Asus

Asus Zenfone Max Review: When 24 Hours in a Day is Not Enough!

Asus PH ended the year 2015 with 1 Million Zenfone – sold in the entire Philippines, that’s an awesome figure!

And as the company starts the New Year, two new Zenfones have gone out from the Asus labs, the Zenfone Max and the Zenfone Zoom. We got a chance to experience both, but for this review, we’re covering the least expensive one but with 5,000mAh battery – the Zenfone Max.

The unique selling point of the device is the large battery capacity. A power packed phone boasting a massive 5,000mAh battery. The Zenfone Max is targeted for users who remain on the go and want to utilize the device’s capability far more than a day. Let’s dig it out!

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Built and Design

Zenfone Max has a familiar aesthetics that makes every Asus smartphone instantly recognizable, the concentric circles design on the chin is very much present, as well as the off-screen capacitive soft keys.

But unlike other ZenFones which usually holds power button on top and volume rocker on its backplate, you’ll find new placement of these buttons, now at the right edge of the smartphone, a usual location for most smartphones. For whatever reason, looks like Asus is now sticking on the classic placement.

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The ASUS ZenFone Max is available in two color variants: Pure White and Osmium Black. Current price is Php 8,495. The white versions’ back cover is made of durable plastic banded with silver lining on the sides making it appear elegant and corporate.

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The bottom edge of the ZenFone Max houses the microphone pinhole and the MicroUSB port that’s used for both charging the smartphone and connecting it to a computer utilizing the PC Link application.

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At the bottom front side, you will find the three capacitive keys for Back, Home and Recent Apps. As I mentioned, it’s the usual keys on ZenFone. Though you’ll be familiarized with these keys overtime, I still find it difficult to use during night time as it doesn’t lit, it’s a hit and miss keys for me.

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The left edge is completely free of any port or button, while the top edge houses the 3.5 mm audio jack, the box comes with free Asus earphones and it sounds good, a very premium accessory.

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And with regard to the built-in audio, the three-line micro speaker ports stretching wide in the back of the phone throw out an impressive amount of sound.

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As for the display, just like with the Zenfone Laser, it packs a 1280 x 720 display resolution, it isn’t full HD but everything is crisp and colors are real and lifelike. It is toughened by scratch-proof Corning Gorilla Glass 4. As for the readability of texts outdoor, you’ll be assured that you won’t have issues seeing the display in bright sunlight. Overall, every aspect of the screen is very well detailed as colors are rich and vibrant.

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Touch gestures within the user interface allow you to wake the device with a double tap and launch certain apps, by incorporating that feature, you seldom need the power key much apart from powering on and off the device.

Snapdragon CPU Performance

The Zenfone Max is as fast as you would possibly need a phone to be. It ticks a 1.4GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor coupled with Adreno 306 GPU and 2GB RAM.

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Some users find the pre-loaded apps in ZenUI unnecessary – I am with you guys, and hoping Asus will get better on this department. Nevertheless, the processor powering Zenfone Max keeps things smooth and fast during test period. And just like with other Zenfones, playing graphics-intense games or swiping between screens or loading websites, the phone does not show any sign of struggles and never stuttered. Additionally, the handset does not heat up much.

For speed junkie out there, here’s a benchmark that should get your interest: Testing it with AnTutu, it reached 24840.

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The device has 16GB of internal storage, it’s above the usual 8GB offered by other brands within the same price range, and if it isn’t enough for you, you can fire up an additional 128GB using the microSD card slot. And one more thing, it also supports USB-OTG. The USB On The Go can also be utilized to charge up other phones, Zenfone Max acting as a power bank.

At its core, Zenfone Max is running 64 bit Android 5.0.2 with Asus ZenUI. You’ll be able to customize the launcher, themes, fonts, icons, and more. Within the new UI is also a new gesture control system called ZenMotion that makes common features more accessible.

Pixel Master Camera

Aside from the large battery, an additional selling point of Zenfone Max is the laser-powered autofocus system built right in with its 13-megapixel camera. The camera makes use of a laser sensor system to adjust the focus of the handset’s rear camera.

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As I observed, laser autofocus is pretty fast as long as the subject is fairly close. And the shutter is speedy, too. The laser technology measures distances at lightning speed – and that means near-instant focus as fast as 0.3 seconds, especially in dim light conditions. The laser auto-focus accelerates close-ups photography, compensating for the extra distance created by the lens receding during framing.

As for the camera features, there are a lots of shooting modes including night mode that reduces the megapixel resolution but captures brighter shot in very low light conditions. There’s also super resolution option – with this mode, users can shoot images in up to 52MP resolution, but it requires steady hand. There’s also an HDR, panorama, beautification, low light, night, depth of field, slow motion, time lapse, miniature and smart remove.

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The 5 MP front camera quality is also impressive and would surely satisfy the needs of most selfie takers.

4G Connectivity

The Asus Zenfone Max supports dual-microSIM functionality, and supports 4G/LTE connectivity. And as standard feature, you also get WiFi, Bluetooth v4.0, GPS and GLONASS.

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Non-Removal 5,000mAh Battery

With a huge battery underneath, the Zenfone Max weighs 202 grams, you can feel it weighing down in your palms. It is, however, a small sacrifice for the kind of battery life the device offers.

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With heavy use of WiFi, games and music, the device lasted for about 46 hours, and I think it isn’t bad enough to have your phone ON and able to use it far more than 2 days. This sort of usage involved GMail account pushing notifications, active social networking accounts like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, a constant chat on FB messenger and minimal calls and SMS. And under telco’s H+ signal with the same usage above, I was able to squeeze out the battery from morning ’til midnight, which I find very impressive.

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Why you should get one?

As we all know, the biggest batteries don’t always equal the best battery life, but with Asus Zenfone Max, it is. Asus was able to optimize the 5,000mAh battery by employing some features like the HD resolution instead of Full HD which helps well in prolonging the battery life as well as reducing the cost, adding up Auto-Start Manager which lets you manage auto start-up apps keeping you aware which apps consume memory and power.

This #ZenfoneMax? no to lowbatt!- day in, day out.

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Asus has invested so much, improving its Zenfone devices on every release, and with the 1 million Zenfone users in the Philippines, it simply says, taragis, Zenfones are here to stay!

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