Monsters from Asia: the octa-core Meizu MX4 and its 20MP camera

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With IFA 2014 and the unveiling of the new iPhones, we've been kept busy over the past month. But the smartphone scene in the East was very much alive and well during those last few weeks, and, as those of you who are keeping tabs on it will likely know -- not a month goes by without an intriguing new device hitting the market. This time around, it was Meizu's turn -- say hello to the impressive MX4!

Starting with the design of the MX4, the 0.35 in (8.9 mm) body of the phone is encased within a metal frame, though the back is made out of soft touch plastic. The amount of bezels at the front is kept in check, and that allows for a smaller footprint, despite the rather large, 5.36-inch IPS display. Depending on the batch, that one is made by either Sharp or JDI, has an odd resolution of 1920 x 1152 pixels, and a density of 418 ppi. Meizu claims that the Gorila Glass 3-protected panel is capable of cranking up the brightness to up to 500 nits.

Within the MX4's body, you'll find MediaTek's latest LTE-enabled, octa-core chip -- the MT6595. Despite MediaTek's focus on cheaper hardware, the MT6595 is no joke and offers top-end performance. The chipset runs in an ARM big.LITTLE configuration, meaning that there are two clusters of four cores (2.2GHz Cortex-A17 and 1.7GHz Cortex-A7), both of which can be turned on at the same time for maximum performance. The GPU on board is a quad-core PowerVR G6200, clocked at 600MHz, and there are 2 gigs of LPDDR3 RAM available. All said, powered by a 3100 mAh battery, this setup equates to an AnTuTu score of over 48,000 points.

As for the camera, we're looking at a very impressive, 20.7-megapixel Sony Exmor RS IMX220 sensor with a size of 1/2.3'' -- considerably larger than the average, even for a flagship. The shooter is complemented by a five-element lens with wide, f/2.2 aperture and a two-tone LED flash. The sensor itself is protected by Gorilla Glass 3, and Meizu claims focus speeds are as fast as 0.3 seconds. The camera app also has support for extra shooting modes, including 4K UHD video capture, 300-degree panoramas, post-capture refocus, a night mode with software stabilization, slow motion with 100 frames per second, and, of course, manual mode. Up at the front, we've got another Sony sensor -- the 2-megapixel IMX208 with an f/2.0 aperture Sharp lens.

So how much does all of this cost? For the 16GB version, you'll have to part with $449, while the 32GB model will set you back $489. Luckily, you can grab the MX4 through Meizumart -- the company's official online store -- with free shipping.

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