Sponsored : Bluboo Maya Max 4G+ Phablet Review

Bluboo Mobile is among the many Chinese brands that seem to be gaining traction around the world. The brand has already released a few smartphones which have garnered international attention. There’s an air of excitement around Bluboo’s smartphones while prospective buyers wait to get their hands on them. They offer up some pretty interesting smartphones that are running stock Android, and at rather low prices. The Bluboo Maya Max 4g+ is one of their newest devices and this one is on sale for under $150, which is a pretty incredible price for what you get here.

Build

The premium quality grade 6000 aluminum alloy materials ensure that the back cover and frame are highly resistant to the scratch. The curved and brushed design makes this Bluboo phablet comfortable to hold in the hand however, keep in mind its a 6 inch phablet and no amount of designing can make it as comfortable to hold in one hand as a smartphone.

Processor and RAM

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The phablet is powered by Mediatek MT6750 SoC which is an octa-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz. If you’re wondering, this is a fairly powerful processor that sits somewhere between the Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 and 650.  The 3 gigs of RAM provided is more than enough for a phablet at this price, you couldn’t possibly expect more RAM while being reasonable. Talking about the heating issues or problems it does not heat even when games are played at the highest configurations. These are the combinations of specs which brands like Lenovo, Huawei and other has been shipping without any issues what so ever.

There is a rear facing fingerprint scanner which is quick and responsive, no complaints. It’s easily among some of the fastest ones out there.

Display

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Oh what’s that? Did I say 720p display? Yes I did. The display is only 720p which in 2016 is a shame, and for a 6 inch screen that sounds quite underwhelming. But I don’t really feel like one can complain here because this is after all a $139.99 phablet that packs in so much more. The individual pixels are visible yes but make no mistake, the display looks amazing. As a matter of fact, if you don’t already know, you’d think its a 1080p panel. It’s that good. Apart from the low resolution, I can’t find much to complain about the display, the color reproduction and viewing angles are all as good as it gets for a non-flagship device. There is one thing to note however, the colors are a bit on the colder side.

The display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 4.

Audio Output

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While we’re still hovering around the negatives, lets talk about the in-built speakers. At a glance, one would think the phone packs stereo speakers but that is not the case here. There is only one speaker, (right), the other one is just to balance the design. The speaker is loud, but the quality is not very satisfying. Feels cheap. The audio output via the headphone jack is good though, no complaints.

Camera

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The 13MP rear facing camera on the device is good enough I’d say. Can’t stress enough, even though the device looks and feels premium, and has all that processing power, you’re getting it for $139.99. And camera is something that you just have to pay a higher price for if you want a good one. Not to say its a bad camera, take a look at some sample shots and decide yourself. (Click the photos to enlarge them)

The 8MP front facing camera is the same story, its good enough for the price but don’t expect to be blown away by the picture quality. The video recording is alright too, takes a while to refocus, EIS works fairly well.

Battery

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The Bluboo Maya Max 4G+ Phablet packs a 4200mAh non-removable Sony manufactured battery which admittedly is huge, but makes sense because there is so much space to put a larger battery on a phablet this size. It should get you through the day with no problem and especially on a 720p display, we’re looking north of 5 hours of S.O.T. The battery takes a little over 2 hours to charge completely.

Specs Overview

Le’s take a quick overview of the specs so we can talk about the software side of things which I’m quite impressed with.

The Bluboo Maya Max’s specifications include, a 6-inch HD JDI display, a MediaTek MT6750 octa-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of ROM, a 13-megapixel rear camera with Sony’s IMX214 sensor, 8-megapixel front-facing camera and a large 4200mAh battery. The Maya Max also features a 0.1s fingerprint sensor on the rear of the device, 4G+CAT6 technology, high quality voice & video calls over VoLTE, Double-layer Ten-point Touch, Independent HiFi system, reversible Type-C, durable 6000 series aluminum alloy frame and back cover, and runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box.

There is support for expandable storage as well. That is probably a lot of specs to take in. But then this is what you’re getting for $139.99 so make sure you go over it again.

Software

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The Bluboo Maya Max, unlike most Chinese smartphones, isn’t choking full of bloatware or heavy skinning. It’s a stock android experience other than the app launcher or the homescreen which is quite similar to say a MIUI which can be easily replaced. I love the fact that Bluboo has kept the experience fairly stock and I cannot stress enough how much of a better experience stock android is compared to the bloated skins of MIUI or Touchwiz and the likes.

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The phone is as a result fast and fluid with no UI lag whatsoever.

If all that is not enough, according to certain rumours, Bluboo Mobile is already working on upgrading the Maya Max to Android Nougat. If true, this would likely be an additional selling point for picking up the Bluboo Maya Max. Compared to Android 6.0 Marshmallow which ships with the device right now, Android 7.0 (Nougat) brings with it a number of new features. One of which is the optimized JIT compiler which not only improves (three to six times faster) runtime, but also makes it much quicker to install new apps, quicker by about 75-percent. In addition, Nougat also includes support for the new Vulkan API.

Android Nougat also brings with it enhanced security. Although, one of the most well-noted new features of Android N0ugat is the inclusion of multi-window support, which means users can make use of two different windows at the same time, even specifying separate minimum height and widths for each window. This obviously does also mean that it is a much faster multi-tasking operating system, with the ability to switch between frequently-used tasks. Here are some Android nougat features to get excited about.

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Nougat will come when it will, but what about the software the phone ships with? As previously mentioned, its stock android with a custom launcher. But that’s not all, there’s a theme store where you can download and install themes, free and otherwise. Then there’s a turbo download feature which is something we’ve seen on Samsung phones before. It essentially lets you both your WiFi and your mobile network simultaneously to boost a download. This is a nice addition if you have an unlimited mobile data pack or something like a Reliance Jio.

Furthermore, the device supports lockscreen gestures,  for instance drawing “c” will open camera or “m” will open message. It can be customized for any specific apps with any letters.

Verdict

If you ask me, I prefer keeping a 5 inch smartphone for normal use, and a tablet for media consumption but if you’re a little tight on the budget, this Bluboo phablet makes a tempting case for itself. Apart from the 720p display – which also I can’t really complain about because as I said, it is very good, but is something you should know – and the less than satisfactory speaker output there is one more con to the device, which is its weight of 211 grams. But at the end of the day when you are getting a humongous 6 inch screen along with a massive 4200 mAh battery capacity, I don’t know, once again, can’t really complain about that either.

What I’m saying is, at this price of $139.99, I can only do nitpicking. You’re getting a lot more than what you pay for here. If you’re out there looking for an amazing, yet very cheap large-sized phablet, without a doubt, Bluboo Maya Max is a very good choice if not the best choice.

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