Asus just launched the 6GB variant of its budget ZenFone Max Pro M1 which also features new and improved camera sensors on both the front and the back of the device. As a result, the camera performance of the device has improved a bit, but how does it stack up against Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 5 Pro which is currently the best budget smartphone in the market? Well, in order to find out, we put the devices to the test and clicked a ton of images in a variety of conditions to ascertain which smartphone features the better camera sensors. Without further ado, let’s jump right into the ZenFone Max Pro M1 vs. Redmi Note 5 Pro Camera Showdown:
ZenFone Max Pro 6GB vs Redmi Note 5 Pro: Camera Specs
Before we actually get to the photography bit of the showdown, let’s get the camera specifications out of the way. The ZenFone Max Pro M1 features a 16MP f/2.0 + 5MP f/2.4 dual camera setup on the back, along with a 16MP f/2.0 selfie shooter up front. On the other hand, the Redmi Note 5 Pro features a 12MP f/2.2 + 5MP f/2.0 dual camera setup on the back, along with a 20MP f/2.2 selfie shooter up front.
According to the specs, it looks like the ZenFone Max Pro M1 features a better rear camera setup, while the Redmi Note 5 Pro includes a better front facing shooter. Let’s get to the camera samples and find out how they perform in real world use.
Starting off with the rear cameras, we tested both the devices in broad daylight to check how they performed when there was an ample amount of light falling on the subjects. I was expecting the 16MP f/2.0 sensor on the ZenFone Max Pro M1 to perform better than the 12MP f/2.2 sensor on the Redmi Note 5 Pro, but I was really surprised when I saw the results. The Redmi Note 5 Pro easily outperformed the ZenFone Max Pro M1, delivering images with a higher amount of detail, more true to life colors and better dynamic range. Not only that, the Redmi Note 5 Pro’s camera took lesser time to focus on the subject and process the images which greatly improved the user experience. Let’s take a look at some camera samples:
In low-light photography, I was once again rooting for the ZenFone Max Pro M1 as the primary sensor on the device has a larger aperture. Yet again, I was disappointed by the camera’s performance. Even though the ZenFone Max Pro M1 was able to capture more light in low-light scenarios (delivering a great image every once in a while), images captured by the device had far more noise and blur than the Redmi Note 5 Pro which has a smaller aperture. Just take a look at the camera samples below and see for yourself:
Since both the devices have a secondary 5MP sensor on the back for depth perception, both of them support portrait mode photography. In case you’ve gone through our full review of the ZenPhone Max Pro M1, you’d already know that portrait mode on the device is a bit hit and miss. At times the device is able to capture a great portrait shot with accurate edge detection and a decent background blur, on other occasions the device struggles with the edge detection and sometimes blurs out the subject. On the contrary, the Redmi Note 5 Pro delivered great portrait shots one after the other, without facing any problems with edge detection. Here are a few portrait mode samples captured using the two devices:
Videos captured by both the devices are equally bad, but the ZenFone Max Pro M1 is capable of capturing 4K video, which gives it a slight edge over the Redmi Note 5 Pro. Videos captured by both the devices aren’t stable and the devices have problems focusing on the subject. Videos captured by the Redmi Note 5 Pro even stutter and lag at times, which is particularly disappointing for a smartphone of this caliber. If you’re an aspiring videographer and shoot a lot of videos with your smartphone, then you should definitely steer clear of both these devices.
While the Redmi Note 5 Pro proved that a larger megapixel count doesn’t mean much when it comes to real world camera performance on smartphones, the ZenFone Max Pro M1 wasn’t able to do the same in the front facing camera department. Once again, the Redmi Note 5 Pro’s 20MP front facing camera performed significantly better that the ZenFone’s 16MP selfie shooter. Both the devices also feature a portrait selfie mode and here as well, the Redmi Note 5 Pro performs better than the ZenFone Max Pro M1. Just take a look at the images captured by the front facing cameras on both the devices and see for yourself:
ZenFone Max Pro 6GB vs Redmi Note 5 Pro: And The Winner Is…
As you can already tell, the Redmi Note 5 Pro fares better than the ZenFone Max Pro M1 in the camera department, delivering better images in all the test scenarios. Granted, the ZenFone Max Pro M1’s new camera sensors are better than the ones on the 3GB and 4GB RAM variants, but they’re still not as good as the ones found on the Redmi Note 5 Pro. So if you’re in the market for a budget device which offers a great camera, then you should opt for the Redmi Note 5 Pro. While the ZenFone Max Pro M1 excels in the performance, UI and battery life department, it just couldn’t beat the Redmi Note 5 Pro in the camera showdown.
Buy ZenFone Max Pro 6GB (Rs. 14,999)
Redmi Note 5 Pro (starts at Rs. 14,999)