Reviews

Meizu 16 Review: Huang Zhang’s Masterpiece!

Looking back on the past 15 years of Meizu’s activity, we can see this manufacturer had been far from the main battles between top smartphone makers. In the early years, Meizu a J. Wong brought the M8 and M9 as world-famous products. The company was sure these handsets would become very successful. But the truth is they only could show people how the upcoming Meizu phones will look like. Thus, they only make the Meizu phones recognizable.

Meizu 16

In the past few years, Meizu’s smartphones didn’t come with outstanding design and powerful performance. Instead, the manufacturer was launching similarly-looking smartphones one after another. Last year, Meizu tried to bring some innovations in face of the Meizu Pro 7 and Pro 7 Plus. As you should remember, it was packed with a secondary screen on the back. But the world was moving in another direction.

Once the company realized all of its efforts do not bring the expected results, they did what Nokia had done previously. They dropped the idea of working on innovations and began packing their handset with mainstream and trendy features. Say, it’s been known Qualcomm chips provide better performance than MediaTek SoCs. So Meizu switched to the American chip makers. Another case, the smartphone market has been obsessed with a full-screen technology. So Meizu launched a few models with it as well. Although it’s been done via its sub-brand of Blue Charm. Those handsets include the Meizu M6S, E3, M8C, and M6T.

However, all these smartphones belong to the low-end and mid-range categories. The first attempt to make something demanded was done in April when the company announced the Meizu 15. But again, the Meizu 15, 15 Plus, and 15 Lite were not widely recognized because of changed but outdated design, relatively weak performance, and other reasons. Honestly, these phones raise the company’s brand image a lot.

Today, on August 8 (you should keep this date because it will change Meizu’s fortune), the manufacturer held a new product launch conference and officially announced the much-anticipated Meizu 16 series handsets high-end smartphones. There have been too many rumors, leaks, assumptions concerning this phone. And fortunately, most of them are true.

Before we start deepening into details, we would like to provide some information concerning this phone:

  1. It’s the first smartphone of the Chinese manufacturer adopting the full-screen design.
  2. It’s originally called the Meizu 16th and Meizu 16th
  3. This is the world’s thinnest smartphone coming with an on-screen fingerprint recognition technology.
  4. It’s a genuine flagship with a top-end processor.
  5. It sports the world’s smallest front camera module.
  6. It’s cheaper than the Xiaomi Mi 8 by 1 yuan.

Meizu 16 Appearance

We have got the Meizu 16 night black version packed with an 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 128GB of internal storage.

Meizu 16’s box is black. On the front, it carries only the MEIZU logo and huge 16th. However, compared to the previous generation Meizu 15 packaging, it does not change much.

Meizu 16

When holding in hands, you can feel smoothness and lightweight. It’s because of the 7.3mm thickness and the 152g weight. Plus, it is great in terms of ergonomics due to the quad-curved glass body.

Meizu 16

The regular version comes with a 6-inch 18:9 full-screen made by Samsung, which has a screen ratio of 91.18%. Thus, it’s among the highest screen ratio phones.

Meizu 16

Unlike many notch screen smartphones available on the market, the Meizu 16 comes with another type of full-screen. The latter has 0.93mm borders on the left and right sides and 7mm forehead and chin. The inner and outer arcs of the screen area are almost identical.

Meizu 16

Enlarging the details, we can see the Meizu 16 narrowed the metal frame to the extreme level, even boldly removed the screen plastic edge. Something like that we have seen on the MX4 several years ago.

Meizu 16

As for the back, it is a 3D curved glass body. It uses 7 layers of vacuum coating technology applied to the glass. That’s why it looks like a ceramic when looking at it closely.

Meizu 16

The dual-camera style is identical to older Meizu phones’ design.

Meizu 16

The polished aluminum alloy frame has a smooth transition with the glass, helping to continue Meizu’s consistent first-class feel. Probably, we can say this is the most perfect sandwich mechanism among the current Chinese models.

Meizu 16

At the bottom are linear speakers (two in total, the other is placed in a hidden earpiece).

Meizu 16

The 3.5mm headphone jack is retained here, along with a USB Type-C 2.0 charging port, a noise reduction mic (two in total, another noise reduction mic on the top of the fuselage), and two antennas.

Meizu 16 Performance

In terms of performance, the Meizu 16 is equipped with a Snapdragon 845, and it has added copper tube heat to it. Besides the 8GB variant we are reviewing currently, there is also a 6GB model.

Meizu 16

We should state this is the first time in 15 years that Meizu is using a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8-series processor. It has made a good progress. Moreover, Meizu has become the only smartphone manufacturer used products of three major chip makers, Qualcomm, MediaTek, and Samsung Orion.

Meizu 16

AnTuTu

The Meizu 16 reaches the unprecedented 290,000 points in the history of Meizu. According to the recent AnTuTu top performance smartphones list in July, it is almost equivalent to the Xiaomi Black Shark performance that leads the list. Sure enough, the heat dissipation structure of the copper tube is quite useful for excavating the performance of the Snapdragon 845.

Meizu 16

GeekBench

In multi-core and single-core tests, the Meizu 16’s ability and the SoC model have very weak wins and losses.

Meizu 16

GFXBench

Similarly, Meizu 16’s GFXBench score has also reached the top of the Android camp. The graphics processing capability is basically the same as that of other SND845-powered devices.

Meizu 16

PCMark

In the PCMark running scores, the Meizu 16 rides the dust, only slightly weaker than the top. Its energy consumption ratio can be ranked second in the Android camp.

Meizu 16

Androbench

The continuous reading speed is around 709MB/s. The UFS2.1 performance is perfect.

Meizu 16

Meizu 16 Camera

Meizu 16 uses a rear dual-camera, the components of which include the Sony IMX380 and IMX350 camera sensors. They correspond to the 12MP and 20MP resolutions, respectively. Everyone is well aware that the IMX380 is the main photo CMOS of DxOMark’s second high-score Huawei P20.

However, this time thanks to the addition of Snapdragon 845, the Meizu 16 got the flagship ISP and brought a top-level computing performance as well as a new algorithm architecture.

As a result, the IMX380, which has a 1/2.3-inch outsole and a single-pixel size of 1.55 microns, is completely liberated.

Daytime samples

This is a macro proof of two different flowers. You can see the Meizu 16 can give accurate color reproduction performance regardless of the fact whether it is facing the hot red petals or the pink and purple stretch.

Meizu 16

Meizu 16

In the zoomed mode, we see the details are rich and clearly captured.

This is a sky photo sample. If zoomed, you can see the texture of the cloud tulle floating in the sky is also recorded truthfully, without over-sharpening.

Meizu 16

This is a macro proof of the hippocampus sculpture. The background of the pool and the green plant are still good after being blurred. The sculpture is preserved with quite a lot of details, such as the mottled rust and pit that are visible after zooming in. The flaws of the skull and the tolerance of the picture are also very good.

Meizu 16

The Meizu 16’s rear dual-camera supports up to 3 times lossless zoom. It can be seen from the above figure that the details of the Chinese characters recorded at the door of the store after being zoomed in 3 times were not lost.

Meizu 16

Meizu 16

Nighttime samples

The building outline is clear and complete. The sky is also completely black and clean. There is no obstructive noise or transitional smear.

Meizu 16

In this photo, the objects clarity is not affected by the chaotic light.

Meizu 16

What is more amazing is that there is no overexposure, but the dimming of the lights is also completely drawn. Each light track is almost clear.

Meizu 16

We should note the door font that has almost jumped out of focus has not been exposed and clearly visible.

Meizu 16

Portrait samples

The portrait contour capture is more accurate, and there is no excessive blurring error. The blurring effect can be seen from the near to the far degree of blurring.

Meizu 16

As we have said before, the Meizu 16 comes with a very narrow design, an ultra-narrow bezel, and a frame with a narrow outline of 0.795mm. As a result, it has been fitted with a custom-built world’s smallest front camera module. But this did not affect the beauty of the ‘micro-shaping.’

Meizu 16

Meizu 16

As shown in the above picture, the beauty ‘plastic’ is moderate.

Meizu 16 Battery

Under the hood, the Meizu 16 carries a 3000mAh battery, while there is a 24W charger in the package.

When testing the Meizu 16 for a 1080p video playing, the remaining power was 47%. After 60 minutes the power dropped to 29%. So we can state the power consumption for a 1-hour video playback is 18%. Thus, it can continuously play online videos for about 6 hours. But take into consideration the fact when testing the brightness was 100% and the volume was 60%.

In terms of playing games, we chose the PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS (PUBG). The remaining power was 63%. After 30 minutes, it dropped to 49%. The power consumption is 14%.

Meizu 16

Finally, as for charging, the Meizu 16 supports a standard 12V2A fast charging option. It took 99 minutes to fully charge the phone.

Meizu 16

Meizu 16 Experience

The Meizu 16 comes with dimensions of 150.5 × 73.2 × 7.3mm and weighs 152 grams. So no pressure in the palm/hand when holding it. Due to the narrowed borders, lightweight, and curved body, it’s easier to implement single-hand operations as well as take photos with one hand.

Meizu 16

Meizu 16

The Meizu 16’s fingerprint recognition sensor is hidden under the screen. Unlike the ordinary capacitive sensors, the Meizu 16 uses an optical fingerprint sensor to draw fingerprints by sensing the different reflections of light from the surface of the finger.

Meizu 16

The main point is that the screen fingerprint unlocking is deployed in the Meizu 16 full series. Meizu does not regard it as a single product advantage. So everyone can get it.

However, the fingerprint input process of the Meizu 16 screen fingerprint unlocking is basically the same as that of traditional fingerprint input. For the users, the only difference is that the fingerprint recognition module has changed its position.

Meizu 16

In terms of unlocking speed, although it has animated rendering, it can still experience the lightning-like pleasure. It operates in only 0.25 seconds and a recognition success rate is up to 99.12%.

Meizu 16

The Meizu 16 brought us a new mBack and incorporates the second generation mEngine, which is the most advanced horizontal linear motor currently available. It can simulate the feedback effect of physical buttons, comparable to the iPhone 8.

Meizu 16

Previously, in the understanding of human-computer interaction, Meizu has always been at the forefront. It has introduced the mBack technology based on the physical Home button. It has been chased by many manufacturers and used for many years.

Meizu 16

Combined with quiet, powerful vibration, this rich and flexible tactile feedback makes us think that the classic physical home button never seems to leave.

Meizu 16

The Bottom Line

After the review of all features, we can calmly state the Meizu 16 is the Huang Zhang’s masterpiece! Meizu and its CEO could come in with an amazing smartphone that is perfect in all aspects. It’s a genuine flagship with a stylish look, quite powerful performance, innovative technologies such as the on-screen fingerprint identification, very good cameras on the front and back, and so on. Also, we should mention it is priced at 2698 yuan, which is 1 yuan less than the Xiaomi Mi 8. So in some sense, the company kept its promise when said the Meizu 16 will be the cheapest Snapdragon 845 phone. In 15 years, Meizu could design a true flagship for the top Android camp.

Use the coupon (code: ZMTULTBT) to get the 128GB version at $655.99.

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Argam Artashyan

Back in 2010, he was dismissed from his position as a lecturer at the university. This made him get another job at his friend’s digital marketing company as a blog writer. After a few years, when he was thinking the article writing is his mission, Google pushed the Panda update and affected the company and websites he was working at. (Un)fortunately and surprisingly, he got an offer to head a large knitting factory. In 2016, he got his Ph.D. and resumed teaching at the University … and writing tech-related articles following his passion.

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