Meizu M3 Note quick review: Redmi Note 3 gets new challenger

first_imgAnother day, another Chinese smartphone in the fray: this time round it’s from a relatively lesser known brand (in India) of the name Meizu. Geeks would know (and remember) the company from back in the day when its phones mysteriously crept up topping almost all of benchmark listings. The company launched its affordable yet very interesting phone, the M3 Note in India on Wednesday .Priced at just under Rs 10,000 the Meizu M3 Note looks remarkably like the iPhone 6S, much like the company’s other premiere phones. The company doesn’t care, and we don’t mind. After all, it’s not every day (read, never) that you get an iPhone for that low a price as the M3 Note. The iPhone resemblance doesn’t end there, but it extends way beyond in how it works as well. Then again, Meizu doesn’t care, and we don’t mind. After all many Chinese OEMs are trying to mimic the iPhone in more ways than one. Meizu is just another drop in the ocean.Still, it’s not every day (read, never) that you get an iPhone for that low a price as the M3 Note. In all fairness, the M3 Note with its pretty well-to-do spec sheet looks like the new budget phone to beat, on paper. Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 3 had our attention for quite some time now. It’s safe to say, the Meizu M3 Note has got our attention divided for good.If you’ve had a brush in with the Meizu MX5, you’ll be well at home with the M3 Note. The M3 Note looks nothing like its predecessor phone, aka the M2 Note and instead takes a whole new route, that of the MX5 that is. The MX5 costs just under Rs 20,000 and has a magnificent all-metal body — that screams out iPhone from almost every nook and corner — therefore to have a similar design (and build) in a phone that costs under Rs 10,000 is a step worth vouching for any day.advertisementAlso Read: Meizu MX5 review: Looks like iPhone 6, performs like Android The M3 Note boasts of an all-metal body, well almost. The top and bottom are plastic with brushed metal finish to accommodate for the antennas. Meanwhile, rounded edges and rounded corners make the M3 Note look seamlessly smooth and attractive. The M3 Note is a slippery phone and you will have to learn to live with it if you consider buying one.The front of the M3 Note (unlike the MX5) has a 2.5D curved glass that makes the display pop while also enhancing its looks. The volume rocker and the power button are on the right while a dualSIM hybrid slot rests on the left. The speaker placement and microUSB out are placed just the way that they are on the MX5 that is at the bottom edge.If we were to pick the best-looking smartphone at under Rs 10,000 right now, it has to be the Meizu M3 Note. Period! The phone’s equally good in the hands too minus all that slipperiness that it brings to the table.The M3 Note comes with a 5.5-inch FullHD screen with a 1080×1920 pixel resolution. While colours appear well-saturated for the most part, its brightness levels do leave you asking for more. The M3 Note may work just fine indoors, but it is the outside bright sunny environment that sadly takes the better of it.The Meizu M3 Note is powered by a 1.8GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio P10 processor coupled with Mali T860MP2 GPU and 3GB of RAM. It comes with 32GB of internal memory which is further expandable by up to 128GB via hybrid microSD card slot. The dualSIM phone runs Android 5.1 Lollipop-based Flyme 5 OS which the company’s custom skin on top of Android.The undertone is pretty straightforward. If you’re familiar with iOS, then you’ll find yourself home. Yes, the physical home button — which is also a fingerprint scanner — is your ticket to everything. While a gentle tap on it takes you back, a full-on press takes you back to the home screen. Second is getting to the app switcher, which if you haven’t used the iPhone could be baffling (remember, there are no other buttons). A swipe up from the lower end of the screen opens the recently opened apps. You swipe up to kill individual apps, while a gentle press locks them in their position.Flyme 5 brings in crucial improvements over the outgoing Flyme 4.5. More prominently, the confusing stacked card interface of the settings menu is gone. It is replaced by a regular menu much like it is in the case of other Android UIs. Other notable additions are batch management, multi-window support and in-house theme engine with India-specific content.advertisementIn our brief usage, we found the M3 Note quite nippy and responsive, and its UI quite slick: a visible improvement over Flyme 4.5. Then again, we reserve our final verdict on performance and other intricacies for our full review of the phone.The M3 Note sports a 16-megapixel rear camera with f/2.2 aperture, phase detection autofocus and dual-LED (dual tone) flash. There’s also a 5-megapixel front-facing camera with f/2.0 aperture.Also Read: Meizu M2 Review: Pocket rocket for less than Rs 7,000The phone is backed by a 4,100mAh battery which is bigger than what the Redmi Note 3 has to offer.Meizu has priced the M3 Note at Rs 9,999. The Redmi Note 3 is available in two RAM/internal memory variants. Prices start at Rs 9,999 (2GB RAM/16GB memory) and go all the way up to Rs 11,999 (3GB RAM/32GB memory). On paper, the M3 Note is cheaper than the Redmi Note 3 by Rs 2,000 which makes it an even more lucrative deal than Xiaomis offering. Both the phones are available via flash sale, so its equally frustrating to buy either. There are other phones in and around this price point that are good, but none of them offer a build as premium as either of the two phones. Watch this space for our full review of the Meizu M3 Note.last_img read more

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