When ASUS introduced the first Zenfone Max last year, everybody drooled because of its 5,000 mAh battery plus a very reliable Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. Then ASUS released a 5.2-inch Zenfone 3 Max powered by a Mediatek processor. Many felt the Mediatek chipset is underwhelming so the company decided to release a bigger Max powered by a Qualcomm silicone inside.
When it was announced a month ago, every got excited any wanting to have one! First its is only P10,990 then it has a bigger 5.5-inch display and still has that big battery inside a very beautiful hardware.
ASUS Zenfone 3 Max (ZC553KL)
- Octa Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor
- Adreno 405 graphics
- 3GB RAM
- 32GB internal storage expandable via MicroSD
- 5.5-inch Full HD IPS LCD display (1920 x 1080 pixels)
- 16 megapixel rear facing camera with laser autofocus and LED flash
- 8 megapixel front facing camera
- Dual SIM, Dual Standby
- 4G/LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, Fingerprint Scanner
- GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
- 4,100 mAh battery with reverse charging and fast charging
- Android 6.0 Marshmallow with ZenUI 3.0
- Price: P10,995
- Status: Available at ASUS stores and retailers
Related article – ASUS Zenfone 3 Max Unboxing and First Impressions
HARDWARE AND DESIGN
The hardware is very much similar of the smaller 5.2-inch Zenfone 3 Max. It is encased in a smooth sheet of metal which is slippery to hold, Better buy a case for this. We’ve seen the gunmetal gray version with black face and to our suprise, it looks very much like the iPhone when the screen is turned off. It is a bit hefty at 175 grams but for us it is just fine. Miraculously, Asus has managed to make a sleek phone despite the big battery and large screen. Nice one ASUS!
Full HD display! Nice! If you are using the first Zenfone Max, this will be big upgrade for you. With Full HD, you can enjoy sharper view when watching movies or playing games. It has good viewing angles and it can stand the harsh outdoors. Though auto brightness has been a bit whimsy but turning it off means you have to adjust it manually.
SOFTWARE AND PERFORMANCE
For the sake of honesty, we have to report our first two weeks experience with the Zenfone 3 Max. The moment we received the phone our was really buggy especially with its camera. We also experienced sudden loss of signal, unexpected shut downs and multiple app crashes. We did report this to ASUS Philippines and they’ve sent us a software update which we installed manually. It a hefty 1.6GB and we installed via USB OTG.
After the update everything went well. Experience was very smooth, all bugs are gone and camera is in good shape. We’ve been using the ASUS Zenfone 3 Max for a month now after the update and every has been very smooth thanks to its 3GB RAM which give more room for open apps and games.
After the said software update, the camera behaved as it should be. The 13 megapixel and 8 megapixel shooters take really good photos. We just find the regular Zenfone 3 a bit better when it comes to details such as sharpness and vibrancy. Here, take a look at our sample photos.
Bluetooth and WiFi comes in standard. LTE connectivity is superb using both Smart and Globe SIMs. Calls are clear with no issues. Fingerprint Scanner works fine and unlocks pretty fast. The ASUS Zenfone 3 Max is also capable of reverse charging via the use of OTG cable.
On paper, the Zenfone 3 Max has sips more power because of its Full HD display though it has a newer, energy efficient chipset as compared to its previous model. Not to mention it has a smaller 4,100 mAh battery. For us, it is more than enough to power up the phone the whole day with more than 30% for the next day. That is with mixed moderate to heavy use.
The ASUS Zenfone 3 Max is probably the best lower premium midrange smartphone available today. The P10,995 price tag is just right, a capable but power efficient processor, great display, good camera and finally a long lasting battery.
WHO IS THIS FOR?
- Upgrade time – Are you using an old Zenfone? Please, put the word upgrade on the dictionary. Hehehe.
- Upgrade from the first Zenfone Max – Well, it depends. We know some friends who are still using the first model and it works just fine for them. If you wish an upgrade then we think its alright.
- Big battery, beautiful phone – Its rare to find a sleek phone with big battery these days. This is it!