Asus had recently surprised us with a mystery box which we finally got to open last week. It had the Asus Zenfone Max inside. Now we were first puzzled as we had already reviewed the Zenfone Max a couple of months ago, but a letter inside the box then explained to us that this is the “UPDATED AND NEW” Zenfone Max. The device has been priced at Rs 9,999 for 2GB RAM- 32GB ROM version. Asus’s Zenfone Max has gained massive popularity thanks to its mammoth 5,000 mAh battery which can easily last a couple of days. But thanks to the new upgrades, this device seems even better than before.
The box comes with the phone itself, micoUSB charging cord, Standard charger (No fast charging here!), OTG cable and information leaflet.
The new Asus Zenfone Max has changed nothing as far as design is concerned and it is virtually impossible to differentiate between the older and newer models just by looking at them. Just like the older version, it features faux leather texture back cover which can be snapped open to show the SIM card slots and the MicroSD slot. Also one can see the massive non removable 5,000mAh battery here. The new Asus Zenfone Max seems a bit heavy at 202 gms but I guess that is okay considering its massive battery. The dimensions of the phone stand at 77.5 x 156 x 10.55 mm.
Zenfone Max has been entirely made of plastic yet the faux leather back and the metallic-feel (Yeah, it is plastic too) bezels give it a premium feel when you hold it in your hand. The feel and texture of the volume rocker and seems pleasant and sturdy.
The standard 3.5mm jack is located at the top side whereas the micro USB port is situated at the bottom end. Just like most of the Zenfone phones, the Zenfone Max too has a laser AF module at the back along with the camera and dualtone LED lights.
This is something we had expected from Asus to upgrade in the new Zenfone Max but they seem to have had other ideas. The massive 5.5 inch display has a moderate resolution of 1280x720p which is the quite noticible while seeing hi-res content on the Zenfone Max. Though we must admit that the Zenfone Max has a bright enough screen and there were no issues carrying out day to day functions. We believe Asus kept the phone at 720p so as to conserve battery even more. Wait for our full review before we form a solid opinion on the display.
Chipset, RAM, Connectivity
This is where maximum number of changes have been made in the new Asus Zenfone Max, and frankly, they are quite welcome! The popular chipset from Qualcomm, Snapdragon 615 is what powers this device coupled with 2GB/3GB of RAM. Internal storage stands at 32GB which can be increased by a further 64GB using the microSD slot. We expect to see some bumps while benchmarking the new Zenfone Max compared to the older version with these upgrades.
Coming to connectivity options, Zenfone Max features 3G and 4G LTE bands, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth v4.0 and GPS GLONASS.
The all new Zenfone Max runs on the standard ZenUI on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. Now this is a breather! Our Zenfone Zoom is yet to get an upgrade to Marshmallow and this sub-10,000 device from Asus already comes with it. Definite brownie points scored here. ZenUI is one of the most flexible and fun UI we have seen though it comes with the standard bloatware apps all Asus phones come with. The phone seems to be handling multitasking well and it did not lag in our daily activities.
This is the USP of the new Zenfone Max as it was of the older version. The battery is a mammoth 5000mAh non-removable one. Asus has so much confidence in their device that not only did they just claim the battery to last a couple of days, they also let you use the Zenfone Max as a power bank, almost mocking other phones which you would be charging. When the phone came to us it had 20 percent battery left and that is when it had been switched on and sealed 15 days ago. The left over 20 percent battery indicated that the phone had 10 days of battery left! We shall be testing these claims in our tests.
With the USP being battery and a low price point we were not expecting too much from the camera front in the Zenfone Max. But Asus has pitched in a 13MP rear shooter with dual tone LED and LASER AF (as compared to PDAF in most others). Also the front selfie shooter is a regular 5MP clicker. Our full review will have a thorough look into the camera.
The Zenfone Max comes with a price tag of just Rs 9999 with now upgraded specs make us believe that it is a great value for money device. But this is only our first impression, only after our full review will we be able to make sure where it stands.
You can watch our Unboxing video of the Zenfone Max here :