This has been a good year for Asus, a Taiwanese mobile maker, because its Zenfone Max Pro M1, was one of the most sought-after device, selling more than a million units in less than six months.

This October, the company again launched two budget phones ~ Zenfone Max M1 (ZB556KL) and Zenfone Lite L1 ~ at Rs 8,999 and 6,999, respectively. Needless to say, the company has same expectation from these two launches as both were launched before festive season. But the Taiwanese giant will have to face stiff competition from their rivals.

ZenFone Max M1 (ZB556KL)

The first thing one notices about this phone is its pocket- friendly price, then battery and last its performance, which is average. However, its camera, in unfavorable conditions, is not up to the mark. In fact, its competitors provide better picture quality with their devices in the same price bracket. However, its powerful 4000 mAh battery can overcome this shortcoming.

About the phone

When it comes to design, the phone looks very simple, made up of plastic body. It fits well in he hand. It sports a 5.45-inch display with 2.5D curved glass on top. Above the display, there is a selfie camera, earpiece and proximity sensor. The power and volume buttons are accommodated on the right edge, while on the left is a SIM tray. The 3.5mm headphone jack is at the top and Micro-USB port is at the bottom, with volume grilles.

Overall, the phone looks good. The phone has 5.45-inches screen with a resolution of 1440×720 and a pixel density of just 247ppi. Colours are alright, one won’t face any inconvenience using it outdoors or in sunlight. Asus kept an old processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 clocked at 1.4 GHz and it runs on Android Oreo 8.1 with ZenUI atop.

The phone is paired with 3GB of RAM and 32GB internal storage that can be expanded to 256GB. It terms of performance, the phone gets slow when multiple apps or browser are opened. It has a 13 MP rear camera sensor with a pixel size of 1.12 microns, and an aperture of f/2.0 while the front camera has an 8 MP sensor and the same pixel size and aperture. Both perform well in daylight, with good colour contrast but in low light it misses the edges. At night, it is difficult. However, its powerful 4000 mAh battery compensates for this. Overall it is a good phone, if not the best in this price range.

ZenFone Lite L1 (ZA551KL)

Priced at Rs 6,999 Zenfone Lite L1 is an entry-level phone by Asus. The phone looks good in its plastic body. Considering its specification, it also performs well and its battery performance is also average. But, like ZenFone Max M1 (ZB556KL), it also fails on the camera front. Its picture quality is below average, especially in unfavourable conditions or low light. In fact, Asus should have worked on this front, if they want to be in competition in this price range.

About the phone

The phone has a 5.45-inch display and made of plastic but with a metallic finish. It is quite handy. It has HD+ display with 18:9 aspect ratio, which has good viewing angles and no problem using the phone outdoor, with proper sunlight.

ZenFone Lite L1 is powered by 1.4GHz octa-core Snapdragon 430 processor and it runs on Zen UI based on Android 8.1 Oreo. It comes with 2 GB RAM. Considering its specifications, don’t expect much here. It performs well for browsing but creates problem while using multiple apps.

It comes with 16GB of storage with a dedicated card slot, which can be expanded up to 256GB. It is equipped with a 13 megapixels rear camera with LED flash and 5 megapixels front camera with soft LED flash at the front. Daylight performance is good, but low light picture quality is really poor, lacking all details. Its 3000 mAh battery can easily deliver a full day backup.