Asus has been making some noise in the affordable smartphone segment for a couple of years now. Buoyed by its success, especially in markets like India, the company has now launched a few premium models as well. However, it still wants to offer users more bang for their buck, which has been the selling point of its ZenFone range since its launch. The latest in this breed is the ZenFone 3 Max.
Asus ZenFone 3 Max
The ZenFone 3 Max looks a lot like an Asus smartphone as it follows the same design principles. It is a very stylish smartphone with a slim aluminum unibody design that gets an extra edge thanks to the 2.5D glass panel up front. The review unit we had sported a grey matte feel metal finish, which made it look very premium. It comes with a fingerprint scanner in the rear panel. The phone does not feel heavy despite it carrying a giant 4,100 mAh battery.
Specs: 5.5-inch (1080x1920p) Full HD display | 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa-core 64-bit processor | 3GB RAM | 32GB internal memory expandable up to 128GB | 16MP PixelMaster Camera with 5p Largan lens, f/2.0 + 8MP Pixel Master Front Camera | 4G dual sim | Android M v6.0.1 with ZenUI 3.0 | 4100 mAh battery
Price: Rs 17,999
What is good?
If I buy this phone, it will be purely for its battery. As someone who struggles everyday to manage the battery life on smartphones, I can kill for a phone that offers me even 24 hours of battery life without looking like it’s come from a brick kiln. This phone will last you a day on 25 per cent battery life if you don’t stress it too much and it did for me as a secondary phone. With full charge the phone can be used rigorously for at least 36 hours.
This phone has a pretty decent camera, something Asus has been good with in the past few years. It works pretty well in low-light and can go another notch up if you get more help from the software on the phone. It even comes with a separate low-light mode. In fact, this is among the few phones that offer a full range of preset camera modes as well as manual settings. This will phone will be able to keep most smartphone photographers happy, though does tend to throw up over-saturated images at times.
The phone could be a hit with college students because of its battery and good gaming performance. Actually, the phone has a unique Game Toolbar that switches on as soon as you start a game and lets you boost speed or even record your moves as you are gunning down zombies or surfing the subways.
Overall, the phone performs pretty well on all fronts and does so without heating up. It is not the most powerful out there, but will not leave you wanting in anyway. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa-core 64-bit processor does a pretty decent job for this range.
What is not that good?
I felt the audio quality could have been much better especially since the phone has a good display with a thin bezel which a lot of users might opt for to consume video content, even without headphones.
The phone feels a bit slippery because of the smooth curved edges and you might want to use a cover to grip this phone better.
The amount of Asus apps and UI tweaks in ZenUI can be a bit overwhelming for some users. Asus could have kept a lot of these bloatware out and given users the option to choose only what they want.
Should you buy?
Yes, if your pain-point is battery and you just need good performance overall on other fronts, then this is among the best bets in the market at the moment. Given the price, the Asus ZenFone 3 Max seems good value for money given that it offers a dependable piece of hardware that will keep most users happy.