Asus Zenphone 3 Max: User Review
by André Santos
After many years using an IPhone 4s, I’ve finally had the opportunity to have something different and more advanced. I’m talking about the Asus Zenphone 3 Max. I’ve got it around mid-December of 2016, so I was excited to get this device as an anticipated Christmas gift to myself.
It was a little tricky to get it in my hometown in Portugal, but after some complications with the stores, I had finally got it and with a small discount, so it was worth all the trouble. I had my eyes on this device after witnessing some of its functionalities at the hands of a friend of mine, which recommended it after looking at my jealous face.
Battery life and charging
Before saying anything about this topic, I must say I am not one of those people that are always on their phones playing games or navigating on the internet. So, I’m not the best judge to decide if this device has or not a really good battery life.
Regardless of that, I was still happy with it. With medium usage, the battery life lasts me between a day and a day and a half, which I think is pretty decent. It takes more or less two hours and a half to completely charge, which is reasonable.
The only problem I might find with this phone is when I want to take a lot of pictures, the battery goes down fast, especially if I use the flash.
On the other hand, on my previous devices the YouTube app drains a lot the battery, but I don’t see it happening on this one.
Performance & Design
The phone is mostly made of metal, but it’s not heavy at all. One of the things I enjoyed that Asus remembered was to put a plastic part where the ‘wi-fi’ and network sensor is placed. It’s discrete and it doesn’t block those signals, like it would if it was metal instead.
The device is not slow, opening every app easily and is not constantly asking for updates.
One thing that actually bothers me and I didn’t noticed it would so much at the beginning, is the blocking/unblocking button’s position. In my opinion, it’s too low, so lots of times I accidently press it when I hold the phone.
Strength & Durability
For now, this device seems to be ‘bullet proof’. After a few months with it and without any protective cape, it has fell to the floor tons of times and without a scratch at all. One of the times I was in my bed and I was looking for the phone, so I uncovered the sheets and my heart stopped as I was watching, in slow motion, the phone flying across the bedroom and hitting the floor. When I picked it up, it was in perfect conditions, to my surprise. I never had to take it to repair and on this rate, I don’t think I will need it so soon.
This device has good features as I mentioned before, but personally I think these are the ones that makes me happy using it:
Apps: Despite the many apps that the phone brings, and the ones that I install, they usually open really fast, which is a bonus for me, because I often get upset with the amount of time it takes to open an app or even the browser in the computer.
Resistance: The phone doesn’t break easily. I’m a little clumsy, usually dropping it. That always scared me with my previous phones but this situation isn’t a problem with this device, due to it being made of mostly metal.
System: The Asus Zenphone 3 Max has an organized and easy to use system. I was used to the iPhone’s system but for me it was really easy to adapt to this one. The earphones that came with the device are also really good and comfortable.
Micro: There is a specific micro in the back of the device, just for the capture of sound for videos made with the phone, which I thought it was a cool touch.
Accessories: One thing I was mostly impressed was that the phone brings an accessory that allows you to connect your phone to another, sharing battery charges, which is great for emergencies. The earphones are also a great accessory, one of the best I had. The sound is good, it’s comfortable and made with quality material.
Audio: So nothing is perfect, and this device isn’t an exception. One of the things I didn’t like that much is the audio of the external speaker. I can’t hear so well in phone calls and I think people can’t hear me so well either. So one of the ‘downers’ of this phone is the limited volume of its speakers.
Camera: The camera is good, but the focus is delayed and the camera seems weaker than my previous phone when I take shots in brighter and more colorful environments.
Predefined apps: Every phone brings predefined apps, but I think most of them are unnecessary. This phone brings a lot of them, and 80% I never even used, so it’s just occupying space and memory.
Despite some flaws here and there, I have nothing else to say that’s worth going into this section.
Generally speaking, the Asus Zenphone 3 Max isn’t the best phone ever, but it’s far from being the worst. I’m not expecting to trade it so soon, but I’ll probably try to find a better one in the future. I was pleasantly surprised by it in a way, but the negative aspects surprised me as well.
The price could also be cheaper, considering that the camera and audio aren’t that great, which are key elements on every modern device nowadays. I’ve got it for 200 euros, which I thought it was a fair price, but now looking at it, it should be more around 150 euros, to be fair.
Overall, a nice and simple device that has potential if they improve the camera and audio in future versions. I am happy with it, but certainly it’s not going to leave a mark in my collection.