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Meizu M5 Review

Meizu M5 5

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Meizu M5 Review


If you live in the United States, chances are you’ve never heard of Chinese phone maker Meizu. The company has grown to sell some 22 million phones in 2016, with almost 90% of them sold in China. That ranks it among the bigger phone makers over in the world’s most populous nation, and with that popularity, some enthusiasts who have heard about the brand might wonder: what’s special about Meizu phones? How would they work if you import one to the U.S.? Actually, certain Meizu handsets do end up being sold through some European retailers, but the exposure is patchy at best.

The Meizu M5 that we have up for review here is the company’s most affordable phone: a 5.2 incher with an entry level MediaTek system chip, it still packs the important for security fingerprint scanner and a few other extras.

Join us for our full Meizu M5 review to see whether it’s worth considering for buyers who are willing to experiment with importing a phone from China.


The M5 is made of semi-matte plastic which feels warm and inviting, plus it looks good and does not get smudged with fingerprints.

Meizu M5 Review

The Meizu M5 is an affordable phone, and you can tell by its design: it’s an all-plastic body that, depending on the color, might fool you into thinking you are looking at a metal phone from afar. It’s not, but the semi-matte plastic on it feels nice to touch and does not catch annoying fingerprint smudges.

The body itself is neither too thick, nor among the thinnest: it measures 0.31 inches (8 mm) in thickness. The phone is also fairly light-weight at just 4.9 ounces (138 grams).

The right screen and body size for a phone is a subjective matter, but it feels like 5.2 inches is around the golden mean: neither too large, nor too small. This is a nice size that will suit many people.

The fingerprint scanner is a nice extra for such an affordable phone: it is fast and fairly reliable, we had no issues with it.

You should also know that the phone uses a microUSB port for charging, no fancy USB-C port here. And yes, it has a 3.5mm headset jack.

Finally, you have five color options to choose from: mint green, champagne, matte black, glacier white, and sapphire blue, which is more than sufficient variety.

Meizu M5 Review

Meizu M5
5.8 x 2.87 x 0.31 inches
147.2 x 72.8 x 8 mm
4.87 oz (138 g)

Meizu M5

Motorola Moto G4
6.02 x 3.02 x 0.39 inches
153 x 76.6 x 9.8 mm
5.47 oz (155 g)

Motorola Moto G4

Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016)
5.6 x 2.81 x 0.31 inches
142.2 x 71.4 x 7.9 mm
4.87 oz (138 g)

Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016)

Meizu M3 Note
6.05 x 2.97 x 0.32 inches
153.6 x 75.5 x 8.2 mm
5.75 oz (163 g)

Meizu M3 Note

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


A 5.2” display with cold, bluish colors that appear slightly washed out. It’s not too bad, but it’s definitely one of the weak points of the phone.

Meizu M5 Review

The Meizu M5 sports a 5.2” IPS LCD screen with a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels.

The screen is usually one of the weakest points in an affordable phone, and the Meizu M5 is no exception. First, there is a noticeable light bleed on the top of the display on our unit (a slight one on the bottom as well). Secondly, colors are on the cold side: whites appear bluish and overall colors are not perfectly balanced. The screen definitely lacks in liveliness, colors look a bit washed out.

Good news is that the screen gets fairly bright (we measured peak brightness of 466 nits) and it’s not too reflective, so it’s reasonably easy to read what’s on the display even on a bright, sunny day.

The 720 x 1280 pixel resolution works out to a pixel density of 282 ppi. What this number means is you can see some slight pixelization and jagged edges here and there. We don’t find this to be a major issue, though (the bluish colors seem like a bigger issue in daily use), but again, something to consider.

We should also note that there is an ambient light sensor – and believe it or not some affordable phones still lack one – that adjusts screen brightness automatically. It is a bit on the slow side and does not gradually adjust the brightness, but instead jumps abruptly from dark to bright. Still, it works, and we’re happy with both how bright, but also how dark the screen can get at night, so that it does not hurt your eyes when you read in bed.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Meizu M5 466
Motorola Moto G4 650
Meizu M3 Note 447
View all

  • Options

posted on 17 Jan 2017, 09:44 16

1. LebronJamesFanboy (Posts: 618; Member since: 23 Mar 2013)

5 rating is INCREDIBLY harsh for a $100 phone, Phonearena.

Your cons list is a complete joke considering the price. Also - 2 of the items on your cons list are based on global availability/compatibility, which the Company chooses.

When the original iPhone was released, did you knock it for only being available in limited countries?

posted on 17 Jan 2017, 09:56 7

2. LebronJamesFanboy (Posts: 618; Member since: 23 Mar 2013)

Positives, taken straight from your review

- Price is great
- Battery life is great, mitigating long charge time for inexpensive phone
- Camera is great
- Design is great
- Performance is beyond acceptable
- Call quality is fine
- Limited Global Availability/compatibility was intentional! They should not be knocked for this!

You guys state apps pause when opening, but they run smoothly once doing so. Please - Reconsider your 5 rating considering the price. You guys are expecting a flagship phone at a low-range price lol? WTF Phonearena?

Rating should be at minimum a 7.5

posted on 17 Jan 2017, 10:56

8. Rydsmith (unregistered)

Did you even read the review or did you just jump to the pros - cons, and then decide to complain?

"The Meizu M5 is a likable affordable phone made in China and made for China.

The goal of our review, however, is to understand how it will perform for the Western customer."

posted on 17 Jan 2017, 14:13 3

13. LebronJamesFanboy (Posts: 618; Member since: 23 Mar 2013)

"The goal of our review, however, is to understand how it will perform for the Western customer."

Incredibly stupid to do this, come to the conclusion it's a great phone if it's NOT for a Western customer, then award it a poor 5 rating.

This is like me reviewing an AT&T iPhone 7 Plus in Antarctica and giving it a 2 because it didn't work.

posted on 17 Jan 2017, 13:50

12. UglyFrank (Posts: 1930; Member since: 23 Jan 2014)

Also they reviewed the phone as if the intended distribution method is grey import. It's quite baffling that they reviewed the phone from a US point of view as opposed to the point of view of the intended markets. If they can do they, they should've reviewed the Exynos S7.

posted on 17 Jan 2017, 09:59

3. zeeBomb (Posts: 2296; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)

Nice...PA gimme the phone I'll kindly have it.

posted on 17 Jan 2017, 10:15 9

4. tunewar123 (Posts: 16; Member since: 17 Mar 2016)

Meizu M5 (Charging time 189 mins) - Listed as con for "battery is very slow to recharge"

Apple iPhone 7 Plus (Charging time 197 mins).... Slow to recharge was not even mentioned once..

Well played phonearena... well played...

posted on 17 Jan 2017, 10:22 4

5. LebronJamesFanboy (Posts: 618; Member since: 23 Mar 2013)

Meizu M5 Price: $100

iPhone 7 Plus Price: $769

Phonearena - A phone almost 8x more expensive wasn't knocked for charging time. I'm not trying to be rude here, but you guys seriously need to wake up.

Consistency is crucial when you're a reviewer. This review was simply poor.

posted on 17 Jan 2017, 10:44 2

7. ibend (Posts: 6632; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)

and on other note.. Meizu M5 beat iPhone 7 Plus on battery benchmark :v

posted on 17 Jan 2017, 10:25 2

6. Joms_US (Posts: 194; Member since: 02 Oct 2016)

It will be the end of the world before iCrapArena gives 9.xx to any Android phone.

posted on 17 Jan 2017, 10:57

9. Rydsmith (unregistered)

You mean like the Galaxy S line and several other HTC and LG phone?

posted on 17 Jan 2017, 11:01

10. ibend (Posts: 6632; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)

*any entry level android phone....

they giving fair score back then...
i.e moto G 9/10, moto G (2014) 8.5/10, moto G (2015) 9/10

and then everything change since they became tame apple press...
moto G4 7/10, and other low/mid-ranger (especially chinese brands) get turd-like score, no matter how great value it was..

posted on 17 Jan 2017, 11:36

11. Moose (Posts: 411; Member since: 05 Jan 2015)

The 32GB M5 is available for only $135.99 on sites like TO2C. Like most Chinese phones, it comes with LTE Bands 1, 3 and 7, no good for the US but OK on 4 Canadian carriers - Rogers, Fido, Bell & Virgin all of which have LTE Band 7 (2600) - not Telus or Koodo though - need Band 4 for these carriers. A much better phone for this price range is the Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime - bigger battery (4100 mAh) and SD430 - a great, speedy SOC.

posted on 17 Jan 2017, 14:23

14. jellmoo (Posts: 1993; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)

Eh, be careful with Band 7 coverage. For Bell, it is *very* limited. Outside of pockets of major cities, you won't get any coverage on Band 7.

posted on 20 Jan 2017, 05:25

18. Moose (Posts: 411; Member since: 05 Jan 2015)

Not a problem on Fido, but then I don't travel from home very much so I have never noticed any problem. I've been using Chinese phones on LTE Band 7 for about 3 years now with no lack of coverage.

posted on 17 Jan 2017, 22:55

16. Mystell (Posts: 1; Member since: 16 Jan 2017)

I find people stupid for not understanding Meizu and it's flyme os, it's seriously the best in out there, use a flyme os for a month snd you will understand my point

posted on 19 Jan 2017, 05:37

17. Moose (Posts: 411; Member since: 05 Jan 2015)

Typical review shows ignorance of Canadian LTE bands. So typical to talk about LTE availability in Asia, Europe and the US, not knowing that there are 4 carriers in Canada with LTE Band 7 (2600) so that this phone along with many others made in China DO get LTE access in Canada on those carriers. At least this reviewer didn't make the mistake of referring to North America as if that covered every country in North America.

posted on 31 Jan 2017, 04:51

19. salvo (Posts: 8; Member since: 20 Jan 2017)

Wow a really good review, but have you seen the agm a2??

posted on 10 Feb 2017, 14:32

20. rudra964 (Posts: 3; Member since: 10 Feb 2017)

Absolutely every reviewer on every website somehow fails to mention while reviewing a Meizu device that every Meizu phone can be rooted from Settings without losing warranty, software updates and even OTAs.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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Display5.2 inches, 720 x 1280 pixels (282 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera13 megapixels
MediaTek, Octa-core, 1500 MHz, ARM Cortex-A53 processor
Size5.80 x 2.87 x 0.31 inches
(147.2 x 72.8 x 8 mm)
4.87 oz  (138 g)
Battery3070 mAh, 37 hours talk time

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