Meizu is one of the prominent smartphone players in China and like most of its rival manufacturers, it too aspires to go global. Meizu officially made its debut in India last year with the launch of MX5. Since then, Meizu has launched several phones but somehow didn’t manage to make deep inroads in the market. With an aim to re-write its story, it launched the m3 note with an aggressive 9,999 INR price . We have been living with Meizu m3 Note for past few weeks now and here’s our take on the phone:
Meizu m3 Note Specifications
|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, f/2.2 aperture, PDAF, LED flash, 1080p Videos|
|Secondary Camera||5MP, f/2.0 aperture|
|Others||4G Dual SIM LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth|
The Meizu m3 note makes a lasting impression with its scintillating design. It takes a lot of inspiration from last year’s MX5. The m3 Note sports beautifully crafted aluminum metal (6000 series) construction along with antenna lines gracefully engraved on top and bottom. The front is completely covered by a 2.5D curved glass which ensures that it looks clean and assertive.
Despite being a budget smartphone, it feels like a premium device. The physical buttons are ergonomically placed on the right side and offer decent tactile feedback. The bottom of the phone features a micro USB port and dual speaker grills, but only the right grill houses a speaker. Again, the m3 Note scores full marks with a symmetrically designed bottom edge. Like always, Meizu has ditched conventional buttons and has implemented a single physical button (iPhone style) on the front. It is mainly a home button but also doubles up as back button (simply tap on it). The fingerprint sensor is also embedded in this lone button.
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For multitasking, one can swipe up from either side of the home button. The implementation is indeed something unique and takes some getting used to. Once you are accustomed to it, the new approach feels more intuitive.
The display on M3 Note further compliments its design. It looks stunning when it’s turned off, and is equally mesmerizing when it lights up. The Meizu M3 Note features a 5.5-inch IPS LCD display which bears a Dinorex T2X-1 shield as a protector against scratches. However, we still recommend our readers to buys a decent tampered glass or case to as nothing in this imperfect world is scratch-proof.
The image and text reproduction are excellent. The display is sharp, bright and offers good viewing angles. Colors on the display feel natural, which might not align with your taste if you prefer punchy tones. The only concern I have with its display is reflectiveness. Overall I am very much pleased with the display, it is not perfect but I would happily choose it over what others are offering in the same budget.
Overall I am very much pleased with the display, it is not perfect but I would happily choose it over what others are offering in the same budget.
Performance and Storage
Meizu M3 Note is powered by a MediaTek’s Helio P10 chipset which is not as brawny, as say, the Redmi Note 3’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 or Le 2’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 SoC, but still, it manages to get the job done. The SoC is paired with 3GB RAM and Mali T-860 GPU for handling multitasking and graphic intensive tasks. In my time with the phone, I didn’t notice any alarming issue with multitasking, but sometimes apps took a tad longer to load.
Our experience while playing heavy games wasn’t very smooth. However, It does manage to meet the needs of casual gamers. If graphic intensive gaming is your priority, the m3 Note isn’t for you.
Our review unit comes with 16GB storage, but the variant Meizu is selling in India comes with 32Gigs of internal space. The quality of storage used isn’t great either, especially when it comes to writing speeds.
Overall, if you are not into heavy gaming, the performance will feel adequate.
Call Quality & Fingerprint Sensor
The handset comes with a hybrid SIM slot which accepts two nano SIM cards or one nano SIM and one microSD card.
Phone supports 4G LTE but there is no VoLTE support as of now (that is to say, Reliance Jio calling privileges go out the window). Meizu might enable VoLTE support (as it is supported by the chipset) in a future OTA update. The fingerprint sensor is embedded in the home button and its very fast and accurate.
The Meizu m3 note passes with flying colors in our battery test, thanks to its capacious 4100mAh battery and power efficient SoC. Without gaming we could easily extract a day and half worth of fairly heavy usage out of the battery. Meizu hasn’t bundled fast charger in the box. It takes about two and a half hours to completely charge it from zero to hundred.
Like most Chinese brands, Meizu too has heavily customized Android based OS. The M3 Note comes out of the box running on Flyme 5.1 OS which is based on Android Lollipop. If you have been using a near stock Android ROM for a while you might not find yourself immediately at home with the FlyMe OS.
I, for one, can’t do without an App drawer, so I have been using the Nexus launcher for the most part. The UI in itself is pretty neat and intuitive. It offers loads of customization options and features including gesture support. It supports double tap to wake, and allows you to draw Z, M, U, W to launch select apps. For multi-tasking there is split screen option (one can access from recent app panel). It comes loaded with a theme store which offers lot of themes and wallpapers to choose from. Our experience with Flyme 5 OS has been pleasant.
The M3 Note packs a 13-megapixel primary camera and a 5-megapixel selfie camera which more or less has become a standard in the budget range. The camera app is simple, loads quickly and offers a number of interesting filters. A number of shooting modes are available apart from the Auto Mode, which remains go to mode for most users.
We extensively tested Meizu m3 note camera and the results were a mixed bag. In auto mode, we found some metering issue. In most cases highlights are over blown. Focusing is quick, but shutter speed is a bit slow. One has to hold steady a tad longer than usual to avoid unwanted blurs. The Auto Mode in camera once again failed to impress us with its details as images often turns out grainy and with faded corners when analysed on a bigger display. The quality in manual mode, however, is significantly better if you know what you are doing.
On the other hand, selfie camera manages to perform better and can shoot decent quality, detailed selfies.
The Meizu M3 Note is one of the better smartphones Meizu has brought to India. The beautiful design, display, a fast fingerprint sensor and excellent battery backup play to its advantage. The hardware Performance is also above average and good enough to satisfy a normal user. The camera isn’t impressive in Auto mode, but it’s not a complete deal breaker either. If you are looking for a phone strictly under 10,000 INR, the m3 Note is definitely worth considering.