Asus Zenfone Max Review: Tanking Up: Unboxing, 360-degree Spin, Hardware Overview

By 03:48 Tue, 17 Aug 2021 Comments


Unboxing

The Zenfone Max comes in the same type of box as all of the current generation of Zenfones, including the Zenfone 2 and the Zenfone Selfie. Inside, you'll find the basics: an AC adapter and a Universal Serial Bus (USB) to microUniversal Serial Bus (USB) cable, but also a Universal Serial Bus (USB) OTG cable.

Our unit came without headphones, so if a wired headset is vital to you, you might check out whether one is available in your region or else, you would have to factor in the price of a headset.



The supplied Universal Serial Bus (USB) OTG cable allows you to charge other devices

The premise behind the Universal Serial Bus (USB) OTG cable is that you can utilize the Zenfone Max as a power bank and charge other devices. However, it will hold you a while to fill up the Max itself - considering the sheer power of the 5,000mAh power unit, Asus could've done better than a 5.2V/1A charger.

Asus Zenfone Max 360-degree spin

The Asus Zenfone Max measures 156 x 77.5 x 10.6mm, which is more or less the same as the Zenfone Selfie, and a few millimeters taller than the regular 5.5-inch Zenfone 2 (the ZE551ML being one example of those). It's also a small wider, but you're unlikely to notice any of these differences.

What you inevitably will notice though is the heft of the Zenfone Max. At 202g, the increased weight is more than tangible. However, that's also a compromise that by definition goes with the high-capacity battery, and if the Max has made it to your short list, you should already be okay with it.

Hardware overview

Immediately recognizable as a member of the Zenfone 2 family, the Zenfone Max won't be easy to disclose apart from its siblings, just by looking at its front. Large bezels all around, capacitive keys below the display, and a chin with a brushed metal finish with concentric circle pattern - all of them have it.






Virtually the same as every other current Zenfone, and yet unlike any other brand

Take a see at it from any other angle however, and you'll start to spot the differences. For one, the Zenfone Max has what appears to be a frame all around. Painted in gold, it serves as an accent to nicely complement the prevalent black color of our review unit.


The frame also houses a power button and volume rocker on the right. So, what happened to the back mounted volume rocker on other Zenfones, the more observant among you might ask. Well's that's another aspect where the Max designers took a different path, a more orthodox one.





Controls on the correct • nothing on the left

There's nothing special about the port placement - a 3.5mm jack on top, microUniversal Serial Bus (USB) on the bottom. A tiny pinhole next to it is for the primary microphone.






3.5mm jack on top • microUniversal Serial Bus (USB) and mic pinhole on the bottom

The texture of the rear is what you won't find on other Zenfones either - the faux leather effect works very nicely with the soft-touch plastic.

Other than that, you have a familiar arrangement of a centrally-mounted camera, flanked by a dual-LED flash and a cutout for the laser-assisted focus.





Faux leather back • capturing camera arrangement • loudspeaker mesh

As with all other members of the family, the Zenfone Max features a removable back cover. Underneath it you'll find the large power battery, but you won't be able to swap it. Without tools that is.

On the Zenfone 2 the battery is sealed, but its component arrangement is such that the SIM slots are on top of the battery to better utilize the curvature of the back. Then the Zenfone Selfie has a lithium polymer battery you can easily pop out, and looking at the flat power pack of the Max, we can't assist but wonder 'why not?'. We won't dwell on it that much though, 5,000mAh is 5,000mAh.





Back cover removed: Zenfone Max • Zenfone 2 ZE551ML • Zenfone Selfie

The Zenfone Max is undeniably a large device and quite heavy too. However, the curvature of the back, along with the soft grippy texture create for comfortable and secure handling.




In the hand


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