January 20th, 2017
Asus Zenfone 3S Max Review – Massive Battery in an Amazing Phone!
The Zenfone Max series of phones aren’t known for their high-end specifications. They are, however, known for their extraordinary battery life. At the price of Rs. 14,999, the Zenfone 3S Max has quite a bit going for it. There’s an octa-core processor, 3GB of RAM, a 5.2-inch display, but most importantly: a 5,000 mAh battery.
Let’s see how the Asus Zenfone 3S Max stands out in this review.
- 5Ghz MediaTek MT6750 octa-core processor
- 2-inch 720p HD display with 2.5D glass
- 3GB RAM; 32GB internal storage – expandable up to 2TB with microSD
- 13MP rear camera with 5P Largen Lens; 8MP front selfie camera
- 5000mAh battery – supports reverse charging
- Android 7.0 Nougat with ZenUI 3.0
Design & Build Quality
Asus has made some wise design decisions with this phone. For example, the body is made out of aluminium, making it feel quite sturdy in hand. Yet, despite the 5,000 mAh battery and a metal body, the phone does not feel heavy. It weighs a mere 175 grams, per Asus. As for the rest of it, the corners are rounded and the front features a 5.2-inch display along with a fingerprint sensor below the display.
There’s also an 8-megapixel front-facing camera above the display, along with the speaker grill and things like the proximity sensor. Oh, and the Asus branding, of course. The back, however, is quite different from what we have seen in other recent Zenfone devices. There’s a 13-megapixel camera at the top, with Asus’s real-tone LED flash. In the middle, there’s the Asus branding. Below the Asus branding, there’s a plastic strip ensuring better signal reception. The power/lock button is on the right side, along with the volume rocker. The SIM tray is on the left.
Overall, the design is quite standard, but the phone is sturdy thanks to the aluminum body, and looks good in terms of design. There isn’t anything unique happening here, but it’s a job well done nonetheless.
The phone features a 5.2-inch HD 720p display. That might be disappointing, but there’s a reason why Asus went with a 720p display. Asus has one goal with the device: provide exceptional battery life. The most battery-consuming part of a phone is the display. Ergo, a display with fewer pixels to light, uses less power, and thus provides a longer battery life. Despite the lower resolution, the display is crisp and is capable of producing some vibrant colors. It’s quite decent, over all.
Camera & Imaging
The 13-megapixel camera on the back features a 5P Largen lens, with a claim of prodiving great clarity and better optical properties than some of the other options. The dual-tone LED flash accompanying the back camera can produce accurate lighting for shots. If you would prefer keeping the flash off, Asus’s camera app comes with some great features like the ability to take super-resolution photos, but more importantly: a night mode. The 8-megapixel front-facing camera is also capable of snapping some sharp and clear selfies. Once again, Asus’s camera app comes with features like beauty mode, helping to enhance some of the shots.
While the two cameras are decent and work well, the software enhancements are needed. These cameras are not the best you could buy at this price. Devices like the Redmi Note 4 or Honor 6X offer better camera performance at around the same price.
Software, Hardware & Performance
The Zeonfone 3s Max comes with Android 7 Nougat out of the box. That’s the latest version of Android, but Asus has skinned it with their very own ZenUI 3.0. ZenUI 3.0 offers some great features like the ‘ZenMotion’ touch gestures, but still keeps somewhat of a stock look overall. Asus basically provides some unique features, but doesn’t overdo it like some of its competition. Asus also bundles some extra apps like the Mobile Manager which can help you set up auto start and other options for apps. Again, this is to help you optimize the phone for better battery life. As far as the performance is concerned, the hardware inside is good enough to get the job done.
There’s a MediaTek MT6750 1.5 Ghz octa-core processor along with 3GB of RAM powering the phone. As mentioned, the Zenfone Max series aren’t known for their specifications. However, the phone can handle multitasking very well.
Sure, the phone isn’t the best choice if you wish to play games at a smooth framerate, but you can play them longer thanks to the massive battery. Asus compromises a little on performance for gains in battery life.
Battery Life & Verdict
Asus designed the Zenfone 3S Max from top to bottom to provide exceptional battery life. The processor isn’t the best, nor is the screen, but the 5,000 mAh battery is where Asus invested. That investment pays off, as the phone can easily last for two days even with heavy use. In fact, Asus is so confident about the battery performance of this phone, that it allows users to use it as a power bank. It’s possible to charge other phones, with the Zenfone 3S Max. That’s frankly where this device shines. It’s not the best performing device, nor does it have the best camera or the best display. It does, however, has an exceptional battery life. If that’s what you are looking for, then the phone is a great buy, especially at the price of Rs. 14,999. As a bonus, the phone also supports VoLTE. This phone won’t be screaming for power from the wall at the end of a long day.