Meizu m2 note Review
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.
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.
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.