Meizu m2 note Review

Introduction


The Meizu m2 Note comes from Chinese brand Meizu that remains out of the scope of the mainstream customer in the West. This, however, does not mean that it’s an obscure and a shady brand – in fact, Meizu has quite a loyal following in China, and recently, it’s started building a name for itself as its last year’s flagship – the Meizu MX4 – went on sale in many of Europe’s largest markets.

The Meizu m2 Note is the company’s affordable big-screen phone: a 5.5-inch phablet with a 1080 x 1920-pixel display, an octa-core MediaTek chip with 2GB of RAM, and the latest Android 5.1 Lollipop on board.

Often, however, specs don’t tell the full story. Is the Meizu m2 Note really as good as it looks on paper? That’s what we’ll try to answer in the full review right below.

In the box:

  • 2A 5V wall charger
  • microUSB Cable
  • User manual
  • SIM ejector tool

Design

The Meizu m2 Note features a plastic body, but it has a nice, non-cheap feel to it and is solidly put together. The new physical mBack button is neat, doubling as a back button and lock key.

The Meizu m2 Note features a plastic body – there are no premium materials such as glass or metal, but that’s expected for such an affordable phone. Nonetheless, build quality is great: the phone is put together solidly, with no loose parts, and everything is perfectly well aligned (the camera is completely flush with the back). It comes in a choice of four colors: three glossy shells in pink, blue and white, and a matte gray body (the version that we have for review). The gray matte option is reportedly a big hit in China because it does look somewhat similar to metal, and the feel of the plastic is great, eschewing that somewhat cheap feeling (and messy fingerprint-laden surface) of glossy plastic.

In terms of pure size, the 5.5” handset features a fairly slim side bezel, so overall the phone ends up being narrower than, say, the iPhone 6 Plus. The exact dimensions are: 150.9 x 75.2 x 8.7mm. The m2 Note is also surprisingly lightweight for its large size – it weighs 5.26 oz (149 grams), with the weight slightly shifted to the top. While it’s not among the thinnest phones (it measures 8.7mm thick), we found the m2 Note to be of average thickness and fairly comfortable to hold.

The more ardent readers who follow the Chinese phone industry would know that the the Meizu m2 Note comes as a somewhat rushed successor to the last year’s Meizu m1 Note. The rush is reportedly due to a lawsuit filed from ZTE against Meizu, as the larger Chinese company sued Meizu for using a round capacitive button with an LED color ring as the home button. Meizu was forced to redesign its whole lineup, and that is why the m2 Note does away with the capacitive key in favor of a physical home button (the ‘mBack’ key). Keep in mind that while there is no fingerprint scanner, this is no ordinary button: you can not only physically click it, but you can also tap it to go back a step and long-click it to lock the phone. These two additions add quite a lot of functionality and are a typical Meizu touch. The button itself is of good quality, but it lacks the sturdy tactile response of, say, the home key on the Apple iPhone, and instead feels just very slightly wobbly and not all that stable.

The physical button on the Meizu m2 Note – a lock screen and a volume rocker – are somewhat inconveniently (for a right-handed person) positioned on the left hand side. They are clicky and we had no issues pressing them, but we’ve seen buttons with better tactile response (yes, we’re nit-picking here).


Meizu m2 note

Meizu m2 note

Dimensions

5.94 x 2.96 x 0.34 inches

150.9 x 75.2 x 8.7 mm

Weight

5.26 oz (149 g)

Huawei P8 lite

Huawei P8 lite

Dimensions

5.63 x 2.78 x 0.3 inches

143 x 70.6 x 7.7 mm

Weight

4.62 oz (131 g)

Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime

Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime

Dimensions

5.7 x 2.84 x 0.34 inches

144.8 x 72.1 x 8.6 mm

Weight

5.50 oz (156 g)

LG G Stylo

LG G Stylo

Dimensions

6.07 x 3.12 x 0.38 inches

154.2 x 79.2 x 9.7 mm

Weight

5.8 oz (164 g)

Meizu m2 note

Meizu m2 note

Dimensions

5.94 x 2.96 x 0.34 inches

150.9 x 75.2 x 8.7 mm

Weight

5.26 oz (149 g)

Huawei P8 lite

Huawei P8 lite

Dimensions

5.63 x 2.78 x 0.3 inches

143 x 70.6 x 7.7 mm

Weight

4.62 oz (131 g)

Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime

Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime

Dimensions

5.7 x 2.84 x 0.34 inches

144.8 x 72.1 x 8.6 mm

Weight

5.50 oz (156 g)

LG G Stylo

LG G Stylo

Dimensions

6.07 x 3.12 x 0.38 inches

154.2 x 79.2 x 9.7 mm

Weight

5.8 oz (164 g)

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


Display

The 5.5” IPS LCD display comes with a 1080 x 1920-pixel resolution. It’s a sharp display with pleasing colors.

We’ve been dreaming about a perfectly well calibrated display for quite a while, but unfortunately, we’re yet to see one even in the top-shelf devices. Naturally, the Meizu m2 Note is not one to suddenly surprise us with perfect calibration, but it does manage to do better than most of its peers and its screen actually looks better than the screens of many more expensive devices.

First, resolution: the 5.5-inch IPS LCD screen is an IGZO panel manufactured by Sharp and it features a 1080 x 1920-pixel (Full HD) resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 400ppi. We find this to be more than sufficient, as the screen looks sharp and we cannot notice any pixelization in real-life usage.

What’s more important is that the phone features a good color reproduction: whites are not excessively warm or cold with color temperature of 6800K, just slightly above the reference 6500K value (notice that you can manually tweak color temperature from Settings -> Display -> Color Temperature, and we went just a notch below the default value to get closer to 6500K); primary colors are overall well balanced; gamma – at 2.32 – is just slightly north of the 2.2 standard, resulting in images looking a bit darker and more contrasty. Looking at the color charts, we are happy to see that the m2 Note sticks to the sRGB color standard – the universal color standard of the web – rather than some obscure color space. Color calibration is fairly good, with the exception of the more intense end of the color spectrum where we see color getting an artificial saturation boost, for an extra pop. If Meizu were to fix that, we would have a display very close to that perfection we’re looking for.

The screen also gets surprisingly bright: at 627 nits (Meizu officially claims that the display reaches 450 nits), this is one of the brightest screens we’ve tested, and this makes it easier to use the phone outdoors, even on a bright sunny day. What’s even more impressive is that at night, it goes all the way down to 1 nit, making reading an experience that is less harsh on the eyes, a great features for all the night birds out there.

Viewing angles are also great with almost no color tinting when you view the display at an angle. The only niggle that we have is that the light sensor does not work as well as we’d like: sometimes it goes too dim to be comfortable to use, and sometimes too bright for the conditions, which is definitely annoying, as you often times have to manually adjust the brightness. The proximity sensor works well as expected.

Finally, while the original m1 Note featured a screen protected by Gorilla Glass, the m2 Note switches to AGC Dragontrail/NEG T2X-1 tempered glass. We have not performed drop tests to test durability, but in terms of how smooth your fingers runs on the glass surface, we have had no issues.



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35 Comments

1. Mena13Suvari

Posts: 32; Member since: Sep 25, 2014

Great review! For what "headphones output voltage" stands for? The higher it is, the sound is louder or...?

2. hafini_27

Posts: 949; Member since: Oct 31, 2013

It just means louder sound.

13. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Dont listen to noob. Higher voltage enable you to use higher impedance headphones.. Basically the one that's you would need to use an amplificator if you would use it on an iPhone by example.

25. TechBlue

Posts: 81; Member since: May 06, 2010

Hey phone arena I hope you do the review on the 5" Meizu M2 Since not everyone is looking for a phone as big as this Note ... look forward to it

3. hafini_27

Posts: 949; Member since: Oct 31, 2013

The true affordable phone.

4. Takeharu

Posts: 285; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

A question, what kind of apps aren't optimized/won't run? Any big ones like Whatsapp or Facebook?

6. hmd74

Posts: 540; Member since: Jan 31, 2013

Good question Answer it PA

9. cigzz

Posts: 9; Member since: Oct 19, 2014

I am using Meizu M1 Note as my daily driver and im on Flyme 4 with KitKat and i have never had any problems with any apps that won't run. Facebook is working same with Instagram, whatsapp, tumblr, messenger, chrome, spotify and a lot more. And also no fingerprint scanner in cons is stupid. It is an affordable phone, not flagship or sth

11. hafini_27

Posts: 949; Member since: Oct 31, 2013

On XDA, ppl report problems with Facebook, Instagram and Skype, also apps notifications like email apps.

31. 5Cents

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 31, 2015

@cigzz; @hafini_27. I just got my Note 2 day before yesterday. Spent yesterday learning the difference between a nano-sim and a micro-sim; and about broadcast bands for LTE(4G) technology, I tried to log into Facebook today (to register for this site) and it tells me my password changed over a year ago! --- can you see my point!! I think the MNote 2 is an excellent smartphone for Generation Xer's. We want a phone with good phone clarity; the ability to use communications media quickly (gmail, WhatsApp, possibly twitter); to be able to navigate when we travel (g-maps); to conduct electronic transactions (banking; shopping apps); and quickly access information (efficient browsing). Generation Xer's generally couldn't care less about gaming features (I've never used an X-box in my life) and normally have other ways of keeping things private/safe (which we've used for a long time) so fingerprint technology isn't really that important. The majority of Generation Xer's, I know, feel immodest taking selfies and so the use of Instagram also isn't really important. Our careers often make us work long hours and battery life is important. For my needs this is truly the right phone (and that it comes at the right price is a plus). Just my 5 cents worth.

32. 5Cents

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 31, 2015

Also just a quick reminder: Most Generation Xer's I know would be quite content to continue using the phones we had three years ago. If you did a study you would find that they are more often forced into a new phone due to their tech companies planned obsolescence (leading to malfunction) rather than willingly upgrade for "better screen resolution" or more advanced software etc. In this sense I echo the compliments to Meizu for giving the likes of Sony/Samsung/Apple a run for their money.

18. Victor.H

Posts: 1055; Member since: May 27, 2011

Chat heads on Facebook Messenger do not appear on top of everything as they should, and I've had Google Play Games not installing and one other, non-essential application.

21. Takeharu

Posts: 285; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Thank you Victor, will be ordering one as my secondary phone.

5. hmd74

Posts: 540; Member since: Jan 31, 2013

Wow! I'm buying one

7. ryq24

Posts: 875; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

This are the kind of phones that is hurting Samsung, lg and Sony right now.

8. FoneAddict

Posts: 263; Member since: Jul 05, 2011

Meizu are on a Roll! Good for them, the more competition the better!

10. Pattyface

Posts: 1658; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

Looks like a great phone from all areas other than its looks. Nice size battery to boot Looks very bland one front and back though

12. aReefer

Posts: 52; Member since: Mar 21, 2015

I just picked one up today myself. Just loading some apps, so nothing to offer other than first impressions so far, but it seems to run smooth and no crashes or odd behaviour so far. Just make sure to jam the little SIM drawer key *all* the way in to open it, as I used too much force on opening mine, and now it's a tad wobbly. My own fault, but no big deal. Generally I am pretty happy so far. Images and video are great, and no heating (yet). I am especially happy that I can use 2 SIM cards - one personal, and one from work. No more carrying around 2 phones. Yippee! ..oh yeah, and I love the display.

15. aReefer

Posts: 52; Member since: Mar 21, 2015

Ok, some 12th hour impressions: No issues with any apps so far because of the single button design, but I haven't tried any heavy games yet. I already dropped it once accidentally (no case or screen protector yet) as I was getting out of the car, and it fell from an angle onto gravel from about 1 meter of height, and then it skidded for another 50 cm. across the gravel until it stopped - fortunately entirely on its back - with me looking on in horror. No scratches on back panel at all - not even in the corners. One helluva first day. My poor little phone. That said, it seems to be pretty rugged overall since it has survived my abuse, except for the (now-loose) SIM tray.

14. danielxxi

Posts: 183; Member since: Feb 13, 2013

Wow display quality assessment give good to excellent score in every aspects, I wonder why PA not describing this as good achievement, but if reviewing Samsung & Apple device gotta be like "Wow, this display so accurate, bright, vivid blah blah blah" and kudos to Sharp display invent IGZO display

16. may_czos

Posts: 955; Member since: Nov 22, 2014

M2 Note with M1 Note's processor would be great. Unfortunately the one in M2 (MT6753) is much slower and than Snapdragon 615.

17. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Good review Victor. Really the loudspeaker is so dull?

20. aReefer

Posts: 52; Member since: Mar 21, 2015

I can confirm that it is very weak - something that really bothers me when using Waze while driving, since I have trouble hearing the directions over the volume of the car stereo - even when the car stereo's volume is low. Hopefully the issue will be resolved with a software update at some point in the future(?) - if not, perhaps I'll be able to work-around it by routing the sound to the cars Bluetooth speaker. In any case, it is one of two major 'bugs' in the design of this phone that I have discovered so-far, but it's a pretty annoying one for me. The second issue I have discovered is an issue with the touch screen near the edges of the screen. For example, I have trouble setting the screen brightness to maximum by tapping on the highest end of the brightness slider. I can still 'drag' the slider to maximum, but still.... Basically the touch-screen recalibration, and the speaker issue both need to be addressed in a software update from Meizu I think.

19. legiloca

Posts: 1676; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

Wow and they scored the Desire Eye an 8 for some ridiculous cons while this phone got a 9.. Sick s**t right there

26. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

for the price, this phone really deserve solid 9

22. mobilefuture

Posts: 224; Member since: Nov 12, 2011

Umm PA, could you tell me where you downloaded the official Google Play app for this. It doesn't come out of the box, right?

23. Victor.H

Posts: 1055; Member since: May 27, 2011

It comes with the Google Play Store already installed.

24. anleoflippy

Posts: 596; Member since: Jan 03, 2013

Internationally it will come with Google Apps. Only in Chinese version it won't be included.

27. najib1312

Posts: 155; Member since: May 08, 2013

I have a Meizu M1 note and like mentioned in the review, the speaker is dull. Fortunately I've been able to boost the loudness of the main speaker in both normal and headset mode through the engineering settings (*#*#3646633#*#*). Don't know if this would work in M2 note though.

28. Furbal unregistered

give these phones lte bands 2 4 7 12 17 damn you :(
m2 note
  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 13.1 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor MediaTek, Octa-core, 1300 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3100 mAh

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