ASUS Zenfone Max(2016) Review: Unplugged Indeed!

lifestyle images

ASUS had released a new version of the Zenfone Max last week, the new iteration has been designed and crafted to improve the overall experience for the end user and also to optimize the long running 5000 mAH battery to ensure that the user can be well and truly unplugged. Let us take a look at this device today


The ASUS ZenFone Max (ZC550KL) features a new powerful Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor and a high-capacity 5000mAh battery that can also function as a built -in power bank to charge other electronic devices.
Additionally, has an increased internal memory of 32GB, RAM combinations of 2GB or 3GB, an IPS display and a 13MP camera with laser auto focus technology for a nearly-instant focusing time of just 0.03 seconds.

Let us first get the specifications listed out


specifications more

We can very clearly see that a lot of thought has gone into making the device better than it’s predecessor. The internal storage has been significantly expanded and the Pixel Master Camera UI has been worked upon to a large extent. The 5000 mAH juice in the battery is a very definite plus and does improve the experience when moving around with the phone.

Display Weight and Dimensions

buttons and connectors

internal slots

Even with an ultra-powerful internal battery, ZenFone Max still keeps a slim profile of just 5.2mm at its thinnest edge. The surrounding metal-like edge is stylish and smooth to the touch. ZenFone Max is available in three colors and textures – Black, Orange and Blue with the look and feel of embossed leather. Feels excellent to hold and is non-slippery. The aspect ratio is comfortable. Two handed and Single handed use is quite easy due to the dimensions. Overall, the design and build can be summarized as sturdy and practical. The fact that the micro SD slot is not at the cost of a SIM slot is also a good thing!

lifestyle images

ZenFone Max’s sleek frame packs a 5000mAh cell custom- crafted lithium-polymer battery. This large-sized battery provides enough power while on-the-go for long hours and heavy usage. We tested the battery very heavily and found that it performs extremely well. Above average use on a single charge ran up to two and a half days and this is very good. Video loops and long movie play did not bring the battery performance down! The USP of this device is the battery and it shows clearly! You can even charge other mobile devices with it. Pretty nifty and handy on a long work day!

reverse charging

As with all new ZenFone Series smartphones, ZenFone Max comes with Android M 6.0.1 and ASUS ZenUI. ASUS ZenUI includes advanced features to satisfy power users.There is an app for ZenFone Max users called Power Saver, which manages and extends the battery life even more. Please note that the Power Saver app currently is updated via ASUS system updates. It will be integrated into Google Play store updates in early 2016.

Zenfone Max Black

In the app, there are five battery modes and two smart switches that users can configure to make their own battery optimization settings. By default, ZenFone Max is set to “Normal” mode, where the system smartly adjusts the phone’s CPU performance and display brightness.

If users want even more battery efficiency, “Power saving” mode lets the phone make and receive calls as normal, but disables the data network when the device is asleep and re-enables it when awake. In this mode, users will still receive notifications — such as from apps like WhatsApp and Facebook — but only when the device is awake.

The “Extend standby” setting improves battery efficiency even further by letting users select apps that they want to deliver notifications less frequently, while others still deliver them in real time.

Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 Octa-Core processor, the new Zenfone Max is able to perform tasks with increased efficiency. Provided with two options for RAM – 2GB and 3GB, the new specifications have made multi-tasking easier. Installed with Android M 6.0.1, the Zenfone Max lets you enjoy the true Android experience and makes using the Zenfone Max an improved and smooth experience.

Slanted View

The new Zenfone Max comes with an internal memory of 32GB and an expandable memory slot that can accommodate Micro SD cards of up to 64GB. This coupled with 5GB free for life ASUS WebStorage and 100GB Google Drive space (for 2 years) means that people who carry around their music, movie and picture collections will never be left wanting for space! Good value add given the price of the phone.


ZenFone Max has a 13 Megapixel, f/2.0-aperture rear camera with dual- LED flash for natural-looking photography. It also features Laser Auto Focus technology that enables instant focus on an object in as fast as 0.03 seconds. With the help of the laser, the lens can rapidly detect close-range objects, especially in dim lighting conditions . Conventional cameras would take longer to focus in these conditions due to the longer route the lens would need to travel. The front camera is a 5MP, f/2.0-aperture camera with 85̊ wide-viewing angle for getting more information and details into the picture.


Given the Price of INR 9999/- for the entry model and the battery that this one packs, it’s a brilliant value for money budget device! The price also puts it in the league of LeEco Le 1s, Redmi Note 3 etc. The features, experience and the price combined make this a very good option for people who want to really be unplugged!


About Shakthi

I am a Tech Blogger, Disability Activist, Keynote Speaker, Startup Mentor and Digital Branding Consultant. Also a McKinsey Executive Panel Member. Also known as @v_shakthi on twitter. Been around Tech for two decades now.

View all posts by Shakthi →