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Zenfone Max Hands-on, First Impressions: Stylish Power

ASUS Zenfone Max 03

We go hands-on with the Zenfone Max!

Today marks the official launch of ASUS’ new Zenfones in the PH, which include the Zenfone Laser, Zenfone Selfie and Zenfone 2 Deluxe. Aside from the these three phones, the company also announced that their Zenfone Max, a phone that has a massive 5000mAh battery, will eventually be available in the country come October. We were fortunate enough to get a few minutes with the Zenfone Max, and we’re expecting them to sell a lot of these phones when the company officially releases it two months from now.

It’s important to note that the Zenfone Max has not been officially released as of yet, and all the hardware in the device is subject to change.

ASUS Zenfone Max preliminary specs:

  • 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 5.5-inch HD display, Corning Gorilla Glass 4, 1280 x 720 resolution
  • 16GB of storage
  • 13-megapixel rear camera with laser AF, dual LED flash
  • 5-megapixel front camera
  • Dual-SIM
  • 3G, Dual LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
  • 5000mAh battery
  • Android Lollipop with ZenUI

ASUS Zenfone Max 05

Initial impressions: very large battery in a device that’s only 5.8mm thick

The ASUS Zenfone Max is a big departure from the companies’ recent offerings in terms of design. While the Zenfone 2, Laser, Selfie and Deluxe have similar design features which include a rounded, ergonomic back as well as a rear key setup that’s comparable to the LG G4, the Zenfone Max is quite different. For one, it does away with the typical round, matte plastic back of its brothers in favor of a faux leather back. The rear key setup is now gone, replaced by a more conventional key setup that places the physical keys at the side, specifically on the right.

ASUS Zenfone Max 01

The phone is rather thin, especially considering the size of the battery inside. It looks and feels premium, and while the engineering unit that we got to hold was a little worse for wear (it is an engineering sample) it still felt quite different in the hands compared to ASUS’ other offerings. There’s a strip of bronze-coloured material on the side that tries to add visual flair to the overall package.

ASUS Zenfone Max 02

Internally, the Zenfone Max has a rather sedate Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor, along with 2GB of RAM. Paired with the 5000mAh battery, this means that the Zenfone Max should be able to hit three days on a single charge easily, if not more. In terms of imaging, the Zenfone Max will have the same laser AF system that the Selfie and Laser utilize┬áthough we’re not sure if the Max uses the same sensor as its other siblings. The 5.5-inch display will be protected by Gorilla Glass 4, and can pull double duty as an impromptu powerbank for other phones.

ASUS Zenfone Max 04

The Zenfone Max will be offered on October though ASUS has not officially given us a price for the device as of yet. How much do you think the phone should retail for? Let us know in the comments below.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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22 Comments

        1. similarly priced to the laser around 8-9k. same specs, battery lang ang pagkaiba. di yan pwede na mas mahal sa zenfone 2 na nasa 10k dahil naka 1080p at intel soc. yung 5.5 na laser nga nasa 8.7k lang. afaik mas mahal ang module ng af laser system kesa baterya. so common sense nalang siguro.

          1. Weird, bakit hindi nalang tinawag na laser max. If it is indeed just the laser with bigger battery.

            So if we were to assume this is the case, 5.5 laser at 8.7k. Then the zf max could be somewhere in 9-10k range which is in the zf2 9.9k base model territory.

  1. It was neither confirmed nor denied in this article, but GSMArena says it supports SD for up to 128 GB.

    Hope it’s true. Otherwise, kailangan magtiyaga na for apps lang ang internal at sa USB OTG for other media (music and videos) consumption. And that would be a bummer.

    With SD410, I doubt it’s really for heavy games. But I’m not one to complain about that, since karamihan ng games ko eh emulator lang na magaan sa system. Gameboy Advance and Nintendo DS emulators lang, buhay na ko. And this is perfect for that.

    If priced right (my guesstimate is 8-9.5k), I think I can live with a mediocre chipset. I was skeptical about this phone before, but am now somehow looking forward to its release. ­čśŤ

    1. Confirmed or not this supports up to 256 GB. The question is, what microSD brand does it supports? My Zenfone 2 can support “Sandisk” 128 GB HC Class 10. No doubt in my mind that this phone can support it as well

  2. funny, its mostly gamers who are asking for more battery but they just had to put an SD410. what a waste of potential ~_~

    1. Then they would have bought the Cherry Mobile Flare S3 Power or the ThL 5000. Both were great for gaming as far as I can tell.

  3. 5000mah for 5.8mm? Bakit hindi yan ginawa ng samsung sa A8 nila. Huawei Mate S at Gionee Marathon m5 na ang katapat nito. Oppo it’s time na gumawa na lang kayo ng pantapat sa Asus at wag nang pangarapin pang maging kalevel ang Samsung sa pagiging premium.

  4. DEAR ASUS… BEFORE YOU LAUNCH MORE VARIATIONS OF ZENFONE.. TRY TO FIX ISSUES ON ZEN2… LIKE BUGS.. AUTO SHUTDOWN PROBLEM.. POOR CAM & SPEAKERS… LOW BATTERY LIFE…

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