[Review] Asus ZenFone Max – Exceptional Endurance Exemplified

[Review] Asus ZenFone Max – Exceptional Endurance Exemplified

While a host of midrange phones exist in the market, hawking one feature or another be it a better front facing selfie camera, a fingerprint sensor or some other foible, few actually address the most important thing that a smartphone needs to have – endurance. Fortunately, Asus’ workhorse ZenFone Max addresses that particular need by cramming in one of the largest batteries possible into a casing while also offering a reasonable array of hardware at a price tag that won’t have you hocking house and home.

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The ZenFone Max has simple packaging with a slide-out tray containing the phone itself, a standard UK-style three pin charger plug, a USB cable and, of note, a micro USB to USB OTG dongle for reverse charging other devices. Essentially, the ZenFone Max allows you draw on its battery to recharge another phone. To put it in another way, the ZenFone Max is a power bank, albeit a rather powerful one that you can make calls, check e-mails with and the like.

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Externally, the ZenFone Max bears the aesthetic hallmarks that identify it as something from Asus’ foundries. The front of the phone sports a large 5.5-inch 720p 267ppi display sheathed in Corning Gorilla Glass 4. The base comes with physical back, home and menu shortcuts along with a base done up with Asus’ characteristic ‘concentric metal ring’ design. The top of the display comes with the Asus logo and the audio earpiece nestled next to a 5-MP front-facing camera with F/2.0 aperture.
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The sides of the phone are hewn from a faux metallic looking polycarbonate while the back comes with a faux leather backplate that is – you guessed it – also made of polycarbonate. Their production processes are of sufficiently high quality that you’d mistake it to be made of metal and leather at first glance until you lever the backplate off. Beneath it are dual standby SIM card slots, a dedicated microSD card slot and the proverbial centerpiece of the phone – a massive non-removable 5,000mAh battery that is rated for an impressive month’s worth of standby time and 38 hours of talk time.  A 13-MP camera with an F/2.0 aperture,  laser autofocus and a dual LED flash is also perched on the rear of the phone.20160629_170034


20160629_170142While the left side of the ZenFone Max is otherwise unremarkably blank, the right comes with the obligatory power button and a volume rocker, both of which come with knurling for easier tactility. The base comes with a microUSB port while the top side of the Max has a 3.5mm audio jack.

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The phone has a very noticeable heft to it and weighs quite a fair bit at 202g though it is relatively easy to grip on account of the gently rounded backplate and smooth edges. It’s a bit chunky at its 10.6mm thickness compared to other phones but it doesn’t feel cheap or plasticky in the slightest.

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Page 1 Design & Unboxing
Page 2 Performance & Camera
Page 3 Battery Life & Conclusion

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