Notebookcheck

Blackview A8 Max Smartphone Review

Marcus Herbrich, Sven Kloevekorn (translated by Bernie Pechlaner), 10/28/2016

Lacks contrast. Although well-equipped, the entry-level smartphone A8 Max from Blackview sells for only 90 Euro (~$99) - and that even includes shipping. The low-budget smartphone from the Chinese manufacturer scores with a good price-to-value ratio, but is held back by the rather unimpressive contrast ratio of its IPS HD panel.

For the original German review, see here.

The Blackview A8 Max is Blackview's newest A-series member. The smartphone features a 5.5-inch LCD IPS panel with HD resolution (1280 x 720 pixels) and comes with 16 GB of flash storage, which is expandable with a MicroSD card (maximum 64 GB). Even when a MicroSD card is used to supplement the integrated storage, the A8 Max still supports dual-SIM functionality. The device is powered by a Mediatek quad-core processor and comes equipped with  2 GB of RAM.

Competitors in this class are the Oukitel U7 Plus, the Archos 50 Platinum 4GTest Archos 50 Platinum 4G Smartphone, the TP-Link Neffos C5, the Ulefone Metal as well as the Leagoo M5. The latter doesn't support LTE, however. Blackview's own flagship product - the at least visually very similar R7 - is also a possible alternative, as it only sells for about 70 Euro (~$77) more. The reference smartphone for our review is the current Xiaomi Flagship Mi 5 (32 GB version: about 260 Euro / $285).

Blackview A8 Max (A Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
2048 MB 
Display
5.5 inch 16:9, 1280 x 720 pixel 267 PPI, kapazitiv, LCD, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB 
, 11.13 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3,5 Millimeter Klinkenanschluss, Card Reader: microSD (bis 64 GB), Brightness Sensor, Sensors: Beschleunigungsensor, Annäherungsensor, App2SD
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4), Bluetooth 4.1, 2G: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz; 3G: WCDMA 900 / 2100 MHz; 4G: LTE 800 / 900 / 1800 / 2100 / 2600 MHz, Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.9 x 154.3 x 78 ( = 0.35 x 6.07 x 3.07 in)
Battery
3000 mAh Lithium-Polymer, removeable, Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 336 h, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 14 h
Operating System
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Camera
Primary Camera: 8 MPix
Secondary Camera: 5 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: Monolautsprecher, Keyboard: Onscreen, Keyboard Light: yes, modulares Netzteil, USB Kabel, Blackview UI, 12 Months Warranty, SAR n.b., fanless
Weight
177 g ( = 6.24 oz / 0.39 pounds), Power Supply: 28 g ( = 0.99 oz / 0.06 pounds)
Price
90 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The chassis is made from a mixture of metal and plastic. With dimensions of 154 x 78 mm and a display-to-surface ratio of 69.3 %, the entry-level smartphone isn't exactly compact by any means. The 2.5 D glass panel is slightly curved at the edges, which makes the smartphone look more upscale. Three color options are offered: gold ("Champagne Gold"), white ("Pearl White") and gray ("Stardust Grey"). The two former versions have a white, the gray version a black front bezel.

The smartphone is sturdy thanks to the solid (milled) metal frame with polished edges. The removable back cover is slightly curved, grooved and segmented at the upper and lower edges similar to the sibling R7. Haptics are good - especially considering the price. The physical buttons for the volume control and the on/off switch are very good quality as well.

The build quality is decent, alhough the back plate flexes somewhat when pressure is applied and both the headphone jack and the Micro-USB port are not integrated cleanly into the metal frame.

Size Comparison

157.6 mm / 6.2 inch 78.4 mm / 3.09 inch 9.15 mm / 0.3602 inch 195 g0.4299 lbs154.3 mm / 6.07 inch 78 mm / 3.07 inch 8.9 mm / 0.3504 inch 177 g0.3902 lbs152 mm / 5.98 inch 78 mm / 3.07 inch 8.9 mm / 0.3504 inch 197 g0.4343 lbs145 mm / 5.71 inch 72 mm / 2.83 inch 9.4 mm / 0.3701 inch 152 g0.3351 lbs144 mm / 5.67 inch 72 mm / 2.83 inch 8.8 mm / 0.3465 inch 141 g0.3109 lbs143 mm / 5.63 inch 71 mm / 2.8 inch 9.35 mm / 0.3681 inch 155 g0.3417 lbs141.7 mm / 5.58 inch 71.3 mm / 2.81 inch 8.7 mm / 0.3425 inch 178 g0.3924 lbs

Connectivity

The A8 Max comes with 16 GB of flash storage of which 11.1 GB are available to the user. A MicroSD card of up to 64 GB can be used to expand the storage; moving applications (A2SD) to the card is supported as well. In addition, the Blackview A8 Max comes with an FM radio, so the user can listen to music even when not connected to the Internet.

The top edge is home to a 2.0 Micro-USB port. The smartphone does not recognize external peripherals (via USB OTG) like USB sticks or keyboards.

Software

Even though the smartphone is very inexpensive, it comes equipped with current version of Android (6.0 Marshmallow) and features security patches from August 2016. Compared to a plain-vanilla install, both user interface as well as the notification area have undergone some visual tweaks. The Blackview UI does not contain an app drawer, so all apps are distributed on the home screen after installation. 

The user can start applications or unlock the smartphone using gesture control even when the display is turned off. Accessing the home screen directly, for example, requires drawing the letter "I" onto the display.

Even though we selected German as the system language, some menu entries remained in English.

Communication and GPS

Wireless connectivity is provided by Bluetooth version 4.1 and WLAN 802.11 b/g/n. The reception quality is sufficient and the attenuation is - 46 dB right next to the router (Telekom Speedport, W921V). The average transfer rates between the smartphone and our reference router (Linksys EA8500) at a distance of 1 m top out at 48 Mbit/s (sending) and 34 Mbit/s (receiving) and are thus comparable to other entry-level smartphones. The WLAN connection dropped every so often during the review period, which was somewhat annoying. 

The dual-SIM smartphone is equipped with two MicroSIM card slots, both of which support LTE. The smartphone supports quad-band GSM, dual-band UMTS as well as LTE (Cat 4) and the frequencies of 800, 1800, and 2600 MHz (the required frequency bands in Germany). Both the connection as well as the reception quality within our metropolitan area were quite decent.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Blackview A8 Max
Mali-T720, MT6737, 16 GB eMMC Flash
34.3 MBit/s ∼100%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Blackview A8 Max
Mali-T720, MT6737, 16 GB eMMC Flash
47.5 MBit/s ∼100%
iperf Server (receive) TCP 1 m
Xiaomi Mi 5
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 64 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
316 MBit/s ∼100%
Blackview R7
Mali-T860 MP2, Helio P10 MT6755, 32 GB eMMC Flash
102 MBit/s ∼32%
Ulefone Metal
Mali-T720, MT6753, 16 GB eMMC Flash
88.3 MBit/s ∼28%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
Mali-T720, MT6735, 8 GB eMMC Flash
48.7 MBit/s ∼15%
Oukitel U7 Plus
Mali-T720, MT6737, 16 GB eMMC Flash
48.3 MBit/s ∼15%
Leagoo M5
Mali-400 MP2, MT6580M, 16 GB eMMC Flash
47.5 MBit/s ∼15%
TP-Link Neffos C5
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6735, 16 GB eMMC Flash
44.9 MBit/s ∼14%
iperf Client (transmit) TCP 1 m
Xiaomi Mi 5
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 64 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
265 MBit/s ∼100%
Blackview R7
Mali-T860 MP2, Helio P10 MT6755, 32 GB eMMC Flash
79.4 MBit/s ∼30%
Ulefone Metal
Mali-T720, MT6753, 16 GB eMMC Flash
73.1 MBit/s ∼28%
Oukitel U7 Plus
Mali-T720, MT6737, 16 GB eMMC Flash
52.1 MBit/s ∼20%
Leagoo M5
Mali-400 MP2, MT6580M, 16 GB eMMC Flash
51 MBit/s ∼19%
TP-Link Neffos C5
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6735, 16 GB eMMC Flash
49.3 MBit/s ∼19%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
Mali-T720, MT6735, 8 GB eMMC Flash
48.5 MBit/s ∼18%
GPS test indoors
GPS test indoors
GPS test outdoors
GPS test outdoors

The GPS module was able to establish our location quite quickly with an accuracy of 3 m. Indoors, a satellite lock was not possible. The overall accuracy of the GPS module is not that high, which resulted in a difference of 300 m compared to the professional Garmin Edge 500 (test route is 12.2 km long).

GPS Blackview A8 Max
GPS Blackview A8 Max
GPS Blackview A8 Max
GPS Garmin Edge 500
GPS Garmin Edge 500
GPS Garmin Edge 500

Telephone and Voice Quality

The reception as well as the talk quality are decent. The maximum volume level guarantees that voices are generally easy to understand. Noise interference was never an issue during our test calls when connected to the German D-Netz (Vodafone). The integrated microphone offers acceptable quality, but our conversation partner did mention that we were somewhat harder to understand.

Telephone application
Telephone application
Dialpad
Dialpad
Dialpad, single-handed use
Dialpad, single-handed use

Cameras

Front-facing camera
Front-facing camera
Main camera
Main camera

The main camera uses a 1/4-inch Sony Exmor IMX219 sensor with a resolution of 3280 x 2464 pixels. The software increases the native resolution of 8.08 MP to 13.3 MP (interpolation). The edge length of each individual pixel is 1.12 μm. 

The quality of the rear-facing camera is decent for the price point, even though the resulting photos lack detail and are not that sharp even when plenty of light is available (scene 3: surroundings). Compared to other entry-level devices, the camera features a decent dynamic range, so objects in a scene containing lots of light and shadow don't get too dark (scene 2: river). The autofocus functioned well even during macro photography. Marginal ambient lighting results in lots of picture noise and low sharpness (scene 1: street). Photos taken at night are much brighter though than those taken with other budget offerings.

The 5 MP front-facing camera is suitable for social media snapshots ans selfies - but not much more. Similar to the main camera, the software interpolates the native resolution (to 8 MP). Video recording is only possible at 720p at 30 FPS no matter which camera is used.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3

Accessories and Warranty

The shipping box contains a modular power adapter with an output of 5 watts (1 ampere, 5 volts), a USB cable, an in-ear headphone and a screen protector for the display. The warranty is 12 months. Users who decide to order their smartphone directly from China via import companies might have harder time with their warranty and service.

Please see our Guarantees, Return Policies & Warranties FAQ too for country-specific information.

Input Devices and Operation

The Blackview A8 Max features three touch-sensitive buttons below the display which are not lighted. The capacitive multi-touch display (5 fingers) responds quickly and accurately. Inputs generally are executed without significant delays.

The smarpthone ships with the standard Android keyboard from Google.

Keyboard, landscape mode
Keyboard, landscape mode
Keyboard, portrait mode
Keyboard, portrait mode
Keyboard, portrait mode
Keyboard, portrait mode

Display

Subpixel array
Subpixel array

The IPS display measures 5.5 inches and features HD resolution (1280 x 720 pixels), which translates to a pixel density of 267 ppi. The resulting pictures are sufficiently sharp, although upon closer examination we were able to identify the individual pixels with the naked eye.

With a maximum display brightness of 436 cd/m2, the A8 Max ranks about midfield when compared to the other smartphones we've mentioned. A439 cd/m2, the brightness when looking at an even distribution of light and dark screen content (APL-50) is at just about the same level. Considering the price, the display performance is more than acceptable.

376
cd/m²
435
cd/m²
396
cd/m²
394
cd/m²
435
cd/m²
389
cd/m²
399
cd/m²
436
cd/m²
402
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
LCD
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 436 cd/m² Average: 406.9 cd/m² Minimum: 17.2 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 86 %
Center on Battery: 435 cd/m²
Contrast: 403:1 (Black: 1.08 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.7 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6.1
ΔE Greyscale 5.9 | 0.64-98 Ø6.3
Gamma: 2.18
Blackview A8 Max
IPS, 1280x720, 5.5
Ulefone Metal
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Oukitel U7 Plus
IPS, 1280x720, 5.5
Leagoo M5
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
IPS, 1280x720, 5
TP-Link Neffos C5
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Blackview R7
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.5
Xiaomi Mi 5
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.15
Screen
-2%
10%
-18%
7%
20%
-11%
57%
Brightness middle
435
312
-28%
462
6%
401
-8%
344
-21%
508
17%
552
27%
598
37%
Brightness
407
315
-23%
437
7%
387
-5%
349
-14%
491
21%
526
29%
566
39%
Brightness Distribution
86
87
1%
91
6%
92
7%
89
3%
89
3%
91
6%
90
5%
Black Level *
1.08
0.56
48%
0.58
46%
0.53
51%
0.65
40%
0.58
46%
0.64
41%
0.51
53%
Contrast
403
557
38%
797
98%
757
88%
529
31%
876
117%
863
114%
1173
191%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.7
6.8
-19%
7.5
-32%
9.7
-70%
5.8
-2%
7
-23%
11
-93%
3.5
39%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
12.3
14
-14%
12.8
-4%
22.3
-81%
10.7
13%
14.1
-15%
20.8
-69%
6.1
50%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
5.9
7.1
-20%
8.5
-44%
13.3
-125%
5.7
3%
6.1
-3%
14.3
-142%
3.5
41%
Gamma
2.18 101%
2.77 79%
2.54 87%
2.3 96%
2.1 105%
2.15 102%
2.21 100%
2.29 96%
CCT
8164 80%
7402 88%
8914 73%
10359 63%
7792 83%
8068 81%
12996 50%
6532 100%

* ... smaller is better

The IPS panel's one major drawback is the very low contrast ratio of 1:403 and the marginal black value of 1,08 cd/m2. The more realistic APL-50 test shows almost the same result (1.09 cd/m2). Our analysis with a photospectrometer and the CalMAN software shows comparatively low deviations of 5.7 for colors and 5.8 for graylevels. The color temperature of 8164 K is a little too cold - the display has a bluish hue.

CalMAN ColorChecker (target sRGB)
CalMAN ColorChecker (target sRGB)
CalMAN Colorspace (target sRGB)
CalMAN Colorspace (target sRGB)
CalMAN Saturation (target sRGB)
CalMAN Saturation (target sRGB)
CalMAN Graylevels (target sRGB)
CalMAN Graylevels (target sRGB)

In bright environments, the display does quite well and the screen content remains readable. Direct sunlight is a different story, since glare and reflections are an issue. The viewing angle stability is very decent thanks to the IPS technology. Even at very shallow angles, the colors remain true.

Outdoor use, shade
Outdoor use, shade
Outdoor use, sun
Outdoor use, sun
Outdoor use, sun
Outdoor use, sun
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
25 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 11 ms rise
↘ 14 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 41 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (25.1 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
49 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 13 ms rise
↘ 36 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 81 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (40 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9418 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Performance

The MediaTek SoC utilizes ARM technology and was released in 2016. The MT6737 is produced using a 28 nm process and features four cores which are based on the 64-bit Cortex A53 architecture.

The performance of the processor is sufficient for daily use and generally guarantees smooth performance. Even when multitasking, the UI hardly ever stutters. The benchmark tests shows that the A8 Max performs about as well as most competitors - only the UleFone Metal and especially the upscale sibling R7 feature a more potent SoC. The browser performance is also very decent: pages load quickly and scrolling works well, although not always stutter-free.

The performance of the integrated 16 GB flash drive is about average as far as reads and writes are concerned. Compared to the Blackview R7, the integrated MicroSD card reader offers improved performance, but the overall results are still just average. We use a Toshiba Exceria Pro M401 reference MicroSD card (max. reads: 95 MB/s, writes: 80 MB/s). The Blackview A8 Max topped out at 19 MB/s for writes - a quite typical performance for entry-level smartphones.

AndroBench 3-5
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard (sort by value)
Blackview A8 Max
18.5 MB/s ∼21%
Ulefone Metal
27.6 MB/s ∼32% +49%
Oukitel U7 Plus
22.6 MB/s ∼26% +22%
Leagoo M5
18.48 MB/s ∼21% 0%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
15.58 MB/s ∼18% -16%
TP-Link Neffos C5
18.89 MB/s ∼22% +2%
Blackview R7
11.87 MB/s ∼14% -36%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard (sort by value)
Blackview A8 Max
35.94 MB/s ∼37%
Ulefone Metal
49.6 MB/s ∼51% +38%
Oukitel U7 Plus
46.63 MB/s ∼48% +30%
Leagoo M5
36.07 MB/s ∼37% 0%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
31.85 MB/s ∼33% -11%
TP-Link Neffos C5
39.11 MB/s ∼41% +9%
Blackview R7
15.56 MB/s ∼16% -57%
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Blackview A8 Max
5.65 MB/s ∼2%
Ulefone Metal
7.87 MB/s ∼3% +39%
Oukitel U7 Plus
2.18 MB/s ∼1% -61%
Leagoo M5
5.46 MB/s ∼2% -3%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
4.35 MB/s ∼2% -23%
TP-Link Neffos C5
6.85 MB/s ∼3% +21%
Blackview R7
11.4 MB/s ∼5% +102%
Xiaomi Mi 5
13.61 MB/s ∼5% +141%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Blackview A8 Max
16.15 MB/s ∼9%
Ulefone Metal
22.18 MB/s ∼13% +37%
Oukitel U7 Plus
11.25 MB/s ∼6% -30%
Leagoo M5
14.98 MB/s ∼9% -7%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
14.31 MB/s ∼8% -11%
TP-Link Neffos C5
17.16 MB/s ∼10% +6%
Blackview R7
28.02 MB/s ∼16% +73%
Xiaomi Mi 5
106.78 MB/s ∼61% +561%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Blackview A8 Max
47.25 MB/s ∼9%
Ulefone Metal
39.91 MB/s ∼8% -16%
Oukitel U7 Plus
59 MB/s ∼12% +25%
Leagoo M5
12.11 MB/s ∼2% -74%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
7.56 MB/s ∼2% -84%
TP-Link Neffos C5
52.43 MB/s ∼10% +11%
Blackview R7
122.67 MB/s ∼24% +160%
Xiaomi Mi 5
159.29 MB/s ∼32% +237%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Blackview A8 Max
141.83 MB/s ∼10%
Ulefone Metal
228.84 MB/s ∼16% +61%
Oukitel U7 Plus
125.91 MB/s ∼9% -11%
Leagoo M5
133.68 MB/s ∼9% -6%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
125.37 MB/s ∼9% -12%
TP-Link Neffos C5
145.77 MB/s ∼10% +3%
Blackview R7
247.58 MB/s ∼17% +75%
Xiaomi Mi 5
459.64 MB/s ∼31% +224%
AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Blackview A8 Max
30916 Points ∼11%
Ulefone Metal
37103 Points ∼13% +20%
Oukitel U7 Plus
28683 Points ∼10% -7%
Leagoo M5
24238 Points ∼9% -22%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
23657 Points ∼8% -23%
TP-Link Neffos C5
32681 Points ∼12% +6%
Blackview R7
50572 Points ∼18% +64%
Xiaomi Mi 5
116330 Points ∼41% +276%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
Blackview A8 Max
727 Points ∼16%
Ulefone Metal
1057 Points ∼24% +45%
Oukitel U7 Plus
749 Points ∼17% +3%
TP-Link Neffos C5
810 Points ∼18% +11%
Blackview R7
1155 Points ∼26% +59%
Xiaomi Mi 5
1976 Points ∼44% +172%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
Blackview A8 Max
129 Points ∼1%
Ulefone Metal
243 Points ∼2% +88%
Oukitel U7 Plus
126 Points ∼1% -2%
TP-Link Neffos C5
167 Points ∼2% +29%
Blackview R7
518 Points ∼5% +302%
Xiaomi Mi 5
4558 Points ∼43% +3433%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
Blackview A8 Max
158 Points ∼2%
Ulefone Metal
293 Points ∼4% +85%
Oukitel U7 Plus
155 Points ∼2% -2%
TP-Link Neffos C5
203 Points ∼3% +28%
Blackview R7
590 Points ∼8% +273%
Xiaomi Mi 5
3542 Points ∼45% +2142%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Blackview A8 Max
8646 Points ∼10%
Ulefone Metal
10371 Points ∼12% +20%
Oukitel U7 Plus
8660 Points ∼10% 0%
Leagoo M5
7886 Points ∼9% -9%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
6902 Points ∼8% -20%
TP-Link Neffos C5
9291 Points ∼11% +7%
Blackview R7
12585 Points ∼15% +46%
Xiaomi Mi 5
21483 Points ∼25% +148%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Blackview A8 Max
3284 Points ∼1%
Ulefone Metal
6469 Points ∼1% +97%
Oukitel U7 Plus
3137 Points ∼1% -4%
Leagoo M5
2478 Points ∼0% -25%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
2681 Points ∼1% -18%
TP-Link Neffos C5
4223 Points ∼1% +29%
Blackview R7
10334 Points ∼2% +215%
Xiaomi Mi 5
32613 Points ∼6% +893%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Blackview A8 Max
3809 Points ∼2%
Ulefone Metal
7059 Points ∼3% +85%
Oukitel U7 Plus
3656 Points ∼2% -4%
Leagoo M5
2921 Points ∼1% -23%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
3103 Points ∼1% -19%
TP-Link Neffos C5
4906 Points ∼2% +29%
Blackview R7
10762 Points ∼5% +183%
Xiaomi Mi 5
29246 Points ∼12% +668%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Blackview A8 Max
6 fps ∼0%
Ulefone Metal
19 fps ∼0% +217%
Oukitel U7 Plus
5.9 fps ∼0% -2%
Leagoo M5
4.4 fps ∼0% -27%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
8.7 fps ∼0% +45%
TP-Link Neffos C5
14 fps ∼0% +133%
Blackview R7
17 fps ∼0% +183%
Xiaomi Mi 5
90 fps ∼1% +1400%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Blackview A8 Max
10 fps ∼0%
Ulefone Metal
12 fps ∼0% +20%
Oukitel U7 Plus
9.8 fps ∼0% -2%
Leagoo M5
8 fps ∼0% -20%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
4.9 fps ∼0% -51%
TP-Link Neffos C5
8.3 fps ∼0% -17%
Blackview R7
17 fps ∼1% +70%
Xiaomi Mi 5
60 fps ∼2% +500%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Blackview A8 Max
2.2 fps ∼0%
Ulefone Metal
2.9 fps ∼1% +32%
Oukitel U7 Plus
4.4 fps ∼1% +100%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
3.6 fps ∼1% +64%
TP-Link Neffos C5
6.1 fps ∼1% +177%
Blackview R7
4.7 fps ∼1% +114%
Xiaomi Mi 5
42 fps ∼8% +1809%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Blackview A8 Max
4.5 fps ∼1%
Ulefone Metal
6.4 fps ∼2% +42%
Oukitel U7 Plus
2.1 fps ∼1% -53%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
1.2 fps ∼0% -73%
TP-Link Neffos C5
2.8 fps ∼1% -38%
Blackview R7
4.7 fps ∼1% +4%
Xiaomi Mi 5
42 fps ∼12% +833%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Blackview A8 Max
1.4 fps ∼0%
Ulefone Metal
8.9 fps ∼0% +536%
Oukitel U7 Plus
1.4 fps ∼0% 0%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
2.7 fps ∼0% +93%
Blackview R7
2.5 fps ∼0% +79%
Xiaomi Mi 5
30 fps ∼1% +2043%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Blackview A8 Max
3.2 fps ∼0%
Ulefone Metal
4.5 fps ∼0% +41%
Oukitel U7 Plus
3.2 fps ∼0% 0%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
1.2 fps ∼0% -62%
Blackview R7
2.5 fps ∼0% -22%
Xiaomi Mi 5
31 fps ∼1% +869%
PCMark for Android - Work performance score (sort by value)
Blackview A8 Max
3427 Points ∼17%
Ulefone Metal
4079 Points ∼21% +19%
Oukitel U7 Plus
3105 Points ∼16% -9%
Leagoo M5
2808 Points ∼14% -18%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
2807 Points ∼14% -18%
TP-Link Neffos C5
3443 Points ∼18% 0%
Blackview R7
4364 Points ∼22% +27%
Xiaomi Mi 5
6873 Points ∼35% +101%
Geekbench 4.0
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Blackview A8 Max
1525 Points ∼6%
Ulefone Metal
2458 Points ∼9% +61%
Oukitel U7 Plus
1508 Points ∼5% -1%
Leagoo M5
1166 Points ∼4% -24%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
1206 Points ∼4% -21%
Blackview R7
2851 Points ∼10% +87%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Blackview A8 Max
589 Points ∼10%
Ulefone Metal
609 Points ∼11% +3%
Oukitel U7 Plus
580 Points ∼10% -2%
Leagoo M5
407 Points ∼7% -31%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
428 Points ∼7% -27%
Blackview R7
728 Points ∼13% +24%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Blackview A8 Max
9 Points ∼0%
Ulefone Metal
10 Points ∼0% +11%
Oukitel U7 Plus
573 Points ∼28% +6267%
Leagoo M5
9 Points ∼0% 0%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
9 Points ∼0% 0%
TP-Link Neffos C5
638 Points ∼31% +6989%
Blackview R7
10 Points ∼0% +11%
Xiaomi Mi 5
1106 Points ∼54% +12189%
Graphics (sort by value)
Blackview A8 Max
211 Points ∼1%
Ulefone Metal
433 Points ∼2% +105%
Oukitel U7 Plus
211 Points ∼1% 0%
Leagoo M5
139 Points ∼0% -34%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
175 Points ∼1% -17%
TP-Link Neffos C5
281 Points ∼1% +33%
Blackview R7
655 Points ∼2% +210%
Xiaomi Mi 5
4522 Points ∼16% +2043%
Memory (sort by value)
Blackview A8 Max
733 Points ∼10%
Ulefone Metal
802 Points ∼11% +9%
Oukitel U7 Plus
770 Points ∼10% +5%
Leagoo M5
331 Points ∼4% -55%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
354 Points ∼5% -52%
TP-Link Neffos C5
991 Points ∼13% +35%
Blackview R7
1030 Points ∼14% +41%
Xiaomi Mi 5
1801 Points ∼24% +146%
System (sort by value)
Blackview A8 Max
1125 Points ∼7%
Ulefone Metal
1691 Points ∼10% +50%
Oukitel U7 Plus
1120 Points ∼7% 0%
Leagoo M5
990 Points ∼6% -12%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
838 Points ∼5% -26%
TP-Link Neffos C5
1199 Points ∼7% +7%
Blackview R7
1971 Points ∼12% +75%
Xiaomi Mi 5
3638 Points ∼22% +223%
Overall (sort by value)
Blackview A8 Max
201 Points ∼2%
Ulefone Metal
273 Points ∼3% +36%
Oukitel U7 Plus
568 Points ∼7% +183%
Leagoo M5
144 Points ∼2% -28%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
148 Points ∼2% -26%
TP-Link Neffos C5
683 Points ∼8% +240%
Blackview R7
338 Points ∼4% +68%
Xiaomi Mi 5
2392 Points ∼28% +1090%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Blackview A8 Max
13642.6 ms * ∼23%
Ulefone Metal
13397.3 ms * ∼23% +2%
Oukitel U7 Plus
14931.4 ms * ∼25% -9%
Leagoo M5
14766.5 ms * ∼25% -8%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
19092.2 ms * ∼32% -40%
TP-Link Neffos C5
12783.4 ms * ∼21% +6%
Blackview R7
9748.3 ms * ∼16% +29%
Xiaomi Mi 5
2973.3 ms * ∼5% +78%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Blackview A8 Max
2607 Points ∼5%
Ulefone Metal
2738 Points ∼5% +5%
Oukitel U7 Plus
2554 Points ∼5% -2%
Leagoo M5
2144 Points ∼4% -18%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
2122 Points ∼4% -19%
TP-Link Neffos C5
2738 Points ∼5% +5%
Blackview R7
3885 Points ∼7% +49%
Xiaomi Mi 5
8619 Points ∼16% +231%
JetStream 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Blackview A8 Max
17.188 Points ∼5%
Ulefone Metal
17.831 Points ∼5% +4%
Oukitel U7 Plus
17.257 Points ∼5% 0%
Leagoo M5
14.451 Points ∼4% -16%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
12.755 Points ∼4% -26%
TP-Link Neffos C5
18.209 Points ∼5% +6%
Blackview R7
25.349 Points ∼7% +47%
Xiaomi Mi 5
53.969 Points ∼15% +214%

Legend

 
Blackview A8 Max Mediatek MT6737, ARM Mali-T720, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Ulefone Metal Mediatek MT6753, ARM Mali-T720, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Oukitel U7 Plus Mediatek MT6737, ARM Mali-T720, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Leagoo M5 Mediatek MT6580M, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Archos 50 Platinum 4G Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
TP-Link Neffos C5 Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Blackview R7 Mediatek Helio P10 MT6755, ARM Mali-T860 MP2, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Xiaomi Mi 5 Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 MSM8996, Qualcomm Adreno 530, 64 GB UFS 2.0 Flash

* ... smaller is better

Gaming

The entry-level Mali-T720 MP2 GPU is integrated into the MediaTek SoC. Despite the comparatively low performance, we were still able to play even more demanding 3D games at higher settings. Very demanding Android titles like N.O.V.A 3 or Asphalt Airborne 8 stutter, however.

Asphalt Airborne 8
N.O.V.A 3

Emissions

Temperature

The surface temperature on the back remains comparatively low at a maximum of 40.8 °C. During idle, the maximum temperature is also quite low at up to 33 °C, so the smartphone remains unobtrusive during daily use.

Max. Load
 38 °C
100 F
37.6 °C
100 F
40.6 °C
105 F
 
 39.3 °C
103 F
38.4 °C
101 F
40.4 °C
105 F
 
 38.2 °C
101 F
38.4 °C
101 F
38.4 °C
101 F
 
Maximum: 40.6 °C = 105 F
Average: 38.8 °C = 102 F
34 °C
93 F
34.4 °C
94 F
38.7 °C
102 F
33.9 °C
93 F
34.5 °C
94 F
40 °C
104 F
33.9 °C
93 F
35 °C
95 F
40.8 °C
105 F
Maximum: 40.8 °C = 105 F
Average: 36.1 °C = 97 F
Power Supply (max.)  35.5 °C = 96 F | Room Temperature 21.5 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 38.8 °C / 102 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 40.6 °C / 105 F, compared to the average of 35.5 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 40.8 °C / 105 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(±) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 33.7 °C / 93 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.

Speakers

Speaker test: pink noise
Speaker test: pink noise

The mono speaker is located on the back and - at 89 dB - gets quite loud. The sound quality is unfortunately not impressive and only suitable for short videos rather than music. As expected, bass is lacking and the sound is generally unbalanced. Given the price point, the speaker performance is still acceptable.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.632.62525.431.33125.336.64032.934.45033.638.16331.634.88028.428.81002727.412520.823.91602222.920021.326.825020.832.631521.242.640019.447.850019.555.863017.76180017.969.2100017.875.5125017.382.1160017.478.8200016.778.2250017.276.6315018.276.9400017.976.5500017.674.4630017.774.5800017.880.31000017.976.81250018.163.31600018.248.8SPL3089.1N1.372.4median 17.9median 69.2Delta1.316.820.622.921.920.620.721.720.320.722.32123.622.322.626.934.422.621.222.321.921.217.820.318.917.817.918.118.617.922.522.823.922.534.733.236.134.716.72617.216.716.433.215.816.419.438.919.119.422.345.519.122.327.552.717.927.533.658.319.133.639.163.216.139.143.466.515.543.442.764.716.442.739.26213.739.236.8601336.834.857.913.934.834.558.911.434.537.861.110.737.839.16310.339.141.464.29.841.442.7689.442.748.271.69.548.240.764.99.440.730.755.79.630.726.850.39.426.852.876.426.652.88.337.30.98.3median 34.8median 58.9median 13.9median 34.86.79.24.16.731.641.525.435.725.336.532.936.433.636.831.637.128.428272820.826.9222321.324.320.830.421.236.519.445.419.551.917.75517.959.717.863.517.364.217.466.816.766.717.263.718.268.617.975.117.676.617.767.417.865.817.965.718.157.218.245.53081.61.343.6median 17.9median 59.71.313.724.323.124.324.322.32122.722.322.720.322.622.723.723.229.623.721.221.922.221.219.119.32019.117.617.118.517.620.120.12120.130.630.931.930.616.71616.516.718.218.317.318.217.817.618.317.81719.517.31719.529.216.419.527.13917.827.130.643.414.830.63850.915.73842.35616.442.345.66015.845.647.861.713.647.850.963.114.850.950.26312.650.252.264.711.252.252.86510.952.853.4669.753.452.4659.652.448.6619.748.64153.69.44134.147.69.434.129.743.79.429.761.774.426.161.712.828.50.812.8median 38median 50.9median 14.8median 3814.216.82.814.2hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseBlackview A8 MaxUlefone MetalOukitel U7 PlusBlackview R7
Blackview A8 Max audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (89.06 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 39.8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 10.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (10.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 7.4% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (3.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (33.7% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 93% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 5% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 95% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 4% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Ulefone Metal audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (76.4 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 25.6% lower than median
(-) | bass is not linear (15.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.7% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (8.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.6% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (6.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (22.7% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 35% of all tested devices in this class were better, 10% similar, 55% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 59% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 34% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Oukitel U7 Plus audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (81.59 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 31.6% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (7.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 6.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (9.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 9.3% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (9.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (33.2% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 92% of all tested devices in this class were better, 3% similar, 5% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 94% of all tested devices were better, 2% similar, 4% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Blackview R7 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (74.4 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 30.5% lower than median
(-) | bass is not linear (15.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 9.8% lower than median
(-) | mids are not linear (15.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 11.7% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (6.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (42.7% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 99% of all tested devices in this class were better, 1% similar, 0% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 99% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 1% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency diagram (check boxes are selectable!)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The A8 Max is very efficient both during idle as well as under load. The 5.5-inch smartphones Oukitel U7 Plus and Blackview R7 have a much higher power draw.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.08 / 0.18 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.74 / 1.97 / 2.09 Watt
Load midlight 4.89 / 5.09 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Blackview A8 Max
3000 mAh
Ulefone Metal
3050 mAh
Oukitel U7 Plus
2500 mAh
Leagoo M5
2300 mAh
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
2200 mAh
TP-Link Neffos C5
2200 mAh
Blackview R7
3000 mAh
Power Consumption
-39%
-24%
-24%
16%
-7%
-74%
Idle Minimum *
0.74
1.41
-91%
0.86
-16%
0.81
-9%
0.59
20%
0.72
3%
1.83
-147%
Idle Average *
1.97
2.46
-25%
2.68
-36%
2.26
-15%
1.68
15%
1.87
5%
3.21
-63%
Idle Maximum *
2.09
2.83
-35%
2.78
-33%
2.39
-14%
1.79
14%
2
4%
3.45
-65%
Load Average *
4.89
5.15
-5%
5.33
-9%
6.97
-43%
4.22
14%
5.99
-22%
5.67
-16%
Load Maximum *
5.09
7.05
-39%
6.49
-28%
7.03
-38%
4.26
16%
6.45
-27%
9.16
-80%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The low power consumption has a positive effect on the battery life. During our WLAN surf-test with reduced display brightness, the 3000 mAh (swappable) lithium ion battery lasted for 8 hours and 26 minutes, thus besting all the other smartphones in our comparison.    

Once depleted, it takes about 4 hours for the smartphone to completely recharge.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
8h 26min
Blackview A8 Max
3000 mAh
Ulefone Metal
3050 mAh
Oukitel U7 Plus
2500 mAh
Leagoo M5
2300 mAh
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
2200 mAh
TP-Link Neffos C5
2200 mAh
Blackview R7
3000 mAh
Battery Runtime
WiFi v1.3
506
403
-20%
366
-28%
406
-20%
384
-24%
453
-10%
412
-19%

Pros

+ IPS HD panel
+ decent performance (entry-level smartphone)
+ 16 GB flash drive
+ 2 GB RAM
+ case quality
+ LTE (including band 20)
+ good battery life

Cons

- low contrast
- slow eMMC storage
- SoC isn't very powerful
- low WLAN transfer speeds
- occasional connection drops
- keys not lighted

Verdict

In Review: Blackview A8 Max. Test model courtesy of Blackview.
In Review: Blackview A8 Max. Test model courtesy of Blackview.

The Blackview A8 Max is an interesting entry-level smartphone. For just 90 Euro (~$99), the A8 Max features a - for the given price point - quite decent case design and good system performance. The temperature management is efficient and the power consumption moderate, which in turn has a positive effect on the run times.

In addition, the smartphone comes with a reasonably bright display based on IPS technology, which offers good viewing angle stability and decent colors.

At the same time, the display contrast is poor, the internal flash storage is slow and the WLAN module not only lacks performance, but it isn't always stable, either. 

Entry-level smartphones generally require compromises - and the Blackview A8 Max is not different in that regard. Considering the price point, the A8 Max is nonetheless a decent buy.

Blackview A8 Max - 10/19/2016 v5.1(old)
Marcus Herbrich

Chassis
85%
Keyboard
61 / 75 → 82%
Pointing Device
89%
Connectivity
37 / 60 → 62%
Weight
90%
Battery
91%
Display
79%
Games Performance
7 / 63 → 12%
Application Performance
30 / 70 → 42%
Temperature
87%
Noise
100%
Audio
51 / 91 → 56%
Camera
63%
Average
67%
79%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Blackview A8 Max Smartphone Review
Marcus Herbrich, 2016-10-28 (Update: 2019-04-21)
Bernhard Pechlaner
Bernhard Pechlaner - Review Editor
Ended up in the IT sector in the 90s more or less accidentally and have remained in the industry (as a sysadmin) ever since. Always been interested in laptops - first purchase was - if memory serves correctly - a Toshiba Satellite T2115CS with DX4-75 processor, 4 MB of RAM and 350 MB hard disk drive (and Windows 3.1). To this day, laptops appeal to me - much to the chagrin of my wife, who doesn’t seem understand why we need 5-10 of them at any given time ;-).