Good battery life is one of the prerequisites for buying a new smartphone for many nowadays and there are only two ways of going about it. One, use efficient components and tweak the software really well and two, cram in a bigger battery into the smartphone. It isn’t surprising that a lot of manufacturers are doing the latter and launching phone after phone with big batteries. Gionee has the entire Marathon series while Asus has the Max series of big battery phones. Both the companies introduce one new phone in this series every year. So when Asus launched the ZenFone 3 Max we were pleasantly surprised as they had already launched the ZenFone Max 2016 earlier this year.
The ZenFone 3 Max looks nothing like the phone it replaces but is in line with the new design that debuted with the Asus ZenFone 3. That’s not all, the Max now comes in two sizes, 5.2 inches (ZC520TL) and 5.5 inches (ZC553KL) and both have a few other differences as well. The smaller Max sports a 720p display, a MediaTek processor along with 13MP/5MP camera setup. The bigger variant sports a Full HD display, a Snapdragon processor, and a 16MP/8MP camera setup. We got the 5.5 inch ZenFone Max 3 and here’s our review for the same.
Design & Feel
The Max series had carried pretty much the same look since launch with it only getting a much powerful processor early this year. The ZenFone 3 feels like a breath of fresh air and is much pleasant to look at. It is made with premium materials and feels premium too. The Max gets a full metal unibody this time and it feels solidly build. The power and volume rockers are made of metal, well positioned on the phone and offer haptic feedback when clicked. One other addition to this series is the back mounted fingerprint scanner. Apart from a few occasions when it refused to scan, the fingerprint scanner is accurate to use and unlocks the phone quickly.
A welcome upgrade is the Full-HD resolution display which is not only good to look at but is also pretty accurate in terms of color reproduction. It also gets 2.5D glass on top and an oleophobic coating to keep smudges under control. However, there is no mention of any sort of protection on the display by Asus. Hence we’d recommend you get a tempered glass protector along with this phone. That aside, the display performs well indoors as well as under direct sunlight, the ambient light sensor adjusts the brightness accordingly. It also comes with a blue light filter inbuilt and does not strain your eyes when reading at night (or in low light). The display has a notification LED above it which is quite bright and you won’t miss out on your notifications. Sadly, the capacitive touch buttons on the bottom of the screen aren’t backlit so they are a hit or miss in the dark.
The ZenFone 3 Max is comfortable to hold in hand and the rounded edges won’t dig into your palms. It feels heavy in the hand with the device weighing 175gms yet at 8.3mm is the slimmest Max device yet. It still uses a MicroUSB port at the bottom and comes with a USB OTG cable in the box and is capable of reverse charging other smartphones. The phone looks a lot similar to the ZenFone 3 Laser and it’ll be very hard to tell them apart to an untrained eye.