Over the past year, Asus has made decent phones with good level of specs for the price you pay. But most of the phones do not have anything that is really unique to them except the Zenfone Zoom which has an Optical Zoom. The Zenfone Max is another such device with a really unique feature which WOWed me: The battery.
Personally, battery is very important to me on every device. A device is no good if it does not have a decent battery life. The battery on Zenfone Max beats every other device by miles because of it’s 5000mAh battery.
The phone has a 5.5 inch 1280×720 IPS display made of Gorilla Glass 4. Though it is not 1080, we did not have any issues with it. Also, the screen is really bright while using it under direct sunlight. Another nice aspect of the screen is that it comes with an oleophobic coating to protect from fingerprints and smudges, which actually works!
The back is made of plastic, but has a nice pattern to it which gives it a really premium feel. Also, the overall weight of the phone is 202 grams which is a bit heavy. But it feels really solid and pretty great in hands.
The micro USB port is in the bottom and headphone jack on the top. The volume rocker and power button is on the right. Also, the phone has double tap to wake.
The speaker grill is on the back which is loud enough for ringtones. While playing music, it is loud enough for closed environment. Asus has not given up on the quality for more volume. The highs and lows are pretty clear and there is no distortion of sound.
Coming to the internals, the phone runs on 1.2Ghz Quad Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor, 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage which is expandable upto 64GB via Micro SD. The performance is good enough for normal usage like browsing and connectivity. But when it comes to gaming and intense usage, we did see a few stutters and frame drops. The phone is not the best in terms of performance which is okay because it overcompensates with other features. Also, the lack of RAM shows a lag while switching between multiple apps.
Zenfone Max is a dual SIM phone. One of the most surprising parts of this phone and I honestly did not expect it to have is that both the SIMs support 4G! This is really surprising to see in a sub 10K phone. Both the slots support only Micro-SIM.
Like every other Zenfone from Asus, this one also runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop with ZenUI. ZenUI has really grown on me now and I find it useful at times. But it is definitely a huge downside to anyone who wants the stock Android experience. Also, like other Zenfones, this one also comes with 100GB of Google Drive storage for free.
Battery is the biggest feature of Zenfone Max which is unbelievably good. Zenfone Max has a 5000mAh battery which stays ON forever! In fact, 60% of the phone is it’s battery! The battery not just helps the phone to stay ON forever, but it also works as a power bank. An USB-OTG cabe is included in the box which can be used to charge other devices!
I used the Zenfone Max both as my primary phone and secondary. While using it as a primary device with really heavy usage, I got three full days without having to reach for the plug. For the same amount of usage, I would’ve charged my iPhone 6s Plus at least 5 times! Using it as a secondary phone, I got close to 7 days. The 4G was ON all the time and very limited usage like an hour of calling and a few minutes of Whatsapp and other apps. The phone has a power saving mode which turns off the internet when the screen is turned off. With this enabled, I got 10 days of usage. Also, I had a couple of times when I charged my primary phone, iPhone 6s Plus.
One minor issue with the battery is that it does not support fast charging. For a battery this big, it takes a long time to charge it to 100%. But it is completely fine because this way, Asus got to keep the cost down. Since it lasts really long, you might have to leave it to charge for one full night once in few days.
I’d never planned on writing about the camera about the camera on Zenfone Max because honestly the phone has so much to it and I assumed the camera would not be that great. But I was really wrong. Zenfone Max is Zenfone Laser with a bigger battery. So, it has that same camera which is really good. The secondary camera is 5MP. Primary camera is 13MP, with dual-tone flash and laser focus. The camera is ridiculously good!
The phone is not the best in terms of performance. But the phone gets so many things right that the performance does not matter. Zenfone Max is THE best phone to get for two types of people:
1. You need a sub 10K smartphone for calling and connectivity. You do not need all the performance, but definitely need the battery.
2. You already have an expensive phone as your primary and you need a secondary phone, you will not go wrong with this. In fact, I would say this is the perfect secondary phone I’ve ever used and I am planning to buy one soon!(The one I have with me right now is a review unit which I’ll have to return) It is perfect because I do not have to constantly worry about charging two devices and when I’m outside, the Max can charge my other device!
The Zenfone Max comes win two colours: Black and White. It is available for Rs. 10,000 on Flipkart and at this price, it is definitely a steal!
- Amazing battery
- Surprisingly good camera
- Well priced
- Not the best in performance
- No fast charging