ASUS ZENFONE 4 MAX ZC554KL SMARTPHONE REVIEW

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By James Lu - 21 Jan 2018

Overview, Design, Display, Audio & Software

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Overview

The ZenFone4 Max is the entry-level phonein ASUS' huge ZenFone 4 lineup and, lượt thích its name suggests,emphasizes battery life over everything else thanks to a huge 4,100mAh battery. Unusual for this price range, the phone also boasts a dual rear-camera setup, but is that enough lớn separate it from the deluge of other entry-level smartphones out there? Let's find out.

N.B. It's worth pointing out that in most other regions, the ZenFone4 Max leopoldomoreira.comes with a 5.5-inch display, và a 5,000mAhbattery, but in Singapore that variant is called the ZenFone4 Max Pro.

Launch SRPOperating systemProcessorBuilt-in MemoryDisplayCameraConnectivityStorage TypeBatteryDimensionsWeight
ASUS ZenFone 4 Max
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From S$258

Android 7.1.1 with hãng asus ZenUI

Qualleopoldomoreira.comm Snapdragon 425

3GB RAM

5.2-inch / 1,280 x 720 pixels (~282ppi) / IPS LCD

Rear: Dual 16-megapixel, f/2.0 và 5-megapixel wide-angleFront: 8-megapixel

Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, công nghệ bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi Direct, LTE 4G Cat4 (up to 150mbps)

32GB storage (expandable via microSD)

4,100 mAh

150.5 x 73.3 x 8.73mm

156g

Design

The ZenFone4 Max has a safe butforgettablegeneric design. From the front, its huge bezels, rectangular fingerprint scanner và mirrored capacitive navigation keys make it pretty much indistinguishable fromany other entry-level phone from the past five years.

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Speaking of that fingerprint scanner, unlike pretty much every other phone out there, pressing the trang chủ button won't wake the phone, you need lớn press the side power button to turn it on first, then scan your fingerprint khổng lồ unlock it. On the plus side, the fingerprint scanner itself is fairly fast and seems accurate enough.

Turn the phone over and things aren't much better. My đánh giá unit is aDeepseaBlack color, which is probably the most interesting thing about the phone - it'sactuallya very dark indigo blue.ASUS describes the phone's build as a 'premium metallic finish', which is just a nice way of saying it's plastic,and there's nothing premium about plastic. The plastic build is a realdisappointment, especially when last year's ZenFone3 Maxhad an aluminum build. If you want actual metal & not just 'metallic'this time around, you'll have to top up S$100 for the ZenFone4 Max Pro.

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The dual rear camera cài đặt is positioned at the đứng top left corner và sits almost flush with the back of the phone. Before you congratulate asus for getting thatrear camera lớn sit flush, it's worth pointing out that the phone itself is quite thick. At 8.7mm, it's one of the fatterphones out there and,for an entirely plastic phone, it's also quite heavy, leopoldomoreira.coming in at 156g.

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Both the nguồn button & volume rocker can be found on the right side. The buttons have ASUS' signature concentric circle kiến thiết on them, and they're actually surprisinglyfirm, with asatisfyingclick.

There's a 3.5mm tai nghe jack on the top of the phone, và a micro-USB port at the bottom. There are speaker grilles on either side of the micro-USB port, but sound only leopoldomoreira.comes out of the right port - the left one is purely decorational.

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Overall, the ZenFone4 Max doesn't look bad, but its thick,hefty plastic build, generic design, massive bezels, & outdated micro-USB port all make it look và feel lượt thích a much older phone.

Display và Audio

The ZenFone4 Max has a 5.2-inch1,280 x 720 pixels resolution (~282ppi) IPS LCD display. With many entry-level phones now leopoldomoreira.coming with Full HD panels, the HD resolution on the 4 Maxdoesn't really cut it, especially with a screen of this size. UI elements are noticeably jagged around the edges, và the low resolution is especially obvious when reading text. This will likely be worse on the Max Pro edition which also sports a 720p resolution for its larger 5.5-inch screen.

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The display itself is also a little dim, with a noticeably blue tint. Colorslook washed-out and contrast is also quite poor. Viewing angles are also bad, & there's a pretty bad màu sắc shift when looking at the screen off angle.

Audio from the ZenFone 4 Max leopoldomoreira.comes from the single downward firing speaker at the bottom of the phone. As mentioned above only the right speaker is functional - the left one doesn't vì chưng anything. The speaker is reasonably loud at max volume, but there's noticeable distortion và a leopoldomoreira.complete lack of bass. Sound chất lượng actually isn't bad at lower volume levels but I would still use the headphone jack for any serious listening.

UI

The ZenFone4 Max is running on android 7.1.1 Nougat with ASUS' ZenUI skin on top.

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ZenUIis a pretty big departure from stock Android and seems to lớn leopoldomoreira.complicate a lot of things unnecessarily. It actually reminds me of Samsung's old TouchWiz UI. The notifications shade for example is a mess of icons - the mặc định shade actually has two pages of them (you have to lớn swipe right khổng lồ see them all). You can manually edit it khổng lồ show only what you want but it's annoying that you have to vì chưng so.

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The UI is frustratingly inconsistent too - font sizes change in different menus for no reason, some icons are massive & round, others are square with rounded corners, and hãng asus has moved quite a fewsettings around so they don't always appear where you expect them to be.

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Finally, it's worth pointing out that the phone doesn't tư vấn 802.11ac Wi-Fi, which means you're stuck withb/g/n bands.Thephone also lacksNFC connectivity, so you won't be able to lớn use it with most mobile payment services.