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Gadget Review: Asus ZenFone Max

With a battery that lasts for nearly 48 hours, Asus ZenFone Max is your best bet, but look beyond this to enjoy a good overall performance, suggests Hassan M Kama

DESIGN: Though, it's part of the Asus ZenFone series, Max has undergone several design changes. The volume controls are now moved to the right side of the device. Also, it gets a plastic strip with metallic finish around the sides, giving the device a premium feel. But we suspect, it will fade away eventually. We would have preferred a plain black look. The back cover, though made from plastic, feels high-end, and offers a good grip due to its leather-like texture.
Rating: 7/10

DISPLAY: The device gets a 5.5-inch display with 1280x720 resolution and pixel density of 267ppi, and is great to work with. The text appears clear, pictures are bright, and most importantly, it doesn't hurt your eyes. And though, Asus has not mentioned anything about protection layering, the screen can withstand scratches.
Rating: 9/10

CONNECTIVITY: The dual sim phone supports 2G, 3G and 4G cellular networks with 4G connectivity on SIM 1 (limited to band 1 and 3) and 2G/3G on SIM 2. It also offers Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi (b/g/n), Micro USB (with OTG), Wi-Fi Direct, digital media server and wireless display.
Rating: 8/10

AUDIO: We are happy with the audio quality, during calls as well as while playing videos and music. The built-in equaliserAudio Wizard offers four pre-sets along with an Advanced option to tweak sound.
Rating: 8/10

CAMERA: The front (5MP) and rear (13MP) cameras are impressive. The picture quality is good for day and night shots. The native camera app, though difficult to use offers options such as control of depth-of-field, metering for exposure, and supports AE, AF and AWB lock. The beautification mode works wonders in the final output.
Rating: 8/10

BATTERY: The Max offers the best battery back-up in this range, thanks to a 5,000mAh battery, making it a favourite with those who need to be connected at all times. It lasted two full days, but results may vary depending on usage. However, we would have expected a faster recharge, especially keeping the battery capacity in mind.
Rating: 9/10

USER INTERFACE & OS: We have never been a fan of the Asus Zenfone UI, especially because of icons. We also don't like that several of the factory apps can't be removed. But the ZenUI 2015, which is built-on top of Android Lollipop 5.0.2, is very smooth to work around.
Rating: 7/10

HARDWARE & PERFORMANCE: Lastly, a smart phone's performance boils down to the built-in hardware. This is where the Max trips. It comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 system on chip, 16GB internal storage, 2GB RAM and an external memory card slot that supports up to 64GB. This combination works well if your usage is limited to browsing, communication and a few less-taxing operations like text editing etc, but struggles with high-end games.
Rating: 7/10

Specifications

DISPLAY: 5.5-inch 1280x720, 267ppi
PROCESSOR:  Qualcomm S410 SoC (1.2GHZ quad core processor)
MEMORY: 2GB RAM, 16GB ROM, expandable up to 64GB
CAMERA: 5MP (front), 13MP with flash (rear)
CONNECTIVITY: GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 2G, 3G and 4G
PRICE: Rs 9,999

Overall rating
7.9 / 10
The guide VERDICT Here is a budget phone that will help you click cool selfies and last you through your needs to share and post online. It’s 5,000mAh battery makes the choice easier. But if you’re looking for a gaming device, look elsewhere.

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