Meizu has been one of the prominent smartphone manufacturers in China, and earlier this year in May, it made its debut in India with the m1 Note. Since then, the company has launched m2 Note, the MX5 and the more recent, Meizu m2. It’s a compact and slightly affordable version of the m2 Note. Priced at Rs 6,999, it is a dual-SIM 4G smartphone that is exclusively sold via Snapdeal.
In the past couple of years, we’ve seen the focus shifting from flagship smartphones to mid-range and now the battle lies in the entry-level segment. Unlike before, the entry-level smartphones are not only aggressively priced, but also equipped with good hardware on paper, such as quad-core processors, higher resolution cameras and HD displays. The Indian smartphone market is now getting flooded with handsets costing below Rs 8,000, which includes the likes of Micromax-back YU’s Yuphoria, Motorola’s Moto E 4G (2015), Phicomm Passion 660 and Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 4G among others.
Design wise, the Meizu m2 looks a lot like other Meizu smartphones, such as the m2 Note, the MX5 and the m1 Note. It has a unibody design, with the body made from sturdy polycarbonate. With a smooth finish and curved edges at the back, the smartphone has a minimal, yet a sophisticated look.
The front is dominated by a 5-inch HD (720p) IPS display. Above the display, you have an earpiece, front-facing 5-megapixel camera and a proximity sensor, whereas there is a physical home button sits below the screen.On the back, you have a 13-megapixel camera module, an LED flash and the Meizu branding.
The top has a 3.5-mm audio jack, whereas the microUSB port is located at the bottom, flanked by a mic and speaker grille on the either sides. The right edge has a volume rocker and a power/sleep button, whereas the left side has a hybrid-dual SIM tray. There is slight disadvantage as you can either use two SIM cards, or a SIM card and a microSD card, but not both.
Unlike other Android smartphones, the Meizu m2 does not feature any back or recent button, nor there are any on-screen buttons. However, Meizu has made a pretty clever implementation. The home button when pressed once minimizes the app and takes you to the homescreen, holding for three seconds locks the screen, whereas simply tapping on the home button acts like a back button (it has a capacitive touch sensor integrated into it). For recent apps, slide-up the finger from bottom right corner of the screen. Tapping on one of the icon, maximizes the app running in background, whereas sliding upwards closes them.
The 5-inch HD screen is pretty bright and has good outdoor legibility. It offers good color reproduction and viewing angles are good too. While the blacks are deeper, the whites have a slight yellowish tint to it. Meizu has added Dragontrail glass protection to the screen to keep scratches away. While the screen attracts fingerprints, it’s easy to clean and doesn’t leave any smudges behind.
At the heart of Meizu m2 runs MediaTek’s MT6735 quad-core processor clocked at 1.3GHz. It is paired with 2GB or RAM and Mali T720 GPU. The Meizu m2 comes with 16GB of internal storage out of which only 12GB is user accessible. Luckily, there is a microSD card slot that lets you expand it up to 128GB. However, like mentioned above, if you use the microSD card, you won’t be able to use the second SIM card.
On paper, this configuration is pretty good to handle most of the tasks with ease. During our two weeks usage, the smartphone ran pretty smooth and we did not face any lags, event with multitasking. Even when watching full HD videos or playing graphics intense games such as Asphalt 8: Airborne, the m2 performed very smoothly without any stuttering.
Gaming experience on the smartphone was very good. Right from casual games such as Subway Surfers and Angry Birds Go to more graphics intense Asphalt 8: Airborne, we were able to play them very smoothly. There were no signs of lags or stuttering at any moment. While playing at a stretch of more than 20 minutes, the m2 does get a little warm, but not to the levels where it gets too uncomfortable to hold the phone.
The multimedia performance of the smartphone is pretty good. The speaker is decently loud and the audio output is pretty clear and distortion free. Our review device didn’t come with any headphones, but as the box has a slot for them, Meizu might bundle them with the retail units. On using a good pair of headphones, the audio quality was pretty good.
The music player also has an equalizer with some presets. Meizu has also included Dirac HD Sound, which the company claims to improve the hardware fidelity to offer Hi-Fi sound. It has some presets to use with specific headphones from brands such as Audio Technica and Sennheiser among others. We tried switching between these settings using a decent headphone, and while there wasn’t any big difference in performance, it felt more like an equalizer that amps up the levels of bass and highs.
Coming to photography, the 13-megapixel primary camera is pretty good. The camera app UI is intuitive and easy to understand. It has different modes, such as creative filters, beauty mode and a QR scanner mode for reading barcodes. A manual mode is also present, which lets you play around with the shutter speed, ISO, exposure compensation and manual focus.
The camera is able to capture photos that are bright and detailed, when used outdoors. It’s able to capture accurate colors too. However, the photos clicked indoors sometimes turn out to be a little dull. Low light performance with LED flash is satisfactory. The front facing camera performs very well when used outdoors, but graininess is easily visible when used indoors. Full HD videos shot from the rear camera look pretty good and offers a smooth playback.
The battery life on the Meizu m2 is quite impressive, thanks to the power efficient processor and the well optimized Flyme OS 4.5. On heavy usage – 45 minutes of intense gaming (Asphalt 8: Airborne), three email accounts synced in real-time, switching between Wi-Fi and 3G, nearly an hour of phone calls, watching a couple of 20 minutes full HD videos and some social media usage throughout, the battery lasted a little over seven hours. However, on a more moderate to low usage, the battery lasted over a day with 15 percent still left.
On the whole, the Meizu m2 is a well-designed smartphone that offers good performance for its cost. Bright and vivid display, smooth functioning and good battery life are some of the pros that go in its favor.
While the Meizu m2 ticks almost all the boxes we would consider for recommending a smartphone, there could be one stumbling block. The company is still in the process of setting up its after sales service network. So it is recommended you first check whether a service center is located near you. Otherwise, the Meizu m2 is certainly a good contender for a sub-Rs 7,000 Android smartphone.