Meizu, one of the emerging phone stars out of China, has just taken the wraps off its first affordable metal phone and it features an exquisite design, MediaTek's most powerful Helio X10 system chip, a fast fingerprint scanner and a large battery: the 5.5-inch Meizu Blue Charm Metal.
Exquisite metal design and a fast fingerprint scanner in a very affordable phone
All of that for a full retail price of less than $200.
Interested? Hold your horses: the Meizu Blue Charm Metal will initially be available in China only, and while you will be able to import it via re-sellers, you will be getting the Chinese versions (with all its quirks) and you'll have to pay a slight premium on top of the official price.
Apart from that important disclaimer, the Meizu Blue Charm Note is a true beast clad in an iron armor: its metal body is practically unprecedented at this price point and so is a fingerprint scanner. These are the two key features that make the new Meizu phablet stand its ground against its biggest competitor in China: the recently launched Xiaomi Redmi Note 2, a phone with the same, powerful Helio X10, but lacking the metal build and fingerprint security.
First, let's take a closer look at the dimension of the Blue Charm Note and what's under the hood.
Platform: New Flyme 5.0 skin on top of Android
Dimensions: 150.7 x 75.3 x 8.2mm
Screen: 5.5-inch LTPS LCD with 1080 x 1920-pixel resolution
The Meizu Blue Charm Metal also acts as the launch pad for Meizu's new version of its Flyme custom Android skin. It has graduated to version 5.0, and comes with some profound changes: first, the look has evolved with modernized icons and improved style, but we're also seeing some great new apps. Meizu brings a new e-reading app and 'lifekit' that is the company's official entry into health and fitness. There is also support for cashless payments with the new fingerprint scanner, a feature that seems exclusive to China at the moment.
Blazing fast: Helio X10 and Meizu's camera chops
The Helio X10 is certainly the star of the show: MediaTek's best chip to date appears in $600 phones like the HTC One M9+ and that's why it's especially impressive to see it in a phone that costs less than $200. It's a fast chip, featuring eight Cortex A53 cores running at up to 2.0GHz, and humming along with 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM.
We haven't seen camera samples, but judging from the 13-megapixel sensor of the camera, chances are that it produces the same good-looking images that we're used to seeing from Meizu in its m2 note.
The Meizu Blue Charm Metal goes on pre-order right away today, but do keep in mind that this is a phone that will officially be sold only in China initially (of course, you can import the Chinese version via third-party re-sellers for a slight premium).
The official release date is set for November 2nd when the phone will go officially on sale at the Meizu store and China's Lynx Mall, with a second edition with additional 4G bands expected to go on sale in December.
Prices for the Meizu Blue Charm Metal are set as follows: