The bigger ZenFone 3 Max that we tested has a 16-megapixel camera with laser autofocus and a dual tone LED flash. The output from the camera is good but it appeared to be a little grainy when zoomed in. The camera picks up colors accurately and does well in broad daylight conditions. There are tons of modes in the camera setting including a manual mode which lets you take complete control. There is Asus’ Low Light mode that restricts resolution to 3-megapixels but keeps the shutter open for a much longer time to click in low light. One condition for this is that it need a very steady hand for a clear picture. The Super Resolution mode captures and combines four 16-megapixel photos to create a single high resolution (64-megapixel) image. HDR is available but we found the output to be better without HDR in some shots. In terms of video recording, it is capable of 1080p and 720p video at 30fps with no Slo-Mo capabilities. There is Electronic Video stabilization available but only at 720p resolution.
The selfie camera is an 8-megapixel sensor and clicks good selfies. The camera goes to beautification mode by default and you have to switch to auto mode every single time for a natural (true) output. The images are clear and have good amount of detail. It is capable of video recording at 720p and 1080p resolutions.
The ZenFone 3 Max is a dual SIM phone with a hybrid SIM slot. Since the back is non-removable there is a SIM tray with the first slot for a micro SIM and the second one for a nano SIM card. The second slot can also be used for a microSD card to expand storage. The phone supports 4G and VoLTE on both the slots. During the review period, we used a Jio SIM in the phone and it latched on to the network well. It had a persistent “Device is HD Capable” notification which was a little annoying as it couldn’t be cleared. The phone crashed when there was an incoming call on VoLTE. We did update the software of the phone hoping for the fix but instead found VoLTE calling to be disabled. After this the phone stopped showing VoLTE in the status bar and couldn’t make a call on the Jio network. Asus has confirmed that they are aware of the issue and are working on a fix that should reach devices in December. On using the phone with a Vodafone SIM, the call quality is loud and clear and we had no issues when on call. Data worked well on both Vodafone and Jio networks.
The battery capacity on the ZenFone 3 Max is lower than the phone it replaces. It has a flat back as opposed to the curved back on the earlier models and that could be the reason for the drop in battery size. The phone still manages to go over a day without the need to plug-in, while occasionally using the device only as a data hotspot it managed to run over 2 days before plugging in. The supplied charger in the box is rated at 5V/2A and takes a couple of hours to charge the device completely. There is an OTG cable in the box that can be used to charge another smartphone using the ZenFone 3 Max.