Whenever a new phone is launched, it becomes imperative to compare it to its main rivals. This is important for everyone and especially to a person on the verge of buying a new phone. The correct decision can ensure a satisfying ownership experience.
Recently, Asus launched the Zenfone Max Pro M1 in the lower mid-range category at a starting price of Rs 10,999, and we compared it in a detailed comparison to the Redmi Note 5 Pro. Now, it is time to put the latest Zenfone against another popular smartphone in this segment, Honor 7X.
ZENFONE MAX PRO M1 SPECIFICATIONS
Processor: Snapdragon 636 octa-core processor, 4 GB RAM, 64 GB storage, Adreno 509 GPU
Display: IPS LCD 5.99-inch, Full HD+ (1080 x 2160 pixels) resolution
Operating System: Pure Android Oreo 8.1
Camera: Dual camera with 13 MP + 5 MP primary & secondary lenses with f2.2 & f2.4 aperture respectively, PDAF, HDR, Bokeh mode. 8 MP front with f2.2 aperture.
Battery: 5,000 mAh supports fast charging with 10w charger (included)
HONOR 7X SPECIFICATIONS
Processor: HiSilicon Kirin 659 octa-core processor, 4 GB RAM, 64 GB storage, Mali-T830 MP2 GPU
Display: IPS LCD 5.93-inch, Full HD+ (1080 x 2160 pixels) resolution
Operating System: Android Nougat 7.0 with MIUI 5.1
Camera: Dual camera with 16 MP + 2 MP primary & secondary lenses with f2.2 aperture for the 16 MP lens, PDAF, HDR, Portrait & Wide Aperture mode. 8 MP front camera with f2.0 aperture
Battery: 3,340 mAh battery
DESIGN & BUILD QUALITY
A smartphone that looks and feels premium does not necessarily have to be from a high-end segment anymore. With smooth and sturdy metallic designs in the budget-oriented price brackets now becoming a common sight, the lower mid-range smartphones appear quite drool-worthy at times.
What is similar in the design of M1 and 7X? Both phones are made out of metal and naturally have a solid feel to them. Both come with dual camera setups at their respective backsides and get 5.9 inches of Full HD+ displays.
What is different in the design of M1 and 7X? However, the M1 has two clear advantages in this regard – it is less slippery to hold; secondly, because it packs a huge 5,000 mAh battery and is thereby thicker, the overall grip is better. Additionally, the thickness doesn’t make the phone bulky at all, but only substantial to hold. Also, there is no main camera hump at the back of the M1.
DISPLAY, SOFTWARE & UI
Screens measuring nearly 6 inches seem to be the preferred choice for many phone manufacturers that intend to deliver good multimedia experience. So is the case with the Zenfone M1 and the Honor 7X.
What is similar in the display of M1 and 7X? IPS LCD panels measuring 5.99 inches in the M1 and 5.93 inches in the case of the Honor 7X delivering Full HD+ (1080p x 2160p) resolution.
What is the difference between their displays? While there is nothing discernible as such but a good close would bring in notice a slight, but often noticeable, difference in colour tonality and the overall white balance. This is usually visible while gaming. We are really barging into the details here, otherwise, there is nothing to complain about either displays.
Coming to the operating system – The M1 comes with the pure Android Oreo 8.1 which is also the latest as of now. On the other hand, the Honor 7X falls behind here as it still runs the Android Nougat 7.0 along with Huawei’s custom skin, EMUI 5.1. The pure Android and EMUI based Android differ in terms of look and feel as well in some functionalities. For example, you get the App Drawer in the M1 while there is no App Drawer in the 7X.
PERFORMANCE (including Gaming)
In the previous comparison, the Zenfone M1 and the Redmi Note 5 Pro were very close in performance, here though, the M1 and the Honor 7X are a bit further apart in the same aspect.
Once again, the performance difference in typical tasks like navigating through various phone screens (Home, App Drawer, Settings) is hardly anything to write about with both handsets coming across almost equally smooth and satisfyingly response. That said, the M1 appears more consistent as the 7X randomly runs into stutters.
This is more apparent when using various social media apps and browsing over the internet. Also, when at least 4-5 apps are opened in the background, the M1 continues to maintain its smoothness while the 7X produces frequent momentary lags.
Gaming – This is Honor 7X’s biggest weakness. Playing any graphic-heavy game, like Asphalt 8 (car racing), is mostly a dissatisfying experience despite of the decent big screen. The gameplay of any such game runs with low framerates which regularly leads to lag-filled experience.
And yes, it tends to hurt a player’s performance in many situations that demand quick reaction during gameplay (for example, escaping from gunfire or making a quick turn in a car racing game). Clearly, the Kirin 659 and its accompanying GPU, Mali-T830 MP2 are not a match for the Snapdragon 636 and the Adreno 509 GPU even when they all compete in the same segment.
On that note, the M1 fairs better in the gaming department as well as the performance is mostly smooth and the phone’s chipset largely coping up with the framerate requirements. There are signs of random struggles here and there but it doesn’t hurt much. Not yet, at least.
Zenfone Max Pro M1 Camera: Dual camera with 13 MP + 5 MP primary & secondary lenses with f2.2 & f2.4 aperture respectively, PDAF, HDR, Bokeh mode. 8 MP front camera with f2.2 aperture.
Honor 7X Camera: Dual camera with 16 MP + 2 MP primary & secondary lenses with f2.2 aperture for the 16 MP lens, PDAF, HDR, Portrait & Wide Aperture mode. 8 MP front camera with f2.0 aperture.
Below are a few samples from the Zenfone M1 camera:
Below are a few samples from the Honor 7X camera:
General observation is that the M1 camera tends to keep the colours more natural compared to what can be observed in the images from the Honor 7X. Furthermore, the HDR samples from M1 are more distinguishable and effective compared to the HDR samples from the 7X (that appear almost identical to their respective non HDR images). Details are more or less equally good from the both the cameras. And we are disappointed with the dedicated Bokeh images from both phones.
The M1, with its 5,000 mAh battery, easily outshines the Honor 7X (which has a 3,340 mAh unit). The difference is huge enough that the 7X is literally no match for the M1. Let us point out here that the Honor 7X delivers good battery life as it goes up to 1 and a half days with normal usage (avoiding heavy camera use and negligible amount of video watching perhaps). With similar use, the M1 lives up to 2 days without much trouble, and at times, we have managed to take it past the 2-day mark without making any noticeable changes in our usage pattern.
However, the battery performance is not a surprise for us since we would expect any smartphone with a 5,000 mAh battery, irrespective of its segment, to run this long in a single charge. Also, the M1 supports fast charging and comes with a 10w charger which can charge the whole 5,000 mAh battery in little over 2 and 30 minutes. At the same time, the 7X doesn’t support fast charging and its 3,340 mAh battery can be charged completely in 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Againt the Redmi Note 5 Pro, it was not a straightforward affair declaring the M1 as the winner even with its clear advantages in terms of having better build, pure Android Oreo and the better battery performance.
The M1 carries the same advantages against the Honor 7X as well, additionally, M1’s performance is noticeably better in gaming. In fact, the Honor 7X tends to struggle in this department. Overall, the M1 feels better and more sorted to use and gives comparatively much less instances of hiccups.
Last but not the least, the Zenfone Max Pro M1 with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage can be had at a price of Rs 12,999 while the Honor 7X with same configuration is available at Rs 15,999 (on Honor India website). This difference of Rs 3,000 can’t be ignored making it eventually quite easy for us to with the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1.