ASUS Zenfone 3 Max Review – Hungry Geeks

I remember when the first Zenfone Max launched. ‘Twas a day like any other. ASUS branded it as if it’s the last phone you’ll ever need. Battery life was incredible and the hardware was up to par at that time. Then the comments came. Unsurprisingly, the phone was often compared to the old “Yo mama” jokes. It was bulky and it wasn’t as sleek or sexy as its slim brothers. Then ASUS heard the people’s cry, transforming it into the Zenfone 3 Max we now know and love.


“Ganito kalapad” “Ganito kanipis”

Aesthetics is one of ASUS’s main priorities when designing their products. The Zen series of computing devices realize that intricacy. Likewise, the Zenfone 3 Max ZC553KL has finally embodied that. Gone is the fat bulge that identified the previous incarnation. The Zenfone 3 Max is now streamlined, more comfortable to handle, and definitely less cumbersome.


Looking at its design, it’s not hard to mistake it for an iPhone from afar. A lot of my friends commented that it looked like one, then realizing the fact that the mid button is absent. But obviously present are the typical ASUS Zenfone 3 features. The front face is home to the holy trinity of Android buttons (Back, Home, App Management). For cameras, it has a 13MP back and 5MP front. The right side is home to the volume control and the lock buttons. On the other side, we have only the SIM slot present. Last but not the least, the touch sensor can be found at the backside, just below the camera.

Battery Life (4100mAh of goodness)

Now for the main star of the show, the Zenfone 3 Max’s battery life. The good thing about it is that all the claims made by ASUS in their commercials and ads prove to be true. It’s a phone that can last DAYS with one charge. Being a heavy user, I frequently watch Youtube videos coupled with a Bluetooth headset for good measure. Suffice to say, it’s not a nagging device that constantly begs for juice. Just one good night of charge and it’s good to go.

On the other hand, an unavoidable conundrum appears. The charging time might take a couple of hours. I do recommend overnight charging for this one.

One gimmick that ASUS employed is that the ASUS Zenfone 3 Max can be used as charger for another device. While it does work, the probabilities and chances of one doing it are slim. But should the need arise, the Zenfone 3 Max has the user covered.


While quality is subjective, the ASUS Zenfone Max 3 is more than equipped for the usual “moments to capture”. Somewhat strange is that whenever I have food in front of me, I take pictures of it. Below are some samples of some easy to grab chow in Japan:

Buri Sashimi Omu-rice. Inside is fried rice mixed with ketchup and pork. Custom-made with my name on it. Wakayama Chashu Ramen Late-night Udon

In case you’re forgetting, is also a food blog (food often times gets eaten before we take pictures). I pray that you don’t crave after seeing these.

As expected of ASUS phones, this phone has features that compensate for the user’s lack of artistic sense. For the more intricate, a manual mode is also available. For an aesthetically impaired person like me, the Auto mode is godsend as it’s enough to satisfy the lack.


I won’t bother listing the specifications. There’s already a website for that.

If you’re looking for the performance benchmarks, here it is:

For user-experience, it’s enough to satisfy my need. As I’ve said before, I mostly use the phone for my entertainment purposes, watching educational shows like Sci-show and Crash Course. At 1080p streaming with Bluetooth on, the phone just shrugs it away like a pestering fly.

Exploring the phone is as easy as it gets. ASUS Zenfones are prepped with the the usual apps such as storage management and some games to whittle time. There’s little bloatware present at the onset, and with free theme support, the phone can easily be personalized.

Oh, and if you’re a gamer, the ASUS Zenfone Max 3 has Game Genie (not to be mistaken with the cheat devices of yore), a built-in app that streamlines gaming and streaming. It’s quite easy to use and upon opening a game, an icon appears and with two clicks, the device clears the RAM and unnecessary stuff to speed up. Pretty nifty if you’re more into mobile gaming.


As a user that relies heavily on video/music content, the ASUS Zenfone 3 Max delivers. For one, it’s not rare that phones require a charge after a day’s work. The ASUS Zenfone 3 Max is an exception. Even after hours of watching and messaging, it’s still pumped and game. The design makes it a viable option as a main phone, ditching the “brick” design.

This review has been challenging as it’s quite hard to bring the Max down.

While the ASUS Zenfone Max 3 is not a “makalaglag brip” (groundbreaking) device, let alone compete against flagships, it caters to users that frequently use demanding apps in their phones. That without sacrificing much hardware competence. Also, it’s not that it won’t be appealing to call/text users, but having a phone that can last you three days or more definitely deserves a consideration.

Everything at a price of PhP 10,995. Certainly not cheap, but also not too expensive.

“Yung phone na di ka iiwan sa ere.”

With no complaints whatsoever other than the eternal charging time, it’s just apt to reward the ASUS Zenfone 3 Max ZC553KL with this:

Darn it, just seeing those pictures above made me crave for some ramen and/or sashimi.



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