Budget Android devices tended to be crappy and pretty much unusable but thanks to Chinese brands like Xiaomi and OnePlus, products with a lower price range are getting better and better. Now it is Meizu’s turn to set the standards for a cheap device with the launch of the Meizu m1 note. It is the company’s new kid in the relatively clean product lineup and it is priced very, very aggressively for what it brings to the table. If you feel that current budget devices are good enough, have a look at this.
At first glance, the Meizu m1 note looks very similar to the iPhone 5c. The glossy plastic back, the same colour options and the only button below the display are almost the same except that the Meizu m1 note is much larger. Meizu m1 note has a 5.5″ Full HD 1080p display. Although the display has the normal 16:9 aspect ratio rather than the wide 5:3 ratio found in the MX4 and MX4 Pro which can show more content according to Meizu, a full HD display is never expected for devices below RM700. This brings the pixel density to 403ppi and Meizu assures us that the quality and brightness of the display are not sacrificed. The display is covered by Gorilla Glass 3 too. We have to give credit to Meizu for making this possible. Even the iPhone 5c with more than twice the price has a lower pixel density to it.
The phone is powered by 64 bit octacore MT6752 processor from MediaTek. This chipset has 8 Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.7GHz, a Mali T760 MP2 GPU and 2GB of RAM. Performance should not be an issue for it to run its custom FlyMe OS version 4 based on Android 4.4 for most use cases. The 64 bit ready chipset will be more future-proof when the Android Lollipop update comes to it, if it is happening. Meizu also packs in a generous 3,140mAh battery which promises 15 hours of video playing.
If this is not good enough for you, Meizu m1 note also supports 4G LTE connection, which is a rare feature in budget devices too. Dual SIM dual standby is here but the second SIM can only support 2G GSM network only. WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 are also present too. The main camera is a 13MP shooter with 5-element lens and dual tone LED flash. The front facing camera has a 5MP sensor which is a good news for selfie lovers.
The only thing missing here will be NFC and a micro SD card expansion. However, the 16GB model will cost only CNY999 (around RM570) and the larger 32GB model will be selling at CNY1199(around RM680). The specifications found in the phone is unbelievably great for its cost. For that price, what can you ask for more? As this point of time, we have no idea on the availability of this phone.
There is no question that this phone will worth every penny you pay for it, at least on paper. The direct competitor will the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G which is priced at RM589. By comparison of the specification sheet, there is almost no reason not to choose the Meizu m1 note. We praise Meizu for packing such a complete package to a phone with an affordable price. This phone will be sufficient to meet most people’s need and to deliver a great experience for them.
However, we cannot say the same for the design. The design is so identical to the iPhone 5c and it is almost certain that it is “borrowed” from Apple’s idea. Of course, it is still a nice phone and most people do not really care about this but in my opinion, copying designs is not the way forward. I have no idea whether this will end up as a lawsuit or not but I think that this can be avoided in the first place. Anyway, from price, size and ecosystem, both of these phones cannot be more different. Meizu will hope that the m1 note would not suffer the same fate as the iPhone 5c, which is unlikely to happen given its amazing price-to-spec ratio.