Camera

The 13-megapixel main camera is fast and captures good-looking images, and great-looking macros. The 5-megapixel selfie cam also performs better than most in this class.

The Meizu m2 Note sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with dual LED flash and a 5-megapixel front-facing shooter. Megapixels alone don’t tell much about actual image quality, but in the marketing world of Chinese smartphone wars, a 13MP/5MP setup is seen as an upgrade over yesteryear’s 8MP/2MP cameras.

The Meizu camera app is not a direct clone of the camera app of a certain fruity phone maker, and that alone is good to see. Moreover, after you spend some time shooting, you start to appreciate all the versatility that this camera app offers. The default auto mode captures images in a 4:3 aspect ratio (the viewfinder shows 100% of the actual image, which is nice), and allows you to separately select the focus point and the exposure point. It’s a snappy mode with no excessive features that will be what most people end up using. Enthusiasts get a pro mode that offers shutter speed and ISO selection, for a full-on manual ride. You also have a neat slow motion mode, a mode for scanning QR codes, Beauty, Panorama, and Light Field modes.

The actual Images on the Meizu m2 Note turn out very nice: shooting is fast and focusing happens impressively quickly (while many other affordable devices struggle with speed), and the actual images look sharp, very detailed, and with nice color reproduction. They are not perfect and are inferior to pictures from high-end devices, with burned highlights being a particularly noticeable issue, but overall are definitely great for such class of a device. In lower light, images could turn out a bit blurry, but still noise is kept at a reasonable level and overall quality is way above the average. The flash also does a good job illuminating objects, and with both a cold and a warm light, lighting turns out much more balanced.

Selfies also turn out great: the 5-megapixel front shooter captures a lot of details and manages to get colors right.


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 m2 note 4
7.9
636
545
Huawei P8 lite 3.1
6.3
520
425
Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime 4
No data
277
164
LG G Stylo 3.3
5.1
558
507


Turning over to video, the m2 Note records video in up to 1080p at 30fps. Videos look good: sharp, with good-looking colors and very little rolling shutter effect. Unfortunately, there is no continuous auto-focusing, and you have to manually tap on objects on the screen to switch focus (which happens quickly). Also, the lack of stabilization results in videos that register every little tremor of the hand, and this constant shakiness is very annoying – this phone is definitely not very suitable for shooting casually while walking. That’s something that we’d like to see improved, as we’re spoiled by excellent stabilization on other phones. And not only optical – software stabilization on iPhones and Xperias also works great. The microphone does tend to pick up a lot of wind noise, and that’s also quite a distraction, ruining a lot of the audio quality of a recording.



Multimedia

Media apps are simple and utilitarian, but that also means they work out fast and straightforward.

The Meizu m2 Note comes with a bundle of first-party media apps that are minimalist and simplistic in nature: they get the job done. That’s what really matters here: the gallery, for instance, has a camera roll with three icons in a row (no option to resize them for quicker navigation), and it has separate folders for screenshots and videos. It features some basic filters, as well as editing options such as cropping and fine tuning the sharpness and other features of an image.

The video player seems like an app inspired by the popular MX Player with the option to swipe up and down on the left and right (left to adjust volume, right to adjust brightness), and you can also neatly swipe horizontally to fast forward or go back in a video. Simple, and not exactly original, but very useful and practical. The same simplistic approach goes for the music app, which categorizes songs in a straightforward manner, but again has a cool search option and, as an extra, features a full-on manual equalizer with some neat presets. There is no support for FM radio on the Meizu m2 Note.

Speaking of the music app, we ought to mention that the phone features a single speaker on the bottom of the phone. It is a very quiet speaker, and that’s annoying as often times we’d want to show friends a video or let them hear a cool new song via the loudspeaker, and here, the speaker is often times just too quiet to hear properly.

Headphones output power (Volts) Higher is better
Meizu m2 note 0.43
Huawei P8 lite 0.26
Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime 0.901
LG G Stylo 0.335
Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
Meizu m2 note 68
Huawei P8 lite 79
Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime 71.4
LG G Stylo 74


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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: 951; 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: 951; Member since: Oct 31, 2013

The true affordable phone.

4. Takeharu

Posts: 288; 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: 951; 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: 1095; 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: 288; 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: 53; 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: 53; 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: 53; 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: 1095; 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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