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Asus ZenFone 3s Max Review!

Another ZenFone in the ocean

The Breakdown

7.3
Identity lost
Design
7.0
Display
7.5
Performance
6.5
Camera
6.5
Software
7.0
Battery
9.0
Pros
Battery life Metal body
Cons
Software Performance Cameras Design

In the ever growing and confusing lineup of phones by Asus under the Zenfone moniker, the “Max” series has been the one with the big batteries. The trend continues, as we check out the Asus Zenfone 3s Max in this review and find out if this is just a phone with a big battery, or is there more to that…..

 

Design:

This phone is the opposite of a head-turner. A very Samsung-esque design on the front, with a physical home button, thick bezels on the sides and a semi Metal built. This phone has a 5.2″ display, yet is very similar, in terms of overall footprint, to a 5.5″ phone. Not the one handed experience we would expect from a phone with a 5.2″ display.

The home button has a passive fingerprint scanner in it, which was very inconsistent, but very fast when it would work.

Display:

This phone has a 5.2″ 720p IPS-LCD display. We would have liked it to have a FHD display at this price point, but maybe it’s there for better battery life. A pixel density of 280 is something that I can hardly live with…. Though, it gets plenty bright (the brightness slider wasn’t working when I used it). There is no mention of protection here. It’s just a satisfactory display…..

Performance:

The Asus ZenFon 3s Max is powered by an octa-core MediaTek 6750 CPU along with a Mali T860 GPU. This is a low powered and efficient processor. It worked well in normal tasks and social media, but don’t expect gaming out of this. I also got some overheating issues. Considering how big a battery this phone has, a slightly more powerful processor could have made the cut. If you are not a power user, then you shouldn’t be having any issues. The phone was snappy in general use. I think this is because of the software optimisation.

Software:

This phone runs on Asus’s ZenUI 3.0 built on top of Android 7.0 Nougat. But you won’t be able to tell at first if this is Nougat or Marshmallow. Glad to see Nougat features like MultiWindow making the cut.

The UI was not very attractive: the icons are too big, color scheme is out of place and there’s no app drawer. There’s also a lot of bloatware pre-installed over here. There are also some pretty useless notifications like “Your system is working properly”. There is a one touch “Power and Boost” button which I don’t know if  it actually functions. Phones are supposed to do such things on their own. At least smartphones are.

Camera:

This phone sports a 13MP f2.0 camera on the back. It works well but images are often slow to process, especially in lower light. The UI is simple and easy to navigate. There is a complete manual mode too which lets you control aspects like ISO, Shutter speed, focus and EC. I would recommend you to dive into camera settings and tune it according to your preferences before you get to shooting. For example, the display would go to full brightness by default, each time he camera app is opened. The recording maxes out at 1080p.

The front camera is an 8MP sensor, but doesn’t have a lot of details. There’s also a beauty mode which looked more like a Snapchat filter. Thankfully, you can change the degree to which it is applied.

Overall, the cameras are usable, but might take some time to get the perfect results.

Battery:

This phone has a non-removable 5000 mAh battery. That is bigger than most phones in the market. That, combined with an efficient processor and a low resolution display, gave this phone A+ battery life. Lasted a couple of days on a single charge with moderate use. Even during heavy days, the phone had little issues lasting over a day. Charging times were a little slow, but that’s understood as the phone has a big tank to fill. The Max aimed at giving one of the best battery lives, and it did.

Verdict:

Priced at around 13000 Rs in India, this phone has tough competition from the likes of Xiaomi, Motorola and Lenovo. Yes, this phone has amazing battery life, but at the cost of the cons this phone brings. If you think you can handle it, and battery is your top priority, along with decent performance, then the Asus ZenFone 3s Max could be for you.

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