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Hands on with the Meizu M5 Note, a fast, stylish and affordable phone

Written by Eileen Brown on

Meizu M5 Note Android smartphone

  • Well built sleek metal casing
  • Fast performance
  • Great user interface
  • Fast fingerprint sensor
  • Ring tones a little quiet
  • GPS signal quickly lost if phone in pocket
  • Editors' Review
  • Specs

The Meizu M5 Note is a nice looking Android phone. Released on December 6th 2016, it has a smaller form factor than the fast and sleek M3 Max that I reviewed last year.

The M3 Max has a 6 inch HD display, whereas the M5 note has a 5.5 inch HD display at 1920 x 1080 resolution. Its dimensions are 153.6mm x 75.8mm, It weighs 175g, and is thin at only 8.1mm. I found this phone easier to hold than the M3 Max. It is perfect for smaller hands.

Meizu say that this phone has been designed for consumers who want an affordable smartphone with good industrial design and an easy user experience.

The company says it has sold over 20 million Note devices since launching the range two years ago. It sold seven million of its previous generation Note devices.

The M5 Note has a 4000 mAh battery, which can be charged up to five times with just one of these high capacity power bank charges. Like the M3 Max, its fast charge technology means that the phone can be fully charged in 90 minutes.

Meizu say that this will support up to 32 hours of talk time, eight hours of browsing on 4G or five hours of playing resource intensive games.

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Inside there is a 64-bit Helio P10 octa-core processor. Four A54 cores are running at 1.8GHz, and four run at 1.0GHz to reduce power consumption.

It comes with either 3GB or 4GB LPDDR3 RAM, with either 16, 32, or 64 GB of internal storage. It will support a micro SD card up to 128GB.

The M5 Note has an all-in-one metal sandblasted body available in four colours: champagne gold, grey, blue and silver. It has lines near the top and bottom of the metal case which are the antennae. It gives the case a nice crisp look.

The Android-based operating system on the M5 Note is Flyme 5 which is fast with great performance. I had no system crashes, or reboots with this phone, nor did I with the M3 Max.

Meizu told me that the international version of Flyme 5 currently does not have NFC, however, this will be enabled in a future software update. In addition, currently there is no VoLTE in the international version of Flyme 5.

The camera on this phone is really good. There is a 13 megapixel CMOS sensor which focuses the camera in 0.2 seconds. The rear camera has a five element lens with ƒ/2.2 large aperture. The front camera is 5 megapixel, ƒ/2.0 aperture, four element lens.

The rear camera takes great panorama shots, and the front camera has a real time 'beautifying' feature, the 'Face AE smart facial brightness adjustment'.

This tool can brighten and slim your face, and make your eyes look larger before you take the photo. I took a range of interesting selfies testing all the adjustments.

The device has a fingerprint sensor which stores up to five fingerprints. The phone also has a 'guest mode' with a password which enables the guest to make calls and send SMS from the device, although access to your personal data on the phone is limited.

I only had a couple of issues with the phone. I was not too impressed with the audio volume. The phone rings much more quietly than other phones I have tried. I missed several calls - even when i chose the most shrill ring tone for the phone.

The M3 Max was definitely louder than the M5 Note. However, the audio is crisp and clear at high volume and excellent through headphones.

I also lost GPS signal often when my phone was in my pocket. The M5 held the GPS signal all the way round my running route.

As soon as I took the phone out of my pocket the signal came back. Running with the phone strapped to my arm eliminated this issue.

I did not notice any other issues, and all in all, I was impressed with the device. The phone has all the features I need to make it a perfect fit for my lifestyle.


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