Asus Zenfone 3S Max Review: Powerful Battery But Lacks Overall Experience

Asus Zenfone 3S Max is yet another new entrant in the higher mid range price. Only three months had passed after the launch of Zenfone 3 when Asus launched this phone. Asus has taken a clever strategy here. Right when new entrants were giving stiff competition to its previous flagship, it released this phone which could fend off competition. The specs have been bumped from its predecessor. But is this enough to make this sustain for the long term? Let’s find out.

Asus Zenfone 3S Max: Design, Display and Build

It is available in two colors – Sand Gold and Black. The Zenfone is very sleek looking (8.9mm thick) and feels quite compact and fits in your hand. But it is quite heavy weighing about 175g. This phone looks like its Zenfone Max 3 family. The best part about the phone is its full metal finish – which is probably what adds to the weight, and its curved edges. The only major difference is that this phone’s fingerprint sensor is in the front alongside the home button.

The 5.2inch display boasts a resolution of 1280x720p. Yes, this resolution is slightly lagging behind compared to other brands that are offering features at this price range. Even though there is a low resolution, the phone’s viewing angles are quite adequate. The display experience is overall good.

Asus Zenfone 3S Max: Software and UI

You get a customized Android experience with Android 7.0 Nougat running on Zen UI on this Zenfone. But the best part about the Android experience is that you can access several options from the Settings menu and customize the OS according to your requirements.

Asus has also added some other features which make the user experience interesting. For example, you can place the phone on your ear to answer a call then there is a glove mode to increase or decrease the sensitivity of the screen. Also there is double tap to wake or sleep the Zenfone – which is quite common in most phones of this range.

The gamers might also like the GameGenie app which will stay as an icon while gaming. You can tap this icon to stream your screen on Twitter or Facebook, etc. You can also use it to quickly access the browser in case you need to look something up. This is a nice touch. But the best part is that Asus Zenfone 3S Max does not force the features on you and actually lets you decide whether you want to use a feature or not.

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Asus Zenfone 3S Max: Hardware and Performance

This phone runs on MediaTek MT6750 and it is built very uniquely for this phone. It has four cores running up to 1.5 GHz and another four that run up to 1 GHz. This type of processor was designed especially for the higher mid range phones featuring VoLTE. Zenfone 3S Max also has the relatively power packed Mali-T860 MP2 GPU. All of this is backed by a 3GB RAM.

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Although we wouldn’t say that the performance of this phone is a standout, it is as good as any phone in this price range. Even with multiple apps running in the background, you will not face any lag. This Zenfone 3S Max has 32GB inbuilt memory which means you can download and store a lot of apps. You can also extend the memory up to 256GB via microSD card. High graphics games like Asphalt 8: Airborne runs on this phone easily. The power saving option does increase the pace but overall the performance is up to the mark as it should be for a phone of this price range. To its credit, the phone never heats up – only mildly it gets heated up during over load and heavy camera usage.

Asus Zenfone 3S Max: Camera

Zenfone 3S Max comes with a 13MP rear camera and an 8MP front camera. The rear camera features dual LED flash while the front camera features special wide-angle lens with fixed focus. Both the camera comes with f/2.0 aperture. Although we figured the indoor shots were a little bit grainy but the outdoor shots look crisp. The sensors are unable to catch the vivid details but still you get decent pictures. The photos only get degraded indoors in low light.

Asus Zenfone 3S Max: Battery

The battery is the major highlight of this phone as is with any Asus Zenfone phones. It features 5000 mAh battery. When used for playing games with VoLTE on in the background and browsing YouTube, etc. this phone managed to run for two full days.  Even with heavy usage and full brightness the phone manages to last for 6 hours before coming down to 10 percent.

But one thing that Zenfone 3S Max’s battery does not have is quick charging. So it takes about 4 hours to completely charge the battery. This timing difference is huge when there are other contenders in the market providing Quick Charge facility.

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Asus Zenfone 3S Max: Final Verdict

If you have used Zenfone Max series before, you can expect an upgrade in performance in this phone for sure. But the overall effect usage experience remains the same. Once again you get a power packed battery in this phone. There are a few fixer uppers in this phone. Combining the performance and the usage this phone seems a little overpriced. If you want to upgrade your Zenfone Max then go for this one, else, you can look for other phones in this range.

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