Following the launch of the Zenfone Max Plus, ASUS is at it again with an even more affordable affordable offering in the form of the Zenfone 4 Max Lite – a seemingly toned-down version of the popular Zenfone 4 Max.

ASUS Zenfone 4 Max Lite Specs:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 quad-core processor
  • 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB)
  • 5.2-inch HD IPS display
  • 13MP + 5MP dual rear cameras (Main + Wide Angle), f/2.0, PDAF
  • 8MP front camera
  • Dual SIM, 4G/LTE
  • Fingerprint Scanner
  • OTG Support
  • ZenUI on top of Android 7.1.1 Nougat
  • 4,100mAh battery with Fast Charging

A quick glance at the specs shows quite a number of differences from the Zenfone 4 Max – starting with the processor. This one uses a quad-core Snapdragon 425, which may not be as capable as the Snapdragon 430 in the Max, but it should perform well for daily use.

The lite variant also has 2GB of RAM which is actually a bit off even by budget phone standards,  but shouldn’t be a problem if you’re not into running 10 apps at the same time. While you only get 16GB of internal storage, it does come with MicroSD card support.

As far as battery life is concerned, I’m expecting that this thing can also last a full day despite the difference in battery capacity (4,100mAh vs 5,000mAh on the Max), especially when you consider that this is also running on an HD display.

Design and Build Quality

Zenfone 4 Max Lite 7

The Zenfone 4 Max Lite follows the same design language that you get from the Zenfone 4 Max. In fact, it’s almost a mirror image of it, just slightly smaller. The thick chunk of bezel on top, the dual camera module, it even has that sticker at the back, which again, kind of ruins the design for me.

Zenfone 4 Max Lite 5

In any case, the phone’s smaller form means it’s easier to hold and operate with one hand. It also uses a standard microUSB port, and a triple slot tray, which means there’s no need to sacrifice a SIM slot for your memory card. Pretty much what you would expect from a phone at this price point.

Zenfone 4 Max Lite 3

The 5.2-inch HD display isn’t the most visually-appealing you’ll find as colors look washed out, but since pixels are more packed, it does look slightly more detailed than the one on the Max.

Camera

Zenfone 4 Max Lite 9

With a few sample shots, I could say that the main camera does take decent quality photos with good color reproduction. Given that we were in an area with less than ideal lighting, a bit of graininess was present, and that is expected.

Zenfone 4 Max Lite 10

The front camera also did a decent job with the selfie I took. Though a bit grainy, the details were more than satisfactory, and there was no sign of over processing. I still need to try out this phone in other scenarios to really put a score on the camera.

Software

The phone runs on Android 7.1.1 Nougat with ASUS’ ZenUI on top. As far as navigating the UI is concerned, I didn’t experience any lag or stutter. You do get the usual suite of ASUS apps along with features like AudioWizard and Double Tap to Sleep/Wake. We’re hoping that it does get updated to ZenUI 4.0, which offers a simpler look, with the same goodies.

Initial Thoughts

So far, so good. That’s the impression that the Zenfone 4 Max Lite has left with the limited time I spent with it. The looks may not be everyone’s thing, especially that even budget devices today are going for 18:9 displays, but as far as just being a daily driver is concerned, it looks like this might do a decent job, especially when you consider its PhP7,995 price tag.

Still, there are a number of questions unanswered – how’s the gaming performance? low-light shots? how long can it last? and of course, is it really worth spending PhP8,000 on? or is it better to just save up a bit more and go for another phone? let’s all find that out, in my full review.

 

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Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.

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