Meizu Pro 5 review: The Prodigy

GSMArena team, 10 November, 2015.

Telephony

At its core, the phonebook on the Meizu Pro 5 is a list of all contacts but you can view only a specific group or filter where contracts come from - phone contacts, email account or a Meizu account.

You can't add Facebook or Twitter or any social network out of the box. Installing the Facebook or Twitter app will allow you to sync your contacts from there. You can link contacts, but the functionality is annoyingly limited.

The dialer features smart dialing, which is nice. Otherwise it doesn't differ from any other in functionality.

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Phonebook The dialer

The Meizu Pro 5 has all reception bars full and held onto signal great even in tighter spots. Call quality is very good. A dedicated mic for active noise cancellation makes sure the other party hears you loud and clear.

The phone supports dual-SIM with dual-standby. The second SIM supports GSM networks only, while the primary works on 3G and LTE. Managing the SIM cards is very easy as is initiating calls and sending texts.

The Meizu Pro 5 scored only average at our loudspeaker test but the speaker quality is excellent for a single-speaker setup with deep sound.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Sony Xperia Z5 65.1 62.3 66.3 Below Average
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ 65.8 64.8 70.4 Average
Meizu Pro 5 67.7 66.6 68.7 Average
Xiaomi Mi 4c 73.2 66.6 77.5 Good
Oppo R7 Plus 73.7 72.8 79.9 Very Good
Meizu MX5 75.7 73.5 79.5 Excellent
Meizu MX4 Pro 76.9 73.6 82.7 Excellent


Messaging

The messaging department is quite straightforward: there are no folders here, just New message, Search and Settings buttons. Above is a list of all your messages organized into threads.

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Messenger Email

Meizu has tweaked the generic email client. It supports multiple Exchange, POP or IMAP inboxes and you have access to the original folders that are created online, side by side with the standard local ones such as inbox, drafts and sent items.

The gallery

The Flyme gallery has two viewing modes - photo and gallery. The photo stacks images into months while the gallery puts them into folders. You can add or remove folders from the gallery and also search through it.

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Gallery Editing an image

There's also a built-in editor that offers filters and all the basic controls for contrast, brightness and you can even add blur or vignette. You cannot use different editors from the stock gallery and would need to install a third-party gallery (like Google's Photos) to have different editors.

Music player

The music player can only find tracks located in the Music folder. You can browse your collection the traditional way or you can select to have it filtered by folders.

In the first case tracks are sorted into several playlists like All songs, Recently added, Folders and you have the option to create custom playlists. When viewing All songs you can choose between three types of sorting in a tabbed layout: song name, artist and album.

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Music player

Now, MP3 offers lower quality than the lossless formats, but Meizu's software and 32-bit Hi-Fi DAC from ESS Technology promises to upsample your 16-bit/44.1kHz files to 24-bit/192kHz. This works for streaming audio too (which is usually worse than offline MP3s). Keep in mind this is more of a placebo effect - upsampling raises the bitrate but there's no way for it to add extra data and thus improve the actual quality after the fact. If you do have high-quality tracks the Pro 5 will play them trouble-free though.

You can access the equalizer from the advanced menu. It features several presets, which you can edit manually - but you need to insert the headphones first.

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Hi-Fi Sound settings Equalizers

Great video player

The Meizu Pro 5 comes with a dedicated Video app, but it expects videos to be placed in the video folder. You can use the file browser or gallery to get videos to play from elsewhere - it offers thumbnails and everything so we ended up using it more often than the Video app itself.

There's a pop-out option that allows you to view the video as an overlay to the OS.

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Video player Pop-out view

The Meizu Pro 5 played everything we threw at it - Xvid, DivX, MP4, MOV, WMV and it supports the AC3 audio codec, too. Subtitles are supported, but it recognizes only Latin and Chinese characters.

Impressively loud audio output, very clean too

The Meizu PRO 5 audio output stunned us with its loudness. It was literally off the chart - its maximum loudness was too high for our setup to handle correctly so we recorded it at a step below 100%. And when plugged in an active external amplifier, the smartphone had the clarity to match, delivering a performance that's just perfect.

Plugging in our standard headphones caused some distortion, but impressively stereo quality remained almost unchanged. It's not the best result in terms of clarity, but it's up there and with the loudness staying just as high, this is overall one of the best results we've ever seen.

Here go the results so you can do your comparisons.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Meizu PRO 5+0.07, -0.17-93.993.90.0015 0.053-95.7
Meizu PRO 5 (headphones)+0.08, -0.15-95.995.90.142 0.421-86.2
LG G4+0.04, -0.07-93.493.30.0021 0.050-92.6
LG G4 (headphones)+0.93, -0.13-91.491.90.013 0.244-50.4
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+0.03, -0.01-95.692.80.0023 0.0078-95.7
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge (headphones)+0.05, -0.02-92.692.50.0028 0.044-76.9
Samsung Galaxy S6+0.01, -0.04-95.692.80.0024 0.0094-94.5
Samsung Galaxy S6 (headphones)+0.02, -0.05-92.691.90.0025 0.042-83.4
HTC One M9+0.02, -0.06-94.893.00.0049 0.026-93.7
HTC One M9 (headphones attached)+0.03, -0.05-93.792.70.0082 0.030-91.6
Sony Xperia Z5+0.01, -0.04-95.589.50.00330.012-94.8
Sony Xperia Z5 (headphones attached)+0.22, -0.24-95.189.50.00570.212-59.8
Apple iPhone 6s+0.03, -0.04-93.593.50.00160.0075-73.2
Apple iPhone 6s (headphones attached)+0.10, -0.06-93.893.90.00300.101-68.2

Meizu PRO 5 frequency response
Meizu PRO 5 frequency response

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