At first glance Meizu's latest flagship phone, the MX4, obviously takes its inspiration from the iPad Air -- but Apple's influence on Meizu is no secret. Meizu has always aped Apple's designs with its previous devices, and the MX4 takes the iPad Air's design into something you can easily hold and use with one hand.
The iPad Air influence is especially obvious from the sides, especially with the chamfered sides. Where Xiaomi, with its Mi4, uses stainless steel for its metal edges to at least differentiate itself, Meizu's MX4 takes it to Apple's level, using aluminum.
But it's not just the choice of the materials used -- the phone sports a rounded Home button (seen on the MX3), similar to the iPhone's Home button. Furthermore, the narrow bezels and rounded edges scream Apple -- it's really hard not to see the design elements borrowed by Meizu.
Global availability has not yet been announced, but the phone will retail for an affordable starting price of just 1,800 yuan ($292, £177, AU$315) for the 16GB model. The 32GB will cost 2,000 yuan ($325, £197, AU$390) while the 64GB version will sell for 2,400 yuan ($390, £237, AU$420). It can be pre-ordered from Meizu's site and will ship on September 20 in China.
Specs wise, the MX4 packs quite the punch. It sports a 5.36-inch display with a new resolution of 1,920x1,152-pixels. This gives it a 418ppi count, which is pretty good on paper. What's interesting is the odd 5:3 aspect ratio of the display -- it feels similar to an A4 sheet of paper, and should help with browsing web pages.
Internally, the MX4 is powered by MediaTek's MT6595, an octa-core processor clocked at 2.2GHz. The MT6595 has four Cortex A17 cores, and four Cortex A7 cores. This is unlike the lower-end MediaTek octa-cores, which has eight Cortex A7 cores and should translate to performance that's as good as most high-end processors.
The MX4 supports LTE connectivity, and works with both FDD and TD networks. Meizu says the phone has support for 13 different frequency bands, which should make it usable in most countries around the world. Other connectivity options include dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi , Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, and 3G. The phone runs off a large 3,100mAh battery.
Weight-wise, the MX4 checks in at just 147g, and is just 7.9mm thin. This is due to the larger display that allows it to be more compact, but Meizu has done a good job here to make the MX4 stand out with its thinness.
Instead of the usual 13-megapixel shooter found on some higher-end devices from China, Meizu has opted to go big with a 20.7-megapixel camera using Sony's IMX220 Exmor RS sensor. The MX4's camera is capable of a 0.3-second focus, 25 photos per second burst mode, and has dual-tone LED flash. It can also shoot 4K video at 30 frames per second.
Like most smartphones these days, the MX4 runs Android, specifically Android 4.4 (KitKat). On top of that is a custom skin called Flyme OS, which feels remarkably similar to what you'll see from current iOS products as well as the newer Android skins from LG and Asus. While there's not too much known about the OS, screenshots do reveal that the icons appear to be more comfortably spaced-out, most likely due to the odd resolution of the display.
Meizu's MX4 seems to have what it takes to do well -- and if Meizu plays its cards right by not making buyers jump through hoops to purchase a set like the OnePlus One, it may have something very desirable for Android users who want Apple aesthetics on their devices.