Notebookcheck

Maze Alpha X Smartphone Review

Florian Schaar (translated by Pascal Kilian), 02/18/2018

Cheap, bezel-less, good? The Maze Alpha X succeeds the recently introduced Maze Alpha and sells for 50 Euros (~$62) more on the virtual shop counter. On the outside, the screen has grown by 240 pixels vertically and the pixel-free portion on the front was decreased accordingly. We will evaluate the device's strengths and weaknesses in this review.

The Maze Alpha X offers a 6-inch IPS screen with a 2:1 aspect ratio and the same MediaTek Helio P25 mid-range SoC with its ARM Mali-T880 GPU that we have already seen in the Doogee Mix. There is one camera on the front and one on the back. The predecessor even featured a real dual camera setup on the back. We consider 6 GB of working memory and 64 GB of internal storage to be ample and inserting a microSD card will give you even more space for your files.

We will compare the phone with other devices in the same price range although not all of them feature a bezel-less screen: the Huawei Mate 10 Lite, the Doogee Mix, the Honor 9, and the Doogee BL5000. How does the Alpha X hold up against the competition?

Maze Alpha X
Graphics adapter
Memory
6144 MB 
Display
6 inch 2:1, 2160 x 1080 pixel 402 PPI, 10-point, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
64 GB eMMC Flash, 64 GB 
, 49.5 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Card Reader: microSD, 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: Accelerometer, magnetometer, gyroskope, proximity sensor
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1, GSM 1800MHz, 1900MHz, 850MHz, 900MHz, WCDMA: 2100MHz, 900MHz, LTE FDD: 2100MHz, 800MHz, 1800MHz, 2600MHz, 900MHz, Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.1 x 156.4 x 74.6 ( = 0.32 x 6.16 x 2.94 in)
Battery
3900 mAh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Android 7.0 Nougat
Camera
Primary Camera: 13 MPix 13 MP camera
Secondary Camera: 8 MPix front facing camera
Additional features
Speakers: 1, Keyboard Light: yes, Charger and cable, 12 Months Warranty, fanless
Weight
210 g ( = 7.41 oz / 0.46 pounds), Power Supply: 61 g ( = 2.15 oz / 0.13 pounds)
Price
249 Euro

 

Case

The case of the Alpha X hosts a prominent 6-inch screen with narrow bezels on three sides. The front facing-camera was moved to the bottom right next to the fingerprint reader. The back and front are protected by Gorilla Glass 4 and 5, respectively, which makes the back quite susceptible to fingerprints. According to the manufacturer, the frame is made up of a zinc alloy. We presume that they actually mean steel that has been made stainless by the addition of zinc (stainless steel). This would explain the high weight of the device. Although it feels good to hold in one hand, its 210 g (7.4 oz) cannot be considered light-weight. Torsion tests elicit slight cracking noises from the case, but it does not visibly yield and seems sturdy nevertheless. The battery of the Alpha X is non-removable. As for colors, the manufacturer advertises the phone in black, blue, and silver on their website. Apparently, not all colors are available as of today and a quick search only yielded offers for the black model.

Sizes Comparison

Equipment

The Maze Alpha X charges via USB Type-C but during file transfers, it merely reaches USB-2.0 speeds. The hybrid dual-SIM slot hosts either two nano-SIM cards or one nano-SIM card and one microSD expansion card. According to the manufacturer, the maximum supported microSD capacity is 256 GB compliant with the SDXC standard. The expansion microSD can be formatted as internal storage which increases the phone's storage capacity to around 300 GB.

In its price range the Maze Alpha X is an impressive candidate with its ample 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of ROM. Usually, half of each or even less than that is the standard at this price.

The top of the device is home to an audio jack for connection with a headset, the bottom has an integrated fingerprint reader that is similar to the button in Samsung phones of two years ago, only it is not pressable. The reaction time and the haptics could not convince us. The sensor is simply too small and does not correspond to the shape of a finger. 

USB Type-C port
USB Type-C port
Audio jack
Audio jack

Software

The Maze Alpha X is still running Android 7.0 Nougat. China imports with Oreo remain to be a rarity until today. Maze did provide several updates for the Alpha, so we are hopeful that users will not be left standing in the rain for too long. The UI looks largely unchanged and remains free of bloatware. The security patches are from November 2017.

Home screens
Home screens
Home screens
Home screens
Home screens
Home screens

Communication and GPS

802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi is commonplace in this class, whereas 802.11 b/g/n/ac is not. Our measured transfer speeds suggest the former, the datasheet states the latter. 82.2 Mbit/s fall within the 802.11 b/g/n standard, but for ac we expect to see at least 200 Mbit/s as it is the case with the Honor 9. The transfer rates measured with our Linksys EA8500 reference router are significantly lower than expected. The Alpha X transmits data in our standardized test with an average speed. It tends to end up in the middle of the ranking when compared to its competition. At some distance from the router and with one wall in between, the reception can at times get interrupted. The Maze Alpha X connects to mobile internet via LTE frequency bands that cover all of Europe and we did not encounter reception issues in the metropolitan area. Customers outside of Europe may want to look into the specifications list that we have provided at the beginning of this review.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Honor 9
Mali-G71 MP8, Kirin 960, 64 GB eMMC Flash
283 MBit/s ∼100% +242%
Doogee BL5000
Mali-T860 MP2, MT6750, 64 GB eMMC Flash
101 MBit/s ∼36% +22%
Maze Alpha X
Mali-T880 MP2, Helio P25, 64 GB eMMC Flash
82.8 MBit/s ∼29%
Doogee Mix
Mali-T880 MP2, Helio P25, 64 GB eMMC Flash
50.5 MBit/s ∼18% -39%
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
Mali-T830 MP2, Kirin 659, 64 GB eMMC Flash
41.9 MBit/s ∼15% -49%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Honor 9
Mali-G71 MP8, Kirin 960, 64 GB eMMC Flash
140 MBit/s ∼100% +47%
Doogee Mix
Mali-T880 MP2, Helio P25, 64 GB eMMC Flash
107 MBit/s ∼76% +13%
Maze Alpha X
Mali-T880 MP2, Helio P25, 64 GB eMMC Flash
95.1 MBit/s ∼68%
Doogee BL5000
Mali-T860 MP2, MT6750, 64 GB eMMC Flash
90.7 MBit/s ∼65% -5%
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
Mali-T830 MP2, Kirin 659, 64 GB eMMC Flash
53.3 MBit/s ∼38% -44%

The Maze Alpha X is supposed to have GPS, GLONASS, and BeiDou satellite positioning, but in our GPS test we could only find GPS and GLONASS satellites. It appears that Maze might be a little sloppy with their device's specifications, just as we saw in our Wi-Fi test. 

When riding a bike, we let the Alpha X compete against a professional Garmin Edge 500 bicycle computer. The track length of the two devices differs by almost 90 meters (98 yards). Taking a look at the detailed course of the route, our observation is similar since the X's tracking differs only at a few places. The Alpha X has problems in the vicinity of larger buildings and updates its location less often, which can be seen in the rougher depiction of the course. Nevertheless, the navigation works very well.

GPS: outdoors
GPS: outdoors
GPS: outdoors
GPS: outdoors
GPS: indoors
GPS: indoors
GPS: indoors
GPS: indoors
Test track with the Alpha X
Test track with the Alpha X
Test track with the Alpha X
Test track with the Alpha X
Test track with the Alpha X
Test track with the Alpha X
Test track with the Garmin Edge 500
Test track with the Garmin Edge 500
Test track with the Garmin Edge 500
Test track with the Garmin Edge 500
Test track with the Garmin Edge 500
Test track with the Garmin Edge 500

Telephone Functions and Voice Quality

The Maze Alpha X has optional dual-SIM if a microSD card is not used. The dialler app does not differ visually from the stock Android app.

The call quality is decent and delivers a solid transmission quality, so that both conversation partners are easy to understand. The transmission works in both directions without static noise, but it sounds a bit dull.

Cameras

According to the specification sheet, all camera sensors are made by Sony. The front-facing camera is based on an 8-MP Sony IMX 219 sensor. The rear camera with its Sony IMX 258 sensor can take pictures with up to 13 MP. An exception to this is the 128-GB model, which Maze has equipped with the same 16-MP OV16880 sensor as that found in devices such as the Xiaomi Mi Mix.

The luminous intensity with f/2.0 is the same for all models. There is no optical image stabilization (OIS) on-board. Photos taken during the day look quite good, but lack details at close range. In darker environments, the sharpness decreases rapidly, and images will turn out slightly noisy.

Videos can be recorded in Full HD (1920x1080 pixels, 16:9) at 30 FPS. The front camera supports 1280x720 pixels.

The front camera does not take very sharp photos and they have a blue color cast.

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

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
click to load images

We took a closer look at the imaging performance of the camera under controlled light conditions. While the sharpness is convincing despite some slight noise, the color accuracy is rather disappointing. Black is not only too bright, but also has a clear tinge of color. As can be seen in the chart, no color is displayed accurately. Nevertheless, the camera should be suitable for some useful snapshots due to its sharpness.

Accessories and Warranty

The Maze Alpha comes with a modular power supply (5 V, 2 A), a USB cable, a SIM tool, a screen protector, a warranty card, and a quick start guide in English, Spanish, French, German, Russian, Portuguese, Italian, Arabic, Vietnamese, and other languages. It looks as if an automatic translation tool has been used to translate the text.

Maze offers a 12-month warranty from the date of purchase. We encourage you to do some online searches about tips for buying smartphones in China with regard to CE marking and warranty prior to your purchase.

Input Devices and Handling

The Maze Alpha X is operated via the capacitive 10-point touchscreen. The input works very reliably and precisely in the test. The glass on the front and back is a real fingerprint magnet, but can be easily cleaned. Gismart's Real Piano could be used excellently in our test and the relatively wide screen contributed positively to the experience. 

Maze uses the stock Android keyboard. The fingerprint reader functions as back button (short touch) and as home button (long touch). There are also on-screen buttons. 

The fingerprint reader on the front is rather unfavorable from an ergonomic point of view, but there are several devices with the same issue. The smartphone can be unlocked from standby, but the display is only activated after unlocking, which means that any error messages are not visible until then. The reaction time can be described as comfortable. In the test we often favored unlocking the device with the PIN input.

On-screen keyboard
On-screen keyboard
On-screen keyboard
On-screen keyboard
On-screen keyboard
On-screen keyboard
On-screen keyboard
On-screen keyboard
Testing the screen response with Gismarts Real Piano
Testing the screen response with Gismarts Real Piano

Display

Subpixels
Subpixels

The IPS-screen of the Maze Alpha X has a native resolution of 2160x1080 pixels at an aspect ratio of 2:1. The screen displays the content sharply and is able to bring some convincing values to the table. With an average of 487 cd/m², it shines very brightly. Unfortunately, the black value of 0.6 cd/m² is the opposite of convincing and results in a weak contrast of 828:1.

483
cd/m²
488
cd/m²
453
cd/m²
491
cd/m²
497
cd/m²
467
cd/m²
501
cd/m²
482
cd/m²
437
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 501 cd/m² Average: 477.7 cd/m² Minimum: 19.42 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 87 %
Center on Battery: 497 cd/m²
Contrast: 828:1 (Black: 0.6 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 11.6 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3
ΔE Greyscale 13.5 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
Gamma: 2.93
Maze Alpha X
IPS, 2160x1080, 6
Honor 9
IPS/LTPS, 1920x1080, 5.15
Doogee Mix
AMOLED, 1280x720, 5.5
Doogee BL5000
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.5
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
IPS, 2160x1080, 5.9
Screen
43%
21%
11%
38%
Brightness middle
497
550
11%
358
-28%
519
4%
467
-6%
Brightness
478
535
12%
354
-26%
506
6%
457
-4%
Brightness Distribution
87
92
6%
90
3%
89
2%
89
2%
Black Level *
0.6
0.42
30%
0.52
13%
0.3
50%
Contrast
828
1310
58%
998
21%
1557
88%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
11.6
3.3
72%
4.9
58%
9.1
22%
5
57%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
22.1
4.5
80%
11.8
47%
19.6
11%
8.2
63%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
13.5
3.6
73%
3.9
71%
12.7
6%
6.1
55%
Gamma
2.93 82%
2.38 101%
2.33 103%
2.34 103%
2.15 112%
CCT
9955 65%
7226 90%
7260 90%
9611 68%
7961 82%

* ... smaller is better

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: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8813 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Against the competition, the panel does not present itself in the best light. While the brightness is fine, the other values are meager. Compared to the Huawei Mate 10 Lite and the Honor 9, the Maze X falls behind by about 35% on average in our ranking.

We examined the color reproduction of the panel with the CalMAN analysis software and the photo spectrometer. Our measurements reveal the display's further weaknesses. A very high Delta-E value of more than 11 indicates strong color falsification and our CalMAN ColorChecker confirms this observation. This unfortunate characteristic is surely also partly due to the low contrast. The grayscale chart shows a visible blue cast that is visible to the naked eye.

ColorChecker sRGB
ColorChecker sRGB
Colorspace sRGB
Colorspace sRGB
Grayscale sRGB
Grayscale sRGB
Saturation sRGB
Saturation sRGB

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
18.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 6.8 ms rise
↘ 11.6 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 15 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.8 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
45.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 23.2 ms rise
↘ 22 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. » 71 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (41.3 ms).

The Maze Alpha X performs reasonably well outdoors, not least because of its high maximum brightness. Contents are legible under normal lighting conditions. Surprisingly, the screen in not too reflective, but due to the below-average contrast reading in direct sunlight is impeded. 

Direct sunlight
Direct sunlight
Shade
Shade

The viewing angle stability of the IPS screen in the Maze Alpha X gives little cause for criticism. Even at very low viewing angles, there are no additional color falsifications or ghosting. The low contrast makes blacks fall into a visible gray very quickly. 

Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

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The Maze Alpha X is powered by a MediaTek Helio P25 (MT6757CD), the same one we have already seen in the Doogee Mix and the Blackview BV9000. The octa-core SoC consists of two clusters of Cortex-A53 cores. The stronger cluster clocks with up to 2.4 GHz, the weaker one with up to 1.7 GHz. The processor is backed by 6 GB of working memory and an ARM Mali T880-MP2 graphics unit.

The mid-range SoC is roughly on par with the similarly equipped Doogee Mix and the Huawei Mate 10 Lite. The Honor 9 clearly outperforms its rivals in several comparisons. The Doogee BL5000's weaker hardware places it behind the other smartphones. Overall, the Alpha X delivers the expected performance, yet surprisingly, we measured a significant drop in performance of about 50% in some GFXBench values compared to the equivalent Doogee Mix, which cannot be solely explained by the higher number of pixels the SoC has to address. With other values, however, both devices perform equally as expected. The benchmark test may not be able to cope with unusual resolutions.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Maze Alpha X
63989 Points ∼28%
Honor 9
150276 Points ∼65% +135%
Doogee Mix
60164 Points ∼26% -6%
Doogee BL5000
43679 Points ∼19% -32%
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
63195 Points ∼27% -1%
PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 performance score (sort by value)
Maze Alpha X
3795 Points ∼37%
Honor 9
6113 Points ∼59% +61%
Doogee Mix
4908 Points ∼48% +29%
Doogee BL5000
3254 Points ∼32% -14%
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
4847 Points ∼47% +28%
Work performance score (sort by value)
Maze Alpha X
4562 Points ∼44%
Honor 9
7034 Points ∼69% +54%
Doogee Mix
6127 Points ∼60% +34%
Doogee BL5000
4349 Points ∼42% -5%
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
6024 Points ∼59% +32%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Maze Alpha X
924 Points ∼54%
Honor 9
1069 Points ∼63% +16%
Doogee Mix
813 Points ∼48% -12%
Doogee BL5000
10 Points ∼1% -99%
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
753 Points ∼44% -19%
Graphics (sort by value)
Maze Alpha X
1122 Points ∼12%
Honor 9
4126 Points ∼45% +268%
Doogee Mix
1115 Points ∼12% -1%
Doogee BL5000
641 Points ∼7% -43%
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
849 Points ∼9% -24%
Memory (sort by value)
Maze Alpha X
1294 Points ∼27%
Honor 9
3258 Points ∼68% +152%
Doogee Mix
1243 Points ∼26% -4%
Doogee BL5000
782 Points ∼16% -40%
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
1998 Points ∼42% +54%
System (sort by value)
Maze Alpha X
3064 Points ∼30%
Honor 9
4154 Points ∼40% +36%
Doogee Mix
3063 Points ∼30% 0%
Doogee BL5000
1885 Points ∼18% -38%
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
2983 Points ∼29% -3%
Overall (sort by value)
Maze Alpha X
1424 Points ∼33%
Honor 9
2779 Points ∼65% +95%
Doogee Mix
1363 Points ∼32% -4%
Doogee BL5000
309 Points ∼7% -78%
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
1398 Points ∼32% -2%
Geekbench 4.1/4.2
Compute RenderScript Score (sort by value)
Maze Alpha X
2726 Points ∼19%
Honor 9
Points ∼0% -100%
Doogee Mix
2922 Points ∼20% +7%
Doogee BL5000
1748 Points ∼12% -36%
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
3015 Points ∼21% +11%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Maze Alpha X
3795 Points ∼10%
Honor 9
6527 Points ∼18% +72%
Doogee Mix
3903 Points ∼11% +3%
Doogee BL5000
2617 Points ∼7% -31%
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
3631 Points ∼10% -4%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Maze Alpha X
833 Points ∼14%
Honor 9
1869 Points ∼31% +124%
Doogee Mix
840 Points ∼14% +1%
Doogee BL5000
612 Points ∼10% -27%
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
914 Points ∼15% +10%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
Maze Alpha X
1700 Points ∼46%
Honor 9
2287 Points ∼62% +35%
Doogee Mix
1876 Points ∼51% +10%
Doogee BL5000
1216 Points ∼33% -28%
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
1527 Points ∼42% -10%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
Maze Alpha X
598 Points ∼11%
Honor 9
2798 Points ∼52% +368%
Doogee Mix
649 Points ∼12% +9%
Doogee BL5000
327 Points ∼6% -45%
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
289 Points ∼5% -52%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
Maze Alpha X
699 Points ∼15%
Honor 9
2666 Points ∼56% +281%
Doogee Mix
759 Points ∼16% +9%
Doogee BL5000
390 Points ∼8% -44%
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
353 Points ∼7% -49%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
Maze Alpha X
1725 Points ∼47%
Honor 9
1809 Points ∼50% +5%
Doogee Mix
1912 Points ∼52% +11%
Doogee BL5000
1100 Points ∼30% -36%
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
1667 Points ∼46% -3%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
Maze Alpha X
928 Points ∼11%
Honor 9
2990 Points ∼36% +222%
Doogee Mix
938 Points ∼11% +1%
Doogee BL5000
484 Points ∼6% -48%
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
532 Points ∼6% -43%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
Maze Alpha X
1034 Points ∼16%
Honor 9
2611 Points ∼41% +153%
Doogee Mix
1058 Points ∼17% +2%
Doogee BL5000
553 Points ∼9% -47%
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
627 Points ∼10% -39%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Maze Alpha X
15189 Points ∼19%
Honor 9
15150 Points ∼19% 0%
Doogee Mix
16619 Points ∼21% +9%
Doogee BL5000
10492 Points ∼13% -31%
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
11780 Points ∼15% -22%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Maze Alpha X
13708 Points ∼3%
Honor 9
38979 Points ∼8% +184%
Doogee Mix
14288 Points ∼3% +4%
Doogee BL5000
10094 Points ∼2% -26%
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
9936 Points ∼2% -28%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Maze Alpha X
14012 Points ∼7%
Honor 9
28883 Points ∼14% +106%
Doogee Mix
14748 Points ∼7% +5%
Doogee BL5000
10180 Points ∼5% -27%
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
10294 Points ∼5% -27%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Maze Alpha X
24 fps ∼1%
Honor 9
60 fps ∼3% +150%
Doogee Mix
24 fps ∼1% 0%
Doogee BL5000
16 fps ∼1% -33%
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
16 fps ∼1% -33%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Maze Alpha X
21 fps ∼5%
Honor 9
55 fps ∼12% +162%
Doogee Mix
35 fps ∼8% +67%
Doogee BL5000
17 fps ∼4% -19%
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
16 fps ∼3% -24%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Maze Alpha X
11 fps ∼2%
Honor 9
30 fps ∼5% +173%
Doogee Mix
11 fps ∼2% 0%
Doogee BL5000
6.8 fps ∼1% -38%
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
7.3 fps ∼1% -34%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Maze Alpha X
9.5 fps ∼3%
Honor 9
28 fps ∼8% +195%
Doogee Mix
22 fps ∼6% +132%
Doogee BL5000
7.3 fps ∼2% -23%
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
6.7 fps ∼2% -29%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Maze Alpha X
3.7 fps ∼1%
Honor 9
22 fps ∼4% +495%
Doogee Mix
6.8 fps ∼1% +84%
Doogee BL5000
4.6 fps ∼1% +24%
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
4.8 fps ∼1% +30%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Maze Alpha X
6 fps ∼3%
Honor 9
22 fps ∼13% +267%
Doogee Mix
16 fps ∼9% +167%
Doogee BL5000
5 fps ∼3% -17%
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
4.5 fps ∼3% -25%
GFXBench
off screen Car Chase Offscreen (sort by value)
Maze Alpha X
4.1 fps ∼1%
Honor 9
15 fps ∼4% +266%
Doogee Mix
4.1 fps ∼1% 0%
Doogee BL5000
2.4 fps ∼1% -41%
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
2.9 fps ∼1% -29%
on screen Car Chase Onscreen (sort by value)
Maze Alpha X
3.6 fps ∼3%
Honor 9
16 fps ∼14% +344%
Doogee Mix
8.3 fps ∼7% +131%
Doogee BL5000
2.7 fps ∼2% -25%
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
2.7 fps ∼2% -25%
Lightmark - 1920x1080 1080p (sort by value)
Doogee Mix
5.4 fps ∼14%
Basemark X 1.1
High Quality (sort by value)
Doogee Mix
10216 Points ∼23%
Medium Quality (sort by value)
Doogee Mix
20373 Points ∼45%
Basemark ES 3.1 / Metal - offscreen Overall Score (sort by value)
Doogee Mix
216 Points ∼12%
Epic Citadel - Ultra High Quality (sort by value)
Doogee Mix
61.6 fps ∼100%

Legend

 
Maze Alpha X Mediatek Helio P25, ARM Mali-T880 MP2, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Honor 9 HiSilicon Kirin 960, ARM Mali-G71 MP8, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Doogee Mix Mediatek Helio P25, ARM Mali-T880 MP2, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Doogee BL5000 Mediatek MT6750, ARM Mali-T860 MP2, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Huawei Mate 10 Lite HiSilicon Kirin 659, ARM Mali-T830 MP2, 64 GB eMMC Flash

In the browser benchmarks, which we carried out with the preinstalled Googe Chrome 64, the Maze Alpha X is on a class-typical level. It comes in ahead of its equally equipped competitor, the Doogee Mix, and is also on par with the Huawei Mate 10 Lite.

JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score
Honor 9 (Chrome 59)
58.6 Points ∼100% +113%
Huawei Mate 10 Lite (Chrome 62)
30.233 Points ∼52% +10%
Maze Alpha X (Chrome Version 64)
27.463 Points ∼47%
Doogee Mix (Chrome 60)
24.6 Points ∼42% -10%
Doogee BL5000 (Chrome Version 61)
19.274 Points ∼33% -30%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Honor 9 (Chrome 59)
10208 Points ∼100% +105%
Huawei Mate 10 Lite (Chrome 62)
5096 Points ∼50% +2%
Maze Alpha X (Chrome Version 64)
4990 Points ∼49%
Doogee Mix (Chrome 60)
4175 Points ∼41% -16%
Doogee BL5000 (Chrome Version 61)
2802 Points ∼27% -44%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Doogee BL5000 (Chrome Version 61)
13720.2 ms * ∼100% -34%
Doogee Mix (Chrome 60)
10305.6 ms * ∼75% -1%
Maze Alpha X (Chrome Version 64)
10244 ms * ∼75%
Huawei Mate 10 Lite (Chrome 62)
8693.6 ms * ∼63% +15%
Honor 9 (Chrome 59)
3149 ms * ∼23% +69%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score
Honor 9 (Chrome 59)
107 Points ∼100%
Huawei Mate 10 Lite (Chrome 62)
104 Points ∼97%
Doogee Mix (Chrome 60)
77 Points ∼72%

* ... smaller is better

The Maze Alpha X offers 64 GB of eMMC flash storage with about 49.5 GB available for the user. In the benchmarks, the storage solution delivers a pleasingly good performance.

Our reference microSD card (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501) is handled fairly well by the Alpha X, but the maximum read and write speeds of the card are not even remotely approached. Since the values are similar to those of the internal memory, a storage expansion with a fast card is unlikely to slow down the device.

Maze Alpha XHonor 9Doogee MixDoogee BL5000Huawei Mate 10 Lite
AndroBench 3-5
23%
-3%
-1%
-19%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
73.99 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
34.64 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-53%
69.37 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-6%
35.35 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-52%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
80.96 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
67.99 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-16%
78 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-4%
69.1 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-15%
Random Write 4KB
11.61
32.7
182%
11.2
-4%
11.29
-3%
15.26
31%
Random Read 4KB
70.27
55.7
-21%
66.5
-5%
57.4
-18%
31.5
-55%
Sequential Write 256KB
162.16
204
26%
165
2%
171.45
6%
99.79
-38%
Sequential Read 256KB
247.44
293
18%
249
1%
274.75
11%
286.78
16%

Games

The integrated ARM Mali-T880 graphics unit of the Maze Alpha X reaches its limits when processing graphically demanding games. Games such as “Beach Buggy Racing” cannot be displayed smoothly on highest details. When selecting the default graphics settings, the phone showed no stutters. The high resolution takes its toll on the mid-range GPU. Nevertheless, all titles in the Google Play Store remain playable, even if some games can cause the phone to stutter minimally. Less demanding games such as “Super Mario” Run did not show any issues.

The 2:1 aspect ratio of the screen is well-suited for widescreen games and offers a lot of visible screen space, especially with the on-screen controls. It reacts very accurately to input, and the sensors reliably detect the movements of the smartphone.

Super Mario Run
Super Mario Run
Beach Buggy Racing
Beach Buggy Racing

Emissions

Temperature

The surface temperatures of the Maze Alpha X are at an extremely comfortable level. When idling, the device hardly heats up and even under load, the smartphone is only slightly above body temperature in a few places.

Heat map: front
Heat map: front
Heat map: back
Heat map: back
Max. Load
 38.4 °C
101 F
38.1 °C
101 F
35.9 °C
97 F
 
 36.3 °C
97 F
38.5 °C
101 F
36 °C
97 F
 
 35.5 °C
96 F
35.4 °C
96 F
34.5 °C
94 F
 
Maximum: 38.5 °C = 101 F
Average: 36.5 °C = 98 F
30.6 °C
87 F
30.9 °C
88 F
35.4 °C
96 F
30.6 °C
87 F
31 °C
88 F
35.7 °C
96 F
29.8 °C
86 F
32 °C
90 F
34.6 °C
94 F
Maximum: 35.7 °C = 96 F
Average: 32.3 °C = 90 F
Power Supply (max.)  26.8 °C = 80 F | Room Temperature 20.4 °C = 69 F | Voltcraft IR-260

Speakers

Pink Noise
Pink Noise

The mono speaker of the Maze Alpha X offers a less than average performance. The volume is quite decent, but not too loud, as it is the case with other mid-range devices out there such as the Blackview BV9000 Pro. This was actually the only positive thing that can be attributed to the speaker. If you require a good sound reproduction, you should look for another phone. If you can handle average, you might like the Alpha X.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2035.244.12532.943.33137.2444031.739.65039.639.86328.332.78027.331.910026.931.812526.730.71602426.320020.929.625020.934.131519.541.540018.552.450017.557.363017.562.880015.769.2100015.872.2125016.668.3160015.866.8200015.472.6250015.570.531501673.5400015.877.250001679.9630016.374.6800016.368.71000016.2641250016.456.11600016.441.7SPL28.685.3N1.157median 16.4Maze Alpha Xmedian 64Delta2.115.331.635.325.430.725.326.832.926.433.630.831.629.528.427.82726.920.825.32240.221.351.720.854.921.260.319.462.519.56317.765.717.967.117.866.417.368.817.47016.774.717.276.518.27617.977.317.67717.77617.875.317.970.818.162.918.2483085.31.363.5median 17.9Honor 9median 66.41.310.331.633.525.429.825.328.732.93033.623.631.629.128.425.42726.120.824.42221.921.324.420.832.221.241.519.450.919.559.917.765.717.968.717.869.717.369.317.46716.768.117.27018.268.117.97117.674.617.775.117.869.717.968.418.163.818.255.63081.81.351.2median 17.9Doogee Mixmedian 671.312.735.234.332.932.137.232.131.730.939.637.728.328.727.322.726.92526.724.12423.120.924.320.930.819.541.418.550.217.559.417.563.315.770.315.870.716.670.915.868.915.471.915.572.61672.115.876.21680.216.378.216.374.216.269.416.465.816.455.928.686.11.160.5median 16.4Doogee BL5000median 68.92.114.135.242.632.941.437.237.631.739.639.637.828.331.827.330.626.931.226.729.92432.820.939.620.945.819.549.818.557.317.558.417.559.815.762.315.866.216.66915.870.415.472.415.574.81676.415.878.31676.116.374.616.376.816.279.916.472.716.460.428.686.51.162.1median 16.4Huawei Mate 10 Litemedian 66.22.112.6hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Maze Alpha X audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (85.3 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 31.7% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (7.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 6.1% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (11% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 8.6% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (8.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (30% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 79% of all tested devices in this class were better, 8% similar, 13% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 87% of all tested devices were better, 5% similar, 8% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Honor 9 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (85.3 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 23.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.9% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 9.1% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (22.2% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 26% of all tested devices in this class were better, 9% similar, 65% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 56% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 37% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Doogee Mix audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (81.8 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 38.6% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (8.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 4% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (27.1% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 63% of all tested devices in this class were better, 10% similar, 27% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 79% of all tested devices were better, 5% similar, 16% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Doogee BL5000 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (86.1 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 40.8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (7.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 5.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (8.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.8% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (28.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 71% of all tested devices in this class were better, 9% similar, 21% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 83% of all tested devices were better, 5% similar, 12% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Huawei Mate 10 Lite audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (86.5 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 28% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (7.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 5% lower than median
(+) | mids are linear (5.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 10.5% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (4.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (25.6% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 51% of all tested devices in this class were better, 13% similar, 36% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 73% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 21% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency chart in comparison (Toggle checkboxes on/off!)

Battery Life

Energy Consumption

The Alpha X is quite potent and energy efficient considering its price range. Both the minimum idle consumption and consumption under load are exemplary. In terms of energy efficiency, the Alpha X is on par with its more mainstream rivals that are available in Europe. The Honor 9 falls back in this respect, although this is acceptable considering its higher performance. The included power supply recharges the phone in a little more than 2 hours.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.01 / 0.15 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.9 / 2.14 / 2.18 Watt
Load midlight 3.96 / 5.81 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Maze Alpha X
3900 mAh
Honor 9
3200 mAh
Doogee Mix
3360 mAh
Doogee BL5000
5050 mAh
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
3340 mAh
Power Consumption
-20%
12%
-28%
3%
Idle Minimum *
0.9
1.13
-26%
1.13
-26%
1.44
-60%
0.87
3%
Idle Average *
2.14
2.25
-5%
1.7
21%
2.9
-36%
2.14
-0%
Idle Maximum *
2.18
2.3
-6%
1.74
20%
3
-38%
2.16
1%
Load Average *
3.96
4.89
-23%
2.78
30%
4.55
-15%
3.7
7%
Load Maximum *
5.81
7.99
-38%
5.01
14%
5.4
7%
5.48
6%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Thanks to the Alpha X’s good energy efficiency, it is mostly able to convince us in terms of battery life, as well. The idle runtime of 27 hours is the best value among the competitors. It is even able to be on par with the Doogee BL5000 in some respects despite the X's considerably smaller battery (3900 mAh vs. 5050 mAh). The once big weakness of Chinese smartphones, their poor energy management, seems to be coming to an end.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
27h 04min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
10h 03min
Load (maximum brightness)
4h 00min
Maze Alpha X
3900 mAh
Honor 9
3200 mAh
Doogee Mix
3360 mAh
Doogee BL5000
5050 mAh
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
3340 mAh
Battery Runtime
-4%
-5%
38%
-17%
Reader / Idle
1624
1399
-14%
1486
-8%
1150
-29%
WiFi v1.3
603
516
-14%
573
-5%
1106
83%
520
-14%
Load
240
278
16%
331
38%
223
-7%
H.264
564
502

Pros

+ sophisticated design
+ cheap price
+ dual-SIM
+ microSD up to 256 GB
+ storage expansion available
+ good storage
+ big screen
+ good battery life
+ 12 months warranty
+ good GPS
+ sturdy case
+ no bloatware
+ comfortable temperatures

Cons

- below-average screen
- no CE marking
- false statements about WiFi and positioning
- slow fingerprint reader
- below-average speakers

Verdict

In review: Maze Alpha X, test device supplied by Maze Mobile
In review: Maze Alpha X, test device supplied by Maze Mobile

To break it down, the Alpha X is basically a solid device. Indeed, it has a lot of weaknesses, but it is nothing grave. Its design might be one of its only strengths, but let us be honest: for an RRP of around 200 Euros (~$250), one might even be tempted to say that it is in fact a well-balanced smartphone.

Cheap smartphone without serious weaknesses.

Let us quickly dive into the details once more: the screen is large, very large in fact, and it goes well with its comfortable design. The color reproduction is horrendous by modern standards, but would have been considered top-notch 3 – 4 years ago. The screen resolution and the elegantly rounded corners positively affect our impression of the phone. The cameras are doing a sufficient job, but as a customer, you should not have the highest of expectations. There is nothing to complain about in terms of performance, battery life, sturdiness, battery power, stock Android, or input devices. Did Maze find a good balance with their new device? You, the customer, need to decide.

But there is a tiny problem: we noticed that Maze has obviously made false statements concerning some specifications. The Wi-Fi is clearly not 802.11 ac and BeiDou satellite connections could not be established either. Where else did Maze make false statements? Does it even have Gorilla Glass 5? Could it even break immediately when dropped on the ground? We do not know and this leaves us with a stale aftertaste.

If you are looking for a solid, stylish smartphone with very narrow bezels and a huge display and have no issues with color inaccuracies, this may be an option for you.

For the colour-blind, the Maze Alpha X gets our unconditional recommendation.

Maze Alpha X - 02/15/2018 v6
Florian Schaar

Chassis
88%
Keyboard
69 / 75 → 91%
Pointing Device
97%
Connectivity
38 / 60 → 64%
Weight
88%
Battery
93%
Display
80%
Games Performance
30 / 63 → 47%
Application Performance
50 / 70 → 72%
Temperature
92%
Noise
100%
Audio
55 / 91 → 60%
Camera
53%
Average
72%
81%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Maze Alpha X Smartphone Review
Florian Schaar, 2018-02-18 (Update: 2018-02-28)