NEW DELHI: Not each smartphone producer can create an general spectacular gadget with a single cornerstone function – huge battery backup. Solely a specific few appear to be specializing in manufacturing handsets with large batteries, and Asus is certainly one in all them. The Taiwanese tech firm has already made a mark for itself available in the market with its Zenfone ‘Max’ line-up of battery-focussed smartphones, and it’s planning on doing the identical this yr with the newly-launched Zenfone 3S Max.
Earlier than you get confused, Asus launched the Zenfone 3 Max in November final yr, unveiling two variants of the gadget based mostly on display screen measurement. And simply at first of 2017, it has lifted the curtains off the 3S Max. Apparently, the ‘S’ moniker would not actually signify a brand new vary of smartphones, it is extra like a spin-off of final yr’s Zenfone 3 line-up.
Launched on January 30, the Zenfone 3S Max is priced at beneath Rs 15,000. As anticipated, the spotlight of the gadget is its large 5,000mAh battery. Capability-wise, that is barely greater than the Zenfone 3 Max’s 4,100mAh battery and the Zenfone 3 Extremely’s 4,600mAh battery. However apart from that, is the Zenfone 3S Max actually a superb smartphone?
I’ve been utilizing the Asus’ new handset since final week, and this is my tackle it.
Almost all Asus smartphones look fairly good, even when they fall within the finances phase. The very first thing you will word in regards to the 3S Max is that it is a bit heavy however nonetheless suits nicely within the hand. It weighs 175 grams, nearly the identical because the Zenfone 3 Max. The handset is slippery but additionally sturdy sufficient to withstand drops from a number of toes.
I am not a die-hard fan of crispy-light,smartphones and including a number of grams hardly makes a distinction. Heavy smartphones give a sure assurance that they’re barely sturdier. The Asus Zenfone 3S Max is 8.85mm thick, which is round zero.25mm greater than the Zenfone 3 Max. The thickness right here is negligible and even is sensible, given the large battery capability.
The construct high quality, like I stated, is sturdy and the look is simplistic. Asus has not finished a lot to make the Zenfone 3S Max look distinguished from its different finances rivals. However the general ending and the compact kind issue provides it an edge.
I acquired the Gold color unit, which seems to be soothing however at occasions, feels an excessive amount of flashy. There may be not a single streak of bezel that has a distinct color. Every part from high to backside is simply Gold.
On the again there’s a 13MP digital camera sensor within the high nook, together with a microphone and dual-tone LED flash. The antenna traces on the highest and backside are coated with separate patches of gold metallic protecting. The hybrid SIM card slot is on the left and may assist a micro and a nano 3G/4G SIM card. The nano SIM card slot additionally acts as a microSD growth slot.
On the best, you get quantity management and energy buttons. In contrast to its Zenfone 3 siblings, there’s a bodily Residence button on the entrance with an embedded fingerprint sensor beneath the show. Additionally, there aren’t any capacitive buttons however on-screen ones, which do not make that a lot sense, given the large bezel beneath the show.
Above the show is the speaker grille, a front-facing digital camera, proximity sensor and ambient gentle sensor. All bodily buttons – quantity, energy and residential, are very ‘clicky’ and have good tactile response. Though there are two speaker slots on the backside, solely one in all them throws out audio whereas the opposite one is used a reflector.
The unit I obtained got here with a 5.2-inch HD show of 720×1280 pixel decision, which isn’t earth-shattering however nonetheless fairly alright. After all, you’ll be able to’t anticipate a high-performance show in a sub-Rs 15,000 gadget.
The panel is vivid sufficient, 450 nits to be exact as per Asus. It would not disappoint even beneath direct daylight. However sadly, the display screen is a little more reflective than most different smartphones in the identical value.
Whereas testing the smartphone, I discovered the Asus ‘Splendid’ app lacking. For the uninitiated, the Splendid app comes pre-installed in all Asus smartphones. The app helps you to customise display screen temperature and even use the Bluelight Filter for lesser eye-strain. This time, the Blue-light filter is included in inventory Show Settings part. So if you wish to tweak the tone of the display screen, you would need to obtain the ‘Splendid’ app individually from the Play Retailer.
Just like the Zenfone 3 Max, the Zenfone 3S Max’s show is roofed with 2.5D glass and is susceptible to scratches if not protected with a display screen guard.
The Asus Zenfone 3S Max would not stand out in the case of specs, at the very least not on paper. It is powered by a MediaTek 6750 octa-core SoC, which was launched in January final yr. However do not let this idiot you because the chipset provides fairly easy efficiency.
The processor is supported by 3GB of RAM and a Mali T860 GPU, that are simply sufficient to run most purposes. For essentially the most half, efficiency is fluid and trouble free. However the cellphone takes barely extra time to begin and cargo graphically-demanding video games/modifying apps. On high of it, the gadget did not present any indicators of heating when being charged or used closely, throughout my testing.
Asus Zenfone smartphones have at all times been criticized for the heavily-skinned Android OS they arrive with and the 3S Max isn’t any exception. It runs on the identical ZenUI 3.zero however this time, the UI is overlaid on high of Android 7.zero Nougat. And sure, this additionally makes the smartphone arguably the primary in your entire Zenfone line as much as run the newest OS model out-of-the-box.
However what’s a bit unhappy is that the cruft pores and skin makes you neglect all in regards to the new OS. It is true that each one the Nougat-based options akin to direct reply from notifications, multi-window and fast switching between apps are there, however you additionally get bloatware and a bunch of not-so-useful apps like ZenCircle, ZenTalk, ZenFit, Fast Memo, MyAsus Service, Go2Pay and much more.
Asus Zenfone 3s Max ZC521TL
Moto G4 Plus
|Octa Core, 1.5 GHz, MediaTek MT6750, 3 GB RAM
||Octa Core, 1.5 GHz, Snapdragon 617, 2 GB RAM
|5.2 inches (13.21 cm), HD, 282 PPI, IPS LCD
||5.5 inches (13.97 cm), Full HD, 401 PPI, IPS LCD
|13 MP Major Digicam, Twin-color LED Flash, 8 MP Entrance Digicam
||16 MP Major Digicam, Twin-color LED Flash, 5 MP Entrance Digicam
|5000 mAh, Non-Detachable
||3000 mAh, Turbo Charging, Non-Detachable
Out of the 32GB inner storage, round 8.35GB is taken up by the OS and system recordsdata so the user-accessible storage is round 23.6GB. Nevertheless, the 3S Max helps microSD playing cards of as much as 2TB in measurement. As a part of a promotional supply, you additionally get 200GB of free Google Drive cloud storage for 2 years.
Asus Zenfone 3S Max has a 13MP rear digital camera with Section Detection Autofocus and f/2.zero aperture. Throughout my testing, I discovered it to be fairly good. The digital camera is snappy and clicks respectable photographs in daylight. What’s extra spectacular is that the low gentle pictures in Auto mode are brighter sharper. The rear digital camera has a 5P Largan lens and is supported by a dual-tone LED flash.
There are totally different digital camera modes supplied by the digital camera app. A few of these embody Handbook, HDR Professional, Beautification, Evening, Panorama, Time Lapse and Beautification. The autofocus is fast and the general digital camera interface isn’t fairly tough to work with.
The front-facing 8MP digital camera will get a thumbs up as nicely. Its 8MP sensor captures fast and respectable photographs. You get a number of choices like Pores and skin Softening, Cheek Thinning and extra to tweak your selfies. HDR and Low gentle modes are current as nicely. The front-facing digital camera has an 85-degree huge angle lens, one thing selfie lovers will respect.
As for movies, the smartphone can report Full HD decision video with contact focus. However the digital camera lacks video stabilization, so prepare for jerky movies if you do not have regular fingers.
Battery is without doubt one of the vital metrics in any smartphone and the Zenfone 3S Max is little question the most effective in that regard. Its 5,000mAh battery is not only a mere 900mAh improve over the Zenfone 3 Max’s battery, but additionally performs higher in actual life.
Over the course of my each day utilization, involving hours of streaming music, fixed Bluetooth connectivity, Wi-Fi, taking part in some video games and dealing on some paperwork, the smartphone merely shined. The gadget ran for nearly a full day earlier than needing to be plugged in.
The corporate claims that the battery can ship as much as 34 days of standby time on 4G, 28 hours of talktime on 3G and as much as 25 hours of net searching on Wi-Fi.
Along with the formidable battery life, you get a number of energy modes to avoid wasting battery and make it run for few extra hours. Underneath the ‘Cell Supervisor’ app, you get to decide on between 4 modes that govern the battery utilization of the gadget. It additionally supplies a personalized profile choice.
The 5,000mAh battery helps reverse charging expertise, which implies that the Zenfone 3S Max can even act as a powerbank.
In each manner, Asus Zenfone 3S Max seems to be like an improve over the Zenfone 3 Max. It has prolonged battery life, the newest Android 7.zero Nougat OS, good digital camera expertise and pretty correct show. The general efficiency is kind of satisfying as nicely.
The smartphone is prone to hit the mark for a lot of customers who’ve a decent finances and are searching for an entire ‘package deal’. Whereas Asus has nearly acquired it proper by mixing a superb design and a big battery, giving a barely higher digital camera and cleaner UI would’ve made the expertise even higher.
Proper now, the smartphone appears to be pitted in opposition to similarly-priced gadgets just like the Moto G4 Plus and the relatively-newer Redmi Be aware 4. Each have good design and one has a cleaner, near-stock Android UI. However when you particularly want a tool that may run for hours and would not compromise on the design, the Zenfone 3S Max is the reply.