Both are compact, 5.45-inch smartphones, and Asus says the aim was to “put the power-packed fun back into mobile lifestyles of the affordable smartphone consumers.”
Using the Asus ZenFone Lite (L1) and the ZenFone Max (M1) is as easy as it comes. And it has to be, because both the Asus ZenFone Lite (L1) and ZenFone Max (M1) are targeted at people upgrading from feature phones to smartphones. Both are compact, 5.45-inch smartphones, and Asus says the aim was to “put the power-packed fun back into mobile lifestyles of the affordable smartphone consumers.”
ZenFone Lite (L1)
Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa-core processor, the ZenFone Lite (L1) has a compact body that appears almost as small as many five-inch phones. The benefit: It’s easy to hold and use with one hand—the idea is to make the usage easy for upgraders from feature phones. For its segment and price (Rs 5,999), it has a good battery, at 3000mAh, which easily lasts one day of average usage.
Camera: Even entry-level smartphones nowadays get a good camera and the ZenFone Lite (L1) is no exception. It is equipped with the 13-MP rear camera with phase-detection autofocus (PDAF)—it’s a technology from DSLR cameras that understands if an object is front-focused or back-focused, and clicks photos accordingly. The front is a 5-MP camera—again, good for the phone’s price.
Convenience: The Lite (L1) is one of the cheapest phones to get the face-unlock feature. Gone are the days when this feature failed during the global launch event of Apple iPhone X. It has now been mastered so well by almost all the companies that even in entry-level phones it works just fine, provided there is ample light and the face angle is correct. Other convenience features include two SIM slots—so you don’t need to carry two phones if you have two different phone numbers—and a microSD card slot for adding up to 256GB of extra storage.
Screen: The phone has slim side bezels—it means there is more screen and less bulk, providing users with a cinema-like video experience in a lightweight body (140gm) that’s comfortable to hold. The user interface (UI) is Android Oreo enhanced with the new ZenUI 5—it’s clean and doesn’t have much bloatware.
Available in two colours—black and gold—the ZenFone Lite (L1) comes across as a good upgrade for feature phone users. It doesn’t really stand out in key areas, but for its price of Rs 5,999, you do get a bit more than what other companies are offering.
ZenFone Max (M1)
It’s a phone that can make the Chinese companies stand up and take notice. The ZenFone Max (M1), as far as first impressions go, comes across as a really good combination of just the right specifications at just the right price (Rs 7,499).
Display: Its 5.45-inch full-view HD+ display has an ultrawide 18:9 aspect ratio and ultrathin bezels, which give it a high screen-to-body ratio of 82%. This expanded area makes viewing photos and watching widescreen videos quite an immersive experience, and when you are browsing the web, there’s lesser need for scrolling. Multitasking is also easier, as two apps can fit side-by-side on the screen.
Camera: In addition to the front 8-MP camera, it gets the 13-MP rear camera with the PDAF system. The image quality produced is good and the camera is able to click even moving pictures with ease.
Stamina: The hallmark of the ZenFone Max Series is the huge battery capacity. The Max (M1), even though it’s the entry-level of the Max Series, gets a high-capacity 4000mAh battery—on average usage, it lasted me a day and a half on a full charge. In fact, it’s so big that I was even able to charge other devices from my Max (M1) review unit. Kudos to Asus engineers that they were able to fit a big battery in a relatively small phone that weighs just 150gm.
Convenience: In addition to the rear fingerprint sensor, the Max (M1) gets the face-unlock feature, which works well, and especially comes in handy for unlocking the phone when fingers are wet, dirty or if you are wearing gloves. It’s powered by the proven Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa-core processor.
The key point here is that, with both these phones, Asus has made the once high-end octa-core processor affordable for all. Both these phones are available online on Flipkart.