Asus Zenfone Max Review - A smartphone that can end all your battery woes

Asus Zenfone Max Review - A smartphone that can end all your battery woes

Asus has surely made a name for itself by now with its Zenfone series of smartphones but its not a company that would sit back and relax on its laurels. They have very recently launched Zenfone Max, the 2nd version with a few upgrades from the first generation model. This is a budget offering from Asus and it is believed to erase all your battery woes with smartphone usage. Asus Zenfone Max is available for Rs. 9999 on Flipkart at the time of our writing this review. Lets see how this smartphone fares as we judge it on various aspects.

Here's a peek at the specifications of the smartphone.

Specifications of Asus Zenfone Max

Model: ZC550KL
SIM Card Support: Dual SIM (Micro-SIM, dual stand-by)
Display: 5.5 inches IPS capacitive touchscreen, 16 M colors, 720 x 1280 pixels, ~267 ppi pixel density, ~72% screen-to-body ratio, Asus TrueVivid Full Screen Lamination technology, 178˚ viewing angle
ROM: 32 GB
Expandable Memory: Upto 64 GB
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 MSM8939, 1.5 GHz
Front Camera: 5 MP
Rear Camera: 13 MP
Battery: 5000 mAh, Non-removable
OS: Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow layered with Asus ZenUI
Connectivity Options: 3G, LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, Bluetooth 4.0
USB: microUSB 2.0, OTG compatible
Sensors: Accelerator, E-Compass, Proximity, Ambient Light Sensor, Hall Sensor
Fingerprint sensor: No
Colors: Black, Sky Blue, Orange


Asus Zenfone Max gets delivered in a small rectangular, side sliding cardboard box reminiscent of previous Asus offerings. On sliding the lid of the box, you will find the smartphone covered in plastic cover. You will also find data cable, charger, an OTG cable, a user guide and a warranty card. There are no earphones bundled in this package.

Asus Zenfone Max Review - A smartphone that can end all your battery woes

Design and Build Quality

Asus Zenfone Max is an elegant looking phone with typical Asus grooved metallic chin at the front which has been a trademark design for the company. The design has premium and business-like aesthetics written all over it. The device feels solid in the hand too and is weighty enough not to be dropped easily.

The front of the device is very typical of Asus which in some ways is excellent since it helps maintain the brand identity. At the top and bottom of the screen is almost half an inch of bezel. The top bezel houses a small speaker grille, an LED light, the front camera lens and Asus logo. The bottom bezel sports three touch capacitive buttons for back, home and recents/menu which are very clearly marked in silver but are not backlit.

The edges of the phone have a chrome finish. Taking a look at the edges, the top edge has the 3.5 mm audio connector port, the left edge has nothing, the bottom has a microUSB connector port and a microphone hole and the right edge has the volume rocker and power button. The buttons are too recessed into the phone's chassis but do have good feedback and travel.

The back of the device is made of textured plastic which seems like faux leather. The device does not feel slippery and you can get a good grip due to the texture. The back is tapered towards the ends giving the device a sleeker appearance than the actual thickness. The back is in no way a fingerprint magnet and does not need any cleaning at all. At the back, there is an LED flash, camera lens and another sensor which seems like an ambient light sensor to us. The logos Asus and Zenfone are embedded in the back. There are speaker holes at the bottom on the back. We do miss a fingerprint sensor on this one as brands are increasingly providing these fingerprint sensors on smartphones of this price range and provision of one here would have made this phone look more complete as a package.

The back cover is removable through a small groove on the right edge. Removing the back cover does require some force. The dual SIM card slots and the microSD card slot are all well marked and give an indication how to insert them. The battery is non-removable.

The phone has great build quality and has been designed very well considering the low price. In essence, Asus Zenfone Max looks worthy of a higher price than what it actually costs.


The display on Asus Zenfone Zoom is beautiful. Its sharp and bright. The colors are natural and easy on the eyes. There is zero pixellation. The viewing angles are deep and the blacks are dark. Youtube videos are fun to watch. But we would have liked it better had the screen reflection been reduced further. However, a major plus point for this display is that its completely usable under direct sunlight which very few smartphones can boast of.

Operating System and Software

Asus Zenfone Max runs on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow wrapped under ZenUI. The user interface is intuitive and clean. The fonts, colors and icons impart a sense of oneness with the system due to their uniformity. However, as usual with Asus, the phone comes bundled with a lot of bloatware, namely apps like Asus Mobile Manager, Asus Support, Audio Wizard, Auto start Manager, Laser Ruler, Share Link and the list keeps going on and on. Adding so many apps just does not serve a smartphone good as most people use their preferential apps and not the ones that come pre-installed with the phone.

The home screens are infinitely scrollable which means you do not need to come back to the first screen to go in a backward position. Bluelight Filter setting, Power & Boost setting, One hand operation, Hotspot etc. are all very handy one click settings serving various needs. The OS also has some inbuilt smart gestures which take you to the particular app without pressing the Power key, like if you draw 'C' on the display while the phone is in sleep mode, it would automatically take you to the camera.

Other than the amount of bloatware on Asus phones as always, we do have a liking for ZenUI.


Zenfone Max camera has a variety of settings and options to configure for you to be able to get the perfect click. However, we clicked a few pictures at default settings. Lets take a look at these pictures and see how the camera performs. 

Asus Zenfone Max Review - A smartphone that can end all your battery woes

Asus Zenfone Max Review - A smartphone that can end all your battery woes

Asus Zenfone Max Review - A smartphone that can end all your battery woes

Asus Zenfone Max has a very fast shutter and as you can see in the images above, it captures and reproduces images with natural color quality. We are pleased to say that the color reproduction is absolutely same what we see with the naked eye. Moreover, the details have been captured well too. The third image above was captured in a low light condition and even so, there is no noise or grain to be seen and also, the colors have come out quite well. Due to its closeness to reality in portrait, landscape or low light shots, we can easily say that this is a great smartphone camera for casual uses generally and for semi-professional uses intermittently. Even the front camera images maintain color and detail without too much grain. We are clearly very pleased with the camera quality on this phone which is without any doubt on our part, a great camera for its price.


This is a fast smartphone and it does not stutter whatever you may throw at it. There is no evident lag in most of the talks we performed on it. Multitasking is easy and you can open and close multiple apps without any issues. For games, we tried our hands at Temple Run 2 and Asphalt 8: Airborne and both the games ran smoothly. The phone does not heat up either. The speaker is fairly loud and it makes playing games or watching videos a better experience.


Asus Zenfone Max has a monstrous 5000 mAh battery. To check if real life battery life supported the spec sheet value, we charged the battery to 100% and then started using the phone in basic use scenarios. We used it for browsing the web, downloading and installing a few apps and games, some calling, Whatsapp messaging, playing a few games, watching videos on Youtube and throwing in some amount of standby time too. The phone lasted us for a mammoth 17 hours. Most of the medium to heavy users would be able to run this smartphone for 2 days without the need for plugging in the charger and a few may even be able to carry it through to the third day. One of the aspects we don't like though is that it takes an awfully long time of more than 4.5 hours to fully recharge the battery with the stock charger and Asus can definitely look at providing a fast charger with this phone specially because it has huge battery capacity.


4 stars out of 5

Bottomline and Verdict

Well, we have done our review and very frankly, have not been able to find any deal breaking flaw on Asus Zenfone Max. The smartphone comes close to perfection in terms of what we judge it on. The only reason a few people might not prefer this smartphone is a lack of fingerprint sensor. Other than that with a premium design, a wonderful display, a great camera, decent performance and mouth watering battery life, this smartphone has a lot going for it. At a price of Rs. 9999, you really can't ask for anything more. If Asus Zenfone Max had a fingerprint sensor too, we might have given it 5 out of 5 stars.

That's it for our review of Asus ZenFone Max. Do hit the 'like' button if you liked the review and share the word across. You can also like our Facebook page at to keep yourself updated of latest technology news, reviews and tweaks. If you have any suggestions regarding the review or the device, feel free to leave us a comment below. Stay tuned since we have many more such reviews coming up in the near future.

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