In a surprising move, Maxis announced a self-branded smartphone yesterday – the NeXT M1, alongside a brand new entry-level Starter Postpaid Plan. The device bundle costs MYR78/month and subscribers will be tied to a 24-month contract. Hardware details of the device were scarce at launch, but Maxis has since updated the official NeXT page with more specs.
I mentioned yesterday in my post that I suspected the M1 could possibly be a re-badged Alcatel/Flash device built by TCL. The resemblance to the Flash Plus 2 is uncanny, coupled by the mention of octa-core which I speculated as the MediaTek MTK6752 or upper mid-ranger MTK6755, otherwise known as the Helio P10.
Well, Maxis today has updated the NeXT page alongside full specifications of the device. Scrutinising the spec list, evidence certainly points to the Flash Plus 2, or a close clone of it.
Let’s take a closer look.
Firstly, dimensions-wise they’re pretty similar, although the M1 is slightly lighter at 150g against 157g of the Flash Plus 2. They share the same 5.5-inch Full HD IPS display (topping 401PPI) and share the same underpinnings – the octa-core MediaTek MTK6755M or Helio P10, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. They also share the same Mali-T860MP2 GPU.
In the camera department, both run similar 13MP autofocus main shooters with LED flash, and 5MP selfie cameras with front-facing LED flash.
In terms of connectivity, it is unclear if the M1 is a dual-SIM device (the Flash Plus 2 is). Just so you know, the Flash Plus 2 has triple slots (two for SIM, one for microSD).
Everything else is pretty much from the same mould – Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 802.11/a, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS.
What’s interesting is that the M1 has NFC. It is also unclear if the M1 has a built-in fingerprint scanner like the Flash Plus 2. There’s a slight difference in battery capacity – the M1 featuring a 2,960mAh unit, while the Flash Plus 2 topping 3,000mAh.
Both devices run Android 6.0. Marshmallow.
Just so you know, the Flash Plus 2 currently retails at MYR699 for the 2GB + 16GB storage version, and the 3GB + 32GB storage variant is priced at MYR799.
Based on the spec sheet, I’d say the M1 is a pretty solid mid-range device. Stay tuned for a hands-on review soon.
Buying the NeXT M1
The NeXT M1 isn’t available as an off-the-rack purchase. Instead, it’s sold as a bundle with Maxis’ new Starter Postpaid Plan. The device comes with a 24-month warranty, 1-to-1 exchange and 6-month screen protection. The entry-level postpaid plan gives you 4GB of data (2GB weekday, 2GB weekends) and 50 mins of calls. The new bundle is available starting today, 3 March 2017.
You can grab this offer at any Maxis Centre or Maxis Exclusive Partners, or buy it from the Maxis Online Store.
For more info, head over to www.maxis.com.my/next.