Today at Meizu's event in China the company presented their new flagship phone, the MX5. The MX5 is the successor to the MX4 released last year, and while I haven't been able to review that unit yet, I did take an extensive look at its bigger brother, the MX4Pro.

The MX5's biggest characteristic is the change in display technology. Meizu has now adopted Samsung's AMOLED screen in place of the traditional LCD technology. This also leads to a change in form-factor as now Meizu had to abandon its 16:10 aspect-ratio for the more conventional 16:9 resolutions. At 1080p and 5.5" diagonal, the screen isn't as high resolution as one might have expected and thus regresses in terms of DPI in comparison to the MX4. This is a diamond-structure PenTile subpixel arrangement so the effective resolution is thus even less than the MX4, something one might have to be wary of in a 5.5" phone such as this.

An important metric is power consumption, the MX5 is supposed to use up 40% less power than the MX4's screen, this might point out that PSR is now being employed on the new unit as the MX4 notoriously suffered from a lack of the technology. The screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 3.

Meizu MX5 Specifications
SoC MediaTek Helio X10 MT6795
8x Cortex A53 @ 2.2GHz
PowerVR G6200 @ 700MHz+
NAND / Storage 16 / 32 / 64GB
Display 5.5" 1920x1080 SuperAMOLED
Network 2G / 3G / 4G LTE
(Chinese Bands)
Dimensions 149.9 x 74.7 x 7.6mm
149 grams
Camera 20.7MP Sony IMX220 sensor F/2.2 Main camera
w/ Laser auto-focus

5MP F/2.0 Front camera
Battery 3150mAh
OS Android 5.0
with Meizu FlymeOS 4.5
Connectivity 802.11 b/g/n/ac + BT 4.1 + BLE, USB2.0, GPS/GNSS
SIM Size nanoSIM + nanoSIM

Meizu continues to employ MediaTek's SoCs in its device as we see the MX5 use a new Helio X10 / MT6795. This is a successor to the MT6595 which employed A17 and A7 cores in a big.LITTLE configuration. I was fairly impressed with the performance and battery life of the MT6595 itself, while I'm sort of doubtful the new A53 cores will be able to outperform it in real use-cases, it should still work very well and also improve battery life for the new device. The MX5 comes with a standard 3GB of LPDDR3 memory.

Due to the screen's change in aspect ratio, the MX5 is 6mm taller than the MX4, although width has gone down 0.5mm and the new phone is now also thinner at 7.6 instead of 8.9mm - all without sacrificing battery capacity (And likely battery life) as it now actually even gains 50mAh for a total of 3150mAh.

The camera system remains largely the same, but Meizu now uses a better lens system that is supposed to improve quality of the image. This is still a Sony IMX220 20.7MP sensor with an F2.2 aperture lens. What is new is that there's now a laser auto-focus system right under the flash LED, enabling fast-focus for down to 0.2s according to Meizu.

The fingerprint sensor that we've seen on the MX4Pro carries over to the MX5, enabling a variety of OS security functions such as unlocking the device or accessing private folders or galleries on your phone.

The phone ships with Meizu's FlymeOS 4.5 Android 5.0 operating system. The interesting part here is that Meizu announced its plans to open-source parts of the OS and upload them to GitHub for community development. This might attract a lot of enthusiast users as having a modding-friendly device can vastly increase the life-span of a model beyond what the OEM is willing to offer in terms of support.

For now the device is aimed at the Chinese market (And thus only offers limited western frequency bands) coming in at ¥ 1799, ¥ 1999 and ¥ 2399 (USD $290, $320, $386) price-points for 16, 32 or 64GB versions.

Source: Meizu

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  • jjj - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - link

    "5.5" diameter," - Yay a round phone:p

    With just 1080p and this SoC it is a harder sell then the MX4 was last year.
    The home button ruins both looks and functional design and the lack of microSD shows that they aren't getting any smarter, or nicer. It's a nice enough phone but not quite great at that price.

    Phone makers need to rethink the buttons bellow the screen (both hard and on screen buttons). Phones got big and it works okish when using 2 hands but far far from ideal in one handed use. A lot more can be done both on the hardware and software side, the only difficult part is to find a solution that works well enough with both 1 hand and 2. Sadly if Apple and Samsung are being stupid, most others are happy being equally stupid.
  • menting - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - link

    probably did that just so Apple can't sue them for having a rectangle phone with rounded corners :)
  • StormyParis - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - link

    I think top menus and notifs are a much bigger issue for phablets than the bottom buttons, which at least are on the bottom.
  • jjj - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - link

    That depends how you hold it for 1 hand or 2. When the user needs to be able to reach the bottom buttons, the phone is held lower (that also makes it easier to drop), when holding it for 2 hand usage,we tend to go higher and hold in the middle. With one hand ,it's easier to reach higher than lower with the thumb if you hold the phone centered but do note that i wasn't suggesting to put buttons on top. The way we read (up to down) makes top buttons not ideal.
  • jjj - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - link

    did a quick search for images to better illustrate the difference in 1 and 2 hands
    for 2 hands ,the hand that hold the phone is kinda like this
    for hand it's more like this
    The difference is quite significant and pretty much everybody uses both modes (i've actually asked a few friends about how they hold their phones and everybody holds it centered when using both hands and goes lower when using 1).
    Meizu has just this 1 button, not all 3 so it's easier for them to move it.
    Huawei with the Honor 7 seems to be using the back fngerprint button for more functions but their effort doesn't seem to be driven but this kind of rationale , just another experiment like ZTE with it's side touch on the higher end Z9.
  • shadarlo - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - link

    A 1080p screen is still VASTLY preferable to a 1440p screen... I absolutely hate that all the "flagship" devices this year are 1440p. What a waste of battery. I'd take even 5% more battery life over resolution I can't actually see anyhow, though I think it often equates to far more than 5% overall life if your screen-on time is high.
  • fokka - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - link

    i guess it is a pentile screen, so 1080p on 5.5" is not _that_ sharp. otherwise i agree.
  • hans_ober - Wednesday, July 1, 2015 - link

    Yup, 1080p > 1440p for LCD; but for pentile, 1440p is better.
  • kurahk7 - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - link

    Software buttons are extremely stupid. I need a physical button the front of the phone because it's easier to turn on and unlock the phone with that than a side button.
  • ToTTenTranz - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - link

    I must confess that both Mediatek and HiSilicon's decisions of replacing their top-end Cortex A15/A17 ARMv7 solutions with higher-clocked Cortex A53 clusters make me cringe.

    Single-threaded performance has obviously gone down between last year's flagship SoCs and the new models.

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