Meizu M5 Note Review
For the most part, you will have no serious issues with the way the earpiece or the microphones of the M5 Note do their job. Call quality, albeit far from stellar, is perfectly acceptable on both ends of the line.
Both battery life and recharging times are excellent!
Rest assured that the 4,000mAh juicer inside the M5 Note will get you going for at least a day and a half on a single charge, or even two if you are using it more lightly. Even under a heavier load, you can expect the phone to last you a full day.
The M5 Note lasted for 9 hours and 45 minutes in our custom battery test, which is a very good result, though nothing that will knock your socks off.
When it came to charging, the Meizu M5 Note surprised us in the most pleasing way – its battery went from 0% to 100% in 96 minutes, which is an excellent result for such a well-endowed device. This great result is courtesy of the fast-charging tech Meizu has utilized.
Battery life (hours) Higher is better
Meizu M5 Note 9h 45 min (Good)
Motorola Moto G4 Plus 7h 30 min (Average)
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 12h 36 min (Excellent)
Honor 5X 6h 54 min (Average)
Charging time (minutes) Lower is better
Meizu M5 Note 96
Motorola Moto G4 Plus 113
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 153
Honor 5X 170
Conclusion and recommendations
Low price does not a good phone make
The ancient “You get what you pay for” mantra rings particularly true for the Meizu M5 Note. It's far from an excellent device as it has a surplus of caveats, but that's to be expected from such an affordably-priced offering. The 3GB RAM/16GB unit we reviewed costs around $130, while $218 will get you the top version with 4GB RAM and 64GB of storage. So far, it's only available in China and is yet to hit Meizu's online stores for the Western markets, where the 16 and 32GB versions will sell for 229 and 249 EUR, respectively; while a US release is out of the question.
We wouldn't advise importing that one — it's a good value for money, but we feel like this only applies to the Chinese market, which is where the M5 Note is originally intended for. Moreover, you will have to put up with lots of compromises, namely non-existent LTE support on most US carriers, as well as shabby aftermarket support and the exotic Flyme OS interface.
You'd be better off with a phone that's less of a hassle. A 5.5-inch Moto G4 Play is way pricier at $269, but will end up being a way better investment in the long run. Even the ~$150 Moto G4 Play and $200 Moto G4, despite being smaller and pricier, are also better alternatives to the Meizu M5 Note.
Honor's offerings, namely the older honor 5X and the brand new honor 6X might also interest you: both are available in the States, carry 5.5-inch screens, and are priced pretty reasonably, at $199 and $249 respectively.
However, if you're dead-set on getting a low-cost Chinese phone for some reason, you might want to look into similarly-priced alternatives like most of Xiaomi's entry-level offerings, namely the 5.0-inch Redmi 4, which is going for roughly $150, or the 5.5-inch Redmi Note 4, which has a $210 price tag.
- Very well-built
- Good value for money
- Interface feels half-baked
- Inaccurate display colors
- Limited LTE support in the US
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- 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