In a time where smartphone users are not just looking at good performance but also looking at good battery back up, Asus has launched a smartphone in the Zenfone series named Zenfone Max. The main USP of the device is its battery, with a massive 5000 mAh battery which is equal to a power bank, it gives amazing battery life about which we will discuss later in detail. The Zenfone Max can also be used as a Powerbank to charge other devices.
So now that you are impressed with the huge battery, you might be looking for how the device fares in other segments to come to a decision about purchasing the device over the other devices having huge battery capacities like the Gionee Marathon M5 and M6 along with the Lenovo Vibe P1 which is much costlier than the Zenfone Max. So let us dug deep into the device and let me share my experience with the Zenfone Max after using it for a while.
Design and Display:
The Zenfone Max carries the same design aspect of the Zenfone series devices from the front with the device extending below the display with concentric circles design making it a bit bigger compared to other devices with a similar sized display. Asus did not use the rear mounted Volume rockers design in the Zenfone Max but went for the traditional design by placing the volume rockers and the power button on the left side of the device. You get a metal strip running on the side of the device which is golden in colour.
The white variant comes with a smooth plastic back panel whereas the black variant has a textured leather-like back panel. The back looks empty if you are used to the Other Zenfone models with just the caveats camera, Led flash and laser Autofocus below which is the Asus logo and at the bottom is the Zenfone logo and speaker. The device is not bulky for one sporting a 5000mAh battery and weighs around 200 grams; it is easy to use thanks to the curved back.
The display in the Zenfone Max is a 5.5-inch HD display; it is quite good with decent colour reproduction and visibility under direct sunlight as well. The display is not crisp compared to other similar size displays mostly because of the lower Pixel density which might be to make sure you get maximum out of the battery.
Processor, RAM and Storage:
The Zenfone Max being launched in the lower midrange segment with the USP being battery we should not expect the moon in the performance department. The Zenfone Max comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 SoC coupled with 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage options expandable to 64GB using microSD card slot. With these specs, the device gets you through most of the regular and daily functions with ease. One thing you must know is, you cannot expect it to perform well while playing high-end games like Asphalt 8, Mortal Combat 5 and Dead Trigger 2 which will lag.
So if you are a gamer with a taste for high-end games then stay away. It lets you play regular games with ease and allows you to multitask without any issues. So in terms of performance, it is good for what it is priced and do not expect too much and get disappointed later on.
Operating System and UI:
The Asus Zenfone Max comes with Android Lollipop 5.0.2 out of the box with ZenUI 2.0 over it, and I must say it is heavily Customized, if you are using Zenfone Devices for the first time, it will take some time to get used to. But it does not mean it’s not good, yes there is a lot of bloatware and also comes with many options for customization like icon packs, themes, etc. All the other Zenfone series features like double tap to wake, power saving mode, kids mode, one hand mkde, gestures, etc. are available. There are a lot of features provided by Asus, which needs time to explore and get used to, so take some time to explore the features who knows you might end up using them a lot. In general, if you a fan of Stock Android design, you will feel claustrophobic inside the UI with a lot going on around.
The rear camera in the Zenfone Max is a 13MP shooter which comes with later
Laser Autofocus and LED flash alongside it. It comes with a 5MP front camera having f/2/0 aperture, 88-degree wide angle lens, and other features like real-time beautification, HDR, time lapse, GIF, animation mode, etc. The rear camera also comes with modes similar to what are mentioned above along with Time Lapse, Time rewind, miniature, Smart remove, etc. The camera is quite good, and the images are bright, and color reproduction is natural. The laser Autofocus is fast but not accurate at times. The camera performance is quite good, and you won’t be disappointed with the results.
Check ZenFone Zoom Camera Samples: Link
This is the main aspect of the device with a huge 5000mAh Li-Po non-removable battery. I got close to 10-12 hours of battery backup with heavy usage having 4G LTE, or WiFi turned on always, with photos and videos being captured all day long. With such next usage, other devices hardly lasted for 5-6 hours.
I also tested it with average usage as my secondary device which gave an impressive battery backup of cost to 2 days before needing a charge. For a massive battery, it requires a lot of time to charge fully it, and it took me approximately 3.30 hours to charge the device from 0-100%. You can use the device as a Powerbank as well to charge other devices.
One thing which was bothering me was the network connectivity, with both the SIM slots supporting 4G there was intermittent disconnecting of mobile data connection even with a full mobile network, it might be an isolated issue with the device which I used to review. It comes with a good sound output from the speakers.
Pros of Zenfone Max:
- Amazing Battery Back up
- Acts a Power Bank
- Decent Camera performance
- Good performance
Cons of Zenfone Max:
- Lot of Bloatware
- Headset volume a nit on lower side
- Bit bulky
The Asus Zenfone Max is a smartphone with a power bank-like battery, as it has an amazing battery life and with a Snapdragon 410 SoC coupled with 2GB of RAM, the performance is decent but not amazing. With a battery life close to two days and decent performance the device is more than useful for everyday use unless you are too much into heavy gaming where it lags a bit. In the Rs. 10000 price range, this device is not the best in terms of performance but as a combination of battery backup and decent performance, it excels and can be a choice for most. Go for the device and you will not be needing a power bank to keep your phone charged through your one or two day trip and you can survive without a charger as well.