Meizu M5c hands-on: A low-cost phone with great performance

  • Editors' rating
    7.5 Very good


  • Light polycarbonate body
  • Band 20 4G connectivity
  • Dual SIM, Dual Standby one touch switch


  • No fingerprint authentication
  • Boxy feel to screen

Chinese company Meizu is prolific with its device releases that appeal across all price ranges. This tactic has grown the company, which is now the 11th largest mobile phone manufacturer in in the world in terms of unit sales.

Hands on with the Meizu M5c A low cost phone with great performance ZDNet

(Image: Meizu)

It has three smartphone lines: the Pro, MX, and M-series. I have reviewed the M3 Max, the M5s, the M5 Note, and the Pro 6 Plus (my favourite so far).

Its new offering, the M5c, is aimed squarely at the international market. The phone supports band 20 4G connectivity, so no matter where you are in the world, you can get good data coverage.

Unlike the other phones in the M-series, this phone has a polycarbonate body, which is spray-painted in black, gold, red, blue, and pink. This is the first time that Meizu has released a red M-series phone.

The phone is light, weighing 135g, which makes it the lightest Meizu phone I've reviewed. It also packs a 3000mAh battery into its 8.3mm-thick case. Its dimensions are 144x70.5mm

It has a 5-inch HD screen with 1280x720-pixel resolution and a nice auto-adjust soft glow when using the phone in dim light.

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Inside there is a 1.3ghz quad-core 64-bit processor with 2GB RAM and 16GB of internal storage. The device also supports up to 128GB microSD to increase storage.

The 8MP four-element lens camera on the rear takes clear pictures. The shutter speed is fast -- even in low light. The front has a 5MP f/2.2 aperture camera, the highest spec of all the Meizu phones I've reviewed.

Most of the Meizu devices I have tested have dual SIM capability. The M5c has a DSDS (dual SIM, dual standby) feature to switch between the two numbers in the phone, which is useful if you do not want to use your work phone.

This is the first phone designed for the international market that comes with the Flyme 6 OS (Android 7.0) installed. It is faster than the previous Flyme version, and home screen notifications now appear on a black screen with a grey font, which is kinder to the eyes.

One of my major niggles was the lack of fingerprint touch authentication. I became used to it with previous models, and I missed it more than I thought I would. Typing the PIN became annoying after using touch to unlock the devices.

Hands on with the Meizu M5c A low cost phone with great performance ZDNet

(Image: Meizu)

The other style issue I had was the screen. Other Meizu phones I have tried had rounded screen edges -- a nightmare if you are clumsy with your phone and drop it a lot, but it's a delight if you love smooth sleek lines.

The M5c has a definite edge to the screen, which made the phone seem boxy after the curved edges of other models.

These were the only things that bothered me. The phone is a good, affordable device aimed at the lower end of the price market, but it has performance specs that will suit most businesses.

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Type Smartphones
Operating System Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Clock Speed 1.3 GHz
Manufacturer Mediatek
Processor Core Qty Quad-core
Diagonal Size 5.0 in