Asus Zenfone 3s Max Review-The 5K Magic

We spent few days with the Asus Zenfone 3s Max and here is our review 🙂The Zenfone 3s Max is a lot similar when compared to the 2016 Zenfone 3. Both devices Sport a 5.2″ HD ( 1280 x 720) Display both have a similar design, both have a large battery. The Zenfone 3s max is definitely is an improvement over the Zenfone 3 Max, it sports better megapixel count camera and a large battery and the fingerprint scanner is now located on the front of the device while compromising on the capacitive keys, it’s all “on screen” keys now and oh, it runs on Android 7.0 out of the box.

Read our full Zenfone 3 max review by clicking here

Zenfone 3S Max Key features

  • 5.2-inch, 1280×720 resolution IPS LCD; 2.5D curved glass
  • MediaTek MT6750 SoC, octa-core CPU (4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.5GHz + 4x Cortex-A53 @ 1GHz), Mali-T860 MP2 GPU
  • 3GB RAM; 32GB storage (expandable by up to 256GB)
  • 13 megapixel rear camera, f2.0 aperture, phase detection AF, two-tone LED flash, 1080p@30fps video
  • 8 megapixel front camera, 720p30 video
  • 4G dual SIM, VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Mono loudspeaker
  • 5000mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat with ZenUI 3.0

With the basic comparison done with the zenfone 3 max let’s dive into details. 😉

Display

The Zenfone 3s Max is rocking a 5.2″ HD display, nothing fancy here just like the zenfone 3 max.

Decent Colors, gets reasonably bright, decent viewing angles.

Design

The metal unibody design has improved, it is now more rounded at the corners which makes it easier to hold and the device feels more secure to hold now. The fingerprint sensor has been moved to the front of the screen and speaking of which the screen in 2.5D curved glass as well like the the Zenfone 3 Max we reviewed not a long ago. You can find the earpiece, sensors and the front facing camera on the top of the device. And the capacitive keys are gone in the favor of new housing of the fingerprint sensor. The 3.5mm Jack is on the top and the micro usb port on the bottom, it would be better if they had gone for a Type C port. The hybrid SIM slot is placed on the left side of the phone.

Durability

The Asus Zenfone 3s Max has that ‘durbale’ phone kinda feeling to it. It is heavy, sturdy and feels premium too. But is it really? We did a drop test from 1 feet, we tried our best to fake a real drop. We dropped it from 1 feet and well… It failed. The lower right corner of phone is cracked badly. There’s a saying “All that glitters is not gold” It seems perfect in this situation. The Asus Zenfone 3s Max seemed promising on its durability, heavy, thick and metal yet it couldn’t stand out 1 feet drop test. If you think. We are being biased here then we would like to tell you that the company’s Asus Zenfone 3 Laser and Asus Zenfone 3 Max did really well on the drop test. They didn’t cracked or anything like that. First we thought this is could be because of the glass material on the Zenfone 3s max but then we recalled that almost all phones in Zenfone 3 line-up has the 2.5D glass ( Including Zenfone 3 laser and Asus Zenfone 3 Max) . What’s more surprising is that the previous phone the normal Zenfone 3 Max not survived but did very well in the drop test. There were just minor scratches on the back and we dropped it from 2 feet and well… The Zenfone 3 Max costs less. So if you want to buy a phone that’s durable then just don’t go for Zenfone 3s Max. It’s fragile.

Performance and Software

The phone is powered by a Mediatek 6750.Its kinda weird to see Asus to go for a MediaTek SoC thats made on 28-nanometers process, when a better option Snapdragon 625 SoC made on 14-nanometer process was available. Not only that the Qualcomm SoC supports Full HD resolution when compared to Mediatek one which maxes out at 720p but the Qualcomm is a bit efficient and powerful than its mediatek counterpart. It’s a win-win situation here.

The phone comes with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, it is good enough for multi-tasking through social media apps but don’t expect it to do very heavy duty tasks like playing high end video games.

The smartphone runs Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box, wrapped under Asuss ZenUI 3. You get all the Android 7.0 Nougat goodies such as improved doze mode, split screen multitasking, improved data saver and more. The interface is similar to what weve seen on other Asus phones, but it is slightly stripped down. The drag-down notification panel is now translucent, which kind of looks good compared to the old, boring white background.

Bloatware is expectedand the same is present on the Zenfone 3S Max too. These include ZenTalk, ZenFone Care, ZenCircle, WebStorage, QuickMemo, MiniMovie, Go2Pay, Do It Later, Although Asus has cut down on the number of preinstalled apps, only some of them can be uninstalled. Rest of them, you either have to deal with them, or just disable them.

Battery

With the capacity of 5000 mAh it surely resembles the Zenfone Max. And is a definite upgrade from the Zenfone 3 max which boasts a 4100 mAh battery. The battery lasts for days. Nearly 2 to 3 days on moderate use. Yeah the battery life is fascinating but the downside is that this phone does not comes with quick charge so it takes a lot of time to charge the phone.

This phone heats a lot and takes to much time to charge. This is acceptable to some extent given that this phone has a really big battery but heating issue should not be there because it is taking really long time when compared to other big battery phone. It is worth noting that this phone comes with MediaTek SoC and the Quick Charge technology is from Qualcomm. So if they had gone with Snapdragon processor it might have the Quick charge support which would well… Charge the battery faster.

FingerPrint Sensor

The fingerprint sensor is located on the front of the device and it is a passive scanner, what that mean is you have to press the button in order to activate the sensor, it is accurate and fast and supports 360 Degree recognition . In over all it is better than the Zenfone 3 Max

Camera

The front camera is now of 8 megapixel while the back one is 13 mp f/2.0 apreture, seems good…. only on paper.

While the camera is quick to focus in good lighting conditions, it keeps hunting to lock focus in dim or low light situations. Close-up shots or macro shots will give you best details anything like a scenery where the subject is far away from the camera then it will not showcase any texture or detail. This goes from bad to worse when you step into a dimly lit parking lot where images appear murky at best.

Conclusion

It sits between the Zefone 3 Max and the Zenfone 3 Laser with being priced at 15000, it is a hard pick. If you want a good battery life with not too much different performance then go with the 3 Max and if you need a really solid camera, then go for the 3 Laser by spending few extra bucks.

 

Pros:

Great Battery Life

Build Quality

Design

Cons:

Badly Priced

Mediocre camera

Takes a lot of time to charge

 

  • Durability
  • Design
  • Display
  • Camera
  • Performance & Software
  • Miscellaneous
  • Battery
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