Mobile Technology

Asus Zenfone Max ZC550KL Review: A 48 hour Battery Life Field Test

There is a demand for enduring battery life for our mobile devices particularly smartphones. As a traveler who’s usually on the go, there isn’t always a chance to charge our smartphones especially in transit. Asus Philippines gave us a chance to try out their latest battery power behemoth, the Asus Zenfone Max ZC550KL. The Asus Zenfone Max boast a 5,000mAh lithium-polymer battery boasting a 38-day standby time. While I haven’t full tested its standby time, I had the Asus Zenfone Max gone through the demands of travel on a festival weekend in Cebu.


The Asus Zenfone Max sure keeps on going and managed to have enough juice to last more than 48 hours on heavy use. Quite a feat really. On regular days, I find using it without charging for more than 4 days. This power-packed phone is quite handy especially for travel. Very practical as it also works as powerbank when used with a USB OTG cable.

Feel and performance is very similar to the ZenFone 2 Laser which I liked. The major difference is the placement of the buttons which on the Asus Zenfone Max is on the right side and the added heft. The 2 GB RAM and Qualcomm Snapdragon 410(quad-core) 1.2ghz isn’t a performance beast and can struggle on multi-tasking once in a while. But for general use like multi-media (videos and music), social media and a few not too intensive games the phone has an above average performance.

One of the qualms I had with the ZenFone 2 Laser is the speaker was too weak but the headset audio was surprisingly excellent. The Asus Zenfone Max has a much better speaker. Loud and could fill up the room. Though I noticed that there’s a drop on the quality of the audio headset output though.

If you’re tired of constantly looking for an electric socket to plugin in your phone charger or want to loose that extra weight from a powerbank, the Asus Zenfone Max is the closest solution for a smartphone with enduring battery life. The 5,000 mAh delivers on its promise. The combination of a well-designed hardware, above average performance, decent camera, max power and an affordable price tag makes the Asus Zenfone Max a smart option for anyone or a traveler like me more so.

Out-of-the camera shot in Bolinao
Out-of-the camera shot in Bolinao

What I liked

  • Long lasting 5,000 mAh battery life
  • Well thought out design
  • Above average performance
  • Loud speakers
  • Decent laser-focus and F/2.0 camera
  • Works as a powerbank (with OTG cable)

What I didn’t care for

  • Longer charging time with supplied charger
  • Heavy and thick
  • Non-replaceable battery
  • Audio quality for the headset degraded
  • ZEN UI bloatware

The Asus Zenfone Max is available in the Philippines with an SRP of Php 8,495.00.

Asus Zenfone Max with the ZEN UI
Asus Zenfone Max with the ZEN UI

Sample Image Gallery

Disclaimer: The Asus Zenfone Max was provided by Asus Philippines for the author.

By Ferdz

Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.

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