It was just few months back when Asus had launched Asus Zenfone Max in the country. The phone made huge buzz and eventually was really successful, thanks to the 5000 mAh battery under the hood. On May 23rd, the company decided to kick things up by a notch by launching refreshed Zenfone Max with updated specifications. The new Asus Zenfone Max 2016 comes with upgraded RAM, Internal Storage and Processor. But does that make any big difference? Grab a cup of coffee and join us till the end of the post as we review the new and better Asus Zenfone Max.
Design and Hardware
Asus Zenfone Max comes with a premium looking design. The device comes with a textured back panel, gold trim around the edges and the traditional Asus Zenfone’s signature chin which comes with concentric circles. The device comes in two new colors this time, the blue one and the orange one in addition to the standard black and the white ones.
Zenfone Max follows standard button placement with a 3.5mm jack on the top, microUSB port on the bottom and volume & power buttons on the right of the phone. The phone is heavier than other pones in the same price segment for obvious reasons but it is lighter as compared to other devices with similar battery capacity.
The new Asus Zenfone Max follows the same design as of the previous Zenfone Max. One can’t tell the difference between the two by looking at them.
The back panel is removable and under it the two SIM card slots along with an SD card slot can be seen. The battery is non-removable and if the user tries to remove it, the warranty will void.
The new Asus Zenfone Max comes with the same camera sensor as seen on the old Zenfone Max and the Zenfone Laser. There is a 13MP shooter on the back and a 5MP shooter on the front. Zenfone Max also houses laser autofocus and dual LED flash to aid the primary camera. Both the front and the back camera are able to shoot 1080p 30FPS videos.
There is an improvement in the camera app in terms of UI but the image processing felt little weaker this time. There was some lack of sharpness in the images but it was negligible. The autofocus was pretty good because of the laser autofocus but it was useless when in outdoors and the subject wasn’t close to the camera. In such scenarios, the camera moved towards the standard contrast based focusing.
The close-ups and the indoor shots turn up really good. The outdoor shots are bit washed out but it is again acceptable. If you are a person who clicks Macro shots then this device won’t fail to impress you!
Performance & Software
The new Asus Zenfone Max is almost similar to the old one but there are few changes that have been made under the hood. This time Asus Zenfone Max comes with 32GB internal storage, upgraded Snapdragon 615 processor as compared to the old 410 SoC. Also, this time the device comes with a 3GB RAM variant which is priced at Rs. 12,999. The primary SIM card slot supports Indian 4G bands whereas the secondary SIM card slot is limited to 3G connectivity.
The new 2016 variant comes with Android Marshmallow 6.0 out of the box with ZenUI on the top. Asus had previously mentioned that the Zenfone Max will get the Marshmallow update so it is logical that the new variant runs on Marshmallow out of the box.
But here comes the sad part; ZenUI. I am not saying that ZenUI is bad but the bloatware that comes with it is definitely bad. At the time of first boot, the user needs to update around 50-60 applications. It doesn’t stops there, the user is continuously bugged with notifications from these apps to set them up.
The difference between the performance of new Zenfone Max and the old Zenfone Max is clearly visible, thanks to Snapdragon 615 SoC. If you look at other devices in the same price range then you will find that there are other companies that are offering better chipset within the same price segment but they don’t come with the massive 5,000 mAh battery.
The device is comfortable in handling games and performs good in multi-tasking. The device achieves similar score to other devices that run on SD615. The device scores around 42,000 in AnTuTu and around 25,000 in Quadrant. These scores are definitely an upgrade over the previous Zenfone Max.
Basic functionality such as call quality is decent, WiFi works pretty fine and there is a great 4G connectivity as well.
Audiophiles may be a bit disappointed as the speaker on the back is not really powerful.
Now comes the mot interesting part and also the selling point of the device; the battery. Asus Zenfone Max comes with a 5,000 mAh battery which is just awesome. The device ran for 3 days on normal usage whereas 1.5 days on heavyusage. The Zenfone Max ran for 17 hours 54 minutes on the normal video loop test, which is surprisingly lesser than the previous variant of the phone.
Asus Zenfone Max is really a great smartphone through which the company is trying to tackle one of the biggest problems of smartphone users i.e low battery. It is good to see that the company is keeping up with new hardware and is providing it at the same price.
The only thing that bugs us is the HD display. We aren’t saying that it is low resolution or bad but there are other devices (like Coolpad Note 3 Plus) that are offering Full HD display. If we think over it again then it looks like a wise move from the company as an HD display requires less power to run but again a full HD display would have been better.
Also lack of a fingerprint sensor may be something that may bug few users. It is not a big concern but an addition of a fingerprint sensor would have been a cherry on the cake.
The device does come with a 3GB variant that is priced at Rs. 12,999 which is Rs. 3,000 more than the 2GB version.
There is still room for few improvements here and there but again we can’t complain much because the device is available for just Rs. 9,999 and is also giving 5,000mAh battery.
So if you are someone who wants a good camera, decent performance and an excellent battery then definitely Zenfone Max is the best thing you can find under Rs. 15,000.