Maze Alpha £167 or less

9
Found 29th Oct 2017
Well, after a lot of research and an almost illogical willingness to go beyond my original £100 budget, to £150, which was then also broke, i went for a Maze Alpha (4GB) and I love it.

Now I know lots of die hard trend following £1,000 phone buyers won't be interested but the majority of us can't afford more than £100 or get a contract. I recently had a elephone p8000 for £106 and it was great, poor satnav, basic camera and only 1.3GHz but 8 of them, lots of storage and memory, great screen but I managed to break the screen and although it was still working I bought a replacement glass and then proceeded to fully ruin the phone so had to buy a cheap one while I saved up. Now I have a Maze Alpha and it's great.

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I bought mine from Gemany warehouse on tomtop, for £167 and the day after it went down in price.

My review after day one which can be found on the site I bought it from :

Minor update (this line only, no changes elsewhere) - The back panel is definitely made of glass. I have enquired with Maze for a new one as mr clumsy here dropped it and it cracked.

Ordered from a different site so thought I would leave a review here. However, for me to buy this from here it would need to be backed by Amazon. Feel free to ask why. Anyhow :

Running Android 7, OTB (out the box) this has a huge 500MB update followed by another 130MB update which is all automated so be sure you are on wifi for the download. 2 long boots (understandably) later and with those vital updates, it's running beautifully. Smooth and sharp, very responsive as I expected after watching a few youtube videos on it.

CAMERA - As a few have stated, the camera is nothing to write home about although it is above par compared to lesser costing budget phones. I haven't had chance to really road test it yet but will soon.

SCREEN - Flawless and very bright compared to my previous Elephone P8000. Colours are quite vivid and nice too. The screen also feels like it's right at the surface rather than under a layer of glass, which is a nice touch. Touch screen seems flawless too so far. Like the Cubot Max my friend has, this has brilliant viewing angles with no noticeable loss of image from any angle.

FINGERPRINT - Early fingerprint scanners were very touch and go if you pardon the pun and my P8000 was quite good in that respect but this one is way better, failing to recognise my thumb when I went to show a friend but then not failing 10 times after that and hasn't failed since. It does lock you out from using the fingerprint scanner after too many failed attempts so you then revert to pattern or pin etc. That it is built into the home button on this, I feel is better than on the back for obvious reasons if you have tried them but if you haven't it means you can see what you are doing as opposed to fumbling behind the screen being a little awkward. I'm sure this makes using it quicker too. In itself it is rapid.

RAM - I looked at the ram usage and found it sat at 1.5GB of 4GB used which obviously means 2.5GB to play with which is not to be sniffed at. OF course more ram helps more apps stay in memory and keeps the phone running smooth and responsive too.There is a 6GB version of this phone and I can only say I welcome more memory as it can only help when and if needed. Having 32GB of ram in my PC, I can vouch for higher being better.

Processor - I will be updating this part as I haven't had chance to put it to any tests, high end games or benchmarks however I have seen on a review video of the processor showing 2.39GHZ not the advertised speed. Whether this is true on a high demand process, I don't know but time will tell. I am happy with everything it has had to do so far though, my P8000 was a 8x1.3GHz processor and that was great but it was possible to see it max out on a per core basis because each process has only 1.3GHz to work with. This being almost double on 4 of the cores is a welcome power increase..

ANDROID 7 - I am no Android OS guru but I like it so far. Unlike a recent Motorola phone I was using, it has a file manager and zero clutter. No useless apps that are in another language or bloatware to be seen so far. There is the addition of Google Duo but I have no interest in that. However, something new I haven't seen before is "HotKnot" which appears to be a faster than bluetooth type function. I think it can be used for sharing files and maybe more. Apparently this came out on Android 6, my friend has it on a Cubot Max which is a damn good £120 phone available here at Amazon. The whole Android 7 UI looks typical so I installed TSF launcher because I love it and am used to it and it is bloatware free so I recommend that if you want to try it, it is great. Aside from this, there are many extra features in the OS itself, some of which I yet to experience. For example, SMS SomatoSensory (Strange name I know) is capable of "in MMS view, pick up the phone to yuour face can directly dial the contacts phone." The same can happen in contacts it seems when looking at a specific contact. There are too many things to list at this time like Gesture motion and unlock, one handed mode and more.. One I will mention, "Schedule power on & off".

STORAGE - I currently have a 32GB microSD card installed with some music on. I revoked the idea of adding it as system storage and kept it as addon storage. The system storage of 64GB with a few small apps I use, shows 7.16GB of 64GB used which is great. If you don't have a SD card to add, I recommend buying at least 64GB available again here on Amazon for £21 currently, you can get 128GB for £41. PLenty of storage with or without, either way but again, more the better. Tip : backing up files saves drama.

SOUND - The audio is pretty clear when playing music. Noticeably louder than previous phones I have owned, Phone calls are clean too.

VIDEO - Playback on things like youtube or websites, is so good to watch.

BATTERY - Seems to be doing very well. The phone arrived 2/3 charged so I used it all night and charged it on my PC overnight. It currently has 68% after a full day which is great suggesting maybe 2 days of use at the rate I have used it today. Comes with Fast Charger however for me it was a EU plug so I had to buy an adaptor locally today, costing £1.50, no biggy. Haven't used it yet though.

Charger port - If you are new to the USB "C" plug, this is a more substantial connector than its predecessor and requires being pushed in until a CLICK Is felt. Time will tell if this is a better replacement for the very flimsy predecessor. TIP - Do NOT move or use your phone while it is charging, if you can help it. This definitely makes these sockets break sooner. How long this one will last will depend muchly on that movement while the socket can slowly become broken by said movement.

In the box - Phone, booklets that no one reads, rightly so in this case. USB C lead and EU fast charger. One glass screen protector, not fitted. The phone comes with a film protector on the front and back. These can be bought but how good they are is another thing. The rear cover has already come off. I heard the glass protectors aren't so good in how they sit but I haven't tried it yet. No headphones in mine.

Overall the phone is impressive. The back of the phone looks very much like the front, especially with its glass look, I don't know if it is but it looks stunning. It is noticeably heavy so have a good grip and you'll be fine. the selfie camera is located at the bottom but I am yet to see if that is a problem. In fact, I am trying it now and it is different with an on-screen instruction upon first loading it, to turn the phone upside down to take a pic. Being a rebel and right handed i refused to rotate the phone lol, it was quick to see the camera should have been the other side but then left handed folks win this. No biggy to use the other hand for me anyhow. The image taken, was ok to be honest, pretty clear. Android 7 and this phone mean the onscreen nav buttons are there and you can easily hide and recover them and the HOME button/fingerprint scanner has some tricks for navigating to get used to. I did manage to do split screen too and that is funky and honestly, about time. Very useful for example, watching a youtube video and doing other things too.

I've had this for one day so far so this review may be updated, good or bad.

It's not the £1,000 phone but give this a trendy (censored) badge it would easily see a £700 price tag for the vanity driven folks who don't seem to know that budget priced phones are still doing everything they can to be as stable and issue-less as the IMHO over priced market. Let's hope Maze stay for the budget market, which let's be honest here, is the majority market place. For example, if this phone was sub £100, it would sell like crazy once folk know how good it is. My only wish for this phone is to have a fast camera, that can capture fast moving objects with precision.

I should give it four stars but feel so pleased right now, it's five. The camera being 0.5 off. Maybe the next generational purchase will solve that. Eyeing up the Elephone S8 found no reasonable way of purchasing it without any issues meaning mailing it back to China which is a huge wound in buying from there, costing us buyers through no fault of our own, to pay for such a costly postage. I wonder if the market will be addressing that issue in the next decade but for now, buying from Europe with european returns mech (for me anyway) is a minimal must. A UK seller will see off many of these phones.

Any questions ? feel free to ask, I'm happy to test a feature for you.
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We need a littlemore information about this phone.
9 Comments
We need a littlemore information about this phone.
any nasty bloatware, any need to root it?
i have seen a couple of reviews for this phone where they say the second camera is not actually a camera reviewer covered second camera with tape and no discernible difference to pictures apart form that it seems to get good reviews as a decent copy of the Xiaomi Mi Mix

from review @ south china morning post

There’s a dual-camera set-up on the back, but I (along with other tech writers) suspect the secondary lens is there just for looks. There’s really no way of proving this without breaking open the device, but I conducted several test shots with a piece of tape covering the secondary camera and found no difference in image quality.


I also ran a hardware test with a third-party app, and it was unable to detect the second camera.

Otherwise, the photos captured by the Alpha are solid for a budget device. As expected, the camera is virtually useless in low-light situations, but use it during the day with good sunlight and images will turn out fine.

The star of the show here is the display, and there are two ways to look at the Alpha’s. In a vacuum, the colour vibrancy and overall brightness level of the Alpha can’t compare to a flagship Samsung or LG device, and the edge-to-edge illusion is slightly inferior to the Mi Mix’s offering due to the larger chin and thicker frame. But then you consider the Alpha’s price – US$180, with frequent discounts that knock it down to about US$160 – and it becomes almost impossible to nitpick about the screen: it still has a crisp 1,080p resolution, and the screen-to-body ratio still stomps all over the iPhone 7.
Edited by: "Infractionboi" 30th Oct 2017
mattmerch3 h, 56 m ago

i have seen a couple of reviews for this phone where they say the second …i have seen a couple of reviews for this phone where they say the second camera is not actually a camera reviewer covered second camera with tape and no discernible difference to pictures apart form that it seems to get good reviews as a decent copy of the Xiaomi Mi Mix from review @ south china morning post There’s a dual-camera set-up on the back, but I (along with other tech writers) suspect the secondary lens is there just for looks. There’s really no way of proving this without breaking open the device, but I conducted several test shots with a piece of tape covering the secondary camera and found no difference in image quality.I also ran a hardware test with a third-party app, and it was unable to detect the second camera.Otherwise, the photos captured by the Alpha are solid for a budget device. As expected, the camera is virtually useless in low-light situations, but use it during the day with good sunlight and images will turn out fine.The star of the show here is the display, and there are two ways to look at the Alpha’s. In a vacuum, the colour vibrancy and overall brightness level of the Alpha can’t compare to a flagship Samsung or LG device, and the edge-to-edge illusion is slightly inferior to the Mi Mix’s offering due to the larger chin and thicker frame. But then you consider the Alpha’s price – US$180, with frequent discounts that knock it down to about US$160 – and it becomes almost impossible to nitpick about the screen: it still has a crisp 1,080p resolution, and the screen-to-body ratio still stomps all over the iPhone 7.


Maybe its two lenses piped thru 1 set of circuitry.


But that's irrelevant the point isn't the tech but the quality, i got my xiaomi because they are the fourth biggest phone maker and I've looked about on Google and heard no horror stories.

I think the OP should get back to us in 6 to 12, months time to tell us if his charger caught fire, if his battery lasts 30 mins etc, that is the test of a phone
Edited by: "Segata-Sanshiro" 30th Oct 2017
Original Poster
davewave13 h, 20 m ago

any nasty bloatware, any need to root it?


I'm no expert on bloatware but for the same reason I use TSF launcher because it is seemingly empty of any nonsense, ads etc. I see no unwanted apps, or unusual things happening. I see no need to root but then I wouldn't anyway. One of the things I check for in reviews is if people say it needs rooting to be a better phone.
Original Poster
mattmerch10 h, 54 m ago

i have seen a couple of reviews for this phone ////



Well, the secondary camera looks exactly like the selfie camera on the front, ie a red coloured circle.

Ok, it is a real camera or at least a sensor of some sort. For that blurred effect. it seemed to know my finger was over the lense because a warning came up and the blur disappeared. Removed my finger and it came back, on off, etc. It definitely does something, what, I cant say for sure but it is more than a fake nothing, for want of a better way to put it. I saw the same things being said but I did read that it does have an effect, in rebuttal to those accusations.

Ok, the camera is really nothing to write home about, but it does take a nice picture, other than that, I love it so far, except for an annoying problem with taking bluetooth calls, atm.
Original Poster
32337820-YPvH5.jpg
sheessh you've got 32gb of memory but you only want a £100 phone , sell off 16gb and buy a £300 phone ?
Original Poster
GwanGy31st Oct

sheessh you've got 32gb of memory but you only want a £100 phone , sell …sheessh you've got 32gb of memory but you only want a £100 phone , sell off 16gb and buy a £300 phone ?


doesn't really help this discussion
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