Meizu MX 4-core review: Twice the power
Make a stronghold of your home market and prepare for worldwide expansion. Meizu didn't invent the wheel with this strategy but is using it to great success. One would think a market as vast as China - and with huge potential for growth at that - would be enough to keep Meizu busy but they're keen on making a name for themselves globally. And what better way to do that than being in the top 4 of quad-core smartphone manufacturers?
The partnership with Samsung was the key to bringing a quad-core phone to the market. Meizu didn't quite beat the big names with LG, HTC and, naturally, Samsung getting there first, but it secured a precious advantage over local rivals Huawei and that should be a big win for them.
We're about to start exploring a phone we've already seen. The Meizu MX 4-core is virtually the same as the original dual-core Meizu MX, if you don't count the two extra cores. But who are we fooling here? We know you do. Now here's the cheat sheet to get you started.
- Quad-band GSM and penta-band 3G support
- 21.6 Mbps HSDPA and 5.76 Mbps HSUPA
- 4.0" 16M-color ASV capacitive touchscreen of 640 x 960 pixel resolution; Gorilla glass
- Heavily skinned Android OS v4.0 ("Flyme OS")
- 1.4 GHz quad-core Cortex-A9 CPU, Mali-400MP GPU, Exynos 4212 Quad chipset, 1GB of RAM
- 8 MP wide-angle autofocus camera with LED flash, face and smile detection; Wide Dynamic Mode
- Up to 1080p video recording @ 30fps
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b, g and n support; Wi-Fi hotspot
- GPS with A-GPS connectivity; Digital compass
- 32/64GB of internal storage
- Accelerometer, gyroscope and proximity sensor
- Charging MHL microUSB port with USB host, TV-out support (1080p via an optional adapter) and S/PDIF-out for dock connection
- Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
- Stereo Bluetooth v2.1
- Active noise cancellation with a dedicated mic
- VGA secondary video-call camera
- Full Flash support
- Document editor
- File manager comes preinstalled
- Impressively rich audio and video format support
- Tries too hard to beat the iPhone at its own game
- Sub-par viewing angles and sunlight legibility
- Looks exactly like its predecessor
- No dedicated camera key (but cool Gesture captuire option and volume rocker alternative)
- Non-expandable internal storage
- Battery not user replaceable
- No FM radio
If you've been paying attention, you'd notice that the lists are quite similar - the original Meizu MX has been there, done that. There are only two major changes and one of them is the updated Flyme OS. The MX 4-core offers a user experience so vastly different from the established brands that Meizu may not be too worried in the end about the high-profile competition.
The other update the Meizu MX 4-core brings is the real deal, which is why it's right there in the smartphone's name. The two extra cores, the better GPU and the new 32nm architecture mean the Meizu flagship is now faster and smoother while still using roughly the same amount of power.
We are at a point in the smartphone evolution when you can get all the functionally you need from the app stores, as long as you have the hardware to run it. That makes the extra cores as big an update as anyone would ever need. On the other hand, failure to make a big difference in the benchmarks will reduce the Meizu MX 4-core to one of the most trivial upgrades a flagship has received since the iPhone 4S.
We will only know for sure when the review is done, so let's waste no more time. The unboxing and hardware inspection coming up right after the break.