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This Future is Modular- AIEK Card Phone Review 3

3. Performance, pre-installed app, camera, conclusion

Benchmarks

Believe it or not, the Aiek E1 is powered by a MediaTek chipset, which may worry some as phones with MTK chips usually have poor support for custom Android ROMs. We don’t think this will be an issue here so let’s dive straight into the benchmarks.

The E1 is so fast that the Calculator app can multiply numbers instantly! We pushed it to its limit, specifically 999,999,999,999. Yep, that’s a huge number and you can add, subtract, multiply even divide anything less than that.

That’s enough performance for a class of casual games so we’d give the phone full stars in this department.

App package

Sadly, the Calendar app on the Aiek E1 does not support cloud syncing. More worryingly, it refuses to show any dates beyond December 31, 2030. Perhaps Aiek engineers know something that they are not telling us? A repeat of the Mayan prophecy?

Well, if the world does come to an end, you can’t even make a note of it – the Calendar app does just that, it shows a calendar. Somehow features such as adding events didn’t make the cut. There’s nothing stopping you from installing Sticky Notes on the back, though.

People were up in arms when Samsung dropped the card slot on the Galaxy S6 while iPhone users just mumbled “welcome to my world” under their breath. Aiek caters to its fans and you get a dedicated microSD slot and there’s a File manager app out of the box.

Card Phone review

The E1 also has Mass storage mode – something Android phones seem to have forgotten. It just works so much better with Windows PCs than the usual MTP mode you get from even flagship Androids. In terms of cable connectivity, though, you’ll have to settle for microUSB 2.0. Aiek hasn’t made the jump to USB-C yet.

The E1 mimics the iPhone 7 in that the data/charging port is also where you plug in the headphones. And you can listen to FM radio, something Apple hasn’t offered since the 3GS (where it was disabled in software), even Samsung dropped it from its flagships a few years back.

Camera

We think Aiek took some inspiration from the Sony Lens Style cameras. You see, the camera module on the E1 is external, which makes it powerful and easy to upgrade. Want large sensors and optical zoom? The E1 has you covered.

This system is so advanced that you can use the camera without attaching it to the phone.

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Conclusion

By now it should be clear that the Aiek E1 is the leading contender for DIY phone of the year. Modular phones have been attempted before – Google’s effort fizzled out, LG is reportedly giving up after the G5, leaving just Motorola to compete with Aiek.

Aiek has the advantage, though, as Moto uses a proprietary module system while the E1 openly works with just about anything. The Rubber Bands™ module system is the very definition of flexibility.

Card Phone review

The E1 will continue evolving new functionality long after you buy it. We have some inside info and it seems that Aiek has several new modules in the works that will add new functionality. For example, the Plastic Bag module promises IP68 waterproofing.

The smartphone market is ripe for disruption. Old dogs like Apple make much of their cash by selling apps, but the Aiek E1 moves to a different paradigm – installing accessories instead of apps to add new functionality.