ZenFone Max 2016, the latest description of power-efficiency from Asus has not only lured tech-buffs, but has also rattled some of the finest players in the smartphone arena. The company, though unexpectedly, has given a tempting bump-up to its year-old smartphone and has featured some spectacular hardware and software tweaks. The Taiwanese giant was in deep need of a strong kick-start and ZenFone Max has given exactly the same. The phone pits straight against Moto G4, Vibe K4 Note, and Redmi Note 3, and is set to hit the shelves across Snapdeal and other online portals.
So now, when we know what is to come, it is fair enough to question the efficiency of edition over the old one. Is it worthy to leave your existing smartphone behind just for that big battery? Or there is more ZenFone Max than we ever though? The questions are pounding heavily, and our in-depth analysis is the only to find best answers. Let’s look closely to know more!
Design Language and Build Quality
Asus ZenFone Max 2016 3GB RAM model looks pretty much identical to the original ZenFone Max we saw almost a year ago. The handset retains a slim and lean profile, but comes in more colours, this time in vibrant Blue and Orange alongside classy Black and White. It features the same feel of a sturdy phablet and flaunts a majestically crafted leather back, which fits nicely and gives a firm grip even when you’re not holding the handset tightly. On whole, we feel, there’s hardly change on the outside except for the new colour options to choose from!
Display: 5.5-inch HD IPS panel
Visual experience on Asus ZenFone Max is pretty decent, but is not good enough to take on leading giants. The handset comes with a standard 5.5-inch HD IPS panel and boasts 267 pixels per inch. It performs decently, but considering Asus’ reputation, High Definition looks pretty weak on sub-15k smartphone. It can give you vibrant colours and good viewing angles but cannot live up with details!
However, it is also worthy to note that Asus has built this phone with focus on power-efficiency which, in our opinion, comes best with high-definition instead of full-HD or Quad-HD. So, for the sake of saving power, ditching a full-HD panel for HD looks like an acceptable bargain!
Hardware and Performance
Performance on Asus ZenFone Max 2016 is a real treat. The handset packs strong internals and delivers snag-free performance just like other sub-15k smartphones with top-notch innards. It comes with an octa-core Snapdragon 615 chipset running at 1.5GHz, and couples up with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of inbuilt storage. There’s also a 2GB RAM model for moderate users, but considering modern-day multi-tasking and gaming requirements, 3GB memory is sufficient to endure slick and seamless performance.
ZenFone Max delivers incredible performance under heavy usage and gets even better with support for storage expansion up to 64 gigs via microSD card slot. Its battery holds enough power to get you through 3 days and processor handles routine tasks and heavy without stuttering or falling into the hands of excessive heating.
Software: Marshmallow out-of-the box
ZenFone Max (2016) brings a major upgrade with Android 6.0 Lollipop and some minor tweaks here and there. It runs the same old ZenUI with colourful app icons and a slew of customizations, but offers you an interactive smartphone experience with some mind-boggling features such as, Doze Mode, Google Now on Tap, Do Not Disturb Mode, and app-permissions. You don’t see on Lollipop or on older versions, and can easily get the best out of it.
Thanks to Marshmallow, the handset outperforms other players, but from where we see, ZenUI is still not at par with stock Android and needs a whole lot of improvement. It comes heavily loaded with bloatware and can frustrate you easily on the first boot!
With no major changes, the camera bundled with ZenFone Max stands out and delivers picture-perfect shots, just like we saw on ZenFone laser. It bears the same technology from ZenFone laser and makes a decent package for on-the-go photographers: 13-megapixels on the back and 5 on the front. Both shooters work seamlessly and produce impressive images in all environments, whether low-light or in broad sunlight. They both capture 1080p videos at 30fps, and the main camera pairs up with few additional tweaks such as, lightning fast laser autofocus and dual-tone flash. On whole, the camera performance is good but the camera app should have more features and options for better photography!
Despite all these upgrades, battery life is the best thing about Asus ZenFone Max 2016 3GB RAM model. The handset bears an incredibly powerful 5000 mAh battery and endows more than enough power for seamless work and play. It gets you three days without running out of power, and outperforms most phones quite easily. The battery is unchanged on the new variant but is still quite powerful to keep things up and running for a prolonged smartphone experience. On our video loop test, it lasted 18 hours, which is little disappointing, but is a decent bargain for a Snapdragon 615 equipped smartphone!
For a price well below 15k, Asus ZenFone Max 2016 is a great buy, especially for on-the-go users and gaming addicts. The handset addresses power-deficiency with perfection and gives an intuitive smartphone experience with a bunch of feature upgrades. On this phone, you can get the best of both, Android Marshmallow and Snapdragon 615 and can play for long-hours thanks to that impeccable battery, lasting for almost three days after a single full-charge.
So now, no more running towards wall chargers and power-banks and keeping things up and running with spectacular ZenFone Max 2016 3GB RAM model. It certainly is one of the best power-focused devices in the entry-level segment!