Introduction


Unfamiliar to most of the world, Meizu is prominent in its homeland of China where local users have been welcoming the brand's MX, PRO, and M series of handsets. While the former are meant to be the best smartphones Meizu is capable of building, the M series is where the company experiments with delivering the most value possible at a sub-$199 price.

The M series' third-generation flagship device – the M3 Note – goes all out, promising high-end smartphone features like a metal body, a big display, above average performance, a competent camera, and superb battery life. Meizu's undertaking surely has us intrigued with its "too good to be true" character, and by the end of this review, we'll know exactly how much the M3 Note fulfills the brand's ambitions.

Design

A clean-looking and sturdy metal phone with a bit more bulk than what you might expect.

With a 6000 Series aluminum back and a sleek glass-covered front, the Meizu M3 Note is sturdy and good-looking, but also slightly bulky. At 5.75 oz (163 g), it carries a fair bit of heft, and with its 0.32in (8.2mm) thickness, the handset looks unabashedly plump next to the skinny smartphones of today.


Still, the Meizu is comfortable to hold and using it one-handed is a legitimate possibility thanks to its balanced proportions. We also like how the camera on the back is flush with the body, and the antenna lines are incorporated in an aesthetically pleasant way.

The M3 Note features a Home button below the display that doubles as a 'Back' navigation key and fingerprint sensor, a typical move by Meizu. The fingerprint scanner is very fast and accurate, but like the power and volume keys to the right, the Home button feels a bit soft and wobbly.


Meizu M3 Note

Meizu M3 Note

Dimensions

6.05 x 2.97 x 0.32 inches

153.6 x 75.5 x 8.2 mm

Weight

5.75 oz (163 g)

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3

Dimensions

5.91 x 2.99 x 0.34 inches

150 x 76 x 8.65 mm

Weight

5.78 oz (164 g)

Honor 5X

Honor 5X

Dimensions

5.96 x 3 x 0.32 inches

151.3 x 76.3 x 8.15 mm

Weight

5.57 oz (158 g)

BLU Vivo 5

BLU Vivo 5

Dimensions

5.98 x 2.94 x 0.27 inches

151.9 x 74.6 x 6.9 mm

Weight

4.97 oz (141 g)

Meizu M3 Note

Meizu M3 Note

Dimensions

6.05 x 2.97 x 0.32 inches

153.6 x 75.5 x 8.2 mm

Weight

5.75 oz (163 g)

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3

Dimensions

5.91 x 2.99 x 0.34 inches

150 x 76 x 8.65 mm

Weight

5.78 oz (164 g)

Honor 5X

Honor 5X

Dimensions

5.96 x 3 x 0.32 inches

151.3 x 76.3 x 8.15 mm

Weight

5.57 oz (158 g)

BLU Vivo 5

BLU Vivo 5

Dimensions

5.98 x 2.94 x 0.27 inches

151.9 x 74.6 x 6.9 mm

Weight

4.97 oz (141 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



Display

An adequate screen that has room for improvement.

The Meizu M3 Note features a 5.5-inch, 1080p resolution IPS LCD display that's of decent quality, though the panel comes off as a tad on the dimmer side under bright sunlight, which is one of its main shortcomings. Gamma and color balance are close to where they need to be, but there's a bit of a purple tinge that can be a bit distracting.



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13 Comments

1. Barney_stinson

Posts: 672; Member since: May 30, 2016

So you do like apple copy cat design!!! Surprising helio P10 still gets 7 ??? And RN3 with snap650 ??

6. Odeira

Posts: 300; Member since: Jun 29, 2012

The Helio P10 is a BAD chipset for multimedia compared to something like the SD801 of ZUK Z1 and Galaxy S5, and that's a TWO year old chip!!! CPU performance for camera and Tumblr is roughly on par, but GPU performance of Helio is laughable versus the ancient Adreno, the P10 is horrible for Goat Simulator, Asphalt 8, and QUIK video editor! (Granted, XRN3 scores better in CPU benchmarks but GPU running is on par.)

2. athos07m

Posts: 137; Member since: Apr 22, 2012

I agree with mr. Stinson before me: I'd really like to know how the XIAOMI Redmi Note 3 Pro with SD650 score here. Sure flaws can be found, but LG G4 power with fp scanner for 170USD?

5. mahima

Posts: 727; Member since: Nov 20, 2014

6.5 redmi note 3 is better in every way at the same price and get 6.5...haha

3. EcoCare

Posts: 444; Member since: Jul 30, 2014

Considering PhoneArena's precedent thinking in reviewing Chinese phones, which shouldn't be reviewed according to origin of its prime audience, it should get a 6.

4. TheOracle1

Posts: 2210; Member since: May 04, 2015

So the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro gets a 6.5 and the Meizu 7? You guys are a joke.

7. yoghibawono

Posts: 240; Member since: May 04, 2016

same as other commentators, you guys at PA really hates Xiaomi for sure. XD. where is the cons "hard to get outside China?" lols

8. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

I bet they cant mention any phone thats better than this one or xiaomi's at this price range (and have better score review), lol.. yet, they gave it some s**tty score, they obviously hate china brands

9. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

btw, they recommend VIVO 5 which have far inferior CPU, 720p screen, and worse battery life, and ZF2 also similar with VIVO 5

10. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

PA, please do a review of Leeco Le 2 with SD 652. Thanks.

11. Noonting

Posts: 135; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

So where the hell is audio benchmark again?

12. rrkr56

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 10, 2016

i am using this phone for the past few days now hence what i say is based on actual experience. Agree fully with the reviewer, this one deserves an applause. I have used a variety of phones till date and this one surely makes the top 3. Granted it does not have the powerhouse performance but a majority of the people out there just want something which feels good in the hands and does the job without making a fuss (read heating like an iron). Flyme OS is really intuitive and it is defiantly going in the correct direction. I just hope more people adapt to it so that it gets the limelight it deserves. Looking forward to the M4 note now. Kudos Meizu / Flyme OS.

13. Dan_Joseph

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 10, 2016

What do you guys think about the malware that people say they found on the flyme OS?
M3 Note
  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor MediaTek Helio P10, Octa-core, 1800 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 4100 mAh

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