Asus Zenfone Max ZC550KL Indepth Review


Asus launched so many smartphones last year and so many of them were specialised for some task. Like Zenfone Zoom was for Professional Photographers, Zenfone Max is for those who want never ending battery life. Yes true! Zenfone Max comes with a 5000mAh battery which is quite amazing for a smartphone. But what about the other specs! Will you really buy a smartphone based on battery life! Lets find out how it works in real life.

Asus Zenfone Max

Specifications of Zenfone Max ZC550KL

  • 5.5-inch display (1280 x 720 pixels)
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection
  • 1.5 GHz Octa-Core Snapdragon 615 processor
  • 2GB/3GB RAM
  • Adreno 405 GPU
  • 32GB internal storage
  • External memory up to 64GB with microSD
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Zen UI 2.0
  • 13-megapixel rear camera with f/2.0 aperture, Laser Auto Focus, Real Tone flash
  • 5-megapixel front camera, 85-degree wide-angle lens
  • Dual SIM
  • 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS
  • 5000mAh battery (non-removable)

Hardware & Build Quality

Asus Zenfone Max

Starting from the front Zenfone Max comes with a 5.5-inch HD Display, which is quite similar to other Zenfone devices, big and large bezels all around. On the back, it has rubberized finish which feels very comfortable in the hand. Comparing to the other smartphones these days it feels little heavy. On the top of the back, there’s a Round Shaped camera with Dual LED flash and Laser Autofocus. At the middle Asus branding is there and at the bottom the speakers can be found. Asus has skipped the volume rocker buttons at the back for this device, rather they have gone for the normal placing, on the right side. The power button is also there. So far Zenfone Max is solidly built. But the device lacks a Fingerprint sensor which is an expected feature in a smartphone these days.


Asus Zenfone Max

The Asus Zenfone Max has a 5.5-inch HD display which is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 4. The Display has 69.0% screen-to-body ratio and 267 ppi pixel density. The IPS Display works pretty well in moderate lighting, but in Sunlight, it becomes little hard to use as the Display is too reflective. Other aspects like contrast, saturation, brightness levels are good enough. Previous Max variant has a little glitch in auto brightness bar. Seems Asus has fixed that issue in this version. Overall all I can say the Display is just average.

Performance & Gaming

Zenfone Max Review gaming

Previous Zenfone Max which was powered by 1 GHz Quad-Core Snapdragon 410 processor with 2GB RAM and the performance was very bad. But in this new version Asus has upgraded processor to 1.5 GHz Octa-Core Snapdragon 615 processor and RAM to 2GB/3GB and that’s the actual difference between these two devices. In multitasking and casual usage Max runs pretty well, so far no lag.

We have tested some casual games like Subway Surfers, Clash Royale, Clash of Clans and also some heavy games like Asphalt 8 : Airborne, Modern Combat 5. The device handles all games pretty well. In heavy games sometimes we found some frame drops as the version we have is 2GB. The 3GB version will be better in gaming.


Zenfone Max Review camera

Coming to the Camera Zenfone Max has a 13MP rear shooter with f/2.0 aperture, Laser Auto Focus, Real Tone flash. The rear camera takes good pictures in good lighting condition. The colour depth is also good. We have tried HDR mode and the shots were very good especially for an under Rs 10000 smartphone. Though it comes with Laser AutoFocus but sometimes we find difficulty to focus very fast. In low light, the camera performance is poor and full of grain.

On the front, there’s a 5MP camera which takes good pictures in good light but again the AutoFocus was the problem. It was very hard to take a perfect pic, most of the pictures we have taken are blurry. AutoFocus doesn’t work out well. The selfies in low light are just average.

OS and Software

Asus Zenfone Max

The Asus Zenfone Max is powered by Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with Zen UI 2.0 on the top of it. Zen UI is one of the heaviest UI with a lot of customization. Unlike previous variants, Zenfone Max is not loaded with a lot of bloatwares. So the smartphone looks pretty clean and runs smooth. Overall the Android Marshmallow was a very good experience with Zenfone Max.

Battery and Sound

Asus Zenfone Max

Well if you are looking to buy Zenfone Max then you must have waited for this feature only. Zenfone Max comes with a 5000mAh battery which you can say a powerbank smartphone. Asus is also branding this smartphone like a powerbank. They have also sent out OTG cable in the box which will help you to charge your secondary phone or your friend’s phone if they run out of battery. With heavy usage, it will go up to a full day or one and half day. Moderate users will get more than 2days of battery backup. There are some battery saver options available, using those you can extend the battery life.

Asus Zenfone Max

The speakers are placed at the bottom of the back. The speakers are good enough while playing games and listening music. Obviously, you can listen to it while you are in the other room. The call quality is also good with no noisy sounds.

Final Verdict

Asus Zenfone Max is the best smartphone if you are looking for a smartphone for only battery. But in other aspects, it doesn’t perform that well. There are obviously better choices you can get at this price. Redmi Note 3, Meizu Note 3 will be the main contender for this device. Secondly, the device doesn’t have a fingerprint sensor so it really lacks some good features. But if you really need a smartphone for only battery life then just go for it.

The Asus Zenfone Max is available in black, orange, blue and white colour variants from Flipkart at the price of Rs. 9999 for the 2GB version.


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