Smartphone review Blackview Max 1: pocket laser projector with additional functionality

by Kelvin
Smartphone review Blackview Max 1: pocket laser projector with additional functionality

Smartphone manufacturers, fortunately, are sometimes inclined to experiment, due to which unusual solutions appear, which can also be attributed to the Blackview Max 1. From the name of the review, we can already understand that Max 1 was equipped with an unusual feature for a mobile device, namely, a laser projector, allowing you to display a picture on any surface.

In general, history already knows examples when various companies tried to integrate the projector into smartphones, but such models are very rare, and not all announced devices eventually went on sale. The only thing that comes to mind is Samsung Bean, which made a little “noise”, after which most users successfully forgot about it. So the question is, what fate awaits the hero of the review, Blackview Max 1? It’s too early to talk about this yet – the smartphone went on sale, and anyone can buy it, not only when ordering from China, but in Russian stores, which can already be considered a success. The rest will be discussed below.

  

Specifications

  • Dimensions 74.7 × 159.5 × 10.2 mm
  • Weight 212 g
  • MediaTek Helio P23 processor (MT6763T), 4 cores 2.3 GHz and 4 cores 1.65 GHz Cortex-A53
  • GPU Mali-G71 MP2, 770 MHz
  • Android 8.1 operating system
  • 6.01 "Super Amoled Display with 2160 × 1080 (18: 9) Resolution
  • Random access memory (RAM) 6 GB, internal memory 64 GB
  • MicroSD card
  • Support for one nano-SIM and one micro-SIM.
  • GSM / WCDMA Networks
  • Networks LTE FDD LTE Band 1, 3, 7, 8, 20; TDD-LTE Band 40
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz)
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • Nfc
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
  • Type-C, full USB-OTG
  • Main camera 16 MP (f / 2.0), autofocus, flash, video 1080p (30 fps)
  • Front camera 16 MP (f / 2.0) + 0.3 MP
  • Proximity and light sensors, gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometer, fingerprint scanner
  • 4680 mAh battery, fast charge.
Equipment

There are two options for the delivery set – the usual one, with the minimum necessary items, and the extended one, with additional accessories, for which you will need to pay a certain amount, depending on the store.

Unfortunately, I managed to use only the power supply with support for fast charging, because in my sample, not intended for sale, nothing else was found in the kit.

Appearance

The smartphone turned out to be rather thick and weighty, but thin smartphones with a projector do not exist. At the front there is a display without cutouts, only with slightly rounded edges, which will practically not affect the perception of the displayed information.

At the top of the front side there is an LED indicator, sensors, a large speaker grill and two front cameras, but there is nothing on the bottom. In addition, there is 2.5D glass in the front, and on some surfaces the smartphone can slide if it is placed with the display down.

The arrangement of various body elements is standard – on the left side you can see the SIM card tray, and on the right side there is a corrugated power button that is easily recognizable by touch, as well as a volume rocker.

The tray is combined, and also non-standard in the sense that one of the SIM cards must be in micro format.

The bottom end is the microphone holes on the left and the speaker on the right, and between them is the Type-C port, to which, in the absence of a 3.5 mm jack, you can connect a wired headset. From the bottom you can notice the plastic inserts (they are also on top), and given that all the side parts are made of metal, such inserts can improve the signal of the communication modules.

The most interesting thing on the smartphone is at the top end – this is the projector window, through which, albeit superficially, you can still see how the miniature device works. However, I will write about the projector later.

At the back there is a strongly protruding unit with a camera, flash and a fingerprint scanner. Almost the entire back surface, according to the assurances of the representatives of the company Blackview, is made of glass, but according to the tactile sensations, there may well be an opinion about the use of plastic. The surface is glossy, easy to get dirty, mirrored and rather slippery, but at the same time beautiful in those moments when it is absolutely clean.

The LED indicator is customizable for various notifications – it can display blue, red or green.

Display

The smartphone’s screen has excellent viewing angles, so there is no color distortion when looking away, but pinkish tones become visible on white. The actual diagonal of the screen, taking into account the beveled corners, is approximately 5.96 ".

The subpixel structure is typical of an Alomed matrix.

The maximum brightness of white is 442 nits, which, with good anti-glare properties, is enough to see information in bright sunshine. The minimum brightness is too high and is at 26.1 nits, and in the dark there may be a need for applications that darken the screen.

The color gamut of the smartphone is noticeably expanded compared to the standard sRGB triangle, so the colors displayed are likely to be irregularly saturated. The points of the gray wedge are located next to the radius of DeltaE, which indicates the almost complete absence of spurious shades in gray.

The color temperature is not too high, which means that the predominance of cold shades will not be evident. There are no settings in the smartphone that could change the color gamut or color temperature.

There is a modulation of the backlight at a frequency of about 240 Hertz, and although there is no visible flicker of the screen, the indicated frequency is quite low, due to which prolonged use of the display can cause increased fatigue, and, in theory, more serious health problems.

The multitouch supports up to 10 simultaneous touches, and the ghosting of reflections on the off screen is weak, which indicates the absence of an air gap between the layers of the screen. In general, the display can be called good, although it has standard problems for Amoled-matrix, such as backlight modulation. Of the obvious disadvantages that are not characteristic of all such devices are the inability to choose a different color profile or somehow customize an existing one. But black is really black, so the contrast indicator tends to infinity.

Operating system, software and sensors

The smartphone uses the Android operating system version 8.1 – this is not the newest OS, but at the time of writing the review, the latest firmware dates from the end of February 2019. There are practically no additional applications, except for services from Google, except for software for the projector, as well as a separate application for working with a compass.

It is convenient that in the curtain there is not only a projector switch, but also an icon for quick activation / deactivation of NFC.

No viruses were found in the firmware, but among the unpleasant moments, application icons that are strange in terms of design and not fully translated into Russian menus can be distinguished.

The MT6763T processor running in the smartphone is not one of the new ones, and judging by the results of synthetic tests, you cannot call it productive either. Nevertheless, if you do not get involved in heavy games, then you should have enough power for other tasks, and there is plenty of RAM in the device. According to the throttling test, processor performance drops after prolonged workloads, but this is not as critical as in some other smartphone models.

There were no problems with NFC both when paying for goods and when reading NFC tags. The fingerprint scanner necessary for making payments works flawlessly even with one fingerprint stored in memory. Scanning on the face also takes place quickly and accurately, including in the dark, due to the fact that a white background appears on the screen at maximum brightness.

Communication

Dual-band Wi-Fi is not ideal, but overall it catches a good signal in conditions where the router is separated from the smartphone by two walls.

Both SIM cards can simultaneously work in 4G networks. The list of supported ranges is limited to six frequencies, so the device is not designed for use around the world.

The main speaker has an average volume or even lower than average – in my conditions it sounds about 79 decibels from a distance of 50 cm, while more often in smartphones you have to see about 83 decibels. The vibration is quite weak – hardly a vibrating alert will always be felt in your pocket.

Cameras

The device has one main camera, and two front cameras, and this is clearly not the most common combination. The quality of the pictures on the main camera was rather pleased – it is clear that the module is not installed for show, and even at night you can get good pictures. On the other hand, when shooting in poorly lit rooms, the detail of images sometimes leaves much to be desired.

An example of a video recording with a maximum resolution of fullHD will be slightly lower. Focusing occurs automatically, without mandatory pressing the display.

Front cameras can take pictures in bokeh mode, but it seems that the blur is software, and therefore add. the module may well be not real.

Projector

As mentioned earlier, separate software with a small number of settings is provided for working with the projector – after all, a smartphone is not able to replace a full-fledged stationary projector. From the interesting – brightness adjustment and color inversion mode (black turns into white, etc.). When the projector is working, the smartphone’s display turns off almost immediately if it is not in use, which, of course, saves battery power.

Representatives of the company Blackview do not hide that the projector is designed exclusively for use in the dark, while with external illumination often there are problems with reading and viewing various information. A good separation of shades of gray also can not be expected.

Projector demonstration:

It is very advisable to use an even and completely white background for projection output. For the first time, immediately after receiving the smartphone, I tested the projector in the underpass – the information remained visible both on the walls and on the ceiling, and, of course, this produces a wow effect, forcing people to pay attention to the displayed image.

You can also notice on the video that the picture is flickering, although this could not be detected with the naked eye. I don’t know how normal this is for the projector, but when outputting pure white, the modulation occurs at a low frequency of 60 Hz with a rather high amplitude.

Navigation

Judging by the data of various applications, the smartphone works with GPS and GLONASS satellites, and a cold start took me no more than 20 seconds. GPS tracks do not always turn out smooth, so there are certain problems with navigation, which does not hinder determining the location accurately enough. The presence of a compass will make navigation more comfortable.

Working hours

From a complete power supply, the smartphone charges in 2 hours 22 minutes, while charging occurs at a voltage of 12 V.

Autonomy tests at a brightness of 150 nits show that the smartphone can very well live one day without recharging, and even more. True, in synthetic tests, when displaying white, the performance is not as good as when watching a video, so much will depend on how often the black color is used on the screen. Not for nothing that the main screen and the curtain in the operating system are made exactly black.

  • Two hours of playing PUBG: spent 30% of the charge.
  • HD video in MX player: 16 hours 58 minutes.
  • Work in projector mode at maximum brightness and with the sound turned off: 4 hours 6 minutes.
  • Using a test in Geekbench 4, it was revealed that the discharge graph is not completely uniform, since a discharge delay is observed when the indicator shows 1%.
  • PC Mark with a recommended display brightness of 200 cd / m²: 8 hours 23 minutes.

Heat

During a stress test in Antutu, the smartphone warms up to 35 ° C at room temperature at 22.7 ° C. This is a normal indicator – the smartphone feels warm, but not hot, but most of all, it feels like the sides made of metal are heated. When using the projector, the heat can increase by 5 degrees, and then the case starts to become hot, which, however, is expected.

Games, audio, video and more

If you take one of the most popular modern games, or rather PUBG, then when you first turn on it is suggested to set the average graphics settings. However, in complex scenes, for example, when driving, even at minimal settings, the game starts to slow down. In WoT, the number of frames sags up to 25 FPS at maximum settings, so you can hardly call a gaming smartphone.

Antutu Video Tester shows that not all video formats are supported by a hardware decoder.

There were no complaints about the sound in wired headphones – the maximum volume is enough for noisy places, unless using an adapter is of dubious convenience. FM radio only works with a connected headset.

Summary

There are too few smartphones with a projector to make a serious claim to the Blackview Max 1, although there is something to complain about. Yes, it has far from the most powerful hardware, which is typical for all similar mobile devices. Yes, it has its own characteristics, like a non-standard SIM card tray, not the best navigation and other things, and yes, it costs a smartphone from 26,000 rubles (depending on the delivery set) when ordering from China, but you can also purchase it in Russian stores already for a large amount of approximately 38,000 rubles, but it seems like with a full guarantee and, most importantly, in the maximum configuration.

Nevertheless, if you feel the need for the most compact laser projector, for which you still do not need a separate place in your pocket or bag, then it is worth taking a closer look at the hero of the review, as the most modern version. There are only a few such smartphones, and with a projector's HD-resolution, there are even fewer ones, and it’s easiest to find a device from Blackview on sale than analogs.