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Zenfone 4 Max and Zenfone 4 experience

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Posted · Original PosterOP

After browsing around for prices/performance I decided to get myself a couple of Zenfones, after all I'm an Asus client for many years, what could go wrong?.



Business phone: Zenfone 4 Max, Snapdragon 425, 2GB ram and 15gb space.

Personal phone: Zefone 4  Snapdragon SDM660, 4GB ram and 64GB space.


Android and ZenUI

First thing that stricked my eyes was the fact that the factory software for the Zenfone Max used 10GB of its 15GB HD space and 1GB of ram to IDLE. It's just wierd how Android requires the same space as Windows 7 but who am I to judge.

Getting into the ZenUI experience now, depressing!.

-The screen saver clock doesn't work for either Zenfones and it is required to unlock them to see what time it is.

-The UI to add a new ringtone did not work for the MAX, users just have to work around the UI bug in order to accomplish this.

-Alarm clock keeps on ringing until someone slides the cancel option, I suspect it will actually ring forever if I let it but I'm not willing to damage my phone to find out, sorry.

-Opening URL links from apps always forced a lame WebView instead of allowing me to choose an actual browser despite of my configurations.

-Overall things were hard to find and I believe I will still find many more ZenUI bugs.


Battery and Battery management software

The 5000mAh battery is great, it usually lasts 2 days until it reaches 40% and charges pretty quick. The software part once again is lacking.

-Battery modes are not effective, instead of turning off CPU cores and disabling unnecessary services it will reduce screen brightness instead.

-The software also has a tool that will switch battery modes on specified hours however the software hardly does its job as it should.

-The charger port is PATHETIC, the cable will disconnect with gravitational force only.


Cover and Gorilla Glass

This part is a disaster!. The aluminium cover is extremely slippery and the phone will drop out of a pocket easly and to make this issue worse the Gorilla Glass protection is unexisting. I dropped the 4GB Zenfone from 50 cm and the screen broke from the top edge to the bottom edge. Tech support repair was too expensive to be considered so I'm using it with a broken cover without any problems so far.


Screen and Cameras

Screen colors and resolution looks better than what I expected for mobiles that costs a 1/4 of an Iphone or Galaxy. The back camera  also looks to be good for it's price tag however the camera software makes it hard to focus but it's something I got used to.


Latest software updates

Yesterday Asus released updates to Android 8 Oreo and ZenUI 5.0.

-The UI update fixed most of UI bugs which made me happy, it  was many months late but at least it came.

-Android 8 part was a serious hit on the ZF MAX, it's currently using 1.4-1.5 GB of RAM to IDLE, in other words I basically run out of RAM with Skype + Chrome. I strongly suggest people not to install it on Zenfones with less than 3GB of ram. This additional ram usage is draining it's battery 2x faster than normal and I feel like I must downgrade in order to ensure a normal battery life time. Again it's wierd how a mobile OS is using more ram to idle than my W7 with 300GB of garbage to index, perhaps Android needs to reconsider its design.


Final consideration

The Zenfone offers good hardware for its price, I will not recommend it for gaming or impatient users tho. Hopefully this will help a soul out there, thanks.

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