Asus Zenfone Max review: A smartphone that’s also a power bank
Asus Zenfone Max (ZC550KL) is available in India for ₹9,999. What makes this handset unique is that it comes with a 5000 mAh Li-Po built in battery. It is powered by snapdragon 410 quad core chipset and supports 4G LTE. You can check full specification at the Asus website
Inside the box you will find the handset, user guide, warranty card, data cable, OTG cable and travel charger (5.2V ~ 1A). Earphone is not included. SAR: 0.266W/Kg.
The Asus Zenfone Max (ZC550KL) looks just like the other Zenfone model, however like the recently launched smartphones this one does not come with volume buttons placed on the rear and the power button on the top – instead the buttons are placed on the right side.
Handset body is made of plastic, sides are golden colour with matte finishing and rear side is black colour with leather like textures. These textures not only gives a unique royal look to the handset but also feels good to touch and helps get a good grip.
Weight with battery is 202 grams and dimensions are 77.40 (mm) x slightly over 154 (mm) x 10.19 (mm).This handset is slightly slimmer than the other Zenfone models.
Power button and volume rocker is on the right side, audio jack is on the top and micro USB port is at the bottom. There are dual mics for noise cancellation. Loudspeaker is on the rear side.
Asus Zenfone Max is a dual SIM handset – 2x micro SIM slot + a dedicated micro SD card slot. 4G works on both the SIM slots. There is LED notification and following sensors – accelerometer, light, proximity, magnetic and hall.
The Asus Zenfone Max sports a 5.5 inch IPS screen supporting 1280 x 720 pixels resolution. The handset does come with Corning gorilla glass 4 protection. Colour reproduction, viewing angles and touch response are very good.
Memory, Storage and OS
In Asus Zenfone Max there is 2GB RAM and 16GB storage. On the first boot you will get around 11GB free space and 0.8GB free RAM. OTG is supported. Apps are getting installed on the internal storage, there is an option to move them to external storage (some apps can be moved).
Asus Zenfone Max is running ZenUI 2.0 based on Android Lollipop 5.0.2.
Asus Zenfone Max is using the well known MSM8916 Snapdragon 410 quad core chipset (64 bit) clocked at 1.2GHz, coupled with Adreno 306 GPU. Overall performance is smooth, lag free and handset does not heat up. Max temperature I encountered was 36 degrees.
- Quadrant – 14486
- Antutu (64 bit) – 1st time 24953, 2nd time 25317
- Nenamark 2 – 53.7fps
- Internal storage Speed – Read (103 MB/s), Write (36 MB/s)
- Multi Touch – 10 Point.
I tried Asphalt 8, got installed on internal storage. I always download the latest version – the latest version seems to download a smaller file around 800MB. I played this game in high visual quality mode. Game was playable, not very smooth but good enough.
This one also comes with laser AF camera of 13MP packed on the rear with dual tone LED flash and front camera is a 5MP shooter. Laser AF is very fast but at times the focusing is not accurate, probably that will get fixed with software updates. Camera quality is above average. Rear camera can shoot FHD videos.
Sound is loud and clear. In-call sound is also pretty good. No issues with 4G, WiFi, GPS (instant lock) and Bluetooth. I did not face any network issues.
Asus Zenfone Max is loaded with 5000 mAh non-removable battery. Battery backup is very good, you can expect about 9 to 12 hours of continuous moderate to heavy usage on a single charge. For mixed heavy usage it will easily last for up to 2 days and with normal mixed usage you can expect up to 4 days of backup.
Ran Benchmark for 20 minutes battery % dropped by 3 and battery temp was 32 degrees.
Played Asphalt 8 for 22 minutes battery dropped by 4% and temp was 36 degrees.
Watched FHD video with full brightness (WiFi on) for 34 minutes battery dropped by 5% and temp was 31 degrees.
Handset charging (wall charge) 2 hours 50 minutes from 32% to 89%. Full charge estimated – under 3 hours 45 minutes.
I tried using a fast charger (9V ~ 2A) but it took a bit longer time around 5 hours to fully charge.