Among the multitude of mid-ranged smartphones in the market, the Asus Zenfone has been a very popular brand. More recently, the ZenFone Max has been the most popular smartphone model to come from the house of Asus that was launched last year. The Asus ZenFone Max came with a great solution to one of the primary flaws in many otherwise capable smartphone models; that is battery life. Although this Asus smartphone was average in most of the aspects and could not be called excellent from any angle, it did surpass one’s expectations when it came to battery life.
The new updated Asus ZenFone Max 2016 came in to offer some latest upgrades to the users to become an overall better new smartphone model, while retaining the same excellent battery backup that its predecessors charmed the audience with. The new Asus ZenFone Max 2016 has launched in the vast Indian mobile market priced at Rs. 9,999, while the 3 GB variant of the smartphone comes tagged at Rs. 12,999.
As the new Asus ZenFone Max 2016 comes at the same price as that of the previous generation Asus ZenFone Max when it first launched, the new upgrades should make it an attractive choice and breathe new life into smartphone model in this highly competitive market.
So, here’s a look at the new updated Asus ZenFone Max 2016 in order to see the smartphone models hits and misses to offer a clearer idea to the buyers.
The ZenFone Max 2016 is exactly the same to its predecessor with the exact same dimensions and weight. The smartphone includes the same detachable back panel, sleek design and gold trim on the sides. So, there’s no change here, and we wish Asus had made some subtle but nice changes. However, there are two new color options for the new 2016 model: Blue and Orange apart from the existing Black and White color choices.
On the whole, the entire design is neat and simple, while the back cover has a patterned matte finish that enables comfortable grip and handling.
The updated Asus ZenFone Max 2016 comes with same 5.5 inch large IPS display with a screen resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels. Despite the price range of Rs. 9,999 to Rs. 12,999, Asus is not offering a high resolution screen like many of the rival models which come at lower price tags as well.
The smartphone has not been endowed with a better higher resolution display by the company, probably to maintain the high battery life without actually increasing the battery capacity. The Asus ZenFone Max 2016 does offer a bright overall good display, but not the expected sharp screen with great details like lots of other models available in the market. If, you are all for battery life, then this shouldn’t bother you. Otherwise, the display upgrade is a definite miss for the ZenFone Max’s 2016 version.
Hardware & Software
When upgrades are concerned, then this is the department where the Asus ZenFone Max 2016 has really got its updates to mark it apart from its predecessor. The new 2016 version of the ZenFone Max model now comes braced with a more powerful processor. It packs in a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 SoC chipset which replaces the old Snapdragon 410 processor of the original ZenFone Max. This certainly has its benefits when performance is concerned. So, this is definitely a hit point about the new model.
The processor gets the support of the same 2 GB of RAM as before, but there is now a 3 GB RAM version as well. However, at Rs. 12,999, just 1 GB extra RAM support does not seem to be good deal to us, as with an additional Rs. 3000 premium, the Asus ZenFone Max 2016 (3 GB RAM) variant does not offer anything additional than its regular version.
The other most noteworthy upgrade comes in the onboard memory department. The new 2016 version of the handset comes with 32 GB inbuilt storage, compared against the 16 GB memory of its predecessor.
The ZenFone Max 2016 also comes with pre-installed Android Marshmallow Operating System. Asus had earlier released the list of its phones which will receive an Android Marshmallow update and the first-gen ZenFone Max is not one of these. So, the new version which runs on the latest Marshmallow is certainly another great update, which makes this new smartphone really worthwhile.
The device also offers several Android M’s primary features such as Do Not Disturb Mode, Now On Tap, Doze Mode, revised app permissions among others. However, the Asus’ ZenUI skin on top doesn’t help the case, which does not seem to improve and feels like it has become more intrusive.
The battery department also remains unchanged and this is not bad at all. The Asus ZenFone Max 2016’s humongous 5000 mAh battery pack is its greatest strength. However, its charger seems to be inadequate and takes like forever to fully charge this huge battery. Asus has improved the power output, but it is still a mere 5.2W.
The Asus ZenFone Max 2016 comes with the same primary camera as its predecessor before, which is a capable 13 MP unit at the rear of the phone that comes with laser autofocus system to make sure that the camera offers good performance and detailed pictures. The primary shooter is also braced with dual tone LED flash for good pictures even in lowlight conditions.
The smartphone also comes with a 5 MP front facing shooter to offer good selfies and which is pretty standard for mid-rangers. Both the front and rear cameras are capable of recording 1080p-30fps videos.
The camera app has improved very slightly and is neater than before. There are abundant photography modes and the camera focuses super rapidly. So, the end results are really nice.
The Asus ZenFone Max 2016 3 GB RAM variant offers exactly the same as its regular counterpart and nothing extra other than the additional 1 GB RAM support. So, its 12,999 tag doesn’t really seem to be justified. There are other misses as well like the lack of a fingerprint sensor considering the market trend.
Complete specs and details on the Asus ZenFone Max 2016 can be found on 91mobiles. You can also compare the handset with its rivals on 91mobiles.