It's relatively easy to make a specs sheet look impressive, but the battery in the ZenFone Max is serious business.
Great battery life is a claim you hear from every smartphone manufacturer, and while that claim is largely subjective, it does mean we can have some fun when a phone shows up with a battery that dwarfs the competition. Today's challenger is the ASUS ZenFone Max, a phone with fairly modest specs powered by a ridiculous 5,000 mAh battery. That's right around 2,000mAh more than your average high-end Android phone, and when you add in the Snapdragon 410 processor and 1080p display you're all but guaranteed to get through a whole day with this phone.
Simply getting through the day is a fairly boring thing to test, though. To give a better idea of what this battery is capable of, we took the ZenFone Max out for a couple of hours with the Galaxy Note 5 and the BlackBerry Priv for some quality time playing Ingress.
For the uninitiated, Ingress is an Augmented Reality game that uses your GPS to place in-game elements in physical locations for you to walk to and interact with. In the middle of the day, that means wandering around with your screen brightness at max for however long it takes you to get to the closest portal and hack it. And that means you're going to be burning through your battery in hurry. We took these three phones out for three straight hours of simultaneous identical gameplay, each with the brightness set to max. Each phone started out at 100 percent battery capacity connected to either Verizon Wireless or T-Mobile.
After the first hour of gameplay, the results couldn't have been more clear. The BlackBerry Priv had already burned through 27 percent of its 3,410mAh battery and the Note 5 had consumed 19 percent of its 3,000mAh battery. Meanwhile, the ZenFone Max had just reached 9 percent consumed. As we continued on, destroying enemy fields and creating new ones as a group, this consumption rate remained fairly constant. BlackBerry's battery was clearly going to die first, but the Note wasn't all that far behind.
By the time we reached the three hour mark, the Priv had dropped to 24 percent remaining with the battery meter suggesting it had one hour of life remaining at this rate of use. Samsung had dropped to 41 percent, and claimed it could go for another two hours before dying. Meanwhile, the ZenFone Max has 71 percent remaining, and the battery manager claimed the phone could go for another 8 hours.
Phones like the ZenFone Max are designed to guarantee you get through an entire day no matter what, and this phone clearly delivers on that claim with a little extra left over. There's a lot more to using a phone than battery life and playing Ingress — or maybe there isn't, we're not judging — but it's clear this is a phone that will keep going well after the sun goes down.