Living up to the expectations of a well build, Maze Alpha is condense with surprises. From the material’s quality, the user experience, to real life application; this unknown manufacturer shows signs that it is ready to rumble with the big boys.
Featuring the now popular “bezel-less” design, Maze Alpha heavily resembles Xiaomi’s Mi Mix, the first phone that incorporated the bezel-less design.
The 6 inch FHD 16:9 IPS display takes up majority of the phone’s body, with an opening gap on top for the ear piece. Below the display, there is about 2 cm of bezel housing multi function button that also works as a fingerprint sensor. The 3.5mm jack is above the phone; volume rocker and power button at the right; speaker and the USB-C port are below.
The multi function button is top of the class, said to be able to unlock faster then a split second. Our testing shows it is indeed snappy!
The majority of the phone’s body is made with metal, which is the reason why the Maze Alpha weighs at a whooping ~225gms! Almost like a Xiaomi 10400 powerbank. The extra weight is painfully noticeable, since the common smart-phone weighs around 100gms to 150gms. Holding the Maze Alpha does feels like a workout.
If you don’t have big hands, you might wanna think twice on purchasing the Maze Alpha. The phone is 8.25cm wide – it’s like holding a small book in your hands… and that’s heavy! Along with the width, the cold metal built, this phone felt very… masculine. Not that i have ever held a gun before, but if i ever did, I’d imagine this is how it should feels like.
I would like to point out that i am really fond of the bezel-less design. With the display moving to the edge of the phone, it has a wide empty space left below. I cant help but feel that this reminds me of a digital camera with the display at the left side of the device and controls at the right. It’s feels really satisfying to be able to firmly hold the phone with one hand.
With the IPS 6 inch FHD 16:9, there is no doubt the viewing experience is exceptional. What i like about the Maze Alpha is also that it comes with a Mediatek’s exclusive software “MiraVision”. This software allows selection of color profiling and extra dynamic range for the display. We know these are most likely mere software emulation, but the result is still very satisfying.
Equipped with best of Mediatek, the Maze Alpha with Helio P25 is a force to be reckoned with. The Helio P25 is an upper mainstream ARM SoC for smartphones, octa-core with 4 x 2.5GHz ARM Cortex-A53 for high resources application and 4 x 1.4GHz ARM Cortex-A538 ARM Cortex-A53 for power efficiency. With integrated ARM Mali T880 MP2 GPU clocked at max 900 MHz, and 4G ram, the Maze Alpha does have what it takes to deal with the most demanding of smartphone needs.
The phone came with stock Android 7.0, come with minimal bloat ware. The Android experience is true to its roots, moving from page to page quickly without lag.
Unlike some other China made phones, the full Google services is available out of the box, saving us the trouble to flash Gapps.
There’s nothing out of the ordinary with it comes to audio performance. Below the phone there’s a pair of speaker output, but only the right side housed a driver within.
We weren’t impress with the sound quality, is enough for everyday usage but don’t expect to do any serious listening on this phone. The sound quality coming out from the speaker is muffled, there’s no details in the frequencies. If the Maze Alpha fall short anywhere, here it is. Is all beyond redemption on the Maze Alpha? well, headphone test does shown satisfactory result. Although this largely contributed by a good source, at least we got that going.
Featuring the Samsung’s 13MP S5K3L8 F2.2 CMOS image sensor as the primary rare camera, and the secondary camera is a 5MP unknown sensor.
The Samsung S5K3L8 CMOS image sensor is a popular image sensor among China phone manufacturer, from Xiaomi’s Redmi series, to Doogee’s Y series, and Vivo’s Y69. There is a popular debate on Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 4X’s, since Xiaomi decided to incorporate both Samsung S5K3L8 and Sony IMX258 camera sensor. Some said Samsung’s is better some say Sony, yet many agree the result is too similar to compare.
Our opinions on the camera is that we’re not complaining, the camera served us well enough during the testing period. The highlight and shadows of the image result were well balanced out, its not the sharpest camera we seen so far but it get the jobs done.
Maze Alpha’s pricing & final thoughts
What’s black, heavy, solid, and firm? No, i’m not talking about the old spice guy, I’m referring to this industrial-grade product. Some might argue that the lighter the phone the better it is. However, when we held this phone, we felt… Empowered. That feeling that you can take on the world when you have a well equipped product.
With the Maze Alpha, you’ll get good hardware, solid built, and satisfying dual camera. But you’ll sacrifice on the sound quality and have to bare with the heavy weight.
Finally the ultimate question, how much does the Maze Alpha cost? From the official retail channel gearbest, the 4GB 64GB version cost USD 159.99$ which roughly converts to RM650. At this price range, in the Malaysian market you can get the Samsung Galaxy J3 Pro and Xiaomi Redmi 4X; with the strongest competitor being the Motorola Moto M. Yet among all these, I have yet to come across a package as attractive as the Maze Alpha.
Conclusion & Credit
In conclusion, the Maze Alpha is a very affordable yet powerful and practical. Do consider the Maze Alpha as one of the your main option if you’re in market for an affordable smartphone. Of course, if your looking for a better overall package, check out our review on the Asus’s Zenfone 4.
We would like to thank The Ideal Mobile for providing us the sample! Thanks man! You guys rock!