Unboxing & First Impressions: ASUS ZenFone 3 Max (ZC553KL)

ASUS launched quite a few ZenFone 3 smartphones last year, we got the ZenFone 3, ZenFone 3 Ultra, ZenFone 3 Deluxe, ZenFone 3 Laser and ZenFone 3 Max. Today, we are going to unboxing the ZenFone 3 Max. Nope, it’s not the 5.2-inch variant, but the new 5.5-inch variant, which offers a bigger screen size, faster processor, and better camera setup.

The retail box is pretty much the same as the original ZenFone 3 Max and ZenFone 3 Laser, not that premium one like the ZenFone 3. Well, ASUS hasn’t really changed much of the box design since the first generation ZenFones.

Pulling out the sleeve, you’ll see the phone sits right on the top layer of the box. And here I thought that ASUS provided me the wrong unit as its front looks a lot like the ZenFone 3.

The box contains the phone itself, wall adapter, USB cable, SIM ejector tool, user guide, and the USB OTG cable. The reason why ASUS included a USB OTG cable in the box is because the device actually supports reverse charging, which charges other phones like a power bank.

Like I mentioned earlier, the phone really looks a lot like the ZenFone 3. It has a 5.5-inch Full HD display covered by a 2.5D contoured glass.

The back of the phone is a completely different story. Unlike the ZenFone 3, the ZenFone 3 doesn’t come with glass sandwich design, its back is made of metal aluminum material. Additionally, the 16MP rear camera isn’t protruded like the ZenFone 3. The fingerprint sensor below the camera lens has the same functionalities as the one on the ZenFone 3.

As usual, after setting up the phone, you’ll see there are a few pre-installed unwanted apps. Thankfully, you can remove all.

The top of the phone houses a 3.5mm audio jack, which probably will be missing in future smartphones.

Looking at the bottom of the phone, there’s a microphone, MicroUSB port and speaker. Yes, you read it right, the ZenFone 3 Max has a MicroUSB port instead of a Type-C port, which is one thing I’m not so satisfied with.

And of course, we have to test its reverse charging functionality. It works pretty well, but at the moment I’m not sure how fast can it charges other devices. We’ll report it in the full review.

The new ASUS ZenFone 3 Max (ZC553KL) is priced at RM999. My initial impressions of the device are pretty good. The phone feels premium and there’s no more protruding camera. I’m really looking forward in testing out its battery life, even though I know it’ll give me a hard time to kill off the battery. Stay tuned for our full review!