Asus Zenfone Max #ExpressReview: A good deal, if you need that big battery

Asus Zenfone Max is a new variant of the smartphone that comes with an improved processor. So, does it live up to the expectations? Here's our review.

Written by Hansa Verma | Updated: June 30, 2016 10:15 am
Asus Zenfone Max, Asus Zenfone max review, Zenfone Max review, new Zenfone Max, Zenfone max price, zenfone max specs, zenfone max features, smartphones, Android, smartphones, technology, technology news Asus Zenfone Max is a new variant of the smartphone that comes with an improved processor.

Asus Zenfone Max is a new variant of the smartphone that comes with an improved processor. The Zenfone Max is now available in two memory options, both with 32GB ROM. The company has priced the 2GB RAM variant at Rs 9,999 and 3GB one at Rs 12,999.

Asus Zenfone Max

The biggest improvement in Asus Zenfone Max is on the processor front. The new Zenfone Max comes with a faster octa-core Snapdragon 615 processor, to offer a smoother multitasking experience.

Also, the phone comes with Android Marshmallow out-of-the box with battery optimisation features, Google Now on Tap, Apps Permissions and more. It has an extra-large 5,000 mAh, which is a big plus in today’s times. Asus has gone for a orange and blue colour options for this device in addition to the staid black and white ones.

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So, does Asus Zenfone Max lives up to the expectations? We find out in our review.

What’s good?

I like the display in Zenfone Max. It is crisp, vivid and easy on eyes. The icons are sharp, and I did not have problems using it in bright sunlight. However, given the price point, one would expect a full-HD display.

We got the black colour variant of Zenfone Max for review, which looks decent. There’s no innovation in terms of design, as this one looks exactly like the old Zenfone Max. Its got a textured leather pattern on the back, which gives a good grip. I don’t mind the gold metal frame running along the edges either.

Asus Zenfone Max’s power and volume keys are on the left, micro-USB slot is at the bottom; and the 3.5 mm headphone jack is on the top. The design overall looks neat, but doesn’t come with a promise of making a lasting impression.

Asus Zenfone Max, Asus Zenfone max review, Zenfone Max review, new Zenfone Max, Zenfone max price, zenfone max specs, zenfone max features, smartphones, Android, smartphones, technology, technology news Asus Zenfone Max’s power and volume keys are on the left, micro-USB slot is at the bottom; and the 3.5 mm headphone jack is on the top.

Asus Zenfone Max has a 13MP rear camera, which didn’t really impress at first. But as I clicked more pictures in different lighting conditions, the results were much better with sharp and clear images. The camera’s colour reproduction is quite good, and it brings out details in pictures. The low-light performance is better than what one would expect at this price-point.

The 5MP front camera is a decent option options for selfies. Do not expect great pictures, but you won’t be left disappointed either.

Asus Zenfone Max, Asus Zenfone max review, Zenfone Max review, new Zenfone Max, Zenfone max price, zenfone max specs, zenfone max features, smartphones, Android, smartphones, technology, technology news Asus Zenfone Max camera’s colour reproduction is quite good, and it brings out details in pictures. (Image resized for web) Asus Zenfone Max, Asus Zenfone max review, Zenfone Max review, new Zenfone Max, Zenfone max price, zenfone max specs, zenfone max features, smartphones, Android, smartphones, technology, technology news Sample shpt from Asus Zenfone Max (Image resized for web) Asus Zenfone Max, Asus Zenfone max review, Zenfone Max review, new Zenfone Max, Zenfone max price, zenfone max specs, zenfone max features, smartphones, Android, smartphones, technology, technology news The low-light performance is better than what one would expect at this price-point. (HDR mode) (Image resized for web)

Multi-tasking is not a task with Zenfone Max. It can handle graphics heavy games smoothly. Since I used Max as my primary smartphone, I watched a lot of videos, worked on multiple tabs – and the phone didn’t give any trouble.

Android Marshmallow is a refreshing change from the older Android OS versions. The Apps Permissions feature allowed me to take control of the apps in my smartphone.

The battery in the Asus Zenfone Max stands out the most. You can bank on Zenfone Max for long hours of usage, especially while travelling. I could use this power bank for two days, without charging on moderate usage. It will easily last one and a half day on heavy usage.

What’s not good?

Zenfone Max comes with the company’s Zen UI on top, which I feel is a bit too cluttered. I don’t want to be bothered by notifications informing me about every little thing going in my smartphone and Zen UI does exactly that. I was, in no time, irritated by constant notifications on battery saving, themes etc.

I don’t like how bulky this smartphone is and it weighs 202 gm. Plus lack of a fingerprint sensor at Rs 9,999 is a bit of a disappointment, especially when budget phones like Coolpad Note 3 Lite, Le 1s, Redmi Note 3 offer one.

Asus Zenfone Max, Asus Zenfone max review, Zenfone Max review, new Zenfone Max, Zenfone max price, zenfone max specs, zenfone max features, smartphones, Android, smartphones, technology, technology news I don’t like how bulky this smartphone is and it weighs 202 gm.

The biggest problem I have with Zenfone max is it takes an forever to charge, which is not surprising given the 5,000 mAh battery. I can’t fathom why Asus has not added some Quick-Charge technology to this one.

Honestly, I haven’t been able to charge the smartphone fully, except for once. It takes a little over 5 hours to reach to a 100 per cent charge, which simply doesn’t work for me.

Verdict

Asus Zenfone Max is a good deal, if a big battery is primarily what you need. In fact, that is what the company is pitching with the product. But then in the same price point one can get smartphones with good battery life, full HD display, a metal unibody, etc.

Go for Zenfone Max, if you want to carry a power bank around. Else you could look at other smartphone options like Redmi Note 3 and Meizu m3, which offer big batteries and a great design as well. But then again, this has Android Marshmallow on-board, which some users might prefer.

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