Asus ZenFone 3 Max (ZC553KL) Review – Improved and Better Version

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ASUS Zenfone Max is a great smartphone with huge 5,0000mAh custom-crafted lithium-polymer battery. It is one of the first smartphones to feature reverse charging capability. Now ASUS released a new version of the popular Max the Zenfone 3 Max, its available in 5.2-inch and the 5.5-inch variant.

The new Zenfone 3 Max is a premium looking smartphone and an improved version compared to the first Max. You can read more about our unboxing and first impressions of the ASUS Zenfone 3 Max Unboxing and First Impressions.

ASUS Zenfone 3 Max - Adobotech

Design and Construction

In terms of design, the Zenfone 2 Max now features a unibody metal frame design just like the Zenfone 3 but without the protruding camera lens at the back which is nice since now no need not to worry about getting scratches on the camera lens. Our review unit comes in Glacier Silver it is also available in Titanium Gray, Sand Gold, and Rose Pink colors.

ASUS Zenfone 3 Max - Adobotech

What’s on the box?

  • ZenFone 3 Max Glacier Silver
  • ZenEar and Pair of Earbuds
  • Charging Adapter
  • USB Cable
  • OTG Cable.
  • Ejector Pin
  • Warranty card
  • User Manual

ASUS Zenfone 3 Max - Adobotech

The 5.5-inch Full-HD display on this device is contoured with (2.5D) glass which makes it look really great, but ASUS did not mention if the glass it has some kind of protection so just to be safe its better to install screen protector before using the device. Zenfone 3 Max is a slim looking device, it only has 2.25mm bezel and remarkable 77.5% screen-to-body ratio with premium look compared to the older Max.

ASUS Zenfone 3 Max - Adobotech

Above the display is the is the 8-megapixel selfie camera and earphone speaker, while below are the capacitive keys that do not lit up when touched. At the bottom, houses the micro USB port, loudspeaker, and microphone. The on/off button and volume controls can found at the right side while the SIM tray for micro SIM and nano SIM/microSD card is at the left side of the device. Now at the back is where the 16-megapixel rear camera, f2/0, with laser focus and dual tone flash and fingerprint sensor and below is the ASUS branding logo.

ASUS Zenfone 3 Max - Adobotech

We love how ASUS made the new Zenfone 3 Max, the design really makes this a premium smartphone and construction materials they use on this device feels tough with the proper positioning of buttons and fingerprint sensor makes it easy to hold and use. Although it tends to slip on hands, so its recommended to get come nice case for this device.

ZenUI 3.0

Out of the box, its running on Android Marshmallow 6.0 with ZenUI 3.0, this is ASUS latest version of their very own custom interface. If you owned an ASUS smartphone before you will love how the ZenUI has improved, now its more responsive and has a cleaner design with the default theme and yes users can still customize it the way the want it on how it looks and feel. But if you are new to this don’t worry just like any android smartphone it is easy to use and navigate with the ZenUI.

ASUS Zenfone 3 Max - Adobotech   ASUS Zenfone 3 Max - Adobotech   ASUS Zenfone 3 Max - Adobotech

Customizing the ZenUI 3.0 is easy since everything can be done at the Manage Home, this can be activated by pressing holding any space on the display for a couple of seconds.

Performance

Compared to the previous Zenfone Max which only has 1.3GHz Quad-core CPU, the ZenFone 3 Max ZC553KL is packed with more processing power it has 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (Octa-core) processor paired with Adreno 505 GPU for graphics and 3GB RAM.

ASUS Zenfone 3 Max Benchmark - Adobotech   ASUS Zenfone 3 Max Benchmark - Adobotech   ASUS Zenfone 3 Max Benchmark - Adobotech   ASUS Zenfone 3 Max Benchmark - Adobotech   ASUS Zenfone 3 Max Benchmark - Adobotech

The ZenFone 3 Max is a great mobile gaming device, with the Snapdragon 430 (Octa-core) processor and good GPU, it can easily handle casual games that are available in Google Play Store such as Pokemon Go, Clash of Clans, Clash Royale and much more. But if you love graphics intensive game this device won’t disappoint you, games like NBA 2K17, Dead Trigger 2, MC5, Marvel Contest of Champions can be played without any problems.

ASUS ZenFone 3 Max ZC553KL Specs.

  • Android Marshmallow 6.0 with ZenUI 3.0
  • 2.5D contoured glass
  • 5.5-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS, 2.5D glass display
  • 1.4GHz Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (Octa-core) processor
  • Adreno 505 GPU
  • 3GB RAM / 23GB internal storage
  • expandable up to 256GB via microSD slot
  • 16MP rear camera, f2/0, with laser focus and dual tone flash
  • 8MP front facing camera f/2.2
  • Dual SIM (hybrid for Nano SIM card or microSD)
  • 4G LTE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
  • Bluetooth v4.1, A2DP, LE
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
  • microUSB v2.0, USB On-The-Go
  • 4100 mAh Li-Ion Non-removable battery
  • Colors: Titanium Gray, Glacier Silver, Rose Pink, Sand Gold

Photography

This device is equipped with a 16-megapixel rear camera, f2/0, with laser focus and dual tone flash, and 8-megapixel front facing camera. In terms of camera app, ASUS has one of the most robust camera app, not only it offers a lot of shooting modes and filters it also has manual modes for users who want more control on ISO, Focus, EV, and Shutter speed.

ASUS Zenfone 3 Max - Adobotech

The shutter speed in this device is fast and it also fast in focusing thanks to its laser autofocus. Just make sure you got a steady hand when taking pictures to get the right result otherwise you might end up with some blurred images.

Image quality from the pictures we took outdoor have vibrant and sharp colors, while pictures were taken in low light comes out a bit grainy but not to worry the camera app comes with night mode which is great in taking pictures in dark environments.

Here are some of the sample images we took using ZenFone 3 Max ZC553KL

ASUS Zenfone 3 camera shot - Adobotech   ASUS Zenfone 3 camera shot - Adobotech   ASUS Zenfone 3 camera shot - Adobotech

ASUS Zenfone 3 camera shot - Adobotech   ASUS Zenfone 3 camera shot - Adobotech   ASUS Zenfone 3 camera shot - Adobotech

ASUS Zenfone 3 camera shot - Adobotech   ASUS Zenfone 3 camera shot - Adobotech

Here’s a Time Lapse Video, from Ayala to North Edsa using Zenfone 3 Max!

Battery Power

Zenfone 3 Max selling point is the battery, it comes with 4100 mAh Li-Ion Non-removable battery, a bit short compared to the original Max that has 5,000 mAh non-removable battery. Sure its a bit downgrade but this is to give way to make it look better in terms of design since now it has a unibody design and thin profile at 8.6mm, slightly thicker than Zenfone 3.

Based on PCMark test this device got 11 hours and 10 min. scores which are almost the same as real world experience. Charging it using the provided charger it takes about 2 hours from 5% to 100%! Once it reaches full charge it will automatically stop charging the device which is good since it prevents it from overcharging and potentially overheating.

ASUS Zenfone 3  - Adobotech

Zenfone 3 Mac charging a powerbank

It comes OTG cable that can be used to reverse charge other gadgets, with its 4100mAh battery you can even lend a hand in charging your friend smartphone and for sure he/she will thank you for it and who knows he might even return the favor in other terms.

Wrap UP

Zenfone 3 Max is truly an awesome device with a big battery and a premium design and look. The 16-megapixel rear camera is great for taking pictures and videos. You may ask but the Zenfone 3 Max has lower battery capacity compared to the previous Max which has a 5000mAh battery that is because ASUS wants to keep it slim and encased in a unibody design. Zenfone 3 Max has a better CPU, GPU and more RAM, so overall this device is really a great upgrade.

The Zenfone 3 Max comes in 2 variant, the 5.2-inch is priced at PHP8,995 while the 5.5-inch version is priced at PHP10,995 and now available in all ASUS Concept store nationwide.

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30 thoughts on “Asus ZenFone 3 Max (ZC553KL) Review – Improved and Better Version

  • January 28, 2017 at 12:08 pm
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    It was truly an awesome device..

    Reply
  • January 28, 2017 at 6:24 pm
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    I would love to have this one.. 8k price range nya sa ibang malls.

    Reply
  • January 28, 2017 at 10:47 pm
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    Zenfone is certainly worth buying with its great specs

    Reply
  • January 30, 2017 at 2:38 am
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    very nice phone…

    Reply
  • January 30, 2017 at 5:54 pm
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    I love this ASUS Zenphone 3 Max! This is perfect for me who loves to play online and check my social media accounts all the time. No need to worry for the slow and lagging apps.

    Reply
  • January 30, 2017 at 11:53 pm
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    great phone with a great specs, ZenFone 3 Max is so awesome

    Reply
  • January 31, 2017 at 8:38 am
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    This is awesome! My 6 year old phone is acting up, need a new one na-thinking about this.

    Reply
  • January 31, 2017 at 11:42 am
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    I love it, nice review!

    Reply
  • February 6, 2017 at 10:20 am
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    nice, affordable phone

    Reply
  • February 6, 2017 at 10:25 am
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    Wow!! What a Expect..

    Reply
  • February 6, 2017 at 10:29 am
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    Mas mura na siya sa mga may mga specs na ganyan. Sa tingin ko magpapalit na ako ng brand ng phone.

    Reply
  • February 6, 2017 at 2:11 pm
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    this is perfect i want to have one of this

    Reply
  • February 6, 2017 at 5:01 pm
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    Nice specs & awesome phone

    Reply
  • February 6, 2017 at 10:32 pm
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    So much in love with this device..

    Reply
  • February 6, 2017 at 11:10 pm
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    Sana magkaroon ako ng ganitong kagandang phone

    Reply
  • February 6, 2017 at 11:40 pm
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    looking forward to try this phone

    Reply
  • February 6, 2017 at 11:45 pm
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    Great review!! Thumbs up!

    Reply
  • February 7, 2017 at 12:38 am
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    ganda ng specs..

    Reply
  • February 7, 2017 at 10:41 am
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    What a Great Specs and affordable

    Reply
  • February 7, 2017 at 11:09 am
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    Wow ang linaw ng Camera! O_O

    Reply
  • February 7, 2017 at 2:14 pm
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    Adobotech did a very great review on my phone. Hehehe.

    Reply
  • February 8, 2017 at 6:57 pm
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    Amazing ASUS ZenFone 3 Max ZC553KL

    Reply
  • February 10, 2017 at 8:19 am
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    This is my husband phone now, he really happy because its good to play and the camera was so amazing!

    Reply
  • February 13, 2017 at 11:39 pm
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    Great phone with great specs. Love to try this

    Reply
  • February 13, 2017 at 11:43 pm
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    Nice re v iew

    Reply

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