Asus ZenFone 3 Max Review : Good Battery Life, Great Build Quality but Lacks in Performance


Asus has launched Zenfone 3 series back in August, and the lowest priced smartphone in that series is Asus Zenfone 3 Max (ZC520TL). The smartphone was launched officially in India back in November. The device has good looking specs in papers, but let’s see how it performs in real life to meet your daily demands. Before going to the review let’s check out the quick specs section.

Asus Zenfone Max Review

Asus Zenfone 3 Max (ZC520TL) Specifications

  • 5.2-inch 2.5D curved glass display
  • 1.3 GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6737 64-bit processor
  • Mali-T720 GPU
  • 32GB internal memory
  • External memory with microSD
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Zen UI 3.0
  • Hybrid Dual SIM
  • 13MP Rear Camera with LED flash
  • 5MP front Camera
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS
  • 4100mAh non-removable battery

Hardware & Build Quality

Asus Zenfone Max Review

Asus Zenfone 3 Max comes with a full metal body with 2.5D Curved Glass display on the top. Being 5.2-inch Display the phone comes pretty handy to use. At the back of the device, there’s a 13MP camera with LED Flash on the left side of that. Under the Camera panel, there’s a Fingerprint sensor placed. Coming down more, you can see the speakers panel. At the below of the device, there’s a micro-USB placed while on the top it has a 3.5m headphone port. In terms of build quality, the device looks very premium in hand, and Asus has done very good job keeping it simple yet perfect.


Asus Zenfone Max Review

Zenfone 3 Max features a 5.2-inch 2.5D curved glass display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. Like other Zenfones we have used the display is still reflective but can be used easily under the sunlight as the brightness works pretty fine. The viewing angles are average, and the color depth, saturation, and contrast are also average. So far nothing to say about the display as most the phones at the same price segment has the similar display.

Performance & Gaming

Zenfone 3 Max sports 1.3 GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6737 64-bit processor along with 3GB of RAM and Mali-T720 GPU. The performance was just average in this device. We were not much satisfied with the performance whether be it multitasking, heavy gaming and other tasks. It works fine for a normal user but sometimes we have noticed lags. It could be the issue with ZenUI too.

Gaming is another big aspect where the device reveals its real power. We have tested some graphics intense games like Modern Combat 5, Asphalt 8: Airborne, Virtua Tennis and so far the gaming experience was satisfactory, but with heavy graphics and best settings we have noticed frame drops several times.


Asus Zenfone Max Review

Asus Zenfone 3 Max comes with a 13MP Rear Camera with LED flash and a 5MP Camera on the front. The front-facing camera struggled a lot to capture good photos under the low light while in sunlight it works good enough. I have turned off the Camera sound, but I don’t know why I still get camera sound while taking pictures. I think Asus should work on this to make better software with better UI.

Coming to the rear camera, the pictures are very good under the lighting condition or sunlight. The color depth, saturation are well adjusted, but under the low light it struggled a lot and found a lot of grain in the images.

Rear Camera Samples

Front Camera Samples

OS and Software

Asus Zenfone Max Review

Asus can make a huge improvement in this field by making the software better looking and more stable. The device is powered by Android 6.0 Marshmallow with ZenUI 3.0 o the top which is pretty heavy. One thing I really don’t like the bloatwares in Zenfones. Anyway, you can delete the apps if you don’t like. The multitasking was just average. Sometimes it takes some time to load the previous game or app. So far we were not that impressed with Software and UI part, but I have seen some people really like the ZenUI.

Fingerprint Sensor

The fingerprint sensor is placed at the back under the Camera panel. The sensor works fine most of the times and also accurate and fast.

Battery and Sound

Zenfone 3 Max comes with a 4100mAh non-removable battery. The battery is the best thing about this device. With heavy usage, it can run up to 15-18 hours, with medium usage it can go up to a full day and with simple usage it might run up to 2 days.

Asus Zenfone Max Review

The Sound system in this device is just average. The speakers are placed at the back so when you place the smartphone somewhere to hear something the sound gets blocked. But while playing games and watching movies sound coming out from the speakers are fine. Call quality is very good, and there are no noises at all.

Final Verdict

Looking at the price point, the device is fine for daily usage, but at the same price segment, there are other smartphones too who are giving a lot more. Coolpad Cool 1, Redmi Note 3, LeEco Le 2 are the main rivals of this device. The device is priced at ₹12999 and available to buy from Flipkart.


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