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Meizu M6 Note Review: Wins Title of Best Mid Range Smartphone

We know dual-camera modules already appear on any smartphone at any price tag. Some of them do not deserve to be called dual-camera phones because the second lens is put there only to provide the bokeh effect. But we should write down the market is full of dual-camera handsets. However, it is rarely seen that a low-costing device is capable of taking good photos. Probably, only Xiaomi could boast of such smartphones. But starting today Meizu has its own representative in this niche. Today it launched the Meizu M6 Note, the next Blue Charm family handset sporting a decent specs list as well as a dual-camera. Many may think it’s the next mid-range device, but the truth is that the Meizu M6 Note has been made to compete with all those models that are designed for younger customers. I guess no one will mind if I say the brightest example of that is the Huawei Nova 2 and Nova 2 Plus. These smartphones sport identical features with the Meizu M6 Note. But the trick is that the latter costs 3 times less. Seems Meizu has revised its price policy. But I am offering to take a closer look at the newly released handset in order to understand whether it’s affected the hardware.

Meizu M6 Note

Meizu M6 Note Appearance

When we were reviewing another smartphone coming our way from this company, the Meizu Pro 7 we said all Meizu smartphones look identically. Especially, this statement refers to the front panel. This is true for the Meizu M6 Note as well. Some people say it’s good because customers can identify it’s a Meizu smartphone. But the rest think the manufacturer should make some changes from model to model.

Meizu M6 Note

The front side comes with a 5.5-inch Full HD LCD display. A light sensor, speaker, and a front shooter are located above the screen, while the familiar mBack Home button is below it. What’s interesting, the upper and lower parts have the same space. That’s why it looks symmetrical.

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Honestly, this is not the best screen we have ever seen. But do not forget it’s a thousand yuan machine, and an existence of a high-quality LCD display on it is a win. However, it comes with a 1000:1 contrast and 450 nits support. These features provide great viewing experience. The touch operations perform well too.

Meizu M6 Note

The Meizu M6 Note sports a metal housing. Though it’s a high-quality metal passed a number of folding and polishing processes, there is a noticeable gap between the screen panel and the body. Another interesting thing, the back of the phone uses a double 3D curved design. But lower areas of the edges come in a regular view.

Meizu M6 Note

Generally, the back of the Meizu M6 Note differs much from other Blue Charm models. The main culprit is the dual-camera module. Not only the existence of two camera sensors but the vertical layout makes us think the designers have worked a lot.

Meizu M6 Note

Second, the camera lenses differ in size. This makes the overall design more attractive.

Meizu M6 Note

We should also mention the 4 LED lights placed on the antenna line. We are familiar with such a design element from the Meizu E2, but as the camera layouts are different, the LED lights layouts differ as well.

Meizu M6 Note

As for the sides, the top of the phone carries a noise cancellation microphone. The bottom comes with a speaker, microUSB port, 3.5mm audio jack, and another microphone hole.

Meizu M6 Note

The SIM card slot is on the left.

Meizu M6 Note

The volume rocker and the power button are placed on the right.

Meizu M6 Note

Meizu M6 Note Camera

Though the dual-camera feature has become a mainstream long time ago, this is the first Blue Charm model with such a camera. But unlike many other dual-camera smartphones this phone provides ‘fair’ shooting experience. I mean most of the Chinese smartphone makers just put the second camera lens to attract people. But their products take terrible photos. This is not the case. The Meizu M6 Note sports a 12MP Sony IMX362 (or Samsung 2L7) camera sensor + 5MP OV sensor. Both lenses come with f/1.9 aperture.

Meizu M6 Note

Another key feature of this camera is the software. The phone comes with an optimized shooting algorithm that supports double portrait, background blur, and dark multi-frame noise reduction modes as well as greatly enhanced virtual reality and picture purity options. It’s combined with dual PD full-pixel dual-core focus system. So it’s not surprising the focus speed as fast as 0.03s.

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The dual-camera on the back has no difficulties with the daytime shooting. It’s expected – two camera lenses are capable of capturing every detail at its actual colors.

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The Meizu M6 Note also takes great macro photos. Looking at the samples below we can see the white balance has been improved a lot in comparison to older models.

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Of course, the night time shooting test is the mark of all smartphones. In this sense, the M6 Note behaves quite confidently – the overall light control is pretty good, thanks to a large aperture the dark scenes look bright and transparent. Although some shortcomings are still noticeable – just look at the edges of the building.

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As for the selfie camera, it uses a 16MP lens with f/2.0 aperture. It also uses a special optimization algorithm for an adaptive skin, automatic face recognition, and other options.

Meizu M6 Note

Meizu M6 Note Software

Android is an OS allowing manufacturers to developer their own OS based on them. More precisely, it’s a UI based on a certain version of Android, while the original Android can be found on Google Pixel models. Meizu is from those companies that can boast of own software named Flyme OS. The M6 Note runs on the 6th version based on Android 7.1.2.

Meizu M6 Note

In comparison to the previous versions, the Flyme 6 OS comes with an artificial intelligence assistant dubbed as One Mind. It’s a self-learning system monitoring users’ habits and offering better and more comfortable performance.

Meizu M6 Note

Generally, Flyme 6 OS comes with a more user-friendly design. Say, it offers all the system settings in one page. So no need to search for a setting by sections.

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Of course, one of the best features a Meizu smartphone comes with is the mBack. Meizu has granted this patent a year ago. It turns a regular oval-shaped home button into a smart assistant. Different types of presses will perform different operations including a fingerprint payment.

Meizu M6 Note

Meizu M5 Note Performance

All previous models from Blue Charm family carry MediaTek chips. That’s why we have been waiting for the M6 Note to come with an Helio P25 chip. But this phone actually sports a Snapdragon 625 SoC paired with a 3/4GB of RAM and 16/32/64GB of internal storage. This is a great news, as we have been waiting for Meizu device packing a Snapdragon chip only at the end of this year. Plus, the Snapdragon 625 is the best option for mid-range smartphones.

Meizu M6 Note

As for the chip itself, it’s an octa-core SoC with A53 architecture. The highest frequency is 2.0GHz. The chip also includes an Adreno 506 GPU that supports 4K shooting and dual-ISP image processor. At last, the 14nm process node it is based on allows the chip to control the heat and the power.

Read: Snapdragon 625 Vs MediaTek P20 Vs Xiaomi Surge S1 Comparison – Experts against Rookie!

Read: Xiaomi Surge S1 vs Snapdragon 625 vs Helio P25 vs Huawei HiSilicon Kirin 655

The benchmark scores showcase this is a classic mid-range chip. But Meizu has no reason to worry because many manufacturers use this processor in their flagships.

Meizu M6 Note

However, this processor is good at playing games. The test has been taken via ‘King of Glory’, and during the whole game, it showed 28-30fps.

Meizu M6 Note

Meizu M6 Note Battery

Smartphones’ battery life is one of the most painful tasks for any manufacturer. Some try to pack their handsets with larger batteries affecting the thickness, while the rest of manufacturers make their relatively small capacity batteries charge faster. The Meizu M6 Note seems to use both.

This phone sports a 4000mAh battery, which is good enough. But it comes at 8.355mm thickness. So this is the case we can say the look of the phone suffers from the battery capacity. But do not forget this smartphone has been made for younger users. They need more power!

To learn how this battery behaves in actual cases we used a test we used to do. The test began when the phone’s power was 100%, WiFi connectivity was on, and the screen brightness was set at 50%. After the first hour of the test that we were watching video online, the power dropped to 91%. Thus it consumes 9% in an hour when watching videos. Second, one hour of listening music online dropped the power to 89% (2%). Another hour of playing games online consumed 6% of power. 30 minutes on social media took 6% of power. Other 30 minutes of calling took 4%. And finally, 8 hours of standby time took 4%. So we can state the battery time talked during the launch event should be true.

Meizu M6 Note

Though we are dealing with a cheap mid-range handset, it features a large capacity battery as well as a fast charge technology in face of mCharge 3.0. It supports maximum 18W charging. We tested it as well. As you remember, the test’s logic is to write down the results after each 10 minutes.

Meizu M6 Note

The screenshot above shows the Meizu M6 Note will fully charge in 106 minutes.

Wrap Up

I guess it’s not correct to compare this handset with the Huawei Nova 2, as the latter sports in-house made Kirin 659 chip and its camera lenses are larger (12+8MP with f/1.8 and 20MP). In this sense, the Xiaomi Mi 5X is the closest rival to the Meizu M6 Note. They sport the same Snapdragon 625 SoC, 5.5-inch Full HD screen, and both of them come with Android 7.1 out of the box. Of course, the Mi 5X differs as well. It features a dual-camera with 12+12MP lenses on the back, which is better than the Meizu M6 Note’s camera. But the front camera yields – 5MP against 16MP. However, this is the first time when a Meizu smartphone costs less than a Xiaomi phone from the same niche. The Meizu M6 Note costs 1099/1299/1699 yuan ($165/195/255), while the Xiaomi Mi 5X is priced at 1499 yuan ($225).

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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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6 Comments

  1. Are you sure the “Xiaomi Mi 5X” back camera sensors are better than he Meizu one?.
    The Xiami’s one seems to be Omnivision OV12A10 with f2.2.
    It just shocks me that you said the Xiaomi Mi 5X takes better photos.

    Thanks 🙂

  2. I’m looking for a phone in this price range, and the Note 6 looks fine, but, how about the Lenovo P2? I could live with worse camera experience if I had that peace-of-mind feeling when you reach your phone to a 20% battery left and think, “I can definitely hang out with my friends and have some juice to spare back home”. So, what you do think?

    BTW, we live in the same city! 😉

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