Every new launch under the Cinemax series from homegrown smartphone maker Zen Mobile is touted to be the improved version of its previous edition, but they all have some similar features: large screen, big battery and decent performance. The recently launched Cinemax 3 is no exception. It comes with a 5.5-inch display, a large 2,900mAh battery and stays good with basic use.
Out of the box, the look and feel of the Cinemax 3 is almost similar to the older Nokia Lumia smartphone. The body is made of plastic but the sandstone finish in the rear panel adds elegance to the overall design and provides a good grip. The front is dominated by a 5.5-inch display, which offers a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels. Due to low resolution, icons do not look sharp, pixels are visible and overall display looks washed out. In fact, due to poor sunlight legibility, reading is a bit challenge in sunlight.
The front also houses a front camera on the top, while three unlit capacitive touch keys are placed in the bottom. There is space for a 3.5 mm headset jack and a micro USB charger on the top. The power key is placed at the right edge while the left has a volume rocker key. The detachable rear panel is home to Zen branding along with rear camera and LED flash. The device feels bulky but it is non-slippery and comfortable to hold on due to the sandstone finish on the back panel.
The Zen Cinemax 3 runs on Android 5.1 and its entrails are powered by a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor. The device comes with 2 GB RAM and 16 GB internal storage that can be expanded up to 32 GB via microSD card. During the review period, the device handled basic things—browsing, reading, non-graphic intensive games—quite smoothly. But shuffling between different apps and multi-tasking were a bit challenging.
In addition, Zen Cinemax 3 is loaded with bloatware. There were more than 10 apps including NexGTv, DailyHunt and Opera Mini pre-installed on the device. You need to delete some of them in order to free up some space. Thankfully, the device has ‘delete’ application feature in the settings which allows batch removal of these apps.
On the camera front, less said the better. The Zen Cinemax 3 has nothing to boast about. It comes with a 5-megapixel rear and a 3.2-megapixel front camera. Even in natural light, the camera was unable to deliver a decent picture. Significant noise, low saturation and less sharpness were visible across the test pictures that we clicked.
The device supports Wi-Fi, 3G, 2G, Bluetooth and comes with a dual SIM; but surprisingly, it does not support 4G. It is packed with a replaceable 2900 mAh battery which offers decent standby time and could last between 5-7 hours with multi-tasking and continuous data usage.
Overall, the Zen Cinemax 3 is an entry level smartphone. It offers a big display, large battery and remains good as long as basic usage is your goal.