Asus has launched the ZenFone Max Pro M2 in India next Tuesday, December 11, and the phone packs great specs for a starting price of ₹ 12,999. At this price point, the ZenFone competes with some of the most popular budget smartphones in India – the Redmi Note 6 Pro and Realme 2 Pro.
While the ZenFone Max Pro M2 packs a lot of amazing specs, including the Snapdragon 660, up to 6GB of RAM, and a dual rear-facing camera, the phone doesn’t support 5GHz WiFi.
The debate over this has been contentious as people wonder why the phone doesn’t support 5GHz WiFi, and while I can’t speak to Asus’ mindset without including this feature on the phone, I can tell you that it doesn’t really matter. Let me introduce you to a few reasons why it’s totally OK that the ZenFone Max Pro M2 doesn’t support 5GHz Wi-Fi.
What is 5 GHz WiFi?
WiFi networks typically use the 2.4 GHz frequency to communicate with devices. At this frequency, Wi-Fi signals can only support a maximum (theoretical) speed of up to 600 megabits per second . However, the 5 GHz network can handle much higher data rates and can reach up to 1300 megabits per second. Really good?
But, although 2.4 GHz supports lower speeds, it also has a longer range than the 5 GHz network thanks to the much higher wavelengths it uses compared to the 5 GHz network; but 2.4 GHz is also very crowded. The frequency is used by many wireless electronic devices, including cordless phones, garage doors and many other electronic devices, that communicate wirelessly, which in turn can result in much slower speeds, patchy networks, and generally poor connectivity – all problems that don’t exist on 5GHz networks because they’re simply not as crowded.
So ZenFone Max Pro M2 does not support 5GHz. Large. Thing.
The ZenFone Max Pro M2 may not support 5GHz Wi-Fi, but that doesn’t really matter.
First, most 5 GHz networks are only useful when there is an absolute need for higher speeds than those supported by a 2.4 GHz network. That’s useful if you stream parallel 4K videos to multiple devices or other data-intensive activities that require significantly more bandwidth than the standard 2.4 GHz network, and I doubt anyone would watch 4K video on the ZenFone Max Pro M2 anyway .
Second, most routers in India use the 802.11 standard and support speeds up to 450Mbps or 600Mbps, which is also much higher than most ISPs.
How often have you used a network that worked at a speed of more than 600 Mbps? Even if you are, and I doubt it chances are you don’t need those speeds on your smartphone . Maybe on your laptop, maybe on your smart TV, but definitely not on a cheap smartphone.
Third, and related to the second point, most routers in india are single band 2.4ghz routers that just don’t broadcast on 5ghzso you probably won’t even notice the problem. What’s more, most dual-band and tri-band routers also have 2.4 GHz WiFi, and for everything you can use the ZenFone Max Pro M2 for, 2.4 GHz is far more than enough.
I’m not saying 5GHz WiFi isn’t useful, it certainly is in very specific cases. Cases that just don’t apply to the ZenFone Max Pro M2 or most other smartphones.