Today at Meizu's event in China the company presented their new flagship phone, the MX5. The MX5 is the successor to the MX4 released last year, and while I haven't been able to review that unit yet, I did take an extensive look at its bigger brother, the MX4Pro.

The MX5's biggest characteristic is the change in display technology. Meizu has now adopted Samsung's AMOLED screen in place of the traditional LCD technology. This also leads to a change in form-factor as now Meizu had to abandon its 16:10 aspect-ratio for the more conventional 16:9 resolutions. At 1080p and 5.5" diagonal, the screen isn't as high resolution as one might have expected and thus regresses in terms of DPI in comparison to the MX4. This is a diamond-structure PenTile subpixel arrangement so the effective resolution is thus even less than the MX4, something one might have to be wary of in a 5.5" phone such as this.

An important metric is power consumption, the MX5 is supposed to use up 40% less power than the MX4's screen, this might point out that PSR is now being employed on the new unit as the MX4 notoriously suffered from a lack of the technology. The screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 3.

Meizu MX5 Specifications
SoC MediaTek Helio X10 MT6795
8x Cortex A53 @ 2.2GHz
PowerVR G6200 @ 700MHz+
NAND / Storage 16 / 32 / 64GB
Display 5.5" 1920x1080 SuperAMOLED
Network 2G / 3G / 4G LTE
(Chinese Bands)
Dimensions 149.9 x 74.7 x 7.6mm
149 grams
Camera 20.7MP Sony IMX220 sensor F/2.2 Main camera
w/ Laser auto-focus

5MP F/2.0 Front camera
Battery 3150mAh
OS Android 5.0
with Meizu FlymeOS 4.5
Connectivity 802.11 b/g/n/ac + BT 4.1 + BLE, USB2.0, GPS/GNSS
SIM Size nanoSIM + nanoSIM

Meizu continues to employ MediaTek's SoCs in its device as we see the MX5 use a new Helio X10 / MT6795. This is a successor to the MT6595 which employed A17 and A7 cores in a big.LITTLE configuration. I was fairly impressed with the performance and battery life of the MT6595 itself, while I'm sort of doubtful the new A53 cores will be able to outperform it in real use-cases, it should still work very well and also improve battery life for the new device. The MX5 comes with a standard 3GB of LPDDR3 memory.

Due to the screen's change in aspect ratio, the MX5 is 6mm taller than the MX4, although width has gone down 0.5mm and the new phone is now also thinner at 7.6 instead of 8.9mm - all without sacrificing battery capacity (And likely battery life) as it now actually even gains 50mAh for a total of 3150mAh.

The camera system remains largely the same, but Meizu now uses a better lens system that is supposed to improve quality of the image. This is still a Sony IMX220 20.7MP sensor with an F2.2 aperture lens. What is new is that there's now a laser auto-focus system right under the flash LED, enabling fast-focus for down to 0.2s according to Meizu.

The fingerprint sensor that we've seen on the MX4Pro carries over to the MX5, enabling a variety of OS security functions such as unlocking the device or accessing private folders or galleries on your phone.

The phone ships with Meizu's FlymeOS 4.5 Android 5.0 operating system. The interesting part here is that Meizu announced its plans to open-source parts of the OS and upload them to GitHub for community development. This might attract a lot of enthusiast users as having a modding-friendly device can vastly increase the life-span of a model beyond what the OEM is willing to offer in terms of support.

For now the device is aimed at the Chinese market (And thus only offers limited western frequency bands) coming in at ¥ 1799, ¥ 1999 and ¥ 2399 (USD $290, $320, $386) price-points for 16, 32 or 64GB versions.

Source: Meizu

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  • Andrei Frumusanu - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - link

    I agree. While I was previously curious about such a configuration, after seeing the P8 and the Kirin930 I think it's a bad design for anything other than budget devices.
  • jjj - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - link

    That's far too harsh. No idea how much MTK charges for it and it's clear that this is not a 50$ SoC but it's not a 15$ SoC either, or a 5$ SoC for that matter.
    How do you decide what's bad design? Core die size? Size for the entire SoC?
    How about CPU perf and core die size comparison between A53 ,Intel's Atom core (on 14 or 28nm), A57 and even Apple's core. You could even normalize for sustained load perf for A57 to get more realistic numbers for what is bad design or not. Maybe factor in perf and pricing for different SoCs based on A53 since some have half the clocks of this one. You like power efficiency so factor that in too before giving such a verdict.
    Granted it depends on price and you can't target 50$ with A53 cores but 20-25$ maybe depending on what else is on the chip.It also depends on how you define "budget", if midrange means budget or low end means budget.
    Plus what can you do on 28nm when A57 is what it is even on 20nm and die sizes on 28nm are some 8.4mm2 for quad A53 cluster and 20.7mm2 for quad A57.They could have kept the A17 but that's not 64 bit and hurts on the marketing side.
    Meizu places this as a lower high end phone not a flagship, it does cost 3 times less than an iphone 6 Plus in China after all.
    You can't just state that it's not a Ferrari so it must be a Trabby.It's just somewhere in between.
    You are a reviewer here and maybe a bit more caution when giving verdicts is preferable. Saying that it feels slightly underpowered makes sense but bad design is a lot.
  • jjj - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - link

    Correction: 3 times less than iphone 6 not Plus*
  • icrf - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - link

    Kryo can't get here soon enough. I hope it's every bit as awesome as Krait was in its day.

    Are there really no custom architecture ARM licensees beyond Qualcomm and Apple with interest in the mobile phone space?
  • xdrol - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - link

    There is nVidia's Denver and Mavell's Sheeva..
  • nikaldro - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - link

    The SoC is just too scarce.
    I can be OK with the CPU -it's not like 8 A53 cores at 2.2Ghz are "weak", even though most times only 4 will be used, but the GPU simply does not cut it.
    It's on par with the adreno 320, wich is many generations old. We've had the 330, the 420, the 430, and a new one is about to debut with the snapdragon 820.
    Performance wise, this phone is about on par with the galaxy S4, wich is just not acceptable in 2015
  • mkozakewich - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - link

    It's still a good upgrade for a three-year-old phone, and at $290 instead of $650.
  • nikaldro - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - link

    An LG G2 is priced similar and is better at everything, save for the camera, wich is arguable.
  • MobiusPizza - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - link

    I had to google-fu what PSR stand for (not easy, try it!), it'd be nice if it is spelled out as Panel Self-refresh in the article.
  • r3loaded - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - link

    "8x Cortex A53" /facepalm

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