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ASUS Zenfone Max 2016 ZC550KL Review – A Battery Powerhouse

ASUS launched an upgraded version of Zenfone Max recently in India. As we know the budget segment in India is overcrowded and every company is trying to attract the users with better specs. Now the Asus is trying to get market share with the launch of Asus Zenfone Max 2016 ZC550KL smartphone.

The new improved Asus Zenfone Max is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor clocked at 1.5 GHz, coupled with 2GB of RAM. The Asus Zenfone Max 2016 mainly augmenting best battery performance ever made for a smartphone, it holds a serious promise to the user with the #liveunplugged slogan. The phone also offers an upgraded feel to the user; you can sense the change in performance and improved battery life.

Asus Zenfone Max Box

Asus Zenfone Max 2016 Z010D Release Date and Price

ASUS Zenfone Max Z010D is revealed in a surprising launch on May 3rd, 2016. ASUS Zenfone Max Z010D is priced at 8,999INR for 2GB,16GB, 9,999 for 2GB/32GB and 12,999 for 3GB RAM and 64GB internal memory variant. Sounds interesting? Read our full review to make a buying decision.

Asus Zenfone Max 2016 Review – Design

When I first laid eyes on the device, it seems like the recent traditional makeover of other Zenfones. The front part of the device look is much similar like other Zenfones. On the back side, the Asus added a premium felt textured plastic panel. The rear panel of the device added the good look to the phone in this price segment.

Asus Zenfone Max 2016 Design

Asus Zenfone Max 2016 – Display

The display is 5.5-inch IPS capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors with a 720×1280 pixels resolution. Comparing it with other smartphones, the display has good brightness levels and average color reproduction. The display is good even in high sunlight conditions; you will see a clear screen even in sunny daylight. When compared to AMOLED and FHD displays, it failed against them. Nowadays the mid-range smartphones screen resolution is upgraded to Full HD, but unfortunately, you will get HD display.

Software

The Zenfone Max comes with the Android 5.0 OS out of the box. As per the previous rumors arose among the websites, the device was expecting to be having the Marshmallow version of the Android. But, the company didn’t go for this. As usual, the Zenfone UI is overlayed on top with a bunch of useful apps and to be honest some bloatware too. There are some apps that don’t make sense to be come with such a mid-range smartphone. They are not bad, but irritating with notifications frequently. Once you rebooted the device, it needs to load 50+ inbuilt apps alongside the system firmware.

A noticeable feature is the double tap wake up and sleep on the phone. Double tapping on the empty area of the interface will put it to the sleep mode as well as another double tap call it over to the working mode. If the device is running some full-screen applications, double tapping must be done on the notification bar. If you need the traditional method of putting your smartphone to sleep, you could do that from the settings by changing the power button option.

The lock screen is nothing different from the previous version of the OS but has some improvements like the proper alignment of the weather and camera icons. There are preloaded Asus and Google folders on the interface for the quicker navigations. Asus also included some nice features like drawing shortcuts. For example, drawing a ‘C’ on the sleep mode screen will bring the camera and drawing ‘W’ will bring the browser.

Regarding performance, the OS is nice and shows no lag during the long usage sessions. The good hardware inside delivers a nice performance on the Lollipop by optimizing the resource usage. But, still the unwanted apps on the device creates load without any need. Removing them might be a good idea to regain the maximum possible speed on the smartphone.

The Benchmarking scores of the smartphone are not that much good when looking for the high-end hardware inside. But, they are not that much bad too. Mostly the Antutu benchmarking showed a poor score for the smartphone while some others showed good scores. But in our tests, the performance is not that much bad as it states in benchmarking tests.

Camera

Looking to the camera of the Zenfone Max, there is a 13.0 MP shooter on the back with laser autofocus. The camera performs well and outputted good quality images from our tests. Decent color reproduction gives more beauty to the pictures even in gloomy weather conditions. The camera utilizes f/2.0 aperture lens for taking quality visuals that are optimized automatically. The Dual Tone LED flash also boosts the clarity in low lighting conditions. Some of the back camera samples are provided below that will give you an idea about the exact camera clarity.

Max can record 1080p Full HD videos in 30FPS. There are two modes available as a ‘Full HD 1920 x 1080’ mode and another one called ‘1080p-30fps’ mode. Both are providing good quality with a slight difference in resolutions. The time-lapse mode is sweetening the recording capabilities of the camera. So, you will be able to capture near slow motion videos using your lovely device.

Opposing the shooter on the backside, there is a 5.0 MP selfie camera with an 85-degree f/2.0 lens that also not bad. The camera is coming with an Auto-focus. But, from our tests, it doesn’t seem to be having a good autofocus on the front camera. The images look good and better in detail with good image stabilization and color enhancements. In extreme lighting conditions too, the visuals are much better than a usual 5 MP camera. Some of the front camera samples are given below for your reference.

All in all, the camera of the Zenfone Max is more than enough when comparing it with the price. Asus secured their camera quality reputation again after the Zenfone Zoom.

Performance

The phone offers a good performance by taking the advantage of Qualcomm MSM8939 Snapdragon 615 processor. The device can easily handle all tasks we regularly perform, means like social media apps usage, camera, and mid-range gaming. Regarding gaming, we played a lot of games on this handset like GTA V, Dead Trigger, and Asphalt, we are not satisfied with the 720p display for high-end gaming. The multi-tasking performance is good, and RAM is good enough to handle.

Connectivity

Coming to the connectivity, Asus Zenfone Max 2016 comes with dual SIM cards support with 4G connectivity, along with 2G/3G. The device has WiFi connectivity with Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, Hotspot support. The device has FM Radio support, microUSB connectivity, and Bluetooth v4.0 support.

Asus Zenfone Max Battery

Battery

It is the most important category coming to this device. This handset is a total powerhouse, which is powerful enough to run the device for continuous three days. The battery capacity of this handset is at 5000mAh; the company has taken a good step towards manufacturing high battery capacity smartphone. The company claims it is one of the best battery device available in the market. In our testing, the battery is tested on a full charge, and it has given 2.5 days backup for regular usage. If you are a gamer or entertainment lover, the battery could last for 1.5-2 days period. For this powerhouse packed battery the company missed the faster-charging option.

Top Competitors To Asus Zenfone Max ZC550KL 2016

LeEco Le 1s
Lenovo K4 Note
Motorola Moto G4

Conclusion

If you are dreamt of an Android smartphone with a power packed battery the Asus Zenfone Max 2016 is the reality. The phone giving robust battery performance for regular and heavy usage conditions.  It comes with a price tag of 9,999 for this device; you may find better alternatives than this in terms of Display, RAM, and Fingerprint scanner. But if you are looking for a battery performer, the Asus Zenfone Max 2016 is your best choice.

ASUS Zenfone Max 2016
8.2 Overall
Pros
Battery Powerhouse Build Quality
Cons
Heavy Full of Bloatware
Build Quality8
Features7.5
Design8
Camera8.5
Network7.5
Battery9.5
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Rahul is the Editor-in-Chief at Thetechhacker, PhoneSetter and TheWearableNews. After realizing an obsession with technology, he left his job career to write about technology.
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