First impressions of ASUS ZenFone Max – stylish appearance and high-performance

We recently told about our intentions of doing a review on the new ASUS ZenFone Max as soon as we laid our hands on it. Well, the moment has come and we’re on the first step of the road to our full review. However, before we’ve finished testing the device, we’d like to share our first impressions of it for the short time that we’ve been using it.

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The first thing that you’ll notice about the phone is its design. It has the classic ZenFone appearance, combined with a couple of new additional elements. The rear cover of the phone looks very sleek and has a rugged finish that imitates leather and it is very pleasant to touch. Even though fingerprints and smudges don’t stick so easily, you can leave a few if you put enough effort. Anyway, the phone feels nice in hand and isn’t slippery at all.


Despite the fact that the phone packs a very large battery, it doesn’t affect its overall size that much because it measures at 10.55 mm thickness. Furthermore, the curved edges create the illusion of a thinner device. The weight of ZenFone Max is 202 grams, which does seem a lot, but you’ll quickly get used to it after a couple of days of usage. On the other hand, this doesn’t change the fact that we’re dealing with a 5.5-inch smartphone, so don’t be fooled that you’ll be able to easily operate on the huge screen with one hand. In reality, it will most likely be impossible for you to reach the top part of the display with your thumb when using only one hand.

Anyway, ASUS has put a lot of effort to make a software solution to that issue and to make it possible for you to take full advantage of the working space. ASUS’s ZenUI is famous for the large variety of features and modes. One of them allows you to fully reach across the active display with only one hand, by shrinking the screen. Along with this mode, we find the “Kid” and “Easy” modes in the settings menu of the phone as well as a power saving feature. There are a lot of gesture controls availableand and a long list of pre-installed applications, including Google’s stock apps. You can expect more information about the software capabilities of ZenFone Max in our full in-depth review.


We already mentioned that the phone packs a large battery, but we didn’t specify anything about it. Well, it is a 5000 mAh unit and we’re eager to see how it will perform in our battery tests. Anyway, according to the manufacturer, the device should be able to survive up to 32.5 hours of Wi-Fi web browsing, up to 72.9 hours of music playback and 22.6 hours of video playback.

However, the Taiwanese manufacturer promotes another feature of the phone as one of its best. We’re talking about the camera – a 13MP unit with double LED flash and laser autofocus. Its sensor is manufactured by Toshiba and has f/2.0 aperture. We were also impressed with all the shooting modes available that are 18 in total and the large variety of manual settings as well. We wanted to check if only the camera’s specs were that impressive, or does it really get the job done, so we took a couple of sample shots, which turned out very good. In our upcoming review of the phone, we’re going to take a deeper look at the properties of the 5.5-inch HD IPS display, the design, the camera and also check the performance and temperatures of the SoC, which in this case is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 410.


Specs sheet

OSAndroid 5.0 (Lollipop)
SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916 (4-core, 1.20GHz, Cortex-A53)
GPUAdreno 306
Display5.5-inch IPS ASUS TrueVivid capacitive multi-touch display with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 coating and 1280 x 720 resolution
ConnectivityBluetooth v4.0, A2DP, EDR, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS, GLONASS, AGPS & BDS
Cameras13MP with laser autofocus and double LED flash (rear), 5MP (front)
  • Dual SIM card smartphone (Dual SIM Dual Stand By, Micro SIM)
  • microSD memory card slot, supports up to 64GB
  • micro USB (supports OTG)
  • built-in microphone
  • 3.5 mm audio jack
  • camera with geo tagging, touch to focus, face recognition, panorama, HDR
  • accelerometer
  • E-compass
  • proximity sensor
  • ambient light sensor
Battery5000 mAh
Dimensions77.5 x 156 x 10.55 mm
Weight202 grams

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