We got an opportunity to play around with this device for a week to 10 days and here are our observations and review of the same.
Design and Build: Zenfone 3s Max comes with a premium build with sturdy metal body protecting the hardware inside. The device looks gorgeous in hand and it gives a premium feel and nice grip in hand. On the right side there are volume rockers and power/unlock button comfortably placed while on left there is a sim tray. At the bottom, there is a Micro USB charging port in between the retaining screws. The remaining portion of the bottom comes with the speaker grills. At the back there is a 13 MP camera with LED flash next to it and in front a 8 MP camera and the standard sensors next to it. The fingerprint scanner is placed at the comfortable position in front. There is a aerial line visible at the bottom side of the device. On top comes an Asus branding. The 2.5D glass gives a nice look and feel for the device. Even though the device carries a massive 5000 mAh battery, it looks slim and weighs 175 grams and its not heavy to carry and hold. Yes, if you are watching a movie etc., for long hours, be ready to observe some pain in the wrists and fingers holding a 175 grams device for a long time. We totally liked the design of Asus Zenfone 3s Max in design and build department.
Display: The Zenfone 3s Max has a 5.2 inch HD display with 2.5D glass and has a 2.15 mm slim bezel. The screen-to-body ration is 75% and its backed with 400 nits+ brightness for easy viewing under the harsh light conditions. The display is quite clear from different viewing angles and its bright even under the bright sunlight. The color reproduction is great and the touch sensitivity of the display is also absolutely good. The 2.5D glass gives a premium look to the device. Thanks to the blue-light filter feature in ZenUI which reduces the effect to eyes when you are staring at the device for long time while on your social media feeds or while reading. We have no complains so far with the display quality on Zenfone 3s Max and we are happy about it.
Hardware and Performance: The Zenfone 3s Max houses a 1 GHz Octa-core Mediatek 6750 processor under to hood and its backed with a 3 GB RAM. On storage front, the Zenfone 3s Max comes with a 32 GB which can be expanded upto 2TB using an additional Micro-SD card. This hardware configuration is pretty decent for the device in this price range which doesn’t compromise on the performance of the device. We didn’t observe any slowness while doing multitasking and while gaming. The device could handle it comfortably and we didn’t observe any slowness or stutters while playing HD games in the high quality mode also which is pretty good. And the commendable factor is that the device doesn’t heat up even after long hours of internet usage and gaming also. The audio quality on the device is good too and thanks for not providing the speaker grills on backside, the audio is pretty clear when playing in non-headphone mode, thanks to the 5-Magnet speaker also which gives clear and loud sound. The fingerprint scanner of the device works absolutely great and it responds fast also. One can add upto 5 fingerprints on this device. The device scored 39753 points in Antutu benchmark test. Overall, we don’t see any issues with the hardware and performance on this device and we are quite happy with it for the performance which it offers at this price point.
Check out some sample pictures clicked using Zenfone 3s Max. More samples here.
Battery: The star of the device is the massive 5000 mAH battery which gives pretty good power backup for the device and one can forget carrying their chargers and power banks always with them when they have Zenfone 3s Max with them. In fact, the users can even share their battery charge with others in reverse OTG mode. In our testing, we could see that device hold up for almost 5 days with 4G mode ON always and in auto-brightness mode, on top of that, it gave a decent SOT (Screen-on-time) of upto 8 hours. In another testing mode, where we had kept the device in 4G mode always and continuous online streaming of videos, the device could stay up for almost 2 days and also gave around 10+ hours SOT which is commendable and a big thumbs up to Asus for housing such a battery on this device. We are totally satisfied with the battery performance on this device.
Verdict: The Zenfone 3s Max is a tough competitor for the likes of devices in this price range which offers great build quality and the device which performs well too. The battery capacity is an added advantage on Zenfone 3s Max in this price range which may divert users to switch their decision towards this while they are planning to buy a smartphone. If you are a power hungry user and needs a device which fares well in performance and looking for a device with great build quality, this is the device you can opt to choose.