As you will remember, in the review of the Meizu MX4 I told you how impossible it is not to fall in love with that device.
Meizu, however, decided to "test my loyalty”By launching the Meizu MX4 Pro, older brother of the MX4 that I have already reviewed. Will this MX4 Pro make me “forget” the standard MX4? Let's find out together in the full review that follows!
The Meizu MX4 Pro will be available for pre-order from the next few weeks on Meizu.it, the official Meizu dealer for Italy, with shipping from our country and 24 months warranty and Italian assistance.
Meizu MX4 Pro, the review of GizChina.it
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When a company decides to present two variants of the same model it becomes almost automatic to compare them and check which aspects have been improved on the variant launched after the first one. Let's analyze what this version of Pro is different from.
Meizu MX4 Pro - the Samsung Exynos 5430 chipset.
The Meizu MX4 Pro was equipped with the chipset octacore Samsung Exynos 5430 (the same used by the Samsung Galaxy Alpha), an architecture-based processor ARM big.LITTLE, with 4 core Cortex-A15 operating at the maximum frequency of 2.0Ghz e 4 core Cortex-A7 with maximum clock from 1.5Ghz (then overclocked compared to the 1.8 and 1.3 of the standard 5430) e production process at 20nm, thanks to which it will be possible to obtain a savings in terms of "consumption" equal to 20% compared to what we saw in previous 28nm solutions.
As known, the big.LITTLE architecture guarantees, depending on the processing needs, an alternative use of the two quad-core “modules”. However, the Exynos 5430 processor offers a particular solution called HMP (Heterogeneous Multi-Processing), thanks to which, if necessary, it will be possible take advantage of all the 8 cores at the same time.
The processor is flanked by the 6 graphics cores of the powerful Mali GPU-T628MP6 and well 3GB RAM.
Meizu MX4 Pro: complete specifications
Specifications continue with a display 5.5 inches 2K, with resolution QHD + 2560 x 1536 pixels (546ppi), Dual band WiFi a / b / g / n / ac with hotspot and WiFi Direct function, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, GPS with Glonass, rear camera from 20.7 mega-pixels with sensor Sony IMX220 Exmor RS with opening F / 2.2 with dual flash led double-toned, front camera from 5 megapixel with sensor Omnivision OV5693 a 4 lenses with optical filter e F / 2.2 focal aperture, size of 150.1 x 77 x 9 mm and weight of 158 grams, battery by 3350mAh not removable, operating system Android KitKat 4.4.4 with interface Flyme in the new version 4,1.
Three memory cuts: 16, 32 e 64GB. Sull 'MX4 Pro there will not be a micro SD memory expansion slot.
The test unit in our possession is equipped with 32GB of internal memory.
In a comparison between the Exynos solution and the MediaTek solution of the “standard” MX4, both SoCs guarantee a high fluidity in daily use and both highlight the optimization work performed by Meizu.
A clarification, however, is a must: the Meizu MX4 Pro, unlike the "younger brother", is equipped with 2K + display, with resolution QHD + 2560 x 1536 pixels. This aspect certainly does not benefit the battery life and, despite the energy savings guaranteed by the Exynos, it may be normal to detect a slightly higher consumption than the “standard” MX4.
Meizu MX4 Pro - Software - OS FlyMe 4.1
The Meizu MX4 Pro is equipped with a proprietary ROM, the FlyMe OS, which we know well by now and which has reached version 4.1. It is a ROM that, in this new version, is based on 4.4.4 Android KitKat. Furthermore, the Flyme, following Meizu's official entry into Europe thanks to Meizu.it, was also released in Italian and to date has support for 24 languages.
Despite this, however, there are still some errors in Italian translation and some inaccuracies detectable in the overlap of some elements, but we hope to see a final and correct version when the MX4 pro will actually be available on the market.
One of the peculiarities for which this ROM is characterized is the absence of the App Drawer. However, if necessary it will be possible to install alternative launchers from the Play Store (eg Nova Launcher).
In this 4.1 version some aspects of the interface change, such as, for example, the display of icons in the folders, which is now represented by an 3 x 3 grid, instead of 2 x 2 as we had previously seen.
Another new feature is the addition, in addition to the traditional Flyme input method, of the keyboard TouchPal, third-party app and excellent solution for typing, of which we have already proposed a review.
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.
Meizu MX4 Pro: Gesture
In a device with a 5.5 inch display, the use of the gesture is certainly a clever solution to overcome the difficulty of reaching all the corners of the screen with one-handed operation.
In addition to the gestures that we have already seen on the standard MX4, especially those for the reactivation of the device with the screen off and the features related to the fingerprint reader, which I have spoken to you in a dedicated focus, on the MX4 Pro we find interesting news.
The main one concerns the introduction of the smart touch button, which can be activated directly from the quick toggles.
Thanks to the SmartTouch, which can be positioned anywhere on the display, it will be possible to quickly return to the homescreen with a swipe upwards, or scroll through the various recent apps opened with swipes from right and left, or, again, "cut" the display with a double tap, in order to make the app icons positioned at the top more easily accessible.
Finally, within any application, it will be possible to open the notification curtain with a swipe down. Functionality, this, first present only in the pages of the homescreen and now, instead, can be activated even when you are inside an app.
The other Gestures implemented concern the quick reactivation from the display off: in addition to those already seen on the standard MX4, or the double tap to wake, the swipe upwards to reactivate the display on our last activity and the swipe downwards to open the notification curtain, many other gestures have been implemented, which we can set according to our needs.
For example, drawing a “C” on the display off can set direct access to the camera.
The configurable gestures are many and for all the applications that you will need to activate in this fast way.
Meizu MX4 Pro: fingerprint sensor
As we know, the introduction of a fingerprint sensor is the main novelty of this device.
The main function for which to use a similar technology is to increase safety and protection in the daily use of the smartphone; in fact, the simplest operation that can be performed through this sensor is that of unlocking the phone, which can be carried out with a simple one touch of the Home key.
Meizu, however, also introduced the function mPay, or the secure payment method through recognition of the fingerprint set as a password.
For all the other features, I leave you to the video focus I've made.
Meizu MX4 Pro: Design
Except for the fingerprint reader installed on the physical Home button and for the dimensional increase of the display diagonal, the Meizu MX4 Pro is practically identical to the standard MX4.
Being an almost identical design, I confirm what was said for the Meizu MX4: even on this MX4 Pro, in fact, the lines are simple, but at the same time very elegant and clean.
The very small display bezels (only 2.8mm) and the even more tapered shape of the back cover guarantee a secure grip and the fairly low weight (only 158 grams) - and well distributed over the entire surface, even if I noticed a slight imbalance at the top - guarantees the ability to use the device even with one hand, despite the 5.5-inch display.
The rear back cover is made of plastic and is removable, as well as for the Meizu MX4. Its removal is only functional to the insertion of the single micro SIM, as there is no micro SD slot, nor is the battery removable.
In general, the overall build quality of this Meizu MX4 Pro is excellent and free of imperfections.
Also in this case, as it was for the standard Meizu MX4, and again for fussiness, I do not agree with the choice of placing the power button on the upper edge, in a position that is even less reachable here in the one-handed grip.
Although the back cover is made of plastic, it is of excellent quality and avoids the annoying problem of fingerprints which, on many other devices, tend to remain on the body during daily use.
Meizu MX4 Pro: display from 5.5 inches QHD +
The increase in size of the Meizu MX4 Pro, compared to the standard version of the device, is motivated by the adoption of a larger display. Specifically, the Meizu MX4 Pro mounts a panel with a diagonal from 5.5 inches and resolution QHD + 2560 x 1536 pixels (more commonly called 2K), surrounded by only 2.8mm of frames and protected by glass Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
The screen of this Meizu MX4 Pro has a brightness di 450 thread and a contrast di 1500:1.
The Meizu MX4 Pro features a JDI panel, characterized by the adoption of a particular technology, namely the NEGA (negative LCD panel), so as to ensure less absorption of resources by the 2K display.
This technology uses a particular image compression and an automatic refresh system, which is defined Panel Self Refresh and which offers benefits to the use of images, especially during longer sessions of use of the display.
The panel is of excellent quality and shows a very good viewing angle, as well as the colors in general, all reproduced in a very realistic way.
The black is very deep and in fact the difference between the frame and the panel is difficult to see; white is well reproduced and bright, while the rest of the chromatic range presents no problems whatsoever. The saturation scales show excellent results in the rendering of each single color allowing to recognize every nuance of the test palette.
The touchscreen is very fluid despite the QHD + resolution, a sign of how the Exynos 5430 responds well to the demand for resources. Even the sensation perceived during use is that of naturalness of the touch, without delays of any kind.
Meizu MX4 Pro: performance and benchmark
As already mentioned earlier, the Meizu MX4 Pro is equipped with Samsung Exynos 5430 SoC coupled to a Mali GPU-T628MP6.
Meizu MX4 Pro - Antutu Benchmark
As you can see from the Antutu test video, the Meizu MX4 Pro gets the excellent score of 44.129 points.
Performing the test with AnTuTu X, however, the score obtained is of 28.115.
Here are all the other scores obtained by the Meizu MX4 in the various benchmark tests:
Meizu MX4 Pro: Gaming Test (Real Racing 3)
As I already mentioned, the Exynos 5430 chipset is flanked by a Mali GPU-T628MP6, equipped with 6 graphics cores operating at 600MHz, to the test of facts, such as in gaming, has proved a worthy opponent of Adreno 330.
On the Meizu MX4 Pro run without problems all the most demanding titles from the point of view of graphics, such as Real Racing 3. This, in fact, despite being a game optimized for Adreno 330, has been reproduced in an excellent manner in every element.
The fluidity and the gaming experience were excellent.
The overheating is not excessive, except for a slight temperature rise in the upper back of the device.
The playback of the audio during the game session was excellent, certainly strong of the excellent audio specifications that this Meizu MX4 Pro is equipped with.
Meizu MX4 Pro - audio segment
One of the innovations introduced by Meizu with the MX4 Pro concerns the equipment endowment of a premium level audio sector. The new Top Range of the company, in fact, will be equipped with a dedicated audio chip ES9018K2M DTS Stereo 7.1 (the same one with which the Vivo Xplay 3S) and a professional amplifier OPA1612.
This allocation translates into a wide dynamic range of 123dB and in a high reproductive quality, although not at the levels of Vivo Xplay 3S.
What differs between the standard Meizu MX4 and this Pro version is the possibility to fully enjoy the high reproductive quality, also thanks to the presence of a dynamic equalizer present in listening to music with headphones. In fact, as soon as you connect, you can choose from a list of pre-sets or you can decide which type of equalization to adopt by manually modifying the values of each individual frequency.
Meizu MX4 Pro: Telephone reception and connectivity compartment
The Meizu MX4 Pro is also 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 Pro is excellent, almost on a par with the "standard" version, which I consider the best Chinese Android smartphone in terms of telephone reception.
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 headphones, tested on the MX4 Pro with the Piston of Xiaomi.
Also the connectivity compartment (WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0 e NFC) works perfectly and while on the standard MX4 I detected the inability to use the WiFi HotSpot, on this MX4 Pro there are no problems in this regard.
Meizu MX4 Pro: Quality of cameras
The rear camera of the Meizu MX4 Pro is the same already present on the standard MX4. Let's talk about 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, as anticipated, is one Omnivision OV5693 da 5 megapixel with 4 lenses, optical filter with blue glasses, opening F / 2.2 e wide-angle lens da 84.4%.
The only note to make to the camera concerns a small bug that I detected in the first uses and related to focusing, sometimes not performed by the camera. However, after a factory reset, the problem never occurred again.
The level of the shots is excellent and even in this case what amazes particularly are the macro and close-ups.
Meizu MX4 Pro - Shots taken in low light conditions
The shots taken in low light are a bit 'noisy, but generally very good.
The shots taken with active dual LED flash (dual tone color) are also good. The lighting is uniform even on reflective surfaces, as can be seen from the following photo.
Excellent shots made with active HDR mode.
Below are other shots in different conditions.
As far as the video sector is concerned, this Meizu MX4 Pro is able to reproduce practically all the most popular video formats and does so in a very fluid and linear way, even if in the reproduction of a video in 4K particularly "challenging", I have found a certain slowness in the passage from one point to another in the movie. In the video review you will find a reproduction test.
Meizu MX4 Pro: 4K video test
As for the 4K video recording, I noticed a rather low quality, combined with an excessive jerkiness of the image. I reserve the right to carry out new tests in the coming days, in order to understand whether it is an isolated case or a software bug.
Below is a sample.
Meizu MX4 Pro: Battery
Battery life from 3350mAh not removable of the Meizu MX4 Pro, with regard to this unit under test, which we remember to be a pre-production sample, it is definitely good.
Despite the 2K display, undoubtedly more energetic than the FULLHD, in my typical day about 12 hours and a half of general use of the device I was able to get beyond the 20: 00 with a range of 9%.
A more than good value, especially when you consider the almost 5 hours of QHD screen on.
The tests were carried out with the energy saving mode set on Balanced.
A full recharge of the battery you get in 2 hours e 20 minutes, more or less the same time as the "younger brother" MX4.
Meizu MX4 Pro: final Thoughts
In conclusion what can I tell you about this device? First of all, it did not make me fall in love like the MX4 Standard. With this I do not mean that the one tested these days is not a great smartphone, indeed!
The problem, if it can be defined as such, concerns what has changed in this device compared to the version to which it refers.
Personally I love smartphones with which you can (or is facilitated) one-handed use. From this point of view the standard MX4, despite the display from 5.36 inches, has fully convinced me and satisfied in everyday use, even one-handed.
The MX4 Pro, despite the excellent size optimization, in this final judgment is absolutely penalized by his younger brother, but thanks to the gesture introduced with the Flyme 4.1 will be able to partially overcome this problem.
Despite this, the MX4 Pro is still an excellent device which I recommend buying, especially in view of the good software optimization of what is still a pre-production sample, tested at about 3 weeks since the launch of the official version.
It should be stressed, however, that the maturity of this device is not yet 100%, but it is very close.
As for the Flyme, in this new version of 4.1, suffers from the bugs I have reported in this in-depth review, and I am confident that will be resolved soon by Meizu itself.
In closing, I thank Meizu again for providing me with the Meizu MX4 Pro sample.
We are waiting to know the official price for Italy of this MX4 Pro that will be sold, for us Italians, officially on Meizu.it, the official dealer for Italy that guarantees shipping directly from our country with delivery in 24 / 48 hours and Italian warranty of 24 months.