Introduction


Ever felt like importing a Chinese smartphone? In case you have, a quick research might have made you familiar with Meizu, a somewhat large China-based handset maker that rivals local superstar Xiaomi when it comes to bargain-priced devices.

We have the Meizu M5 Note with us today, the company's latest 5.5-incher that pairs a not too shabby specs sheet with a rather aggressive pricing and seems like a great deal on paper. In China, you can get the base model for the local equivalent of roughly $130, which is a killer price. In Europe, the 16GB version of the phone will retail for 229 EUR, while the 64 gigabyte one will sell for 249 EUR.

However, does this attractive proposition double as a great everyday device in real life? Secondly, is it worth going through all the hassle of importing that phone to the States? Let's find the answers to these questions!

What's in the box:

  • Meizu M5 Note
  • Wall charger
  • Micro USB cable
  • Quick start booklets and SIM ejector tool

Design

The run-of-the-mill design doesn't impress, but the phone has a sturdy build


While its design is a bit mundane and fails to excite on any level, the build quality is pretty good for a phone of that price range and makes it up for the lack of anything special going in terms of looks. The phone's solid metal body feels pretty sturdy in the hand and is a bit lighter than similarly-sized devices.

All the hardware buttons—the volume rocker, the power and home keys—provide great feedback. We also love the fact that the camera at the back is not protruding outside of the body – it's actually ever so slightly recessed.

The M5 Note has a multi-functional home button, which acts as a fingerprint scanner, a back button when tapped, and finally, a regular home button when clicked. You access your app switcher by swiping up from the bottom edge of the phone, which has allowed Meizu to go for a super minimalist button layout, with no capacitive or software navigation keys in sight.


Meizu M5 Note

Meizu M5 Note

Dimensions

6.05 x 2.98 x 0.32 inches

153.6 x 75.8 x 8.1 mm

Weight

6.17 oz (175 g)

Motorola Moto G4 Plus

Motorola Moto G4 Plus

Dimensions

6.02 x 3.02 x 0.39 inches

153 x 76.6 x 9.8 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 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)

Meizu M5 Note

Meizu M5 Note

Dimensions

6.05 x 2.98 x 0.32 inches

153.6 x 75.8 x 8.1 mm

Weight

6.17 oz (175 g)

Motorola Moto G4 Plus

Motorola Moto G4 Plus

Dimensions

6.02 x 3.02 x 0.39 inches

153 x 76.6 x 9.8 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 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)

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



Display

It's sharp enough, but cold and not that accurate


The 5.5-inch full HD IPS-LCD display of the Meizu M5 Note is a mixed bag. We find it sharp enough yet we simply can't ignore the fact that it's far from perfect in terms of color reproduction. By default, the display is a bit cold, meaning that you'll notice colors being a bit more blueish than supposed to. That's easiest to see when looking at white. Luckily, you can tweak the color temperature of the display to your liking.

The display is neither over-saturated nor overly vivid, but the color accuracy is far from perfect. For example, yellow colors appear way greener than they should be, while blues are much more prominent that they are expected to.

We have to give credit where it's due – we were pleasantly surprised to notice that the display's gamma is pretty good. This means that the Meizu M5 Note has a very accurate contrast between the dark and bright areas of a given image.



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13 Comments

1. xeroxchap

Posts: 68; Member since: Oct 11, 2016

Its a 130$ phone....Reviews are a joke on this site!

2. xeroxchap

Posts: 68; Member since: Oct 11, 2016

Also basing a review on just US based market is absurd... then y review it at all.. i dont get the point!

4. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

give it 5.5/10 and then recommending another phone with twice that price... nice logic :v pros&cons really short, and the whole article seems half-baked

3. deanylev

Posts: 234; Member since: Mar 11, 2014

What a f**king stupid review. You get all that for $130, yet it gets just over half of a perfect score because you don't like the interface, the display colours aren't great, and it's got limited LTE support in A MARKET IT WAS NEVER MADE FOR.

5. Todyo

Posts: 5; Member since: Jan 20, 2017

Nicely said deanylev! Its not made for US! The target of Meizu is China, Russia, Europe. Flyme OS is among the best interface for android out there. Meizu M back button is ages ahead of apple's home button. Stop making Meizu phone reviews! So inadequate!

6. zeppo

Posts: 200; Member since: Jul 21, 2015

every Meizu phone got an avg. score of 5 lol. They didn't bribe enough to iPhonearena

7. androidwindows

Posts: 216; Member since: Oct 04, 2014

I wish I could "like" this comment 100 times.

8. androidwindows

Posts: 216; Member since: Oct 04, 2014

It's a good phone. With its price tag, it deserves a 7.

9. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

yeah right... btw, this phone's big brother (Meizu M3 Max) get 7.6/10 on androidauthority which is more acceptable

10. Sidewinder

Posts: 515; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

"While its design is a bit mundane and fails to excite on any level".. You mean the iphones for the past 3 years right?

11. sleepypandaeyes

Posts: 370; Member since: Apr 12, 2015

I have always admired Meizu out of all the Chiense OEMs but am weary of issues such as lack of after sales care, potential spyware (BLU), quality control (my xiaomi note 2 was trash), new flagships refreshes every 6 months etc. Have noticed prices are gradually getting higher with each iteration (unless the phone is bought in/from china).

12. bvalde09

Posts: 191; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

I have test many Chinese phone coming from somebody who use the m3 note . The m5 note its an improvement over previous generation. Sure the UI takes time to get used to it but 5.5? Cmon the device should be at least an 8 in my standards.

13. salvo unregistered

Wow a really good review but have you seen the agm a2?
M5 Note
  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor MediaTek Helio P10, Octa-core, 1800 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 4000 mAh

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