Asus ZenFone Max: Same Phone, More Power

 

Asus ZenFone Max

Conchita Fernandes puts the latest iteration from Asus, the Zenfone Max, to the test and finds out what’s new in the phone.

Battery life has always been one of the biggest concerns for cellphone users, and that’s what Asus has sought to give its consumers with the Zenfone Max, which is said to deliver a long battery life. Let’s take a look and see if this is true and if there are any new additions to the phone.

Same Features
After a quick look at its features, you will see that the Zenfone Max is an identical twin of the Zenfone 2 Laser, which I reviewed last year. Here’s a quick recap of what they are. There is a 13MP rear camera with a dual-toned flash, a 5MP front camera and a laser powered autofocus system. The phone also offers a Manual mode, where you control shutterspeed, ISO, Exposure and White Balance. It has a Super Resolution feature too, which lets you create 50MP photographs.

There is an HDR and a Low Light mode too, where in the latter you can photograph 3MP stills. Additionally, the phone lets you shoot a burst of 100 images without any lag, but at just 3MP. This feature however, is not available in the Manual mode of the camera.

Even though the lens on the phone isn’t very contrasty, it captures a decent amount of detail. Photograph/Conchita Fernandes

Even though the lens on the phone isn’t very contrasty, it captures a decent amount of detail. Photograph/Conchita Fernandes

What Works and What Doesn’t
With its simple camera interface and accessible features, the Zenfone Max is quite an easy device to photograph with. I usually preferred using the Manual mode of the camera to shoot with, as I wasn’t a big fan of how the Auto mode rendered the photographs. In most cases in the latter, the sky was overexposed and the overall image would have a bit of a washed out look. The colours in the photographs too, were not as punchy as I would have expected it to be. Quite often, I found myself reaching out for the Snapseed app to postprocess my images.

On the other hand, I was very happy with the phone’s battery life. After spending a dedicated four to five hours shooting with it, it was still left with enough of juice to keep the device running till the end of the day.

The phone’s laser powered autofocus system worked best on subjects that were just a few feet away from me. Photograph/Conchita Fernandes

The phone’s laser powered autofocus system worked best on subjects that were just a few feet away from me. Photograph/Conchita Fernandes

Not So Bad After All
There is nothing to dislike in the Zenfone Max. Although its image quality was just about decent, the phone makes up for it by offering several features, along with a good battery life. And all of this is available for just Rs. 9,999, for the 2GB RAM version. I don’t see why anyone wouldn’t want to pick one up for themselves.

AT A GLANCE
SPECIFICATIONS 13MP rear camera, f/2 aperture, 32GB inbuilt memory (expandable to 64GB), Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor, 2GB RAM, Rs. 9,999
WHAT WE LIKE Battery life, packed with features
WHAT WE DISLIKE Overexposed daylight images, average colour rendition
WHY BUY IT It is a feature packed phone with a good battery life, all available at a budget-friendly price
FINAL RATINGS 84%
CAMERA FEATURES Laser autofocus, histogram  22/25 
IMAGE QUALITY  Decent image quality  24/30
VIDEO QUALITY Smooth video with decent sound pickup  13/15
HANDLING  Textured leather-like exterior makes it easy to hold  13/15
SPEED & RESPONSIVENESS Quick phone with rarely any lag  12/15
Tags: Asus, August 2016, Better Cellphone Photography, Conchita Fernandes, Review, ZenFone Max