The ASUS ZenFone 4 Max smartphone (ZC554KL) is equipped with two cameras on the rear panel and a capacious battery that promises a long battery life. In our review, we check whether it is the only advantages of the new phone and whether it is worth buying.
ASUS ZenFone 4 Max (ZC554KL) tempts with a huge battery that has been closed in a relatively slim body. Seemingly, it's very interesting equipment – however, is it worth investing in it 1000 zlotys ? Maybe the better generation will be a better choice, which I liked very much? You will find the answer to this question in my review ASUS ZenFone 4 Max (ZC554KL) . Traditionally, however, let's start with presenting the specifications of the tested phone. I also invite you to watch the ASUS ZenFone 4 Max review video (ZC554KL) – the material is available on my YouTube channel . https://youtu.be/CMLIvdc6su0
Changes in design are, but …
As compared to the previous generation, ASUS decided to introduce a few changes to the design, although they rather do not result from frills, but were forced by trends in the mobile industry. However, not everyone can like each other. By that I mean transferring the biometric sensor from the back panel to the display . For me, it does not matter much, because I use both solutions equally well.The ZenFone 4 Max rear wall (ZC554KL) is made of aluminum , which is accompanied by plastic inserts and metallic straps. There is no denying that this connection is very often used by many manufacturers in the mobile industry. Even the predecessor ZenFone 3 Max (ZC553KL) was made for the same note. I do not treat it as a flaw in any way, but I simply turn your attention to the fact that there are really few changes. On the front, the screen is protected with 2.5D glass , which has been well-integrated with the rest of the device. Above the display, in addition to standard sensors and cameras, we also have a LED illuminating diode. Under the aforementioned fingerprint reader is surrounded by a frame, which also acts as a Home button. There are also two capacitive buttons that are not illuminated in any way, which makes it difficult to use the smartphone after dark. The arrangement of connectors and other elements is rather classic – volume control bar and power button went to the right side, microUSB 2.0 port, microphone and multimedia speaker placed on the bottom edge, mini-jack 3.5 mm and secondary microphone on the upper, and sleds on traditional dual SIM and microSD card on the left side. There is also a notification light – placed in the upper left corner of the front panel. ZenFone 4 Max (ZC554KL) was made duly, and the rounded corners definitely improve the grip. And although it is not the lightest phablet on the market, a large battery (about which in a moment) did not significantly affect the overall dimensions, as well as weight. If I wanted to attach myself to the design of the tested device, I could only complain about the black frame running around the display, the lack of backlight buttons and the presence of older generation USB .
The battery is bigger – the working time is not longer
The ZenFone 4 Max battery (ZC554KL) is definitely its strong point. The manufacturer put on a cell with a capacity of 5000 mAh , which compared to the model from last year has been increased by almost 1000 mAh.Unfortunately, the larger capacity does not translate into a longer operating time of the new model in normal use. Interestingly, synthetic tests show something completely different. [wptab style = "4" title = "Normal use"] [slug test = "battery" order = "desc" selected = "22480" virtual = "pcmark-work" type = "single" product_id = "22480,22050, 22226,21910,21818,22140,22138,22444,22396 "] [/ wptab] [wptab style =" 4 "title =" Games "] [test slug =" battery "order =" desc "selected =" 22480 "virtual = "battery-manhattan-3" type = "single" product_id = "22480,22050,22226,21910,21818,22140,22138,22444,22396"] [/ wptab] [wptab style = "4" title = "Time loading "] [test slug =" battery "virtual =" loading-ac "order =" asc "selected =" 22480 "type =" single "product_id =" 22480,22050,22226,21910,21818,22140,22138,22444 , 22396 "] [/ wptab] [wptab_end] Nevertheless, three days of working with a hook, I think that is a very good result, which many smartphones can not achieve or even get close to. However, the position of the leader is still maintained by invincible Lenovo P2. A large battery in conjunction with a charger (5V / 2A) is surprisingly a good connection, because it takes 195 minutes to complete a 100% discharged battery, and therefore just over three hours. It is worth adding that the fifteen- minute charge will fill the battery to the level of 8% of energy resources – after another 15 minutes this value increases to 16%. ASUS has also applied many energy saving scenarios that offer a lot of additional settings that allow greater control over energy loss.
5.5 "screen, but only HD
Display displays with 18: 9 (l2: 1) proportions are becoming more and more fashionable, and therefore narrow and long, on which more content is located. And although I would love to see one in ZenFone 4 Max (ZC554KL), the standard 16: 9 is also on the spot, especially considering the equipment costing less than 1000 zlotys.Content is displayed on a 5.5 "screen in HD resolution (1280 x 720 pixels) . I definitely do not understand the manufacturer's move and lower the resolution relative to the predecessor. I understand that theoretically it was to translate into a longer working time, but why at the expense of comfort of use? With such parameters, you can see the pixels, and the fonts are not as smooth as we would expect. [wptab style = "4" title = "Maximum brightness"] [test slug = "screen-battery" virtual = "TEST_JASE_PASS" order = "desc" selected = "22480" type = "single" product_id = "22480,22050, 22226,21910,21818,22140,22138,22444,22396 "] [/ wptab] [wptab style =" 4 "title =" Minimum brightness "] [test slug =" screen-battery "virtual =" TEST_JASNOSC_AKU_MIN "order =" asc "selected =" 22480 "type =" single "product_id =" 22480,22050,22226,21910,21818,22140,22138,22444,22396 "] [/ wptab] [wptab_end] Maximum and minimum luminance are typical for devices with medium price range and I have no objections in this respect. The phone can be used comfortably in both well-lit places as well as in dark rooms. If, however, you came to the conclusion that whites hurt you, you can always put on a blue light filter, which has five degrees of adjustment. And that's basically enough of the additional screen settings you can find in ZenFone 4 Max (ZC554KL). It is a great pity that there was no color temperature adjustment mode.
Less pixels, but the second camera has arrived
ASUS put on a 13MP camera with F / 2.0 light , so we have a further retardation of the predecessor in which the 16MP sensor was erected. Nevertheless, the number of pixels is not the most important here, as most of the gsmManiaKów know very well. What worries me more is that ASUS gave up using the laser focus measurement sensor , remaining only with PDAF technology. Fortunately, the producer has not forgotten about adding a novelty, which in the case of this model is the second, wide-angle lens – 120 degrees . There is also an LED lighting LED. Since you have already changed through the characteristics of cameras, it is worth to lean over their capabilities. And these are quite decent.Photographs taken during the day, and therefore when the lights are the most look good enough – they are characterized by a large number of recorded details, nicely reproduced colors, as well as a decent tonal range. In most cases, they are noise-free, although the machine has some problems with the selection of appropriate parameters, because we can occasionally notice problems with sharpness. After all, in this class I have no reservations about the camera. >>> View sample images in full resolution The situation is completely different when photographing in low light conditions. At that time, noises start to sound, and the detail and sharpness go into the background . Night mode was lacking, so if you want to improve the quality, it's worth using the manual mode and choosing the right parameters yourself. The wide angle camera has a brightness of F / 2.2. Pictures look pretty good for the possibilities offered, although you do not have much to think about with a lot of details. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqLWjAokK-o When it comes to recording video sequences, you can record them in maximum 1080p resolution, at 30 frames per second . As far as the quality of the video I do not have any serious reservations about, I am not particularly happy with the sound being recorded – it is metallic and not very pleasant to the ear.
Front camera and photo application
The selfie was dedicated to an 8-megapixel camera with a F / 2.2 lens aperture and PixelMaster 4.0 technology. Photographs look decent, although it happens that the front camera has a problem with choosing the right parameters, as well as with sharpening. However, in most cases it works well. The same applies to video materials that are recorded in FHD resolution. Dedicated application offers some interesting features, including the possibility of taking pictures in high resolution, panorama mode, beautification or time-lapse movies. Access to the function is intuitive, and manual mode allows you to set basic values.
Meaningful performance with one "but"
The efficiency in this year's Max is responsible for more than two years of SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 . This processor is still popular, although more recently you can meet its improved version with the Snapdragon 435 designation (even Wiko WIM Lite, Lenovo K6 Note, Moto G5s, or ZenFone 3 Max ZC553KL).Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (8 x Cortex-A53@1.4 GHz, 28nm) with graphics system Adreno 505 works with 3-gigabyte RAM. This is a good connection for a smartphone from this price shelf , which should be enough for most users. [wptab style = "4" title = "PC Mark"] [test slug = "pcmark-android" order = "desc" selected = "22480" virtual = "pcmark-android-work" type = "single" product_id = " 22480,22050,22226,21910,21818,22140,22138,22444,22396 "] [/ wptab] [wptab style =" 4 "title =" AnTuTu "] [test slug =" android-antutu-6 "order =" desc "selected =" 22480 "virtual =" antutu-total-6 "type =" single "product_id =" 22480,22050,22226,21910,21818,22140,22138,22444,22396 "] [/ wptab] [wptab styles = "4" title = "3DMark"] [test slug = "3dmark" order = "desc" selected = "22480" virtual = "3dmark-ice-storm-unlimited-total" type = "single" product_id = "22480, 22050,22226,21910,21818,22140,22138,22444,22396 "] [/ wptab] [wptab style =" 4 "title =" T-Rex "] [test slug =" gfxbench-fps "order =" desc " selected = "22480" type = "single" virtual = "t-rex-3-onscreen" product_id = "22480,22050,22226,21910,21818,22140,22138,2244,4,22396"] [/ wptab] [wptab styles = "4" title = "Manhattan"] [test slug = "gfxbench-fps" order = "desc" selected = "22480" type = "single" virtual = "manhattan-3-onscreen" product_id = "22480,22050, 222 26,21910,21818,22140,22138,22444,22396 "] [/ wptab] [wptab_end] The results of synthetic tests may not take away, but they stand at a similar level to competitive smartphones available on the Polish market at a similar price. During everyday use, however, I did not feel the lack of computing power to run individual programs, and switching between them is relatively fast. However, I have reservations about the smoothness of the system animation , although this is probably only the fault of the software. This is not the first smartphone with these components that I have to deal with, so I know well that SD430 with 3GB RAM can work more efficiently. Dedicated graphics work well with HD resolution with most of the games available in the Google store, although it is worth bearing in mind that not all titles work smoothly on the highest details. Adreno 505 did not get a run of breath while the long running. The smartphone has no problems with excessive housing heating. The rear panel is slightly warmer in the upper part, but this does not affect the comfort of use. ASUS ZenFone 4 Max (ZC554KL) works on the basis of Android version 7.1.1 Nougat with the security level from November 2017. However, it is not clean, because it has been enriched with the ZenUI 4.0 interface, which brings with it a fairly fresh breath, relative to the older version. ZenUI 4.0 is a completely redesigned look, as well as a lot of original applications. Of these more interesting, it is worth to mention an extensive mobile manager – it allows, among other things, to speed up the device by freeing RAM and closing active processes; power management in the phone by changing modes, monitoring data consumption, and managing notifications. Do not forget about the support for gestures, the extended weather application, or the one-hand operation mode , which can be activated by double-taping the touchpad under the screen. ASUS also adds two additional interface modes: child and easy, as well as an application created in the similarity of Game Tools and Game Launcher Samsung – collects games in one place and offers additional options. The software also includes:
- Page Marker, which allows you to save web pages and read them later offline
- Twin Apps allows you to simultaneously open two accounts from social applications
- transparent file manager
- an application that allows live streaming
NFC and radio are missing, but it's a nice surprise
Communication facilities at ZenFone 4 Max (ZC554KL) are adequate to the equipment class. Therefore, we do not have to count on the latest communication standards. And although I can understand this, the lack of an NFC module is a huge blow to all those making payments using a smartphone. The one-zone WiFi wireless network module (802.11b / g / n) performs well – it can catch the signal without any problems and works reliably. A LTE modem that allows data to be downloaded at speeds up to 150 Mbps, as well as Bluetooth 4.1, also works properly. The fact that the card tray has been equipped with three slots – a two for SIM cards in the nano standard, and the third for a microSD card with a capacity of up to 256GB – is a very nice and also a very pleasant surprise. There is also a GLONASS and BDS satellite navigation system, a microUSB 2.0 connector. However, there was no FM radio . I can not complain about a GPS that is not lost, as you can see on the attached screen shot from the Endomondo application. The speed of catching fix is at the highest level. USB port supports OTG – it is possible to connect peripheral and pointing devices. The phone easily handles memory pendrives, as well as external drives (2.5 "without own power supply) with the NTFS file system. Built-in memory type eMCP is 32 GB , but after deducting system files this value decreases to just over 22 GB. ASUS adds free 100GB in the Google cloud, but only for a year.To finish the communication section, it's worth mentioning the quality of voice calls Phablet does not lose the range, the sound is loud enough and the microphones are very good at picking up the sound I tested the equipment on the Orange and Plus network card A multimedia speaker mounted on the bottom edge, works well as a component for signaling an incoming call or new events.It is too weak to listen to loud music.This positively surprises the dedicated headset , combined with a sound transducer and graphic equalizer with personalized scenarios ( you can also define yourself The sound is loud enough and quite pleasant for the ear. Remember, however, not at the maximum volume, because then the band is cut off, which results in a very flat and less expressive sound.The biometric sensor used is not infinitely fast , but it is very accurate. During the test period, the situation in which I had to double-tap a defined finger occurred only three times, which is an acceptable margin of error.
Summary and evaluation
I placed huge hopes in ZenFone 4 Max (ZC554KL) , because as I mentioned earlier, I am very happy to remember my predecessor, the ZenFone 3 Max (ZC553KL). Have my expectations regarding the premiere telephone have been met. The answer is unfortunately unambiguous. On the one hand, you can see technological progress, but it is not as big as I would like it to be. And I do not mean the components responsible for the performance of the device. First of all, I was counting on the fact that increasing the battery will have a noticeable effect on the overall working time, while it turned out that ZenFone 4 Max (ZC554KL) is only slightly better than its predecessor – distancing the older model mainly in benchmarks, not in normal use.It is worth appreciating the fact that ASUS put on two cameras on the back panel , so we can take pictures with a wide angle. The advantage is also a refreshed interface, in which a lot of unnecessary applications have been removed and thus easier to navigate the system. I consider the disadvantage first of all the lack of the NFC module , as well as lowering the resolution of the display relative to the predecessor. Is it worth buying ZenFone 4 Max (ZC554KL)? Well, it is definitely not a good choice for people currently using ZenFone 3 Max (ZC553KL), as there are too few changes to make such a jump worthwhile. I'm even inclined to say that today ZenFone 3 Max is a better choice, because it is not enough that it costs less, it still looks better in my opinion. What do you think about the new ASUS phone? Let us know in the comments. [Show_rating]