• New-Tech Phones Business
  • Ava |
  • 20/09/2017.

The Maze Alpha, it is forgivable if you haven’t heard about the Maze Alpha, but that’s not because it is a bad device, far from it, but rather because it is a Chinese market intended smartphone. The maze Alpha smartphone packs quite a punch, rounding up all the features that would normally cost you around $600 into a device with a price range in the $220 and below tag. The device includes a mighty screen that ranks alongside the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S8, Xiaomi Mi Mix or the LG G6 and throws in astonishing hardware such as its dual-lens camera, edge-to-edge screen and a glossy back panel. The device’s inspiration is not far-fetched as it aims to emulate and perhaps better Xiaomi’s Mi Mix smartphone, but the clear contrast lies in the price. For a pretty affordable sub $220 price tag the device offers a 2.5GHz CPU, 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage and USB Type-C with fast charging capabilities.

What we loved about the Maze Alpha

  • Elegant bezel-less design
  • 6-inch screen
  • Good amount of storage
  • Low cost

What we didn’t like about the Maze Alpha

  • Battery life could be better
  • Fair camera
  • Lack of App support and compatibility
  • Lack of NFC
  • No US Carrier support as at now

Maze Alpha Design and appearance

On picking up the packaging, we could tell that the Maze Alpha is going to be one heavy device. It didn’t disappoint as it racked up over 200g on the scale. It’s not so heavy that it is unwieldly either. The smartphone’s frame is designed from metal while its rear features tempered glass. The phone design sports a near bezel-less look with the screen accounting for close to 85 percent of the phone’s body size. The bezels are thin on top and by the sides but is slightly wider towards the base. This is because the bottom part of the device is what houses the Home button and front camera.

Conclusion

Total score

7.5

The Maze Alpha is a fine piece of hardware with 6 inches and almost absent bezel that intensifies every viewing experience without having to break your wallet. There are a few downsides in the lack of app compatibility, NFC and US carrier support. The Android 7.0 device runs smoothly and has fast charging capacity for extended usage. If you are looking for something affordable with all the offerings of a mid-range smartphone, the Maze Alpha deserves to be on your shopping list except if you are in the US.

Maze Alpha Dual SIM

Atop the device, Maze has managed to squeeze in an earpiece, while housing the volume and power button control on the right side of the device. The device offers dual sim functionality, with housing provided for two nano SIM cards. The sim tray lies to the left side of the device and should you choose to, you can equip the second sim slot as a microSD card slot. Right next to the USB Type-C charging port is the device’s mono speaker, both of these accessories are stationed on the bottom edge of the Maze Alpha. There are 2 speaker grills, but on close examination, I found that the task of sound production was done by only one of these grills with the other pretty much a dummy for the sake of symmetry. It would have been nice to have real stereo sound from dual speakers.

The overall feel and build of the device is solid, the design is classy and futuristic and definitely does not look like a low-budget smartphone.

Our video Review of the Maze Alpha

Maze Alpha Hardware and Specifications

Maze Alpha Screen and Display

A display spanning 6 inches is impressive for any low-budget smartphone. The device houses an overall resolution of 1080 by 1920, and although it isn’t the best display and certainly not the sharpest in the market, it is more than adequate. Individual pixels cannot be picked out on the screen with its overall resolution and PPI. The Screen is equipped with some adaptive brightness technology that can be quite frustrating. This feature has been found to keep the screen overly dull indoors while it could pose a task for viewing text and images outside on a sunny day in the city.

Maze Alpha Operating system and Software

The Maze Alpha comes with a lightly-customised version of Android 7.0 pre-installed. The OS has been customized with a few inclusions of some exciting features such as gesture motions. The device also comes with the Hot knot feature which means that it won’t be NFC (Near Field Communication) compatible. Without NFC, the Maze Alpha won’t be able to tap into the Android Pay features and the presence of a customized OS may also mean strict security specifications for some finance and banking apps.

On the case of third party apps, there are some compatibility issues also as the Maze Alpha cannot run some software like Netflix, BBC iPlayer or Assassin’s creed. The pre-loaded apps accompanying the Maze Alpha are few. These apps are nothing beyond the everyday FM radio, sound recorder, file explorer and the full Google suite apps. You can get most of your apps from the Play Store easily so it’s not an issue.

Maze Alpha Processor and Memory

The Maze Alpha comes with a 2.5GHz Octa-Core processor from MTK Helio P25. This is quite efficient in running day-to-day functions and required tasks. The CPU performed smoothly with little lags from time to time. There is 4GB of RAM memory to aid the processing of large capacity apps and those that may require temporary memory occupancy. The ROM size is some 64GB internal storage capacity which means you have plenty of space to keep your media and files. If you do exhaust this space, the second Nano-sim card slot can be used to read your external microSD card. The device will efficiently read SD cards up to 128GB capacity.

Maze Alpha Sound

The Alpha’s speaker comes out very audible but lacks the kick and bass that most smartphones offer to their users for enjoyable sound output. The audio quality is also plagued with some distortions from time to time once the volume has been cranked up to the maximum. The output can be greatly improved once a 3.5mm headphone is plugged into the device providing the headset itself has efficient and balanced bass and mid-tones output. For calls, the earpiece and speakers are clear and crisp. The device may be intended for the Chinese market but it also offers support for 4G LTE carriers in the UK, but offers no support for carriers in the US as at now.

Maze Alpha Camera

The Maze Alpha follows the recent of flagship devices in the market now, equipping a dual-camera setup. The device combines a 13MP and 5MP camera lens side by side on the rear of the device by the top left corner position. The image quality is fine in the right conditions but nothing excellent or wow-inducing. Video recording is done at 1080p, it would have been nice to have up to 4K but it is sufficient for most situations. Overall, the camera is not cream of the crop but it is definitely better than most budget smartphones in the same price range like the Nokia 3.

Maze Alpha Battery life

The Maze Alpha comes with a powerful 4,000mAh battery capacity. This should keep you juiced for up to 36 hours of decent usage. There is also fast charge capacity to help refill the enormous battery when you’re in a rush. Five minutes of charge can give up to 10% battery power so this comes handy. When on intense use however, the battery would not last for lengthy spells as it may be quite tasking, given the 6-inch display.

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