Asus ZenFone 3 Max First Impressions - A Slimmer Max With Beefier Internals!

Last year, the ZenFone 2 Max is one of the most popular among the ZenFone 2 line. It's called the Max because of its large battery capacity that enables you to use the phone longer than most.
Asus ZenFone 3 Max First Impressions - Slimmer And Premium Phone With Big Battery Capacity!
Meet ZenFone 3 Max

Related: Asus ZenFone 3 Max Review - Long Battery Life In Style!


Fast forward 2016, Asus announced the ZenFone 3 Max, a totally revamped device that's now equipped with a mostly metal unibody frame, more powerful specifications, fingerprint scanner, and cleaner Marshmallow Zen UI skin.

However, while the battery capacity is still huge, Asus dropped it from 5,000 mAh to 4,130 mAh. Maybe those are the sacrifices Asus has to do in-order to balance this phone from build, design, ergonomics, and specs while keeping the battery capacity high.

Last week, we were able to use the phone for quite a while and here's what we found out about it.

Related: Asus ZenFone 3 Max Final Retail Version Has Slimmer Black Border Bezels Than Expected!

Asus ZenFone 3 Max (ZC520TL) Specs

Display: 5.2 Inch HD IPS 1280 x 720 resolution w/ 2.5D curved glass at 282 ppi
CPU: 1.25 GHz MT6737T quad core processor
GPU: Mali T720
RAM: 3 GB
ROM: 32 GB expandable via micro SD card slot
Main Camera: 13 MP w/ AF and LED flash
Selfie Camera: 5 MP f/2.0
Battery: 4,130 mAh
OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow w/ ZenUI 3.0
Connectivity: WiFi, 3G, LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, A GPS, GLONASS, dual SIM (hybrid)
Sensors: Accelerometer, proximity, compass
Others: Fingerprint sensor
Dimensions: 149.5 x 73.7 x 8.55 mm
Weight: 148 g
Price: 8,995 Pesos

Build Quality / Design

Curved metal back, microphone on top, single LED flash, main camera, and fingerprint scanner at the behind
Curved metal back, microphone on top, single LED flash, main camera, and fingerprint scanner at the behind

While the ZenFone 2 Max comes with one of the nicer aesthetics and materials from the rest of the ZenFone 2 line, the ZenFone 3 Max comes with total refinement.

It's now using a more solid near full metal unibody frame that reminds me of the Huawei GR5. In front, there's a 2.5D curved glass screen, but Asus failed to indicate if this one is protected with any sort of coating for scratches and drops.

Based on our experience with most of devices that boast this type of solid metal build, it should be tougher and better than most of the older ZenFone 2 line.
3.5 mm jack on top
3.5 mm jack on top
Microphone and micro USB port below
Microphone and micro USB port below
Ejectable SIM tray at right, also notice its nice contour
Ejectable SIM tray at right, also notice its nice contour
Power button and volume rocket at right
Power button and volume rocket at right
It's a beautiful phone for its perceived affordable price tag!
It looks close to premium due to its elegant design all over. There are very nice curves at the back and corners, right amount of slimness, and aesthetically pleasing 2.5D curved glass. Its antenna lines isn't also that prominent that gives it a more minimalist character.

If I have one minor complain here, it is with its slightly thicker than my liking black border bezels. Fortunately, it still looks nice all over.

Ergonomically, the phone feels great in the hands. It's good for two handed use, doesn't have sharp edges, and comes with right amount of heft. However, it maybe a little too slippery for some so tight grip on this device is a must.

Buttons and ports placements are also on the more standard size as everything is easy to reach and locate. Specifically, I loved its fingerprint sensor placement at the back.

Camera Samples

Takes natural looking colors with good sharpness using the main camera
Takes natural looking colors with good sharpness using the main camera 
Selfie test (beautify mode)
Selfie test (beautify mode)

As of the moment

We think that Asus did a fine job in upgrading the Max. We liked that it is now housed in a better and more stylish unibody design while adding most of the modern features in tow.

However, I'm quite intrigued to see its actual performance in real life. Maybe its use of a battery efficient chip and Marshmallow OS will make up for the lack of almost 900 mAh battery. It's still a large battery capacity phone though.

One thing is for sure, I'm more impressed with this device compared with most the older ZenFone 2 series.

Stay tuned for our full report once we have actual review units.
    Comments