The budget and lower mid-range price segments in the Indian smartphone market have seen the launches of some great smartphones this year. The prices of flagship phones continue to increase, but on the other hand, strong competition and a free market have helped to ensure that many phones in the budget and lower mid-range price segments provide incredible value for money. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro started this 2018 trend by offering decent specifications for ₹13,999 (although the price was later increased to ₹14,999). However, the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 redefined value even more when it launched two months later. This was because it significantly undercut its Xiaomi competitor in terms of pricing, while having competitive specifications in most areas with the Redmi Note 5 Pro. Its base variant was launched for ₹10,999 – which was an incredible price. After a few months, it dropped the flash sales model in favor of open availability.
Even nearly six months after its launch, the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 remains the cheapest Qualcomm Snapdragon 636-powered phone in the market. The Realme 1 was able to undercut it in pricing, but it was only for a short time as the base 3GB RAM/32GB storage variant of the Realme 1 has been discontinued. Asus has now announced that over one million units of the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 have been sold in India since launch. The phone comes in three variants: 3GB RAM/32GB storage, 4GB RAM/64GB storage, and 6GB RAM/64GB storage. Its list of specifications can be accessed here. The 6GB RAM variant also has upgraded camera specifications.
This is an important milestone for Asus as it gears up for more sales during the Indian festive season, when India’s two major e-retailers—Flipkart and Amazon respectively—are launching “Big Billion Days” and “The Great Indian Online Festival.”
After launching the popular Asus ZenFone 2 in 2015, Asus struggled in India in 2016 and 2017 as the ZenFone 3 series was not sold at competitive prices, while the ZenFone 4 series was never brought to India. This year, however, Asus has made a strong comeback with phones such as the ZenFone Max Pro M1 and the flagship Asus ZenFone 5Z. The ZenFone Max Pro M1 has a few weaknesses such as camera performance, but it still has a great value proposition. It has gone on to become one of the most popular phones in India under the ₹15,000 price bracket. On the other hand, the Asus ZenFone 5Z is a capable contender in the affordable flagship segment as it competes with the OnePlus 6, the upcoming OnePlus 6T, and the Xiaomi Poco F1.