Review | Asus ZenFone 4 Max smartphone

While everyone is stuffing their bags with powerbanks to ensure a breathing smartphone until the end of the day, Asus breaks out the Zenfone 4 Max bearing a battery life that provides more than you wished for.

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Belonging to the Asus ZenFone 4 series, the ZenFone 4 Max has adapted to this day’s trend carrying useful aspects other than its 5,000mAh battery.

Design

At 5.5 inch, the Asus ZenFone 4 Max projects 1280 x 720 HD display, a thing we consider to be a step back. Although this might be a move to give way to a lower price point, a 1080p quality would definitely look good on a 5.5-inch screen. Nevertheless, the ZenFone 4 Max endured the 720p integration by producing sharp, saturated, and well-contrasted images.

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The left edge of the ZenFone 4 Max holds the SIM and microSD tray, with the latter having its own dedicated slot. This allows users to expand the 32GB internal memory.

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On the other side are the power and volume keys, while the top floor houses the 3.5mm jack for audio output. Beneath the ZenFone 4 Max is the microUSB port and its loudspeakers.

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One of our favorite features of this handset is the touch home button. Sitting in the middle of the navigation keys (Back and Recent Apps/Options), the touch pad looks and feels premium than most of its company in the same price range. Unfortunately, these navigation keys do not light up and usage in the dark could be tricky at times. Going back to the home button, it also serves as the phone’s fingerprint sensor – which is pretty fast for its price.

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We love the material used for the smartphone’s exterior especially its curves. We believe the curves and the shiny feels are meant to supply better grip to its users to complement its thickness. Despite having a huge power pack on its back, Asus managed to squeeze the device to its thin measurement erasing the idea of chunky smartphones with a meatier battery.

Performance

For the technical side, the ZenFone 4 Max packs a Qualcomm MSM8937 Snapdragon 430 chipset, Octa-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A53 CPU, and Adreno 505 GPU. It has an internal memory of 32GB and a 3GB RAM, running the new ZenUI 4.0 based on Android Nougat 7.1.1.

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It’s so nice to see a cleaner version of ZenUI this year since we have not been a fan of Asus fancy user interface with its built-in apps around the corner. In this year’s version, the ZenUI feels easier and catchier with less presence of bloatware.

Of course, the main event was carried out by ZenFone 4 Max’s battery. Its 5,000mAh is one of the best in the market lasting for a day and a half with our normal usage. “Normal,” at least for us, consists of multiple Mobile Legends matches, TV series marathon, social media browsing, and sound tripping. For the LTE usage, we actively used the ZenFone 4 Max for Waze, Google Maps, and social media apps.

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Although we celebrated the long-lasting performance of the ZenFone 4 Max, we were disheartened by the fact that we had to charge the phone back to full for three hours. We kept looking for a way to shorten the charging time but we could not find any. Still, if you’re not into bringing powerbanks and charging your phone while outdoors, the ZenFone 4 Max will fit your taste – you just have to find out your rhythm to cope up with the charging time issue.

Check out how this handset performed in our benchmarking tools:

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Camera

The ZenFone 4 Max has an interesting set of cameras: fronting it is an 8-megapixel camera and backing it up are two 13-megapixel shooters.

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The rear shooter can transform into a wide-angle lens but distorts the quality a bit. We also noticed in some situations that the camera cannot handle the white balance properly, as shown in the photos below:

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Overall, ZenFone 4 Max’s camera works on well-lit environment but issues may rise when used indoors or dark surroundings.

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Conclusion

For a P9,995 price tag, the ZenFone 4 Max outdoes its foes in its price range thanks to the 5,000mAh battery, fingerprint sensor, cleaner user interface, and triple-slot tray. It is arguably one of the best sub-10,000-peso smartphones in the local market driving away from the selfie and photography competition.

The Good

  • 5,000mAh battery
  • Cleaner user interface
  • Fingerprint sensor

The Bad

  • Three hours charging time
  • HD Display

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