Jan 13, 2016
Android is synonymous with mobile device choice. When it’s all said and done, the platform stands out for several reasons, one major one being the ability to find the perfect hardware for most folks.
The same principle can be applied to cost; when it comes to finding the right price, Android is where’s it’s at. Each platform has price-conscious models, but Android fosters competition that allows device makers to compete on price.
This beautiful breeding ground pops out some veritable options, one being the verykool Maverick LTE SL5550; we’ve had a fun time with the piece that the manufacturer provided us. The review package contained the device in its retail trappings, with removable battery, charging components, earphones and documentation. We also received an official clear bumper case.
We talked about the specs in our intro article, but now that we have a lot of the time with the device physically, it’s definitely worth mentioning them again: a 5.5â€³ gorilla glass screen, 13mp auto/focus main camera on the back; 8 MP up front for selfies. One also gets a 2,500 mAh battery and MediaTek MT6735P/quadcore engine.
Physically, it borders on the stately; it is far from gaudy, with restrained bezels and front-facing camera at the top. The power and volume buttons are on the right side, while the micro-USB charging port and auxiliary audio jack are on the top. Of course the primary camera is on the back. As noted, it has a removable battery, with slots for microSD card and two sim cards.
It doesn’t carry some frills. NFC isn’t available; and neither is a built-in method to screen mirror. The screen doesn’t dazzle, but is far from shabby, and it has great battery life (we managed brightness manually).
So, physically, one might find a fashionably designed phone that traipses comfortably into phablet-hood. It isn’t uncomfortable, and feels relatively good in hand.
It comes to market with Android 5.1; the UI is thin indeed, and has the Google suite pre-installed. As-is, it should be very comfortable to anyone who has dabbled into Android before, and pretty intuitive to folks new to the OS. There are several ways to customize the device using built-in options, and the Party Store further supplements that.
It worked admirably with the prepaid T-Mobile SIM it was paired with; there was a slight stutter when it was first paired to a bluetooth earpiece, but this issue couldn’t be replicated. As it’s name hints at, this is an LTE-equipped World Phone, and it is works over multiple bands and has two slots for GSM SIMs.
Altogether, it comes across as a very capable device. It might not be as feature-laden as some of the better known flagships from better known companies, but the Maverick is able to project a sense of quality within a veneer of modesty. What it might lack in flash is made up for in the old-school extras, like the aforementioned expandable storage and user-serviceable battery, amongst other things.
And yes, then there is the really, really cool thing. Price? $189.
Whether it’s used as daily driver, or a starter device for one’s favorite nephew, the Maverick can fill a role and can fill it well.