ASUS Zenfone 3S Max released in Feb 2017 is the new budget-oriented smartphone made available to the masses which was an immediate release after the ASUS Zenfone 3 Max. Let’s see what does the 3S Max have got for us under the hood. Is it a tough competitor for the same price bracket or just another product from ASUS. Let’s figure it out.
Inside the box
The box pack consists of the paperwork i.e. the regular documentation, power adapter which is a regular 5V/2A which does not support any form of quick charge, sim ejector tool, and very basic earphones.
The new ASUS Zenfone 3S sports a full metallic unibody casing having 8.9 mm thickness which apparently is slight to the higher side. Most of the new smartphone being launched are keeping it low. Hence feels bulky and pretty heavy in hand. Inside the phone is the mammoth 5000 mAh nonremovable Li-Po battery which does give a substantial amount of battery back on the different level of usage. The entire structure with the battery weighs 175g.
On the front, you don’t have capacitive buttons but you get a physical home button that doubles up as a fingerprint scanner. On the top, you have the 3.5 mm audio jack, on the bottom you have the micro USB port with dual drilled vents for speaker and microphone. The power button and the volume rockers are on the right whereas the hybrid sim slot rests on the left-hand side. The build quality is solid and sturdy.
The display on the phone is a 5.2 inch IPS LCD capacitive display having a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels which produce a very low pixel density of 282 ppi. Keeping the battery size in mind the company could have made it a 1080p display which usually even comes on smartphones below 10k. The panel is rounded at the edges and sides are curvy. Outdoor visibility is good and to the mark. Output produced is crisp and vibrant, color reproduction is satisfactory indeed. You will only notice a few flaws while glancing onto the screen from the edges. The display does support a 10 finger multi-touch with gorilla glass 2.5D protection which is not specified.
Zenfone 3S Max comes with Android 7.0 Nougat with ASUS’s proprietary skin the ZenUI 3.0 out of the box. Keeping the frequency of software updates we are pretty much happy with the Android version the smartphone is being shipped with. A downside is the old school look of the ZENUI 3.0 which is not being updated and hence can be a big let out for many of the consumers.
The smartphone runs on MediaTek MT 6750 processor which has got eight cores, four cores running at 1.5 GHz and another four running at 1 GHz. The processor is pretty decent as it does supports modern day functionality including VOLTE along with the mighty Mali –T860 MP2 GPU which relatively supports heavy gaming effortlessly. Heavy gaming and charging would make the phone pretty warm which made us felt uncomfortable while keeping it close to the ears.
The exciting thing with the 3S max is the support for 256 GB microSD card on sacrificing a SIM slot. On standards, the phone has 32 GB of internal memory coupled with 3 GB of RAM on board. This sort of makeup is pretty decent for a phone running on nougat and performing multitasking would be bliss.
The primary camera or the rear one is a 13 MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture, autofocus, and dual LED flash. Secondary or the front one is a 8 MP sensor with a special wide-angle lens having fixed focus. Picture quality was just ok nothing exciting or unusual. Asus camera app was again satisfactory with the manual mode and other additional modes and filters were really an icing on the cake. But the performance of the camera in low light was bad as we had to experience grainy and noisy footage both over pictures and videos. Low light photography is really a bad idea and daylight pictures have to be taken in manual mode since auto mode kind off blows away the quality. Overall the app was snappy and output was just satisfactory.
For connectivity, the phone has got dual band WLAN, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP and EDR, GPS with GLONASS, BDS and A-GPS, radio and micro USB 2.0 which again is a serious let out.
Comes equipped with front mounted finger print sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity sensor and compass.
Is a nonremovable Li-Po 5000 mAh battery which the company claims can provide 816 h of standby and talk time up to 28h on 3G. With gaming, regular usage, a bit of camera and video streaming did not kill the battery and we could end up getting a full day charge which was really good.
Priced at 14,999 which we believe is too much for a smart phone like this when we have other cheap and better options as well. Now you decide.