UPDATE:UPDATE: The phone has been priced at Rs 19,999 in India, as expected. The company also said it will give servicing on doorstep, implying that customers can have their phones picked up from home. Sales of the phone start at 2 pm on Snapdeal.
Like with M2, the Meizu MX5 is also likely to be an Amazon exclusive, and is likely to be the cheapest phone in India with a large, full-HD AMOLED display.
At present, the cheapest full-HD AMOLED display phone in India is the Gionee Elite S7, which is available at Rs 20,000 on Snapdeal.
The MX5 too is likely to be priced in the Rs 18,000-19,000 range for the 16 GB version, and has the potential to take the crown of the ‘affordable flagship’ away from OnePlus Two.
However, before we delve into the details, we must warn that the Meizu MX5 suffers from a key limitation — it does not support Micro-SD cards, and that is something that the phone has in common with its closest competitor, the Gionee Elife S7.
However, unlike the Gionee S7, the MX5 will offer a choice between having 16 GB in-built (or around 11.5 GB available) and a 32 GB version. Of course, if you already have a 16 GB memory card that you want to use with the MX5, you are out of luck.
The MX5 has three key USPs, and other than the lack of memory card slot, practically no big drawbacks.
The three key areas of strength are looks, display and camera.
Meizu has always been a looks-oriented company, unlike say Lenovo, which is primarily focused on specifications and price.
Meizu models are typically minimalistic and in that sense, are like iPhones.
The Chinese company’s flagship doesn’t disappoint on that front either. And unlike the M2 Note, the MX5 adds to the minimalistic looks by adding a full-metal body, which gives a premium feel to the handset.
In fact, Meizu gives all kinds of details on its website about exactly how much pain it takes to ensure quality and reliability of its phones.
“It takes 30 days to turn 250g of T6063 aluminum into an exquisite 21g metal body. This 68-step process includes CNC rough processing, nano-molding, CNC fine processing, polishing, coating, anodizing and diamond cutting,” it says.
In fact, it could be argued that if Steve Jobs was to choose between the MX5 and the iPhone, there is a good chance that he’d find the Chinese phone more in keeping with his tastes than what his successor at Apple has put out.
Despite having an all-metal body, the phone weighs less than 150 gm.
Of course, if you are a stickler for minimalistic looks and extra Rs 6,000 is not going to hurt, you can also look at the Vivo X5 Pro, available in India at Rs 25,000.
The display will be one of the key areas where Meizu will score over competition like OnePlus. In fact, once launched, the MX5 will be India’s cheapest mobile phone to flaunt a full-HD Super AMOLED screen.
The key difference between AMOLED displays and LCD displays is that in OLED displays, each dot produces its own light (allowing for pitch blacks), while in an LCD display, the light is derived from a small number of LEDs at the back, which restricts the quality of blacks.
“AMOLED surpasses traditional LCD technology in terms of contrast. (It has) 10000:1 contrast ratio, which is very close to the limit of the naked eye,” according to the company. In fact, most LCD displays have contrast ratios in the range of 1,000.
In addition, unlike many other models with AMOLED, the one on this handset has been reported to be more realistic in its saturation and color levels.
One the other hand, the OnePlus Two, which is priced at Rs 23,000, uses LCD technology for its 5.5-inch display. Of course, the OnePlus Two also comes with 4 GB of RAM instead of Meizu’s 3 GB, but we’re guessing that 3 GB is probably going to be more than enough for a phone right now.
The MX5 comes with a 21 MP rear camera with SONY IMX220 sensors. In fact, the camera on the back has come in for a lot of praise from users and reviewers alike, and is considered one of the strongest points about the phone.
“Our continuous research on the SONY IMX220 in the past year has brought several improved software algorithms: white balance, sharpening, color tuning and shutter logic,” says Meizu, which offers several ‘test photos‘ on its website.
The phone, which has a 5 MP shooter at the front, also supports 4K UHD playback and recording.
There are, of course, other features as well, particularly the ultra-fast fingerprint sensor on the home button, that have impressed reviewers. The feature is so quick that it feels instantaneous and works without glitches, according to users.
“The fingerprint feature and the home button are connected through a stainless steel plate on the support board behind the screen. This way, it is possible to make key feedback more straightforward and comfortable, and it is also possible to increase the lifespan of the keys (reaching 300,000 times)
“In addition, we have also added a silicone gel pad between the fingerprint identification module and the screen, preventing keys from wearing out. It can also effectively prevent water and sweat from penetrating into the body and also ensures air-tightness of the body.”
In terms of performance, the phone scores close to 50,000 on Antutu benchmark, which puts it in the top 5% or so of the models out there. On Geekbench, which measures primarily CPU power, it scores close to 1,000 points on single core mode and 5,400 in octa-core mode. In contrast, the Gionee S7 and the OnePlus Two score about 3,000 and 4,500 points in multi-core mode respectively.
The biggest issue with Meizu so far has been the lack of service center support. According to our information, the company will announce a service center tie-up at the time of launching MX5. In fact, that has been something that has delayed the launch of the flagship model in India so far, as the company did not want to launch the phone without first tying up with a service center provider, according to our source.