Is it worth Buying Asus Zenfone 3s Max? Check Our Quick Review of the Phone and Decide Yourself

Zenfone 3s Max

Continuing its trend of launching smartphones with massive batteries to go with superior technical specifications, Asus, the Taiwanese smartphone maker, launched the Asus Zenfone 3s Max back in february this year. With its hardware and software offering, Zenfone 3s Max seems to be the low cost sibling of the erstwhile Zenfone 3 Max. With price starting at 14,000 INR, the Zenfone 3s Max comes equipped with a massive 5,000 mAh battery. So should you consider buying this latest smartphone offering by Asus? Check out our quick review of the Zenfone 3s Max and find out whether it is worth spending 15k on the said smartphone.

Asus Zenfone 3s Max Technical Specifications:

Feature Description
Model ID ZC521TL-4G006IN
Display 5.2 inch, 1280×780 Pixels
Processor Octa-core, 1.5GHz
Operating System Android Nougat 7.0
Internal Storage 32GB
Camera Rear: 13mp

Front: 8mp

Battery 5000 mAh
Network Connectivity Dual SIM(Micro & Nano), 4G, 3G, Wi-Fi, GPRS, EDGE


After using the Zenfone 3s Max for around 2 weeks, here are some of my observations about the said smartphone:

Design and Build Quality (7/10):

Launched in 2 color variants, namely, Black and sand gold, we got the sand gold variant for review purpose. The color of the device was strictly average and nothing to boast about.

At front sits a 5.2 inch 1280×780 pixels display that covers the most of the front part of the phone. The glass front panel is rounded at its edges, and the curve continues around the sides. This makes the phone comfortable in your palm and also against your ears. At the bottom of the front panel resides a home button that doubles up as the fingerprint sensor. There are no capacitive buttons for rerun and recent functionality. Instead there lies an on screen navigation bar for the said functionalities. Top of the front panel possesses an 8 mp front camera. On the back panel, there is a shiny metal line that divides the metal of the main body from a plastic panel which is used instead of antenna lines. The rear camera of the ZenFone 3S Max projects outwards from the body, very slightly. The power and volume buttons are on the right, and we found that they were a bit too low for our fingers to find them comfortably. There resides a Micro-USB port and speaker grilles on the bottom, a 3.5mm audio socket on the top, and a hybrid SIM tray on the left. Considering its massive battery, the Asus Zenfone 3s Max is a bit heavy with weight of around 175 grams. Overall, the phone has got above average looks with a bit of bulkiness. However, the built quality of the 3s Max seems very robust and of high quality considering its price point.

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Display (8/10)

With a 5.2 inch full hd display with a resolution of 1280×720 pixels, the colors on the screen of the Zenfone 3s Max felt satisfactory. There was no or negligible issues with the brightness as well contrast settings in the said smartphone. The display worked perfectly under bright light conditions.

Hardware and Software Performance (7/10)

Justifying its price point, the Zenfone 3s Max has got all the popular specifications any sub 15k smartphone nowadays possesses- an octa-core processor coupled with 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage with compatibility for 4G LTE. 3s Max runs on Asus’s very own Zen UI which is built on top of the latest Android version i.e. Nougat. However, performance of the said phone was a mixed bag at best. Leaving aside the frustrating amount of bloatware that comes along with the Zenfone 3s Max, the phone was able to perform basic day to day tasks smoothly. However, there were questionable lags at times while multitasking between multiple apps. At times the touch response was not expected while the fingerprint sensor wasn’t able to unlock the phone certain times. We recorded AnTuTu score of 39,205 for Zenfone 3s Max which is much lower than its closest competitor Redmi Note 4. Games such as temple run 2, Asphalt ran pretty smoothly on the said device.

Overall, to sum it up, Zenfone 3s Max performed well under regular tasks, however, given certain amount of stress, it did slow down frequently.

Camera (7/10)

3s Max comes equipped with 13 megapixel rear camera coupled with an 8 megapixel front camera. The phone’s rear camera does the basic job well and you can actually click pretty decent photos under broad daylight. As is the case with many smartphones in this category, the results of the pictures taken in dark conditions were a bit snappy and granular at best. However, with Asus’s camera app and its Manual mode, you can actually take great pictures with this camera. The front camera did its job quite well with photos having sufficient quality to be circulated across various social platforms.

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Battery (9.5/10)

The ultimate USP of the Zenfone 3s Max is its massive 5,000 mAh battery. While we crave for massive battery backups in our smartphones, the Zenfone 3s Max’s battery performance is satisfying at best and a boon for people who can’t get away from their phones ever. It has to be said that the Zenfone 3s Max possesses one of the best in class battery backup for a sub 15k phone.

Verdict (7/10)

Considering its price point, the Asus Zenfone 3s Max competes with the Honor 6X and the Redmi Note 4. With such huge battery along with pretty decent hardware and software specifications, the 3s Max is a good buy at 14,999 INR. However, I would expect better software updates from Asus for better multitasking and processing in the phone. Go for Zenfone 3s Max if you wish to have a decent phone with huge battery life.