Meizu m3 note review: To the metal

To the metal

GSMArena team, 27 May, 2016.

A 13MP camera with a dual-tone LED flash

The Meizu m3 note has a 13MP camera sensor that's capable of capturing 4208x3120px snaps in 4:3 aspect. There's also a dual-tone LED flash that should allow for more pleasing colors in low light flash photos.

Meizu m3 note review

The camera interface by default launches into Auto mode where the camera determines the shooting parameters. You have the option to turn on HDR (but no automatic HDR), gridlines for the viewfinder and a level gauge so that your horizon isn't off tilt. There's also an option to enable a timer of either 3, 5 or 10 seconds.

Available shooting modes include Auto, Macro, Manual (where you can set the shutter speed up to 10s, ISO, exposure compensation and even the focus - from macro to infinity), Beauty (which can make eyes bigger, face slimmer, skin smoother and lighter), Panorama, Light field (which is Meizu's refocus app allowing you to defocus any part of the scene), Scan (for QR and barcodes), and Slowmotion.

Camera - Meizu m3 note review Modes - Meizu m3 note review Settings - Meizu m3 note review Manual mode - Meizu m3 note review Manual mode - Meizu m3 note review
Camera • Modes • Settings • Manual mode • Manual mode

The Meizu m3 note snaps rather disappointing 13MP pictures. The resolved detail is compromised by a blurry spot near the very center and there are high levels of noise. Sometimes we needed to select the focus point manually because the autofocus failed rather miserably.

On a positive note, the dynamic range is OK and the colors, contrast and white balance were quite accurate.

Meizu m3 note 13MP camera samples - Meizu m3 note review Meizu m3 note 13MP camera samples - Meizu m3 note review Meizu m3 note 13MP camera samples - Meizu m3 note review Meizu m3 note 13MP camera samples - Meizu m3 note review
Meizu m3 note 13MP camera samples - Meizu m3 note review Meizu m3 note 13MP camera samples - Meizu m3 note review Meizu m3 note 13MP camera samples - Meizu m3 note review Meizu m3 note 13MP camera samples - Meizu m3 note review
Meizu m3 note 13MP camera samples

The HDR mode is meant to bringing back detail in the highlights and the shadows. On the Meizu m3 note it does a very good job, and sometimes it even produces more accurate colors than the Auto mode.

HDR off - Meizu m3 note review HDR on - Meizu m3 note review HDR off - Meizu m3 note review HDR on - Meizu m3 note review
HDR off • HDR on • HDR off • HDR on

Panoramas are far from impressive on the Meizu m3 note, too. There is plenty of resolution and good overall exposure but the resolved detail is far too low and smudged.

A panoramic sample - Meizu m3 note review
A panoramic sample

Finally, you can check out a 5MP image taken with the front-facing camera of the device. It offers more than enough detail for a selfie camera, the colors are great as is the contrast.

5MP selfie sample - Meizu m3 note review
5MP selfie sample

We've uploaded full resolution (13MP) photos to our photo quality comparison database to compare against other high-resolution smartphones. You can clearly see the superiority of the Lenovo K5 Plus (bottom left) and Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (bottom right) - both phones resolve more detail and process the images better.

Photo Compare Tool Photo Compare Tool Photo Compare Tool

1080p video recording at 30 fps

The Meizu m3 note shoots videos up to 1080p resolution at 30fps. There's no 60fps smooth motion option.

Camcorder UI - Meizu m3 note review Camcorder UI - Meizu m3 note review
Camcorder UI

All videos from m3 note camera are stored in MP4 containers, the video bitrate is about 17Mpbs and the framerate is stable. This time around the audio is stereo - it uses an AAC codec with 128 Kbps bitrate and 48 KHz sampling.

Framerate stays firmly at 30fps and we got almost no dropped frames.

The resolved detail is quite poor though, the additive noise is once again getting in the way and makes the samples unpleasantly grainy. The contrast and colors are very good, though. Here is sample we've uploaded on YouTube.

You can also directly download the 1080p@30fps video sample.

Head to our Video quality comparison tool for a comparative look at the m1 metal video recording capabilities. Once again the Redmi Note 3 wins here (bottom left), while the m3 note and m1 metal (bottom right) are on par and rather uninspiring.

Photo Compare Tool Photo Compare Tool Photo Compare Tool

Reader comments

  • Julias

hae, I have a problem with my phone(meizum3 note) its locked how can I unlock it?its written in Chinese I can't understand it,need some help please

  • 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??