A good camera by entry-level standards

For the most part, the 13MP f/2.2 main camera of the Meizu M5 Note is an average performer. From the get-go, we are greeted with a somewhat intuitive interface that has a sufficient amount of modes and features, like manual controls, macro mode, panorama, beauty mode for selfies, slow-mo, OCR scanner, GIF makers, and selective focus mode. There's also a neat level gauge that helps you straighten the horizon.

Image quality

Image quality, however, is a mixed bag. To us, the amount of detail in each photo is perfectly acceptable, but pixel peepers will most likely get disappointed if they zoom in and inspect the quality of said detail from up close.

In broad daylight, the camera's performance is relatively good, though it sometimes fails to nail the white balance. The phase detection autofocus is relatively fast and a great addition to such an entry-level device. The color rendition of the camera is mostly accurate, though we sometimes found it leaning towards the colder side of the spectrum.

However, once the sun begins to set or the lights go out, you should expect image quality to progressively deteriorate. Detail becomes unpleasantly hazy and lots of noise starts creeping in as the lighting conditions become less favorable, but that's to be expected.

We should also mention that Meizu has thrown in phase-detection autofocus on board, which does its mojo pretty fast. Manual focusing on a certain part of the frame also shifts the metering to that exact spot, but thankfully, there's a manual metering in the camera's settings, which lets you manually change the metering after you focus manually.

There are a few things that disappointed us. For example, HDR images often exhibit a deal-breaking amount of ghosting. Panoramas also totally failed to impress us – they are of inexcusable lowly resolution and have little to no detail, so don't bother with these.

Selfies taken with the front camera turn out perfectly acceptable, albeit a tad lifeless and lacking character. Additionally, he 5MP f/2.0 snapper simply struggles to produce detailed stills, but with the proper filters, these are worthy of getting uploaded to any social media.

Taking a pic Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec) Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Meizu M5 Note 1.7
Motorola Moto G4 Plus 2.2
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 1.8
Honor 5X 3

Video quality

You can shoot 1080p Full HD videos at 30fps with either the rear or the front cameras of the M5 Note. The video quality is acceptable for a device dwelling at that price point, and we loved how fast the phone focuses during recording. However, the lack of any stabilization is apparent – make sure you employ a steady hand or all of your videos will end up being rather shaky.


There is a single bottom-firing loudspeaker on the M5 Note, which is quite loud, yet sounds a bit hollow and lacks any richness and depth. Still, such a performance is mostly on par with similarly-priced handsets. Connect a pair of quality headphones to the 3.5mm audio jack and the audio-listening experience automatically becomes that much more pleasurable.

Headphones output power (Volts) Higher is better
Meizu M5 Note 0.25
Motorola Moto G4 Plus 0.52
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 0.53
Honor 5X 0.52
Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
Meizu M5 Note 75
Motorola Moto G4 Plus 72.6
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 78
Honor 5X 73.7



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: 411; 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 64GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 4000 mAh

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