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Asus Zenfone Max review: Tanking up

Introduction

It may not be the fastest ride – and it sure ain’t the hottest – but it comes with a full tank and mileage to spare. 5,000 milliamp-hours… That’s more juice than many tablets get and enough to charge 3 iPhone 6’s. The Asus Zenfone Max is no joke when it gets to battery backup. But it’s a smartphone in its own right – an affordable midranger at that.

Asus Zenfone Max ZC550KL review

It has a 5.5-inch display with Gorilla Glass 4, and although the resolution is rather low at 720p, we can see how 1080p would have cost more and required more processing power – neither of which fits with the Max’s main purpose: endurance.

The Snapdragon 410 doing the math is by no means a record breaker, but a decent chipset that carries dual-SIM support, LTE and 1080p video recording. With 2GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable inbuilt storage, the Max has the basics covered.

On the other hand, the 13MP laser autofocus camera from the Zenfone Laser and Zenfone Selfie didn’t fall victim to budget and longevity constraints. On the front there’s a 5MP wide-angle shooter, bright aperture too.

Asus Zenfone Max key features
Dual-SIM, Dual Standby capability
5.5-inch IPS capacitive touchscreen of 720p resolution and 267ppi, Gorilla Glass 4
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 chipset; quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A53; Adreno 306 GPU
2GB of RAM, 8/16GB of storage and a microSD slot for further expansion, 5GB free lifetime ASUS WebStorage
13MP main camera with f/2.0 lens, laser autofocus, dual-LED dual-tone flash, 1080p@30fps video recording
5MP front camera with 85-degree wide-angle f/2.0 lens, 1080p@30fps video recording
Android 5.0 Lollipop with Asus ZenUI overlay
LTE Cat.4, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n; Bluetooth v4.0; GPS, GLONASS, and Beidou; microUSB 2.0 port, USB host
5,000mAh non-removable battery
Plastic build, faux leather back covers

Main disadvantages
Weak 1A charger in the box
Launches on Lollipop
Rather low resolution for the screen size
Battery is non-removable

Perhaps the non-removable battery complaint is shaky when you simply have so much of it. Well, the plain 1A charger does become an issue then, even more so considering the chipset does support Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 but hey, the phone comes quite reasonably priced and an extra quick charger won’t break the bank.

Asus Zenfone Max press images - Asus Zenfone Max ZC550KL review
Asus Zenfone Max press images - Asus Zenfone Max ZC550KL review
Asus Zenfone Max press images - Asus Zenfone Max ZC550KL review
Asus Zenfone Max press images - Asus Zenfone Max ZC550KL review
Asus Zenfone Max press images - Asus Zenfone Max ZC550KL review
Asus Zenfone Max press images - Asus Zenfone Max ZC550KL review

Asus Zenfone Max press images

We know you want the battery numbers, but there’s an established order here, and no Max is going to break it. Unboxing and the hardware overview follow on the next page, but our battery test is right around the cornder.