Asus has just launched the ZenFone Max Pro M1 starting at ₹10,999 and even though the price puts it in the ballpark of the Redmi Note 5, its dual camera set-up and the Snapdragon 636 processor makes it look like a great alternative to the pricier Redmi Note 5 Pro. So, if you’re wondering whether to grab a Redmi Note 5 Pro or go for the ZenFone Max Pro M1 instead, here’s our quick comparison of the two smartphones:
ZenFone Max Pro M1 vs Redmi Note 5 Pro: Specs
|ZenFone Max Pro M1
|Redmi Note 5 Pro
|5.99-inch, FullHD+ IPS LCD
|5.99-inch, FullHD+ IPS LCD
|Up to 6GB
|Up to 64GB
|Dual 13MP f/2.2 + 5MP; 6GB variant comes with 16MP
|Dual 12MP f/2.2 + 5MP f/2.0
|Stock Android 8.1 Oreo
|Android 7.1.2 Nougat with MIUI 9
|WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2
|WiFi b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0
|Starts at ₹10,999
|Starts at ₹13,999
Design and Build Quality
The Redmi Note 5 Pro and the ZenFone Max Pro M1 are quite similar devices to look at. Both the phones come with a remarkably similar back with a vertical-dual camera set up, rear-mounted fingerprint scanners and antenna lines that run straight through the back panel of the phones.
The similarities don’t end there, both the Redmi Note 5 Pro and the ZenFone Max Pro M1 come with an 18:9 aspect ratio, slimmer side bezels, and displays with curved corners. The USB-C port is missing, with both Asus and Xiaomi opting to go with a micro USB port instead.
The ZenFone Max Pro M1 and the Redmi Note 5 Pro both come with 5.99-inch displays with a FullHD+ resolution at 1080×2160 pixels. Both the phones have a pretty decent color reproduction, visibility in the sunlight, and sharpness.
Along with that, the phones both have an 18:9 aspect ratio which accounts for their slimmer, and taller profile than conventional 16:9 phones, and allows for comparatively easier one-handed usage.
The ZenFone Max Pro M1 and the Redmi Note 5 Pro both come with dual rear cameras. The ZenFone Max Pro M1 has a 13MP + 5MP set up on the rear for taking portrait shots (although Asus will launch a 16MP variant later), and the Redmi Note 5 Pro comes with a 12MP + 5MP dual rear camera.
Photos from both the Redmi Note 5 Pro and the ZenFone Max Pro M1 are comparable, however, in my brief testing, I found the Redmi Note 5 Pro to be better at edge-detection in portrait shots.
There’s a portrait mode in the front camera on both the phones as well, but we’ll take a detailed look at the cameras in our in-depth review of the phone.
Hardware and Performance
The ZenFone Max Pro M1 and the Redmi Note 5 Pro both come with a Snapdragon 636, and up to 6GB RAM, which will definitely help in multi-tasking. However, the ZenFone Max Pro M1 doesn’t leave one wanting for performance either. It’s definitely a great performer, and the SD636 with up to 6GB of RAM results in blazing fast performance.
The ZenFone is also running near-stock Android (more on that later), as compared to the comparatively resource heavy MIUI 9 on the Redmi Note 5 Pro.
Asus has been boasting that the ZenFone Max Pro M1 comes with ‘Pure’ Android 8.1 and while that definitely means good things in terms of performance, it comes at the cost of some features. Asus’ implementation isn’t stock Android, with the company including a couple of third-party apps and some other tweaks, such as gestures. The Redmi Note 5 Pro, on the other hand is running the latest MIUI 9 on top of the aging Android 7.1.2 Nougat.
While Stock Android is definitely great for performance, MIUI 9 comes loaded to the brim with useful features including things like parallel apps, app locking, multiple app delete and more.
The ZenFone Max Pro M1 comes with a massive 5,000 mAh battery as compared to the 4,000 mAh unit in the Redmi Note 5 Pro. The batteries on both the phones last very long, and while neither of them will disappoint you, the ZenFone Max Pro M1 does outlast the Redmi Note 5 Pro.
ZenFone Max Pro M1 vs Redmi Note 5 Pro: Conclusion
While the ZenFone Max Pro M1 (starts at ₹10,999) is priced lower than the Redmi Note 5 Pro, certain features, like the dual camera, and Snapdragon 636 make it a viable alternative to the Redmi Note 5 Pro. Personally, the ZenFone Max Pro M1 would be my choice as it comes with a lot of the things the Redmi Note 5 Pro offers, but at a lower price point and with Stock Android. However, we’ll be testing the ZenFone Max Pro M1 extensively over the next few days and will come out with a detailed review of the same, so check back for that.