The new minimalism: Mobile work only with the mobile phone?
The mobile phone as a virtually sole mobile working device, without laptop and tablet - is that even possible? I have been practicing this successfully for quite some time and find it extremely practical: Because often I would like to do something on the way, eMails write eg, image editing or short texts - but extra to unpack the laptop or even take with me is simply too cumbersome.
So I do everything with my cell phone on the go - and otherwise I have neither a tablet nor a laptop. This often triggers astonishment. But as I mentioned yesterday, meeting a friend like this: You are really well organized to have no laptop at all. I take that as a compliment!
What are the requirements of a general-purpose mini-office?
The prerequisite for this, however, is that my mobile phone works so well. This includes for me:
- That it has a high amount of RAM that handles all requests quickly, for example, to a word processor.
- It makes good pictures and you can edit them accordingly.
- And that you can also transfer video and presentations to larger screens.
Inexpensive or expensive?
The question which I now asked and which I would like to answer in the following: Does it have to be a high class Businiess device - or is it also a cheap smartphone for the 200 Euro.
To answer them, Gearbest's action was just right: They provide me with the Maze Alpha for free for a product test.
What is the Maze Alpha
Who asks now: Who or what is Maze? Translated, the name means something like “labyrinth”. In fact, there are a number of Chinese manufacturers that are hardly known in Germany and that bring quite inexpensive devices to the market. And Maze is just one of them.
The chic part comes in the Gearbest action costs less than 160 Euro, with a Quick Charge 3.0 power adapter, a USB-C charging cable, quick guides and glass foils for the mobile phone display.
So we are already in the midst of the specification: The display is comparatively large with 6 inch for a smartphone, but I still too small: Since I need a working device, I find 7 inch ideal for me. Even the marginal edge helps a little - even if it looks very chic.
But otherwise you get a lot of money for the device: For example, a display on which you can see well even in sunlight content. Depending on the equipment 4-6 GB RAM work memory. An internal memory of 64 GB. And a dual simcard feature, which I find essential since I found out how much cheaper pure data plans are.
The equipment at a glance
Let's take a close look behind the scenes: How is the Maze Alpha equipped? An overview:
- Dimensions: 159,8 x 82,5 x 8,1 mm x 8,8 x 82,5 x 8,1 mm
- Weight: 225 g
- Material: Ionized zinc alloy
- Color: midnight black
- Operating system: Android 7.0 (Nougat)
- Dual SIM Dual Standby (Dual Nano-SIM)
- CPU: MediaTek Helio P25 (MT6757), OctaCore 4 × 2,5GHz ARM Cortex A53 + 4 × 1,4GHz ARM Cortex A53
- GPU: ARM Mali-T880 MP2 900MHz
- RAM: 4GB / 6GB LPDDR4x
- ROM: 64GB
- SD slot: Slot for SD up to 256 GB or second SIM card. The micro SD card is not included.
- Sensors: Fingerprint sensor, Hall sensor, Gravity sensor, Gyroscope, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor, Acceleration sensor,
- Electronic compass, HotKnot
- Connections: USB2.0, Type-C, SIM / SD slot, 3,5 mm audio jack
- Battery: 4.000 mAh (not removable), lithium-ion polymer
- Buttons: Hardware buttons and on-screen navigation support
- CE certificate
- Quick Touch (Return / Play or Pause Music / Play or Pause Video), Long Touch (Home / Multi-Task / Camera / Answer),
- vibration motor
- Network: 4G LTE (Cat. 6)
- GSM: 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
- WCDMA: 900 / 2100 MHz
- FDD-LTE: 800/900/900/1800/2100/2100/2600 MHz (Band 1/3/7/8/20)
- Wi-Fi: 5G Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / g / n / ac
- Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.1
- Positioning: GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou
- Speaker: Bottom-facing speaker
- Microphones: Double microphone with noise cancellation
- Type: BOX with PA effects; Smart Audio
- Audio supported formats: MP3, AAC, AAC, AAC +, WMA (v9 and v10), AMR-NB, AMR-WB, WAV, FLAC, WAV, OGG
- Size: 6,0 inches
- Resolution: 1080P Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 376 PPI
- Type: IPS LCD
- Other: 2,5D curved glass, 16: 9 image format, 83% screen-body ratio, scratch-resistant, capacitive, multi-touch
- Supported video formats: AVI, 3GP, MP4, MP4, WMV, RMVB, MKV, MOV, ASF, RM, FLV
- Supported image formats: JPEG, PNG, BMP, GIF
The camera on the back has:
- Samsung S5K3L8 sensor
- 13MP + 5MP
- ICE CREAM
- Aperture: F / 2.2
- Video with 1080P resolution at 30FPS
- Auto HDR, Panorama, Manual Control, Face Detection, Anti Flicker, Mono, Professional
The front camera has:
- 5 MP
- Fixed focus
- Auto HDR, Beautiy Mode, Face Detection, 84 ° Wide Angle
- 1x Labyrinth Alpha
- 1x Type-C cable
- 1x Fast Charging AC Adapter
- 1x tempered glass protective screen
- 1x SIM Tray Ejector
- 1x Quick Start Guide
- 1x warranty card
What does the handling look like in practice?
That reads great first, how does the handling look like in practice? In the normal workflow, when writing texts or eMails about, you can not complain - especially with Android 7 one of the newer Android versions running on the device. For text applications, even if multiple apps are open at the same time, the Octa Core processor and 4 GB RAM are quite sufficient.
It's great to be able to hide the on-screen buttons and instead use the fingerprint sensor, which sometimes runs a bit stubbornly. This creates space on the display!
I was also thrilled with the battery: 4000 mAh is quite a lot and fortunately shows in practice: Even with lively use of the Phablets I had to recharge it only after 1,5 to 2 days - even if I believe that this Duration will shorten with time.
Crack point camera
Another sticking point is for me next to the display size of the dual camera. And since Instagram is an important communication channel for me, that's not a trivial matter.
The photos in good lighting conditions are fine and can be improved with the included filters. Even detailed macro shots are possible, but a blurred background is not. In dark light - and on the big screen, however, there is a fairly strong image noise. Therefore, with high-class devices, neither the photo quality nor the video quality can be compared.
You get here for relatively small money a handy handy that fulfills the key functions of a working people. Of course, these are not enough in terms of image quality, video quality or working speed to reach the top cell phone league - and that's not intended.
The device is recommended to anyone who needs a practical device for the common tasks of a smartphone. Anyone who has special requirements or who - like me - wants to do away with other mobile devices, must, unfortunately, still dig deeper into their pockets to satisfy their demands.
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