Monsters from Asia: the incomprehensibly cheap Meizu Blue Charm Note (M1 Note)


A month from now it'll be a full year since the first entry in our fortnightly Monsters from Asia column, but, so far, we've been mainly focused on the high-end devices that China (among other non-mainstream brands from other Asian countries) churns out at an incredible pace. For this episode, however, we wanted to highlight a lower end device that still offered killer specs at incomprehensible prices, and it just so happens that Meizu today finally unveiled its rumored Blue Charm Note device. It fits that bill perfectly.

Meizu's "Note" phablet is quite worthy of the spotlight. To start off, we're looking at an impressive-for-the-category 5.5-inch, 1080 x 1920 resolution IGZO display by Sharp, good for the excellent 403 pixels per inch. The panel in question is covered by Corning Gorilla Glass 3, and Meizu claims that it can reach brightness levels of up to 450 nits, though their testing methodology is unclear. Moving on, we've got 2 gigs of RAM, along with a 64-bit MediaTek MTK6752 octa-core processor with its ARM Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.8GHz and its dual-core Mali T760 GPU at 600Mhz.

On the back of the Meizu Blue Charm Note, we've got a Samsung-made, 13-megapixel sensor (1/3.06'') with f/2.2 aperture lens and two-tone LED flash. Up front, there's a worthy selfie cam – a 5-megapixel OmniVision sensor (OV5670) with 1.12µm pixels and f/2.0 lens. 

The Blue Charm Note is an LTE-enabled, dual SIM device (secondary slot supports 2G GSM) with an embedded infrared blaster for control over home electronics and support for Bluetooth 4.0, 5GHz Wi-Fi, and A-GPS (GLONASS). The juicer within is also extremely generous, at 3140 mAh.

The Meizu Blue Charm Note is a very compact device relative to its screen size, with dimensions of 5.93 x 2.96 x 0.35 (150.7 x 75.2 x 8.9 mm) and a weight of 5.11 oz (145 g). It will be available in a number of colors, including white, blue, yellow, green, and pink, and cost ¥ 999 (~$160)/ ¥1199 (~$192) for the 16GB/32GB storage version, respectively. Impressive deal, really, especially if Meizu manages to produce enough of these to actually offer them outside of China, where it'll surely struggle to meet demand.

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