Asus has now introduced Zenfone 3s Max which is upgraded version of Zenfone 3 Max which was launched in two variants of 5.5 inch (ZC553KL) priced at Rs. 17,999 and 5.2 inch (ZC520TL) display variant which is priced Rs. 12,999. The new Asus Zenfone 3s Max comes with 5.2inch HD display and has been upgraded in the area of Battery, Processor, Operating System and expandable storage. We have the opportunity to test the new Zenfone 3s Max for few days and here are our analysis:
Asus has made few cosmetic changes in the design of Zenfone 3s Max compared to Zenfone 3 Max. The fingerprint scanner has been integrated on the home button in the front whereas the fingerprint scanner was placed on the back panel on Zenfone 3 Max. Rest of the design language is alsmosst same and from the front, you can’t distinguish whether it is Zenfone 3s Max or Zenfone 3 Max. The Zenfone 3s Max has also premium-crafted all-aluminum-alloy design with chamfered edges which gives solid grip and comfortable to hold. It has slim bezel with 75% screen-to-body ratio which gives it premium look. The back panel is little bit slippery but the phone is sturdy enough to withstand accidental fall from your hand. It has power and volume buttons on the right hand side and dual sim tray on the left. This phone has hybrid sim slot which means that you can use either two sims at a time or one sim and one microSD card. The USB port is given at the bottom and earphone slot is on the top of the phone. The navigation keys are at the bottom of the display. On the back panel, the rear camera is at the left with LED flash. Asus logo is given at the top on front and almost in the center at the back. Speaker grill is given at the bottom. This phone has thickness of 8.5mm and its weight is 175 grams. Overall, this phone also gives an impresssive look and comes in Gold and Black colors.
The USP of Zenfone 3s Max is its huge 5000mAh battery. In Zenfone 3 Max the battery capacity was 4100mAh and this huge enhancement enables you to say goodbye to power banks. This massive battery lasts for almost two days even if you are heavy users of the phone. To add more zing to this feature, the battery also supports Reverse Charging for charging your other devices and also comes with Super Saving mode to enhance its life. Asus claims that the battery can provide 34 days of 4G standby time. Although, I could not test this claim as the review unit was with me for 10 days but during these days, the battery did not prompt me to put on charging for two days despite heavy usage.
Asus Zenfone 3s Max has USP of massive 5000mAh battery which nullify the importance of power banks & its elegant design is icing on the cake.
This phone also has 5.2-inch (1280 x 720 pixels) 2.5D curved glass display which is quite decent. Sunlight visibility is ok and it has good viewing angles. It offers sharp, bright colors and you also get crisp text to read on the screen. You will enjoy watching videos and playing games on it.
The fingerprint scanner in Zenfone 3s Max has been given on the home button and like Zenfone 3 Max, it is very easy to set-up and recognises upto five fingers. It unlocks the smartphone in 0.5 seconds and also detects fingerprints in full 360 degrees. During my usage, the fingerprint scanner has never failed me. With this, you can also answer calls at the lockscreen with your finger.
Unlike Zenfone 3 Max, the Zenfone 3s Max is powered by Octa-core 64-bit processor (MT6750 Chipset) clocked at 1.5GHz with Mali T860 GPU. It has 3GB RAM and 32GB of internal storage which can be extended upto 2TB via microSD card. While using the phone, I have observed that you can play games but when it comes to continuous gaming and heavy games with graphics then you will face stutter and the phone heats up little bit. This is due to the chipset used in the phone. However, launching of apps and switching between the apps is no issue. The RAM capacity is quite good for moderate use and you have the options to extend the internal memory. The call quality and audio ouput on this phone is good and it works fine on 4G network. I have used this phone on Airtel 4G in Delhi. Call quality is good in incoming and outgoing calls. In this phone, the speaker has been provided at the bottom which delivers uniformed audio output even when you place the phone in any position. The earphones provided with the phone are of good quality.
Like Zenfone 3 Max, this phone also comes with 13MP PixelMaster rear camera with LED flash, five-prism Largan lens and capability of 52MP Super Resolution. It also has various modes such as Super HDR, Low Light, Panorama, Beautification and Time Lapse etc. It can also shoot videos in Full-HD resolution.
Asus has not disappointed on the photoraphic front and this story continues in this phone also. You can click decent images with good contrast and sharpness in daytime or in good light. Like any other phone, the camera struggles when their is low light and during night time. I have captured few images in daylight without using any filters and they have come out quite good as you can see below. For the selfies, this phone has been mounted with 8MP PixelMaster front camera with f/2.2 aperture, 85 degeree wide field of view. It has Beautification mode to improve the selfies and produces quite decent photos for sharing on social media platforms.
This phone runs on Android Nougat 7.0 OS with Zen UI 3.0 on top which has some unnecesary apps which consume lot of space such as Do It Later, MiniMovie, PhotoCollage etc, which can’t be uninstalled. Then their are apps which could have been easily avoided such as Weather, Gallery etc. as Google offers them. Infact, I am never impressed with too much customisation when no useful purpose is solved. This clutter may not be appreciated by many users. But their are some useful apps also including Mobile Manager, Back-Up and Asus Web Storage which improve the performance of the phone and are quite handy also. The interface otherwise works smoothly and I did not experience any crashes during my usage of the phone. My only reservation with Asus UI is that all of their phones have too much bloatwares which they should remove it for very smooth operation.
To sum up, this phone has cool features of powerful battery, design is elegant and both the cameras perform very well. On the downside, this phone has hybrid SIM slot and their is no fast charging option on this. But considering its price is Rs. 15,000, this phone can be considered by you seriously if your budget is limited and you are comfortable with 5.2 inch display.