Hands on with the Meizu M3 Max. Fast and furious performance and sleek good looks

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  • Editors' rating
    7.5 Very good

Pros

  • Customisable SmartTouch feature
  • Quick to set up
  • Very quick charging time

Cons

  • No spell check
  • No predictive text
  • Voice app in Chinese only

I have spent a week testing the new Meizu M3 Max and, apart from a few niggles, I have been blown away with its performance.

The phone looks sleek and smooth. Meizu says that this phone is manufactured using double CNC (computer controlled cutting) highlighting and nano-injection molding.

Its dimensions are 163.4mm (6.42 inches) x 81.6mm (3.21 inches) x 7.9mm (0.31 inches). It weighs 189g (6.67 ounces).

Installation was a pleasure. I turned the phone on, and what seemed like only seconds later I had a usable phone, connected to the internet with a 4G cellphone signal.

There was minimal setup to do. I chose my language and that was just about it. The settings icon on the home screen enabled me to change the time zone, date and adjust for the 24 hour clock.

The M3 Max display has IPS (In-Plane Switching, which was designed to correct poor viewing angles and colour reproduction) technology which gives the 6-inch HD display a sharp look. Resolution is good at 1,920 x 1,080 pixels.

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The phone has a MediaTek Helio P10 octa-core processor with four ARM Cortex-A53 cores running at 1.8GHz and the remaining four running at 1.0GHz. This reduces power consumption, enabling the 4100mAh battery to get you through the whole day without recharging.

I was blown away with how fast the phone charged. The M3 Max supports the mCharge fast charging technology for speedy charging without decreasing the battery lifespan.

The battery can be charged up to 45 percent in about 30 minutes -- essential to keep you going during a long day.

The M3 Max has 3GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, expandable to 128GB via the handset's MicroSD card slot. There are two cameras: a 13-megeapixel rear camera with a SONY CMOS sensor, a wide f/2.2 aperture and a dual-LED flash; and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera with a four-element lens and f/2.0 aperture.

There are plenty of picture-taking options for the camera; panorama, slow-mo mode, barcode scan feature, macro, Gif creation and 'beauty'. You can take pictures using voice control by using the Chinese commands 'Paizhao' or Qiezl'

The beauty features include icons to enhance the eyes, slim the face, smooth out wrinkles and bags under the eyes, and an icon for 'whitening'. Whitening lightens the facial tones and fades redness. The whitening feature can also be used on the final image to edit.

The phone has a useful, but perhaps illegal feature in some countries: when in a call, there is an option to record the phone conversation, which is saved with the contact details.

For added security, an mTouch fingerprint sensor unlocks the phone using up to five fingerprints.

The phone has a password-protected guest mode to allow guests to make outgoing calls and send SMS messages, or install apps.

I loved the performance and responsiveness of the Meizu M3 Max, and the intuituveness of the Android-based Flyme OS. I like extra features like the SmartTouch option, which overlays a customisable on-screen soft button.

I can configure gestures to get back to the home screen, end the process, or unfold the notification bar amongst other features. I like the ability to increase the size of the icons and change the look of the icon screen.

Other features of the phone drove me crazy, though. For example, the default weather app showed me the weather at my location in Chinese. This was not customisable, even though I selected English as my default language.

There is no predictive text, or spell-checking option. Texting, or responding to emails were annoying as I had to insert apostrophes and commas, and correct my spelling as I went along. I could not find any option to add spell check to the default options.

I also received notifications in Chinese for default apps that I could not switch off such as the default news app, the Life app, or the Flyme app store. These all defaulted to Chinese.

I could not uninstall them, nor change their default language. The smart voice app only responded to Chinese instructions.

Other apps, such as Weibo, Taobao, Tencent, Dianping and Qunar travel could be uninstalled.

Meizu said that the sample I tested had an early version of the firmware. All international shipments, including US and Europe, will come with an English OS, instructions and local adapter.

With this in mind, I have ignored the niggles with this early version of the phone and focused on the positives. This is a very nice, highly responsive phone with a sleek look. It's certainly a phone I would be happy to own.

Specifications

Cellular
Type Smartphone
Operating System Android 5.1 Lollipop
Processor
Clock Speed 1.8 GHz
Manufacturer Mediatek
Processor Core Qty Octa-core
Display
Diagonal Size 6.0 in

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