Asus has been flooding the Indian smartphone market with devices across price categories. As batteries are a consideration while buying a smartphone for many, Asus has come up with a special battery focused range and named it as 'Max' series. Last year, Asus first launched the ZenFone Max, which was followed by two variants in ZenFone 3 Max - one with a 5.2 inch display and the other with a 5.5 inch display. Now, the company has come up with a new Max device, Zenfone 3s Max, with a bumped up design, processor tweaks, a higher capacity battery and a lower price tag. Here's a quick review on the ZenFone 3s Max.
ZenFone 3s Max has a curved unibody design with a 5.2 inch 2.5D glass dominating the front. As full HD display has become a norm in this price category, Asus has gone ahead with a 720 p display on this phone. While the display looks decent, the colour reproduction and brightness comes nowhere near the recently launched Redmi Note 4. Home, back and multitasking key are on the screen and the physical key below the display is the fingerprint scanner. The rear has got a neat and clean look with the camera module sitting on the top left. Volume control and power key are placed on the right edge, 3.5 mm jack on the top, SIM tray on the left edge and charging ports along with speaker grills at the bottom. Given the compact size of this 5.2inch smartphone, Zenfone 3s Max is comfortable to hold. Overall, the design is just like any other Android smartphone in this price range.
The device runs on Android Nougat operating system with ZenUI3.0. It is worth a praise as most of the smartphones launched in recent times are still not running on the latest Android OS. App shortcuts are placed on the home screen and all the apps are neatly placed (some even in folders) under the app launcher. Under the app launcher, apps can be arranged as all, downloaded, customized and frequent. The customized mode sorted everything on one page, with Google apps under one folder, social media under Apps4U and Asus folder comprising apps such a ZenCircle, ZenTalk, ZenFoneCare and other apps such as FM Radio and Sound Recorder.
The phone has a 64-bit octa-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz onboard and is paired with 3GB of RAM. It has got 32GB of onboard storage of which 23.46GB is user accessible. The device supports expandable memory of up to 2TB. Apps are launched quickly and web browsing is smooth. The device is pretty decent when it comes to multitasking but it cannot handle heavy graphic games. The device did slow down a few times during testing. Xiaomi's Redmi Note 4 at the same price offers better performance. The device has good network strength and call clarity was pretty impressive. The sound output is also pretty decent. For imaging, Asus has added a 13MP rear camera with f/2.0 aperture which captures decent images in well lit surroundings. But the camera struggles to lock focus in low light and the images look blurry and have lot of noise.
Battery being the biggest plus point on the Zenfone 3s Max. The 5000 mAh battery easily lasted me over two days with above average usage.
Bag it or Junk it: Consider if you want a lasting battery backup.
Price: Rs 14,999
Minus: Display, Camera