Asus Zenfone 3 Max – The Review
Asus Zenfone 3 Max is the new mid-range of the company. We have been testing it for quite a while and we are ready to analyze all aspects of the new terminal presented at IFA 2016.
The previous version of Zenfone Max had been appreciated – in its time – especially thanks to aautonomy exceptional and good value for money. From some points of view Asus Zenfone 3 Max improves the overall experience but comes with rather significant problems that we will see in the review phase. Let’s start with the first data sheet to get a clear idea of the market segment that the new Max is going to occupy.
- Operating system Android OS, v6.0 (Marshmallow)
- Processor MediaTek MT6737M Cortex-A53
- GPU Mali-T720MP2
- RAM 3 GB
- Memory 32GB + Micro SD
- Display 5.2 inch IPS LCD
- Resolution FullHD 1920 × 1080 pixels (282ppi)
- Camera rear 13 megapixel f / 2.2
- Camera front 5 megapixels
- Battery 4130 mAh
- USB Micro-USB
- Dimensions 149.5 x 73.7 x 8.55 mm
- Weight 148g
- Typology SIM Dual SIM (Nano + Micro)
- NFC No
From the specifications we perceive a somewhat poor equipment for the price range but as we know the general usability is not always consistent with the technical data sheet.
There packaging Asus Zenfone 3 Max is quite rich. We have the classics manuals quick, the power supply, the Micro-USB cablethe pin to remove the SIM tray and a handy OTG adapter to connect external keys. It is also possible to recharge other devices using the Zenfone 3 Max battery.
Small criticism about the pin to remove the SIM difficult to get out of the narrow and difficult housing.
The aesthetic aspect represents the main change that Asus brings to the new range of smartphones. Indeed Asus Zenfone 3 Max it has a very well-built aluminum body, spaced only by the two bands of the antennas, perhaps a little invasive. Also on the back we have the speaker, the camera from 13 MegaPixel with single LED flash and finally the biometric reader for fingerprints.
Frontally Asus Zenfone 3 Max presents the logo of the company at the bottom and the various proximity and brightness sensors at the top together with the front camera from 5 MegaPixel and the notification LED.
On the right side we find the volume rocker and the on / off button both satin. On the left we have the trolley of the two SIMs or alternatively Nano SIM + Micro SD. Above is the jack 3.5mm and on the lower side the main microphone and the Micro-USB port.
Aesthetically, nothing to say. We liked the Asus Zenfone 3 Max and its high thickness did not make everyday use worse thanks to a very solid grip.
Appreciated the work done by the company from an aesthetic point of view and general construction, an aspect heavily criticized in previous years.
Asus Zenfone 3 Max a lot of one panel FullHD IPS to 282ppi. The chromatic reproduction seemed good to us and even the viewing angles do not present excessive criticality. Since this is an IPS, let’s not expect very deep blacks but on the other hand the whites appear rather balanced.
There brightness it’s good and the automatic sensor performs well on almost any occasion. Under direct light there are no particular problems of visibility.
The only drawback is the touch screen. In daily use it is very unresponsive and until you get used to it it is very annoying.
The camera did not convince us. The interface is the usual Asus and there is little to say. It appears very intuitive from the first use and it is possible to activate different modes including the slow motionthe shot panoramic and the night mode. The sensor is in 4/3 and drops to 10 MegaPixel for the 16/9 format.
We do not go into the details of the various settings as this is a suitable camera for occasional use. In fact, the shots appear poorly defined and sometimes even moved if you do not remain motionless. The colors are not very realistic and – in some circumstances – a little washed out.
In short, for social use it could also go. Well in situations of favorable brightness while with less light the sensor really struggles.
As for the video Asus Zenfone 3 Max runs at a maximum resolution of 1920x1080p. In general, the shots are acceptable but not at all competitive if you think of the competition in the same price range.
There front camera it is 5 MegaPixel and all in all it would take good selfies, were it not for a sort of fogging that I have not been able to eliminate in any way, not even by deactivating photo retouching. I do not exclude it may be a problem relating only to the unit supplied to us by the press office.
Software, connectivity, audio and performance
Asus Zenfone 3 Max mounts the ZenUI based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The interface is the classic Asus with many pre-installed applications, perhaps too many.
We find the “do it later” service that works as an excellent reminder and has proved very useful. Then we have the weather, Asus assistance, the theme store, 2 games, several apps for photo editing and other services that are often useless and invasive. In fact, the main criticism that we move to the software is the excessive customization that unnecessarily burdens the interface.
The general stability is good and everything is always quite fluid and well managed by the 3 Gb of RAM.
Even web browsing is pleasant despite some obstacles due to the reactivity of the touchscreen. But the software is not at fault here.
The performance they are more than good even under stress and with long gaming sessions the processor does not overheat.
In short, Asus Zenfone 3 Max once again demonstrates the pleasantness of use of the company’s interface mined only by too many pre-installed applications and often without real utility. The improvements compared to the past are evident with a much more optimized software. Fixed translation issues and general stability. For the future, we expect less invasive personalization.
The telephone aspect is handled very well and we have not noticed any kind of problem reception even in areas where other devices struggle.
L’audio from the rear speaker it is good and without too many pretensions you have a more than acceptable quality. Even from the ear capsule there are no problems and the main microphone captures great audio.
What least convinced us is certainly the biometric reader for the recognition of fingerprints. The speed is good but the sensor is unreliable. Sometimes it is really frustrating and you are forced to unlock Asus Zenfone 3 Max with the password.
After more than a week of use I have noticed that if you press deeper on the reader you have greater precision, but it cannot be a permanent solution.
It is immediately evident that Asus has paid little interest in the development of the Zenfone 3 Max sensor. We are hoping for updates to correct the problem.
The battery is good 4130 mAh and is the main strength of Asus Zenfone 3 Max. In fact, with intense use you arrive in the evening with an abundant 35%.
Compared to the previous model which allowed two days of use there was a noticeable decrease. L’autonomy however, the strong point of the device remains even if – given the thickness and the not exactly exciting performance – we expected a battery life at least similar to that of last year.
In short Asus Zenfone 3 Max did not convince us very much. It certainly does not shine for performance, general usability and camera but the improved software, the telephone part and above all the careful assembly still leave a shred of meaning to the company’s mid-range.
In our opinion, Asus did a great job in both software and hardware, despite some problems. However, the combination between the two remains the aspect that makes us turn up our noses and makes us think of Zenfone 3 Max as a device designed and developed in a hurry, with much less care than the models of the new line-up.
Asus Zenfone 3 Max is currently available at a price of € 193 on Amazon. It remains – as well as the previous version – a device recommended for those who do not want to worry about autonomy and do not have too many needs from the point of view of performance and the photographic sector.