Zenfone 3s Max is yet another smartphone launched by Asus in its Zenfone 3 Series which offers 5000mAh battery that too in a mid budget segment. In Countries like India, Budget is the bottleneck for most of the people where they want to buy more value for money or should I say, best smartphones at low price.
This is the first budget smartphone that runs the latest (Nougat) version of Android out of the box.
Asus ZenFone 3s Max specifications
- 5.2-inch (1280 x 720 pixels) HD IPS 2.5D curved display
- 1.5 GHz Octa-Core MediaTek MT6750 64-bit processor with Mali T860 GPU
- 3GB RAM, 32GB internal memory, expandable memory up to 2TB with microSD
- Android 7.0 (Nougat) with ZenUI 3.0
- Hybrid Dual SIM (micro + nano / microSD)
- 13MP rear camera with dual-tone LED Flash, PDAF, f/2.0 aperture,
- 8MP front-facing camera, f/2.2 aperture, 85-degree wide viewing angle lens
- Fingerprint sensor
- 3.5mm audio, 5-magnet speaker
- 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS
- 5000mAh built-in battery
In terms of Design, Asus Zenfone 3s max sports a metal uni-body build with only color being gold. The Finger print Scanner is on front which is also a physical menu button. Capacitive navigation touch buttons have been removed and they are now on Screen navigation buttons.
Zenfone 3s Max is perhaps the first phone from Asus with front facing finger print sensor. 3S Max looks premium and one cannot expect such feel in a budget smartphone. The display is protected by 2.5D glass which gives the bezels even more premium look. Above the display, you have the sensors, selfie camera module and the earpiece.
The power and volume rockers are on the right side while the speakers and microUSB charging port on the bottom. The 3.5mm audio jack is on the top and Hybrid sim slot on the left.
Zenfone 3s Max offers 5.2 inch HD screen with a screen resolution of 1280x720p. 5.2 Inch display is apt for the people (like me) who find 5 inch display bit smaller to work with while 5.5 inch display is larger to operate single handedly. The display being inferior to what is being offered by competitors does not make much difference for the normal use like surfing, watching videos however when you are gaming, or you view the display from different angles, you will want to have Full HD Display.
The smartphone runs Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box with ZenUI 3 on top of it. With Android 7.0 Nougat you can enjoy split screen multitasking, improved data saver and more. The UI of the phone is pretty much similar to earlier Asus phones, but notification panel is more cool now to work with. Asus’s UI gives options to adjust the Font size, display size and even has a built-in Blue light filter.
Smartphone comes with lot of bloatware, and my device for some reason kept on rebooting after certain intervals. It was so random that I could not even figure out any particular behavior. In terms of usage, 3s max is not much smooth and lags sometimes.
The 13MP, f/2.0 aperture PixelMaster camera on the back is placed on the top left rather than on center. Though, Camera from specification point of view is pretty good but practically works average in outdoor shoots. When you click indoor photos, noise can be identified easily.
Selfie camera works well in outdoor environments while in indoor environment, the camera is average only which is noticeable.
The highlight of 3s max smartphone is 5000 mAh battery which lasted 1.5 days with continuous 4G / WiFi. With power saving mode, this can be even extended. In fact, changing the phone to power saving mode at schedule times like Night helps increasing the up-time of phone in single charge. It takes around 2 hours to charge the device completely. It comes with Mobile Manager app which offers multiple modes for the battery. The phone also supports reverse charging – you can use the Zenfone 3s Max as a power bank to charge other devices using a OTG adapter.
The combination of MediaTek SoC and 3GB of RAM coupled with HD Display and 5000 mAh battery makes it a pretty nice choice. While this is not for gamers, but considering the slim design with big battery, this is more of for casual usage. With few apps running in the background, multitasking was an easy thing. Switching between apps in the split-screen mode worked both, in landscape and portrait mode.
You cannot expect a budget phone to support 4K video playback but it does play full HD (1080p) videos. The audio output on of the speaker is quite loud due to speaker grills being at the bottom rather than at the back.
From gaming perspective, Asphalt 8 ran pretty well while subway surfer is not even needed to talk about. Call quality was pretty good and the noise cancellation tech using two mics did a splendid job of delivering crystal clear voice quality.