5 of the best MediaTek-powered smartphones currently around
As far as we can tell, there are two levels of expansion that MediaTek is currently following. First, there's MediaTek's desire to expand to European and North American markets. Second, there's the company ambition of becoming more than a price-conscious decision for entry-level handsets.
About a month ago, MediaTek announced the Helio X20, the first mobile SoC to integrate a deca-core CPU. Although the X20 is not exactly top-end material, MediaTek seems to believe that the Helio X20 will have enough processing power to show up in upcoming high-end smartphones. According to one particularly interesting rumor, manufacturers such as HTC, Sony, LG, and more, are gearing to up integrate the Helio X20 in their upcoming smartphones.
While we're a few months away from testing out if the MediaTek Helio X20 is everything the manufacturer claims it to be, we'll take the time to analyze the best 5 MediaTek-powered smartphones currently available on the market.
Please note that most of the smartphones on this list are not officially available to purchase in the United States.
HTC One M9+
The HTC One M9+, the Asian variant of this year's HTC flagship, is a fairly different beast compared to the regular One M9. In the context of this article, what really interests us if the fact that the Asian HTC flagship replaces the debated Snapdragon 810 with a MediaTek MT6795 chip, a SoC that's also known as the Helio X10.
The 5.5-inch display runs a resolution of 1440 by 2560 pixels, being both larger and sharper than the 5-inch 1080p display featured by the regular One M9. Furthermore, the One M9+ also comes with a fingerprint reader, a feature that's missing from the regular version of the One M9. Other specs include 3GB of RAM, 32GB of microSD-expandable internal storage, a dual-camera setup (20MP primary sensor and 2.1MP depth-sensing camera) on the back, and a 4MP secondary shooter on the front. The lights are kept on by a 2840mAh non-removable battery.
The Helio X10 integrates eight ARM Cortex A53 cores clocked at 2.2GHz as well as a PowerVR Rogue G620 GPU, being the fastest chip that MediaTek currently makes. External benchmarks show that the chip is very capable of competing in the upper midrange segment of the smartphone SoC market. Paired with such high resolutions as the one on the M9 Plus, the Helio X10 is capable of running most games, although performance will take a hit when testing out the most graphically-advanced games currently available on Android.
Gionee Elife S7
The Gionee Elife S7, rebranded under various names in markets outside China, is one of the slimmest smartphones currently available for purchase. The Elife S7 measures just 5.5mm across its waist, but it still manages to integrate a 2750mAh battery, which is about the same capacity as the Galaxy S6 battery.
The Elife S7 is powered by the MediaTek MT6752 chip, a mobile SoC that integrates an octa-core 1.7GHz ARM Cortex-A53 processor and an ARM Mali-T760MP2 GPU. It's less powerful than the Helio X10, offering mid-range performance levels. The 5.2-inch display works at 1080 by 1920 pixels, which puts some stress on the GPU when rendering graphically-intensive games, but in most cases, the MT6752 should be able to cope.
The Gionee Elife S7 also comes with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage (no microSD card slot), a 13MP primary camera, and an 8MP secondary sensor on the front. Overall, the Elfie S7 is a slim and decently specced Android smartphone, and despite its shortcomings, it's a sign of how MediaTek-powered smartphones are able to offer interesting hardware at mid-range prices.
Sony Xperia C4
Like the Gionee S7, the Sony Xperia C4 is based on the MediaTek 6752 chipset. Other similarities include a a resolution of 1080 by 1920 pixels -although this time on larger 5.5-inch display -, 2GB of RAM, a 13MP primary camera, and 16GB of internal storage (the Xperia C4 integrates a microSD card slot).
Interestingly, although at 7.9mm across the waist the C4 is notably thicker than the Gionee Elfie S7, the Xperia C4 comes with a slightly less capacious 2600mAh.
Unlike the other smartphones on this list, which use the latest-generation 64-bit processors from MediaTek, the Meizu MX4 is based on the MT6595 chipset, a mobile SoC that used to be MediaTek's top offering before the chipmaker's unveiling of the MT67 line-up. The MT6595 includes four ARM Cortex-A17 cores clocked at 2.2GHz and four 1.7GHz cores clocked at 1.7GHz, as well as a PowerVR G6200 MP4.
The most notable Meizu MX4 feature is the inclusion of a high-resolution display with very slim bezels. The display measures 5.36 inches across the diagonal and runs a resolution of 1152 x 1920 pixels. Other highlights include the 20.7MP primary camera and the 3100mAh battery. The Meizu MX4 also comes with 16/32/64GB internal storage space, a microSD card slot, a 2MP secondary shooter, and 2GB of RAM. Check out our our full Meizu MX4 review to learn more about the handset.