ASUS ZenFone 3 Max (ZC553KL) offers a well-rounded điện thoại thông minh experience coupled with premium design, while continuing the focus on battery life. Is asus third time lucky with the Max? Let’s find out!
Like the entire ZenFone lineup, the asus ZenFone 3 is a decent smartphone. However, even with the premium pitch, there’s no stand out factor running for it. It looks good on paper, but the real-world performance is limited – và would only meet the demands of less discerning users.
Like the entire ZenFone lineup, the hãng asus ZenFone 3 is a decent smartphone. However, even with the premium pitch, there’s no stand out factor running for it. It looks good on paper, but the real-world performance is limited – and would only meet the demands of less discerning users.

ASUS has a crowded ZenFone line-up, but the company buckets its offerings in well-rounded categories. Like the ZenFone Max, with a focus on marathon battery life.

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However, since last year with the launch of ZenFone 3 portfolio, the Taiwanese company has upped the ante in design & positioning & instead of focusing on hardware specifications, aims khổng lồ bring premium experience khổng lồ its users. That also means that most of their latest phones are not exactly run-of-the-mill value-for-money devices, but differentiate themselves in design, camera, battery life, etc.

ASUS launched the first ZenFone Max in 2015, & while it delivered on its USP of long battery life, it brought nothing else khổng lồ the table. The follow-up version had more memory and faster processor, but both devices were chunky plastic smartphones that didn’t impress many.

However, the ZenFone 3 Max (ZC553KL) aims to lớn change that with a well-rounded smartphone experience coupled with premium design, while continuing the focus on battery life. Is hãng asus third time lucky with the Max? Let’s find out.


ASUS has finally brought an all-metal design khổng lồ the ZenFone series, later than when most people would’ve liked. Even entry-level budget smartphones in năm 2016 boasted of an all-metal design. Better late than never, though. There’s nothing extraordinary about the design, but neither is it run-of-the-mill.

The homogenous design language of the ZenFone series is apparent, a premium one at that, bringing the flagship design khổng lồ the budget smartphone. It is well-built & the aluminum chassis gives it a solid feel. It’s not very slippery, yet, since it is an all-metal phone, you’d have lớn get used khổng lồ the smoothness và take care of the phone slipping out of the hand.


Unlike the original ZenFone Max, this one is not a brick và neither does it thể thao big bezels (it could’ve had even smaller bezels though, on top và bottom) & boasts of a pretty good 73 per cent screen-to-body ratio. It’s not very slim at 8.33mm, và at 175 grams, it’s not the lightest điện thoại cảm ứng thông minh out there. Yet it is one of the lighter phones to lớn pack a big battery and a large display, và you wouldn’t feel the heft lugging it around. Also, the gradual curves and rounded corners make it a very comfortable và ergonomic phone lớn hold, and it is easily pocketable unless you can’t stand larger smartphones.


The ZenFone 3 Max sports a 5.5-inch Full HD IPS display with a px density of 401 ppi. The display is sharp & the 400 nits brightness is very good, offering great sunlight visibility.

The contrast ratio is not exceptional though, & if you’re a fan hâm mộ of vibrant, và even over-saturated AMOLED displays, lượt thích I am, this one is just average. Viewing angles on the phone are, however, quite good. There is a little color shift when viewing it from extreme angles, but that’s the case with most smartphones.


Powered by a 1.4Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor paired with 3GB of RAM, the ZenFone 3 Max chugs along nicely while multitasking offering a smooth android experience.

However, if you ức chế the hardware, the phone tends to stutter a bit. You’d be unable lớn play graphic-intensive games at maxed-out settings and experience frequent frame-drops. Interestingly, it never gets too hot khổng lồ handle even when the performance is stretched lớn its modest limits. However, you’d experience some lag in navigation and switching between apps in that case.

Clearly, the device is geared towards casual smartphone users – và that is where it excels. However, I think the company could squeeze some extra juice from its internals with better software optimization. Some other phones in the market tend khổng lồ offer smoother experience with similar hardware specifications.

Of course, the pièce de résistance of the ZenFone 3 Max is its long battery life. There has been a drop in the battery capacity of the Max this time around (to go away from that chunky size), however, the 4100 mAh battery – with the hardware it packs & the software optimizations that hãng asus has done – still manages khổng lồ offer phenomenal battery life. With basic to lớn moderate usage, I was easily able to get two days battery life on the phone, which is quite good. You can stretch that, & coupled with power saving features, can even squeeze more than that!

The ZenFone 3 Max comes with 32GB of internal memory, further expandable by up khổng lồ 128GB via a microSD thẻ slot. The dual SIM smartphones features a hybrid slot, so you can either use the second SIM or the microSD card, but not both.

The phone supports reverse charging, & can be used to charge other devices via OTG. There’s a bundled OTG adapter in the box. For a điện thoại cảm ứng thông minh with a focus on battery life, it’s a shame that it doesn’t tư vấn fast charging. It ships with a regular charger, which takes painfully long to lớn charge the big battery completely.

The fingerprint scanner can be used to lớn answer incoming calls, launch the camera app, or take a picture, but is not quick enough. While the recognition is just fine, the authentication is a tad slow or requires slight pressure of the finger. Also, the capacitive keys on the front are not backlit. Of course, with impulse you get used khổng lồ tapping the finger or thumb at the right place but sometimes it gets a tad annoying, especially in the dark or when you’re not holding the phone as you vị usually.

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The ZenFone 3 Max sports a 16-megapixel rear camera with f/2.0 aperture, Phase Detection Autofocus và laser auto-focus, Electronic Image Stabilization for shooting videos, và dual-LED flash.

Outdoors in daylight, the camera performs very well and takes sharp pictures with good details. The màu sắc reproduction is mostly accurate. Although the pictures are generally noise-free, zooming them reveals pixilation which is more pronounced when I viewed them on a 40-inch display. For most people though, who just mô tả photos on social media, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Indoors or in low-light conditions, the night mode is a mixed bag. Some of the shots give great results, better than auto mode, however, several times, they’d over up very noisy with messed up metering.

The camera focusses nicely & quickly, although there is a definite shutter lag & often I’d over up with a blurry photo when I was attempting khổng lồ take a shot of a moving subject.

On the front, there is an 8-megapixel camera with f/2.2 aperture that manages lớn click detailed selfies even in tricky lighting.

The camera tiện ích on the Zenfone 3 Max is the same as on the company’s flagship ZenFone 3 smartphone. While the options are great khổng lồ tinker around, including a manual mode, the camera on the ZenFone 3 Max is just above average.

The hãng asus ZenFone 3 runs game android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out of the box with the new version of the company’s proprietary ZenUI 3.0 on đứng top of it. Virtually, every nook and corner of the game android experience gets a fresh coat of paint.

Right up, that’s a good thing. The older versions of ZenUI were plagued with bloatware và gimmicky UI elements that marred the overall user experience. The latest version is a complete makeover, và offers a clean UI with subtle animations. There are several nifty utilities, but there’s still a plethora of ASUS-branded apps that I’ve hardly seen anyone using really. Unfortunately, only a few of these can be uninstalled và while you can disable most others, they still occupy storage space on your phone.

ZenUI 3.0 features an ứng dụng drawer, và there’s a built-in tìm kiếm functionality. You can swipe down the screen and search the web or your apps and contacts, and view your frequently used apps. There’s an all-new Theme Store from which users can download không tính phí as well as paid themes, wallpapers, icons, and ringtones to lớn customize their smartphone.

One of the neat features of the ZenUI is ZenMotion which allows configuring a variety of touch and motion gestures lượt thích double tap to wake or flipping the phone when you get an incoming call to enable silent mode. It also allows you lớn enable the one-handed mode that shrinks the display lớn one corner of the screen for easy, one-handed usage when you’re on the move.

Of course, the most useful tiện ích from the entire ZenUI suite is the di động Manager. With slick animations and intuitive UI, the ứng dụng offers quick ways to không lấy phí RAM và storage space, và manage apps as well as phầm mềm permissions. It’s a sort of one-stop destination for managing your phone’s performance.

The latest version of ZenUI on the ZenFone 3 is fluid and aims to offer stock Android-like experience while adding additional functionalities. And, it succeeds in doing that. It’s one of the better UIs out there in terms of ease of use & feels polished. Better internals would’ve made it even smoother on the ZenFone 3 Max. But the excess of bloatware is disappointing, & shows that the company has learnt nothing from similar criticism in the past.

The ZenFone 3 Max aims lớn pimp up the Max range with a premium design. It succeeds there, but there’s little else.
Like the entire ZenFone lineup, the asus ZenFone 3 is a decent smartphone. However, even with the premium pitch, there’s no stand out factor running for it. It looks good on paper, but the real-world performance is limited – và would only meet the demands of less discerning users. Yes, there’s the fantastic battery life, & that’s the sole reason one should go for this device. Else, even looking within, there are better ZenFone siblings around.

ASUS isn’t officially selling the ZenFone 3 Max in the US, but in India, the device is priced at ₹17,999 ($265) – a tad higher than what everyone would’ve liked. At this price, it feels a little out of place. What do you think of the ZenFone 3 Max, and do you plan lớn buy one? Let us know your views in the comments below!