Asus Zenfone Max series are battery oriented devices by Asus but before the launch of Asus Zenfone 3 max, the lineup is only concentrated on the battery by neglecting other aspects of a smartphone.After the launch of Zenfone 3 Max, everything has been changed. It now has a premium metal build which is as good as flagship offerings but wait, you are not going to get this without paying an extra cost. Yes, it costs around ₹17,000 which is very high for a device which has a mid-range processor (Snapdragon 430).
Yes, it costs very high and there is also lower end model with the same name which is powered by 1.2GHz MediaTek MT6737 64-bit quad-core processor and will cost you around ₹13,000.
Is it worth that price? I used this device for over a week and now let’s check that in our full review below
|Display||5.5-inch 1920*1080p with 403ppi|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 430|
|Storage||32GB (expandable up to 128GB with microSD card)|
|Primary Camera||16MP with Duel-tone LED flash, PDAF and Laser auto focus.|
|Expandable Storage||Yes (Hybrid)|
|Connectivity||Duel Sim, 4G VoLTE|
|Operating System||Android Marshmallow 6.1 (Zen UI)|
Asus Zenfone 3 Max Review
What’s inside the Box?
Inside the box, we have
- Power Adaptor
- USB cable
- OTG cable
- Sim ejector tool
- User manuals and warranty
Asus Zenfone 3 Max has an all-metal design which looks premium and slim as 8.33mm but it is not the lightest. By considering the bigger 4100 mAh battery, it feels lighter and good in the hand. It is slippery too because of its all-metal design and fully curved sides and edges; you just need to be careful while using it.
On the front, we have the display which is entirely covered with 2.5D glass with small openings for front-camera, earphones and proximity sensor. We do have a LED notification light at top-right and capacitive touch buttons at the bottom which don’t have a backlight which is not that great as it feels hard to use the devices at night.
Coming to rear side, we have a 16MP camera with duel-tone LED flash, laser autofocus, and a fingerprint reader.
On the left side, we have sim slot which is hybrid and you need to compromise on the memory card for two sims or a sim card and a memory card.
On the right side, we have volume buttons and power buttons which are very tactile and feels good.
On the top, we have a headphone jack and a secondary noise cancellation microphone.
On the bottom, we have micro USB, speaker, and a microphone.
Asus Zenfone 3 Max has a 5.5-inch 1080p display with 401 PPI and the display is of 2.5D glass which covers the entire front part the device which small opening for camera, sensor, and earphone.
The display is really good which looks glossy and I feel the colors are not that vibrant and feels like washed out though you will never notice until you care too much about colors. Viewing angles are good and there are no issues with the display quality.
The display is bright and you can also view under direct sunlight with no issues.
Overall, I loved the display even though the colors are not that vibrant but still, the display is really good and you will love the display quality as well.
Here comes the camera part, Asus Zenfone 3 Max has a 16MP rear camera with duel-tone LED flash, laser auto-focus, and it has a 8MP front camera.
The rear camera did a good job in the outdoor light which captured good amount of detail and we have various modes such as Auto, Manual, HDR, Beautification, Super Resolution, Low Light, QR Code, Night, Effect, Selfie, Panorama, and Time Lapse modes. Laser autofocus did a great job at focusing and its fast.
The images taken outdoor with Auto Mode enabled are really good which captured a good amount of light and detail with good dynamic range. While images taken outdoors with HDR mode are over exposed which grabs lots of light and has the very poor dynamic range and skipped details.
Here comes interesting mode called Super Resolution Mode, i liked this mode because it captures images by maintaining good dynamic range and details as much as possible. When we zoom images after capturing using this mode has no to the little amount of blur even with the maximum zoom which is nice. What this mode does is, it will take time and process the captured image to make it have excellent detail.
Indoor shots were taken are good but has some noise which is negligible and at night it’s hard to take good images with Auto and HDR modes. You need to use night mode to capture images which even have a lot of noise.
The 8MP front camera did a great job, images captured with the front camera has a good amount of detail and has good color accuracy and comes out to be very good. We also have a beautification mode which will smoothen your skin in the images captured. Below are some shots captured with the front camera using Auto and Beautification modes.
Here comes the most interesting part, with Zenfone 3 max, you can able to shoot up to 1080p videos but wait 1080p videos don’t have any kind of video stabilization while the 720p video has stabilization which is ok. It is really disappointing that 1080p videos don’t have any stabilization at this huge price.
Shooting videos on Zenfone 3 Max are good only if you don’t have shaky hands. If you have then you need to adjust with 720p videos. Overall the video quality is ok and it must be better considering its price.
Asus Zenfone 3 Max runs on Android marshmallow with Zen UI skin on top of it which is a heavy skin. It is powered by Snapdragon 430 chipset with 3GB of RAM and 32GB storage. If you are already a Zenfone user then you will be familiar with the skin but if you never used a Zenfone then it needs time to adopt.
As I said earlier, Zen UI is heavy, so you will only have 1.2GB free out of 3GB of RAM with no apps running which is quite heavy but the Zen UI is smooth. If you do heavy multitasking, it will lag a bit. I think it’s due to its Snapdragon 430 processor but considering its pricing the processor is on the lower side which is disappointing.
Surprisingly, it can play most of the games without any lag but we noticed some frame drops after continuous gaming as it has a 1080p display and low-end processor. We played Asphalt 8, Nova 3 and we never noticed any heating issues even after gaming for a long time. If you are a heavy gamer I won’t recommend this device as i noticed too much lag with some games like candy crush which is surprising.
It now supports 4G VoLTE as Asus recently rolled out VoLTE update to Zenfone 3 devices but I faced some issues with 4G VoLTE as it sometimes stops working even when the Enhanced VoLTE is turned on but overall the call quality and noise cancellation is good. I didn’t face any drop calls and other things in my testing.
Zen UI has a lot of customization options. If you swipe from the top you will get the search box and if you swipe from the bottom you will get a Manage Home options where you can customize the look of your home such as changing the font size, icon size, wallpaper etc.
Zen UI is very good in appearance and has good performance considering the skin is heavy. You have various modes such as Easy Mode and Kids mode.
Easy mode lets you use the device without any distractions or makes it very easy to use the device. This mode will be helpful for old people as it makes navigating through the device easily.
Kids mode is useful when you give your device to kids and want them open only specific apps and have parental control on your device. You can select apps which will accessible in kids mode, and you can also assign a pin to make calls. This mode will be handy for most people.
You also have a blue-light filter which is helpful while you use your device at night and you have a mobile manager which has various functionalities such as Data usage, Power saver, Memory boost, Notifications manager, and privacy & security manager.
Asus Zenfone has a 4100 mAh battery and the best part is the device didn’t look bulky even for such bigger battery. The 4100 mAh was done a great job as I’m getting a battery life of 1.5 days with moderate usage such as playing games, videos, browsing etc.
You will get a screen-on-time of around 6 to 7 hours on moderate usage and this doesn’t support fast charging and the supplied charger is a regular charger. It almost took 3.5 hours to completely charge the device. It has a “Reverse Charge mode” which lets you charge another smartphone using the OTG cable provided but considering the battery life it isn’t that helpful.
By considering its price it should have fast charging support but unfortunately, it doesn’t have. Overall, the battery life on Asus Zenfone 3 Max is very good in my opinion.
- Excellent design
- Good display
- Good battery life
- Various customization options
- Average camera
- Non-backlight capacitive keys
Here comes my conclusion on Asus Zenfone 3 Max. It is an excellent device with premium build quality and feels good in the hand, good display and various customization options with Zen UI. It also has a PDAF and laser autofocus which helps it focussing fast. Overall, you won’t get disappointed with the device apart from pricing. If you are a heavy gamer and want a good camera I won’t recommend this device. You even have some better options such as Redmi Note 4 and Honor 6X which have better camera and processor.