Meet the marriage between a ZenFone and a powerbank. Textured faux leather back, sturdy metal frame, the familiar ZenFone looks and UI, and laser autofocus for fast image capture. If buying a reliable phone also means getting (and bringing along) a powerbank, you can now have both in the ASUS ZenFone Max. It can even charge other phones. Here’s our unboxing and quick review.
Update January 16, 2016: The price of the ZenFone Max has been officially announced – Php8495.
The ASUS ZenFone Max is beautiful: our review unit is Osmium Black with a leather-like back finish (there’s also a Pure White version, with an Egsshell finish). The slight heft, solid feel, and comfy curved sides don’t feel consistent with what’s said to be a below-Php9k phone. The lovely physical feel and look make you forget that the Max is slightly chunky.
It seems that the ZenFone Max is the ZenFone 2 Laser 5.5-inch (same Snapdragon 410, 2GB RAM, 5.5-inch HD display, 13MP rear cam with laser autofocus) BUT with a 5000 mAh battery. It may be one of the first budget phones to be able to charge another phone. There’s no USB OTG cable that comes with the box, but then you can buy one for Php30 at CDR-King.
Having “only” an HD display plus that processor means less power consumption, and consequently, more battery life. This is a good move, as the ZenFone 2 Laser 5-inch proves that an HD phone with laser autofocus can be both a daily driver and a good camera phone. The max gets combines battery stamina with good cameras.
You want to watch our 5-minute opinionated unboxing video. Trust me.
The thought of having a good vacation camera that lasts for days is so reassuring. You won’t have to worry about forgetting your powerbank or about borrowing one from friends. Before the ZenFone Max’s battery maxes out, I estimate that at least two days have passed. There’s also a reverse charging feature (that we need to test) which allows you to charge another phone using the ZenFone Max. This is where a P30 USB OTG cable comes in. You need to attach it to the USB end of the Max’s charging cable so that both phones can be connected. This means the Max can also charge tablets, Bluetooth keyboard, etc.
As per ASUS, the non-removable 5000 mAh Li-Polymer battery can last:
- Standby time 38 days
- 3G talk time 37.6hrs
- WiFi web browsing 32.5hrs
- Video playback 22.6hrs
ASUS ZenFone Max (ZC550KL) Full Specs
5.5-inches, HD 1280×720, IPS, Asus TrueVivid Full Screen Lamination, Corning Gorilla Glass 4
Android 5.0 Lollipop with ASUS ZenUI 2.0
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) QuadCore 1.2GHz
Adreno 306 | 2GB LPDDR3 RAM |
16GB internal storage, up to 64GB via microSD slot, with 5GB free lifetime ASUS WebStorage
13 MP Rear Camera, Auto Focus, 0.03 second laser auto-focus, LED Flash, F2.0 Aperture, PixelMaster
5 MP, Auto Focus. Wide View, F2.0 Aperture, PixelMaster
WLAN 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth V4.0+EDR +A2DP
Dual SIM Dual Stand By
GPS, GLONASS, AGPS & BDS
5000 mAh Li-Polymer (non-removable)
In case you’re not familiar how feature-packed ZenFone cameras are, the PixelMaster Camera Modes include:
- HDR (up to 400% brightness)
- Low Light (up to 400% better light sensitivity)
- Manual (DSLR-like)
- Real Time Beautification
- Super Resolution (52MP)
- Night Mode
- Depth of Field
- Photo Effect
- Selfie Panorama
- GIF Animation
- Time Rewind
- Smart Remove
- All Smiles
- Slow Motion
- Time Lapse
Sample Rear Camera Shots
The ZenFone Max was teased at the Zen Festival and, if our source is right, will be officially launched alongside the ZenFone Zoom (a ZenFone 2 with 4GB RAM and 3x optical zoom) at the Sinulog festival in Cebu this January 2016. Pricing will be announced at launch. We’re going to test run the ZenFone Max at the Sinulog Festival, so stay tuned.
Update January 16, 2016. The price of the ZenFone Max has been officially announced – Php8495.
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