Meizu M5 Note review: One, Two, Three, Five!

One, Two, Three, Five!

GSMArena team, 03 February 2017.

Software

The Meizu M5 Note 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 Note review the notifications drawer - Meizu M5 Note review toggles - Meizu M5 Note review Security app - Meizu M5 Note review Security app - Meizu M5 Note 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 Note review themes - Meizu M5 Note review themes - Meizu M5 Note review scheduled power on/off - Meizu M5 Note review DND mode - Meizu M5 Note 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 Note review multi-view in action - Meizu M5 Note review multi-view in action - Meizu M5 Note 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 Note is powered by the popular, but dated and honestly, pretty mediocre MediaTek Helio P10 chipset. It packs an octa-core processor with 4x Cortex-A53 at 1.8GHz and 4x A53 at 1.0GHz. The GPU is quite uninspiring as well - the Mali-T860 MP2 (read dual-core), but on a positive note there is either 3GB or 4GB of RAM for heavy multi-tasking.

Meizu M5 Note review

The same Helio P10 chip is the one used in the Meizu m3 note, while the older m1 metal had a more powerful Helio X10. We can't justify using the P10 in a recent phone such as the M5 Note, but we guess it shares its internals with the m3 note for practicality.

The processor performance is OK, 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 Note 4
    1596
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (S650)
    1543
  • Meizu m1 metal
    883
  • Meizu m3 note
    807
  • Meizu M5 Note
    798
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    745

GeekBench 3 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4
    5166
  • Meizu m1 metal
    4825
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (Helio X10)
    4537
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    4140
  • Meizu m1 note
    3988
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (S650)
    3695
  • Meizu m3 note
    3028
  • Meizu M5 Note
    2802
  • Meizu m2 note
    2649

The graphic performance hasn't changed a bit since the m1 note and m3 note, though the newer GPU supports the latest OpenGL ES 3.1. The m1 metal, which was released two years ago, has a better performing GPU (PowerVR G6200) than the M5 Note.

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4
    15
  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    15
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (S650)
    14
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (Helio X10)
    8.5
  • Meizu m1 metal
    8.4
  • Meizu m1 note
    5.8
  • Meizu M5 Note
    5.5
  • Meizu m3 note
    5.4
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    4.9
  • Meizu m2 note
    2.3

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4
    15
  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    15
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (S650)
    14
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    9.5
  • Meizu m1 metal
    8
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (Helio X10)
    7.9
  • Meizu m1 note
    5.7
  • Meizu M5 Note
    5.5
  • Meizu m3 note
    5.4
  • Meizu m2 note
    2.3

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4
    9.5
  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    9.5
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (S650)
    9
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    7.2
  • Meizu m1 metal
    4
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (Helio X10)
    4
  • Meizu M5 Note
    3.6
  • Meizu m3 note
    2.5
  • Meizu m2 note
    1.5

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    9.5
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4
    9.4
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (S650)
    9
  • Meizu m1 metal
    3.9
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (Helio X10)
    3.9
  • Meizu M5 Note
    3.6
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    3.2
  • Meizu m3 note
    2.5
  • Meizu m2 note
    1.9

GFX 3.1 Car scene (offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4
    5.4
  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    5.4
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (S650)
    5.3
  • Meizu M5 Note
    1.9

GFX 3.1 Car scene (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (S650)
    5.5
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4
    5.4
  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    5.4
  • Meizu M5 Note
    1.9

Basemark X

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (S650)
    14717
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4
    13666
  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    12190
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (Helio X10)
    8540
  • Meizu m1 metal
    8526
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    5383
  • Meizu M5 Note
    5276
  • Meizu m1 note
    4617
  • Meizu m3 note
    4567
  • Meizu m2 note
    3946

Even the compound benchmarks such as AnTuTu and BaseMark OS II can't put some positive twist on the M5 Note as its performance is yet again close or even behind its predecessors.

AnTuTu 5

Higher is better

  • Meizu m1 metal
    49508
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (Helio X10)
    47816
  • Meizu m3 note
    41838
  • Meizu M5 Note
    39762
  • Meizu m1 note
    39224
  • Meizu m2 note
    32054

AnTuTu 6

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4
    85162
  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    77442
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (S650)
    76186
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    49094
  • Meizu M5 Note
    47806
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (Helio X10)
    45474
  • Meizu m3 note
    44898

Basemark OS II

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (S650)
    1914
  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    1648
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    999
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (Helio X10)
    956
  • Meizu M5 Note
    944
  • Meizu m1 metal
    943
  • Meizu m3 note
    930
  • Meizu m2 note
    794
  • Meizu m1 note
    715

The benchmark tests show the M5 Note outs average scores across the board and will provide an OK for a mid-ranger experience, though we've expected more. The Note's performance hasn't gone far since the series' launch and we just can't understand the lack of a meaningful upgrade in this department.

Very good audio quality

The Meizu M5 Note impressed us with its loudness in both testing scenarios - its very high volume levels are rather hard to find in this price range and suggest a nicely powerful amplifier.

The clarity of its output was another nice surprise - it was perfect with an active external amplifier and very good when headphones came into play. The stereo crosstalk, IMD and THD were the only affected readings but even they were still very good.

And here go the results.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Meizu M5 Note+0.02, -0.11-93.893.90.00420.0080-94.1
Meizu M5 Note (headphones attached)+0.12, -0.06-93.193.20.1920.126-61.4
Huawei Honor 6X+0.47, -0.06-87.988.10.00520.014-86.4
Huawei Honor 6X (headphones attached)+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 attached)+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 attached)+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 attached)+0.06, -0.03-92.492.40.00180.021-88.2

Meizu M5 Note frequency response
Meizu M5 Note frequency response

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

Reader comments

  • Ahdi

im gonna make it simple price vs value this phone one of the worst or i just being scam by darn sales girl never trust this brand anymore

  • Steve

no clear contacts on my phone

I still have a M5 note and it still performs as it did the day I got it, only thing is in the review it says all metal well mine is or feels definitely like a plastic back.