Asus made a comeback into the mid-range smartphone market in India by launching Zenfone Max Pro M1 smartphone (Read Review) priced at Rs. 10,999 for the 3GB RAM + 32GB ROM variant. Before this launch by Asus, this segment is almost dominated by Xiaomi Smartphones such as Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro. In this post, we will put the new Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 against the existing Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 which is almost priced similar though the 3GB RAM + 32GB ROM variant is priced at Rs. 9,999.
Build, Hardware and Performance
In terms of build and design, both devices look almost same if you ignore the dual camera module at the rear in Zenfone. Both devices feature a 6.0-inch Full HD+ (2160×1080 pixels) 18:9 display and look identical from the front. Both the devices offer the similar display with good vibrant colors with decent contrasts. On the rear, Redmi Note 5 features a single camera along with a fingerprint sensor just below while the Zenfone Max Pro M1 features a dual camera module positioned on the top left side aligned vertically.
Mi branding is at the bottom while Asus branding is visible in the middle. The Zenfone is slightly thicker at 8.5mm while Note 5 is 8.1mm thick. Both the devices weigh same i.e. 180 grams. The edges of the Zenfone are more curved compared to Note 5 resulting in better grip. Audio jack & speaker grills along with micro USB port are on the same side of Zenfone while on Note 5, the audio jack is at the top.
The major difference between the two devices is the SOC chip that powers these devices. Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor while the Note 5 is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor which results in better performance by the Zenfone which is clearly visible if you are using both the devices side by side. If you look at the Antutu Benchmark scores of both the devices, Zenfone Max Pro M1 scores 113000+ point which is almost 60% more compared to Note 5 Antutu Benchmarks (scores ~71,000+).
Winner: Zenfone Max Pro M1, Score: 1/0
In terms of camera, Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 features a dual camera module at rear consisting of 13MP + 5MP sensors while there is an 8MP front shooter with flash. Whereas Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 features a 12MP main rear camera with autofocus while there is a 5MP front shooter. Clearly, the Zenfone Max Pro M1 has an edge here in terms of specifications & even actual performance in different lighting conditions producing better shots even under low light. Have a look at the camera sample of both the devices that are taken at the same time and same place.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Camera Samples
Full Resolution images on Flickr
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 Camera Samples
Full Resolution images on Flickr
Winner: Zenfone Max Pro M1, Score: 2/0
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 runs on Android 8.1 (Oreo) stock Android operating system while Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 runs on Android 7.1 Nougat based operating system with MIUI on top. We at Androidpure have always preferred stock Android running smoothly, over any other custom UI and hence we believe that Zenfone Max Pro M1 is the winner here. Also, Note 5 runs on MIUI which is based on a year old Android 7.1 Nougat operating system. Asus has also promised at least two major Android system upgrades which again makes it a better option. Yet, we also believe that for some people MIUI may be a better option.
Winner: Zenfone Max Pro M1, Score: 3/0
Even though Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 sports a 5,000 mAh battery while the Ziaomi Redmi Note 5 comes with 4,000 mAh battery yet, the battery life performance of Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 is better compared to Zenfone Max Pro M1. Thanks to MIUI customizations and better battery optimization, Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 is the winner here though both the devices easily lasts for two days under average and moderate usage.
Winner: Xiaomi Redmi Note 5, Score: 3/1
In this comparison, Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 clearly emerges as the winner in spite of slightly expensive (Rs. 1,000) and we will gladly recommend it over Redmi Note 5 to our readers.
Disclaimer: Asus provided us with a review unit of Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 for two weeks.