Asus Zenfone 3 Max Review- The Latest Premium Smartphone under 20K
Rs. 17, 999
• Metal Design
• Snappy performance
• Good battery life
• Big bright display
• Good camera
• Average sound performance
• Average multi tasking performance
• Too much bloatware
A few days back in a launch event in New Delhi, Asus unveiled its flagship smartphone Zenfone 3 Max in two different variants. One with a 5.2-inch display and the other with a 5.5-inch display. This time the design is a metal body construction with a curved glass on top. We received the review unit in two days and got the white 5.5-inch variant (I liked the white one personally). The smartphone looks like iPhone 6 from the front side but on the rear there’s a slippery metal just like all the other smartphones with a metal back. Asus follows a different capacitive touch button placement that has back button on the extreme left; you might take a couple of days getting used to it.
Overall Look and design
When it comes to design, all smartphone manufacturers are following similar trend, a metal back and a curved glass on top. What’s new in that? Only difference that the Zenfone 3 Max has compared to any other smartphone is that the body feels a bit more curved and premium. I saw the gold variant as well in the launch event but the white color variant looks absolutely adoring. The curved body reminds me of iPhone 6 or 6s. It also makes the smartphone feel comparatively premium to any other smartphone of the same segment.
We received the 5.5-inch variant of the Zenfone 3 Max. The smartphone features a unibody metal design with a 2.5d curved display on top. It’s a Full HD LCD display with a Gorilla glass 3 protecting for scratches.
When you get the device out of its box, first thing that I would suggest you to do is change its home screen wallpaper. All the preloaded wallpapers that Zenfone 3 Max comes with are not impressive; the images get pixilated and make the screen look cheap. So change the wallpaper once you have internet access.
Asus has used the all familiar metal body design with speaker grill on bottom along with the micro USB charging port. On the front we have an 8 MP front facing camera with proximity sensor and earpiece next to it. The left side has no buttons but a sim card tray. However, the right side has volume rocker and power button.
A secondary mic is placed on top of the body with 3.5mm headphone jack placed next to it.
As soon as I received the review unit, I downloaded all the heavy games within a few hours to check how the Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 performs on the Zenfone 3 Max.
When it comes to performance I feel that the overall performance matters, not the specifications. Whether it’s an 820 or 430, if it could run heavy games as easy as pie then its best, after-all it’s more about the architecture of the hardware than the specifications.
The Zenfone 3 Max comes with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. It runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Zen UI on top of it. The bloatware is disappointing as most of the applications are useless and we rarely use them. Zen UI might feel cluttered but its fast in gameplay and browsing. Even after installing nearly 25 games, there was no lag in the smartphone. However, the smartphone was struggling a little during multitasking.
The latest Zenfone 3 Max takes nearly 30 Seconds to boot up and approximately 5 seconds to shut down completely. The phone is ready to function as soon as you turn the device powered on.
I played Dungeon Hunter 5, Asphalt 8, Nova 3, Modern Combat 5, WWE immortals, Gods of Rome, Suicide Squad :special Ops and many other games to test the device on various parameters. I wanted to see the overall performance, high end gaming experience, color reproduction, heating and lagging issue on the Zenfone 3 Max.
All the above mentioned games run well without any lag. However, Suicide squad might show a little lag as it usually does on all the other smartphones. Asphalt 8 runs smooth on high graphics and Nova 3 is just immersive. Dungeon hunter might show some heating during gameplay.
The browsing has zero lag, contents load quickly and YouTube also scrolls fast without any delay.
While playing games there are a number of issues that any smartphone could deliver. One is lagging and the other one is heating with heavy battery consumption. The Zenfone 3 Max runs games without any lag with moderate heating, the battery consumption is also very low as it’s a 4100 mAh battery that drains approximately 4% in 15 minutes of gameplay.
While capturing the images from rear camera, the colors produced in the photographs during daytime are accurate and the detailing is also precise. However, during low light the rear camera captures grainy images.
Burst mode in the rear camera captures 20 images and is very fast. It also has a super resolution mode that according to Asus captures a 64MP picture. The picture captured in super resolution mode has a resolution of 9216 x 5184. Apart from super resolution, the Zenfone 3 max has beautification mode, manual mode, QR code scanner, low light, Time lapse, Night and HDR pro mode.
On the front Zenfone 3 Max has an 8MP camera which is made for selfie lovers. The blur effect would be the major centre of attraction. Images have good saturation with right amount of detailing.
A special selfie mode is also there in which you can capture a selfie from the rear camera by selecting the number of faces.
The latest Asus Zenfone Max 3 houses a 4100 mAh battery that lasts more than a day in average usage. Heavy usage could drain the battery by the end of the day. But the overall battery backup is not disappointing at all.
I used the phone in 2 Modes to check the battery consumption. First, I used the phone as an average user with some browsing, Whatsapp, games and videos. The Zenfone 3 Max lasted more than a day.
In the second test, I charged the phone and then used it for a lot of gaming, videos, music and downloading applications on Playstore. By the end of the day I was left with 8% juice, which is also good.
The Asus Zenfone 3 Max impresses when it comes to gaming performance, video playback and battery backup. The battery lasts more than a day in average usage and about a day in heavy usage. The screen is visible in direct sunlight and color is rendering is also appropriate. But considering the price there are better options available such as Le eco Le Max 2, One plus 3 and Mi Max Prime.