Asus last month released the all new Zenfone Max, it was the successor to the original ZenFone Max and came with an upgraded processor the Snapdragon 615 and was clocked at 1.5Ghz instead of 1.0 Ghz like the last time, it had the very same battery, and the same design language. So let us see in depth on how the device performs with the new SoC and deals with the day to day usage.3
Asus ZenFone Max owns following specifications:
- 5.5″ FHD DIsplay
- 1.5GHz Snapdragon 615 SoC
- 2GB of RAM
- 13MP primary camera
- 5MP front-facing camera
- 32GB on-board storage (expandable via microSD)
- 5000 mAh Batter
- ZenUI with Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Display & Design
The display equiped on the phone is a FHD unit with a resolution of 1080 x 1920. This is the standard resolution of a 16:9 display. The display is quite sharp and does its job well. The front of the phone is protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 4 which is one of the toughest glass available out there in the market as of now. Although the glass is the toughest but in our testing the glass got a couple of scratches from the keys and coins that we usually keep in our pocket and in a hurry drops the phone too in the same pocket. Although this is a normal wear and tear sign of the phone growing old and every glass is prone to scratches so its not a deal breaker. The display quality of the device is quite good and the unit is bright enough to make the sun light legibility of the device quite good. Although the display is quite legible under direct sunlight but at times you might have to struggle as the auto brightness sensor makes the brightness really low and you have to make it to manual, although this is just a software bug and Asus can fix it in another update.
Talking of the design of the handset it is the same design as we are seeing from the ZenFone 2 at the front and the same design that we saw on the ZenFone Max and quite a few other handsets of Asus from the back. The ZenFone Max is quite heavy but you will get used to it in a day or two. At the back the phone has a LED Flash light, camera unit and a laser auto focus, below the camera unit falls the ASUS logo, and at the bottom we have the speaker grill and Zenfone branding above the grill. At the front its again the ASUS branding on the top, three capacitive buttons at the bottom and a earpiece grill above the ASUS branding. We also have front camera and proximity sensor at either side of the earpiece.
Performance wise the ZenFone Max falls a bit behind, but this is not the device which is made to entertain the young minds with the high end games like Asphalt and Modern Combat series does. The phone is for people who are having a tough time having a phone in their pocket as their phone are charging and discharging at the same rate. ZenFone Max is the phone which will be with you on a single charge for over a week if used wisely.
If we consider the performance part, the performance is not bad either, the phone is capable of playing both the Asphalt and Modern Combat series games and does kicks them off really easily but we are going to see noticeable lags here and there at intense scenes and even will be quite sure of the processor working hard when we just fire-up the game and it takes years to start the game.
On day to day usage the phone fails to get up to the expectations, the phone has quite a few noticeable lags here and there in the UI, and the UI fails to keep the user happy as the UI and Android itself takes around 1.1 GB of RAM leaving just .7 GB of RAM available to the user to live with on the 2GB RAM model.
Android & ZenUI
The ZenUI is the same on the ZenFone Max that you will find on the ZenFone 2, ZenFone 2 Laser, ZenFone 2 Deluxe and other ZenFone 2 series devices launched in 2015 and 2016. The ZenUI is a really heavy overlay over the stock which does stresses the phone a bit and makes it a bit sluggish in running and is the real culprit for a bit week performance of the ZenFone Max. The Max runs on Android 6.0.1 which is Android Marshmallow and is the latest iteration of android available to the masses as of now. The phone does a pretty well job rendering the effects of the ZenUI and you can live with it although with a couple of lags here and there which you will get habit of after a day or two.
When we took the device for taking a couple of shots with the device it was quite clear that the phone will be just average and is not going to get us those great shots for which ZenFones are known for, but once we got into the Camera App it totally changed our mind with the amazing set of shots that the phone was able to take.
The phone is capable of taking nice macro shots and even does pretty well with the front camera of the device. The rear camera at times overexposes the pictures but maximum time it does fair job to the pictures but you have to work with the focusing and if you get well with the Manual Mode then the camera is going to get you shots that you wanted to take from a long time.
We are not going to talk a lot about the camera’s you just look at the sample shots and judge the camera of the phone. Do comment in the comment section bellow what you think about the camera of the ZenFone Max.
For Camera Samples click here
The battery of this phone is the main point and the main consideration point of the phone. The phone comes with an 5000 mAh of battery which is large enough to store around 2 days charge when we consider battery of other mobile phones which are just having half of the capacity of this phone and works just for a day then this phone must work for 2 days, but no software optimization on this phone is so good that we can keep using this phone for more then 7 days which will be in a mixed ussage secrino where in no data consumption is there just normal day to day calls being attended and all fancy things switched off. But when you switch them on and go and check the device for a week you will find that the phone can survive with a moderate usage of a typical college guy or even a marketing person who needs to deal off with several calls in the day time and a pinch of whatsapp in the morning and night with family mates for around 2 to 3 days.
The phone has pretty good standby time which helps the phone in getting a great battery backup. The phone will also be a saver to many of your friends when you will find that they are running out of battery and your group is not carrying the powerbank as it was discharged yesterday by the same mate then you can use your phone to charge-up his device via the reverse charging technology.
As we mentioned in the Review earlier that the device is not for people who like gaming, the phone does a good job on the performance part but still lags behind due to its heavy UI, although this time ASUS has done a great job in eliminating the useless apps, but still the UI is a bit heavy and stress the phone a bit. The phone will do a great job if you are a person who is on office duty for hours and is off from the switch board for hours and have to deal with a number of calls daily, the phone will live with you for the office hours and still be left with a charge for next day’s work in case you miss to charge the device.