MEIZU (魅族) is a new China smartphone brand in Malaysia. If you do not know yet, MEIZU is one of the top smartphone manufacturers in China, a competitor to the famous Xiaomi. MEIZU MX4 was announced on September 2014 and now available in Malaysia. The mid-range price smartphone has been awarded as No.1 Android Smartphone in year 2014 by Antutu!
Surprise? Read on for my MEIZU MX4 review below.
Table of Contents
At first glance, I sense a familiar design. The golden colour MEIZU MX4 I loaned looks like an iPhone 6 gold. It has a golden color metal frame covered with golden colour curved plastic back cover.
On the front is while bezel with a capacitive circular backlight Home button at the bottom. The Home button flash when touched and glowing if you have unread notification.
The phone has minimized design with volume rocker at the left side; power button and headphones jack at the top. Mono speaker and microUSB port at the bottom. The speaker grills also looks like iPhone 6’s. The bulge back camera has a silver ring and dual tone LED flash at bottom.
Taking off the plastic back cover is easy with a back cover notch. Then, you will see the non-removable battery and microSIM card slot. No, MEIZU MX4 does not have microSD memory card slot.
MEIZU MX4’s build quality impresses me. I am bias toward metal body smartphone. With the rounded corners and curved back, it has no sharp edge. It is comfortable to grip but I am a bit worry about slippery hands.
Buggy FlyMe OS beta
Unlike other Android devices, setup MEIZU MX4 for the first time does not ask your Google account. Instead, it asks you to create a MEIZU’s FlyMe account. You may add your Google account in the setting, nevertheless.
MEIZU MX4 runs own developed FlyME OS on top of Android 4.4 KitKat. I like the simple and flat design but its user interface design is a bit different from the other Android skins.
FlyMe OS does not use app drawer. All your installed apps are sorted on home screen pages in 4×4 grid. I like it to show the estimated download time and speed in notification center. But I do not like the clock on top left screen.
The FlyME OS version on my loaned unit is version 4.1.7l beta. Beta software means that it is incomplete and bugs are expected.
At first, I was puzzled when I don’t find “recent apps” and “back” buttons beside the home button — the 3 important buttons for Android devices.
Then, I realize that FlyME OS adds a menu bar (SmartBar) at the bottom of app screen for back button and app options. Most of the time, the bar only has one back icon at the left. It is rather waste of display’s space to separate two buttons (back and home) into two rows.
If you dig into the phone settings, you will find the “Intelligently hide Smartbar” option, which hide the menu bar and give back display space. After turn on the option, you can swipe up Home button for “back” command (return to the previous page).
So, how to find recent apps on MEIZU MX4? You swipe up from the bottom edge of the display to show 4 recent app icons then swipe to left to show another 4 app icons, up to maximum 8 recent apps.
FlyMe OS has a Personalization app for its theme store. You can download free or paid themes to customize your phone interface. Security app does more than protecting your phone. It is all-in-one app to free up phone space, scan for virus, manage app permission and data quota.
Generally, the FlyMe OS runs smoothly on MEIZU MX4, except that I met some default app crashes. Example: Camera app crash after taking HDR picture; Gallery app crash when try to play back a video. Plus, some apps are Chinese content only, e.g. AppCenter and Personalization.
Display and Speaker
MEIZU MX4 uses a 5.36-inch display with 1920 x 1152 pixels (~418 ppi pixel density). It is wider than Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080). A wider display is better for web surfing and text reading.
The IPS LCD touchscreen display is bright and clear, colours are correct, viewing angle is good, responsive to finger touches. No complain here.
However, the mono speaker is disappointed. It is loud but the sound is muddy, not crisp and burst at high volume. I would plug in a pair of headphones to avoid the poor speaker output.
Performance & Battery life
MEIZU MX4 is powered by 2.2 GHz MediaTek MT6595 Octa-core CPU and 2GB RAM. MEIZU MX4 did very well in my benchmark tests. It beats every 2014 smartphones in almost all tests.
Keep in mind, MEIZU MX4 only cost less than half of HTC and Samsung’s flagship phones.
The phone ranked No.1 in Antutu Benchmarks! It scores amazing 48,669 score in my test. In Geekbench tests, it scores 3,820 (multi-core) and 1,180 (single-core) – both scores are higher than Samsung GALAXY S5 (2,836 multi-core, 938 single-core).
However, MEIZU MX4 scores lower in Vellamo Metal (single-core) and 3DMark tests.
In my testing period, MEIZU MX4 is working flawlessly. I wish it can cut the user interface animations, though.
The phone uses non-removable 3100 mAh battery. It easily last for your whole day usage. In my test, playing 1 hour YouTube video drops 12% battery juice (94% to 82%). Meaning, battery life will last over 8 hours for non-stop YouTube videos.
MEIZU MX4 has a 20MP F/2.2 rear camera with dual tone LED flash, but only 2MP F/2.0 front camera. The rear camera can take 4K video; front camera can take 1080p Full HD video.
MEIZU claims that the rear camera focus speed is 0.3s. I can tell you that it has fast focus speed – tap an object on screen and it get focus instantly.
The Camera app has 9 modes, including the QR code scan mode and Slowmotion mode. You can swipe screen left/right or tap on the small mode icon at the top to switch camera mode. You can choose from 13 real-time colour filters to your photos and videos.
I am unable to take a HDR photo using MEIZU MX4. Regardless the camera settings, the Camera app crash immediately when snapping HDR photo.
Also, I notice some photos contain strange white/black noise pixels, which are unacceptable. It seems like software error for over photo optimization.
Check out some sample MEIZU MX4 sample photos below: (click to enlarge 100%)
Price and Availability
MEIZU MX4 is now available in Malaysia for RM1,099 (16GB) and RM1,299 (32GB) with 3 colours: white silver, grey, gold. You can buy MEIZU MX4 from Lazada Malaysia.
MEIZU MX4 has unbelievable processor’s performance, bright display and good build. You may want to buy 32GB model because it does not have memory card slot.
Best benchmark score is not everything. Poor speaker, 2MP front camera and annoying software bugs are deal breaker for me.
[box type=”info”]I would like to thank Lazada Malaysia for the opportunity to review MEIZU MX4. This is a free product review with honest write-up. Interesting to submit your products for review? Drop me a message.[/box]