Asus Zenfone 3 Max (ZC553KL) review

Like Gionee’s Marathon series of smartphones, Asus introduced a new Zenfone Max variant earlier this year. This phone was designed with the intention of providing maximum battery life without any compromise. this one proved to be a great package Whose performance and price were also good. However, purchasing the phone has been a problem.

After a few months the company launched a new variant ZenFone Max (2016) ,review) launched. This phone has a better processor and longer battery life. After introducing both the entry-level smartphones, the company is now trying to bring the Max series to the mid-range segment and its two new variants have been introduced with almost the same name. ZenFone 3 Max (ZC520TL) While less than Rs 15,000 category Zenfone 3 Max (ZC553KL) Comes in less than Rs 20,000 category. ZC520TL variant has 5.2 inch, MediaTek processor, 13 megapixel rear camera and 5 megapixel front camera. Whereas the higher priced variants have a larger display, Qualcomm processor, 16 megapixel and 8 megapixel front camera. Today we will be reviewing Zenfone 3 Max (ZC553KL).

Talking about the price, it is less than Rs 20,000. samsung galaxy j7 prime ,review) And lenovo z2 plus ,review)’s performance has been excellent. asus zenfone 3 laser ,review) is also available at a price of Rs 17,999. How is this Asus phone? know

Design and build of Asus Zenfone 3 Max
The first thing that will catch your attention when you hold this phone is its design. This phone is not like other high-end smartphones of Zenfone 3 series but still looks very good. Due to the aluminum unibody case, it fits well in the hand. The buttons in the phone are given at the right place and can be used easily.

Asus has given a 5.5 inch full HD display in this phone, due to which this phone gives better grip than the previous variant. Images look sharp in the display and the brightness is excellent even in sunlight. Due to thin bezel, the width of the phone is reduced due to which the phone can be easily used with one hand. If you want to type something with one hand while walking, you can activate the one-handed mode. The phone has oleophobic coating on the glass and due to this, there are not many fingerprints. What disappointed us was the absence of any scratch protection for the display. Which is definitely available in smartphones of this price.

The ZC553KL is a hybrid dual-SIM phone whereas the previous variants had dual SIM slots. Thanks to the hybrid SIM slot, you can use a microSD card (up to 128 GB) or another SIM card. The phone has a mono speaker at the bottom, near it is a micro-USB charging port. While the headphone jack is given at the top. There is a notification LED on the front while there are capacitive navigation buttons below the screen which are not backlit.

Below the camera module on the rear, there is a fingerprint sensor that can be used to answer calls, launch the camera app or take pictures. But it cannot be used to lock apps or hide files. The biggest problem of the fingerprint sensor is that sometimes it does not recognize the fingerprint even in two or three times.

Asus has maintained the budget image of this series with the new Max handset. This phone comes with premium look and feel. And with the better display it’s really nice. At 8.3 mm it is not the thinnest but it is a bit heavy at 175 grams. However, it will not feel too heavy when you use it. A headset, a 10 watt charger, data cable and an OTG cable will be available with this phone. Apart from this, as a promotion, the user will also get 100 GB space on Google Drive for two years.

Specifications and features of Asus Zenfone 3 Max
The previous ZenFone Max had a Snapdragon 615 processor, so we expected at least a Snapdragon 652 or 625 processor in the new smartphone. But the disappointing thing is that Asus has given octa-core Snapdragon 430 processor in this phone like Zenfone 3 Laser. Due to this processor, daily tasks can be done easily on the phone, but it is difficult not to play heavy apps and games. Asus’s ZenUI keyboard also gives problems.

In benchmark testing, Zenfone 3 Max performs just like its processor. Only decent data was received from the phone. The graphics performance in the phone is the lowest which means you cannot play games like Dead Effect 2 well. The phone also has 3 GB RAM, 32 GB storage, single band Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, FM radio and GPS. Apart from this, this 4G smartphone supports 1, 3, 5, 8 and 40 bands in India along with VoLTE.

The phone runs on Android Marshmallow but Asus’s ZenUI 3.0 skin has been given on it. The skin was completely different to our usage and people who have never used an Asus phone will have a lot of trouble. There are many options to customize the smartphone as per your choice. The ‘Themes’ app has some great themes to choose from and the phone also comes pre-loaded with a ton of apps, much like we saw during our review of the ZenFone 3 (ZE552KL). Mobile Manager app is one of the most used apps. With this app, tasks like managing notification apps, deleting unused files and managing permissions for apps can be done at one place.

Apart from this, the phone also has apps like Instagram and Puffin. Games like Need for Speed: No Limits and SimCity come pre-installed.

Performance of Asus Zenfone 3 Max
We used the Zenfone 3 Max for about a week to get to know all the good things about it and we never faced any major issues. The phone works very smoothly during normal work and multitasking. The phone does not get too hot while playing games or using the camera. The sound coming from the earpiece is good and 4G works well.

Due to the vibrant display, it is pleasant to watch videos and the phone also plays high-bitrate videos up to 1080 pixels very well. Audio performance is better with both wired and wireless headphones. The volume can be turned quite loud and the audio also sounds good. The headset that comes with the phone also provides good sound despite external noise.

Asus’ Zenfone Max variants have done well in the camera department and it is the same this time too. With a 16-megapixel sensor and aperture F/2.2 lens, landscape and macro photos are good in daylight. Color reproduction is also accurate. However, the images captured could have used more sharpness, especially around the edges of the object. In the macro shot below, the edges around the flower look a bit ugly when zoomed to full size. Photos taken in low light look good although there is a little noise. The low-light shooting mode given in the phone is very useful here.

Videos recorded at 1080 pixels also look great. There is electronic stabilization for video but only works up to 720 pixels. In good lighting, selfies from the 8-megapixel front camera come with detailing. Apart from this, there are many other effects including HDR. Thanks to laser autofocus and PDAF, focus speed is quite fast and pictures are taken in a snap unless you’re in special mode.

Battery life has always been the hallmark of Asus’ Max series. And this time the situation is the same in Zenfone 3 Max also. But not as much as we expected. In our HD video loop test, the phone’s battery lasted for 14 hours and 7 minutes which is quite good. But we have seen better results in phones with more powerful processors and smaller batteries than this phone. During normal heavy usage, we could easily use the phone for one and a half day. The phone has a customizable power mode for different times of the day. The battery does not come with fast charging support but the phone gets fully charged in about two hours with a 10 watt charger. It supports reverse charging, which means that the Zenfone 3 Power Max can act as a power bank using the included OTG adapter.

our decision
The Zenfone Max doesn’t mean you only get one thing. Rather, this new variant aims to woo smartphone customers as an all-rounder. This phone has a new design, better display and camera and strong battery life. This phone will give a tough competition to Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 but Asus has kept the price of Zenfone 3 Max higher. Keeping in mind that the ZC520TL variant is priced similar to the Redmi Note 3 but there is a lot of difference in its specifications. Also, it is important that you check the model number written on the back of the box as both the versions create a lot of confusion.

Priced at Rs 17,999, the ZC553KL seems a bit expensive. zenfone3 laser Like the price of the phone has been kept high. Asus has recently launched laser in the market and the new Max seems to be the same with longer battery life and better looks. Unlike Zenfone 3 Laser, this phone will also be available at offline retail stores, which makes the high price a bit understandable.

However, it is unclear why Asus has used an entry-level processor for a phone of this caliber. If you don’t play games and don’t mind the lack of Wi-Fi 802.11ac, the Zenfone 3 Max is a good package. But with its price at the time of launch it is difficult to recommend buying it.

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