The product is not only stylish new design, good battery life, good hardware and other valuable features with a great ZenUI 3.0 user interface.
Asus ZenFone 3 Max comes in 2 models – ZenFone 3 Max ZC520KL and ZenFone 3 Max ZE552KL. The basic difference is model ZC stands for entry level, while ZE is a mid-level phone. 520 stands for a 5.2-inch screen, while 550 for a 5.5-inch screen. TL is for Mediatek chipset while KL is for Qualcomm processor.
Most of the phones from Asus ZenFone 3 series almost looks the same. The handset comes with a beautiful glass screen and well-crafted metal covering on the rear side. The metal may not be the best choice for sweaty and slippery hands.
The phone weighs 175 grams and comes with a 5.5 inch Full HD IPS 2.5D contoured beveled ultra-thin glass - just 2,25mm which provide a wide viewing angle, high color homogeneity and also quite sharp colors. The phone is 8.3 mm thick and comes with a pixel density of 401ppi.
The phone screen comes with 3 captive keys for home, menu and back button. The buttons are not backlit which is negative. The fingerprint sensor is ideally placed in the back, responsive and reliable.
The machine comes in 3 color - Sand Gold, Glacier Silver, and Titanium Grey.
The phone is equipped with a 13 MP camera with autofocus, f/2.2 and LED flash. The front-end camera is 5 MP with f/2.0. You can also Geo-tag your photos, take panorama images, touch focus and face detection. The camera is capable of capturing videos at 1080p.
Users can easily capture beauty face (Beautification) on both the front and rear camera, time-lapse photography (Time Lapse mode) or automatically detected face to take photos selfie with the main camera for quality image clearer. Stock photography attached application also supports optimal mode for shooting in low light does not flash and the ultra-wide capture mode Panorama. Unfortunately, the dynamic imaging features (GIF Animation mode) is no longer present on the Asus ZenFone 3 Max.
ZenFone 3 Max is powered by MediaTek MT6735 quad-core processor which is clocked at 1,25GHz. The powerful process is complemented by an equally powerful integrated Mali-T720 graphics core. But it seems Asus have not optimized the settings to get the maximum out of the configuration.
The KL model uses Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 Octa-core processor which is complemented by Adreno 505 GPU.
The ZenFone internal memory comes with 16 GB and 32 GB versions. The 16 GB comes with 2GB RAM and 32 GB with 3 GB RAM. If you are not satisfied with 32 GB storage space, you can add a microSD for space up to 256 GB.
Just as every Asus ZenFone, the UI is Zen UI version 3 installed on Android 6.0.1. The user interface is decent, stylish rustic design and motion effects which are not many frills. You can change themes that suits your taste. Sorting Apps and moving between them is easy. The phone came with nearly 25 pre-installed Apps. Some of them are related to device optimization, games, weather report, video editing, photo editing etc. In short, the software is well optimized and works well. The only problem was the pre-installed Apps that come with the phone.
Asus ZenFone also supports locking Apps with a password. The built-in fingerprint security on the back side which is high sensitivity and also multi-angled that can store up to 5 different fingerprints. Fingerprints can also be used to answer a call or to access the camera.
The ZenFone 3 Max support WiFi 802.11 b/g/n. There is also a micro USB and USB On-The-Go connector. The phone also has Bluetooth 4.0. On the top, there is a 3.5 mm audio jack.
There is also an external speaker which has improved a lot compared to previously released ZenFone models. The preloaded music Apps are quick to identify music resource. You can also adjust the bass, treble, and balance that suits your music preference. The external speaker is placed at the back of the phone, so the sound clarity depends on the absence of background noise and the surface where the phone is kept. The sound may not be the best, but good enough for a mid-level phone.
One of the positive features of this ZenFone is the improved battery life. The phone comes with 4100 mAh Li-Ion battery. The battery is bigger and so can last longer than an average smartphone. The manufacturer promises a full battery life in this model. For a moderate user, the battery may last 2-3 days while a heavy user may be able to use it for 1.5 days.
Asus ZenFone 3 Max is one of the best smartphones available from ZenFone series. The smartphone design is great to show off with a good quality screen and boron aluminum curved design casing with contoured edges. The superior battery performance is another positive.
The negatives are average camera and presence of too many pre-installed Apps which might be a turn off for experienced users. The phone may also be a little overpriced with the availability of a lot of competing smartphones in the market.