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Asus Zenfone Max 2016 – Worth the price?

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Few weeks ago, Asus had sent a mystery box which said “To be opened on 23rd May 2016” and it had a lock mechanism which prevented us from opening it. This created the huge hype in the past week. No one knew it was the Asus Zenfone Max 2016.
On 23rd of May 2016, the Zenfone Max 2016 sharp at 10.30 AM it was launched and the specific model being Z010D. The only key difference is the upgradation of the internals. From outside, it is the exact same as the older Zenfone Max.

The Asus Zenfone Max 2016, the new variant of the series comes with an improved processor and available in two variants :

  • Asus Zenfone Max 2GB RAM variant
  • Asus Zenfone Max 3GB RAM variant

Design wise its all the same. The only changes are in the processors and price. The older version of the Zenfone Max rocked a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor whereas the Asus Zenfone 2016 (the new variant) has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor.

In-depth review of the Asus Zenfone Max 2016 :

ZenFone Max 2016

 Design and display:

Final 8

The AsusZenfone Max 2016 has the same design and looks as the older Zenfone Max.  It is a 5.5 inch full HD display with a resolution of 1280 x 720.The colors are vivid and sharp which gives a better experience and gives a better sunlight readability.  The display is equipped with an IPS panel with a pixel density of 267 ppi.

With those colors the games are very much fun and watching movies or videos is a fun thing to do. There is an option to turn on the Bluelight filter option which changes the color levels little bit and gives a better reading experience. This is highly recommended for those who look at the phone screen all day long, especially during dark areas you can look at the screen without giving much stress to your eyes.

For the safety part, the gorilla glass provides full safety with a full screen lamination. The back side of the phone looks like a leather texture but made of plastic. The back part is not slippery thereby gives a good grip unlike the metallic textured phones that is all around the market. The design is not much attractive, but its not a problem at all. It has 3 capacitive touch buttons in the front with that shiny look below the buttons.

final 6

The power and volume rockers are present on the right hand side of the phone and those buttons have the textured metal finish. The 3.5mm jack is present at the top of the phone and the USB port is present at the bottom of the device.

asus zenfone max

 

There are four color variants :

  • Orange
  • Blue
  • White
  • Black

Camera :

Asus Zenfone max 2016 rear camera

The AsusZenfone Max 2016 has a rear 13MP camera which is of okayish quality. Which means, in the same range there are many other devices that have better camera quality. Photos taken in indoors results in noisy and grainy pictures. But with proper lighting, they’re decent enough.

Here are some samples :

Asus zenfone max 2016

Picture captured on Auto mode using the Asus Zenfone Max 2016

Asus Zenfone Max 2016

Picture captured on Lowlight mode using the Asus Zenfone Max 2016

 

Asus Zenfone Max 2016 HDR

Picture captured on HDR mode using the Asus Zenfone Max 2016

 

There are various modes you can shoot with :

Asus Zenfone Max 2016 modes Asus Zenfone Max 2016 modes

The modes work properly as mentioned. But the camera quality is disappointing. The camera also detects its surroundings and suggests the best mode to shoot with. You can see it below :

Asus Zenfone max 2016 auto

The 13MP Pixelmaster autofocus F2.0 with an angle of 75 degree does it job. But not to the fullest.

Asus Zenfone Max 2016 front camera

Even though the rear 13MP camera might be disappointing, the front camera is good when compared to its rear camera. It has a wide angle front camera which can cover a good amount of area heres a small comparison :

Normal cameraAsus Zenfone Max

 

 

As you can see, i have taken screenshots instead of a picture to show how it is from the real perspective.
The left screenshot is from a normal device with no wide angle camera. The right screenshot is from the Asus Zenfone Max 2016 which has a 5MP Pixelmaster wide view F2.0 85 degree camera.

Battery :

Here comes the best part. When battery comes, there are no other device that can beat this device at this price range. The Asus Zenfone Max 2016 packs a 5000 mAh non removable battery. The best thing was that the device was turned on when it came to us just to show the standby ability of the device. The company claims that the device can provide around 914 hours of standby time or 37.5 hours of 3G talk time or 32.5 hours of Wi-Fi web browsing or 72.9 hours of music playback or 22.6 hours of video playback.

Here’s a snap of the standby time when it was out of the box :

Screenshot_20160521-193253

We got the battery for 2 and a half days with solid usage. We tested everything out with full battery which means we tested out gaming, battery drain test and many more with a singe charge of phone. It’s supposed to drain a lot of battery than usual because of heavy processes. But we got some amazing results, have a look :

Screenshot_20160522-222057Screenshot_20160524-102554Screenshot_20160524-102625

Another attractive feature of this phone is that it supports OTG charging or simply put, this phone acts as a power bank too. Which means the juice from this phone can be transferred to other devices using the OTG cable provided in the box. The minimum charge required to transfer the juice is 20% or above.

Processor & benchmarks :

The Asus Zenfone Max 2016 comes with the 1.5 Ghz octa core snapdragon processor which is an upgrade compared to the previous 1.2 Ghz quad core chipset.
The chipset does its best and provides a lag free experience. Multi tasking was like butter smooth and lag free.

With the latest 6.0.31 marshmallow and the heavily customized ZenUI you might miss some features. But that doesnt make a huge difference.

Here are some bench marks :

Screenshot_20160523-182804 Screenshot_20160523-182809 Screenshot_20160523-182813

Screenshot_20160523-203942 Screenshot_20160523-204011

Screenshot_20160525-095023 Screenshot_20160525-095035

Screenshot_20160523-183114

The heaving gaming experience is near to bad if you check the fps and drop, its worse. Small and lite games are easily playable. Other than gaming, there are no other issues related to frame drops and sort of.

Storage :

The Asus Zenfone Max 2016 is a 32GB variant device with no other storage options. But you can expand the memory upto 64GB with the slot.

Where to buy :

Asus Zenfone Max – Rs.8,999 (16 GB) (Quad-core) (2GB RAM) : Amazon.in Flipkart Snapdeal

Asus Zenfone Max  – Rs.9,999 (32 GB) (Octa-core) (2GB RAM) : Flipkart

Asus Zenfone Max – Rs.12,999 (32GB) (Octa-core) (3GB RAM) : Flipkart  Snapdeal

What’s in the box :

Final1

Asus Zenfone Max 2016 Specs:

 

Zenfone Max ZC550KL

Processor

Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 1.5 GHz, Octa-Core

Modem

GSM/GPRS/EDGE; WCDMA/HSPA+/DC-HSPA+; FDD-LTE, DSDS

Peak Data Rate

DC-HSPA+ (DL/UL): 42/5.76 Mbps; LTE CAT4 (DL/UL): 150/50 Mbps

RF Band Support

IN
GSM: 850/900/1800/1900
WCDMA: 1/2/5/8 ; TDD-SCDMA: 34/39
FDD-LTE Band: B1, B3, B5
TD-LTE:  38/39/40/41(2555-2655MHz only)

OS

Android M 6.0.1

Display

5.5″ TFT LED Backlight (Typ 450 nits ) ; 1280 x 720 HD IPS

16:9 , Wide active matrix; Glare type

GFF Touch panel (Directly Bonding): Capacitive touch panel with 10 points multi-touch with 60ms response time

Dimensions

156*77.5*10.55

Weight

202g

Battery Pack & Life

Typ:5000mAh, non-removable polymer battery

Memory

LPDDR3 2GB/3GB

Storage

eMMC 32GB

Micro SD Card Support (Up to 64GB)

Sensor

1. Accelerator
2. E-Compass
3. Proximity
4. Hall sensor
5. Ambient light sensor

WLAN

Integrated 802.11b/g/n; WiFi-Direct

Bluetooth

Bluetooth V 4.0 (EDR + A2DP)

Bluetooth Profile: A2DP + AVRCP + HID + PAN + OPP

FM Radio

Support

GPS

Support GPS, aGPS, Gloness

Interface

Micro USB

Front Camera

5M wide view F2.0 / 85 degree

Main Camera

13M auto focus F2.0/ 75 degree,

Flash LED

Dual Flash Real Tone LED & laser focus(40cm)

Vibrator

Yes

Audio

Codec integrated into PMIC

Microphone

Microphone*2 (one for de-noise)

SIM

Micro SIM*2

Button

Power and Volume Up/Down

Accessories

Standard USB Cable , Adaptor, User Manual, Warranty Card, OTG cable

Color

Black/ Orange/Blue

Adaptor

5W

Features 

Support ─ Power Bank,  ASUS Zenflash, USB flash disk, USB Keyboard, USB mouse.

OTG

 

Conclusion :

With the octa core processor and the battery, this is one of the best device that you can get in this range. The Asus Zenfone Max 2016 concentrates on the important elements like the processor and the battery. There are many devices that cares or concentrates more on the battery but the OS and the processor will be old. Or vice versa. But the Zenfone Max 2016 is one of a kind.  But it weighs 205 grams. Considering the huge size of the battery, that’s not much of a weight at all.

About author

Crazy tech guy. Love tech and love to write articles. Blogging ♥
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