Asus ZenFone 3X Max Review: The Biggest Battery in Mid-Budget Segment

Asus ZenFone 3X Max has been launched in India with a price tag of Rs 14,999 and the company has really tried to stay in the stiff competition ruled by Xiaomi and Lenovo, in the mid-budget smartphone category.

Asus ZenFone 3X Max
image source: tech.firstpost

While smartphones like Redmi Note 4, its predecessor Redmi Note 3, Lenovo Vibe P series, the K6 Power and Gionee’s Marathon series phones have touted battery as a big differentiating point, Asus ZenFone 3X Max is here to poke them in their own game. However, the extra-large battery doesn’t always mean never ending backup but manufacturers are convinced that a ‘bigger battery is the way to get consumer attention’, thanks to all of those selecting the smartphone on the this basis.

Asus ZenFone 3X Max will succeed ZenFone 3 Max, which was launched in two variants, a 5.5 inch display model for Rs 17,999 and a 5.2 display model for Rs 12,999. The predecessor failed to impress us as despite the Rs 5000 price difference, both smartphones didn’t have anything worth appreciating, considering the competition.

Asus ZenFone 3X Max
image source: tech.firstpost

However, Asus have tried to come up with something new rather than adopting tried and tested strategies by launching Asus ZenFone 3X Max with a 5000mAh battery having plethora of juice to remain operational for three whole days, but these are just claims and let’s see what the ZenFone 3X Max is capable of doing in real time conditions.

Specifications

  • 5.2-inch, 1280×720 resolution IPS LCD; 2.5D curved glass
  • MediaTek MT6750 SoC, octa-core CPU (4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.5GHz + 4x Cortex-A53 @ 1GHz), Mali-T860 MP2 GPU
  • 3GB RAM; 32GB storage (expandable by up to 256GB)
  • 13 megapixel rear camera, f2.0 aperture, phase detection AF, two-tone LED flash, [email protected] video
  • 8 megapixel front camera, 720p30 video
  • 4G dual SIM, VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Mono loudspeaker
  • 5000mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat with ZenUI 3.0

Display and Design: 7/10 (Just for a premium metal finish)

The design of Asus ZenFone 3X Max looks premium and more importantly, with a 2.5D glass on the front and a well-rounded, sandblasted, matte finished metal back, it feels the same too. However, the design is quite boring, as its competitors come with a similar design and differentiating ZenFone 3X will not be easy to your eye. The fingerprint sensor is coupled with the home button at the front, which we really liked as it was a much needed change.

Asus ZenFone 3X Max
image source: tech.firstpost

90% of Asus ZenFone 3X’s back is covered with metal while it’s closest competitor, Redmi Note 4 managed only 70%, giving the former a much more premium feel.speakers are placed at the bottom of the body, making audio and video experience better than ever.

The 5.2-inch (1280×720) IPS LCD display with 2.5D curved glass gets the job done but is not at all impressive by any means. With 282 PPI resolution, it’s not the clearest display out there as you will witness colour and brightness drops while looking from other angles, except the front, making it impossible for Asus ZenFone 3X to compete with the ones offered by Lenovo and Xiaomi.

Processor and Software: 6.5/10 (4GB RAM and a Snapdragon unit could have helped)

The Asus Zenfone 3X Max features everything one would expect from a budget smartphone except the performance. The Octa Core MediaTek 6750 SoC coupled with 3GB of RAM and Mali-T860 MP2 GPU seems a killer combination on paper. However, the processor can’t match the experience provided the Snapdragon unit. If gaming is your priority, Asus Zenfone 3X Max is not the smartphone for you as it leans more towards casual users asking for decent performance.

The one thing we really liked was the availability of Android Nougat 7.0 out of the box, rather than the update in the future, which by no means is acceptable. The Zen User Interference, however, will be prone to glitches, as was seen in the earlier models. The bloatware apps further makes the experience more irritating.

However, it felt good that Asus is ready to take a risk in order to rectify the backdrops in the process.

Camera: 6/10

13 megapixel rear camera with f2.0 aperture, two-tone LED flash, phase detection AF, [email protected] video capabilities and the 8 megapixel front camera again looks good on paper but, the quality of Asus Zenfone 3X Max’s camera doesn’t even come close to Xiaomi Redmi Note 4. How come we are so sure about it? It’s because the unit is same as can be found on Asus Zenfone Deluxe.

Asus ZenFone 3X Max
image source: tech.firstpost

While the camera unit is quick to focus, it keeps struggling to lock focus in dim or low light situations. Further, the images captured in daylight scenarios are often out of focus or blurry. Images coming from the 8MP selfie camera suffers from a similar problem like over processing and showcase lots of noise in the pictures, while video recording is just ‘OK’.

Battery: 9/10

The one thing that no other competitor can boast of, is the 5000mAh battery, having enough juice for 3 days of 4G talk time coupled with quick charging. However, performance oriented, gaming addicted users will get a little more than 1 day of operational juice, which is also a first in the sub Rs 15,000 category.  

Verdict

Asus Zenfone 3X Max is right choice for those needing a smartphone for moderate usage like the corporate world, but for those depending wholly upon the entertainment options given their budget smartphones, Asus Zenfone 3X Max is not the device for you.

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