Chinese smartphone maker Meizu's latest effort may seem rather familiar. The company, while not as well known outside of China as Xiaomi, is known for its liberal borrowing of design cues from Apple, and its latest phone the MX5 is no different.
Design and build
- 5.9 by 2.9 by 0.3 inches (140 by 75 by 7.6mm)
- 5.3 ounces (149 grams)
- 20.7-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel front
Looking very much like the iPhone 6, the MX5 is clad in aluminum and weighs in at 149 grams (5.3 ounces) -- not too heavy. The phone comes in four colors: gray, gold, silver and black-silver. Given that it very much resembles the iPhone, you'll note that the MX5 shares the same curved corners (though it lacks the curved glass). It has similar beveled edges to the iPad Air.
Located at the rear is a 20.7-megapixel shooter, but it's right smack in the center near the top. It features an f2.2 aperture, a six-element lens and dual-tone flash. Meizu has also added laser-assisted focusing, similar to the one found on the LG G4. The front camera isn't too shabby either, as it packs a 5-megapixel sensor with an f2.0 aperture.
If you need more clues that Meizu is aping Apple, the phone has a home button that's also a fingerprint sensor, called the mTouch 2.0. If not for it being slightly oval in shape, this would likely put it in pure copycat territory. As it is, the MX5 is close enough you probably need a second glance to know it's not from Apple.
OS and hardware
- 5.5-inch, 1,920x1,080-pixel IPS display (401ppi)
- Android 5.0, Flyme 4.5 interface
- MediaTek Helio X10 64-bit octa-core 2.2GHz processor
- 3GB RAM, 16GB/32GB/64GB onboard storage
The MX5 is powered by MediaTek's Helio X10 turbo processor, which is a full 64-bit octa-core 2.2GHz processor, and it has a generous 3GB of RAM. While it lacks a microSD slot, it comes in either 16GB, 32GB or 64GB capacities.
The phone also sports a 5.5-inch full-HD AMOLED display, and Meizu claims a high 10,000:1 contrast ratio. It has a feature similar to Xiaomi's Sunlight Display, which amps up the contrast on dark areas of the screen for better viewing in an bright outdoor environment. The phone also ditches the clunky 5:3 display ratio of the previous, which didn't work well with apps.
Other specs include an embedded 3,150mAh battery and support for dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Glonass GPS. The phone also has dual SIM-card slots, both of which support 4G LTE.
As for software, it runs Android 5.0, but with Meizu's Flyme 4.5 UI on top. The Flyme skin has a flat design, though if you're getting one from China, Google services are likely to be missing. The UI looks good, though my last experience with it on the MX4 wasn't great due to all the bugs I encountered. Perhaps the MX5 will offer a much better experience.
Pricing and availability
The 16GB version of Meizu's MX5 will retail for 1,799 yuan in China, which converts roughly to $290, £190 and AU$390. The 64GB version will be a little more expensive at 2,399 yuan -- that's $385, £250 or AU$515 -- which isn't too bad, as you're getting four times the storage for less than $100 more. But if you're thinking of getting one, the bad news is there's no word on an official release in either the US, UK or Australia. If you're in China, you should be able to get one now, but otherwise it will likely be on Meizu's online store soon.