Meizu is strengthening its foothold in India, just like other Chinese smartphone companies, Lenovo and Xiaomi. Meizu smartphones have never seized to impress with their exceptional design, features and of course, price. Meizu's first budget smartphone and third in the lineup, the m2, was sent to us for review this month and here's our detailed assessment of the handset.
The Meizu m2 has already seen a decent amount of success in India as it has been on sale on three occasions ever since launch. The budget device is exclusively available on Snapdeal for Rs 6,999, challenging the sub-Rs 10,000 category predominated by the likes of Lenovo, Xiaomi, Motorola, Coolpad and other companies.
Has the Meizu m2 caught your fancy? And yet, are you in a dilemma? If yes, here is our product review to help you arrive at a decision.
Meizu m2: What's in the box?
The Meizu m2 came to us in a beautifully packed box, which consisted of the handset, user guide, SIM card tray eject pin, warranty card, data cable and the power adaptor (5V ~ 2A). We did not forget to list the earphones because the m2 comes without them.
Design and Display
Meizu sent us the dark grey variant of the m2. Frankly speaking, the budget device leaves a lasting impression with its elegant styling and fine finish. The Meizu m2 measures 140.1 x 68.9 x 8.7mm and weighs 131gms. The handset's 5-inch display with 1280 x 720 pixel resolution is protected by Dragon Trail glass and has GFF Full lamination tech to improve readability.
The front panel also houses a Home button at the bottom, which acts as Back function by simply placing the finger on top of it. Pressing the home button brings you to the main screen while holding it down for about 3 seconds will lock the handset.
On the right side of the device, you will find the volume up and volume down buttons alongside a power/lock button just below them. These are the only physical buttons available in the Meizu m2. On the left side of the handset is a SIM card tray, which also houses a microSD card slot if users wish to sacrifice one SIM card.
The Meizu m2 packs a 3.5mm jack for headphones on the top and the microUSB port for charging and connecting to PC along with speakers placed at the bottom.
Turning over, the rear side of the device is really impressive. The polycarbonate rear cover, which is sealed into Meizu m2's unibody, houses the primary camera with LED flash and the company's logo at the bottom. The overall design of the handset is simple yet elegant. At first, we found the m2's rear to attract smudges but over time, our usage proved us wrong. The rounded corners and a soft finish give you a comfortable grip.
The Meizu m2 camera is the second best thing we liked after its design . The handset equips a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera with f/2.2 aperture and LED flash. On the front side, there is a 5MP snapper with f/2.0 aperture and upgraded FotoNation beautifying system.
What's really impressive is the level of customisation the Meizu m2 camera offers. It includes Panorama, Beauty, Manual, Auto, Burst mode and Light Field modes that you can use to take the perfect shot. In addition, the camera settings, indicated by three vertical dots at the bottom of the interface, allows you to change photo size, video size, countdown setting, activating level gauge, gridlines, HDR and metering separation.
As shown above, the flash icon, camera switch, video recorder and access to different camera modes such as black and white, sunny, pale blue and brownish among others, are all placed at the lower bar taking one-third of the camera interface.
Below are a few sample shots taken using the Meizu m2 under different conditions: [SLIDESHOW]
The Meizu m2 is powered by a 64-bit MediaTek MT6735 quad-core processor clocking speeds at 1.3GHz, combined with Mali-T720 GPU for graphics and 2GB DDR3 RAM. The impressive combination of specs reflects the performance to a great extent. During our review, we did not find the handset to lag with normal usage.
In case of heavy usage, like running multiple apps and playing high-def games, the Meizu m2 heated up but not to an extent where it gets uncomfortable to hold. There is 1GB of RAM free for running all the apps and games. Playing high-definition games like Brothers In Arms 3 consumed high power, lagging the device but other games like Subway Surfer, Candy Crush and others worked glitch free.
When we ran benchmarking tests on the handset, the Meizu m2 scored 27,760 on AnTuTu 64-bit and 619 in single-core and 1788 in multi-core on GeekBench.
Comparatively, the Meizu m2 scored higher than Xiaomi Redmi 2 (20,376 on AnTuTu, 472 single-core and 1392 multi-core on GeekBench), Lenovo A6000 (20,807 on AnTuTu) and Moto E second generation (17,748 on AnTuTu).
Software and storage
The Meizu m2 runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop based Flyme 4.5 OS. The UI of the company's homegrown OS is quite impressive with multi-page layout. The home screen houses all the apps and additional downloads are displayed on the new pages created on the home. The Meizu m2 additionally packs 16GB onboard storage, 11GB of which is free for additional apps, photos, music, videos and more. There's a microSD card support to add extra storage up to 144GB.
The UI is responsive and does not lag while launching new apps. You can also access and close recent tasks by swiping from the bottom of the display. The Settings menu displays all the menus vertifcally in dual screen format. The left side of the screen shows the main menu and the right side displays sub-menus.
Within the Settings, we find Flyme customisations, network settings, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Sound profiles, Display brightness, fonts, colour temperature, Battery, Location services, Security, Date and time settings, Apps, Accessibility and finally About Phone.
The Meizu m2 is powered by a 2,500mAh non-removable battery. With our mixed usage of calls, data and Wi-Fi, the handset easily survived one full day on a single charge. But if you are playing games extensively, be sure to carry a power bank with you.
To save the day, the Meizu m2 comes with different power saving modes - Smart, Super and Customized - found under the Security Center app. With Smart power saving mode, the handset's battery is extended by a few minutes whereas the Super power saving mode will deactivate all functions of the phone to give you lasting calls and texts extended by hours (depending on how much charge is left on your phone). Using the Cusomtized power saving mode, you can limit the services you want when the phone is running low on juice.
The Meizu m2 packs dual SIM slots, one of which can also be used for microSD card storage up to 144GB, 4G TD-LTE and FDD-LTE support, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and the usual sensors for hall effect, gravity, IR proximity, Ambient light, touch, digital compass, GPS, A-GPS and GLONASS.
In our view, the Meizu m2 is a great choice for those who are upgrading from a feature phone to smartphone. Besides its extremely low price tag, the m2 offers good performance, good camera, decent battery and stylish design. In India, shoppers who are looking for handsets in the sub-Rs 10,000 category must consider the Meizu m2.
There are plenty of options in the sub-Rs 10,000 price range, such as Coolpad Note 3, which offers fingerprint scanner, 3GB RAM and more at Rs 8,999; YU Yuphoria, Yu Yunique, Xiaomi Redmi 2 Prime, Lenovo Vibe P1m and many more. The Meizu m2 is a strong contender here and worth considering.