Asus Zenfone Max (2016) Review – A Power-pack Device

Smartphones getting better in specifications and in looks. But when it comes to powering efficient Processor and GPU, it should have sufficient battery which can at-least last up-to one day normal usage. Thinking about the battery, definitely the Zenfone Max isn’t going to disappoint you because it has 5000 mAh battery. In this article, I am reviewing the new variant which is launched on 23rd May ’16 exclusively in India.

Asus Zenfone Max (2016)

Build & Design

Talking about the design, nothing has changed from the previous variant. Have same non-backlight back, home and recent apps buttons at the bottom in the front panel, 5.5” HD display above capacitive buttons, golden colored rim around the sides, speaker is at the bottom in the rear panel, volume buttons and power button is located on the right side. Charging port is to be inserted from the down side. 13MP Camera with Dual-LED flash and Laser Auto-Focus is located at top in the rear panel. ASUS logo is located at the rear panel little below from the camera.

Software

Glad that Asus provided Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow in this variant out of the box. I’ve installed many applications. Providing the 6.0.1, it’ll able to take advantage of Doze mode, App permissions, etc. In my opinion, it’s really a good decision to ship the device with latest version although the 6.0 update has not been arrived for Zenfone Zoom yet.

Hardware

Processor is upgraded to Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 Octa-Core processor which is clocked at 1.5 GHz. New variant provided with two options for RAM – 2GB and 3GB, the new specifications have made multi-tasking easier. GPU provided is Adreno 405. The internal storage is also upgraded to 32GB instead of 16GB, which can be expandable up-to 64GB with the MicroSD Card. You’ll get near about 24GB user available space out of 32GB storage. The smartphone weighs 202g. Device supports Dual-Sim.

Display

The device comes with 5.5-inch HD Display. The brightness is good enough. The device will also usable in the direct sun-light. Display is though 720p but looks really good and vibrant. In this sector, kudos to Asus for providing such a great display.

Camera

Device offers 13MP Real shooter while 5MP Front shooter both with f/2.0-aperture. In my testing I haven’t found any problems while taking shots means that the pictures don’t get delayed when you tap the shutter button. To activate the camera, you can also use ASUS ZenMotion; while in sleep mode, just swipe the letter “C” on the screen to open the main camera or swipe “S” to activate the front camera. Asus PixelMaster Camera does provide lots of modes to try. Focusing wasn’t problem in this device, thanks to the Laser Auto-Focus. I think in natural lighting the photos turn out to be great instead of artificial lighting. I’ve included some sample shots taken from the device below.

Sample Shots (Click to Enlarge)

Captured from Asus Zenfone Max (2016)
With HDR Mode enabled
Captured from Asus Zenfone Max (2016)
Auto Mode

Captured from Asus Zenfone Max (2016)

Captured from Asus Zenfone Max (2016)

Performance, Battery Life

Replacing the 410 processor with 615 is great decision. Octa-Core Processor makes the multi-tasking buttery smooth. To be honest, I’ve come across lag (1-2 seconds freeze) only 2-3 times in 9 days usage. Asphalt 8 Airborne ran flawlessly. So I think 720p screen helps GPU here to not getting device hot and providing better performance.
The Battery life I was getting was awesome, believe me I was getting screen on time of near about 10 hours and 30 minutes. If you’re normal user, it should last you up-to 3 – 3.5 days usage; if you’re heavy user, it should last you up-to 2 – 2.5 days usage. We don’t want to charge our phones frequently; this device is definitely fulfilling that requirement. If you think that you’re heavy user, I recommend you to go for 3GB RAM variant which costs Rs. 12999.

Pricing

  • The 2GB Ram variant with Octa-Core Processor, 32GB Internal Storage is sold in India at Rs. 9999 which can be purchased via Flipkart.
  • The 3GB Ram variant with Octa-Core Processor, 32GB Internal Storage is sold in India at Rs. 12999 which can be purchased via Amazon, Snapdeal, Flipkart and from Asus Exclusive Stores.
Update: The previous variant price is downgraded to Rs. 8999.

Pros

  • Super battery backup.
  • Performs well, 3GB variant recommended for Heavy user.
  • OTG cable included in the box, works as a Power Bank too.

Cons

  • Buttons aren’t backlight.
  • With supplied charger, it takes near about 5 hours to fully charge. (Although with 2A charger, it takes near about 4 hours 10 minutes.)

Final Words

At the same price, Asus have upgraded the internal specs of the phone, the deal seems pretty decent. Although nowadays many phones do come with fingerprint scanner, but to get awesome battery this is what you should go for. And really it will make your dream of “Don’t charge your phone frequently” to the state: TRUE.
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