some weeks time, ASUS will launch an upgraded variant of its ZenFone Max Pro M1. This variant will come with an upgraded 6GB RAM and a 16MP selfie shooter while retaining all the other internals. Notably, the phone will cost Rs. 14,999.