Zenfone 3S Max priced at Rs 14,999 offers decent hardware, good camera and big battery

By: | Published: February 9, 2017 3:34 AM

ASUS seems to be riding the mobile wave in India. This $14-billion Taiwan-based device maker has seen demand for its ZenFone smartphones rising; it sold around 4 million ZenFone devices between August 2014 and July 2016 in the country.

The new device retails at R14,999, is feature-rich and delivers a pretty good performance.The new device retails at R14,999, is feature-rich and delivers a pretty good performance.

ASUS seems to be riding the mobile wave in India. This $14-billion Taiwan-based device maker has seen demand for its ZenFone smartphones rising; it sold around 4 million ZenFone devices between August 2014 and July 2016 in the country. In particular, there was a very good response to its ZenFone 3 Max mobile phone last year. In an effort to keep up the momentum, the company has expanded its ZenFone 3 series with the launch of Zenfone 3S Max. The new device retails at R14,999, is feature-rich and delivers a pretty good performance.

The ZenFone 3S Max comes in two colours—Black and Gold. It has a premium look to it with its crafted metal, aluminum-alloy body with a sandblasted matte finish. There’s a 2.5D contoured glass, subtly rounded off at its edges, giving it a luxurious appeal and making it comfortable to hold. The overall construction makes the device durable, apart from lending it sophistication.

The phone features a 5.2 inch high-definition display, which is surrounded by a slim bezel that gives the phone a high 75% screen to body ratio for a good viewing area in a slim and compact body. There’s also a built-in Bluelight filter that protects the user’s eyes from strain on prolonged usage. The phone weighs only 175 grams and is 8.85 mm thick at its sides, making it a very light and compact device.

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I have been subjecting the ZenFone 3S Max trial unit to intense scrutiny for the past two weeks and one thing that left me really impressed was its battery. The 5000 mAh battery is extremely long-lasting and easily allows extended use of the device without the need to charge it frequently. Company officials inform that on a full charge, the lithium-polymer battery provides up to 34 days of standby time on 4G, 28 hours of talk time on 3G, 18 hours of video playback and 25 hours of Wi-Fi Web browsing.

The ZenFone 3S Max has five selectable power modes to optimise performance and help extend the battery life further—Performance mode, Normal mode, Power saving mode, Super saving mode and Customised mode. I subjected it to some aggressive usage and take my word, the battery easily lasted for two days—whether it’s watching videos, browsing over Wi-Fi or using the phone for daily routine.

On the camera front, the ZenFone 3S Max features an amazing 13 MP PixelMaster 3.0 primary camera that supports Phase Detection Autofocus, with an ƒ/2.0 aperture and dual LED real-tone flash for capturing good photographs even in low-light conditions. The camera can shoot videos in Full-HD resolution. On the front, there’s an 8 MP snapper that supports an 85 degree-wide field of view, and modes like Beautification mode, HDR mode and Low-light mode. I checked out Super Resolution mode which allows users to shoot deluxe 52 MP images by capturing multiple shots simultaneously to create a single one with exceptional clarity. This feature will surely impress you no end.

Probing the innards, the ZenFone 3S Max is powered by a 1.5 GHz Octa-core 64-bit processor, high capacity 3 GB RAM and 32 GB internal memory, expandable up to 2 TB. The ZenUI 3 with Android 7.0 Nougat is nippy with good multitasking. The phone is packed with a slew of features such as GPS, AGPS and Compass for accurate navigation, and Gyroscope and Accelerometer for a seamless game and system orientation. It also has WiFi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth v4.0 for seamless connectivity.

In my assessment, the general performance of ZenFone 3S Max is pretty good, with no annoying lag to the light operations you will perform numerous times a day. Call quality is reasonably good, so is its picture and video capturing abilities. Overall, a very good performer in a super-charged market with an ever increasing number of new devices.

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