Massive battery pack
ZenUI works brilliantly
Works as power bank
4G LTE support
No word on Android Marshmallow update
The Asus Zenfone Max (ZC550KL) is an energetic device. It not only offers you the complete smartness of an Android device but also works as a power bank.
Smartphones have already transformed our lives. But one thing that is yet to be transformed in these mobile devices is their short battery life. You might have heard or even used some of the initially developed cellphone models that didn’t require a charger at least for a couple of days. These were some of the bulky devices. And as the technology evolved, it brought some slim, and even ultra-slim, mobile devices. Their thickness reduced to even about 0.5mm but that adversely affected their battery life. While many smartphone manufacturers are implicitly working on enhancing the battery life on their offerings, mass results are yet to be claimed. But in the meanwhile, Asus emerged as one of the early developers with its Zenfone Max. This is the company’s newest affordable smartphone from the Zenfone range that gained immense popularity in the recent past. It not only has an affordable price but a large-size battery that can even rule out some power banks.
We chose to test the Asus Zenfone Max on our benchmarks following its launch in India earlier this month. So here begins our in-depth review.
What’s in the Box
The Asus Zenfone Max (ZC550KL) is available in India with a price tag of Rs. 9,999. At this cost, the company offers the handset along with some in-box content.
These content include an AC adapter, data cable and a USB OTG (USB On-the-Go) cable. The box also has a user guide and a warranty certificate.
The quality of the in-box content is as good as the build of the Zenfone Max. We especially like to praise the presence of the USB OTG cable that can help charging other devices. Of course, you can read that functionality in detail later in this review.
Asus is already one of the smartphone makers that use high-grade plastic on their smartphones. The Zenfone Max comes from the same segment. It has a decent build that does not have metal, but feels quite solid in hand.
The front of the Zenfone Max has a design that inherited from the previous Zenfone flagships. There is a metal-finish chin on the bottom, just below the three silver-colored touch sensitive buttons for back, home and recent apps operations. There is Asus branding on top, underlining an earpiece and a secondary camera sensor. A notification LED light and a couple of sensors — proximity and ambient light — are hidden under the jet black finish of the front panel. Besides, there is a Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection on top that protects from minor scratches and resists smudges.
Unlike the Zenfone 2 range, the Zenfone Max does not have a rear-facing volume rocker. But you can of course, reduce or increase volume levels by using a unified volume key from the right. A power/lock key is also available on the right.
On the bottom, there is a microUSB port and a pinhole microphone.
The top side of the Zenfone Max has a 3.5mm jack for audio output.
Asus hasn’t only changed the button placement on the new Zenfone model but has also provided an all-new back panel. This new panel has a faux-leather finish that we saw on many Samsung Galaxy devices in the past. There is an Asus logo at the centre and a Zenfone brand name on the bottom. A primary camera sensor as well as dual-LED flash, laser autofocus module and a secondary microphone are also available on the rear side.
The back panel is removable though you can’t bring out the giant battery pack. Once the panel is removed, you can find a microSD card slot and two SIM card slots. The smartphone accepts microSIM card slots.
The presence of a large, 5,000mAh Lithium-Polymer battery on the Zenfone Max increases its weight to little over 200 grams. But there isn’t any visible mark of the massive battery pack as the smartphone maintains a thickness of 10.55mm, along with a height of 156mm and a width of 77.5mm.
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