New Asus Zenfone Max review

Zenfone Max
Zenfone Max

On May 23, Asus had a unique online launch of the upgraded Asus Zenfone Max. Main attraction of this phone is its battery. This phone is priced at Rs. 9999 and is available on Flipkart. We are using this phone for around 10 days and found various interesting things. If you are thinking buy this new Zenfone Max, you should first read our review.

Design, Look and Feel

New Zenfone Max is almost similar to previous version with same dimensions and weight. Back panel seems to be made of leather but it is a plastic cover crafted in a manner to look like leather. Gold trim along the sides looks good with black variant of Zenfone Max. Back panel is also removable.

Zenfone max back

Left edge of the phone contains volume rockers and power buttons. Button placings are fine and you can feel every single click on these buttons. At top side, it has 3.5 mm audio port and at below side, it has microUSB and primary microphone.

The back panel also contains 13-megapixels rear camera, laser autofocus sensor and real tone flash. At the end of the rear panel, it has speaker placing.

The front panel has similar touch buttons which you find in every other Asus phones. Front design is something which is common in all Asus phones.

Everything same as in the older version of Zenfone Max.

At this price, we now have phones with the metal unibody design. So, this phone does not stand in front of its rivals if you only talk about the design thing. But this design is also not bad. Even if the phone has the large battery, it doesn’t look bulky.

Display

It has 5.5-inch HD display with gorilla glass protection. HD display is fine as it helps in saving additional battery. The display is good and feels better. Screen impresses with its vivid colors and good viewing angles.

Note: This phone does not have gorilla glass protection. We apologise for mentioned it wrongly.

Zenfone Max

Outdoor performance of this display is impressive. In this kind of season in India, I can actually use this phone on streets to check email and read messages in sunlight.

Performance and storage

This new Zenfone Max comes with improved performance. The company has replaced the Snapdragon 410 SoC with new Snapdragon 615 to improve the performance. Even this chipset offers good performance, we have phones with the better processor in this price range. This phone handles tasks smoothly. While it is available in 2GB and 3GB RAM variants, I tested the 2GB RAM variants. 2GB RAM variant was also performing well. Gaming performance is also fine but I found heating while performing gaming for a long time. As we have very hot summer in New Delhi, it was expected. I don’t think the heating was high enough to be called as an issue in the phone.

Antutu score of this phone was 41378 and geekbench multi-core score was 2879.

It comes with 32 GB internal storage which is further expandable up to 64 GB. USB OTG is also supported. So, storage part has nothing to complain about.

Software

New Zenfone Max runs on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out of the box with Zen UI. While company talks too much about this UI, I personally do hate the number of apps Asus install on the phone. As soon as I connected to a Wi-Fi network, more than 16 apps started updating. Most of these apps cannot be deleted. As the internal storage of the phone is 32 GB, you still get good space. So, the number of apps is not an issue for storage.

Zen UI lets you customize the look and feel by installing apps and wallpapers. You can also use available lock apps to customize the lock screen. The company has a separate store to access these themes and wallpapers. Few themes and wallpapers are also paid.

Camera

There is no upgrade in camera and it is same what we found in Zenfone Laser and Zenfone Max. It comes with a 13-megapixel camera sensor at the back and a 5-megapixel camera sensor at front. It also comes with real tone flash and laser autofocus.

The camera app is same with few tweaks. The company tried to make settings menu neater. There are several modes to use. If you are the pro, use the manual mode to capture photos with manual control. In case you are not sure what mode to use, you should stick to auto mode for best performance.

The camera offers decent camera experience in both indoor and outdoor conditions.When light is good enough, it captures good images. But artificial lights do not help this camera. Flash sometimes ruin photos. I also found focus issue in low-light. See these camera samples.

If I talk about video recording capability, both cameras can record full HD videos.

Connectivity

This phone comes with several connectivity options including 4G LTE, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS. it has a micro USB port for data syncing. All these connectivity options perform well. I didn’t face any issue in network or data connectivity.

It is a dual SIM phone where you can insert micro SIM cards. As the phone does not come with the metal unibody design, you can enjoy dual SIM and expandable storage at the same time.

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Battery

This phone is packed with large 5000 mAh battery. While the battery capacity remains the same, performance of the battery is not same as in previous Zenfone Max due to the change in Soc. This time, battery performance is slightly less. But it is still very good. If you are the power user, you will find it a good phone to use. You will easily get more than 36 hours of usage with this phone while performing normal gaming, web browsing, videos and social media. Even if you are power user, you will get around a full day usage.

This phone can also work as a power bank for other phones. For this, the company has provided a cable to charge other phones.

The only problem was the charging. With the provided charger, it takes around 7 hours in fully charging the phone. This is the pain for many.

Final Words

This phone received upgrades in few departments to stand in competition but it still lacks the charm of fingerprint sensor and metal build. At this price segment, we now have phones with the metal build and fingerprint sensors. One can only consider this phone for its battery. While other things including display, performance, and camera are also good, we have similar kind of things on rival phones.

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New Asus Zenfone MAX

7.6 Score

"With its large battery and good performance, this phone is best for those who are frustrated with charging their phones again and again. Display and camera of this phone also impress. But lack of fingerprint sensor is a disappointment"

The Good

  • Display
  • Camera
  • Battery backup
  • Latest OS

The Bad

  • Lack of quick charging
  • No Fingerprint sensor

Breakdown

  • Design 65%
  • Display 70%
  • Performance 75%
  • Gaming 70%
  • Camera 70%
  • Battery 80%