ASUS Zenfone Max: Powerbank underneath a smartphone

ASUS introduced its ZenFone Max smartphone in the much-crowded smartphone market back in January. The device came with a mammoth battery, providing a solution to the low battery life issue of almost every smartphone. Now the company has come up with the revamped version of the device making few upgrades in the processing department as well as adding the quick charge technology to the equation.
The new phone packs a 5.5 inch HD display with 1280*720 pixel resolution, protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 4. It is powered by a 1.2 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor and runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It has 32 GB of internal storage which can be expanded up to 64GB.
It packs a 13MP rear camera, while there is a 5MP front-facing shooter. It weighs around 202 grams and is juiced by a 5000mAh battery. The 2GB variant is priced at Rs 9,999, while the 3GB variant can be availed at a price of Rs 12,999.
But is the ZenFone Max worth shelling out your money? Let’s find out.
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The ZenFone Max doesn’t get any alterations in terms of its design. It retains the same bulky and sturdy design from its predecessor.
The device features a company’s patent concentric circle bezels, with a golden rim running along the edges of the phone.
On top of the front panel, you’ll find an earpiece alongside the camera followed by 5.5-inch display and three on bezel buttons at the bottom.
On the right-side, you’ll find the power key and the volume rockers and the top-side has a 3.5 mm audio jack. The left side is completely clean, while at the bottom, we get the charging port and the primary speaker.
The rear panel is made of plastic that has a faux leather finish that feels good to hold. The camera is located at the top centre of the back surrounded by an LED flash, laser autofocus sensor and the secondary mic hole. The ZenFone branding and the speaker grill can be seen at the bottom.
Overall the design of the phone is decent but isn’t something you can brag about in public. It sure feels sturdy and heavy to hold due to its huge battery.
ASUS Zenfone Max
ASUS failed to offer a new display to its consumers. Just like its predecessor, the ZenFone Max uses the 5.5 inch 720p IPS display. The low-resolution screen is a letdown, since many other devices in this price bracket offer a better display.
The low-resolution display doesn’t affect the battery life much, but the multimedia experience on the device isn’t very significant. The colours reproduction is decent, while the screen lack details and vividness. The viewing angles are also not very impressive.
The display on the ZenFone Max is undoubtedly one of the biggest set-back of the phone, which sets it below its contemporaries.
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The new ZenFone Max didn’t witness any change in the camera department as well. It still boasts the 13MP rear camera with the laser autofocus sensor. On the front it has a 5MP snapper.
However, there are some changes made to the camera app. The setting menu is now enhanced and offers several modes and features to choose from.
Users can take advantage of the Pixel Master technology and click pictures using 14 different modes such as super resolution, miniature photography and others.
Overall the camera on this device is decent, if not great. It’s good for basic photography but doesn’t have edge over its competition.
Under the hood
The biggest upgrade ZenFone Max got over its predecessor is the new Snapdragon 615 processor, assuring better performance and enhanced functionality. Earlier it shipped with a Snapdragon 410 processor.
The performance of the device is decent and smooth, but sometimes the phone failed to register the commands and we faced some lag while switching between the apps. There were few instances where the phone was unable to launch some applications.
The only aspect where this smartphone exceeds your expectations is the battery life. The mammoth 5000mAh battery on this phone keeps it running for a long time. We managed to use the device for a whole day after playing some high end games, taking pictures, listening to music, playing movies and many more. The device was still left with 30 percent battery.
It can also be used a power-bank to charge your secondary device, if this is not your secondary device.
Wrap up
Overall the ASUS ZenFone Max is decent device, but fails to offer features that a user would expect at this price point.
All though the smartphone is an average performer in all areas, but it surely delivers some top notch performance when talking of the battery life.
The ZenFone Max can be a good bargain if you are willing to settle for a device with decent looks and a brilliant battery life.
Vishal Kawadkar