With budget smartphones being the selling point for cash-conscious countries like India, it’s no surprise that most users want the best phone on a low price. However, what matters today is a good blend of features and performance and most importantly, a longer running device. Many brands today are trying to focus on the same feature-performance-price ratio and the amount of smartphones budget being released today is no joke. That’s when the smartphone manufactures are now trying to distinguish themselves by offering something that most smartphones don’t have — a larger battery.
Well, the race of the largest battery on a smartphone started a while back and the recent entrants were from the likes of Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 and ASUS ZenFone 3 series featuring battery ratings as high as 4100mAh. Now ASUS has taken this further to provide a massive 5000mAh battery on their latest budget-entrant handset, the Zenfone 3S Max.
The ASUS ZenFone 3S Max, frankly, does not look like any of its siblings — ASUS has done away with the concentric circular design for the 3S Max, keeping it plain and elegant. The ZenFone 3S Max similar to the Pegasus 3s, launched earlier in china this year. The device sports an all-metal body with a fingerprint sensor below the physical home button upfront. The camera and a dual-tone LED flash are located towards the left top-corner on the rear. However, ASUS has dropped the laser auto-focus module that was seen on almost every phone from their end. With rounded corners and a decent 8.9mm form-factor (175g), the phone is pretty comfortable for daily use. However, some may find it a bit slippery because of the smooth exterior and we always recommend using a silicon case to keep it safe. While many out there are already getting used to a fingerprint sensor being on the rear panel, the 3S Max’s fingerprint is now under the home button, which could make it feel awkward for some.
The 3S Max is powered by a 64-bit octa-core 1.7GHz MediaTek chipset (MT6750) clubbed with a Mali T860 GPU, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, expandable up to 2TB using a micro SD card. The device performs at par with many similarly powered smartphones out there. Using the phone for daily work is absolutely flawless, while casual gaming and alike will see no hiccups.
The device sports f/2.0 13MP PixelMaster rear and 8MP font cameras. The rear camera performs well above average, but suffers under low-light conditions with grainy and noisy photos seen at many-a-times. However, though the performance in low light does not suffer as much, the colour details are still above average. The rear camera is also capable of capturing photos with a super resolution of 52MP. Features such as night light and superzoom are some modes that you can extract the best from its camera department. Absence of the laser-assisted focus could be felt, especially with a mindset when using an ASUS ZenFone handset. However, the laser absence won’t disappoint as the camera performs pretty well.
The display is a 5.2-incher HD (720P) LCD display with a 2.5D protection glass. The images on the display are sharp and bright with a good colour gamut. Photos and videos are definitely enjoyable and though the phone supports a 5.2-inch display, you still feel like you are holding a 5-incher handset. The device also features blue light filter, which reduces the strain on your eyes when reading/using in the dark or low lit rooms.
Other features of the 3S Max include a dual-SIM 4G hybrid slot, Bluetooth v4.0, and Wi-Fi ac with a micro SD (Hybrid) storage expansion and micro USB data connectivity.
The ASUS ZenFone Max has two highlights — firstly the operating system that ships with it and the massive battery powering the phone. The 3S Max features Android 7.0 right out of the box and it seems like ASUS has definitely worked towards attracting more users with the latest operating system onboard.
Lastly, the highlight of the device — the battery —its main USP. The 3S Max features a good 5000mAh battery that promises to give you around 28 hours of talk time when keeping it on 3G modes. This means, you could pull through an easy two days of use (not continuous) without having to run to a charging outlet. The device also claims to provide 25 hours of Wi-Fi web browsing at a stretch or 34 days of 4G standby (wonder who will keep a phone on standby for as many days). Nevertheless, the 3S Max also has the ability of providing power for other USB gadgets. You can use the reverse charging USB OTG mode to use the smartphone as a power bank, donating charge to other devices.
All-in-all, the ASUS ZenFone 3S Max is a great option for those seeking a long-lasting smartphone for casual and daily use. With a big battery, equally powerful chipset and an above-average performing camera, the 3S makes it a good deal. The 3S Max is available in two colour variants — Black and Sand Gold and is priced at Rs 14,999.