The smaller hãng asus ZenFone 3 Max is a good looking and decent handset for its price, but left us craving for more. Fortunately, asus came up with an upgraded variant with bigger screen and meatier specs without the need of hiking the price that much.

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Asus ZenFone 3 Max ZC553KL Review

As a matter of fact, we were very impressed with what this phone offered even just on first look và try. Now after a month, we were able lớn gather the data we needed to check if our praise & claims about this handset is accurate. Let"s start!For the reviews part 1:Asus ZenFone 3 Max ZC553KL Unboxing and First Impressions - The Midrange All Rounder You Need?
Checking the screen of this Zen 3 Max variant, we enjoyed that it now has a bigger và sharper 5.5 inch FHD screen w/ 401 pixels per inch.
Multitouch test, 10 points!

Colors are also fine & pleasing to lớn the eyes even if it doesn"t have the same amount of color pop or saturation found with other Zen handsets we tested in the past. Deepness of blacks are also decent. It even have a Bluelight filter toggle to lớn protect our eyes from that harmful element especially in the dark. It doesn"t màu sắc tone adjustments.
We also enjoyed that it can go really bright even for outdoor use, has an accurate adaptive display sensor, và comes with 10 points of multitouch for better cảm biến experience.
The single speaker found with this handset is fairly nice overall. It can provide decent amount of details with bright & energetic sound signature with acceptable màn chơi of bass response for a small phone speaker. It is also quite loud on max cấp độ with minimal grains or distortion.
For the headphone out, we liked its more balanced output unlike their ZenFone"s with bassy and darker sound signature in the past. To excite you guys further, it is analytical enough for average listeners with clear vocals, decent instrumental separation, and not that sibilant highs. The audio output và soundstage of this device is very acceptable for a smartphone.
Checking its audio recording capabilities, this edition of the Zen 3 Max has good microphone chất lượng for calls due khổng lồ its noise-cancelling ability. For clip recordings, its acceptable, but it isn"t as detailed as we wanted & noise are very audible.

Battery Life

14 hours và 31 mins at PC Mark"s battery test

Going lớn the highlight of this device, it still has the same large amount of 4,100 mAh of battery capacity found with the 5.2 inch variant. Logically, due to its bigger screen và resolution, this handset should have lesser battery life compared with its smaller sibling.
Fortunately, it is the other way around. We were surprised that this handset was able khổng lồ best the smaller Zen 3 Max (13 hours đôi mươi mins) by more than an hour in our PC Mark battery demo result at 14 hours and 31 mins. What"s even more remarkable is it was able khổng lồ last for 2 days on a single charge with our average daily use. As a matter of fact, the battery life of this handset is good enough as our all day WiFi hotspot on the go.
On top of that, asus included their usual good battery saving phầm mềm with super saving mode. You can also use the handset as a powerbank with its reverse charging mode via USB OTG.Charging time is still at around 2 hours và 45 mins using its 2A wall charger. However, this handset wasn"t able to lớn take advantage of the Quick Charge 3.0 support of its Snapdragon 430 chip.

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Main camera w/ Tri-tech AF behind!

At the back, this phone is loaded with an even bigger và better main camera, a16 MP f/2.0 sensor w/ Tri-tech AF, 720p video stabilization, và dual tone LED flash. It has a good type of auto, panorama, HDR, HDR pro, super resolution, night, low light, and filter modes. Then it has a QR code reader, selfie detection, và time lapse. However, the depth of field mode of the regular Zen 3 mã sản phẩm is still nowhere to be found.
Manual camera mode

The manual mode was missing with the smaller 5.2 inch model, but fortunately, this 5.5 inch variant has that option. It"s even complete with manual focus, up lớn 32 seconds shutter speed, ISO 1600, exposure value adjustment, & white balance up to lớn 6500K. It also has levels and grids for guides.It just lags when saving photos, so patience is a must.
Moving khổng lồ its shooting capabilities, this handset has very fast focus speed thanks to lớn its tia laze autofocus. It"s shutter tốc độ is also speedy, but you have to have steady hands or some of your images will be blurred. For close-up shots, we liked that it can focus closely at around 2 inches near. However, producing background blurs is inconsistent.
Checking its overall quality, images come out vibrant and sharp enough as long as you are in a well lit environment. It has good dynamic range and its HDR mode isn"t grainy in daylight. Most of the shots we took are acceptable lớn great in quality. It"s definitely an nâng cấp over the smaller Zen 3 Max.
In lowlight, expect grains on your stills. We recommend the use of its night mode, manual mode, or good type of flash on those occasions.

Rear Camera Samples

HDR Pro captured the right colors in this scene
Another HDR Pro mode shot that corrected blow-out details on auto mode
Natural light on auto mode
Grains in lowlight condition
Manual mode at night is very useful!
Flash test

Selfie chất lượng is also now better và sharper. It now comes with an 8 MP module w/ f/2.2 aperture and wide angle lens. It has a nice type of beautify mode, filters, HDR pro, lowlight, night, & can even do time lapse in front. However, there"s still no screen flash mode for selfies in super lowlight conditions.

Selfie Camera Samples

Beautify selfie w/ natural light
Grainy selfie at night on HDR mode
The night mode captured the sharper selfie in this scene
For videos, the main camera shooter is capable of shooting up to 1080p with decent amount of detail. At 720p mode, it even has stabilization to lớn lessen shake. Without its use, steady hands or use of tripod is a must. In front, it has a decent 1080p shooter. Obviously, it won"t just be as decent compared with its main camera.


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The other notable upgrade of the ZenFone 3 Max ZC553KL is found inside. Coming from the MediaTek"s 64 Bit MT6737T quad vi xử lý core chip, asus embedded this device with a much better & more efficient1.4 GHz 64 Bit Snapdragon 430 octa bộ vi xử lý core processor. It"s also the same cpu found with Vivo"s Y55, and CloudFone Next who performed very well in our previous reviews.Checking what it can do, performanceis both responsive và smooth. Then thanks to its 3 GB of RAM, we rarely had problems in switching from an tiện ích to another, & opening multiple apps at the same time. The device also barely heats up even when charging or use of data connection. It also has 32 GB of expandable storage for your apps, images, và other files.
NBA 2K17 is playable in mostly high-settings!
In gaming, budget gamers will like this as it is a capable one. Running Asphalt 8 on all high settings is breeze, NBA 2K17 is playable in all high-settings, and super smooth in mostly medium settings. It proved that Adreno 505 GPU is a great budget gaming chip.This handset is a dream come true for budget gamers due lớn its capable GPU và long battery life.Moving to its app android 6.0 Marshmallow OS w/ ZenUI on top, it still has most of the usual features and customizations found on the newer Zen handsets. The the usual asus bloats are still there. Fortunately, most of them can be uninstalled.Its fingerprint scanner is now more accurate as well. It can also be used to lớn answer calls, shutter button, or camera phầm mềm shortcut.There are several reports that some units have weak signals, fortunately, our recently updated unit has decent signals for SMS, LTE, and calls. OTG also works and there"s gyroscope for VR / Pokemon GO"s AR mode.
- Near top notch aesthetics và build quality, sharp full hd screen, great specs for the price, good cameras, longer battery life
Cons - No quick charge, manual camera mode lags when saving photos, no depth of field mode, usual asus bloatwares


For its suggested retail price of just PHP 10,995, the asus ZenFone 3 Max ZC553KL is a steal. In particular, we definitely enjoyed its long lasting battery capacity on đứng đầu of its good overall performance.As of this writing, we are so sure that there are few phones that"s officially available in the country that can match its level of bang per buckness.