Asus ZenFone 3 Max 5.2-inch ZC520TL vs Asus ZenFone Max 5.5-inch ZC550KL : Design and Specs Comparison

I made this 'design and specs shoot-out' post for the benefit of my readers and social media followers who've been messaging since last month, asking me if they should upgrade to the freshly announced Asus ZenFone 3 Max ZC520TL coming from their current Asus ZenFone Max ZC550KL.

Asus ZenFone Max vs Asus ZenFone 3 Max

Design and Construction

Fortunately, I was able to bring my ZFMax - one of my daily drivers these days - when I graced Asus Philippines' invite for #ZenvolutionPH, which happened last weekend. In that event, the new ZF3Max was one of the devices showcased at the exhibit area so I was able to snap these side-by-side design comparison photos.

Asus ZenFone 3 Max ZC520TL vs Asus ZenFone Max ZC550KL
Asus ZenFone 3 Max 5.2-inch ZC520TL and Asus ZenFone Max 5.5-inch ZC550KL, respectively.

Asus ZenFone 3 Max ZC520TL vs Asus ZenFone Max ZC550KL

As you can see in these shots, in terms of looks, the only thing that's similar between the two phones are their square-with-rounded-corners footprint, the location of the camera module at the back, as well as the right-panel placement of of the real metal volume rocker and power button.

Asus ZenFone 3 Max ZC520TL vs Asus ZenFone Max ZC550KL

Aside from those physical features, these two models couldn't be more different in terms of design and - more especially - construction.

While the older handset has an exterior made predominantly of plastic, the fresh release flaunts an anodized aluminum shell that not only looks more elegant and premium but also feels more durable.

Asus ZenFone 3 Max ZC520TL vs Asus ZenFone Max ZC550KL
Available in Glacier Silver, Titanium Grey, and Sand Gold, Asus ZenFone 3 Max 5.2-inch ZC520TL - I think - is clearly superior to its predecessor when we talk about aesthetics. Obviously, if the design of the device is a primary consideration for you when buying gadgets, then the decision to upgrade to the new model should be easy.

The difference in the handsets' screen size, shell construction, and battery size - which I will talk more about in a bit - greatly determined the disparity in weight and dimensions between the two devices. Needless to say, the older ZC550KL is a lot bigger and heavier, measuring 156 x 77.5 x 10.6 mm and weighing 202 grams. On the other hand, ZF3Max measures 149.5 x 73.7 x 8.6 mm and has heft of only 148 grams!

Technical Specifications

Let's start the specs-shoot-out from the outside going in.

On the exterior, Asus ZenFone 3 Max sports a smaller 5.2-inch HD IPS display compared to the 5.5-inch HD IPS panel of the ZenFone Max. Though different in size, both screens have the same 1280 x 720 pixels resolution, which means that the one on the ZC520TL has higher pixel density and looks a tad more crisp.

When in comes to imaging capabilities, I think they are just about the same. Both phones have a 13 MegaPixel camera at the back with f/2.0 aperture and a 5 MP front cam for selfies. I played with the dual cameras of ZF3Max at Zenvolution and I think the performance of the shooters is similar to that of my ZC550KL.

Asus ZenFone 3 Max ZC520TL vs Asus ZenFone Max ZC550KL

As for ports and connectivity options, again, these two are similar. You will find the 3.5mm combo jack at the top panel and microUSB port at the rear. Both phones have Dual SIM Dual Standby capability and support 4G LTE Cat4 mobile data speeds.

Asus ZenFone 3 Max ZC520TL vs Asus ZenFone Max ZC550KL

Like the older Max, the ZF3Max also features a sensor for proximity, digital compass, and accelerometer. But the fresh release comes with a Fingerprint Scanner at the back, below the camera, for quickly unlocking the phone with but a touch a finger.

Asus ZenFone 3 Max Specs
Key Specs of Asus ZenFone Max ZC550KL

Asus ZenFone 3 Max Specs
Key Specs of Asus ZenFone 3 Max ZC520TL

Complementing the size of their screens, 5.5-inch Asus ZenFone Max has a bigger 5,000 mAh battery while 5.2-inch ZF3Max is powered by a 4,130 mAh pack. On paper, the bigger Max delivers more than 900 hours of standby and 38 hours of talk time while the smaller ZenFone 3 Max delivers more than 700 hours of standby and 20 hours of talk time. In terms of web-browsing uptime, however, they are just about the same.

Now, in terms of internal hardware, ZenFone 3 Max represents a clear upgrade from the 5.5-inch ZenFone Max albeit not in a tremendous way. 5.2-inch ZC520TL runs its Zen-UI-skinned Marshmallow OS with a 64-Bit Quad Core MediaTek MT6737T chipset incorporating a slightly more powerful Mali T720 GPU compared to Adreno 306 that's integrated with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor inside the 5.5-inch ZenFone Max. The amount of RAM and ROM had been increased on the newer model. ZF3Max now has 3GB of RAM for improved multitasking performance and a more sizable 32GB of expandable storage.

Frankly, if ever I - as a ZenFone Max owner - am now being tempted to upgrade to the ZenFone 3 Max it's because of two things:

1. The new model is just far more gorgeous with its real metal build.
2. ZenFone 3 Max ZC520TL has a better graphics chip and has more RAM.

But that's just me. Let me know your thoughts about these two amazing handsets in our comments section below. For current ZenFone Max owners: Are you planning to upgrade to ZenFone 3 Max? Why or why not?

1 comment:

  1. My only question is. Is it a dual-sim-sdcard hybrid (sim1 and sim2/sdcard). Or dual sim with a separate sdcard slot like the previous max?


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