When testing devices like the one we'll see in today's review, it's easy to let yourself go to evaluations dictated by "feelings". Yes, you read that right, I wrote "feelings" and I did it because the Meizu MX4 is a device that is hard to fall in love with!
Today we will see, therefore, the complete review of the Meizu MX4, a smartphone certainly not without flaws or, better still, aspects still to be "filed", but which, just as happens every day, for example, with a wife, when using everyday causes us to focus more on its incredible qualities.
Before continuing, it is our duty to thank the staff of the official dealer for Italy of Meizu products for sending the sample - Meizu.it -, reminding you that the MX4 is available on the store with shipping from our country and 24 months of warranty and Italian assistance.
Meizu MX4, the review of GizChina.it
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Meizu MX4 - the Mediatek MT6595 chipset: less Mediatek, more Meizu!
One of the aspects concerning the specifications of the Meizu MX4 that probably has made the most of the fans of the brand, is the equipment of the new octa-core LTE chipset from Mediatek, theMT6595. This mistrust is justified in a sort of "historical legacy" which sees Mediatek chipsets always, more or less, plagued by various kinds of bugs.
In fact, experience shows that, as happens, for example, for a car, it is not trivially sufficient to equip the car with the most powerful engine on the market to obtain the best result in terms of speed and performance, but rather it is always It is necessary to ensure the right balance between the various elements that make up the "machine", as well as a great deal of work in terms of researching its reliability.
As for cars, as well as for computers, to which, moreover, today's mobile devices "resemble" more and more, these two fundamental elements are also necessary for modern smartphones:equilibrium el 'reliability.
And it is on these aspects that, with Meizu, the almost proverbial "squaring of the circle" was achieved, represented by an optimization of the MT6595 chipset close to perfection on the Meizu MX4.
Still dwelling on a semi-mathematical dialectic, we can however affirm that we will have the proof of the 9 only in the aftermath of the release on the market of other devices equipped with the same chipset. However, although we do not have concrete elements of judgment, we know very well that not all companies operating in the Chinese mobile phone sector are equipped with a know-how technical equal to that of Meizu, an element that is absolutely necessary in order to obtain a result equal to that achieved by the company with the Meizu MX4.
Mine, therefore, wants to be an implicit call to action to the various Xiaomi, Vivo, Nubia, Huawei etc… We hope for a concrete answer!
As you may have noticed, my premise may seem almost like a "conclusion" and, perhaps, from some points of view it represents it. However, it will still be useful to follow the whole review, especially considering the fact that, as I already mentioned, the Meizu MX4 is not without "small bugs".
Up to now I have talked about the MT6595 processor only in relation to Meizu's adoption on the MX4, but let's look at the features in detail
Octa-core Mediatek MT6595 - complete specifications
Meizu was the first company in the world to equip its smartphone with an octa-core chipset MT6595 by Mediatek. The new processor is the successor of the MT6592, the octacore chipset from which the MT6595 differs in particular for the architecture (no longer true octacore, but big.LITTLE) and for network support LTE 4G.
The big.LITTLE architecture of the new MT6595 is characterized by two nuclei, that big, equipped with four Cortex A17-based cores and with a maximum clock frequency of 2.5 GHz, and the LITTLE, with four Cortex A7 cores operating at a maximum frequency of 1.7 GHz. However, thanks to the technology Core Pilot, if necessary, the system will be able to use all 8 core at the same time.
In addition to those already mentioned, among the main features of the new Mediatek chipset we find one PowerVR GPU G6200, with 4 graphics cores operating at 600MHz, support for cameras up to 20 mega-pixels - of which a concrete example is the sensor installed on the Meizu MX4 -, and on the display with resolution up to 2560 1600 pixels x.
The Meizu MX4 also offers 2GB RAM memory dual-channel LPDDR3 at 933MHz, while as regards the internal memory the smartphone is available in denominations from 16, 32 o 64GB memory of XMMUM eMMC type.
The test unit in our possession is equipped with 32GB of internal memory.
In the aftermath of its presentation, one of the aspects of the MT6595 that most caught the attention of the media was certainly the high score obtainable on Antutu from devices with the new Mediatek chipset on board. The 47.233 points you see in the image above, in fact, represented an absolute record and, therefore, a - albeit only “numerical” - overtaking on Qualcomm by Mediatek.
However, at least until today, the Antutu scores exposed by the chipset producers in the context of their official presentations, to the test of the facts, have always proved a bit "inflated", generally in the order of the 4-5.000 points .
Also from this point of view, with Meizu we can put aside the past and this because the Meizu MX4 gets an Antutu score even higher than that reported in the presentation of the MT6595 chipset.
Meizu MX4 - Antutu Benchmark
As you can see from the Antutu test video (v5.0 Beta1), the Meizu MX4 gets the incredible score of 50.447 points, even improved by the device in a test performed after the installation of thelatest version of Flyme 4.0 (4.0.2i). In this second test, in fact, the Meizu MX4 got the even more incredible score of 52.039 points!
However, to make sure of the "genuineness" of the scores, I also performed a test with Antutu X, which is the version of the benchmark designed to by-pass any fraud attempts by the manufacturing companies. The result is actually lower and equal to 50.097 points. However, the same is still higher than the 47.000 points declared at the presentation of the MT6595.
It is important to underline that the system automatically detects the performance of a benchmark test in the "Performance" mode, which we will discuss in the battery section.
Meizu MX4 - Software - OS FlyMe 4.0
The Meizu MX4 mounts a proprietary ROM, the FlyMe OS, now in the 4.0 version, based on 4.4.2 Android KitKat. The Flyme, following Meizu's official entry into Europe thanks to Meizu.it, was also released in Italian and today has support for 24 languages.
The ROM, among other things, is characterized by the absence of the App Drawer. However, it will be possible to install alternative launchers (eg Nova Launcher) from the Play Store. In the video review you will also find a test with Nova Launcher and Galaxy Launcher.
Despite the refresh compared to the previous 3.0, the Flyme 4.0 has not turned upside down inUser Interface and in fact the main innovations relating to the interface concern the new icon pack, now characterized by a more "flat" design, absolutely in line with the current flat.
However, as you can see by comparing the series of screenshots above, even the previous FlyMe 3.0 was already characterized by a flat interface. On the new version 4.0, in fact, the interface has undergone a further "cleaning" which has made the icons and the general appearance even more more flat.
The Flyme OS is a very complete ROM in functionality, which, in particular, is characterized by gesture very functional, of which you will find a complete analysis in the video review.
The Flyme is probably one of the main strengths of Meizu and, in this case, the Meizu MX4. It is a ROM of which it is difficult not to fall in love.
Meizu MX: Design
The design of the Meizu MX4 is one of the aspects of the device that most divides and the alleged resemblance of the same to Apple-phones, of old and new generation, is a reason for "discussion".
Personally I find the design of the Meizu MX4 very pleasant and, overall, original; the lines are simple, but still very elegant.
The very small display frames and the tapered shape of the back cover guarantee a safe grip and the fairly low weight (only 147 grams) - and well distributed over the entire surface - guarantees the possibility of using the device more easily with one hand. despite the 5.36-inch display.
The rear back cover is made of plastic and is removable. The removal is functional only for the insertion of the single micro SIM, as there is no slot for micro SD, nor the battery is removable.
However, it will be possible to replace the "stock" back cover with others made with special designs, such as, for example, the one with a wooden finish.
Build quality is excellent. Every detail is studied in detail and the device, in particular thanks to the metal perimeter frame - only 0.3 mm thick - is characterized by the solidity of its structure.
The plastic material of the back cover is of excellent quality and is such as to prevent the annoying problem of fingerprints that, on many other devices, tend to be always very visible in use.
Assembly is also excellent and the device is free of construction imperfections.
Wanting to be picky, in the structure of the MX4, the only choice of Meizu that I do not share is to place the power button on the top edge, or in a position not reachable in the handle.
Meizu MX4: display from 5.36 inches FULLHD +
the display of the MX4 is a panel with a particular cut from 5.36 inches and from the even more unprecedented resolution of 1920 1152 pixels x, defined by Meizu as FULL HD +. This interesting FULL HD + resolution translates to the MX4 in a density of 418PPI. The display is also protected by a glass Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and an oleophobic protection that significantly reduces the visualization of fingerprints on it.
For the panels of its MX4, Meizu has relied on two manufacturers, Sharp and JDI and, according to the company itself, the former for the displays mounted on the international versions, while the latter for those destined for the Chinese market.
That of the Meizu MX4 is, in general, an excellent panel, characterized by an excellent viewing angle that touches 180 °, well-reproduced colors and an excellent level of brightness.
The brightness sensor also performs very well and the readability of the display in the sun is quite good. However, in very bright conditions you may encounter some problems with readability.
The touchscreen is very fluid. The feeling of naturalness of the touch is almost equal to that detected on the Xiaomi Mi4.
Meizu MX4: performance and benchmark
As already mentioned above, the optimization of the MT6595 operated by Meizu on the MX4 allows the device to reach a stratospheric score on Antutu that breaks down the wall of 50.000 points (52.039 points).
Below is a video showing a complete Antutu test:
Here are all the other scores obtained by the Meizu MX4 in the various benchmark tests:
Meizu MX4: Gaming Test (Real Racing 3 - Dead Trigger 2 - Asphalt 8)
The MT6595 chipset is flanked by one PowerVR GPU G6200, which, equipped with 4 graphics cores operating at 600MHz, proved to be a worthy opponent of the Adreno 330 to the test of facts, such as in gaming.
On the Meizu MX4 run without problems all the most challenging titles in terms of graphics, such as Real Racing 3, Asphalt 8 and Dead Trigger 2. Even with Real Racing 3, in fact, despite the same is a game optimized for Adreno 330, I was able to detect an excellent reproduction of all elements and excellent fluidity of play.
Overheating is not excessive, except for a slight increase in temperature on the edges close to the metal perimeter frame and the speaker turns out to be in a fairly good position so as not to be covered by the handle during the game phases.
Meizu MX4: Telephone reception and connectivity compartment
The Meizu MX4 is equipped with support for LTE connectivity, which showed excellent reception with H3G operator in the coverage areas. However, these areas are still very rare in Italy and in most cases the device has hooked up to HSPA +.
In general, the reception of the Meizu MX4 is of an excellent level, a level that I would dare to define superior to that of all the Chinese smartphones tested so far.
The audio on call - both in the earpiece and in the speaker - is very powerful and clean and, in general, the sector is absolutely promoted.
Excellent audio in the headphones, tested on the MX4 with the Piston of Xiaomi.
Also the connectivity compartment, WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth (which is in version 4.0) works perfectly.
Meizu MX4: Quality of cameras
The rear camera of the Meizu MX4 offers a 1 / 2.3 inch CMOS sensor Sony IMX220 Exmor RS from 20.7 mega-pixels with opening F / 2.2, 4X digital zoom and 300 ° panorama, infrared filter, 5 lens elements, focusing in 0.3 seconds, burst mode that allows 25 shots per second, Corning Gorilla Glass 3 camera glass protection, Dual Dual LED flash, video recording to 100fps, ISO 1600 and registration videos in 4K with support for the H.265 codec to reduce the size of the captured movies.
The front camera is a unit instead SONY IMX208 alone 2 mega-pixels, but with F2.0 opening and lenses made by Sharp.
On the MX4 we also find an image processor Dual ISP, which helps the camera in the rendering of shots.
Despite the opening lower than that of the other current Top Range, the Meizu MX4 camera showed an above-average quality level. In particular, the sensor offers the best of itself in macros. The shots made in low light are a bit 'noisy, but still good.
Below you will find shots taken after the 4.0.2i update. Here instead is a in-depth photo comparison between Meizu MX4, Vivo Xshot and Xiaomi Mi4.
Meizu MX4 - Shots taken in low light conditions
Meizu MX4 - Long exposure shots in Manual Mode
What struck me a lot about the photographic sector of the Meizu MX4 is the shooting quality in manual mode. In particular, with the long exposure it is possible to capture many details and light even in night shots. Following examples:
Also good are the shots taken with active FLASH LED (double with double tone), even if the same, while offering uniform illumination of the point in focus, sometimes tends to excessively burn the colors of the same.
On the Meizu MX4 the video playback is excellent, in which the device has shown an excellent framerate and an excellent sound level.
Also excellent video recording up to 4K. While recording - always very smooth - the Meizu MX4 is able to capture audio excellently.
However the recording is very smooth and clear and the audio is excellent.
Meizu MX4: Battery
Battery life from 3100mAh non-removable of the Meizu MX4 I would define it as good and in "improvement" and with the new firmware release (4.0.2) 4 complete recharge cycles were required to stabilize it.
With my classic intense use I passed the 4 hours of screen lit, with 12 hours and a half of general use of the device and the 23% of remaining charge.
The tests were carried out with the energy saving mode set on balanced, although I must say that I have not noticed excessive differences with the mode Performance active. I noticed, however, a significant reduction in performance with the mode Power saving active.
An full recharge of the battery you get in about 2 orand, so we are more or less the same timing of the Huawei Honor 6, equipped, we remember, a 3000mAh battery.
Meizu MX4: final Thoughts
In conclusion, I find it difficult to focus exclusively on some particular aspects that I liked about the Meizu MX4, this is because it is the 360-degree device that I really liked.
In recent months I have had the opportunity to test many smartphones, even Top of the Range, but, despite the excellence of some, I remained faithful to my Meizu MX3. However, as often happens in life, even the love story with MX3 is over because this MX4 has arrived, a device capable of making me change my mind about my concept of the maximum acceptable size of a display, in particular thanks to the endowments of gesture that are really very functional and, above all, such as to make not only possible but, even simple, the use of the device with one hand.
The aspects that most impressed me were the excellent display and the extremely fluid touchscreen, the excellent camera and a manual mode with which, with a minimum of "learning", it is possible to "have fun", a reception and a audio absolutely above average.
Flyme 4.0 is certainly still unripe, but it has the potential to become the number one OS in the world.
With the subsequent firmware releases, in fact, the Flyme team is fixing all the small bugs that still afflict this device, that I would define, without delay, the best Chinese Android smartphone of 2014.
This, of course, awaiting the presentation of the Meizu MX4 Pro, which will be held next month in Beijing.
In closing, I thank you again Meizu.it for sending the Meizu MX4 sample, available in pre-order on the store in the 16GB and 32GB versions, respectively at the price of 339 e 379 EURor, with shipping from Italy and 24 months of warranty and Italian assistance.