After a few months, the company introduced a new variant. Zenfone Max (2016) ,review) launched. This phone was given a much better processor and got longer battery life. After introducing both the entry-level smartphones, the company is now trying to bring the Max series to the mid-range segment and its two new variants have been introduced with almost the same name. Zenfone 3 Max (ZC520TL) Category less than Rs 15,000 while Zenfone 3 Max (ZC553KL) Comes under Rs 20,000 category. The ZC520TL variant has a 5.2-inch, MediaTek processor, 13-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front camera. While the higher priced variants have a bigger display, Qualcomm processor, 16 megapixels and 8 megapixel front cameras. Today we will review the Zenfone 3 Max (ZC553KL).
Talking about the price, in less than Rs 20,000 Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime ,review) And Lenovo Z2 Plus ,review)’s performance has been excellent. asus zenfone 3 laser ,review) is also available for a price of Rs 17,999. How is this Asus phone? Learn
Asus Zenfone 3 Max Design and Build
The first thing that will grab your attention when you hold this phone in hand. This phone is not like the other high-end smartphones of the Zenfone 3 series but still looks very good. Due to the aluminum unibody case, it fits snugly in the hand. The buttons are given in the right place in the phone and can be used easily.
Asus has given a 5.5 inch Full HD display in this phone, which gives this phone a better grip than the previous variant. The pictures in the display look sharp and the brightness is also very good even in sunlight. Due to the thin bezel, the width of the phone is less, which makes the phone easy to use with one hand. If you want to type something with one hand while on the go, you can activate one-handed mode. The phone has an oleophobic coating on the glass and due to this, there are not many fingerprints. What disappointed us is the lack of any kind of scratch protection for the display. Which is only available in a smartphone of this price.
The ZC553KL is a hybrid dual-SIM phone whereas the previous variant had dual SIM slots. The hybrid SIM slot allows you to use a microSD card (up to 128GB) or another SIM card. The phone has a mono speaker at the bottom, it has a micro-USB charging port. While the headphone jack is given at the top. There is a notification LED at the front while the capacitive navigation buttons under the screen are not backlit.
Below the camera module on the rear is a fingerprint sensor that can be used to answer calls, launch the camera app or take pictures. But it cannot be used to lock apps or hide files. The biggest problem with the fingerprint sensor is that it does not recognize the fingerprint even after two or three times.
Asus has maintained the budget image of this series with the new Max handset. This phone comes with premium look and feel. And with better display it is really good. At 8.3 mm it is not the thinnest but at 175 grams it is a bit heavy. However, when you use it, it will not feel too heavy. A headset, a 10W charger, data cable and an OTG cable will be available with this phone. Apart from this, as a promotion, the user will also get 100 GB space on Google Drive for two years.
Asus Zenfone 3 Max Specs and Features
The previous Zenfone Max had a Snapdragon 615 processor, so we expected the new smartphone to have at least a Snapdragon 652 or 625 processor. But the disappointing thing is that Asus has given the Octa-Core Snapdragon 430 processor in this phone like the Zenfone 3 Laser. Due to this processor, the work done throughout the day can be done easily from the phone, but it is difficult not to play heavy apps and games. Asus’s ZenUI keyboard also poses a problem.
In benchmark testing, the Zenfone 3 Max performs just like its processor. Only got good data from the phone. The graphics performance in the phone is the lowest i.e. you cannot play games like Dead Effect 2 well. The phone also has 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, single band Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, FM radio and GPS. Apart from this, this 4G smartphone supports 1, 3, 5, 8 and 40 bands in India with VoLTE.
The phone runs on Android Marshmallow but Asus’s ZenUI 3.0 skin has been given on top of it. The skin was completely different for what we are used to and those who have never used an Asus phone will find it very difficult. There are many options to customize your smartphone. The ‘Theme’ app has some great themes to choose from and in addition, the phone comes pre-loaded with a lot of apps, almost like what we saw during our review of the Zenfone 3 (ZE552KL). Mobile Manager app is one of the most used apps. With this app, tasks like managing the notification app, deleting unused files and managing permissions for the app can be done in one place.
Apart from this, the phone also has apps like Instagram and Puffin. Games like Need for Speed: No Limits and SimCity come pre-installed.
Asus Zenfone 3 Max performance
We used it for about a week to get to know all the good things about the Zenfone 3 Max and we never faced any major problems. The phone works very smoothly during normal work and multitasking. The phone does not get too hot while playing games or using the camera. The sound coming from the earpiece is good and 4G works well.
The vibrant display makes it a pleasure to watch videos and the phone also plays high-bitrate videos up to 1080p. Audio performance is better with both wired and wireless headphones. The volume can be turned up quite a bit and the audio is well heard. The headset that comes with the phone also delivers good sound despite the extraneous noise.
Asus’s Zenfone Max variant has done well in the camera department and it is the same this time around. With the 16-megapixel sensor and aperture F/2.2 lens, landscape and macro photos are good in daylight. Color reproduction is also accurate. However, more sharpness could have been given in the captured images, especially around the edges of the object. At full size in the macro shot below, the edges around the flower look a bit unsightly. Photos taken in low light look good though there is some noise. The low-light shooting mode given in the phone comes in handy here.
Videos recorded at 1080 pixels also look great. There is electronic stabilization for video but only works up to 720 pixels. In good light, selfies come with 8-megapixel front camera with detailing. Apart from this, there are many other effects including HDR. With laser autofocus and PDAF, the focus speed is quite fast, and photos are quick to snap if you’re not in special mode.
The hallmark of Asus’ Max series has always been battery life. And this time it is the same situation in Zenfone 3 Max. But not as much as we expected. In our HD video loop test, the phone’s battery lasted for 14 hours and 7 minutes, which is quite good. But we have seen better results from this phone with a more powerful processor and smaller battery. During normal serious use, we could easily run the phone for one and a half days. The phone has a customizable power mode for different times of the day. The battery does not come with fast charging support, but with a 10-watt charger, the phone gets fully charged in about two hours. It supports reverse charging which means that the Zenfone 3 Power Max acts like a power bank using the OTG adapter that comes with it.
The Zenfone Max doesn’t mean you’ll get just one thing. Rather, this new variant aims to woo smartphone customers as an all-rounder. This phone has a new design, better display and camera and stronger battery life. This phone will give a tough spin to Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 but Asus has kept the price of Zenfone 3 Max high. Considering that the price of the ZC520TL variant is similar to that of the Redmi Note 3 but there is a huge difference in its specifications. Apart from this, it is important that you check the model number written on the back of the box as both the versions create a lot of confusion.
Priced at Rs 17,999, the ZC553KL seems a bit pricey. zenfone3 laser Like the price of the phone has been kept high. Asus recently launched the Laser in the market and the new Max seems to be the same with longer battery life and better looks. Unlike the Zenfone 3 Laser, this phone will also be available at offline retail stores, which makes sense for the high price tag.
However, it remains unclear why Asus has used an entry-level processor for a phone with this capability. If you don’t play games and don’t mind having Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, the Zenfone 3 Max is a good package. But with its price at the time of launch, it is difficult to recommend it a buy.