Budget Android smartphones almost always involve trade-offs, which might or might not be deal-breakers depending on your individual requirements and expectations. Amidst this pool of imperfect Androids, new entrants keep pouring and often one or two options command attention.
One such offering, The Meizu’s new m3 Note pays due attention to design, besides compiling a powerful spec-sheet and checking the right marketing boxes – which, at the very least, makes it interesting. We went hands-on with the Meizu M3 Note today and here are our first impressions.
Key Specifications and Features of Meizu m3 Note:
|Model||Meizu m3 Note|
|Display||5. 5-Inch, IPS Display, 1080p Full HD resolution|
|Processor||1.8GHz MediaTek Helio P10 SoC, Mali T-860 GPU|
|Software||Android Lollipop based Flyme 5 OS|
|Primary Camera||13MP, PDAF, OIS, LED flash, 1080p Videos|
|Secondary Camera||5MP primary|
|Others||4G Dual SIM LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth|
Perhaps the best design phone under 10,000 INR
One thing is certain, all that beauty talk isn’t all a shit load of baloney. The Meizu M3 Design is ergonomic and appealing. The premium finish aluminum body and a 2.5D glass on the front isn’t a groundbreaking concept by itself, but has been executed surprisingly well on the Meizu m3 Note. In our opinion, it felt better than both Le 1s and Redmi Note 3.
Of course, we are not buying the argument trashing the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor as an upturned underwear (as Meizu pitched it). Also, the concept of just one navigation key will take some getting used to.
The home key integrates a fingerprint sensor, and a tap on it acts as a back button. You can swipe up from below for recent apps. As stated, there is a learning curve involved here.
Performance expectations and software
The Meizu m3 Note is powered by MediaTek’s MT6755 octa-core Helio P10 SoC, which is also the first MediaTek chip with big.LITTLE core configuration. And this essentially means that the processor will act as a quad core SoC unless the use of 8 cores (both clusters) is absolutely necessary. On paper, it is expected to deliver Helio X10 comparable experience with improved battery efficiency. We haven’t had much experience with the P10 yet, but it is slated to be the most popular MediaTek chipset this year.
Meizu’s FlyMe OS includes several features like Multi-windows (though it seems that it’s not supported on all apps), batch selection on apps while rearranging them, Gifs in gallery, gestures, double tap to wake and many others. We didn’t spot much bloatware on the hands on prototype, but at this point of time, absence of Android Marshmallow is mildly upsetting.
Camera hardware is where manufacturers always stumble as far as budget smartphones go. Great camera experience stems from great hardware and great software working in tandem. Trade-offs at manufacturer’s end are most certainly involved. The poor lighting at the demonstration area made it impossible for us to judge the camera performance at the event, so we will refrain from any sort of conclusion as of now.
What we have to share is that, the shutter press punctuates with a ripple animation effect (which, possibly, isn’t as gratifying as a click) and you can directly save GIF images to the gallery.
Meizu has designed a beautiful handset with all the customary perks needed to take on big-guns like Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, Lenovo K4 Note and Le 1s (Eco). Consumers, however, might still hesitate before putting their trust in a relatively new Chinese brand, and to instill more trust in buyers, Meizu has tied up with local partners to provide over 100 service center in the country (which is still a small number). We liked what we saw with Meizu m3 Note at the launch, but many questions remain unanswered. We will confirm and quantify our finding in the full review later.