Gadget: Zenfone Max the Travelers Phone

The biggest pain w.r.t phone while traveling is network and battery. I got a new phone for the last year's epic drive, just for the trip. I paid about 10k and it was a bad phone. It would restart all the time, couldn't focus etc. or let me just say it was disaster.

After using Zenfone Max for a week now I wish I had got it then. It kind of shines in all the departments that I expect a travel phone do well.

How is my travel phone different that the one I use on day today 1.

  • While traveling I use at least two connections (Airtel and BSNL). So something that offers dual sim is very important to me. Its kind of surprise to me that not many high-end phones don't offer that. Why is that?
  • Maps and GPS is something I use 24x7 while on a drive. I track everywhere I go. So its important that the phone handles the power consumption by GPS efficiently and doesn't crash.
  • Photos: Even though I carry a dedicated camera on such trips. I do participate in a lot of photo based crowd-sourcing projects - OpenPostBox, Mapilary etc. So I do appreciate good and quick picture-taking capability
  • Full Disk Encryption and Full VPN support is very important. The problem with most phones is FDE slows them down, VPN consumes battery quite a bit.
  • All these are over and above regular routing, social media, browsing, reading and email.
  • Big battery is very important because both network and gps are power hungry.

Asus Zenphone Max, I wish this had come to market before my trip.

Asus Zenphone Max, I wish this had come to market before my trip.

For me Zenfone Max excels in all the above cases. It's an excellent phone if you travel a lot or generally one who expects a lot from the phone. It has 5000 mAh battery. So I don't have to carry a power-bank every time I go out. Even with my extreme use-cases it comes for two days. I haven't tried 4G. I am thinking about shifting 4G as the 3G speeds are becoming pathetic2. Apparently 4G sucks more battery than 3G, So that makes big battery more practical. Added advantage is you can charge other devices using the OTG. Only negative point being battery is not user replaceable.

Asus phones come with decent quality pre-installed apps. I am not taking about third-party apps but the apps created by Asus. I specially like that they come with all Indian language keyboards. Also app developers are quite responsive. I had suggested couple of suggestions to the Kannada Keyboard app, they quickly replied and I see now that some of those points are implemented.

Also you can uninstall the Asus pre-installed apps if you don't like, its feature3 I like even though I might not use :)

Overall its a great phone for the price.

Note: ASUS provided me a phone to review. I also bought one for family use.


  1. It doesn't mean you can't use it on day today.
  2. Are the providers artificially throttling 3G, so consumers will be forced to go 4G? Discuss
  3. It's a feature because most don't allow you to uninstall