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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Meizu M3 Note - excellent 5.5 inch smartphone

 Great hardware and performance features from the beautiful looking Meizu M3 Note



Meizu M3 Note smartphone
The latest Meizu family member – the Meizu M3 Note – builds on the M1 and M3 ad adds a faster processor, bigger battery and a more premium design. It keeps the 5.5’’ 1080 p display and uses a more powerful Helio P1- chipset with a 4,100 mAh battery. The other features are similar to the predecessor, the M2 – 13P main camera, 16 or 32 GB expandable storage, LTE connectivity, dual SIM. The M3 also features a fingerprint scanner on its home button on the front.

The Meizu’s all-metal design is a welcome change compared to the M1 and M2 – improves the looks and hand feel and gives a much better built quality than the plastic shells.


Key features
  • 5.5" 1080p LTPS IPS LCD display of 403ppi
  • Flyme OS 5 UI on top of Android Lollipop
  • MediaTek Helio P10: octa-core Cortex-A53 processor (4x 1.8GHz + 4x 1.0GHz), Mali-T860MP2 GPU, 2GB or 3GB of RAM
  • 13MP camera with two-tone LED flash, 1080p video recording @30fps
  • 5MP front-facing camera with 1080p@30fps video recording
  • 16GB or 32GB of built-in storage; expandable via a microSD slot
  • Cat. 4 LTE (150/50Mbps); Dual SIM; Wi-Fi a/b/g/n; Bluetooth 4.1; GPS/GLONASS/Beidou; USB On-The-Go
  • mTouch Home button with a fingerprint scanner
  • Active noise cancellation via a dedicated mic
  • 4,100mAh battery
  • 153.6 x 75.5 x 8.2 mm, weighs about 163g

Main disadvantages
  • Launches on Lollipop
  • No fast charging
  • Weaker GPU

The drawbacks in the Meizu M3 are few, the most prominent of which is the lack of fast charging. The Android Lollipop is fairly recent but not the best option and given the track record of Meizu’s OS updates, the M3 is not very likely for an upgrade.

The M3 Note features an all metal subtly curved rear cover, except the antenna cutouts covered with plastic. The 5.5" display isn't perfectly suited for one-handed operation, but the phone still feels great in hand and you can easily do the important stuff with one hand. It isn't as lightweight as the MX5, but still slips nicely into pockets. The grip is secure enough, but because of the big footprint and the suspicious screen glass we'd recommend handling it extra carefully.


Above the display is the front selfie camera – 5 MP. Below the screen is located the fingerprint scanner / home button. On the left side of the screen is the dual-SIM tray and the volume and power buttons are on the right. The audio jack is located on the top along with the secondary microphone. The bottom of the phone fits the micro USB port, the primary microphone and the speaker. The primary camera is on the back (13 MP) with a dual-tone LED flash.

Display
The display of the Meizu M3 Note employs a 5.5" LTPS IPS LCD panel of 1080p resolution. The colors are nicely saturated and the viewing angles are quite good. The high resolution is definitely a treat for the price and more than sufficient at 1080p. The M3 Note's display matrix is a standard RGB arrangement. The Meizu M3 fares well in terms of maximum brightness and black levels, however its predecessors are a bit better in this aspect. The colour rendering of the M3 Note is below average and the colour saturation is not as good as it should be – the whites tend to be bluish. Outdoors, the Meizu M3 Note is a below average performer in terms of sunlight legibility. The glass on top of the display is quite reflective, so most of the time you'll be able to barely see what's happening on the screen.

Battery life
Powered by an impressive 4,100mAh battery, the Meizu M3 Note promises solid uptime on a single charge. The Meizu M3 Note's overall endurance rating chimed in at 93 hours. That means you can use the M3 Note for just shy of 4 full days of full usage.

Performance
Meizu M3 Note runs on the MediaTek Helio P10, which isn't widespread as the X10. The P10 packs an octa-core processor with 4x Cortex-A53 at 1.8GHz and 4x Cortex-A53 at 1.0GHz. The Meizu M3 Note does OK for a mid-ranger and its processor has enough power to handle most tasks.

Meizu M3 Note smartphone camera


The 13MP camera sets high expectations, with options for HDR but ends up being a slight disappointment – the details of the pictures are compromised by blurry spot near the center and a high level of noise. The dynamic range however is ok and the colours, contrast and white balance are accurate.

Meizu M3 Note key findings
  • Great built quality and hand feel
  • Very practical home button with fingerprint scan, although the press and tap needs getting used to
  • Big screen but mixed impression – not the best colour rendering, contrast ratio and poor sunlight performance
  • Great battery life – a bit under 4 days of regular use
  • Speaker output is shallow and the loudness is not impressive
  • Rear camera does not perform well in terms of detail and noise levels but makes up for it in terms of dynamic range and colours

Meizu M3 Note video review

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