ARCHOS Diamond alpha + on paper is a great smartphone that has a lot to offer. It is a pity that it does not translate into reality, as read in my review of ARCHOS Diamond alpha +.
ARCHOS Diamond alpha + is a branded smartphone Nubia Z17 mini , and therefore it's Chinese in the offer of a French manufacturer. On paper, this smartphone presents itself brilliantly (Qualcomm Snapdragon 653 + 6GB RAM), but is it really like that? You will find out after reading the reviews.
The design was outdated at the time of the premiere
ARCHOS Diamond alpha + made its debut at IFA 2017 in Berlin, while its protoplast – Nubia Z17 mini appeared on the Chinese market in April of the same year. Thus, at a time when manufacturers were already offering consumers devices with 18: 9 displays surrounded by narrow frames on each side. In the case of Diamond alpha +, however, it is different – ZTE decided to continue the old school, which is why the frame above and below the screen is quite sizable . Even the side frames, despite the technology FiT 2.0 (Frame Interaction Technology), are present, and the entire screen is covered with a black stripe. Below the display there is a set of function buttons – three capacitive ones, of which the middle one has a built-in notification diode , or rather it is. The buttons are illuminated in red. Already in this place, it is worth noting that it is possible to adjust the intensity of the backlight buttons, or we can allow the machine to do it for us. Above the display there is a front camera, a set of sensors and a speaker for talks. We also have two connectors – a type C USB port that has been placed on the bottom edge, as well as a 3.5 mm mini-jack located on the upper frame in the left corner. The volume bar and switch are on the right side of the phone. The lower edge was also occupied by a multimedia speaker and a microphone. On the upper frame there is a second microphone and on the left side a drawer with a hybrid slot for two SIM cards in the nano standard or one nanoSIM card and a microSD card.The rear panel is a standard – it does not stand out from other constructions . The cover is made of aluminum, which forms the body. Camera modules are located in the upper left corner of the island and are surrounded by a characteristic red frame – this is the hallmark of Nubia smartphones. They are accompanied by two LED diodes. A round fingerprint reader has also been placed on the backs – I have no objections to its placement.
The battery performs better than the tests indicate
The battery capacity of 2950 mAh is responsible for energy efficiency in ARCHOS Diamond alpha +. This is the standard capacity, keeping in mind the diagonal of the display. What does this mean in practice?More than one day of work on a single charge cycle , in normal use (with active WiFi and LTE, SoT from four to even six hours) is the standard ARCHOS Diamond alpha +. If, on the other hand, you limit the use of the phone gently, you can extend the time to over one and a half days. So we have a typical standard, although ARCHOS Diamond alpha + falls out worse than Moto X4. [wptab style = "4" title = "Normal use"] [slug test = "battery" order = "desc" selected = "22680" virtual = "pcmark-work-2" type = "single" product_id = "22680, 22674,22672,22660,22620,22612,22470,22614,22516 "] [/ wptab] [wptab style =" 4 "title =" Games "] [test slug =" battery "order =" desc "selected =" 22680 "virtual =" bateria-manhattan-3 "type =" single "product_id =" 22680,22674,22672,22660,22620,22612,22470,22614,22516 "] [/ wptab] [wptab style =" 4 "title = "Charging time"] [test slug = "battery" virtual = "loading-ac" order = "asc" selected = "22680" type = "single" product_id = "22680,22674,22672,22660,22620,22612,22470 , 22614,22516 "] [/ wptab] [wptab_end] Unfortunately, synthetic tests do not confirm this in any way, because the recorded results at the brightness of the screen at 120 cd / m2, are definitely below the accepted standards. This is not the first time, however, when I meet with such a case. Very often, Huawei smartphones also perform worse in benchmarks than in reality. Despite the use of support for fast charging technology, ARCHOS Diamond alpha + needs just over 130 minutes to complete the energy . Compared to the competition, therefore, falls much worse in this matter. Recharging during the day is not effective, because leaving Diamond alpha + under the charger for a quarter of an hour translates into 14% lost energy, and an additional fifteen minutes will give us 29%. The whole situation is due to the charger included in the sales set, which has the following parameters – 5V / 1.5A, which means that it is only 7.5W.
Good IPS screen
The display generates the image in FHD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels), which at 5.2 " , translates into 423.64 points per inch. This means only one thing – sharp content. There is no question of ragged fonts and blurry images. In addition, I dare say that such a configuration translates into comfortable viewing of content, as well as watching movies and playing. Of course, we are dealing with 16: 9 proportions , and therefore a traditional screen, which still many appreciate and consider better than narrow and longitudinal 18: 9. However, I do not include myself in this group, although as I mentioned before, ARCHOS Diamond alpha + is used comfortably. [wptab style = "4" title = "AdobeRGB"] [test slug = "test-colors" order = "desc" selected = "22680" virtual = "color-adobergb" type = "single" product_id = "22680,22674 , 22672,22660,22620,22612,22470,22614,22516 "] [/ wptab] [wptab style =" 4 "title =" sRGB "] [test slug =" test-colors "order =" desc "selected =" 22680 "virtual =" kolor-srgb "type =" single "product_id =" 22680,22674,22672,22660,22620,22612,22470,22614,22516 "] [/ wptab] [wptab style =" 4 "title =" Maximum brightness "] [slug test =" screen-battery "virtual =" YES_TEST_PASS "order =" desc "selected =" 22680 "type =" single "product_id =" 22680,22674,22672,22660,22620,22612,22470, 22614,22516 "] [/ wptab] [wptab_end] The IPS panel is characterized by an adequately intense backlight – 462 cd / m2 offers readability in almost all conditions. It is no different with the consumption of content after dark, because the minimum brightness is 4 cd / m2. Unfortunately, in the settings I did not find eye protection, and therefore a function that reduces the emission of blue light . Instead, we can adjust the color of the colors – from cold, neutral to warm. There's even a color mode, but this one does not work – at least I did not see any difference. The color rendering in the AdobeRGB palette is 80.2%. SRGB scale coverage is 99%, and 84.2% in DCI P3. It is therefore decent, although there are many smartphones on the market with better performance . The best example of this is the recently tested Motorola Moto Z3 Play.
The camera is a bit disappointing
The main camera – characteristics, quality of photos and videos
ARCHOS bet on a double camera. One has a resolution of 13 MP (monochrome) and the other 13 MP (RGB – aperture F / 2.2) . You will find the same set of lenses in last year's flagship LG, and therefore LG G6. However, the Diamond alpha + is not equipped with a wide angle lens. This sensor can also be known from such smartphones as Sony Xperia XA, Xiaomi Redmi Pro or Wiko U Feel, which are much cheaper than the tested model. It is relatively small even for smartphone standards, which does not look particularly promising on a smartphone costing almost PLN 1,900. Even before discussing the photographic possibilities, let me give you some information about the technologies used. It's fast autofocus (0.1s), or the ability to record video in 4K and in slow motion . >>> View full size example photos Photographs made with this set are good in many respects. Pictures taken in good lighting conditions are characterized by pleasing colors, good contrast, low noise and relatively good detail . You can not complain about the tonal range, which can be further improved by using HDR mode. However, this one works very aggressively, which causes that the photographs are simply too clear. It performs better in automatic mode than manual mode. In the night photographs there are shortcomings of the cameras present in ARCHOS Diamond alpha +, and this is mainly due to the numerous noises as well as the weaker detail . Of course, all this in auto mode, and therefore when the smartphone selects the parameters. With this set you can take out a little more, switching to manual mode, where we set, among others, light sensitivity up to 12800, or the exposure time of up to two seconds. However, if you intend to become professionals, you will definitely invest in a tripod, because it is not difficult to get the shots taken. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KglSWXBH2eI Movies can be recorded in a maximum 4K resolution at 30fps . Added to this is the recording at FHD resolution at 30 and 60 fps, as well as HD. There is also slow motion in 720p resolution. Video material is of very low quality, and this is due to malfunctioning autofocus, which completely can not cope with sharpening. And I do not even mean the foreground, only the whole frame in general – it is working all the time and unfortunately it is very visible.
Front camera and photo application
On the front we have a Selfie camera 16MP with a relative lens aperture f / 2.0 . In addition, it is possible to record video in Full HD (1080p). There is even an automatic HDR and screen lighting. With the quality of self-portraits you can be satisfied – they are characterized by appropriate sharpness and nice color reproduction. The producer put on the possibility of blurring the background and lighting the face with a flash of the screen. ZTE gives our disposal the sixth version of NeoVision software. This is an authorial application that is intuitive and offers a lot of possibilities, including a quite decently developed PRO mode . In manual mode, we can set, among others, the length of illumination of the object, adjust light sensitivity, brightness, as well as choose the lighting conditions. We also have a panorama effect, a time-lapse mode. The mode that combines three photos into one is interesting, so we can be in three places on one photo. Also, do not forget about monochrome or 3D photography.
Performance wasted by poor optimization
One of the most efficient SoC systems in the Snapdragon 600 series is responsible for computing power , namely Qualcomm Snapdragon 653 , in which there are eight cores (4x ARM Cortex A72 + 4x ARM Cortex A53) with clock speeds up to 1.95 GHz, as well as Adreno graphics chip 510. This is a powerful unit that works with an above average amount of RAM, which in ARCHOS Diamond alpha + is 6GB (LPDDR3 type).In theory, such a set should work great and guarantee the user a smooth work at all times. Unfortunately, theory did not go hand in hand with practice. Everything is guilty of software that is so unrecognized that the slowdown happens even when navigating the interface. This is a scandal considering the price of your smartphone. I am surprised that neither ZTE nor ARCHOS have tried to eliminate such problems that put this smartphone in a very unfavorable light. I do not have any reservations about RAM management, so switching between open processes is fast. When it comes to graphical performance, the smartphone does well with the titles available in Google Play , thus ensuring smooth and stable gameplay. [wptab style = "4" title = "T-Rex"] [test slug = "gfxbench-fps" order = "desc" selected = "22680" type = "single" virtual = "t-rex-3-onscreen" product_id = "22680,22674,226242,22660,22620,22612,22470,22614,22516"] [/ wptab] [wptab style = "4" title = "PC Mark"] [test slug = "pcmark-android" order = "desc" selected = "22680" virtual = "pcmark-android-work" type = "single" product_id = "22680,22674,22660,22620,22612,22470,22614,22516"] [/ wptab] [wptab style = "4" title = "Manhattan"] [test slug = "gfxbench-fps" order = "desc" selected = "22680" type = "single" virtual = "manhattan-3-onscreen" product_id = "22680,22674, 22672,22660,22620,22612,22470,22614,22516 "] [/ wptab] [wptab style =" 4 "title =" GeekBench Single "] [test slug =" geekbench-4 "order =" desc "selected =" 22680 "virtual =" geekbench-4-Single-Core "type =" single "product_id =" 22680,22674,22672,22660,22620,22612,22470,22614,22516 "] [/ wptab] [wptab style =" 4 "title =" GeekBench Multi "] [test slug =" geekbench-4 "order =" desc "selected =" 22680 "virtual =" geekbench-4-Multi-Core "type =" single "product_id =" 226 80,22674,22672,22660,22620,22612,22470,22614,22516 "] [/ wptab] [wptab_end] ARCHOS Diamond alpha + has one more disadvantage – it heats up so hard under load that it is not very comfortable to use . The temperature of the housing reaches almost 50 degrees Celsius, which, moreover, is shown in the picture below made using the CAT S61 smartphone. The smartphone works under the control of a very outdated system – Android 6.0.1 (Marshmallow) with the security level of July 2017 , which has been enriched with the Nubia 4.0 overlay. The manufacturer's software has several additional functions. Firstly, there is no application drawer – everything you install is visible on the desktops. However, applications can be grouped in folders in their own discretion. The Settings menu has been rebuilt gently. Unfortunately, this is just a change for the worse, because there is a lot of chaos. The feature "blanking the screen" is not in the display section – look for it in the screen lock section. The management of RAM and internal memory for data and applications has been transferred to other system settings. There are still a few such idiosyncrasies. In the case of original interfaces, the most interesting additions are always offered by the manufacturer. And in ARCHOS Diamond alpha + we will find several of them. The screen dividing function has been an interesting feature that clonalizes the screen and divides it in half. Although there is a problem with scaling the application, a big plus should be considered an idea, because we are able to not only use the browser and social networking site at the same time, but we can even play. The most important function in this device however, there are gestures that we make on the side frames of the screen. This is possible thanks to FiT 2.0 (Frame Interaction Technology) technology . After activating the function in Settings, we can quickly switch between applications, close applications running in the background to accelerate the main application, adjust the volume and brightness. However, the basic question arises, is it a convenient solution and most importantly needed? Initially, I had problems getting used to using a smartphone using frames, but later it was much easier. I do not think, however, that this is a necessary solution – it is more bajer, which very far to the functional side screen of Samsung. We also have an original application of a media player, a video application with a floating window , a voice recorder, as well as a file manager (groups files by type). In addition, we also find an extensive program for screen shots that allows you to trim, make a full page dump, as well as recording the image displayed on the screen.
Equipment: NFC and USB type C. There is also a slow biometric sensor
In the case of ARCHOS Diamond alpha +, we can talk about full equipment, although at the very beginning it is worth noting that these are not the latest communication solutions. Nevertheless, the consumer receives everything you can expect: a dual-band WiFi wireless module (802.11 ac / a / b / g / n, 2.4GHz & 5GHz), GPS satellite navigation system, USB type C connector, NFC, fast LTE modem, dual nanoSIM card slot, as well as Bluetooth 4.2 LE. The internal memory is 128GB . There are approximately 108 GB left for the user. Places are enough for many favorite games and applications. Remember that the memory can be expanded, because the equipment has a hybrid SIM card slot that supports microSD cards. The USB type C port offers support for OTG , which makes it possible to connect external storage devices . However, the hardware can not cope with 2.5 "drives without its own power source. The sales set lacked a dedicated adapter that would allow the connection of these devices.The multimedia speaker is placed on the bottom frame, on the right. The loudspeaker is at the right volume level – enough when playing and watching movies . After connecting the headset, the quality of the sound emitted is at the appropriate level. It is possible to adjust the color using a dedicated concealer. The active fingerprint reader in the phone works properly, although it is slower than the competition . We can define up to five fingerprints. Placed in a traditional place – on the back panel. Unlocking the phone with its use is convenient.
Summary and evaluation
ARCHOS Diamond alpha + at first glance is a very good middle class smartphone. It has an above-average amount of RAM, an efficient SoC system and extensive equipment. In addition, there is a double camera. Unfortunately, this is only a semblance, because in reality this smartphone has so many disadvantages that its purchase is pointless. The more so because it really costs a lot. The biggest shortcoming of ARCHOS Diamond alpha + is the lack of fluidity in operation that results from unrecorded software . I can not believe how ARCHOS could afford it and do not force the Chinese to refine the software. By such a procedure, the computing power is not fully utilized. Added to this is the strong heating of the structure. Disappoints the main camera, which despite the extensive software is able to make only good quality photos in favorable lighting conditions and with the help of the user. It's best to point out the point at which the autofocus should be sharpened. The worst thing is with video recording , which you could see yourself. Such situations should not take place on your smartphone for about PLN 1,900.These defects remove this model from the list of devices that are in my circle of interests. I'm just of the opinion that there are many better and more refined smartphones on the market. A definitely better choice will be Sony Xperia XZ1, Samsung Galaxy S7, Honor 10, Nokia 8, as well as LG G6 . All these models have a much better optimized system, as well as no problems that harass ARCHOS Diamond alpha +. [Show_rating]