New Upgraded Asus Zenfone Max(ZC550KL): Initial Impressions!

         So just past this week, Asus announced a refresh to its already available battery hunk: Asus Zenfone Max. Alongside the update, They also announced few interesting things such as who was crowned as the first ever brand ambassador of Asus India. Not One but two refreshed variants were officially announced past week under the same term, "Asus Zenfone Max." That's it, no fancy additions of any numbers or what so ever. If you want to differentiate these two new models with the earlier one, Just head over to the price section. It's fascinating to see that many publishers have posted the title as "Zenfone Max 2016" edition, surprisingly enough the earlier version was made available in January 2016. So a couple of days back, Asus India had sent the new Zenfone Max's to selected digital media enthusiasts even before the launch event, read here for more to know how these devices have been initiated in a digital approach. So two additional variants have been initiated with different price tags. I was handed over a unit, and I'm currently testing this device a bit for about a three days now and here are my initial impressions about the Newly Upgraded Asus Zenfone Max.


Upgraded Zenfone Max: Initial Impressions.

new asus zenfone max
Upgraded Asus Zenfone Max
          So starting with the basics, both the new variants have a Snapdragon 615 processor running on ZenUI on top of Android Marshmallow 6.0.1(with latest security patch). Both devices have the same Internal storage memory which is 32GB, which can be expanded up to 64GB via a MicroSD memory card slot. However, the distinguishing factor between the both new Zenfone max devices is that one has a 2GB of Ram, whereas another has a 3GB of Ram. The 2GB variant is priced at Rs. 9999 and the 3GB variant is priced at Rs. 12,999.

          Well, those are pretty much the changes done under the hood. Neither the phone's design nor the material has got any unique flair, which I believe is going to be awesome as if you're looking out for some custom made accessories, chances are you've plenty of options to choose from. Whereas let's not forget about the already humongous 5000mAh battery which lives up to it's name and I'm thoroughly impressed by how exceptionally well it provides battery backup.

1. Design & Build:

new asus zenfone max

              The new Zenfone Max has the same overall visual appeal to that of it's elder brother. The rose gold color metal like edges give a premium feel in hand whereas the corners are meticulously curved to make the device feel smaller in hand. The back has a leather finish, which for the first time isn't a hard fake plastic leather, the leather material used now gives the New Zenfone Max a premium feel in hand, this rubberized feel makes sure that the phone won't fall from your hands, As it provides a steady grip. Whereas it weighs about 202g which for sure is bulky, But the added bulk won't cost be a problem or stuck me in any dilemma since the inbuilt 5000 mAh battery is taking the care of backing my juice up for an extended period.

2. Processor and Memory management:
new asus zenfone max

             Both the newer Zenfone Max's boast the upgraded Snapdragon 615 processor, which is a worthy update from the previous Snapdragon 410 chipsets. There have been a lot of heating issues with this chipset in the past with Yureka device, but it seems like Asus has done an overall good job of optimizing the software for this hardware. The Zenfone Max hasn't heated up at all in my initial usage of using Youtube, Social media posting, regularly downloading Apps and being connected to Wi-Fi. Asus has done a commendable job here. RAM management is also on the positive side; this device handles multitasking like a breeze. Although I'll let you know more in my in-depth review coming soon.

3. Battery Optimizations:

new asus zenfone max

            The primary highlighting feature of this device, that "5000 mAh" battery. Last night I charged it up to full 100%, and I'm pretty impressed to share that I'm still left with more than 20% with heavy usage, Yes "Heavy usage." I guess the battery optimization is more on the positive side due to a 720p HD display(less PPI) and the Android Marshmallow's under the hood changes. In fact, if I use the device moderately then it lasts me more than 2days, which is strikingly impressive. Although the charging speeds are really on the downside, I'll reveal more details in my upcoming full review. Wished that it had support for Qualcomm's Quick Charge technology.

4. Android Marshmallow 6.0.1:

         The senior Zenfone Max was rocking on Android Lollipop 5.1; Thankfully on the Newer devices, Asus has provided the latest version of Android; Marshmallow 6.0.1 which is available publicly with all the latest security patch updates. The In-App permissions, battery optimizations help a lot in the memory management part, thus increasing battery life. Android Marshmallow doesn't bring any significant UI bump in ZenUI as everything from the launcher, and various features are identically similar, apart from the current battery optimizations.

Final thoughts after using it for 3 days:

new asus zenfone max

          The main attraction point of this device is that massive battery, then typically we head down to specifications. In my personal use the device hasn't left me in any sort of lag, no matter how much I throw at it. Another thing that I like a lot about this device is that the Camera App showcases a manual mode for the rear camera, and this blows my mind regarding the possibility of some great shots. So should you buy this device? Definitely, it's the bang on under Rs. 9999. I'll leave few links for you actually to check out this device and make sure you share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Links to Buy: Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal

Also See: Upgraded Asus Zenfone Max 2016(ZC550KL) Launched
By: Pratik Patil.

Editor-in-Chief and Founder. A curious soul who strives to make a difference in the world and make the most of life.

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