Samsung Galaxy M20 vs Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2: Brain goes against brawn

first_imgSamsung Galaxy M20 vs Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2: Brain goes against brawnThe Galaxy M20 is Samsung’s latest effort to make space for itself in an already busy sub-Rs 15,000 dominated by Chinese manufacturers. We pit it against Asus’ power-packed ZenFone Max Pro M2 to see whether we have a new worthy rival, or maybe a winner.advertisement Next Amritanshu Mukherjee New DelhiFebruary 1, 2019UPDATED: February 2, 2019 11:10 IST HIGHLIGHTSThe ZenFone Max Pro M2 is the only smartphone in its category to offer Gorilla Glass 6 protection.The Galaxy M20 has broken Samsung’s norm of reserving modern features only for flagships.The ZenFone Max Pro M2’s fast and reliable performance doesn’t surprise — thanks to the Snapdragon 660 chipset.Since the last few weeks, Samsung has been going gaga over its brand new Galaxy M series smartphones. The company has been stressing highly that the new Galaxy M series is designed for millennials, while indirectly, it’s Samsung’s deadly weapon against the arsenal of various smartphone manufacturers such as Xiaomi, Honor, Motorola, Asus and even Nokia. The Galaxy M20 is the most expensive model in the M series for now. Starting at Rs 10,990, the Galaxy M20 goes up against popular offerings from Nokia, Asus and Xiaomi.The top-end variant of the Galaxy M20 costs Rs 12,990, which is similar to the entry-level variant of the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2. The Max Pro M2 came out late last year and has proven to be the smartphone of choice for power users under Rs 15,000. The Max Pro M2 is the only smartphone in its category to offer Gorilla Glass 6 protection. Equipped with a Snapdragon 660 chip and a stock Android interface, the Max Pro M2 is easily one of the best affordable smartphones you can buy right now.Therefore, if you have Rs 12,990 to spare on a smartphone, which one would you prefer? I took both the Galaxy M20 and Max Pro M2 out for a spin for a few days and here’s how they compared.Design and build — Samsung impresses highlyThe sub-Rs 15,000 category now demands companies to offer attractive designs inspired from flagship smartphones. Samsung goes for the trend with the Galaxy M20 with a vertically stacked dual rear camera setup and an oval-shaped fingerprint scanner on the glossy plastic body. The plastic unibody design makes the M20 look smooth and elegant with lesser lines of separation. The M20 offers a 3.5mm headphone jack, a single loudspeaker and a USB-C port. Wait, what?advertisementA USB-C port on a budget Samsung smartphone? The Galaxy M20 has broken Samsung’s norm of reserving modern features only for flagships. Wonder what else is modern? The display. The Galaxy M20 sports a modern narrow-bezel display with a water drop notch on top. This is one of the first Samsung phones to feature a notch. Samsung has also reduced the chin drastically, which is appreciable for a smartphone with an LCD display. The ZenFone Max Pro M2, on the other hand, grabs eyeballs with Asus’ trademark reflective gradient on the plastic rear panel. In fact, it’s difficult not to get distracted the when the phone is kept flat on its face. The vertically-aligned dual camera module resembles a triple camera setup, which also adds to the looks. Asus’ cost-cutting measure is evident elsewhere a micro USB port on a 2019 midrange smartphone feels archaic. Also, the front of the phone features a notched display with a thick chin and big bathtub notch. With Gorilla Glass 6, the display should hold up well against scratches and damage when its dropped. However, our review unit sustained some scratchesboth on the display as well as the rear panel, when I was using it as my daily driver hence, get a screen guard and a case.Out of the two, the Galaxy M20 easily feels more modern with its minimalist approach to styling and a narrow-bezel display. However, the Max Pro M2 is a better bet for show-offs. My money would go for the Galaxy M20, considering my preference for understated designs.Display — both are equally goodI will make it short both the Galaxy M20 and Max Pro M2 look equally good in their own ways. The 6.3-inch TFT display on the Galaxy M20 renders vibrant colours with high contrasts that resembles Samsung’s AMOLED panels from other premium Samsung phones. The waterdrop notch and the narrow chin makes for an uninterrupted viewing experience, especially while streaming YouTube videos.The ZenFone Max Pro M2 has chunkier bezels, but the IPS LCD panel renders equally vibrant colours with similarly high contrasts. The bigger notch and chin make the phone a bit bulkier, even as it sports an equally big 6.3-inch display. However, I felt the Max Pro M2’s touch sensitivity is a tad better than that of the Galaxy M20’s display.Performance — You can’t beat muscle with smartnessThe Galaxy M20 debuts Samsung’s new Exynos 7904 chipset. This is an octa-core chip, with the processor consisting of 2 Cortex-A73 cores and 6 Cortex-A53 cores. With a Mali G71-2 GPU, the Galaxy M20 looks like a fairly competent performer. And for the most part, it does. Samsung’s Exynos processors are always well optimised and the Exynos 7904 handles most daily tasks thrown at it with ease. The Mali G71-2 GPU is not meant for gaming, but I was still able to play PUBG MOBILE in low graphics with medium frame rates. However, I wish Samsung offered a louder speaker on the M20.advertisement As for the ZenFone Max Pro M2, the fast and reliable performance doesn’t surprise. The Snapdragon 660, despite being a chip from 2017, can handle regular tasks without even batting an eyelid. The Adreno 512 GPU is very powerful I was able to play PUBG MOBILE in medium settings for longer sessions with absolute ease. The base variant with 3GB RAM may not hold as many apps as the Galaxy M20’s 4GB RAM, but in my daily usage, I never found it to lag or force close apps.Software — Samsung shows stock Android can be beatenThe Galaxy M20 cracks it with the software too. Yes, it runs on an old Android 8.1 Oreo in 2019, but the Samsung Experience 9.5 skin on top is, in my opinion, one of the most polished UI’s in sub-Rs 15,000 smartphones. The layout is spacious while fonts are easy to rear. The entire UI is snappy and unlike previous Samsung phones, the bloat is minimal. I spent an entire week with the phone and never did I felt installing a third-party launcher. Well done Samsung. The Max Pro M2 relies on a stock AOSP launcher based on Android 8.1 Oreo as well. While the stock UI is fast and fluid, it lacks the polish that Samsung packs in the M20’s UI. It feels rough around the edges, especially with disproportionate icons. For power users, this is exceptional as there’s no bloat or nonsensical apps to deal with. But I feel Asus could have used an Android One ROM for a more polished experience. Maybe the Android Pie update could offer a fix.Camera — Samsung knows what Indians wantSamsung has been promoting the wide-angle camera in the Galaxy M20’s marketing efforts. However, the standard 13-megapixel camera impresses more than the wide-angle camera. Especially when you compare it with the Asus phone, the Galaxy M20’s camera comes across as the better one. In daylight, photos are sharp and images exhibit vibrant colours. On occasions, I found the camera oversaturating the colours a little, but I was impressed with the outcome every time so did my friends. Low light performance is decent as the camera suppresses noise to make for useable photos. Sadly, the 8-megapixel selfie camera has some room to be improved.The ZenFone Max Pro M2 has received several camera updates that claim performance improvements. However, our review unit hasn’t received any update so far. Hence, the Max Pro M2’s camera performs similarly to what I wrote in my review two months ago. Daylight photos are good but sharpness is lost up to an extent. As for low light, the camera neither impresses with noise reduction nor with detail retention. The 13-megapixel selfie camera does a good job of retaining details as well as a wide dynamic range.advertisementOne thing’s clear — both these phones still can’t beat the Redmi Note 6 Pro in terms of camera performance.Battery — Goodbye power banks Both the ZenFone Max Pro M2 and Galaxy M20 feature a 5000mAh battery. And both of them can easily last more than an entire day after a full charge. Even with heavy usage, I was able to make it to the end of the day before I was hunting for the charger. The Samsung galaxy M20 does have an advantage though it comes with support for 15W fast charging, which should charge it faster than the Max Pro M2’s battery with its 10W fast charging support.ZenFone Max Pro M2 vs Galaxy M20 — And the winner is…After going through some key parameters, the Samsung Galaxy M20 comes across easily as the better option of the two. Samsung has heard and obliged to the market’s demands a very good display with a tiny notch, big battery with fast charging support and pleasant user experience. The Galaxy M20 has been designed smartly to keep up with India’s demands specifically.The ZenFone Max Pro M2 has its own advantages though the robust performance and a stock Android interface. The Max Pro M2 is for anyone who prioritises raw performance over everything else PUBG lovers on a budget shouldn’t look any further. However, even as a power user, I felt Asus launched an unfinished product and it requires more polishing to make it an unbeatable choice.ALSO READ | Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 review: Fast hardware, crazy good battery helps it compete with Redmi Note 6 ProALSO READ | Samsung Galaxy M20 review: Great display, superb battery life make for a good startALSO READ | Asus Zenfone Max M2 quick review: Big screen, big battery, two cameras at a bargainGet real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAmritanshu Mukherjee Tags :Follow AsusFollow SamsungFollow androidFollow smartphoneslast_img

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