Meizu M5 review: Challenging the odds

Challenging the odds

GSMArena team, 05 February 2017.

Introduction

The Meizu M5 is shaping to be the more interesting device of the mid-range M5 duo. We already took the M5 Note for a spin and it turned rather uninspiring without any meaningful upgrades to offer. On the other hand, the M5 comes with a bigger screen and battery, the latest mTouch key with biometric security, and a newer Android version over the M3.

Meizu M5 review

The M5, just like its Note sibling, is taking a shortcut by borrowing the dated chipset from the M3. It even keeps the same camera setup with a 13MP rear snapper and a 5MP front one. And unlike the Note, the M5 appearance didn't get a refresh.

Meizu M5 at a glance:

  • Plastic unibody; 5.2" 720p IPS display of 282ppi
  • MediaTek MT6750 chipset: 8x 1.5GHz Cortex-A53 CPU, Mali-T860MP2 GPU, 2GB/3GB of RAM
  • 13MP camera, two-tone LED flash; 1080p @30fps; 5MP front-facing camera
  • 16/32GB of built-in storage, microSD slot
  • mTouch v2.1 Home button with a fingerprint scanner
  • 3,070 mAh battery, 5V/2A charging (23% in 30 minutes)
  • Android Marshmallow 6.0 OS with Flyme 5.2
  • Dual SIM; LTE Cat.6; Wi-Fi a/b/g/n; Bluetooth 4.0; GPS and GLONASS; microUSB port

Even though Meizu has chosen to keep a lot from the M3, the M5 is bringing some noticeable changes to the series, and we are hoping it would do better than the M5 Note.

We're experimenting with a shorter review format for this phone as it gives the spare time to review a broader range of devices. We hope it still answers all the questions you may have about the device. Our goal was to give you our impressions in a shorter, concise manner but without sacrificing the performance assessment and the results from the full tests we normally perform. We hope you enjoy it. Any feedback is welcome.

Hardware

Meizu M5 might be bigger in size, but it hasn't changed a bit when it comes to appearance since the M2. The phone's entire rear panel is made of plastic and has nicely curved sides which somewhat makes it feel smaller in hand.

The retail box of the Meizu M5 includes only the basics - a regular 5V/2A charger plug and a microUSB cable. There are no headphones inside.

Meizu M5 - Meizu M5 review Meizu M5 - Meizu M5 review Meizu M5 - Meizu M5 review Meizu M5 - Meizu M5 review
Meizu M5

Since the back is all plastic, there is no need of antenna lines to get in the way. Glass covers the front with 2.5D edges making for an upmarket look and feel. Another point worth making is that the entire front is black top to bottom regardless of the color version.

Meizu M5 review

The 5.2" screen has an IPS matrix of 720p resolution or in other words 287ppi density. Its viewing angles are excellent - wide and with no color distortion, while its sunlight legibility is above average with a score of 2.710.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
    4.615
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    4.439
  • OnePlus 3
    4.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
    4.376
  • HTC One A9
    4.274
  • Samsung Galaxy Note7
    4.247
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • OnePlus 3T
    4.232
  • Google Pixel XL
    4.164
  • ZTE Axon 7
    4.154
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy Note5
    4.09
  • Huawei Nexus 6P
    4.019
  • OnePlus X
    3.983
  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite
    3.983
  • Oppo R7s
    3.964
  • Apple iPhone 7
    3.964
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    3.956
  • Meizu Pro 6 Plus
    3.935
  • Lenovo Moto Z
    3.931
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016)
    3.918
  • Samsung Galaxy C5
    3.911
  • Samsung Galaxy C7
    3.896
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 outdoor
    3.879
  • Samsung Galaxy J2 outdoor
    3.873
  • Samsung Galaxy A8
    3.859
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016)
    3.817
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)
    3.804
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.802
  • LG V20 Max auto
    3.798
  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    3.798
  • Sony Xperia XZ
    3.795
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    3.789
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    3.783
  • Meizu Pro 5
    3.781
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
    3.772
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    3.756
  • Oppo F1 Plus
    3.709
  • Vivo X5Pro
    3.706
  • Sony Xperia X Compact
    3.694
  • Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017)
    3.688
  • Apple iPhone SE
    3.681
  • Huawei Mate 9
    3.68
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • Meizu PRO 6
    3.659
  • BlackBerry Priv
    3.645
  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus
    3.588
  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus
    3.53
  • Motorola Moto Z Play
    3.526
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016)
    3.523
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.523
  • Acer Jade Primo
    3.521
  • Microsoft Lumia 950
    3.512
  • Oppo R7 Plus
    3.499
  • nubia Z11
    3.466
  • Samsung Galaxy J7
    3.422
  • Meizu MX5
    3.416
  • LG V20
    3.402
  • Oppo R9s
    3.352
  • Oppo R7
    3.32
  • Lenovo P2
    3.316
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s
    3.276
  • Samsung Galaxy J2
    3.235
  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    3.234
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 2
    3.228
  • Motorola Moto X Play
    3.222
  • Huawei P9
    3.195
  • Lenovo Vibe Shot
    3.113
  • Motorola Moto X Force
    3.105
  • LG Nexus 5X
    3.092
  • Huawei Mate S
    3.073
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
    3.065
  • Sony Xperia X
    2.989
  • Huawei Mate 8
    2.949
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3S
    2.913
  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra
    2.906
  • LG G5
    2.905
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime
    2.893
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus
    2.884
  • Sony Xperia Z5
    2.876
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
    2.851
  • Lenovo Moto M
    2.813
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro
    2.803
  • Sony Xperia Z5 compact
    2.784
  • Meizu MX6
    2.751
  • LG V10
    2.744
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    2.735
  • Meizu M5
    2.71
  • Sony Xperia M5
    2.69
  • Huawei P9 Lite
    2.679
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime
    2.679
  • Vivo V3Max
    2.659
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix
    2.658
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    2.641
  • Sony Xperia XA
    2.609
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus
    2.582
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus (max auto)
    2.582
  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    2.574
  • LeEco Le Max 2
    2.567
  • Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL
    2.563
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
    2.563
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    2.544
  • Lenovo Moto G4
    2.544
  • Oppo F1
    2.528
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
    2.525
  • Huawei Honor 7 Lite / Honor 5c
    2.506
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    2.503
  • Oppo F1s
    2.481
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus
    2.473
  • Huawei G8
    2.471
  • Huawei nova
    2.467
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Lenovo Vibe K5
    2.459
  • Meizu m3 max
    2.447
  • Huawei Honor 7
    2.406
  • Sony Xperia E5
    2.386
  • ZUK Z1 by Lenovo
    2.382
  • Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)
    2.378
  • HTC 10
    2.378
  • Meizu m1 note
    2.362
  • Huawei nova plus
    2.329
  • HTC One E9+
    2.305
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • Lenovo Vibe K4 Note
    2.254
  • Sony Xperia C5 Ultra
    2.253
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek)
    2.249
  • Sony Xperia C4 Dual
    2.235
  • Xiaomi Mi Note
    2.234
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    2.233
  • Huawei P8
    2.196
  • Meizu M5 Note
    2.189
  • Huawei Honor 6
    2.169
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 2
    2.166
  • OnePlus Two
    2.165
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4
    2.145
  • LG Aka
    2.145
  • Archos 50 Diamond
    2.134
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Acer Liquid X2
    2.084
  • Huawei P8lite
    2.078
  • Moto G 3rd gen max manual
    2.026
  • Xiaomi Mi Max
    1.996
  • Sony Xperia E4g
    1.972
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Meizu m3 note
    1.923
  • Meizu m2 note
    1.892
  • BlackBerry Leap
    1.892
  • ZTE Nubia Z9 mini
    1.759
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Asus Zenfone Selfie
    1.68
  • Motorola Moto E (2nd Gen)
    1.675
  • ZTE Nubia Z9
    1.659
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    1.311
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215

The 5.2" display has a maximum brightness of 480nits and a very good contrast of 1:1060. The color rendering is okay though not the most accurate (it's better than the M5 Note for sure). The color rendering out of the box has an average deviation of DeltaE 6.5 and playing with the color settings won't help you do much better than that.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Meizu M5 0.453 480 1060
Meizu M5 Note 0.614 463 754
Xiaomi Redmi 2 0.58 561 974
Xiaomi Redmi 3 0.42 520 1238
Xiaomi Redmi 3S 0.45 489 1087
Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime 0.475 528 1112
Apple iPhone SE 0.77 618 804
Sony Xperia E5 0.43 540 1243
Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) 0.00 353
Lenovo Vibe K5 0.53 426 804

The screen might be the centerpiece of the M5, but the mTouch key below easily gets the credit for one of the most interesting features. It's an all-in-one button with three functions - tap for Back, click for Home, and there is an embedded fingerprint scanner for when the screen is locked. While the biometric sensor isn't always on, it's very fast, accurate, and is capable of recognizing your fingerprint from any direction.

The front - Meizu M5 review the mTouch key - Meizu M5 review handling the M5 - Meizu M5 review handling the M5 - Meizu M5 review
The front • the mTouch key • handling the M5

The M5 is powered by a 3,070 mAh battery - that's 200 mAh higher capacity than the cell inside the Meizu m3. The M5 scored a very good 76-hour endurance rating in our battery test. Unfortunately, there is no Quick Charging support.

Since Meizu is not a registered Google Services partner, the international M5 comes without Google's services preinstalled. Instead, the phone gives you access to an installer which installs them for you hassle free. Other reviewers have been pointing out that these, essentially sideloaded, Google apps and services drain the battery faster than usual, but we assure you this behavior was only found on the reviewers units, which were sent out running an earlier pre-production version of the ROM. With the latest software build, we've been enjoying great battery life.

Meizu M5 review

Our endurance rating is the time you can keep using the M5 on a single charge if you are to make an hour of 3G talks, web browsing and video playback each day. This sort of usage pattern may not apply to you, but we've established it, so our battery scores are comparable across devices.

Meizu M5 is a dual-SIM phone, but it uses a hybrid slot so you would have to make the choice of either a second SIM or a microSD card.

The phone comes in a 16 or 32GB storage option out of the box - getting more gigabytes means you won't have to give up on the second SIM card.

The SIM tray is on the left - Meizu M5 review the SIM/microSD hybrid slot - Meizu M5 review the bottom - Meizu M5 review the microUSB port - Meizu M5 review
The SIM tray is on the left • the SIM/microSD hybrid slot • the bottom • the microUSB port

Finally, the bottom of the M5 is where the audio jack, the microUSB connectivity port, and the loudspeaker are. The primary mic is also around.

The M5's speaker scored a Good mark in our loudness test, but its output sound quality is one of the worse ones we've heard lately.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Sony Xperia E5 62.0 67.5 69.4 Below Average
Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime 63.1 67.3 71.3 Average
Xiaomi Redmi 3 66.1 65.5 70.6 Average
Meizu M5 63.7 69.1 82.5 Good
Xiaomi Redmi 2 70.8 70.9 77.4 Very Good
Meizu M5 Note 65.1 70.7 86.8 Very Good
Sony Xperia XA Ultra 88.9 79.3 82.7 Excellent

Reader comments

  • Peason256
  • 06 Sep 2021
  • fm8

The lower end of my MEIZU M5 has stopped working (sensor is working 3/4 of the screen)

  • Alex
  • 30 Dec 2020
  • Nu4

I forgot the password of my meizu m5 what can I do?

  • Tom Cro
  • 16 May 2018
  • 3qD

this is a very nice review!! congrats! i have meizu m5 and far as I know by now , phone is really good..with some issues.. battery heat quickly, especially when it charge( plastic cover could be a reason),but cooling down fast as well...second...