Meizu Pro 5 ReviewMeizu PRO 5 7.2
This summer, Meizu launched the MX5 — an ambitious handset that made a wonderful first impression before revealing itself as a slick-looking bundle of compromises. Fast forward to November, and Meizu is already in for a re-match with the Pro 5. Put in a few words, this phablet is the result of the very same pursuits, executed with twice the ambition. If there's any question about the Pro 5 that most needs to be answered, that would be whether the bigger screen, top-shelf internals, and updated user experience are worth the $150 price premium over the three-month old MX5. Let's dig in and find out, shall we!
- Meizu Pro 5
- SIM tray ejector tool
- USB Type-C cable
- Charger (12V/2A)
- Quick start and warranty information
A feeling of precision is undermined by a bulging camera.
Those who know the Meizu MX5 won't be in for any surprises, for the Chinese maker threads the path of incremental improvement. Whipping out the phablet in front of an unsuspecting audience still produces the recurring exclamation of "my, that's a big iPhone you have!" This has sparked some entertaining conversations for sure, but like the MX5 before it, the Pro 5 is no laughing matter.
Rather than opulence, this industrially-beautiful smartphone (sold in Gold, Gray, and Silver) stands out with intelligent design. The back panel and sides are mostly made of polished metal that's decorated with chamfered lines where the body meets the front panel. The antenna bands on the back look like they are carved in the aluminum, but the handset's top and bottom parts are actually made of plastic. Thankfully, this doesn't make for an inconsistent look. Moreover, the phablet's sides are gently rounded, which contributes to a comfortable grip, while the power and volume keys on the right are slim, don't wobble, and produce a satisfying "click".
Speaking of comfort, the phablet measures a sizable 6.17 x 3.07 x 0.30 inches (156.7 x 78 x 7.5 mm) and weighs 5.93 oz (168 g). Although the Pro 5 is a bit larger than other devices in its category, like the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, it feels very nice in the palm with its flat back and uniform weight distribution. Thankfully, the upgrade in screen diagonal hasn't decreased the efficient screen-to-body ratio — a Meizu trademark of sorts — all that much With its 5.4-inch screen, the MX5 stood at 74%, while the Pro 5 and its 5.7-inch display stand at 73.3%. Obviously, someone knew what they were doing!
Meizu worked to high standards in designing and building the Pro 5, but saying the team left no stone unturned would make for an insincere compliment. The Home button feels mushy, and the camera hump on the Pro 5's back undermines the handset's aura of precision. It sticks out too much, propping the phablet upwards when it should be laying flat, and exposing itself to friction damage over time. Hopefully, the sapphire protective lens and metal ring will prove themselves durable over the course of your Pro 5 ownership.
156.7 x 78 x 7.5 mm
5.93 oz (168 g)
159.3 x 77.8 x 7.3 mm
6.28 oz (178 g)
153.9 x 76.2 x 11.06 mm
6.31 oz (179 g)
148.9 x 76.1 x 9.8 mm
5.47 oz (155 g)
An AMOLED panel with too much green and not enough brightness.
The Meizu Pro 5 is equipped with a 5.7-inch AMOLED display, covered in Gorilla Glass 3. It's set to a 1080p resolution, which still looks more than fine, even when blown up over a plus-sized screen like this one.
With its maximum brightness output of 327 nits, the Pro 5's display is rather dim in comparison with other hi-end smartphone displays, and using it under bright light will make you squint. But the minimum brightness of just 1 nit makes for a great bedtime phone. Turning our attention to color accuracy, at 7614 Kelvin, the color temperature is on the colder side, and although temp can be adjusted with a slider, color balance still remains problematic.
With the Pro 5, green is very prominent and over-saturated at the expense of seriously subdued red, while yellow is shown as yellow-green. This makes images appear a bit lifeless. Viewing angles are also flawed, as even slight shifts and tilts immediately result in color distortion (the white turns to blue). In short, this display is anything but color-accurate, which is a disappointment considering the panel's near-perfect gamma curve makes for excellent contrast.
Display measurements and quality
|Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better||Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better||Contrast Higher is better||Color temperature (Kelvins)||Gamma||Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better||Delta E grayscale Lower is better|
|Meizu PRO 5||327
|Google Nexus 6P||356
|Motorola Moto X Pure Edition (2015)||715
The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.
|Maximum brightness Lower is better||Minimum brightness Lower is better||Contrast Lower is better||Color temperature Lower is better||Gamma Lower is better||Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better||Delta E grayscale Lower is better|
|Meizu PRO 5||53.5%
|Google Nexus 6P||56.2%
|Motorola Moto X Pure Edition (2015)||85.7%
The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
5. Wiencon (Posts: 1906; Member since: 06 Aug 2014)
If only it wasn't so DAMN BIG. Damn, I would love to try listening to lossless audio on this device
56. Jango (Posts: 315; Member since: 24 Oct 2014)
I've surrendered and got myself a Nexus 6P. Almost gotten used to it. Still wish it were smaller but all things considered, it's the best flagship released yet!
The battery life and design of this device is impressive, plus the exynos performance is awesome. Why is it still getting such a low rating?
8. drifter77 (Posts: 209; Member since: 12 Jun 2015)
The Exynos SoC proves it's the best in the market right now. Power efficient and good for the battery. Let's see if the SD820 delviers results rather than heating issues like its predecessor.
9. Ordinary (Posts: 2323; Member since: 23 Apr 2015)
I wonder how you got 3679 on geekbench multi-score with exynos 7420
11. zeeBomb (Posts: 2110; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)
Ikr. GSMArena got 5.5k, top of the list...
30. Anice29 (Posts: 5; Member since: 14 Dec 2015)
All the benchmarks were probably done in 'Balanced' Mode and not 'Performance' Mode. From what I have seen on mine, Balanced mode runs in hexa-core mode and shuts down 2x A57 cores to save battery
10. zeeBomb (Posts: 2110; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)
Finally y'all reviewed the Pro 5! BUT...that score tho.
Hey, at least that audio output is insane...almost 2 volts of power, damn you can put a high pair of head phones effortlessly!
53. raky_b (Posts: 106; Member since: 02 Jul 2014)
and they are erasing all the coments that shows how they suck in scoring
55. Jango (Posts: 315; Member since: 24 Oct 2014)
Yes, I've also noticed some aggressive comment censorship going on. Not just criticising their racism for anything that isn't Apple or Samsung but also general negative comments about the product etc.
12. Dude2014 (Posts: 440; Member since: 12 Feb 2014)
It's only priced at $430 for Pro 5 (64GB storage and RAM 4GB) in my country. With that price, you can get excellent 1080p AMOLED display, Exynos 7420 SoC, 64GB storage, 4GB of RAM, Fast charging technology, amazing battery life, 21mp Sony IMX230 camera with good software optimization, Fingerprint scanner, Metal body, the best Audio chip, Dual-sim or MicroSD slot, Fluid UI, etc. What else can you ask more from a $430 smartphone?? It's such shame PA rated it as 7.
18. sip1995 (Posts: 1585; Member since: 07 Feb 2014)
What else...huh The Apple or Samsung logo on it.
16. alumoyo (Posts: 360; Member since: 26 Aug 2013)
"A feeling of precision is undermined by a bulging camera."
QUESTION: WHAT FLAGSHIP SMARTPHONE DOESN'T HAVE A BULGING CAMERA???
I'm done with PA reviews. Meizu has always been a darling of phonearena reviews. Everything they loved about other Meizu devices can be found in this one PLUS MORE. I don't get where this score comes from.
17. sip1995 (Posts: 1585; Member since: 07 Feb 2014)
WOW....From 7 to 7.2.....PA you're on fire.
20. maxspecs (Posts: 37; Member since: 29 Aug 2012)
honestly i can't take your reviews seriously . z5 compact, which is a great, all rounded phone got a 7, and now this is probably the best chinese phone for this year and it gets a 7.2
Having an extremely powerful processor, good design, light skin, and settling for a 1080p for better battery life and gaming performance makes this phone a dream come true for some people.
21. Dejavu_LT (Posts: 41; Member since: 11 Jun 2012)
First time i totally disagree with phonearena. Sure, Meizu pro 5 is not perfect, but let me tell you something: great battery life, good design, best cpu/gpu on the market, works - fluently and (surprise surprise, phonearena) it's comes officialy into Eu market (from december 19, amazon uk starts selling it) from 349£ 32gb to 389£ for 64gb version. Maybe it's not bargain, but it's way way better deal than, for example, nexus 5x. WAY better deal. In my opinion Meizu Pro 5 scores 8.5 easily.
28. Anterv (Posts: 172; Member since: 09 Jul 2014)
5x is a phone, Pro 5 is a phablet, they are not in the same league in terms of space for hardware.
But yes, score could be higher.
23. der_damo (Posts: 190; Member since: 16 Sep 2014)
The videorecording is shakier than my smoothie-maker.
31. Tizo101 (Posts: 399; Member since: 05 Jun 2015)
This site should be called stupid reviews, how much more inconsistent can you guys be? That said, this is your site you can do with it whatever you like - i think your low score for some impressive phones are great click bates (so more money for you guys). From what i read, this phone wipes the floor with most phones that get 9 and 8 but it gets 7... WOW!
32. aReefer (Posts: 40; Member since: 21 Mar 2015)
Ok, I never used this exact phone - but I am using the much cheaper Meizu M2 Note, and it runs almost the same OS (Flyme 18.104.22.168i, which is the most recent currently).
So, that said, I do have some niggles, such as:
1) You have one 'master' volume control for both the phone ringer volume and for the notification sounds (Whatsapp, Telegram, emails etc). This is annoying when you are trying to discreetly chat using a messenger app in the office for example - but still want a powerful ringer volume for those times when you are walking in a noisy street with your phone in your pocket - without having to constantly tweak the volume.
2) I haven't had a phone since the late 90's that didn't support the feature of having separate ringtones for different contacts in my address book - until now. Seriously, this is a simple feature and a massive oversight. You can have only one 'master' ringtone for all contacts, and this is annoying. I have found no way to fix this in either the general sound settings or the contacts menu.
3) Flyme OS updates have not been painless. You generally need to back up your data and then entirely reset the device after every update and then re-install all of your apps (though in fairness, either the last update addressed this issue - or I was just 'lucky' after having to do it for the previous 2 updates).
Otherwise, on the positive side, the Flyme OS does have some cool and useful features that you may very well find to be useful and even surprisingly so, so it's not all bad by a long shot.
Personally I am also happy with the hardware and performance of my M2 Note overall, and at least the OS updates are semi-regular as they gradually improve it over time - plus it is easy to root and you can just go with pure Android quite easily if you want to (I didn't try this yet).
My point here is that there are some glaring software omissions and software design mistakes in the Flyme OS that for many people may well justify a lower rating than expected based solely on the HW specs - at least until they are (hopefully) fixed with a future update from Meizu.
I am happy with my M2 Note and it runs most 'moderately heavy' apps with no issues at all - but it was also incredibly cheap (about $130), and my expectations are set accordingly.
If I was laying out (much) more cash for this Pro 5 however, I think that the issues mentioned above would be more annoying by a similar factor.
That's my 2 cents on the subject. Draw your own conclusions based on whatever is most important to you, but I think that Flyme isn't 100% mature quite yet, but you can tell that it is definitely heading in the right direction with a nice UI and some cool features built in. They just overlooked a couple of the basic ones.
51. luis.d (Posts: 329; Member since: 04 Dec 2013)
Hey, thanks for chiming in and sharing your experience in detail! Indeed, awesome as it is, Flyme OS is work in progress and it doesn't have the kind of "smooth sailing" factor that would have easily upped the Pro 5's review score into the 8's. However, Meizu is definitely on the right track with its software and devices and I'm sure they will hit a home run eventually. The Pro 5 is my daily driver right now and I'm pleased with the experience, but I do think the Nexus 6P's release made for an unfortunate timing for Meizu. Cheers!
58. Anice29 (Posts: 5; Member since: 14 Dec 2015)
The biggest problem with Meizu is the International version of their firmwares receive updates at a very slow rate compared to the Chinese one. I went for the Chinese one and the Pro 5 is running Flyme 5.1 . The UI is much smoother and the 'Settings' Menu is not a mess as before. Installing Google play is so easy on the Chinese version too. Google installer can be downloaded directly from the Meizu App Centre that comes with the phone. This is also my daily driver now since 3 weeks and everything has been amazing since Flyme 5 but I did notice a drop in battery performance on Flyme 5 compared to Flyme 4.5
61. NotoAA (Posts: 13; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)
Thanks for the advice! Does the Chinese version have the same level of English support for the UI as the international version?
62. Anice29 (Posts: 5; Member since: 14 Dec 2015)
If you means in terms of translation everything is great with no mistakes I could notice for now. The chinese version also has several other languages other than Chinese and English. Only built in apps are in Chinese such as Meizu's app centre or the theme store