Asus Zenfone 3S Max Review

Every other day there a new phone that gets launched and each of them trying to create their niche and market. Unfortunately not every brand or device is successful in doing so. In any case it’s the consumers who get benefitted as they get the best possible configurations at an affordable price.

Taiwanese Company Asus also came up with a phone a few days back in its Max series, the Asus Zenfone 3S Max. It is an upgrade to the Zenfone 3 Max 5.2, and it brought some welcome upgrades in the hardware and software department.

Brands like Xiaomi has hit the sweet spot amongst the Indian users where it offers the best combination of performance, battery backup and price. Much like the Moto and Lenovo devices. Some time back we reviewed Zenfone 3 Max, and now we got a chance to spend some time with the phone, and hence we bring the detailed Asus Zenfone 3S Max Review for you.

Asus Zenfone 3S Max Specifications: 5.2-inch Full HD display | 1.5 GHz Octa-Core MediaTek MT6750 Procesor | 3GB RAM | 32GB internal memory | 13MP Rear Camera + 8MP Front Camera | 4G dual sim | Android N v 7 with ZenUI 3.0 | 5000 mAh battery

Asus Zenfone 3S Max Sar Value:

Asus-Zenfone-3S-Max-review-unboxing

Asus Zenfone 3S Max – Unboxed

Inside the box, you get pretty regular stuff like

  • Zenfone 3S Max Mobile Phone
  • a bulky 2A Power/Travel Adapter
  • Data cable
  • SIM ejection tool
  • OTG cable
  • Quick Start Guide

Asus Zenfone 3S Max Review : Build and Design

When we reviewed Zenfone 3 or Zenfone 3 Max, the design was one of the highlights, the design on Zenfone 3S max also isn’t very common. The phone comes with rounded edges and sides which blend well into the 2.5D curved glass display.

Coming to the display of Zenfone 3S Max, it is a 5.2-inch 720×1280 panel, and you can find the earpiece just above the display while the front firing camera and other sensors placed on either side. On the top, you’ll find the single 3.5mm analog audio jack. The Infrared sensor is missing here which is standard these days on devices in the same price bracket.

Below the display, you have a fingerprint sensor housed under the home button. The regular capacitive android buttons are missing here rather hence you’d find the home button is duplicated with the onscreen keys. You can find a micros USB charging port at the bottom along with the speaker grille. The Power button and volume rocker are placed on the right while the hybrid dual sim tray is located on the left side of the phone.

Unlike other phones, Asus has hidden the antenna line under the top edge of the phone. Overall the all-metallic back looks immaculate and premium with just a subtle cap at the bottom.

With a 5000 mAH battery inside, the Zenfone 3S Max is on a slightly heavier device however the curved body of the phone makes it a delight to hold on to. Although not a major issue, it will take some time for you to get used to the weight of the phone.

Asus Zenfone 3S Max Review: Software & Performance

The Asus Zenfone 3S Max comes with Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box. Not many devices in this budget come with the latest OS. Zenfone 3S Max outscores its competition here.

While Asus has thrown in the latest OS in the phone but I’ve always felt that Asus goes a bit overboard in terms of bloatware, so much so that the performance of the phone starts getting impacted. Zenfone 3S Max is not an exception here. Be it the Zenfone Max or the Zenfone Max (2016) or Zenfone 3 or even the Zenfone 3 Max all of them were crippled with bloatware.

A not-so-fast processor also adds to the dismay. Together the processor and the heavily customized skin is a major downer here. Zenfone 3S Max loses big time here. Devices like Honor 6x or a Redmi Note 4 outperform Zenfone 3S Max easily.

The audio output on of the speaker is decent and overall multimedia performance was enjoyable. Add a good pair of headphones and you have a pretty decent audio output as well. Video output of the 3S Max is limited to full-HD as the processor doesn’t support 4K videos, which isn’t a major deal breaker, though.

If you’re a gamer then Asus has included ‘Game Genie’ that will speed boost by clearing RAM hence enhances the gaming experience. It also helps you to record your screen or even live stream while you play the game. We tried playing casual (subway surfer, score hero etc) and heavy games (Asphalt 8) and found the performance to be smooth overall apart from few random hiccups here and there.

The phone also loses a bit in the camera department. While the outdoor photos were decent, lack of details was clearly visible. Color reproduction was average. The indoor performance of the main camera is strictly average. While the camera was able to focus really quickly in good lighting, it wasn’t the case with low-light situations resulting in grainy and blurry photos. The camera app still has a lot of functions, unfortunately, the hardware couldn’t support them properly.

Asus Zenfone 3S Max Review: Battery

The biggest highlight of the phone is its massive 5000 mAh Lithium-polymer battery. The company claims that it delivers up to 34 days of standby on 4G networks and up to 28 hours of talk time on 3G networks. During the review period, I was easily able to get 2 days of backup. It will easily last for more than a day if you’re an avid gamer or more than a moderate user.

We tried doing video loop test and the battery on the Zenfone 3S Max churned out some impressive number. The battery drained out only after 15 hours of continuous video play at full brightness. When I started the loop test, the battery lever was 87%.

It would’ve been icing on the cake if Asus had included fast charging in this phone, it takes a good 3-3.5 hours to get it to 100 percent. If you disable some of the animation and other preset optimizations, you may get a little more juice out of the phone.

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6.5 Total Score
Asus Zenfone 3S Max Review

Asus Zenfone 3S Max falls just short of a good phone. While it does offer awesome battery life, it doesn't justify the price tag of Rs. 14,999. A 1080P display with just a little bit of sacrifice on the battery backup could've helped a bit. There are other devices like the Redmi Note 4 or Honor 6X that offer much more than just battery life. Go for Zenfone 3S Max only if battery backup is your main priority.

Performance
7
Camera
6
Battery
8
Price
6.5
Software
6.5
PROS
  • Extremely Long Battery Life
  • Design
  • Latest Android OS
CONS
  • Below-par performance
  • Average camera
  • Display
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I've always been interested in Gadgets and stuff around technology. I got hooked to Android when I bought my first Android Smartphone around 2008/09. Mobile technology has been my first priority ever since. Other than technology I also enjoy Photography, watching movies and socializing with my friends and family. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

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