Technophile

The smartphone that never quits

Jinoy Jose P | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on June 15, 2016

asus-zenfone-max.jpg

A massive 5000mAh battery is Zenfone Max's biggest draw



If you are a fan of low-cost, energy efficient smartphones with a solid spec list, Asus might be your go-to gadget-maker. The latest addition to the Taiwanese company's Zenfone range of smartphones is the Max.

As the name suggests, the Max sports some heavy-duty specs. It has a massive 5000 mAh battery, a 13MP ultra-fast, laser auto-focus camera, a super-strong glass panel and a sturdy body.

The battery

As every gadget-user knows today by experience, size matters when it comes to power. On that cue, the Max is suitably well-endowed with its 5000 mAh lithium-polymer battery. The company has even supplied a reverse-charging cable which can turn the Max into a powerbank. While the battery life on the Max may not be ‘more-than-enough’ like Asus claims, in all likelihood, the battery is sufficient to meet your demand, event if you are a heavy gamer or a constant surfer. you’d feel,. The Max ensures that you can happily leave your powerbank at home.

Asus’ website says the phone comes in three variants. The 2GB RAM/ 32GB Storage/ Snapdragon 615 version — under review here — costs ₹9,999. While the 2GB RAM/ 16GB Storage/ Snapdragon 410 variant costs ₹8,999, the top-end 3GB RAM/ 32GB Storage/ Snapdragon 615 model is priced at ₹12,999.

Camera

The 13MP rear camera produces clear 71-DPI images and the much hyped ultra-fast laser auto-focus works fine, and while there is room for improvement, this is about as good as it gets on a budget phone.

The PixelMaster camera has an f/2.0-aperture Toshiba lens that captures low-light photos fairly well. But overall, the photos it produces are in the same league as those captured by the Meizu M3 Note or the Xiaomi RedMi Note 3.

The 5 MP front camera has Largan lenses, which are used by Apple’s iPhones. The 85°-front camera offers an extremely wide angle and selfies come out warm and smooth and the camera has several interesting tweaks that savvy users can fiddle with. Videos look clear and crisp in day light, but they need a lot of improvement in low-light. The dual-LED Real Tone flash does not do a particularly great job here.

Body, OS

Why do all the Zenfone devices look the same? It’s time Asus gave each model some unique looks to make them stand out. Familiarity may not breed contempt, but it definitely keeps some buyers at bay, especially those who might want to upgrade to a new version of Zenfone.

That said, the phone is strong and sturdy and can withstand a fall (it fell twice while we were using it and escaped unscathed.)

The ZenFone Max has a metal-like bezel that looks stylish and the back cover offers enough grip. The phone under review has Android 6.1 OS with Asus’ customised features like the Asus Cover, which helps users who are using Asus View Flipcover manage important functions.

The ZenMotion gesture facility is cumbersome and may not appeal to the average user. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor supports heavy hardware acceleration, but more RAM would have been appreciated. If you run more than five apps at a time, the system tends to slow down.

Display

The ZenFone Max has a 720P 5.5-inch IPS display. But the screen real estate is not optimally used. The home buttons and top band eat up a good amount of space. The screen-to-body ratio is 69 per cent, which is not that impressive. The Asus TrueVivid Full Screen Lamination technology and 178˚ viewing angle do not power the display much, which needs major improvements. The light-filters work well, but photos and videos are not reproduced well.

Verdict

The Asus ZenFone Max is a dual-SIM powerhouse that is cost-effective and performance-efficient. But certainly, it’s not a peer-beater, and needs upgrades in the camera and display departments. If you are looking for a sturdy, marathon-runner with decent looks, this is your buy.

Price: ₹9,999

Love: Battery life, build, specs

Hate: Average display, familiar design

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Published on June 15, 2016
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