Meizu Metal Review


Meizu have been on a bit of a launch spree of late. While almost every Meizu phone to date has been exceptionally good looking, some have managed to be as popular as the MX2 was during its time.

We’re now looking at not one, but two or even three flagship phones every year from Meizu. However, what Meizu have done like a lot of other manufacturers, is they’ve split their phones into categories — the Meilan-seires for budget phones, MX-series with mid-range hardware and high-end performance, and PRO-series for premium flagships.

Today we’re taking a look at the Meizu Metal, which essentially falls in the first category.

Meizu Metal Review – Design

Meizu Metal 13

With a full-metal body and a MediaTek Helio X10 processor, the Meizu Metal nearly challenges the MX5, which happened to be one of the best Chinese phones from 2015. The Meizu Metal is heavier, and the metal around the phone seems thicker.

With companies adopting 2.5D curved glass as standard, Meizu have ensured they don’t miss out. While 2.5D curved glass can look pretty, in my opinion it is a bit of a subjective matter. I don’t happen to be too big a fan of curved glass on phone screens… but whatever floats the boat for Meizu. No one wants to be behind the competition.

At the first glance, the Meizu Metal really looks like a premium phone that could pass off as a $500-600 device. The interesting bit is that the notion still holds when you take the phone in your hands. Full metal, cold, curved glass, and a heft that commands value.

Meizu Metal 15

But as you spend time with the device, it becomes apparent that the additional weight is something Meizu have put only to make the phone feel like a premium gadget. It should be the other way round, in my book.

Nonetheless, let’s talk about the design of the phone. From a distance, the Metal looks like any other Meizu phone on the front (new-age ones, i.e., without the trademark halo). The back is pure, monochrome metal which is really pleasing for the eyes. The simple back paired with the new minimalistic Meizu logo makes for a scene that commands a second look.

The camera lens does not protrude from the chassis, and it’s all a very levelled and satisfying experience.

Overall, the Meizu Metal is a very satisfying phone to hold in the hand. If there’s something I’d change about the phone, it would be the glossy (and scratch-prone) chamfered edges, which are a little tacky in comparison to the rest of the phone.

Meizu Metal Review – Hardware

While Meizu have overdone the weight a bit, the Metal still does impress with whatever else it has on offer on the design and build front. This includes buttons that are precisely made and tactile, and a speaker grill that shouts quality.

While the phone’s performance is the major differentiating factor between the Metal and MX5, another thing that you’ll notice right away is the difference in screens. It is safe to say that the Meizu Metal will not eat into the market of the MX5.

Meizu Metal 12

The screen on the Metal is an IPS LCD panel measuring 5.5-inches diagonally with a 1920 x 1080p FHD resolution. I’ve had no issues with the screen so far — no dead pixels, no light bleeding, no bright spots — but it isn’t a screen I’d write home about. The general colour tone of the display is cold-ish, and while you could change this via the Flyme OS settings, it seems a little artificial.

Meizu Metal 18

Moving on to the audio properties of the phone. This is one area I’ve had a few issues with. It’s been hit-or-miss for me on most calls, in the sense that sound from the earpiece can be broken at times. I’m not sure if it is a radio issue or one that’s being caused by the speaker, but it is what it is. Also, the loudspeaker can sometimes be a little quiet; but no issues with the quality of sound here.

If you use your phone one-handed, the speaker grill can be obscured with your pinkie. That’s the way I hold my phones (pinkie beneath the chin of the phone), and I had this issue more than once.

Meizu Metal 19

Meizu seem to be using the same fingerprint sensor on the Metal as they did on the MX5. It is fast and fairly accurate, but could sometimes suffer from serious lags. This should be attributed to the system (poorly optimised) more than the fingerprint sensor.

Moving on to the battery section, there’s hardly anything too impressive here. The spec sheet does look nice though with a 3140mAh battery, but that hardly translates into great real-world battery life. Getting through till the evening on a work day is what you can expect from the Meizu Metal. While the ROM isn’t optimised to its fullest, the battery does hold its charge well during sleep. Pro tip: try to restrict network usage to 2G only if you don’t plan to wish to use 3G or 4G data. While most phones get a slight improvement in battery life by doing so, on the Metal is is more significant.

Meizu Metal Review – Performance

It’d suffice to say that the Meizu Metal has disappointed with its performance. The Flyme 5 update turned out to be a saviour for Meizu when it launched the MX5 last year with a previous iteration of the OS. However, Flyme 5 doesn’t quite manage the same magic on the Metal.

Switching between apps can be a bit of a problem if you have a handful of them running all at once (which we all do). Switching back to Google Chrome tabs from another app will, on most cases, cause the tab contents to be fetched from the cache. While I understand that the phone is limited with 2GB of RAM, there are other phones that do better with the same amount.

The bottomline — the ROM needs optimisation.

Meizu Metal Review – Camera

After being very impressed with the Meizu Metal camera in the low light situations, I took the phone with me on a trip to see how well it performs in various different situations.

It turns out the camera is an average sensor, one that I’d rank below 2014’s Xiaomi Mi 4… or even the Redmi Note 3 for that matter. HDR will allow you to take some nice and dramatic pictures, but that’ll require you to keep the phone steady for 3-4 seconds.

P60123-162734_result

P60123-163448_result

All Meizu Metal Camera Samples

Meizu Metal Review – Specifications

Model Meizu m1 metal aka Meizu Metal
SIM Card Dual SIM
Color Gray, White
Capacity RAM: 2GB

ROM: 16GB/32GB

Language Multi Language
Chipset CPU: MediaTek MT6795 Helio X10
System Flyme 5 (based on Android 5.1)
Screen Display size: 5.5-inches

Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels

Cameras Rear:  13 mega-pixel

Front:  5 mega-pixel

Battery capacity Non-removable 3140mAh

Meizu Metal Review – Gallery

Meizu Metal Review – Conclusion

The Meizu Metal is a phone that’s great to look at and awesome to hold, but still leaves a bit to be desired on the performance front. This is a bigger concern than it seems, because there are a lot of phones that are cheaper than the Meizu Metal that don’t suffer from problems exhibited by this phone.

Meizu have a history of being a little up and down with their phones… and the Metal probably wont be remembered among the better ones. Especially as the MX5 continues to get cheaper.

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39 Comments

  1. rimakus
    February 9, 2016

    nice review, thanks

  2. VMortens
    February 9, 2016

    At laest, something not being Ele/Ulephone/etc!
    Hugely surprised by uneven results the camera is getting.
    Optimisation – huge miss. Badly performing software is enough to throw the phone out of someone’s shoping list. Meizu is quite regular on the updates, but will they provide?
    Yash, did you use the last software available for the test?

    • MikusP
      February 9, 2016

      Good question about the update. I received my Meizu Metal yesterday and updated it straight out of the box. Im getting 56131 on Antutu, which is 10,000+ the score from this review (FYI, I’m on the 32GB version). Like I said, its only been 24hrs, but I’m very impressed so far!

    • Joel Adames
      February 9, 2016

      ABOUT THE UPDATE, thats a great question! i hope he answers….
      my BLU PURE XL came in at about 50ish when i got it then an UP-date came in silently and then boom it blocked me from using it because it was updating, of course it all looked like GIONEE stuff working and not BLU, anyways when it woke-up/finished it becames faster a much more fluent phone and the score went up to the 58K and such… here my some other info about it too.

  3. balcobomber25
    February 9, 2016

    Basically it’s a budget version of the MX5. If it was me I would spend a little more and get the MX5, everything is better on it, especially the optimization.

  4. Bkelly161
    February 9, 2016

    I don’t agree with this review, I have had no problems with optimisation and performance, nor have I had problems with the battery, while the camera isnt anything to about about, its good enough for most users, also I got 55000 on antutu with mine so maybe there’s a problem with the review unit, all in all I think it’s a fantastic overall phone after a week of using it

    • balcobomber25
      February 9, 2016

      What is your typical battery life like? And what do you do with the phone on a daily basis?

      • Joel Adames
        February 9, 2016

        having in mind mine has 2k screen i think this result of my own is fantastic, be sure to run your updates if you don’t get similar ones @balcobomber25:disqus cheers!!!

        • MattD
          February 9, 2016

          Something’s totally wrong: how in the world is it possible to have 5.30 hours sot with a display (moreover, a 2k one) using just 19% of the battery?! This makes no sense… Is it some kind of bug casually occurred when you took the screen, or is it a normal behavior?

          • Joel Adames
            February 10, 2016

            Some days ago i asked what else uses the battery. It turns out that that 19% is just out of USER compsuntion, but I don’t know much in that regard. Any ways more regular results are 5:05 sot , now I usually have 50% screen brightness as my eyes are a bit sensible and no GPS ever (well just to test every other day some 1 minute or so) but WiFi or 4gLtE are always on so i guess I’m lucky. Before the update when I first got my BLU PURE XL it was running 4:30s at the most of SoT. So I really do hope android 6 gets to my device. I can even see the file “gionee.SDK” something somewhere, I will post if asked.

      • Bkelly161
        March 5, 2016

        Sorry for taking so long to reply but my typical day would be, 1-2 hours of web browsing, up to an hour of gaming and a few hours of using Facebook messenger, all of which is on mobile data, I generally get between 4-5 hours of on screen time between charges

    • Rob
      February 9, 2016

      Mine too, if you look though he is running a much older version of the ROM. Maybe the newest update brought a lot of optimisations but this review is definitely not an accurate representation of the phone.

      • Joel Adames
        February 9, 2016

        i think thats the fair Xplanation

      • MattD
        February 9, 2016

        You know what? I think you’re totally right: they received the sample weeks ago, but then they got busy and delayed the review… Maybe many tests were made with an old version of the rom, thus all the difference you pointed out between the review and your personal experiences

        • Rob
          February 10, 2016

          That’s the only reason I can think of, really its unacceptable for them to review a phone using an old ROM, they really should make sure it’s updated BEFORE the review process, at the very least he should update the phone and redo parts of this review.

  5. Toby
    February 9, 2016

    Let me guess – GPS was not tested because it wouldn’t work? Or those EPO files needed to be downloaded, and mobile uncle MTK tools (Engineer Mode) was needed?

    @Yash: If you can, please test the GPS with:
    – Sims removed from the phone
    – Wi-Fi Off
    – Location Mode set to “device only”
    – and then getting a lock using any GPS testing application from the Play Store

    If it takes more than 10 seconds to lock, it’s a bloody shame in 2016.

    I also requested Andi to do the same for the Elephone P9000. Thanks.

    • Joel Adames
      February 10, 2016

      You have been served.

  6. DeliCevat
    February 9, 2016

    I have no idea about Meizu Metal’s panel but M1 Note’s panel was low quality. I have 2 M1 Note phones. After 3 months usage white points which are not dead pixels appaired on my M1 Note panels. Now, i do not trust Meizu’s “cheap” phones. No, thanks!

  7. Rob
    February 9, 2016

    Have to disagree with you on this review in a big way. The audio is excellent and very loud, too loud on full volume in most cases. The performance is very good, not had a single issue or lag what so ever. The screen is really nice, one of the best I’ve seen and very accurate. I agree about the finger print sensor though, either unlocks straight away or not at all. Battery lasts me a good day including playing games, so no issues there. I absolutely love this phone, it’s my first meizu and I will definitely consider them again in the future.

    • sai bhagavan
      February 9, 2016

      Sir sorry to interrupt you but the reviewer is also a human and he wrote what he has experienced….ultimate thing is that if you are using it you should be satisfied and that’s what matters…if you love it that’s totally fine….same in the case of my yutopia…

      • MattD
        February 9, 2016

        His point wasn’t to say something bad about the reviewer or something: he shared his personal experience, which is actually different than the one reviewer had for whatever reasons… There is nothing bad about it!

        • sai bhagavan
          February 9, 2016

          Even my point was the same sir…..everyone is right in their regard

          • Rob
            February 10, 2016

            The point I was trying to make is this. I waited for weeks for him to publish this review but for what ever reason he never bothered. I decided to take the chance on the phone and ordered it, there was an update available straight out of the box and all the problems he mentions here do not exist! Whilst he is only writing about his experiences, the point is he should’ve updated the phone since the update has been available for at least 2 weeks that I know of! If I had waited for this review I would never have even considered buying this phone and that would have been a big mistake as the ‘problems’ he mentions do not exist. You can read some of the other comments on here from fellow owners to back up everything that I’m saying. Any phone being reviewed here should be running the latest ROM to make a fair comparison, he clearly isn’t and you have to ask why??? The last point I have to make that I haven’t mentioned is the fact that he said the phone was too heavy, everyone I’ve shown the phone to have said how light it is! I also find the phone is around 30g lighter than my previous phone so not sure I understand where he’s coming from in that regard. Either way, anyone reading this can rest assured this is a great phone and should not base their decision on this review. At the very least Yash should update the phone and redo parts of his review.

            • balcobomber25
              February 13, 2016

              The fact that he didn’t update makes me think this review was done weeks ago and never published for whatever reason. Just like his Gionee E8 review that he said was finished. That was the point of my comment to Andi the other regarding the influx of Elephone reviews. Coincidentally the day after that comment this review was published.

            • Rob
              February 13, 2016

              I’m more concerned as to why it’s been delayed so long? Once the review is done, post it; it really is as simple as that. The update was on the 13th January so a month ago! What’s happened to this site over the last few months that warrant certain brands that shall remain nameless get preferential treatment? Lastly, where the hell is the E8 review?

            • balcobomber25
              February 14, 2016

              My thoughts exactly. A lot of people rely on this site for purchasing decisions.

    • AndreiSza6o
      November 1, 2016

      how are your thoughts after all this time about meizu metal?

      • Rob
        November 1, 2016

        Just sold it to my best friend who also loves it. Only sold it as I wanted a bigger screen, but really miss it as it was the best phone I’ve ever had. Still the best ROM I’ve used with absolutely no issues what so ever and still getting updated every month, what more can you ask for?

        • AndreiSza6o
          November 1, 2016

          omg, your comment made me want it now even more! I just bought it and tomorrow will arrive. I was somehow skeptical but after reading your words I can’t wait for it! thank you so much! 🙂

          • Rob
            November 1, 2016

            I hope you like it as much as I did. If they done a 6″+ version I would have bought it. Instead I’ve sent 3 different phones back to China as none of them compare and I’m really starting to appreciate the ROM, not sure why others don’t like yun os as it’s very smooth. Please give me your thoughts once you’ve had a few days with it. BTW I assume you bought the original metal and not the metal 2?

            • AndreiSza6o
              November 2, 2016

              Yes, its the original one. I will come back with my impressions. Take care!

            • AndreiSza6o
              November 2, 2016

              Hello, Rob! I got the phone, it’s really nice but I have a question: I can’t unlock with the finger without first pressing the home button to turn on the display. Is there a way to make the phone unlock directly when the screen is off in standby? Thanks!

            • Rob
              November 2, 2016

              Hi, you have to press the power or home button to wake the screen first as it’s not the “always on” type of sensor I’m afraid. You can also set up gestures and double Tap to wake, but this doesn’t also work either!

            • AndreiSza6o
              November 3, 2016

              Interesting, but i saw on youtube unlocking from the screen being off. Anyways, thanks for the reply! Cheers

            • Rob
              November 3, 2016

              They were probably pressing the button, very difficult to notice on a video but I can assure you there is no way to unlock without waking up the phone first.

            • AndreiSza6o
              November 3, 2016

              haha, great trick, it works really nice aswell! thanks!

  8. Muhammad Yasir
    February 10, 2016

    cam is a let down :/

  9. tauerman
    February 10, 2016

    No word about YunOS in the review or the locked bootloader?

  10. frag1k
    February 15, 2016

    If you know Russian check out my review: http://nnmlab.com/meizu-m1-metal/