The Meizu Pro 7's second screen might not suck

Can this Android phone break the curse?

Jessica Dolcourt
Jessica Dolcourt Editorial Director / CNET Franchises, How-To, Performance Optimization
Jessica Dolcourt leads the CNET Franchises, How-To and Performance Optimization teams. Her career with CNET began in 2006, and spans reviews, reporting, analysis and commentary for desktop software; mobile software, including the very first Android and iPhone apps and operating systems; and mobile hardware, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of practical advice on expansive topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
Expertise Team leadership, audience engagement, iPhone, Android, iOS, tips and FAQs.
2 min read

Phones with second screens fascinate me. The second display -- on the back, front, or folded in like a book -- is meant to increase your screen space, but rarely ever works (we have the sad proof). And still, they try: Samsung and LG, Kyocera and the more obscure YotaPhone with its e-ink back.


After a lull in the trend, Android phone maker Meizu is jumping into the experiment with the Meizu Pro 7 and Pro 7 Plus, a pair of phones with a swipeable 2-inch AMOLED touchscreen on the back. This isn't a whole mini phone on your phone. 

The Pro 7's secondary display will broadcast the time and weather forecast, show you your alerts and beam out your musical selection. You can also tap it to help take a selfie with the phone's two rear 12-megapixel cameras (ostensibly for a higher-quality pic than the front-facing camera).

The mini screen on the back might look a little strange to those of us used to smooth backings or a case, but it's not so large that it takes over your entire phone backing (and sucks your battery dry). 

Mostly, I think it could stand a chance of being useful because it's so targeted, and so out of the way. As a matter of habit, I turn my phone on its face when I'm not using my phone. Being able to quickly glance at the weather or monitor an incoming call could be handy.

You would definitely need a specialized case with a see-through window to take advantage of that second screen. 

Brush up on all the dual-screen smartphone disasters, and check out the Meizu Pro 7's other specs below.

Meizu Pro 7 specs

  • 5.2-inch display with 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution
  • Android 7.0
  • Two 12-megapixel cameras
  • 16-megapixel front-facing camera
  • Deca-core (10-core) MediaTek processor
  • 128GB onboard storage
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 3,000mAh battery
  • Expected to go on sale globally in September
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