Buying a smartphone today can be challenging. Not because one doesn't have many options but because one is spoilt for choice. India is a key focus market not only for established but also for new players. Asus too joined the bandwagon with its wide range of offerings that fits everyone's needs. And the Zenfone 3 Max is designed for those who want lasting battery backup.
This is one good looking device. The ZenFone Max 3 has got curved edges with metallic unibody design, which makes it look and feel premium. This is a 5.5 inch device, with a 2.5D glass touchscreen. Navigation keys are placed below the display. There is a metallic strip running on the top as well as the bottom. The camera module along with the flash sits on the top and is followed by a fingerprint scanner and Asus branding at the bottom. The device is 8.3mm thick and weights 175 grams. Its curved edges makes it comfortable to grip in a single hand. The SIM card tray sits on the left edge, 3.5 mm jack on the top, power and volume keys on the right and the charging port along with speaker grill on the bottom panel.
The ZenFone 3 Max packs in a 1.4Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa-core 64 bit processor paired with 3GB of RAM. The phone comes loaded with Zen UI, which is nowhere close to stock Android UI but is still decent. Shortcuts and widgets are placed on the homescreen whereas the app tray icon at the bottom contains all the apps. Asus has loaded this device with a lot of Asus apps - MyAsus Service Center, ZenTalk, ZenFone Care, Amazon Kindle, Puffin, ZenCircle, etc.. One cannot uninstall most of these apps, only disable them. The Zenfone 3 Max is capable of performing daily tasks with ease. It can handle emails, web browsing, streaming videos, casual gaming without any lag. While the videos appeared bright and crisp on the display, audio output isn't extraordinary. The device doesn't have any heating issue, which is a plus point. The Zenfone 3 Max features a 16MP rear camera with f/2.0 aperture. The images captured looked good on the phone's display offering rich colours and details. But transferring them to a bigger screen revealed it lacked sharpness. The low light shots captured over the low light shooting mode captured some good images. The 8MP front facing camera is good at capturing selfies but only in well lit surroundings. The device can capture 1080p videos. It also has electronic image stabilization but works only while shooting videos at 720p resolution.
The biggest plus point of the Max is its 4100 mAh battery, which easily lasted a day and a half on a single charge. Where most of the smartphones struggle to last a day with a single charge, it still had 30 per cent battery left at the end of the day with heavy usage.
Bag it or Junk it: A good looking smartphone with great battery backup.
Price: Rs 17,999
Plus: Design, Battery