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ASUS Zenfone 3 Max full review – ZC553KL

Smartphones manufactured nowadays mostly focus on performance or camera, but the one key factor everyone forgets is the battery life. ASUS recently announced the new Zenfone 3 Max series with 2 variants. The first model ZC520KL has a lower config and a 5.2-inch screen while the latest one i.e. ZC553KL comes with better specification and 5.5 inch full HD display. This device is not for someone who expects very high performance or high-end gaming, but for those who wants their phone to last easily for 1 or more days. So let us do the ASUS Zenfone 3 Max full review and find out if it’s worth the buy.

ASUS Zenfone 3 Max full review - ZC553KL

Zenfone 3 Max ZC553KL

ASUS Zenfone 3 Max full review – ZC553KL

Please note that here on after, if I am referring to Zenfone 3 then it is for the variant ZC553KL and not the ZC520KL unless until specified.

Design

The Zenfone 3 Max comes with this new sleek metallic design and rounded edges with a flat back. The placement of buttons is pretty standard and we have a 3.5mm audio jack too. With the Zenfone 3 Max we get a normal micro USB port and not the type-C. The fingerprint sensor is on the back with the camera, LED flash and laser auto-focus. There has been a lot of improvements in the design and the new one gives the phone a premium look. Despite having this huge battery inside, the phone doesn’t feel that bulky but is a bit slippery to hold. Three capacitive buttons are still at the bottom with no backlight and the ASUS logo is present on the back. The phone weighs approx to 175 g and is 8.3 mm in thickness.

Display

Display

Display

Zenfone 3 Max has a 5.5 inch full HD IPS display which looks great and you can easily notice the upgrade. For the protection, it has an oleophobic coating on the screen to prevent fingerprint/smudges to a great extent. The bezels on the edges are pretty thin.

Performance

Zenfone 3 Max comes with a Snapdragon 430 Octa-core processor clocked at 1.4 GHz. It has 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage which can be expanded up to 128 GB by sacrificing one SIM slot. For the graphic support, it has Adreno 505 GPU which is capable of running some mid-graphic games. I would say the phone is not the best when it comes to performance. For the everyday use if you are someone who uses multiple apps at the same time, then I would recommend clearing out recent apps or giving it a performance boost every now and then to prevent lagging. I don’t get the reason why ASUS chose to use snapdragon 430 in its latest smartphone. Though the phone doesn’t lag frequently and performs fairly good for normal usage. The AnTuTu score for the device came out to be somewhere around 44240.

Camera

ZC553KL comes with a 16 MP rear shooter with dual-tone LED flash and laser auto-focus while on the front you have 8 MP camera. The aperture for the rear lens is F2.0 while on the front it is F2.2. As always the camera app comes with various modes like HDR, beautification, Low-Light, Super-resolution etc. Pictures taken indoors or in low light condition comes with a little bit of noise while the camera does a great job outdoors. The good thing about ASUS camera app is we have the functionality of switching to manual mode and tinkering with more advanced settings like ISO, taking control of shutter, manual focusing etc. For the video recording, the camera of Zenfone 3 Max is capable of recording full HD videos at 30fps. It has 3-axis EIS(Electronic Image Stabilization) and you can also take pictures while recording video.

Camera samples:

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Connectivity and Sound

Speaker, micro-USB

Speaker, micro-USB

Zenfone 3 Max comes with a Dual SIM hybrid support i.e. you can either insert memory card or the second SIM. The first SIM slot is Micro and the second one supports nano-SIM. Both the slot supports 4G/3G/2G but only one of them can use 4G/3G at a time. The company says the phone has VoLTE support but the review device on which I tested was not supporting VoLTE(may be some software bug). Other connectivity features include Wifi, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS(BDS now supported), and USB OTG support. The audio level and quality from the speakers is good and the ringtone is audible from the adjacent room. Calling experience and noise cancellation using Zenfone 3 Max was great.

Battery

Here comes the key feature of this device i.e. the battery life. Zenfone 3 Max comes with a 4100mAh super-powerful battery. The battery life on this device will impress everyone who uses the device. For me with complete 4G internet usage, intense multi-tasking, a bit of gaming, and a lot of calling, the phone easily lasted for 1.5 days. If you are a normal user then you can easily use the device for 2 days with single charge. And for intense gamers and movie watching people, the phone will last for like 1 day. I even managed to spend my day with a 30% charge. I just don’t know what will happen when I shift to power saving mode. This is the ideal battery life which I expect from any new upcoming smartphones. Despite of having such a huge battery the design is still stylish and the phone is slim. The phone doesn’t support fast charging and takes around 2.5-3 hrs for full charge.

Pricing

Zenfone 3 Max (ZC553KL) is priced for Rs.17,999 and is available in 3 color variants viz. Titanium Gray, Glacier Silver, Rose Pink, & Sand Gold. I would say that the phone is priced a bit on the higher end considering the performance. But if you have a look at all the features then it may justify the price. The box contents include the device itself, 5V 2A charger, USB cable, USB OTG cable, SIM ejector pin, warranty card and user manual.

Verdict

Summarizing the features, Zenfone 3 Max has an excellent design, build, and battery. The camera is good while the average performance earns the device some negative rating. Overall for someone having mid-level usage with a lot of battery requirement should go for this device. While those expecting an excellent camera or high-end gaming should consider some of the other phones in this budget. For the camera, there are a few competitors like Vivo V5 and Oppo F1s. So this was the ASUS Zenfone 3 Max full review, if you have any doubts please post them in the comment section below. Share this on social media if you like the review.

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