ASUS ZENFONE 3 MAX ZC553KL

ASUS ZenFone 3 Max (ZC553KL)offers a well-rounded điện thoại experience coupled with premium design, while continuing the focus on battery life. Is asus third time lucky with the Max? Let’s find out!

Like the entire ZenFone lineup, the asus ZenFone 3 is a decent smartphone. However, even with the premium pitch, there’s no stand out factor running for it. It looks good on paper, but the real-world performance is limited – and would only meet the demands of less discerning users.

ASUS has a crowded ZenFone line-up, but the company buckets its offerings in well-rounded categories. Lượt thích the ZenFone Max, with a focus on marathon battery life.

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However, since last year with the launch of ZenFone 3 portfolio, the Taiwanese company has upped the ante in design and positioning và instead of focusing on hardware specifications, aims to lớn bring premium experience lớn its users. That also means that most of their latest phones are not exactly run-of-the-mill value-for-money devices, but differentiate themselves in design, camera, battery life, etc.


ASUS launched the first ZenFone Max in 2015, & while it delivered on its USP of long battery life, it brought nothing else to lớn the table. The follow-up version had more memory và faster processor, but both devices were chunky plastic smartphones that didn’t impress many.


However, the ZenFone 3 Max (ZC553KL) aims khổng lồ change that with a well-rounded điện thoại cảm ứng thông minh experience coupled with premium design, while continuing the focus on battery life. Is asus third time lucky with the Max? Let’s find out.

Design


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ASUS has finally brought an all-metal design khổng lồ the ZenFone series, later than when most people would’ve liked. Even entry-level budget smartphones in 2016 boasted of an all-metal design. Better late than never, though. There’s nothing extraordinary about the design, but neither is it run-of-the-mill.


The homogenous thiết kế language of the ZenFone series is apparent, a premium one at that, bringing the flagship design to lớn the budget smartphone. It is well-built and the aluminum chassis gives it a solid feel. It’s not very slippery, yet, since it is an all-metal phone, you’d have to get used to the smoothness và take care of the phone slipping out of the hand.


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Unlike the original ZenFone Max, this one is not a brick và neither does it sport big bezels (it could’ve had even smaller bezels though, on top & bottom) and boasts of a pretty good 73 per cent screen-to-body ratio. It’s not very slim at 8.33mm, và at 175 grams, it’s not the lightest điện thoại cảm ứng thông minh out there. Yet it is one of the lighter phones khổng lồ pack a big battery và a large display, và you wouldn’t feel the heft lugging it around. Also, the gradual curves and rounded corners make it a very comfortable và ergonomic phone lớn hold, and it is easily pocketable unless you can’t stand larger smartphones.

Display


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The ZenFone 3 Max sports a 5.5-inch Full HD IPS display with a px density of 401 ppi. The display is sharp và the 400 nits brightness is very good, offering great sunlight visibility.


The contrast ratio is not exceptional though, and if you’re a fan of vibrant, & even over-saturated AMOLED displays, lượt thích I am, this one is just average. Viewing angles on the phone are, however, quite good. There is a little màu sắc shift when viewing it from extreme angles, but that’s the case with most smartphones.

Performance


Powered by a 1.4Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor paired with 3GB of RAM, the ZenFone 3 Max chugs along nicely while multitasking offering a smooth android experience.


However, if you găng tay the hardware, the phone tends to lớn stutter a bit. You’d be unable to lớn play graphic-intensive games at maxed-out settings and experience frequent frame-drops. Interestingly, it never gets too hot lớn handle even when the performance is stretched to its modest limits. However, you’d experience some lag in navigation và switching between apps in that case.


Clearly, the device is geared towards casual điện thoại cảm ứng thông minh users – and that is where it excels. However, I think the company could squeeze some extra juice from its internals with better software optimization. Some other phones in the market tend to lớn offer smoother experience with similar hardware specifications.


Of course, the pièce de résistance of the ZenFone 3 Max is its long battery life. There has been a drop in the battery capacity of the Max this time around (to go away from that chunky size), however, the 4100 mAh battery – with the hardware it packs & the software optimizations that hãng asus has done – still manages lớn offer phenomenal battery life. With basic lớn moderate usage, I was easily able to lớn get two days battery life on the phone, which is quite good. You can stretch that, and coupled with nguồn saving features, can even squeeze more than that!

Hardware


The ZenFone 3 Max comes with 32GB of internal memory, further expandable by up to lớn 128GB via a microSD card slot. The dual SIM smartphones features a hybrid slot, so you can either use the second SIM or the microSD card, but not both.


The phone supports reverse charging, and can be used lớn charge other devices via OTG. There’s a bundled OTG adapter in the box. For a điện thoại thông minh with a focus on battery life, it’s a shame that it doesn’t support fast charging. It ships with a regular charger, which takes painfully long to lớn charge the big battery completely.


The fingerprint scanner can be used lớn answer incoming calls, launch the camera app, or take a picture, but is not quick enough. While the recognition is just fine, the authentication is a tad slow or requires slight pressure of the finger. Also, the capacitive keys on the front are not backlit. Of course, with impulse you get used khổng lồ tapping the finger or thumb at the right place but sometimes it gets a tad annoying, especially in the dark or when you’re not holding the phone as you vày usually.

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Camera


The ZenFone 3 Max sports a 16-megapixel rear camera with f/2.0 aperture, Phase Detection Autofocus & laser auto-focus, Electronic Image Stabilization for shooting videos, và dual-LED flash.


Outdoors in daylight, the camera performs very well và takes sharp pictures with good details. The color reproduction is mostly accurate. Although the pictures are generally noise-free, zooming them reveals pixilation which is more pronounced when I viewed them on a 40-inch display. For most people though, who just cốt truyện photos on social media, this shouldn’t be a problem.


Indoors or in low-light conditions, the night mode is a mixed bag. Some of the shots give great results, better than tự động hóa mode, however, several times, they’d kết thúc up very noisy with messed up metering.


The camera focusses nicely & quickly, although there is a definite shutter lag and often I’d end up with a blurry photo when I was attempting to lớn take a shot of a moving subject.


On the front, there is an 8-megapixel camera with f/2.2 aperture that manages to lớn click detailed selfies even in tricky lighting.


The camera phầm mềm on the Zenfone 3 Max is the same as on the company’s flagship ZenFone 3 smartphone. While the options are great khổng lồ tinker around, including a manual mode, the camera on the ZenFone 3 Max is just above average.


The asus ZenFone 3 runs android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out of the box with the new version of the company’s proprietary ZenUI 3.0 on đứng đầu of it. Virtually, every nook and corner of the android experience gets a fresh coat of paint.


Right up, that’s a good thing. The older versions of ZenUI were plagued with bloatware & gimmicky UI elements that marred the overall user experience. The latest version is a complete makeover, và offers a clean UI with subtle animations. There are several nifty utilities, but there’s still a plethora of ASUS-branded apps that I’ve hardly seen anyone using really. Unfortunately, only a few of these can be uninstalled và while you can disable most others, they still occupy storage space on your phone.


ZenUI 3.0 features an app drawer, & there’s a built-in search functionality. You can swipe down the screen and search the web or your apps & contacts, & view your frequently used apps. There’s an all-new Theme Store from which users can download miễn phí as well as paid themes, wallpapers, icons, and ringtones to lớn customize their smartphone.


One of the neat features of the ZenUI is ZenMotion which allows configuring a variety of touch & motion gestures like double tap lớn wake or flipping the phone when you get an incoming call to enable silent mode. It also allows you lớn enable the one-handed mode that shrinks the display to lớn one corner of the screen for easy, one-handed usage when you’re on the move.


Of course, the most useful ứng dụng from the entire ZenUI suite is the di động Manager. With slick animations & intuitive UI, the phầm mềm offers quick ways to không lấy phí RAM & storage space, và manage apps as well as tiện ích permissions. It’s a sort of one-stop destination for managing your phone’s performance.


The latest version of ZenUI on the ZenFone 3 is fluid và aims lớn offer stock Android-like experience while adding additional functionalities. And, it succeeds in doing that. It’s one of the better UIs out there in terms of ease of use và feels polished. Better internals would’ve made it even smoother on the ZenFone 3 Max. But the excess of bloatware is disappointing, và shows that the company has learnt nothing from similar criticism in the past.

Specifications


The ZenFone 3 Max aims to lớn pimp up the Max range with a premium design. It succeeds there, but there’s little else.
Like the entire ZenFone lineup, the asus ZenFone 3 is a decent smartphone. However, even with the premium pitch, there’s no stand out factor running for it. It looks good on paper, but the real-world performance is limited – & would only meet the demands of less discerning users. Yes, there’s the fantastic battery life, and that’s the sole reason one should go for this device. Else, even looking within, there are better ZenFone siblings around.


ASUS isn’t officially selling the ZenFone 3 Max in the US, but in India, the device is priced at ₹17,999 ($265) – a tad higher than what everyone would’ve liked. At this price, it feels a little out of place. What vị you think of the ZenFone 3 Max, & do you plan to buy one? Let us know your views in the comments below!