Meizu M5 Review
We had no major issues with call quality on the Meizu M5. Sure, it does not have the highest quality speaker or mic, but it is able to convey callers voices in a loud and clear enough manner.
Battery life is decent, the phone can get you through a full day of use, but re-charge times are excruciatingly slow.
The M5 comes equipped with a decently sized 3,070 mAh battery that does a better than average job.
Here are the official battery numbers by Meizu: 5 hours of video recording, 9 hours of gaming, 37 hours of calls and 66 hours of music playback. Not too shabby.
We also ran our custom battery test that we do for all phones: we set the brightness at 200 nits, a level comfortable for indoor use, and we run a workload that simulates typical usage. The result we got is way above the average and near the top: the Meizu M5 scores 9 hours and 18 minutes.
What we were not happy with, though, is how long it takes to recharge the phone. Using the in-the-box 10-watt Meizu wall charger (5V at 2 amps), it took us an excruciatingly long 3 hours and 9 minutes to get the battery from 0 to 100%. This will not be much of an issue for nightly charges, but those who want to top up their battery at lunch time just to get that needed battery boost, will find it way too slow.
The Meizu M5 is a likable affordable phone made in China and made for China, with an international version targeting India and a limited number of European countries.
The goal of our review, however, is to understand how it will perform for the Western customer.
First, let’s consider the price: while in China you can buy if for $100 for the 16GB model and $130 for the 32 gig version, international shoppers can go with one of two options. One is to wait for the phone to launch in their market: in Italy and Spain, the M5 will cost 169 euros for the 16-gig and 189 euro for the 32GB model respectively. Option two is to import it from a third-party retailer for $150 for the 16GB and $200 for 32GB version. At those higher prices, the phone loses some of its competitive edge.
The lack of proper 4G LTE support for the US should be considered, but let's keep in mind that the phone is intended for other markets. The more important drawbacks of the Meizu M5 are its slightly washed out display, the interface that feels somewhat foreign and the slight stutter that accompanies the start of every app.
What are your alternatives? You can buy the better Moto G4 Plus for just slightly north of $200, yet it’s a much better phone in all aspects: it’s faster, features an interface that is made for Western markets and features fast charging, (plus, it has full 4G LTE compatibility with major US carriers).
The new Honor 6X is also a nice option with a metal design, faster chipset, better and sharper screen, and a larger battery.
Even more affordable phones like the Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) and the Alcatel Shine Lite can give the Meizu M5 a run for its money.
While it is definitely a great value in its home market of China, the Meizu M5 is less of a bargain in Europe and it faces some tough competition from established brands that often offer more in terms of design and support.