Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Asus Zenfone 3s Max first impressions: Battery shines on this phone

Asus Zenfone 3s Max packs a big 5000 mAh battery, and here's our first impression of this smartphone

Written by Shruti Dhapola |
January 30, 2017 3:21:29 pm
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Asus Zenfone 3 series has a phone at every price point in India, and the latest addition to this list will be the Zenfone 3s Max. Asus launched the Zenfone 3 Max 5.5 in India at Rs 17,999 and also introduced a 5.2-inch variant of the phone at Rs 12,999. The Zenfone 3 Max came with a 4,100 mAh battery, but the new Zenfone 3s Max packs an even bigger 5000 mAh battery. Asus has not yet confirmed the price of the phone or the launch date, though it will likely take place in the first week of February.

In terms of specifications, the Zenfone 3s Max has a 5.2-inch HD display (720p), Mediatek 6750 processor octa-core processor clocked at 1.51Ghz, 3GB RAM+32GB storage (expandable to 2TB via hybrid slot), along with a 13MP rear camera and an 8MP front camera. The phone comes with Android Nougat 7.0 with the company’s ZenUI on top. We’ve been using the Asus Zenfone 3s Max for the last couple of days, and here’s our first impression.

Watch our first look video of the Asus Zenfone 3s Max 

Design, Display: Zenfone 3s Max has a more manageable 5.2-inch display, but the lack of 1080p resolution is disappointing. Phones like Redmi Note 4, Lenovo K6 Power, K6 Note are all sporting 1080p resolution displays, which are excellent in quality. Asus’ decision to go with 720 x 1280 pixels resolution makes little sense. However, the phone’s display is more than adequate for daily usage, though it is not the brightest.

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In terms of design, the Zenfone 3s Max sports an all-metal unibody with 2.5-D curved glass all over the front, and the gold colour version looks subtle and nice. There’s a gold band running at the bottom, and muted antenna band on the top. The device has a good grip overall, and the speakers are the bottom. This one sports a dual-hybrid SIM. However, the phone is on the heavier side, but if you consider the 5000 mAh battery, it is not so surprising.

Software, Performance: Asus Zenfone 3s Max has an advantage: it is one of the few phones launching in the market with Android Nougat 7.0, at least in the budget segment. This advantage is lost almost immediately when you open the phone and are confronted with the labyrinth called ZenUI, where settings, notifications, etc remain as confusing and clunky as ever.

Asus says this is a 4G VoLTE phone, and I used it with Jio and was able to make calls, use data perfectly on the network with this phone.

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Asus Zenfone 3s Max comes with a MediaTek processor coupled with 3GB RAM, and 32GB storage. So far I’ve not faced any app crashes or lag with this phone, and it can handle daily the tasks without any hassles. In benchmark tests like Antutu it scores around 39,000 for me, which puts it below devices like Redmi Note 4. But I’ll have more on the performance in the full review.

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Battery: Let’s get to the main bit. This phone has a 5000 mAh battery, which scored around 16 hours on the battery test on PC Mark, and that’s impressive. Even with just 69 per cent battery, followed with nearly half an hour of gaming session of Asphalt 8, the levels dipped only to 63 per cent.  However, Asus has not included fast charging in this phone, and even with the charger included in the box, it takes a good 3.5 hours plus  to get it to 100 per cent. The phone can also be used to charge other devices, for those feeling generous.

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Camera: Asus Zenfone 3s Max has a 13 MP rear camera and an 8MP front camera. There’s a manual mode in the camera as well for those, who like to tinker with the settings. So far, the camera has not been so impressive, especially when I compare it to some of the other devices I’ve used in the recent past. While the camera is fast, and Asus has cleaned up the UI, details are lost in the pictures, and they are not as sharp as one would expect.

Conclusion

For now, the USP of Zenfone 3s Max is the battery, and the phone is living up to this claim. However, the lack of fast charging can be an issue, but I wouldn’t say this is a big miss. The camera is average, although the overall performance of the device has been quite good. The price of this device will determine where it stands in the market against the competition, and yes, all the other Asus devices.

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