Very good image quality, but video falls short of expectations.

Meizu M5 Review

The Meizu M5 features a 13-megapixel rear camera with phase-detection auto-focus, a single LED flash and an f/2.2 lens, as well as a 5MP front-facing selfie shooter.

The camera app is rich in options and you have various modes to choose from: manual (with control over ISO, shutter speed and more), video, beauty (a skin smoothening effect), panorama, light field (combines multiple pictures into one that you can change the focus on after the shot), slow-mo, QR scan, macro and Gif.

Having options can be a good thing, but we found ourselves confused to switch from still photo to video, a thing that should be easy and quick to find. Meizu has unfortunately overcomplicated its camera app: this and simple things like changing the resolution is unnecessarily complicated, instead of a simple figure like 13MP or 5MP, you get complicated resolutions like 4160 x 3120, which is absurd. The camera settings also don’t rotate when you use the phone in landscape, which is a bit annoying.

Image Quality

Image quality on the Meizu M5 is very good. We’re particularly impressed with the presence of phase-detect auto-focus in such a cheap phone. It’s very fast and accurate, and will ensure that you will have less out-of-focus pictures. There are some instances where the focus hunts a bit (notice the failed, blurry snow angel pictures), but in general, it performs admirably well. Colors are fairly true to life and macro images in particular turn out well, with sufficient detail.

Don’t expect miracles of this camera in low light, though: detail quickly becomes smudgy as the level of light drops, and the flash introduces an unpleasant cold tint to pictures.

The 5-megapixel front camera is not among the most impressive ones for selfies. Sure, it is able to capture a usable picture, but not one that you will necessarily want to share with the world: it lacks in detail and color saturation, so that most selfies look a bit lacking in life as well as a bit blurry.

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 1.5
Motorola Moto G4 2.1
Meizu M3 Note 1.6

Video quality

The Meizu M5 is able to record 1080p Full HD videos at 30 frames per second using its rear-facing camera, and the quality is decent, but not much more than that. With no form of video stabilization, every slight movement of your hand is reflected in the video. This is the biggest flaw of this handset: videos are just so shaky. For all else, the fast auto-focus is an excellent asset for video recording and color is captured mostly well, and detail is decent as well.

The front camera can also record 1080p Full HD videos, but the quality is inferior.

Audio and speaker quality

The loudspeaker is sufficiently loud, but audio lacks any sort of depth and is not particularly clear.

There is a single bottom-firing loudspeaker on the phone and when you crank it up to its loudest it gets loud enough, which is what most users would care about. If you look on a slightly deeper level, though, it’s apparent that the speaker does not shine with clarity or any sort of depth. Quite the opposite, it sounds a bit tinny and lacks pronunciation.

It’s okay for the occasional speakerphone voice call or YouTube video, but not something to be excited about.

Headphones output power (Volts) Higher is better
Meizu M5 1.02
Motorola Moto G4 0.525
Meizu M3 Note 0.57
Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
Meizu M5 73
Motorola Moto G4 72.5
Meizu M3 Note 71



1. LebronJamesFanboy

Posts: 671; Member since: Mar 23, 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?

2. LebronJamesFanboy

Posts: 671; Member since: Mar 23, 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

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."

13. LebronJamesFanboy

Posts: 671; Member since: Mar 23, 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.

12. UglyFrank

Posts: 2191; Member since: Jan 23, 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.

3. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

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

4. tunewar123

Posts: 17; Member since: Mar 17, 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...

5. LebronJamesFanboy

Posts: 671; Member since: Mar 23, 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.

7. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

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

6. Joms_US

Posts: 200; Member since: Oct 02, 2016

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

9. Rydsmith unregistered

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

10. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 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..

11. Moose

Posts: 418; Member since: Jan 05, 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.

14. jellmoo

Posts: 2533; Member since: Oct 31, 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.

18. Moose

Posts: 418; Member since: Jan 05, 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.

16. Mystell

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 16, 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

17. Moose

Posts: 418; Member since: Jan 05, 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.

19. salvo unregistered

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

20. rudra964

Posts: 3; Member since: Feb 10, 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.

  • Display 5.2" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor MediaTek, Octa-core, 1500 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB
  • Battery 3070 mAh(37h talk time)

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