Meizu M6 Note Review
Meizu has a new offering for the Philippine market in the form of the Meizu M6 Note. With a 5.5-inch Full HD display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset, a dual-rear camera, and a large 4,000mAh battery, it is designed for users who want performance without sacrificing battery life. However, there are plenty of smartphones on the market that offer the same features. The question now is, does the M6 Note have a fighting chance?
Design and Construction
If you’re expecting a device with slim bezels like some of the most popular mid-rangers in the market, you might get disappointed as the M6 Note doesn’t have that. It has a traditional yet nice-looking design with thick top and bottom bezels that borders the 5.5-inch display.
Placed above it is the earpiece, the sensor, notification light, and 16MP front camera. Down below is the physical Home Button that also doubles as a capacitive Home button and fingerprint scanner.
On the right are the volume and power/lock keys, while on the left is the hybrid SIM tray.
Up top is the secondary microphone, while down below are the 3.5mm audio port, main microphone, micro USB port, and loudspeaker.
At the back, we have the 12MP + 5MP cameras, four two-tone LED flashes, and the Meizu badge. Also visible at the top and bottom areas are two antenna bands.
In the hands, the M6 Note feels premium and nice to hold thanks to the chamfered edges and 2.5D curved glass. It has a decent heft at 173g but a bit chunky at 8.35mm. Although slim bezels are the in thing today, the M6 Note is still a looker.
Display and Multimedia
The M6 Note is equipped with a 5.5-inch Full HD LTPS display which equates to a good pixel density of 403ppi. No mention of glass protection aside from 2.5D curved glass so we’re assuming it’s scratch resistant. It’s vibrant, with wide-viewing angles and accurate colors which is good for those who are into watching movies, viewing photos, or playing games.
When it comes to its loudspeaker, it’s loud and crisp. There’s bass but very faint. Overall, it’s good for a mid-range device and will suffice for casual music playback, gaming, and handsfree voice calls.
OS, UI, and Apps
Running the software of the M6 Note is Flyme 6.1.4 based on Android 7.1.2. We like how Flyme uses a simple UI with flat yet colorful icons. Navigation is different though as it doesn’t have on-screen navigation buttons but simple enough to understand.
To go home or back, just simply tap on the Home button, but if you want to quickly exit to the home screen you will need to press on it. If you want to access previously opened apps, you just need to swipe up from the bottom. To close them, just swipe up on each or tap on the ‘X’ icon at the bottom.
While Flyme looks good, the unit that we have on hand needs some work as it uses a ROM dedicated to the Chinese market. Although the language is in English, it doesn’t have the Google Play Store pre-installed. You can remedy that by going to its own app store and search for the Google App Installer. From there it will install the necessary files to run Google’s services on the M6 Note.
The M6 Note also exhibits a bug as it doesn’t allow us to change its wallpaper or apply themes due to our current system version and recommends that we update it. However, there is no available OTA update so we’re stuck with this issue as of writing.
When it comes to pre-installed apps, the M6 Note doesn’t carry much aside from its native apps like its own Theme Store, the Toolbox which houses utility apps like flashlight and compass, and its own app store. These, along with the system, leave the user with almost 23GB of usable space out of the 32GB, which you can expand via microSD or USB OTG.
The Meizu M6 Note is equipped with two rear cameras consisting of a 12MP f/1.9 Dual PD camera and a 5MP f/2.0 secondary. Autofocus is fast, while image quality is good with accurate colors, plenty of details, and nice dynamic range even without HDR mode on. As for its features, it has Slo-mo, Pro, QR Scan, Panorama, Time-Lapse, and GIF.
The cameras can also shoot subjects with artificially blurred backgrounds which are made possible with the help of the secondary camera. The effect works best if there’s a good distance between the subject. You can also use it up close but the effect would be too obvious.
Selfies, on the other hand, is handled by a 16MP f/2.0 shooter. The images produced have decent quality with lots of details although prone to noise when shooting in dim environments. Beautification and Auto-makeup features are also present for those who need to tweak their photos before uploading.
As for video recording, the M6 Note can shoot up to 4K resolution at 30fps. There’s no image stabilization but the resulting footage is smooth with good color and dynamic range.
Performance and Benchmarks
Powering the M6 Note is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor clocked at 2.0GHz, Adreno 506 GPU, and 3GB of RAM. The chipset may be old but it has already proven itself to be reliable. Performance is smooth, multitasking is a breeze, and the fingerprint scanner is very responsive. It can also handle games like Honkai Impact 3, and Mobile Legends run in its highest settings. Warming can be felt above the cameras but not enough to be a cause for concern. Check out the benchmark scores below.
* AnTuTu – 62,239
* Geekbench – 842 (Single-Core), 4,186 (Multi-core), 3,144 (RenderScript)
* 3DMark – 462 (Sling Shot Extreme)
* PCMark – 5,817 (Work performance 1.0)
* Vellamo – 2,257 (Multicore), 1,384 (Metal), 1,279 (Chrome)
* AndroBench – 269.89 MB/s (Read), 76.23 MB/s (Write)
Connectivity, Call Quality, and Battery Life
The M6 Note has basic connectivity features and sensors like 4G LTE (SIM 1), dual-band WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, and Gyroscope. There’s dual-SIM, but in a hybrid setup which means you can’t use two SIM cards if you plan to use a microSD card. Mobile data is fast while call quality is good but it depends on your location and if the signal is good. GPS also works fine when using navigation apps like Waze and Google Maps.
As expected, battery life is good on the M6 Note thanks to the 4,000mAh battery and power-efficient Snapdragon 625 chipset. It can last us up to two days of mixed usage which includes gaming. Our video loop test which involves playing a Full HD clip in Airplane mode at 50% brightness and volume with headset plugged in, yielded 18 hours and 36 minutes of playback which is good. Meizu didn’t mention Qualcomm Quick Charge but according to their webpage, it supports 18W fast charging and takes less than 3 hours to charge.
Note: PCMark crashes during testing.
There are plenty of smartphones on the market that offer big batteries but compromise in other features like imaging, performance, and design. The M6 Note is not one of those smartphones as it features good performance, capable cameras, and a nice premium look. It’s not perfect though as there are bugs in the software and doesn’t come with the Google services out of the box. We hope that Meizu addresses these issues before rolling it out locally. As for the price, Meizu Philippines is yet to announce its SRP and availability, but we’re hoping that it’ll be priced competitively.
Meizu M6 Note specs:
5.5-inch Full HD LTPS display, 403ppi
2.5D Glass Protection
Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 2.0GHZ octa-core CPU
8 x ARM Cortex A53
Adreno 506 GPU
16/32/64GB internal storage
Expandable up to 128GB via microSD card
12MP f/1.9 Dual PD + 5MP f/2.0, Quad-LED Dual tone flash
16MP f/2.0 front camera
4G FDD-LTE: B1/3/5/7/8/20
4G TD-LTE: B38/40
Dual nano-SIM card
GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
Android 7.1.2 Nougat (w/ Flyme 6.0)
4000mAh battery (with quick charge)
154.6 x 75.2 x 8.35 mm
Black, Gold, Blue
What we liked:
* Good build and design
* Good cameras
* Good performance
* Long battery life
What we didn’t:
* Software bugs
* Doesn’t come with Google services out of the box