Update: Meizu MX4 initial hands, video unboxing and impressions


meizu MX4 review

Since the launch ended yesterday and I got the Meizu MX4 in my hands I have been using this interesting new device non stop. Here are my initial impressions of the new Meizu MX4.

Yesterday we witnessed a big change for Meizu as a company and the way they plan to move forward. In the past Meizu have traditionally been a maker of premium products at a premium price but yesterday we saw that Meizu can also produce high specification smartphones at more competitive pricing and they they are thinking bigger.

Along with the launch of the MX4, CEO Li Nan, also announced partnerships with a number of device makers bringing a low-cost, and attractive, inWatch to customers at a low-price, and mini WIFI router and even a quad-copter drone from manufacturer Ghost. Partnerships like this were unheard of with the old Meizu, but anything is possible now.

Meizu also decided to launch the MX4 pre-order both national and internationally at the same time. Again this is something we just don’t expect from a Chinese phone maker.

Meizu MX4 – A new Meizu from a new Meizu

Although the Meizu MX4 looks similar to the MX3 they are actually totally different products. The launch keynote mentioned a lot of facts and figures conveying just how much more powerful the new MX4 is over the previous MX3. Not only more powerful but thinner, a larger display, a new aircraft grade alloy body, better battery life and an all new Flyme experience.

The phones that Meizu allowed fans to test at the launch and those which were given to the press are pre-production sample models, so we can expect added enhancements and optimizations to Flyme 4.0 and possibly some slight changes to the overall build of the phone for the production model.

Meizu MX4 – Design and feel

The MX4 uses an all new machined aluminium alloy chassis which comes from a single block of aircraft grade aluminium. The whole chassis is machined out of the chunk of material and then sandblasted to give a textured finish. The feel is actually very similar to that of an Apple laptop, and gives the MX4 a solid and lightweight base to build the phone on to.

A removable rear panel is made of plastic and has been finished to make the rear feel the same as the alloy sides. Its a soft to the touch feeling, but not like the ‘baby skin’ option of the OnePlus One. To remove the rear you no longer need a small tool (as the MX3), you simply have a recess where a fingernail can pop in to lever the panel off. In our samples the rear is quite a loose fit, and although we don’t expect it to come off easily by mistake, a tighter fit would be preferred.

Meizu have placed their logo along the bottom of the MX4, it an understated look which will appeal to those of us who don’t wanting branding everywhere. The rear is also home to that 20.7 mega-pixel Sony camera and dual LED set up.

meizu MX4 review

On the inside of the MX4 with the cover off we can see the non removable 3100mAh battery and single SIM slot. MX3 owners will be familiar with this set up. The sample 32GB version we have has no NFC and it would appear that the production version may also lack this feature too.

meizu MX4 review

The sides of the phone house the physical buttons in just the same places as the MX3 (so home button at the top and volume rocker on the left). The sandblasted finish is broken in to sections with darker grey bars of colour which I believe are more for decoration than function. As the alloy moves up towards the screen a chamfered edges has been machined in to it and polished to give a nice bright highlight to contrast with the 5.36-inch display.

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A Corning Goriilla Glass 3 panel takes up the entire front with a screen ratio of 15:9. So again the Meizu is a little wider but shorter than most other similar size phones, but due the the narrow 2.6mm bezels manages to be a pretty compacted device.

Meizu’s trademark ‘halo’ button is still present on the MX4 and above the FHD display is a front facing 2 mega-pixel camera, speaker and proximity sensor.

All in the Meizu MX4 in black is a very stylish piece of kit. The mix of glass, polished alloy, sandblasted alloy and quality plastic all make for a very understand but purposeful device. Even with the larger 5.3-inch display, the MX4 still manages to feel only slightly larger than the previous Meizu MX3 with 5.1-inch panel, and I barely feel the different between the 5.2-inch Vivo Xshot and the MX4, except where it comes to viewing, then the Meizu wins hands down.

Meizu MX4 photos

Meizu MX4 – Performance

Meizu posted a screenshot or Antutu during the MX4 launch running at an astonishing 42,000 points. impressive for any phone but even more so from a phone running a Mediatek processor. The chipset in the MX4 is the new MT6595 with big.LITTLE architecture and running at 2.2Ghz. The processor along with 2GB RAM and powerful GPU are quite a powerful set up, and as astonishing as it is you feel the speed of this phone as soon as you start to play around with it.

Part of the fast fluid feel is down to the new Flyme 4.0 ROM, but that hardware really comes in to it’s own when gaming. I have been playing Dead Trigger on the MX4 and it is extremely responsive fast and smooth. Gaming is also where the 15:9 screen ratio comes in handy, I feel I’ll be doing a log more gaming now I have a Meizu again.

Flyme 4.0

As impressive as the phone build and hardware it is up to the ROM to transform that in to a great user experience, and Flyme 4.0 has done this. Flyme 4.0 looks cleaner and simpler than 3.0, but some aspects such as the menu layouts etc remain unchanged.

Most of the more impressive features of Flyme 4.0 are aimed at Chinese audiences such as cooperation with local cloud storage companies to offer Flyme users 40 TB of free online storage, or access to movies and music. There is also a SIRI style personal voice assistant, but appears to only support Chinese (at least on our preproduction sample anyway).

Meizu do seem to have listened to fan input though. The notification bar now extends all the way down the screen and each notification can be expanded individually, The weather app has some really nice weather animations.

A new camera app and user interface has been added to Flyme. Swiping from left to right changes the shooting and recording to how you like, and then individual adjustment in each setting allow you to change things further.

While writing this Meizu have actually sent an updated ROM to us so I’ll install this and use the newer rom for the full review.

Meizu MX4 – the other parts

Battery life, GPS and camera will be put through their paces over the next few days so keep an eye out for those updates. I will also upload some comparison videos of the MX4 along some of it’s rival devices soon too.

Meizu MX4 hands on and unboxing video

So far what do you think of the Meizu MX4? could this be a phone you would consider buying? The Meizu MX4 is available for preorder internationally through the official Meizumart.com website.

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64 Comments

  1. Girondinho
    September 3, 2014

    Andi, as I saw contrary information on different websites, do you know if it supports 900MHz WCDMA frequency?

    • Flow
      September 3, 2014

      I would also like to know which FDD-LTE frequencies are supported, most importantly if 800 MHz FDD-LTE is supported or not.

      • Manuel Lorenz
        September 3, 2014

        No. Same as with the Xplay 3S.

  2. ufg
    September 3, 2014

    When’s the white one available?? Will you be able to swap back covers like with the MX4 and OnePlus One? I imagine you can, but will other color back covers be available to buy?

    • September 3, 2014

      It is up for pre-order now and will most likely start shipping at the end of this month.

      • ufg
        September 4, 2014

        Cool, thanks

  3. ro.edi
    September 3, 2014

    antutu 5.0 specs
    and
    meizu mx4 vs htc one m8t
    U can check here the screenshots:

    http://roedi7.blogspot.ro

    • September 3, 2014

      You are really stupid in thinking you can fool all of us into going to take a look at your crazily ugly blogspot page.

  4. Ryan
    September 3, 2014

    Andy. Please test BBC iPlayer and 4OD on it. Since the original Meizu MX both have failed to work. The video and audio were out of sync and after about 15 seconds these apps would just freeze.

    • Simon
      September 3, 2014

      I don’t think you can access either in China ?

      • September 3, 2014

        I’ll have to wait until I am out of China.

        • Ryan
          September 3, 2014

          Cheers mate.

        • Simon
          September 3, 2014

          Unless you come home to Blighty !

    • Bailey
      September 3, 2014

      I didnt have problems with BBC iPlayer on the Mx3 but it did not like some films in the Playstore and it really struggled with Play Music big time.

      • Ryan
        September 3, 2014

        I couldn’t get it to work with any on demand video service. iPlayer, 4OD, ITV Player, Demand 5 etc. All exhibited the same issue of video and audio being out of sync and then freezing after 10-15 seconds.

        I think it might have to do something with Meizu’s unorthodox screen format (15:9) as other companies phones such as Xiaomi have no problem with these kind of apps whatsoever.

  5. pol
    September 3, 2014

    Andy, I saw on some other sites that Meizu will hold another conference on September 20th where they could release the MX4 Pro and their smartwatch, do you have any infomation on this?

    • September 3, 2014

      No the MX4 will be available to pre order customers around this date

  6. Ricardo
    September 3, 2014

    Why did MediaTek say the MT6595 would be able to record 1080p @ 480fps if it was paired with the sensor IMX220 but the MX4 can only record 720 @ 120fps?

    • patouki
      September 3, 2014

      i think it’s 720 for slow motion

      • Ricardo
        September 3, 2014

        Yes, but MediaTek said MT6595 would be able to do 1080p @ 480 fps super slow motion

        • September 3, 2014

          Only MT6795

          • Ricardo
            September 4, 2014

            Ups, It’s true, I thought it was both. Sorry for my mistake and thank you for the clarification.

            • חתול תעלול
              October 4, 2014

              nope. at the start point MTK said that 595 and 795 would be able to do so. wierdly the 595 support for that feature disappeard short period after the announcement

  7. Chico Migraña
    September 3, 2014

    it’s funny, just started and the pre sale is gone, too fast i think, Andy do they tell you how many units they will sell internationally???

    • September 3, 2014

      Sorry they haven’t told me

  8. Wonton Chaos
    September 3, 2014

    MX4 or Z7 or Mi4 or U3? (I know the price points are different)

    • Simon
      September 3, 2014

      Has the english rom for the IUNI U3 been released yet ?

      • Wonton Chaos
        September 3, 2014

        Not yet 🙂

        • Simon
          September 4, 2014

          When it is i’m sure the IUNI U3 will be a great challenger 🙂

      • September 5, 2014

        soon

  9. Joe bert
    September 3, 2014

    They will release phone with dual sim capability? If not i think the best option for dual sim are iuni u3 until now

    • Chico Migraña
      September 4, 2014

      i think Nubia Z7 is better than u3 IUINI

  10. balcobomber25
    September 3, 2014

    Meizu is one of the companies I have never bought from. How do they compare to Xiomai and ZTE in terms of quality, updates, support etc? I currently have the Nubia Z7 as my personal phone which I love! But I am looking to replace my Nexus 5 business phone with something new and love the look of this.

    • Ben
      September 3, 2014

      Hi, I am willing to buy a smartphone for the first time and heard great things about the Redmi 1S (except its 1gb RAM which is quite enough for lots of people). At the beginning I was planning to order the Nubia Z7 Mini but its non removable battery (2300 mAh) has changed my mind. There is also the Xiaomi MI4 which seems to be a killer phone “flagship” but I can’t afford to put around 400€ for the 64gb version. Can you suggest me other phones or should I go for the Redmi 1S?

      • Simon
        September 3, 2014

        What about Xiaomi Mi3, still has great specs ?

        • Ben
          September 3, 2014

          Yeah MI3 looks great but I will have to go for the 64gb version which is around 400$ with shipping for a phone released more than a year ago. At least the Redmi 1S has a SD card slot and is dual sim. Even if it is an entry budget phone, it has very good specs for the price. That being said, I am aware that it is not a rolls like MI3 or MI4. Thanks again.

          • Simon
            September 3, 2014

            The SD card support you could use USB-OTG.

    • Chico Migraña
      September 4, 2014

      where did you buyed Nubia Z7??? how much $?

  11. Luc Danton
    September 3, 2014

    What about the 52k+ antutu benchmark score? Is there another better phone to come out soon or are we done with meizu for now? You got us excited with a Samsung Exynos processor and 3Gb ram before!

    • September 3, 2014

      CEO Jack Wong says there are 4 devices. So far we have seen only one. My guess is there is more to come

  12. Um hey
    September 3, 2014

    This is what the One Plus promised to be. I for one think it’s sick. Question though, why’s everyone moving away from removable batteries?

    • Sere83
      September 3, 2014

      I own a oneplus and i’m seriously tempted by the mx4. Just think its beautifully designed. Although the MX4 lacks NFC and I still think The Snapdragon 801 is a better CPU despite what benchmarks may say, also unclear whether the GPS will work well on the MX4 as on most mediatek chipsets it’s not great. Additionally the MX4 is missing certain WCDMA and FDD-LTE bands/frequencies. Plus It’s unclear whether this will get Android L or later android releases. I think its easier for manufacturing to build the battery in and also li-on cells are longer lasting nowdays given the refinements in chipset power saving so not as important to include removable cells. Plus they can run through many thousands of charge cycles before seeing significant deterioration by which time you would have probably got a new phone anyway.

      • September 3, 2014

        To address your GPS concerns I am getting 2 seconds lock on speed here in China. This could be using the Beidou system in China though. I will be in Europe next week though and will test the speed there also 😀

        • Sere83
          September 3, 2014

          Wowzers cheers for the info, fingers crossed it performs well in europe. If there are more devices on their way as you say the Meizu range for 2014 could be a real force to be reckoned with.

        • Allanitomwesh
          September 3, 2014

          interested also in European speeds,they mostly translate to here

  13. NaGR
    September 3, 2014

    mediatek claims that 6595 supports ant+
    since mx4 is the first to come with a MTK6596
    if you can test for it, that would be great.

  14. Gustavo Armas
    September 3, 2014

    Hi Andy,

    Could you tell me if this phone is DUAL SIM,

    Plus, for example I do have a friend in china, if he pre order it now, when is it going to be deliver to him.

    Thank you so much for you, I read your site twice a day!!

    • September 3, 2014

      No it isn’t dual SIM. You can preorder the phone yourself on Meizumart.com. Thanks for coming 😀

      • Gustavo Armas
        September 3, 2014

        I guess it is not bringing SD slot right ?

  15. Nigel Dickens
    September 3, 2014

    Do you know what LTE bands it works on?

  16. teuteu
    September 3, 2014

    No QHD display
    No 3gb ram
    No 5mpixel front camera
    waste of time

    • Monotrema
      September 4, 2014

      No UHD display
      No 4gb ram
      No 8mpixel front camera
      waste of time

  17. Ramsey
    September 4, 2014

    Hi Andi, can you please post lots of low light and night time samples in the review? As well as samples with flash on and off?
    That will determine whether I buy this phone or not. I want to see if Meizu improved the software of that lens since Sony hasn’t optimize it properly in their Z1/Z2 phones.

    Also, can you tell us what options are present in the camera UI, what resolutions can we choose, can we control shutter speed? That would really be awesome.
    Thanks in advance :).

    • lat
      September 19, 2014

      shutter speed, iso setting is available in manual mode, i’ve seen some unveiled photos comparing to sony z3&z2 and it’s really awesome under daylight but still some defects at night time, white balance works normally in most cases but is not changeable, still engineering sample so something not determined

  18. TuxFan
    September 4, 2014

    At this time launching a flagship phone, that doesn’t even support the worldwide essential 4GSM and 5 HSPDA/WCDMA bands (including the odd North America-only 1700/2100 combi), let alone those very few available LTE bands, isn’t even worth looking at.

    Sorry Meizu, but you have to do much better with the next model. From a technical view, this one is unacceptable!

    • Ramsey
      September 5, 2014

      Sadly I realized the same thing, that it doesn’t support those bands =( I’ll have to get another phone that supports those. I have a G2 now but it also doesn’t support the 1700/2100 combo.
      That Vivo Xshot does support it I believe, but it’s tough to find and kind of expensive.

  19. Lottikarotti
    September 5, 2014

    Is the GPU from that MTK better than the GPU from the snapdragon 801?

  20. fegget
    September 5, 2014

    Andi..Put in audio test, compared the sound with another flagship

  21. pol
    September 7, 2014

    hi andi, does it support google playstore/services? other China phones do not just like the coolpad 5951 which my friend had given to me

  22. Michal
    September 9, 2014

    Hey Andi what exactly you have updated?

  23. nailer76
    September 16, 2014

    newbie question: If I buy this phone here in China will it work when I go back to Europe?

  24. Valdas Vaitiekaitis
    September 18, 2014

    Witch GPS chip is used in MX4, MT6620, MT6628 or MT6630?

    • lat
      September 19, 2014

      MT6630