Meizu M5 review: Challenging the odds

Challenging the odds

GSMArena team, 05 February 2017.

Software

The Meizu M5 runs on Flyme 5.2.4.0 OS, which was built on top of an Android 6.0 Marshmallow core. Flyme, just like Apple's iOS, revolves around a single-tier UI - every app or widget resides directly on the homescreen without an additional app drawer that is typical for Android. All other system features can be configured through either the Settings menu or within the powerful Security app.

In China, many Meizu models come with what they call Yun OS, which is a forked version of Android with China-exclusive services to replace everything Google's. This is the reason why Meizu is not a registered Google Services partner. So Meizu can't ship even their international models with the Google APIs and apps, which are must-haves in the Western markets. Meizu has found a workaround to give you those crucial apps - the Hot Apps application on your homescreen is a mini appstore of sorts and it would instantly recommend you downloading something called Google installer, which would add everything you need to enjoy a normal Android experience and would give you access to the Google Play store.

The lockscreen* the homescreen - Meizu M5 review the notifications drawer - Meizu M5 review toggles - Meizu M5 review Security app - Meizu M5 review Security app - Meizu M5 review
The lockscreen* the homescreen • the notifications drawer • toggles • Security app

Flyme offers a variety of customization options, including themes. There are lots of useful system-wide gestures, which you can use even when the screen is turned off. You have advanced features such as a Do-Not-Disturb mode and scheduled power on and off among others.

Themes - Meizu M5 review themes - Meizu M5 review themes - Meizu M5 review scheduled power on/off - Meizu M5 review DND mode - Meizu M5 review
Themes • themes • themes • scheduled power on/off • DND mode

Flyme 5 supports multi-view, which is managed via the task switching interface. The supported apps have a 'Multi' button, and you can activate a split-screen app right away. Unfortunately, the apps to support multi-view are only two - Video and Settings. Hopefully, this list will grow bigger with the upcoming firmware updates.

Task switcher - Meizu M5 review multi-view in action - Meizu M5 review multi-view in action - Meizu M5 review
Task switcher • multi-view in action

Meizu provides all the necessary apps to get you started - gallery, multimedia players, calendar, weather, among other necessities, but you can find everything else in the Play Store.

Performance

Meizu M5 is powered by the dated and mediocre MediaTek MT6750 chipset - that's a step below the Helio P10. It packs a true octa-core Cortex-A53 processor clocked at 1.5GHz. The GPU is nothing special - the Mali-T860 MP2 (read dual-core), and it is 2GB or 3GB of RAM.

Meizu M5 review

The same MT6750 chip is the one behind the Meizu m3, which makes little sense as the M5 is supposed to build on top of the m3.

The processor performance is okay when Android operations are concerned, but it trails behind the competition once it comes to heavy duty tasks, which require all eight cores.

GeekBench 3 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi 4
    929
  • Meizu m3 note
    807
  • Meizu M5 Note
    798
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    672
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3S
    665
  • Meizu M5
    660
  • Sony Xperia E5
    540

GeekBench 3 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi 4
    4751
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    3044
  • Meizu m3 note
    3028
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3S
    2876
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    2842
  • Meizu M5 Note
    2802
  • Meizu M5
    2713
  • Sony Xperia E5
    1490
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    1460

The graphics performance hasn't changed a bit since the m3. It's worth nothing that the GPU at least supports the latest OpenGL ES 3.1. While the offscreen raw scores are nothing to talk about, the onscreen fps do improve because of the lower 720p resolution, and thus the M5 ends up better than the Redmi 4.

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime
    9.8
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3S
    7
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    7
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    5.8
  • Meizu M5 Note
    5.5
  • Meizu m3 note
    5.4
  • Meizu M5
    5.2
  • Sony Xperia E5
    3
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    1.8

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi 3S
    14
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    12
  • Meizu M5
    10
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime
    9.6
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    7
  • Sony Xperia E5
    6
  • Meizu M5 Note
    5.5
  • Meizu m3 note
    5.4
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    3.9

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime
    6.2
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3S
    4.4
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    4.4
  • Meizu M5 Note
    3.6
  • Meizu M5
    3.4
  • Meizu m3 note
    2.5
  • Sony Xperia E5
    1.9

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi 3S
    10
  • Meizu M5
    7.9
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime
    6.1
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    4.4
  • Sony Xperia E5
    4.3
  • Meizu M5 Note
    3.6
  • Meizu m3 note
    2.5

GFX 3.1 Car scene (offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime
    3.4
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    2.5
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3S
    2.3
  • Meizu M5 Note
    1.9
  • Meizu M5
    1.8

GFX 3.1 Car scene (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi 3S
    4.8
  • Meizu M5
    3.7
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime
    3.4
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    2.4
  • Meizu M5 Note
    1.9

Meizu M5 Note is powered by the Helio P10 chip, which has the same GPU but running on a higher frequency. You can see the performance gap between the M5 and the M5 Note in the BaseMark X test - when the GPU is that feeble, even the tiniest upgrades matter.

Basemark X

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime
    10424
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    7480
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3S
    7263
  • Meizu M5 Note
    5276
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    5108
  • Meizu M5
    4767
  • Meizu m3 note
    4567

Compound benchmarks such as AnTuTu and BaseMark OS II give us a better understanding of the overall performance. Here, the Meizu M5 stands better as the true-octa core processor and the lesser resolution give it an edge over some competitors.

AnTuTu 5

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime
    55434
  • Meizu m3 note
    41838
  • Meizu M5 Note
    39762
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    39228
  • Meizu M5
    37854
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    34077
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    20616

AnTuTu 6

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime
    62316
  • Meizu M5 Note
    47806
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    44972
  • Meizu m3 note
    44898
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3S
    40976
  • Meizu M5
    40831
  • Sony Xperia E5
    32248

Basemark OS II

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime
    1296
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    967
  • Meizu M5 Note
    944
  • Meizu m3 note
    930
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3S
    882
  • Meizu M5
    846
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    727
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    509

The benchmark tests show the Meizu M5 as an average performer, so it will provide an acceptable mid-ranger user experience, though we've expected a bit more. And the competition is ready to give us that extra bit of oomph at the same price.

Mediocre audio quality

Unlike its Note sibling, the Meizu M5 failed to impress in either testing scenario. The smartphone had only decent volume level with an active external amplifier and fell well below average with headphones.

The clarity was also excellent initially, but was rather disappointing with headphones. Frequency response, stereo quality and intermodultion distortion were all affected so this certainly won’t be an audiophile’s dream.

And here go the results.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Meizu M5+0.02, -0.11-93.393.20.00430.0086-90.7
Meizu M5 (headphones)+0.73, -0.18-89.288.90.00760.415-49.8
Huawei Honor 6X+0.47, -0.06-87.988.10.00520.014-86.4
Huawei Honor 6X (headphones)+0.28, -0.49-86.987.10.00370.108-55.8
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)+0.02, -0.32-93.193.30.00390.0032-90.2
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) (headphones)+0.29, -0.09-88.387.70.0150.232-60.2
Motorola Moto Z Play+0.04, -0.02-93.093.10.00180.0085-93.8
Motorola Moto Z Play (headphones)+0.05, -0.02-92.792.80.00230.054-52.4
Asus Zenfone 3 +0.03, -0.30-86.683.60.00170.049-91.1
Asus Zenfone 3 (headphones)+0.06, -0.03-92.492.40.00180.021-88.2

Meizu M5 frequency response
Meizu M5 frequency response

You can learn more about the tested parameters and the whole testing process here.

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...