Last year Asus unveiled the Asus Zenfone Max at their Zen festival, later it was available in the market. Asus created a battery oriented phone but it was good in only that sector, things like the performance, camera weren’t up to the date with the competition; So now in 2016, Asus has a launched a second version of the Asus Zenfone Max. Is it worth your money? Let’s find out!
Zenfone Max 2016 review
Starting with the build and Design.
Build and Design
The Zenfone Max is designed well, Asus has tried something different than the standard Zenfone’s layout, The volume and power buttons are on the right side. On the back of the phone, there is a leather-like texture which feels great to hold as well as feels luxirous. The capacitive buttons still lack a backlight which is a bummer.
The Zenfone Max weighs around 210 grams which according to me is a bit too heavy and more than one would like. Some brands recently used a new technology in which the battery cells were packed very closely which made the phone thin as well as it did not increase the wait. This could have been done by Asus in this model. When holding the phone or even just showing the phone to someone, the first thing which is pointed out is it’s bulk and for some, It can surely be a reason not to buy the phone. Nothing has changed on the outside, and even someone from Asus can not differentiate between the first gen and the second. So you may ask what has changed, well you will come to know about that soon.
The Zenfone Max 2016 comes with the same screen found on its previous generation which means that you still get a 720p display. Even then the display is very bright and pleasant to look at. It is a little oversaturated but can be fixed in the display settings itself. Great work Asus! The sunlight readability is also excellent. What I do not like about the screen is the scratch protection. I opened the phone on 23rd may, at that time I had three more phones to review, So gave my phone to my colleague to test it for two days.
When he gave back the phone, I saw a big scratch on the display. I asked him and he had no idea when that happen. We usually keep our devices very carefully and always ensure that no damage is done to the review unit. However, this time, I was surprised. According to Asus, the display isn’t gorilla glass but a similar product So if you buy the phone, make sure to keep it away from any sharp object. Due to that scratch, I had to buy a tempered screen guard to protect it from further such scratches.
The phone performed well and much better than it’s the previous generation. It comes with a Snapdragon 615 which was launched last year but still competes well to the 616 and 617. The phone comes in two variants, one with 2GB RAM and one with 3GB. The phone performs well while gaming and doing routine tasks, but switching apps and multitasking is atrocious on this phone. It lags while changing apps and hardly store’s three apps in its memory. This is because of the Zen UI and the bloatware in it. What I did to improve the RAM management was disabling some apps which I don’t want including some Asus’s apps like Zen Circle. This helped a lot in improving the overall performance of the phone.
The SD 615 is famous for its heat issue but kudos to Asus for fixing it. Zenfone Max hardly went over 40°C which for a phone with 615 is a big achievement 😀
Here are some screenshot of the benchmarks I ran on the phone.[Coming Soon]
Zenfones usually have a decent camera; This one is no different. It has the same camera which was in its previous generation so nothing new. Pictures come decently with good color accuracy. The phone also comes with laser autofocusing but when in auto mode, the shutter speed is so slow that no images come clear( in medium to low light). In good lighting, the camera performs well, though.
The Zenfone Max comes with Asus’s own Zen UI, which is still filled with a lot of bloatware which slows down the phone. The tip I will give you is to disable every app which you don’t use like Zen Circle, Splendid, web storage etc. Except bloatware, Zen UI is an amazingly good UI with a lot of customizability options in it. There were hardly any bugs, and I didn’t face any force closes. The Zen UI on the Zenfone max is based on Marshmallow, which is the latest Android Version. Nice work Asus!
Some screenshots of the UI[Soon]
The Max in the phone name comes from here. The Battery of the phone.
The phone comes with mammoth 5000 mAh battery which easily lasts for two days for heavy users and three days for average users. If you are someone who always needs to juice up your device, This phone is for you my friend.
The Zenfone Max has a decent camera, good display, Buttery smooth performance and a giant 5000 mAh battery. If you are looking for a phone under Rs. 10,000. Do not look any further!
Still want more info? Check out my buddy’s video here!
PlayFit Smart Band – The best Fitness Band in the market?
Recently Play, an Indian brand which focuses primarily on wearable tech and accessories launched its two new products, The PlayGo which is a bluetooth headset and the PlayFit which is an activity tracker/smart band. So we got a chance to review the smart band and here it is. We will be discussing various aspects like design, build, software, accuracy, battery life etc.
PlayFit Smart Band Review
Design and build
A watch is as important as any other apparel one would wear. This one looks much better than any other smart band in this price range. Kudos to PlayFit design team for inculcating ritzy neon green stripes with a gentle grey accent. The rubber material used is flexible and fits nicely on hand. The belt has 15 slits which should be enough to suit most hands. It’s lite and compact form does favour a distraction-free workout session
Coming to the front, it has a Colored touchscreen display spanning 0.98-inches diagonally. This display felt small for our liking. Another pain point is the outdoor legibility, which is a major miss here. You have to hover your hand to view the screen contents, which is rather stone age-ish at this point. Even the display was hasty to go dark, which was always annoying. But on the flip side, this might aid a better battery life. We also appreciate the fact that the device is IP68 Dust and Waterproof certified.
UI & UX
Even though we would wish to have android wear in the smart bands someday, the PlayFit comes with its own custom UI. The UI makes the full use of the coloured display by having every item coloured differently. we really enjoyed the UI though sometimes navigating between the different screen was not easy. There are a limited number of watch faces, 4 to be exact with 2 of them being just a change in colour. The default watch face is the only one which we really liked. In the default screen, if you tap once you will get the heart rate, then the steps and then calories.
While if you swipe from the top, you will get a menu with different screens which include the notifications. Speaking of notification, PlayFit syncs your call and smartphone app notifications on its display along with vibration alert. These are some of the apps it support – SMS, WeChat, QQ, Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, Messenger, LinkedIn, Email, Calendar, Skype, etc. In our testing, certain features like the remote camera access didn’t work as advertised. There is an option to control the music navigation from the wrist band itself. However, it works with selected apps like Google Play Music only. No support for Spotify, it seems! All that said, a fitness band will still get our approval if it does well where it’s supposed to. Here’s how it performs on fitness grounds. There is also an option of more options in which you have settings like lift-up display, camera, alarm etc.
Overall the UI is great and the UX is also very user-friendly. Even for people who are not really tech-savvy.
The device is compatible with android (4.4 & above) & iOS (9.0 & above) devices. It is equipped with Bluetooth version: 4.2. Sorry, No 5th gen here! The pairing is pretty easy using the PlayFit app downloadable from the Google or Apple app store.
Once you sign in to the app, you’ll be welcomed by a pleasing user interface. It presents real-time and progress on 14 activities (which will discuss in the next section), your sleep routine, and your heart’s health. It also exhibits periodic stats of your activities, sleep, and heart health on different useful metrics. There is even an activity logger to custom-meter any activity.
This is where I think this device shines the most. It has more than 10 sport modes like Walking, Running, Cycling, Skipping, Badminton, Basketball, Football, etc. Now, you may already know that the fitness bands, for the most part, project guesstimates. But, we didn’t understand the lack of swimming mode, even though it has waterproof certification. Further, like many of its peers, it also fails to detect our erratic daytime naps. Similarly, PlayFit 53 confuses vehicle rides for walking, which is also something that cripples other bands. But in all due fairness, the fitness tracking functions accurate enough to be useful. And as aforementioned, it covers every major sports activity. The Sedentary Alert lets you know of your prolonged inactivity.
Play claims that this device would last for more than a week however in our usage, it lasted for little more than 4 days which is average is these bands. Do note that the bluetooth connection was always on and we get a lot more notifications than a standard user. So if you are intending to use it moderately, it might last you for about a week.
Overall we are very impressed by the device, at this price, It has to compete with some of the veterans in the field like the Mi Band. If the brand continues to provide support and updates, it can easily make a fair share in the fitness bands market.
EaseUS Data Recovery Software Review – The Best one!
We all have been in this situation where we mistakenly or unknowingly delete important data. This can be files of some office work, old pictures of a trip you took with your girlfriend or just cute pictures of cats you downloaded from the internet, any data that you really want to keep and gets destroyed hurts a lot. A file once deleted is almost impossible to retrieve, this is something that we all used to think or at least I used to. Well not anymore. Recently while deleting some junk, I mistakenly deleted a photoshop template that took more than 10 hours to make. I was in no way in a mood to make it again so went on the journey of “Data Recovery”. If you search for data recovery software on Google, you will be bombarded by thousands of companies claiming to be the best and capable to retrieve any data. Well most of them were just a result of massive advertisement budgets and nothing else. So in my quest to find a reliable data recovery software that my Macbook supports, I came across EaseUS Data Recovery. They seem to have spent all their money on making the product work well instead of the advertisements. Hands down this is the best recovery software you can buy for your machine. Let’s dig a bit deeper-
EaseUS Recovery Software Review
When you first open the software you are asked to select the drive you wish to perform the recovery on. On Macbook generally, there is only a single drive so select it. Once you select it, wait for a while so that the software can scan the drives for the data. The time it takes depends upon the type of drive and the size. Data recovery takes time and you should be patient enough and let the software do its job. Even if the scanning is midway you can navigate the files and select the folder which you wish to recover. Along with this, you can even navigate on the basis of the data type. You can filter down on the types whether its audio, picture, video etc.
EaseUS provides trial versions of its software, which can be used to recover up to 2GB of data on PCs and Macs. A trial run will help you determine if your lost data can be recovered prior to purchasing the software. The premium version which has no restriction costs 70USD which is value for money. After using the software for a week or two if you feel like it is not working as you expected you can get your money back! EaseUS recovery has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Once you have selected the folder or the files you wish to recover just press on “Recover Now”. This will pop up a dialogue box for selecting the location. It is recommended to select a different drive to save the data as recovering and saving data at the same time could be dangerous. So what will those people do who have just a single drive? Well, EaseUS has taken care of us by providing a feature of storing the recovered data on the cloud. This shows the amount of work they have done for the software.
Once the recovery process is complete you will be able to see all the files that you had deleted in the past.
Features at a Glance
- Quick Scan
- Deep Scan
- Sort by File Type
- Partition Recovery
- Store in Cloud
- USB/ External Drive recovery
- 24/7 Support
- 30 Day money-back guarantee
If you are in a situation where you require to recover your lost data then EaseUS data Recovery would be an ideal option. With features like sort by file type, partition recovery, store in the cloud, great UI, the software has a lot of advantages when compared to the rest. With the sweat price of just 70$, Everyone who deals with important data should own a license of it be it photographers, designers or programmers.
1MORE iBFree Bluetooth earphones review!
There was a time when you would have to shell out 10-12 thousand rupees to get a good pair of Bluetooth earphones. It 2018 now and the scenario has changed. Now, you can get unbranded bluetooth earphones from 700rs and upwards. I have tested a lot of Bluetooth earphones and almost all of them have some problem, it could be the battery life, standby time, ergonomics or just the sound quality. 1MORE is a popular brand based out of Shenzhen which has its market all over the globe. 1MORE is also known for the piston earphones they make for Xiaomi.
I have been listening to iBFree from 1MORE. Apart from the name, How good actually are these earplugs? Well, we will find that in this review!
In the box, you get following things-
- USB A – Micro-USB
- 2 extra tips
- 2 extra hooks
The unboxing experience of these was great, The quality and the design of the box is well thought off. However, India is a competitive market and most of the bluetooth earphones here come with a solid case which these lacks. If not a case, 1MORE could have included a pouch at least. Anyway, moving forward.
The earphones are made up of solid metal and are very well built. You can throw these around, drop them and even step on them, They will continue working. The design is exceptionally good as well and gives a premium look. There is a rubber tube to provide support to the wire. The wire is also thick enough and can easily handle the normal wear and tear. According to the 1MORE website, these aren’t officially sweat proof but in my usage, they haven’t given me any problem while using them at the gym or in the rain. If not deliberately destroyed, These can easily last long.
iBFree are sports earphones and to ensure that these don’t fall out, 1MORE has provided ear hooks as well. And believe me when I say this, Once they are inside your ear, they are not going anywhere. The ear hook is tilted which might be the reason for such snug fit.
Talking about sound leaking, The design of the ear tips is such that, very minimal amount of sound gets leaked so If you have to wear these in subways/metro then rest assured, Your co-passenger won’t be hearing your songs :p. Also, If you do gym, then these will also reduce the outside noise in the gym if your gym plays their own songs, It won’t be a problem.
Talking about the sound quality, These are downright the clearest sounding earphones. The highs on this are a bliss to listen. You might have to tune the equaliser to get the best out of these. If you are into bass, then you might dislike these initially. Let them run for 4-5hours and they will burn-in into something incredible. For the size of these, They produce excellent sound.
The audio controls are on a small remote attached to the wire. The middle button is used to play and pause as well as to turn on and off the earphones. the right and left switch can be used to increase or decrease the volume and Next and the Previous song if you hold them for two seconds. The earphones come with MEMS microphone which eliminates the noise while you are on a call.
These come with Qualcomm aptx technology which ensures that there is no latency while you are playing songs or watching movies. This feature is only available on Android phones with Qualcomm processor.
These charge in less than 2 hours on a 2A charger and last for about 5-6hours is medium volume. Do note, that these are very loud and you will end up listing on the low volume.
If you are looking for bluetooth earphones for the gym or normal commute than these are best earphones to go for under 4,000INR. You get great battery life, Awesome sound and durable body.
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