Introduction

Pro in a smartphone's name implies bigger and better - so much so that it's even been abused to fool the unsuspecting. Meizu did not resort to such trickery though and their MX4 Pro takes things up more than just a notch from the stock version.

An updated chipset and 3GB of RAM, a higher-res front cam, bigger screen and a fingerprint scanner are more than enough for the MX4 Pro to earn its stripes. But Meizu didn't stop there. They have the highest resolution screen on a mobile _phone_ / phablet: 1536 x 2560px is between QHD (LG G3, Oppo Find 7 and the likes) and WQXGA (Samsung's S and Pro tablet series, the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9).

Not least, the Meizu MX4 Pro almost managed to keep the impressive screen-to-body ratio of the stock MX4. The hardware Home button / fingerprint scanner obviously needed more space below the screen and it's probably the only reason why the Pro failed to match its sibling's 75.5% screen-to-body ratio. At 73.7%, it's close enough though.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Meizu MX4 Pro

The octa-core processor marks a change of allegiance from MediaTek back to Exynos and RAM has been bumped to 3GB. The selfie camera is a 5MP unit over the 2MP front-facer of the Meizu MX4. The battery capacity has seen an upgrade as well. We'll soon find out whether it's enough considering the outrageously pixel-rich screen. Let's get things going with a look at the Meizu MX4 Pro's key specs.

Key features

  • 5.5" 1536 x 2560px IPS LCD display of 546ppi
  • Heavily customized Flyme OS 4 on top of Android 4.4.4
  • Octa-core Exynos 5 Octa chipset, quad-core 2GHz Cortex-A15 & quad-core 1.5GHz Cortex-A7, 3GB of RAM
  • 20.7MP Sony sensor camera with two-tone LED flash, 2160p video recording @30fps
  • 5MP front-facing camera with 1080p@30fps video recording
  • 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of built-in storage
  • Cat. 4 LTE (150/50Mbps); Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; Bluetooth 4.0; GPS/GLONASS/Beidou/QZSS; microUSB, USB On-The-Go
  • mTouch Home button with a fingerprint scanner
  • Active noise cancellation via a dedicated mic
  • 3,350mAh battery
  • Allows for screen lock/unlock without ever touching the high-perched power button
  • Slim bezels and great screen-to-body ratio

Main disadvantages

  • Hard to find outside Asia
  • No microSD card slot
  • 64GB option hard to get

Last season, fingerprint scanning was a feature no device with flagship aspirations could afford to omit. Meizu is jumping on the bandwagon as well. On the other hand, QHD screens were not as pervasive, most major players carefully weighing up the pros and cons. LG G3's announcement made a big splash but the real-life battery numbers were discouraging. Still, devices like the Oppo Find 7, Motorola Turbo, Samsung Note 4 and the Nexus 6 followed suit.

Now that even Sony is having a change of mind, if rumors of a QHD Xperia Z4 are to be trusted, QHD screen resolution will be the flagship grade for the next generation. The Samsung Galaxy S6 and the next HTC One are expected to rock QHD displays too.

Meizu is outing its first QHD+ screen in the off-season but the timing could turn out just right. Plus, beating the likes of Sony and HTC is certainly something to be pleased with. What's more, the Chinese are making that little extra step. 96 pixels of extra vertical resolution may not be much but it means they don't have to share the top spot with anyone. Screen bezels as slim as 2.8mm are cool too.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Meizu MX4 Pro at HQ

Even at launch, the Meizu MX4 Pro naturally commands a lower price compared to some of its direct rivals but that shouldn't be the main reason to check it out. Meizu's phablet looks impressive on paper and if it can deliver the expected real-life performance, users will be more than pleased. Battery life and benchmarks will certainly be watched closely - but not before we've looked at the build and bundle. Let's get to it.

Retail package

The retail package of the Meizu MX4 Pro is a minimalist (on the outside) white box with various compartments inside for the supplied accessories. The device itself is packed into a booklet-style holder with descriptions of the phone's key features.

Underneath the booklet, there's a microUSB cable and a 2A socket plug, each in its own compartment.

There's one for a headset as well, which in our case was not provided - funnily, we got a Headphones Not Included tag instead.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Retail box

Meizu MX4 Pro 360-degree spin

The Meizu MX4 Pro isn't the biggest of phablets out there. The _phone_ measures 150.1 x 77 x 9mm and weighs a solid but not overwhelming 158g. It isn't much bigger than the Meizu MX4: 6.1mm taller, 1.8mm wider and just a single millimeter thicker. The Pro has 11g on its sibling.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

The Meizu MX4 Pro (right) next to the Meizu MX4 (left)

Compared to the 5.5" OnePlus One the MX4 Pro is a little shorter and a little lighter. It's smaller overall than a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 or an iPhone 6 Plus, but nowhere near an LG G3, which also features a 5.5" screen.

Design and build quality

Design-wise, the Meizu MX4 Pro is almost identical to the MX4, except a little bigger. The curved sides and rear are reminiscent of the HTC One (M8). It's a mix of influences actually, the iPhone clearly has inspired the design of the front - barring the square Home button. The precision-drilled speaker grille is borrowed from Apple too.

Whether you can spot the resemblances is subjective but we have to give Meizu credit for the great build quality - the Pro's near seamless construction can easily pass as unibody. It's not - the rear cover is removable. You'll only ever need to open it to put a SIM card in. The battery is non-removable.

You can get the MX4 Pro in four color schemes: gray, gold, white on black and white on silver.

At the front, a flat piece of Gorilla Glass 3 covers the 5.5" display. Above it, next to the earpiece, there's a 5MP front-facing camera. The 5MP front-facing camera is an upgrade over the MX4 Pro' 2MP.snapper.

The Home key is no longer capacitive - the new hardware button doubles as a fingerprint scanner, which Meizu calls mTouch.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Meizu MX4 Pro

It works similarly to Apple's Touch ID - the button has a metal frame to detect fingers, sapphire glass cover and a 360-degree sensor underneath. Meizu claims it will unlock the MX4 Pro within 0.5s.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Fingerprint scanner

Just like the MX4, the Pro has a metal frame wrapping around the entire phone's body. The frame starts (or ends) sharply at the front and slopes gently toward the plastic back panel.

The metal frame has a lighter gray hue than the plastic rear cover the difference is very subtle, almost impossible to notice.

The design is simple but elegant. The curved sides and rear make it comfortable to hold despite the large size and the metal frame adds to a very sturdy construction.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Metal frame

The phone has decent grip but doesn't lend itself to comfortable one-hand operation. The Meizu MX4 Pro isn't particularly slim at 9mm but at that size it doesn't come across as chubby.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Handling the beast

The sloping edges indeed allow a very comfortable to hold and feel extra pleasant to slide your palm against. Curved screen edges would have been nice as well - they make a good deal of difference on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the Apple iPhone 6 Plus, which are about the size of the Pro and do help on-screen gestures.

But we're not taking points away from Meizu for the flat front of the MX4 Pro.

Controls

The main attraction on the front of the Meizu MX4 Pro is the new 5.5" 1536 x 2560px IPS LCD of an impressive 546ppi. Above it are the earpiece, proximity and ambient light sensors and the new 5MP front-facing camera in the right corner.

Below the screen sits the mTouch fingerprint scanner/ Home button. It's ample and solid to press. The flat glass surface feels nice and smooth under your thumb and the button is adequately placed for easy fingerprint-unlock.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Front controls

Aside from a volume rocker, the Meizu MX4 Pro has no controls on its sides.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Sides

At the bottom, the Meizu MX4 Pro has cutouts in the metal frame for the single loudspeaker grille, the microUSB port, the main microphone and the tiny slit to lift the back panel open.

The top offers the 3.5mm headphone jack, a second noise-reducing microphone and the power button. A top-placed power button on such a device is never a good idea but Meizu has thankfully added a convenient way to unlock and even lock the MX4 Pro without ever needing to resort to the button.

You can swipe upward on the screen to unlock it, double tap to light it up, swipe to pull down the notification area and even paint a symbol that the phone will recognize and perform different actions.

A press and hold on the home button will lock the MX4 Pro and you can always just unlock the phone by pressing once and waiting for your finger to be recognized.

One small gripe we have is that the mere act of lifting the phone and gently touching the screen with a finger can unlock the Meizu MX4 Pro, which isn't ideal if you just want to pick it up to put in your pocket. Meizu allows you to disable the swipe unlock gestures if that's too big of a deal.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Top and bottom

The back is where we find a Sony-made 20.7MP camera under a sapphire-glass lens accompanied by a dual-tone LED flash.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

The back

Undoing the back panel reveals the microSIM card slot and the 3,350mAh non-removable battery.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Under the back panel

The Meizu MX4 Pro is laid out exactly like the MX4, the construction is top notch and the quality of the materials used is very good.

The QHD display is a step up

Compared to its predecessor, the Pro version of the Meizu MX4 didn't increase the screen size by much. The screen has grown 0.14" to a full 5.5" but the more important thing here is the higher resolution of 1536 x 2560px - up from the 1152 x 1920px screen on the MX4. The pixel density has increased significantly to 546ppi.

Meizu calls it a 2K+ display, but technically they are incorrect since 2K screen resolution means a horizontal line of around 2,000 pixels. A proper abbreviation would be QHD (Quad HD) or QHD+, if you will, in order to account for the extra pixels. QHD displays would normally have 1440px on the short side, while the MX4 Pro offers 1536px.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

The 5.5" QHD screen

The display offers the same good qualities of the 5.36" FullHD panel of the MX4 - colors look great, viewing angles are quite wide and the panel is decently bright. It's a LED-backlit screen - a less power-intensive solution that Meizu claims puts the 546ppi screen of the Pro on par with the stock MX4's 418ppi display in terms of battery consumption.

Meizu MX4 Pro

The Meizu MX4 Pro display is exceptionally bright with very good contrast. The black level isn't among the best we've seen but is still very good.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Meizu MX4 - - - 0.63 594 947
Meizu MX4 Pro - - - 0.69 775 1127
OnePlus One 0.39 317 805 0.75 598 799
HTC One (M8) 0.2 245 1219 0.46 577 1256
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 291 399
Sony Xperia Z3 - - - 0.65 866 1333
Oppo Find 7a 0.33 280 842 0.68 580 852
Oppo Find 7 0.22 248 1135 0.4 448 1123
Xiaomi Mi 4 0.17 164 940 0.73 679 929
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 0.17 208 1197 0.52 705 1361
Huawei Ascend Mate7 0.11 149 1428 0.37 530 1428


When viewed outdoor in direct sunlight the MX4 Pro remains visible with low reflectivity. It's above average in this regard.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Nokia 808 PureView
    4.698
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    4.033
  • Apple iPhone 5
    3.997
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    3.997
  • Apple iPhone 6
    3.838
  • Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
    3.799
  • Oppo R5
    3.678
  • Samsung Galaxy K zoom
    3.675
  • Nokia Lumia 930
    3.567
  • Apple iPhone 5s
    3.565
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    3.549
  • Nokia Lumia 735
    3.547
  • Alcatel Idol X+
    3.527
  • Apple iPhone 5c
    3.512
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    3.509
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
    3.487
  • Motorola RAZR MAXX
    3.42
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    3.419
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 Active
    3.406
  • Nokia Lumia 925
    3.402
  • Gionee Elife S5.5
    3.386
  • Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4
    3.352
  • Samsung Omnia W
    3.301
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini
    3.174
  • Samsung I9000 Galaxy S
    3.155
  • Samsung Ativ S
    3.129
  • Samsung I9190 Galaxy S4 mini
    3.127
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    3.118
  • Nokia N9
    3.069
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Samsung Galaxy Premier
    2.958
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2.95
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Samsung I8730 Galaxy Express
    2.861
  • BlackBerry Q10
    2.856
  • Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II
    2.832
  • HTC Desire Eye
    2.815
  • Gionee Elife S5.1
    2.812
  • Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
    2.801
  • BlackBerry Z30
    2.79
  • Meizu MX4 Pro
    2.765
  • Sony Xperia ZR
    2.672
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    2.655
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    2.618
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
    2.616
  • Sony Xperia T3
    2.609
  • BlackBerry Passport
    2.595
  • Nokia Lumia 900
    2.562
  • Motorola Moto G 4G
    2.546
  • HTC One Max
    2.537
  • Nokia Lumia 720
    2.512
  • HTC One
    2.504
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    2.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    2.422
  • Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
    2.416
  • LG G Flex
    2.407
  • HTC One (M8)
    2.371
  • Motorola RAZR i
    2.366
  • Meizu MX4
    2.366
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    2.352
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2.307
  • HTC One (M8) for Windows
    2.291
  • Oppo Find 7a
    2.279
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • HTC Desire 600 dual sim
    2.262
  • Nokia Asha 311
    2.25
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Nokia Lumia 820
    2.193
  • HTC One (E8)
    2.185
  • Oppo N3
    2.181
  • Nokia Lumia 920
    2.17
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Nokia N8
    2.144
  • Nokia Lumia 620
    2.142
  • Nokia 515
    2.134
  • HTC Desire 500
    2.129
  • Sony Xperia acro S
    2.119
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Nokia Lumia 1020
    2.103
  • Oppo Find 5
    2.088
  • Sony Xperia SL
    2.078
  • Nokia Lumia 630
    2.056
  • BlackBerry Z10
    2.051
  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    2.024
  • Samsung I9295 Galaxy S4 Active
    2.022
  • Apple iPhone 4
    2.016
  • HTC One mini
    2.003
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    2.001
  • Huawei Ascend P7
    1.992
  • LG G2
    1.976
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Oppo R819
    1.957
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
    1.955
  • Lenovo Vibe X2
    1.952
  • Sony Xperia Z2
    1.944
  • Sony Xperia E3
    1.943
  • Nokia Lumia 1320
    1.941
  • HTC One mini 2
    1.94
  • Samsung Galaxy Camera
    1.938
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
    1.935
  • Sony Xperia J
    1.932
  • Acer CloudMobile S500
    1.931
  • LG Nexus 4
    1.926
  • LG G Pro 2
    1.922
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    1.913
  • Nokia Asha 308
    1.911
  • HTC Butterfly 2
    1.905
  • Sony Xperia T
    1.894
  • Nokia Lumia 830
    1.887
  • HTC Desire X
    1.878
  • HTC Windows phone 8X
    1.873
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • HTC Butterfly S
    1.867
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    1.865
  • Huawei Ascend Mate
    1.845
  • LG G2 mini
    1.838
  • LG G3
    1.82
  • Nokia Lumia 1520
    1.813
  • HTC Desire 616 dual sim
    1.797
  • Sony Xperia V
    1.792
  • HTC Desire 816
    1.783
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
    1.772
  • HTC Desire 700 dual sim
    1.769
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Meizu MX3
    1.754
  • LG Optimus G
    1.753
  • Sony Xperia T2 Ultra
    1.74
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
    1.735
  • Sony Xperia SP
    1.733
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1.691
  • Oppo Find 7
    1.691
  • HTC One V
    1.685
  • BlackBerry Q5
    1.682
  • LG Optimus Vu
    1.68
  • Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9
    1.672
  • LG Optimus GJ
    1.666
  • LG Optimus 3D Max
    1.658
  • HTC Desire V
    1.646
  • Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2
    1.632
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 3
    1.622
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    1.578
  • Sony Xperia go
    1.577
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 I8160
    1.566
  • Samsung Galaxy Core
    1.563
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1.552
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • LG Optimus 3D
    1.542
  • Nokia Asha 302
    1.537
  • Samsung Galaxy Core Prime
    1.507
  • BlackBerry Curve 9320
    1.488
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Oppo N1
    1.47
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    1.462
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    1.432
  • Samsung Galaxy S Duos
    1.4
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo
    1.393
  • Sony Xperia M2
    1.393
  • Microsoft Lumia 535
    1.393
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
    1.38
  • Sony Xperia E1
    1.372
  • Nokia Lumia 625
    1.371
  • Gigabyte GSmart G1355
    1.361
  • Sony Xperia L
    1.351
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8
    1.35
  • Xiaomi Redmi 1S
    1.35
  • HTC Desire 510
    1.34
  • Sony Xperia M2 Aqua
    1.331
  • Sony Xperia miro
    1.324
  • Samsung I9082 Galaxy Grand
    1.321
  • Samsung I8530 Galaxy Beam
    1.315
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Nokia X
    1.291
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Nokia Asha 503
    1.281
  • Nokia Asha 501
    1.27
  • LG Optimus L7
    1.269
  • Nokia Lumia 510
    1.268
  • Samsung Galaxy Fame
    1.245
  • LG Optimus L9
    1.227
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Samsung Galaxy Young
    1.22
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215
  • Nokia XL
    1.204
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    1.203
  • Asus Memo Pad 7 ME176C
    1.198
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    1.18
  • Nokia Asha 305
    1.178
  • Nokia Asha 306
    1.175
  • Sony Xperia neo L
    1.169
  • Sony Xperia tipo
    1.166
  • Nokia Lumia 520
    1.161
  • Samsung S6802 Galaxy Ace Duos
    1.148
  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2
    1.114

Battery life test

The MX4 Pro has 250mAh of extra battery capacity compared to the MX4 - for a total of 3,350mAh. Meizu claims the 20nm Exynos 5 Octa processor and the power-efficient LED-backlit screen should ease the strain on the battery, promising a day and a half of uptime in a LTE network.

Meizu MX4 Pro

3,350mAh battery

Our own test produced a lower overall battery rating than that of the LG G3 but, to Meizu's credit, the individual video playback and web browsing times are notably better.

Meizu MX4 Pro

Our battery testing procedure is described in detail if you want to learn more about it.

Connectivity

The Meizu MX4 Pro comes with quad-band 2G/GPRS/EDGE, quad-band 3G with HSDPA and HSUPA, as well as either tri-band or quad-band LTE depending on the target market. There's a CDMA option for China Mobile as well. The MX4 Pro offers LTE Cat4 for up to 150Mbps of downlink speed.

Local connectivity is covered by dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac with DLNA, so you can easily play media (photos, videos, music) from DLNA-enabled storage devices or push content from your phone to a DLNA-compatible TV or music player.

Bluetooth 4.0 is also on board with A2DP. The microUSB 2.0 port supports USB On-The-Go so you can attach USB flash drives or connect peripherals. You can also stream your display via the Wireless Display feature (Miracast). NFC is supported as well.

GPS and GLONASS support is enabled. There's no FM Radio or IR port on the Meizu MX4, there is no wired TV-out option either.

Flyme OS goes after iOS

The Meizu MX4 Pro comes with the custom-made Flyme OS, now in its 4.1 installment. It's based on Android KitKat 4.4.4 and it takes after its Chinese siblings from MiUI and others and has a one-level interface with only homescreen and no app drawer, similarly to Apple's iOS.

Here's a quick look at Flyme OS 4.1 on the Meizu MX4 Pro.

The lockscreen on the Meizu MX4 Pro is a pretty simple affair. You drag upwards to unlock and have the option of securing it with a passcode or an unlock pattern. There are no shortcuts on the lockscreen and you can get into the homescreen or camera with a simple swipe on the screen even when it's off.

A swipe to the right can bring up a predefined app, a swipe down will bring down the notification area and a swipe upward will unlock the phone into the homescreen.

Holding down the home button will lock back the device.

You can also assign a number of functions to tapping the home button - you can set it go back in the UI, close an app or go back to the homescreen.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Lockscreen

Meizu's new mTouch technology works very similarly to what Apple has implemented. You don't need to swipe your finger on the sapphire glass pad - a mere touch would do.

You can setup five fingerprints in total and the procedure is a simple and short process. The fingerprint sensor can scan your fingerprint at any orientation so no matter how you place your finger the phone, it will still recognize it.

Meizu claims the task of finger unlocking takes up to 0.5s and we found it to be instantaneous most of the time.

Meizu MX4 Pro

Fingerprint management

The homescreen is simpler still. You get two panes by default but you can add more later on. The homescreen gathers all of your app icons and you can add widgets into the mix.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Homescreen

Aside from adding widgets you can also align the app icons to either the top or the bottom of the screen - a step up from the iOS homescreen, which has a mind of its own in this regard.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Organizing the homescreen

The notification area pulls down the whole way and not just for a single roll like before. You get a set of five circular toggles for various settings and you can expand them with a swipe down or with the dedicated virtual button in the top right.

The rest of the notification area is a basic list or expandable, actionable notifications.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Notification area

Meizu has added what they call Smart Touch to the MX4 Pro. It's a small dot that you can place anywhere on screen. It can minimize the screen contents to half of the display canvas, just like on iOS. A swipe on the small dot will move you through the opened apps on the MX4 Pro.

Meizu MX4 Pro

Smart Touch

Switching between tasks is done with a pull up menu from the bottom of the screen. It looks like iOS 6 in a way but works differently - you have to swipe apps up or down to dismiss them.

Meizu MX4 Pro

Task switcher

The settings menu on the Meizu MX4 Pro is laid out in a tabbed interface, with the main categories on the left and the related options on the right. In the default view, the settings categories are just icons but a swipe will reveal their full names if you can't find what you're looking for.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Settings

You can customize the UI with various themes. There are some preloaded but you can browse the App Center for more - some of them are paid but there are many free and a lot to choose from. There's also a variety of built in wallpapers.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Themese

Lastly, there's a Do Not Disturb mode that will block notifications and calls and you can choose a white list of numbers that can get through. It can be scheduled to run at specific time intervals or be set manually.

Flyme OS can be tough to get around at first but once you've gotten your bearings it becomes a treat to work with. Meizu is keeping things as simple as possible and everything works seamlessly without any hiccups.

The resemblance to Apple's iOS is hard to ignore but that's true of most custom launchers that come out of China these days. That doesn't make Flyme OS bad though.

Octa-core processing

The Meizu MX4 Pro ditches the MediaTek chipset of its predecessor and has instead opted for the Samsung Exynos 5 Octa 5430, built around a 20nm processor and ARM's big.LITTLE architecture. It has four Cortex-A15 cores clocked at 2GHz and four Cortex-A7's at 1.5GHz each. Graphics are handled by the Mali T628 MP6/600MHz GPU and there's a stocky 3 gigs of RAM.

The CPU performance of the Exynos chip starts off impressively. GeekBench 3 ranks the MX4 Pro at second place among the many phones in the chart, interestingly just behind the Meizu MX4.

AnTuTu 5 gives the MX4 Pro a third place behind the Snapdragon 805-yellding Motorola Nexus 6 and the Samsung Galaxy Alpha, the latter using the same Exynos 5 Octa chip as the subject of this review.

Basemark OS II is where the Meizu MX4 Pro loses serious ground. In the overall test the MX4 Pro only makes it to the bottom of the table but is still above the Samsung Galaxy Alpha, the Huawei Ascend Mate7 and Meizu's own MX4.

Single and multi-core performance is rated in last and second-to-last place, though.

GeekBench 3

Higher is better

  • Meizu MX4
    3556
  • Meizu MX4 Pro
    3386
  • Motorola Nexus 6
    3285
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    3214
  • Oppo Find 7
    3178
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    3175
  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    3165
  • Oppo Find 7a
    3093
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    2925
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    2884
  • Oppo N3
    2704
  • OnePlus One
    2663
  • LG G3 - EU version
    2563

AnTuTu 5

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    51905
  • Motorola Nexus 6
    49803
  • Meizu MX4 Pro
    48489
  • Meizu MX4
    46922
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    46824
  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    41510
  • LG G3 - EU version
    39905
  • Oppo N3
    39245

Basemark OS II

Higher is better

  • Motorola Nexus 6
    1509
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    1324
  • Oppo N3
    1280
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    1222
  • Oppo Find 7
    1212
  • OnePlus One
    1196
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    1181
  • LG G3 - EU version
    1126
  • Oppo Find 7a
    1057
  • Meizu MX4 Pro
    922
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    915
  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    830
  • Meizu MX4
    695

Basemark OS II (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    4031
  • Oppo Find 7
    2606
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    2588
  • Oppo Find 7a
    2580
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    2579
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    2573
  • Oppo N3
    2417
  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    2334
  • OnePlus One
    2213
  • LG G3 - EU version
    2213
  • Motorola Nexus 6
    1967
  • Meizu MX4 Pro
    1891
  • Meizu MX4
    1729

Basemark OS II (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    15096
  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    15012
  • Meizu MX4
    12268
  • Oppo Find 7
    10391
  • Oppo Find 7a
    10256
  • OnePlus One
    10234
  • Motorola Nexus 6
    9915
  • LG G3 - EU version
    9611
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    9604
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    9508
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    9446
  • Oppo N3
    9320
  • Meizu MX4 Pro
    7399

The next installment of tests measures the GPU performance or in other words gaming and video playback. With its Mali GPU, the Meizu MX4 Pro didn't really crush the boards. The less-intensive T-Rex test showed an almost stutter-free 26 fps on the offscreen 1080p run. The on-screen version however uses the native resolution of 1536 x 2560px, resulting in a less impressive 17fps.

The Manhattan test is about twice as taxing and we got half the framerate compared to T-Rex. Both framerates are consistent with many of the MX4 Pro's direct rivals but still nowhere near a smooth 30fps.

Finally, Basemark X shows its own score for gaming prowess. The MX4 Pro edged out its predecessor but failed to match the heavyweights in the smartphone space.

GFX 2.7 T-Rex (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    44.6
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    41.7
  • Motorola Nexus 6
    38.9
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    31.3
  • Oppo Find 7a
    28.4
  • OnePlus One
    28.3
  • Oppo Find 7
    28
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    27.6
  • LG G3 - EU version
    27.2
  • Meizu MX4 Pro
    26
  • Meizu MX4
    22.7
  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    16.4

GFX 2.7 T-Rex (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    48.4
  • OnePlus One
    30
  • Oppo Find 7a
    28.8
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    28.2
  • Motorola Nexus 6
    27.4
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    26.4
  • Meizu MX4
    21.3
  • LG G3 - EU version
    20.5
  • Oppo Find 7
    19.9
  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    17.4
  • Meizu MX4 Pro
    17

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    18.6
  • Motorola Nexus 6
    18.6
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    18.5
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    13.4
  • Meizu MX4 Pro
    13
  • OnePlus One
    12.1
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    11.6
  • LG G3 - EU version
    11.4
  • Oppo Find 7a
    11.4
  • Oppo Find 7
    11.1
  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    8
  • Meizu MX4
    7.9

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    25.3
  • OnePlus One
    12.9
  • Motorola Nexus 6
    11.9
  • Oppo Find 7a
    11.4
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    11.3
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    11.2
  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    8.5
  • Meizu MX4 Pro
    7.8
  • Meizu MX4
    7.4
  • LG G3 - EU version
    7.2
  • Oppo Find 7
    6.7

Basemark X

Higher is better

  • Motorola Nexus 6
    20901
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    18684
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    18297
  • Oppo Find 7
    14968
  • OnePlus One
    13129
  • LG G3 - EU version
    11552
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    11065
  • Oppo N3
    10168
  • Meizu MX4 Pro
    9111
  • Meizu MX4
    8324
  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    6501

Finally, we come to the JavaScript benchmark Kraken 1.1 by Mozilla. It evaluates the JavaScript performance by the web browser. It relies not only on the hardware under the hood, but also on the software optimization made by the manufacturer. The Meizu MX4 Pro ranks last in this test.

Kraken 1.1

Lower is better

  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    4650
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    4911
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    5351
  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    5567
  • Motorola Nexus 6
    6088
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    6137
  • Oppo Find 7
    6363
  • Oppo N3
    6460
  • Oppo Find 7a
    6660
  • LG G3 - EU version
    6987
  • OnePlus One
    7008
  • Meizu MX4
    9408
  • Meizu MX4 Pro
    10193

While synthetic benchmarks can give you a pretty good idea of what to expect from a given hardware rig, we wouldn't go as far as saying that it's truly applicable as a practical measurement for recent high-end smartphones and their performance.

Each of the phones in the tables above offer outstanding performance without hiccups or stutters in just about any scenario you'd use them for.

Good telephony

At its core, the phonebook on the Meizu MX4 Pro is a list of all contacts but you can view only a specific group or filter where contracts come from - phone contacts, email account or a Meizu account.

You can't add Facebook or Twitter or any social network out of the box. Installing the Facebook or Twitter app will allow you to sync your contacts from there. You can link contacts, but the functionality is annoyingly limited.

The phonebook will automatically link contacts with the same name, but that's it. You can't manually link or unlink contacts.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Phonebook

The Meizu MX4 Pro has all reception bars full and held onto signal great even in tighter spots. Call quality is very good with loud and clear sound on both ends of the call.

The dialer features smart dialing this time, which is nice. Otherwise it doesn't differ from any other in functionality - you get the caller image and the usual controls - speaker, mute, bring up keyboard and end a call, naturally.

Meizu MX4 Pro

Dialer

The Meizu MX4 Pro passed our loudspeaker test with flying colors - it received an Excellent mark and is really among the loudest phones to pass through our office. It almost tied its MX4 counterpart as the loudest smartphone we've tested but wound up out of reach by a smidge.

Speakerphone test Voice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Xiaomi Mi 4 62 62.1 66.6 Below Average
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 67.3 65.7 66.5 Below Average
HTC One (M8) 65.8 64.7 75.7 Average
LG G3 70.2 66.6 80.2 Good
OnePlus One 74.8 73.5 80.2 Excellent
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 74.7 73.5 81.6 Excellent
Meizu MX4 Pro 76.9 73.6 82.7 Excellent
Meizu MX4 81.3 75.8 83.6 Excellent


Clean messenger

The messaging department is quite straightforward: there are no folders here, just New message, Search and Settings buttons. Above is a list of all your messages organized into threads.

When composing a message, the input field starts out at only one line tall, but will grow to up to seven lines if need be. Left of the text box is a button that handles attachments and smileys.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Messenger

When you add multimedia content to the message, it is automatically turned into an MMS. You can either quickly add a smile, a photo or an audio file to go with the text or compose an MMS using all the available features (like multiple slides, slide timing, layout, etc.). The multiple slides are all shown inside the compose box.

Batch operations are enabled for multiple threads - Mark as spam and Delete are available.

Meizu has tweaked the generic email client. It supports multiple Exchange, POP or IMAP inboxes and you have access to the original folders that are created online, side by side with the standard local ones such as inbox, drafts and sent items.

Switching between accounts is pretty easy. Just swipe out the side-placed menu and you get all your folders plus your accounts.

There's support for batch operations - Mark, Filter and Delete are the available options. Filter acts against spam to weed out unwanted email addresses. There's also the option to switch to threaded view in which case an icon appears alongside the name of each thread, giving you the number of messages inside.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Email

Email and text input

The keyboard of the Meizu MX4 Pro is nicely laid out and has a four-row interface. There's a dedicated numeric view with a numpad-like style but we would have preferred the numbers as a line on top of the keyboard.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Keyboard

You can switch between keyboard styles, send Meizu and text smileys and have an option to choose between many languages.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Keyboard

Naturally, you can always download a third party keyboard if you wish, there are many on the Google Play store.

iOS-like gallery

The Flyme gallery has two viewing modes - photo and gallery. The photo stacks images into months while the gallery into folders. You can add or remove folders from the gallery and also search through it.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Gallery

Viewing an image feels a lot like the iOS gallery. By default the bars around an image are white with the content controls but upon a tap they turn black and lose all controls so you can focus on the image at hand.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Viewing an image

There's also a built-in editor that offers filters and all the basic controls for contrast, brightness and you can even add blur or vignette. You cannot use different editors from the stock gallery and would need to install a third-party gallery (like Google's Photos) to have different editors.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Editing

Good music player

The music player can only find tracks located in the music folder. You can browse your collection the traditional way or you can select to have it filtered by folders.

In the first case tracks are sorted into several playlists like All songs, Recently added, Folders and you have the option to create custom playlists. When viewing All songs you can choose between three types of sorting in a tabbed layout: song name, artist and album.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Music player

The music controls are at the bottom of the screen. Choosing an artist will show you all the albums and corresponding songs.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Now playing

You can access the equalizer from the advanced menu. It features several presets, which you can edit manually - but you need to insert the headphones first.

The MX4 Pro has a Hi-Fi sound setting, which allows you to set the audio for earphones, a headset or even an external amplifier.

Pop-out video player

The Meizu MX4 Pro comes with a dedicated Video app, but it expects videos to be placed in the video folder. You can use the file browser or gallery to get videos to play from elsewhere - it offers thumbnails and everything so we ended up using it more often than the Video app itself.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Video player

There's a pop-out option that allows you to view the video as an overlay to the OS. It's quite limited compared to Samsung and LG's modes for pop up play as you don't get any resizing or opacity controls - just play controls and the option to move the video around the screen.

Meizu MX4 Pro

Pop-out view

The Meizu MX4 Pro didn't manage to wow us like the MX4 did. It played most of the video files we threw at it but did choke on some. We had issues with both AVC, MPEG-4 and MPEG-2 files which didn't play at all, while others with the same codec managed to play completely and without issue.

Overall movies played without issues up to 4K resolution on the MX4 Pro.

Amazing audio output

The Meizu MX4 Pro defied our expectations and turned out an audio output performance that differed significantly from that of the MX4. The new smartphone was every bit as clean as its non-Pro sibling, but obviously has a far more powerful amplifier that delivers way louder output.

The smartphone posted excellent scores all over the field when connected to an active external amplifier. It had no weak points to its performance and amazingly showed the highest volume levels we've seen in ages. Yes, it even did the unthinkable and beat the HTC smartphones.

Plugging in a pair of headphones leads to a moderate spike in stereo crosstalk, but the rest of the readings remain great. Loudness stays equally impressive, putting this one among the most impressive audio performers in recent times. You do have to fiddle around with the Hi-Fi menu in the settings to get the best out of it, though.

Test Frequency response Noise level Dynamic range THD IMD + Noise Stereo crosstalk
Meizu MX4 Pro +0.02, -0.10 -92.4 92.3 0.0010 0.053 -93.5
Meizu MX4 Pro (headphones attached) +0.04, -0.07 -92.3 92.2 0.0019 0.087 -47.2
Meizu MX4 +0.01, -0.12 -93.6 93.7 0.0031 0.0085 -93.7
Meizu MX4 (headphones attached) +0.00, -0.13 -93.3 92.4 0.0040 0.038 -53.3
Sony Xperia Z3 +0.02, -0.08 -86.4 86.4 0.014 0.021 -86.6
Sony Xperia Z3 (headphones attached) +0.29, -0.10 -85.7 85.7 0.035 0.064 -50.8
LG G3 +0.02, -0.08 -99.4 98.9 0.0016 0.035 -100.0
LG G3 (headphones attached) +0.02, -0.09 -93.7 93.3 0.0060 0.032 -78.5
Samsung Galaxy S5 +0.02, -0.08 -96.3 93.3 0.0017 0.0089 -95.2
Samsung Galaxy S5 (headphones) +0.01, -0.08 -96.3 93.3 0.0095 0.018 -61.9
HTC One (M8) +0.04, -0.10 -95.4 93.4 0.0012 0.010 -93.2
HTC One (M8) (headphones attached) +0.04, -0.08 -94.9 93.9 0.0014 0.018 -79.7
Oppo Find 7a +0.03, -0.16 -92.7 92.6 0.0057 0.072 -92.0
Oppo Find 7a (headphones) +0.05, -0.07 -91.5 92.7 0.0042 0.054 -15.7

Meizu MX4 Pro frequency response

Meizu MX4 Pro frequency response

You can learn more about the tested parameters and the whole testing process here.

Good 20MP shooter

Like its smaller sibling, the Meizu MX4 Pro has a Sony 20.7MP sensor that's capable of capturing some huge 5248x3936px snaps in 4:3 aspect, matching the latest and greatest cameraphones from Sony themselves.

Meizu offers what it calls Super high ISO that will allow the phone to shoot at up to 1600 ISO in low light conditions.

There's also a dual-tone LED flash that should allow for more pleasing colors in low light flash photos. Both LEDs fire simultaneously. Meizu claims that the MX4 Pro can acquire focus within 0.3s, which sounds like there are some phase detect pixels on the sensor, although we have no way to confirm that.

Finally, the Meizu MX4 Pro can snap a 30 photos a second burst.

The camera interface by default launches into Auto mode where the camera determines the shooting parameters. You have the option to turn on HDR (but no automatic HDR), gridlines for the viewfinder and a level gauge so that your horizon isn't off tilt. There's also an option to enable a timer of either 3, 5 or 10 seconds.

There's a side-scrollable mode dial at the top of the camera UI but you can also tap it to get a full view of the shooting modes - all six of them. These are Auto, Manual (where you can set the shutter speed, ISO, exposure compensation and even the focus - from macro to infinity) that uses a Gmail-like icon, Beauty (which can make eyes bigger, faces slimmer, skin smoother and lighter), Panorama, Light field (which is Meizu's refocus app allowing you to defocus any part of the scene), Night mode, Scan (for QR and barcodes), Slowmotion and Microspur (macro).

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Camera

Here's what manual mode looks like.

Meizu MX4 Pro

Manual mode

The Meizu MX4 Pro is using the absolute same hardware as the MX4 - a Sony IMX220 Exmor RS sensor, capable of 20.7MP photos with an aperture of f/2.2. However the processing of the images is very different here.

There isn't as much oversharpening as we saw on the MX4 and the processing is much more natural.

Detail is great - there's plenty of it in the images and even the tiniest of objects appear detailed through the lens. Colors are less saturated than on the MX4 and have a natural look.

We're glad to report that the excellent dynamic range of the Meizu MX4 has been preserved and the MX4 Pro captures the scene with a great overall exposure giving us great highlights and good shadows.

Noise is still evident, but has been subdued for the most part, compared to the MX4. The white balance was also spot on giving us balanced images.

Overall, it appears Meizu has made a step forward with the MX4 Pro camera, offering more detail, less noise and a more matured processing. We'd even go as far as saying that Sony's 20.7MP snappers can learn a few things from the MX4 Pro.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Meizu MX4 Pro camera samples

The MX4 Pro can automatically focus in macro mode and produces some stellar results with loads of detail up close and nice separation with a slightly blurred background.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Macro mode

HDR aims to get a more even exposure of a scene - bringing back detail in the highlights as well as the shadows.

Interestingly, the HDR mode of the Meizu MX4 Pro looks nothing like the one by its predecessor, the MX4. The HDR mode does okay to bring back some highlight detail but mostly leaves the shadows untouched. It's not the best way of doing things but does an okay job in the extreme conditions we tested at.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

HDR Off • HDR On

Panoramas aren't too impressive on the Meizu MX4 Pro. There is plenty of resolution and good overall exposure but the detail isn't as impressive as in the regular stills. There are some strange halos in the sky as well.

Meizu MX4 Pro

Meizu MX4 Pro panorama sample

We've more or less exhausted the differences between the Meizu MX4 Pro and the MX4 but we still prepped a quick crop to show you the difference between the two. The MX4 uses higher color saturation and a lot more noticeable sharpening than the MX4 Pro does. As a result the MX4 Pro offers more detail and a less-processed look we prefer.

Meizu MX4 Pro

And if you want to check out the entire scene you can do so through the images below.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Meizu MX4 Pro vs MX4

Finally you can check out a 5MP image taken with the front-facing camera of the device. It doesn't shine with too much detail but does fit great for selfie shots as the object in the center is nicely exposed for.

Meizu MX4 Pro

Front-facing camera sample

You can compare the Meizu MX4 Pro to its predecessor and all the smartphones we've tested in our photo quality comparison tool.

Photo Compare Tool
Photo Compare Tool
Photo Compare Tool

Meizu MX4 Pro in our photo compare tool

4K video is nice

The Meizu MX4 Pro shoots videos up to 4K resolution (3840 x 2160) at 30fps and 1080p videos at 30fps. There's no 60fps smooth motion option but you do get a 720p@100fps slow motion shooting mode that renders and plays back at 25fps.

Thankfully, Meizu moved away from the HEVC file format (H.265), which gave both PCs and YouTube trouble and decided to go with MP4 for the MX4 Pro. This way video files aren't as taxing on your PC (no real need for additional codec download) and you can freely upload them to YouTube. H.265 is the future without doubt but it seems that we're not there just yet.

Back to the task at hand - the Meizu MX4 Pro captures videos with great detail, great dynamic range and natural colors. The 4K video capture of the MX4 Pro is sharper than the one outputted from the MX4 but comes with some oversharpening halos, especially in lower light.

Framerate stays firmly at 30fps and we got almost no dropped frames. We observed that the MX4 Pro videos exhibited weird flashes in exposure - it seems the camera exposes for the object it focuses on - you can see that each car that passes in the video prompts a slight jump in the scene's exposure in the video.

You can also capture video in 1080p but the detail is nowhere near as impressive here. At least there were no dropped frames whatsoever.

720p slow motion videos are shot at 100 fps. The phone plays those videos back at 100fps but if you export them you get a 25fps sample. Motion is slowed down as advertised but the quality isn't too impressive.

You can directly download a 2160p@30fps (00:16s, 63.8MB) and 1080p@30fps (00:14s, 32.0MB).

And if you want to do some pixel peeping you can head over to our video comparison tool below. It will show you how the camcorder renders colors and textures and just how much resolution it resolves in these 4K videos.

Video Compare Tool
Video Compare Tool
Video Compare Tool

Meizu MX4 Pro in our video compare tool

iOS-like browser

The web browser plays a central role in the Meizu MX4 Pro as evidenced by its shortcut's position - the middle shortcut in the dock at the bottom of the homescreen, which is usually where the app drawer shortcut goes (or the dialer shortcut).

The browser interface dedicates almost the entire screen to the web page, save for the status bar on top and a tiny bar on the bottom for refresh, tabs and bookmarks. Choosing tabs opens a quick pop up preview of your open tabs instead of bringing up an entirely new screen, which is great as it still leaves the website your on in plain view.

The browser supports double tap and pinch zooming. It's really fast and fluid too. There are also goodies like text reflow or sharing an URL over email or SMS.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Browser

There's even a Reading mode that looks exactly like the one on the Apple iPhone. Normally we're against copying but the feature is a no-brainer that we'd like to see added to every major browser out there.

Other apps

The Meizu MX3 features a calendar that supports multiple online accounts. It offers monthly, weekly, daily and agenda views and is pretty straightforward to work with. Creating a new event lets you set which calendar to store it in, along with a reminder.

The Calendar has a very minimal, clean look but retains all the functionality you'd expect. You can also go for the Google Calendar - it's available as a separate app from the Play Store.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Calendar

Moving on, we have the Clock app that will handle multiple alarms with custom repeat times, ringtones, snooze time and labels. There are also a stopwatch and timer integrated within the Clock app.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Clock

A calculator app is also on board. Interestingly you can use it as an overlay to the homescreen. You can't manually resize it but you can choose between two size settings. It offers a currency converter too.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Calculator

The Memo app is clean and simple. You can add notes, images and even check lists into it. The Painter app will let you paint with a number of virtual tools, choosing different colors.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Memo • Painter

The App Center works with only Chinese content but you can still use it, if you understand anything in it, that is. Thankfully the Google Play store came preinstalled this time - good on you, Meizu!

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Security • App center

The preinstalled file manager lets you browse through the memory of the Meizu MX4 Pro or through recents, or through different media types - music, videos, pictures, etc. It allows copy, cut and paste and also sharing of files on your device.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

File manager

Final words

The Meizu MX4 Pro is every bit as good as the MX4 - in terms of looks and feel, build quality, connectivity and the custom Flyme OS launcher. The thing is most people probably have no idea just how good the stock MX4 is. But if the MX4 was an easy one to slip under European users' radar, the Pro version is more likely to get noticed. And for the right reasons, too.

Meizu Mx4 Pro

To begin with, it's the phone with the highest-res screen in the market. Now, the real value in that is still debatable but, like it or not, QHD screens are the way to go for the industry flagships.

And even if you don't care about the screen resolution, the Pro still has plenty of upgrades to offer. A better chipset is one. Meizu have returned to their traditional chipset supplier, Samsung's Exynos, which powered the MX3. It's the latest generation, of course - the Exynos 5 Octa is ticking inside the Samsung Galaxy Alpha, too.

An improved camera and a well-behaved and feature-rich fingerprint-scanning solution are other definite points in favor. A high-res selfie cam is not to be frowned upon either.

It's a tight and focused list of improvements that cover just about everything that could have been better about the MX4. The obvious exceptions are the non-removable battery and the lack of memory expansion. Unfortunately, the 64GB version isn't widely available - just like it is for the stock MX4.

Key test findings:

  • Phone offers great build quality, solid metal frame
  • mTouch home button is the most practical home button we've seen - accepting fingerprint reading, presses and taps
  • The screen is very bright with good contrast (better than the MX4's) and is impressively sharp. The display is comfortably visible even under direct sunlight.
  • Solid call, web browsing and video playback battery numbers, spoiled only by inadequate stand-by time.
  • Flyme OS is still fluid and responsive, unlocking gestures are just as good here, mTouch button has some great added functionality (closing apps, going into previous menu)
  • The Samsung's Exynos chipset is faster than the MediaTek found in the Meizu MX4, overall good
  • Video player has very good codec support, seamless 4K video playback
  • Outstanding audio quality
  • Great camera performance, sharp and detailed images with less noise and more mature processing than on the MX4
  • Videos have oversharpening halos but otherwise offer superb 2160p detail, MP4 codec is the better choice compared to HEVC on the Meizu MX4

The Pro is clearly better than the vanilla MX4 version in almost every way but we're obviously talking different price brackets here. The two will be selling alongside each other and that's by no means a Meizu invention. It's what Oppo did with the Find 7 pair, not unlike the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, or even the Galaxy S5 and the Note 4.

In fact, the bigger and better parts of those pairs make up the key competition for the Meizu MX4 Pro. The stock MX4 is more suited to battling the likes of the Oneplus One and the Huawei Honor 6 Plus.

Meizu MX4
Oppo Find 7a
OnePlus One
Huawei Honor 6 Plus

Meizu MX4 • Oppo Find 7a • OnePlus One • Huawei Honor 6 Plus

None of those can match the QHD screen of the Pro but that's duly reflected in the price. The real competition is an interesting mix of Chinese and global brands, QHD and 1080p screens, phablets big and small, old and brand spanking new.

Oppo has emerged as one of the top makers China has to offer. The Find 7 was among the first to offer a QHD screen and now, a couple of months later, it costs about the same as a brand new Meizu MX4 Pro.

For the price of around 450 Euro, you get a a 5.5" display of QHD resolution, a Snapdragon 801 chip with 3GB of RAM, a microSD card slot, a 4K-capable 13MP camera and Oppo's own take on Android - Color OS.

Oppo's latest flagsip makes the cut as well, despite having a 1080p-"only" screen. The screen resolution is the only department where it falls short. With a fingerprint sensor / trackpad and a unique motorized camera, the N3 is perhaps even more expensive than the Pro.

Oppo Find 7
Oppo N3

Oppo Find 7 • Oppo N3

Another early QHD-screen, one of the very first in fact, came courtesy of the sophisticated LG G3. It has the same display size with minimal bezels, 4K video, expandable storage and an optically-stabilized 13MP camera, all at a lower price than the MX4 Pro.

LG G3

LG G3

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the Apple iPhone 6 Plus both command heftier price tags but deservedly stand atop the phablet food chain with exquisite build and refined software packages.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 • Apple iPhone 6 Plus

The one to properly challenge them perhaps is the Motorola Nexus 6. With a QHD screen and a Snapdragon 805 chipset it does cost a pretty penny but has another important advantage that's harder to put a price on - the latest Android Lollipop.

Motorola Nexus 6

Motorola Nexus 6

OK, the last three alone are some pretty scary heavyweights and Meizu should definitely be preparing for the arrival of the next batch of A-list flagships, which will be rocking QHD screens, the latest generation of chipsets and the latest OS version.

Still, a head start on the competition is a good thing to have, especially considering the price of the MX4 Pro will only have gone down by the time the Galaxies, Xperias and Ones start hitting the shelves.

The flipside is each of those will be available through carrier deals which, at least in Europe, is highly unlikely for the MX4 Pro. No reason to feel disheartened though - Meizu has a solid smartphone on their hands and a big enough market at home. The question is, how bad they want their product to succeed elsewhere.

Retail package

The retail package of the Meizu MX4 Pro is a minimalist (on the outside) white box with various compartments inside for the supplied accessories. The device itself is packed into a booklet-style holder with descriptions of the phone's key features.

Underneath the booklet, there's a microUSB cable and a 2A socket plug, each in its own compartment.

There's one for a headset as well, which in our case was not provided - funnily, we got a Headphones Not Included tag instead.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Retail box

Meizu MX4 Pro 360-degree spin

The Meizu MX4 Pro isn't the biggest of phablets out there. The phone measures 150.1 x 77 x 9mm and weighs a solid but not overwhelming 158g. It isn't much bigger than the Meizu MX4: 6.1mm taller, 1.8mm wider and just a single millimeter thicker. The Pro has 11g on its sibling.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

The Meizu MX4 Pro (right) next to the Meizu MX4 (left)

Compared to the 5.5" OnePlus One the MX4 Pro is a little shorter and a little lighter. It's smaller overall than a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 or an iPhone 6 Plus, but nowhere near an LG G3, which also features a 5.5" screen.

Design and build quality

Design-wise, the Meizu MX4 Pro is almost identical to the MX4, except a little bigger. The curved sides and rear are reminiscent of the HTC One (M8). It's a mix of influences actually, the iPhone clearly has inspired the design of the front - barring the square Home button. The precision-drilled speaker grille is borrowed from Apple too.

Whether you can spot the resemblances is subjective but we have to give Meizu credit for the great build quality - the Pro's near seamless construction can easily pass as unibody. It's not - the rear cover is removable. You'll only ever need to open it to put a SIM card in. The battery is non-removable.

You can get the MX4 Pro in four color schemes: gray, gold, white on black and white on silver.

At the front, a flat piece of Gorilla Glass 3 covers the 5.5" display. Above it, next to the earpiece, there's a 5MP front-facing camera. The 5MP front-facing camera is an upgrade over the MX4 Pro' 2MP.snapper.

The Home key is no longer capacitive - the new hardware button doubles as a fingerprint scanner, which Meizu calls mTouch.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Meizu MX4 Pro

It works similarly to Apple's Touch ID - the button has a metal frame to detect fingers, sapphire glass cover and a 360-degree sensor underneath. Meizu claims it will unlock the MX4 Pro within 0.5s.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Fingerprint scanner

Just like the MX4, the Pro has a metal frame wrapping around the entire phone's body. The frame starts (or ends) sharply at the front and slopes gently toward the plastic back panel.

The metal frame has a lighter gray hue than the plastic rear cover the difference is very subtle, almost impossible to notice.

The design is simple but elegant. The curved sides and rear make it comfortable to hold despite the large size and the metal frame adds to a very sturdy construction.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Metal frame

The phone has decent grip but doesn't lend itself to comfortable one-hand operation. The Meizu MX4 Pro isn't particularly slim at 9mm but at that size it doesn't come across as chubby.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Handling the beast

The sloping edges indeed allow a very comfortable to hold and feel extra pleasant to slide your palm against. Curved screen edges would have been nice as well - they make a good deal of difference on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the Apple iPhone 6 Plus, which are about the size of the Pro and do help on-screen gestures.

But we're not taking points away from Meizu for the flat front of the MX4 Pro.

Controls

The main attraction on the front of the Meizu MX4 Pro is the new 5.5" 1536 x 2560px IPS LCD of an impressive 546ppi. Above it are the earpiece, proximity and ambient light sensors and the new 5MP front-facing camera in the right corner.

Below the screen sits the mTouch fingerprint scanner/ Home button. It's ample and solid to press. The flat glass surface feels nice and smooth under your thumb and the button is adequately placed for easy fingerprint-unlock.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Front controls

Aside from a volume rocker, the Meizu MX4 Pro has no controls on its sides.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Sides

At the bottom, the Meizu MX4 Pro has cutouts in the metal frame for the single loudspeaker grille, the microUSB port, the main microphone and the tiny slit to lift the back panel open.

The top offers the 3.5mm headphone jack, a second noise-reducing microphone and the power button. A top-placed power button on such a device is never a good idea but Meizu has thankfully added a convenient way to unlock and even lock the MX4 Pro without ever needing to resort to the button.

You can swipe upward on the screen to unlock it, double tap to light it up, swipe to pull down the notification area and even paint a symbol that the phone will recognize and perform different actions.

A press and hold on the home button will lock the MX4 Pro and you can always just unlock the phone by pressing once and waiting for your finger to be recognized.

One small gripe we have is that the mere act of lifting the phone and gently touching the screen with a finger can unlock the Meizu MX4 Pro, which isn't ideal if you just want to pick it up to put in your pocket. Meizu allows you to disable the swipe unlock gestures if that's too big of a deal.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Top and bottom

The back is where we find a Sony-made 20.7MP camera under a sapphire-glass lens accompanied by a dual-tone LED flash.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

The back

Undoing the back panel reveals the microSIM card slot and the 3,350mAh non-removable battery.

Meizu MX4 Pro
Meizu MX4 Pro

Under the back panel

The Meizu MX4 Pro is laid out exactly like the MX4, the construction is top notch and the quality of the materials used is very good.

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