Meizu m3 note review: To the metal

To the metal

GSMArena team, 27 May, 2016.

Unboxing the Meizu m3 note

Just like most of the midrange smartphones we've tested lately, the retail box of the Meizu m3 note delivers just about the basics. Inside the paper box we find a fast 2A charger and a microUSB cable. There is also a SIM extraction pin, but no headphones.

Meizu m3 note retail package - Meizu m3 note review Meizu m3 note retail package - Meizu m3 note review
Meizu m3 note retail package

Meizu m3 note 360-degree spin

At 153.6 x 75.5 x 8.2mm, the Meizu m3 note weighs in at about 163g. Sized up to the m2 note, the successor is a tad taller and 14g heavier. The weight is identical to the m1 metal.

Design

The Meizu m3 note is done with the plastic finish of its predecessors, but still keeps the overall shape and feel familiar. In fact, the m3 note is very similar to the Meizu MX5 from last summer, with just a few minor refinements on the front.

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Meizu m3 note

The m3 note features an all metal subtly curved rear cover, save for - of course - the antenna cutouts covered with plastic. We've seen the same pattern on the MX5, among other flagships in the past. The m3 note manages to paint the two plastic pieces right, so they don't stand out unpleasantly from the uniform metal piece that is the rear cover.

Meizu m3 note review

The Dinorex T2X-1 scratch/shock resistant glass protecting the 5.5" display is following the latest trend, being manufactured with the popular 2.5D effect. It somewhat makes the phone look a bit thinner and improves the handling by removing the sharp edge where the glass meets the metal.

We've heard nothing but praise about the Dinorex T2X-1, and while no stress testing was intended, we were unfortunate enough to drop the phone twice from about 1m. The first time it landed face down on a paved street and the glass took deep scratches.

The damaged glass - Meizu m3 note review The damaged glass - Meizu m3 note review
The damaged glass

We were stunned how easily it was ruined. An hour later we dropped it face down again on a wooden floor and the glass cracked in the top right corner. Those two accidents did put the Dinorex T2X-1 qualities in question.

Meizu m3 note review

Other than that though, we have nothing but positive impressions with the Meizu m3 note construction. Its solid build and thoughtful design makes for premium looks, unspoiled by the subtle design of the antenna cutouts.

Handling the Meizu m3 note - Meizu m3 note review Handling the Meizu m3 note - Meizu m3 note review
Handling the Meizu m3 note

A 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.

Controls

Above that big 5.5" display we find the earpiece surrounded by the 5MP selfie snapper and a bunch of sensors. Below the screen is the mTouch fingerprint scanner / Home button combo. This key is both capable of hardware press (Home) and capacitive touch (Back).

The m3 note - Meizu m3 note review a peek above the display - Meizu m3 note review the mTouch key below the screen - Meizu m3 note review
The m3 note a peek above the display the mTouch key below the screen

The dual-SIM tray is lonely on the left side of the m3 note, while the volume rocker and the power/lock key are on the right. All of these are made of metal.

The left side - Meizu m3 note review the SIM tray - Meizu m3 note review the right side - Meizu m3 note review the metal keys - Meizu m3 note review
The left side the SIM tray the right side the metal keys

The Meizu m3 note has its audio jack on top, disturbed only by the secondary mic. The bottom is pretty crowded - the regular microUSB port sits in between two grilles - one for the primary mic and one for the single speaker.

The top side - Meizu m3 note review the audio jack - Meizu m3 note review the bottom - Meizu m3 note review the microUSB port - Meizu m3 note review
The top side the audio jack the bottom the microUSB port

The back is where we find a 13MP camera lens accompanied by a dual-tone LED flash.

The 13MP snapper on the back - Meizu m3 note review The 13MP snapper on the back - Meizu m3 note review
The 13MP snapper on the back

Reader comments

  • jeffversace

Both simcard support 4G LTE, i dont know how you do the review... Shame...

  • swag1

Will all the Chinese writing disappear once I use the English language option??

  • Hakkim

Install Mobilego apps, boost phone clear cache after everytime use it. Close unused apps. Charge as usual. Almost all china phone tend to heat during charging.