Introduction

While Xiaomi's busy conquering the world with hardly leaving China, and the likes of Oppo and Huawei think globally, as they act locally, Meizu is somewhere in between. Some three years now and several generations of supercharged smartphones to match the flagships of the industry's major players. The Meizu MX4 is the company's latest creation with the fourth generation of the custom Flyme OS.

Built on the same formula as its predecessor, the Meizu MX4 isn't short on premium features. It's got a gorgeous 1080p display with a 5.36-inch diagonal, a single multi-functional capacitive button below it, and Meizu's colorful, almost iOS-like, approach to Android. And it doesn't end there - there's a Sony-made, Meizu-optimized 20.7MP camera on the back capable of 2160p (4K) video recording. Meizu has also worked with Sony on the battery, a 3,100mAh unit no less.

Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

Meizu MX4 official photos

To keep things running smoothly Meizu has added an octa-core MediaTek chipset and 2GB of RAM. The ample 3,100mAh battery should power things along nicely and we're eager to see what kind of numbers it puts up. Here's a close look at the full specs.

Key features

  • 5.36" 1152 x 1920px IPS LCD display of 418ppi
  • Heavily customized Flyme OS 4 on top of Android 4.4.2
  • Octa-core MediaTek MT6595 chipset, quad-core 2.2GHz Cortex-A17 & quad-core 1.7GHz Cortex-A7, 2GB of RAM
  • 20.7 MP Sony sensor camera with two-tone LED flash, 2160p video recording @30fps
  • 2MP front-facing camera with 1080p@30fps video recording
  • 16GB or 32GB built-in storage
  • Active noise cancellation via dedicated second mic
  • 802.11ac Wi Fi connectivity
  • 3,100mAh battery
  • Screen lock/unlock without ever touching the high-perched power button
  • Thin bezels allow great screen to body ratio
  • Very attractive pricing for both storage models

Main disadvantages

  • Hard to find outside Asia
  • No microSD card slot
  • 64GB option hard to find
  • Lower resolution front facing camera compared to some rivals

As with every major Chinese manufacturer in the smartphone space, we're looking at a device that's almost exclusively sold in Asia. Chances are slim that you'll see a Meizu smartphone on a store shelf in the western hemisphere but Meizu has an online store that ships around the world.

And while that's a viable option, users looking for carrier subsidized deals won't be able to get the MX4 with a discount. But that may not be too much of a problem as Meizu's starting price isn't as high as you'd expect from the quality of hardware provided.

Still, the limited retail channels certainly don't help Meizu's case and also, there is a fair amount of people who don't trust online stores for overseas orders in fear of poor after-sales support. Meizu shares this issue with Oppo and OnePlus. But if you're living in Asia or aren't worried about getting a _phone_ shipped half across the globe, the Meizu MX4 could be worth a serious look.

So what does the Meizu MX4 offer you that the Xiaomi Mi4, Oppo Find 7 and OnePlus One don't? All these phones follow mostly the same strategy, offering creative design, solid build quality, a personal take on Android, top notch specs and a price lower than your average top-tier Galaxy, Xperia, LG or HTC phone. Maybe not much after all, but the feel of the device is different, and so is the feel of Flyme OS compared to say, Xiaomi's MiUI.

Flyme OS has come a long way since its first installment, offering neat visuals and stutter free operation. There's more than a superficial kinship to Apple's flat, colorful iOS with some icons or apps looking and working the same as their iOS counterparts. Some may find this copycat strategy unacceptable, but users in Asia welcome a droid that looks and feels like an iDevice.

Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

Meizu MX4 at HQ

Flyme OS does a fine job of easing some of the hardships related to using a large display and having a top-placed Power button. The capacitive home button can lock the Meizu MX4 and a swipe on the locked screen will unlock the device.

By the looks of it, the Meizu MX4 has what it takes to be relevant in the smartphone high-end. We've yet to find out whether it has what it takes to do better than its main rivals from China, but it certainly looks good on paper. Let's move along - next we're going to look at the build and finish. Stay close.

Retail package

True to its heritage, the Meizu MX4 comes in an elaborate retail box. There is an A/C adapter (2A), USB cable and perhaps headphones (there's a dedicated compartment but it was empty in our case), and the device itself, in a separate book-like folder.

Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

Retail box and contents

Meizu MX4 360-degree spin

At 144 x 75.2 x 8.9mm, the Meizu MX4 isn't the most compact of smartphones but you have to keep in mind it features a 5.36" display. The 147g are more than adequate, giving the MX4 a solid feel, yet without excessive weight.

Design and build quality

The Meizu MX4 looks almost exactly like its predecessor but there are different materials employed this time around. The front is completely covered with Gorilla Glass 3 and features a single cutout for the earpiece.

The 5.36" display is part of the design itself - there are almost no bezels on each side of the screen and the top and bottom spaces are pretty minimal as well. The single control on the front, aside from the display is the Home button. It's very powerful despite it's minimalist design - it's a small capacitive circle that lights up when the screen is on.

Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

The Meizu MX4

This time around, the back panel doesn't enclose around the sides - the actual rear cover is still removable. Instead of a glossy plastic Meizu has gone for a matte finish and the frame around the entire _phone_ is now metal, giving the whole package a more premium feel. The MX4 comes in white, gold or grey.

Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

Sloping edges

The back panel blends in with the frame nicely and you'll hardly suspect it to be plastic just by looking at it. Still we would've liked to see a complete metal unibody, which would've been quite similar to the HTC One (M8).

The sloping frame of the Meizu MX4 makes the body look thinner. Meizu didn't invent this design combining flat on the front, curved towards the back but have nailed it for their latest smartphone. And it's a design language we haven't seen too much of late, so it doesn't feel tired or cliché.

Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

The Meizu MX4 in hand

Everything about the Meizu MX4 is simple and elegant. It just looks neat.

Controls and handling

The front of the Meizu MX4 features the 5.36" display and the single capacitive home button. You can lock the device by holding the button and you can unlock it by swiping on the screen. A swipe down will bring down the notification area. A swipe up will unlock the device. A swipe to the right will bring up the settings menu and a swipe to the left will unlock you into the camera. You can always double tap the screen to light up the lockscreen.

Above the display there's a small earpiece cutout and the 2MP front-facing camera to the right of it.

Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

The front controls

The sides are almost bare of any controls. The volume rocker on the left of the Meizu MX4 is pretty much it.

Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

The sides

The loudspeaker grille is on the bottom. In the center lies the microUSB 2.0 port, the main microphone and the small slit in the back panel that allows you to pry it open.

The top has another microphone for noise cancellation, the seldom-used power button and the 3.5mm headphone jack.

Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

Top and bottom

Undoing the back cover reveals the microSIM card slot and the non-removable battery. Otherwise the back features only the 20.7MP camera lens and the dual-tone LED flash. Both LEDs fire simultaneously and appear quite powerful.

Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

The back

Handling the Meizu MX4 is comfortable. Thanks to its sloping back the smartphone fits comfortably in the palm and the sharp, chamfered edges are easy to hold onto. Meizu has done a good job with the weight distribution - the MX4 doesn't feel heavy and actually feels quite compact for its screen size.

Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

The Meizu MX4 held in one hand

Display

The display of the Meizu MX4 is a joy to look at. Its colors are nicely saturated and the viewing angles are top notch, which we expected given the IPS matrix of the LCD. Meizu have a few buzzwords about the display. It's said to have a 1100:1 contrast ratio, 85% tonal range and 500cd/m2 brightness. The panel itself is made by either Sharp or Japan Display.

The resolution isn't groundbreaking but is more than sufficient at 1080p. The 418ppi is sharp enough and you wouldn't really tell the difference to any QHD screen on the market unless you're looking at some really fine text.

Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

The Meizu MX4 display

What's most notable here are the bezels. Last year's MX3 was impressive in this regard as well but this year's phone is even better. The Meizu MX4 bezels on the left and right of the display are as minimal as they get (2.6mm to be exact), putting most HTCs and iPhones to shame. The bezels on the top and bottom are impressive too - giving you just enough space to hold onto the device in landscape and not much more.

The Meizu MX4 has a reasonably good display. Its black levels are questionable at 100% brightness but not enough to look truly bad. The brightness itself is very impressive at a notch under 600 nits. The contrast is good although not great.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Meizu MX3 0.11 104 995 0.53 526 991
Meizu MX4 - - - 0.63 594 947
HTC One (M8) 0.2 245 1219 0.46 577 1256
Samsung Galaxy S5 274 529
OnePlus One 0.39 317 805 0.75 598 799
Oppo Find 7a 0.33 280 842 0.68 580 852
Oppo Find 7 0.22 248 1135 0.4 448 1123
Xiaomi Mi 3 0.18 142 809 0.61 557 907
Xiaomi Mi 4 0.17 164 940 0.73 679 929


Outdoors, the Meizu MX4 is an average performer in terms of sunlight legibility. The glass on top of the display is quite reflective.

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 K zoom
    3.675
  • Nokia Lumia 930
    3.567
  • Apple iPhone 5s
    3.565
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    3.549
  • 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
  • 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
  • Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
    2.801
  • BlackBerry Z30
    2.79
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

The Meizu MX4 uses a Sony-made 3,100mAh battery unit that's tasked with powering the entire system.

The battery isn't removable, which is a shame as there is direct access to it.

Meizu MX4

Battery

In our test, the Meizu MX4 managed to score a very high 89 hours of battery life. It posted very solid numbers in all three tests with the highlights being call time and browsing. The MX4 offers three battery modes - power-saving, balance and performance. We tested it at balance mode.

Stand-by numbers were also impressive - some 520 hours of it.

Connectivity

The Meizu MX4 comes with quad-band 2G/GPRS/EDGE, penta-band 3G with HSDPA and HSUPA, as well as either tri-band LTE or quad-band LTE and CDMA option for China Mobile.

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 host so you can attach USB flash drives or connect peripherals. You can also stream your display via the Wireless Display feature (Miracast).

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

Flyme OS goes after iOS

The Meizu MX4 comes with the custom-made Flyme OS, now in its 4.0 installment, based on Android KitKat 4.4.2 (Meizu is currently working on a 5.0 Lollipop update). 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 4.0 on the Meizu MX4.

The lockscreen on the Meizu MX4 is a pretty simple affair. You drag upwards to unlock and have the option of passcode-locking or pattern it. 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 its off.

A swipe to the right brings up the settings menu, a left one will unlock you into the camera, a swipe down will prompt up the notification area and a swipe upward unlock the phone into the homescreen.

Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

Lockscreen

The latter is simpler still. You get two but you can add more later on. The homescreen gathers all of your app icons and you can add widgets into the mix. Widgets can go on each homescreen, instead of having their separate one like on the MX3.

Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

Homescreen

Aside from adding widgets you can also align apps to 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
Meizu MX4

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
Meizu MX4

Notification area

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

Task switcher

The settings menu on the Meizu MX4 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
Meizu MX4

Settings

You can choose a different theme for the Meizu MX4. 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
Meizu MX4

Themese

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 has a MediaTek MT6595 chipset with four high-powered Cortex-A17 2.2GHz cores and four low-power Cortex-A7 1.7GHz cores for when you need to conserve battery. The chipset can handle 4K video recording, up to 20MP camera support and has a PowerVR G6200 MP4 (quad-core) GPU. The RAM is at 2GB so overall a very respectable system.

The Meizu MX4 offers a few battery modes. For the benchmarks we used the performance mode which should, in theory, give out the best results.

Before we begin we tested the Meizu MX4 for cheating - the MX4 didn't cheat. The first batch of tests we perform are the CPU ones. The Meizu MX4 proved to be a very powerful performer overall but showed a poor Basemark OS II overall and single score.

It topped the GeekBench 3 table with a very high result. It placed in second in AnTuTu 5 behind the Samsung Galaxy Alpha. In Basemark OS II the Meizu MX4 showed a great multi-core performance, which is the usual for eight-core chipsets but poor single core and as a result overall score.

GeekBench 3

Higher is better

  • Meizu MX4
    3556
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    3214
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    3175
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    3011
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    3011
  • Apple iPhone 6
    2924
  • OnePlus One
    2663
  • LG G3 - EU version
    2563
  • HTC One (M8)
    2367
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    1837

AnTuTu 5

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    51905
  • Meizu MX4
    46922
  • HTC One (M8)
    44020
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    43164
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    43164
  • LG G3 - EU version
    39905

Basemark OS II

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    1324
  • Apple iPhone 6
    1252
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    1234
  • OnePlus One
    1196
  • HTC One (M8)
    1126
  • LG G3 - EU version
    1126
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    1082
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    1082
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    915
  • Meizu MX4
    695

Basemark OS II (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    2579
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    2573
  • HTC One (M8)
    2428
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    2415
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    2415
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    2397
  • LG G3 - EU version
    2213
  • OnePlus One
    2213
  • Meizu MX4
    1729

Basemark OS II (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    15096
  • Meizu MX4
    12268
  • OnePlus One
    10234
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    10063
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    10063
  • HTC One (M8)
    9860
  • LG G3 - EU version
    9611
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    9508
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    8976

The graphics tests show a different story, though. The Meizu MX4 and its PowerVR GPU we unable to move past last or semi-last place in every test we performed.

Both GFXBench's 1080p tests proved difficult for the MX4. It got consistent results in the offscreen and onscreen 2.7 T-Rex and 3.0 Manhattan tests but very far from the top performing Apple iPhone 6. The Xiaomi smartphones got a consistent fps lead over the MX4 as well.

Basemark X is a gaming benchmark that gives an overall score based on many tests - rendering, fps, etc. The Meizu MX4 bottomed out in this test and was way behind its direct competition. Perhaps Meizu didn't optimize the GPU to its full potential, but we're only guessing.

GFX 2.7 T-Rex (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 6
    42.6
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    31.3
  • HTC One (M8)
    28.4
  • OnePlus One
    28.3
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    27.8
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    27.8
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    27.6
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    27.4
  • LG G3 - EU version
    27.2
  • Meizu MX4
    22.7

GFX 2.7 T-Rex (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 6
    51
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    48.4
  • HTC One (M8)
    30.1
  • OnePlus One
    30
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    28.2
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    28.2
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    28.1
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    28.1
  • Meizu MX4
    21.3
  • LG G3 - EU version
    20.5

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 6
    17.7
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    13.4
  • OnePlus One
    12.1
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    11.8
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    11.8
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    11.6
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    11.6
  • LG G3 - EU version
    11.4
  • HTC One (M8)
    11.1
  • Meizu MX4
    7.9

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 6
    29.2
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    25.3
  • OnePlus One
    12.9
  • HTC One (M8)
    11.9
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    11.7
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    11.7
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    11.5
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    11.3
  • Meizu MX4
    7.4
  • LG G3 - EU version
    7.2

Basemark X

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 6
    17054
  • OnePlus One
    13129
  • HTC One (M8)
    12396
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    11744
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    11744
  • LG G3 - EU version
    11552
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    11065
  • Meizu MX4
    8324

Finally we arrive at the browsing benchmarks - the HTML 5 BrowserMark and the JavaScript Kraken by Mozilla. These tests show how well the phone handles different web tests based on its hardware platform and software optimizations.

The Meizu MX4 failed to impress here too. In Kraken 1.1 it got worse results than all of its rivals and in BrowserMark 2.1 showed consistent results with its peers from Xiaomi.

Kraken 1.1

Lower is better

  • Apple iPhone 6
    4710
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    4911
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    6043
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    6043
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    6137
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    6586
  • LG G3 - EU version
    6987
  • OnePlus One
    7008
  • Meizu MX4
    9408
  • HTC One (M8)
    10296

BrowserMark 2.1

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 6
    3153
  • LG G3 - EU version
    1474
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    1398
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    1398
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    1364
  • OnePlus One
    1339
  • HTC One (M8)
    1069
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    744
  • Meizu MX4
    720
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    706

What you need to take away from these tests is that the Meizu MX4 has a very capable CPU and only average GPU and browsing prowess. In practical situations though the MX4 feels speedy and capable. We didn't experience any hiccups, pages loaded just fine and animations were smooth throughout the system.

The MX4 can handle tasking games as well, it just won't be as fast as an Apple iPhone 6 or any of the leading Android smartphones but the difference won't be drastic in any case.

Good telephony

At its core, the phonebook on the Meizu MX4 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
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

Phonebook

The Meizu MX4 handled calls easily and holding on to signal wasn't an issue. Callers came out loud and clear and they didn't report any issues from our end.

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

Dialer

The Meizu MX4 passed our loudspeaker test with flying colors. It tied the Sonim XP1 as the loudest smartphone we've tested ever and beat the OnePlus One by some decibels.

Speakerphone test Voice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Xiaomi Mi 4 62 62.1 66.6 Below Average
Xiaomi Mi 3 64.9 64.8 66.6 Below Average
HTC One (M8) 65.8 64.7 75.7 Average
Samsung Galaxy S5 66.9 66.6 75.7 Good
Meizu MX3 67.1 66.5 77.7 Good
LG G3 70.2 66.6 80.2 Good
OnePlus One 74.8 73.5 80.2 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
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

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 have 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
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

Email

Email and text input

The keyboard of the Meizu MX4 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
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

Keyboard

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

Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

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 from into months while the gallery into folders. You can add or remove folders from the gallery and also search through it.

Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

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
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

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
Meizu MX4

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
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

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
Meizu MX4

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.

Meizu has Dirac HD Sound in the player too. It can improve the fidelity of the sound and has presets for different headphones like Apple's EarPods, some Audio Technicas and some Sennheisers.

Pop-out video player

The Meizu MX3 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
Meizu MX4

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 about the screen.

Meizu MX4

Pop-out view

The video player almost everything there is. It only had issues with the audio mpeg-1 layer II and flac audio codec. Otherwise it handled every other codec up to 4K resolution, including the HEVC (H.265) codec.

Audio output is excellent

The Meizu MX4 turned out an excellent performer when it comes to audio playback. It can easily carry the duty of your personal music player, making sure that all tracks will sound the way they were meant to.

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 a decent if not quite class leading volume levels to score our approval here.

Plugging in a pair of headphones leads to a moderate spike in stereo crosstalk, but the rest of the readings remain great. Loudness stays the same, so we can't call the MX4 quite the best overall, but it's certainly going to do a great job regardless of your requirements.

Test Frequency response Noise level Dynamic range THD IMD + Noise Stereo crosstalk
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 frequency response

Meizu MX4 frequency response

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

Good 20MP shooter

The Meizu MX4 has a Sony 20.7MP sensor that's capable of huge 5248x3936px snaps in 4:3 aspect, matching the latest and greatest from Sony itself.

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-color flashlight that's said to eliminate distortion in low-light. Both LEDs fire simultaneously. Meizu claims that the MX4 can acquire focus within 0.3s which sounds like phase detect pixels on the sensor, although we have no way to confirm.

Finally the Meizu MX4 can snap a 25 photos a second burst for 30 photos at a time.

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 whiter), Panorama, Light field (which is Meizu's refocus app allowing you to put the focus in any part of the image or have it entirely in focus), Night mode, Scan (for QR and barcodes), Slowmotion and Microspur (macro).

Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

Camera

Here's what manual mode looks like.

Meizu MX4

Manual mode

The 20.7MP images of the Meizu MX4 look very similar to the ones from the Sony Xperia Z3 but do differ in some ways. There is a lot of detail in the photos and also a lot of processing. Everything looks sharp and even a little oversharpened. Colors are pleasing and overall a little punchier than what we've seen from Xperia cameras.

The dynamic range is very wide and the white balance seems spot on most of the time. But there is a lot of noise in the images, even in bright daylight. The noise is rough, not fine, and very distracting once you get up to 100% zoom.

Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

Meizu MX4 camera samples

We shot a couple of 1600 ISO samples and can't really see who would want to use this mode. It will give you some detail in situations where it's too dark outside but the noise destroys so much detail and color that it makes images completely unusable.

Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

Super high ISO mode

HDR aims to get a more complete exposure of a scene - bringing detail in the highlights as well as the shadows. The HDR mode of the Meizu MX4 is a little extreme and looks software based. It does extend the detail in the shadows but also blows out much of the detail in the highlights. Check out the samples below.

Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

HDR Off • HDR On

Panoramas aren't too impressive on the Meizu MX4. There is plenty of resolution and good overall exposure but the detail isn't there. There's no trace of stitching but things look inferior in resolution.

Meizu MX4

Meizu MX4 panorama sample

You can compare the Meizu MX4 to the smartphones we've tested in our photo quality comparison tool.

Photo Compare Tool
Photo Compare Tool
Photo Compare Tool

Meizu MX4 in our photo compare tool

4K video is nice

The Meizu MX4 shoots videos up to 4K resolution (3840 x 2176) 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.

The UHD videos of the Meizu MX4 are recorded in the HEVC format, which is essentially the next-generation H.265 mode that uses a much smaller footprint on the storage. While this advancement makes sense because it helps you reduce the storage requirements it means that most of your media players will need an additional codec download in order to playback the videos you shot with the Meizu MX4. The smartphone itself has no issues with the videos, though.

Sadly YouTube doesn't support the new codec just yet so you can check out the 2176p@30fps sample here.

The 4K videos produced by the Meizu MX4 have very good levels of detail. The framerate jitters a little due to it being slightly below 30fps but isn't too much of an issue, especially if you're looking at the videos on the phone itself.

The only issue we have is the white balance which turned out a little too warm but the scene was difficult to begin with.

The 1080p videos are naturally not as impressive as they are around 4 times smaller in resolution. The white balance issue remains the same but the detail is still good overall. The 1080p framerate was a constant 30fps, though.

Here goes the 1080p@30fps file too.

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 as advertised but the quality isn't too impressive.

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 fits from a 4K video.

Video Compare Tool
Video Compare Tool
Video Compare Tool

Meizu MX4 in our video compare tool

iOS-like browser

The web browser plays a central role in the Meizu MX4 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
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

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
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

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
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

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
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

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
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

Memo • Painter

The App Center works with only Chinese content but you can still use it, if you understand anything in it, that is. It will come in handy if you want the Play Store on the Meizu MX4 as it doesn't come by default. It was easy to install though, good on you Meizu!

Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

Security • App center

The preinstalled file manager lets you browse through the memory of the Meizu MX4 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
Meizu MX4

File manager

Final words

The Meizu MX4 makes a great first impression and has no trouble keeping it up. Its credentials are solid and there's little to really gripe about. The bezel-less display is impressive, the camera is very good, the build has improved over previous generations, Flyme OS offers a smooth and unusual take on Android KitKat and the price is pretty decent.

There aren't too many faults to be found about this device. But that was also true about its predecessor, which ultimately didn't manage to carve a big portion of the market for Meizu. The company is consistently crafting some great products but just like Xiaomi, Oppo and OnePlus, it fails to find a big enough market outside of its home Asia, leaving users in Europe and North America in the dark as to what Meizu stands for.

To sum it up, the Meizu MX4 is a solid package in pretty much all departments. We like to highlight our review conclusions at the end of each review, so here goes the list.

Key test findings:

  • Build quality is solid, we like the new metal frame over the plastic of old
  • The display is bright with good contrast but poor blacks and only average sunlight legibility
  • Battery life is stellar with great call and browsing times, outstanding stand-by times
  • Flyme OS is visually rich and responsive. Meizu has done a superb job of the unlocking gestures
  • CPU performance was really good, GPU and browsing on the other hand lags behind competition
  • Video player supports all of our test files
  • Audio quality is excellent
  • Photos come out very good, this is what Sony should have done with its own sensor
  • 4K videos are great, but use the rare HEVC codec though and can't be uploaded to YouTube

As long as Meizu doesn't have world domination on its plans, it would do just fine. Asia is a fast growing market with plenty of opportunities. It's also a place where manufacturers can be more liberal about borrowing ideas from competitors.

But Asia isn't Meizu's for the taking with Oppo and Xiaomi posing a huge threat. Xiaomi's Mi3 and the latest Mi4 are both up to par with the MX4. The duo has a solid foundation of 5" 1080p screen, 13MP camera and the Mi4 matches the Meizu MX4 on the 4K video recording.

Xiaomi is putting a lot of effort in its MiUI as well - if you're looking for an iOS twist on Android, MiUI is ahead of Flyme OS. Both the Xiaomi Mi3 and Mi4 cost less than the Meizu MX4 for their base models too.

Xiaomi Mi 4
Xiaomi Mi 3

Xiaomi Mi 4 • Xiaomi Mi 3

Oppo has its Find 7 and Find 7a. The Find 7 has the screen resolution advantage with QHD panel and matches the Meizu MX4 spec for spec but is more expensive (by a serious margin). The Find 7a opts for a less impressive 5.5" 1080p panel but is much closer to the Meizu MX4 on price - almost the same - and has a little extra screen estate to show for it.

Oppo Find 7
Oppo Find 7a

Oppo Find 7 • Oppo Find 7a

If you prefer pure Android, then the OnePlus One is a good option to consider. The base 16GB model is cheaper than the Meizu MX4 and the 64 gig variant costs about the same as a 16-gig MX4. The One has a bit of an edge on the MX4 with a bigger screen, good 13MP camera, 4K video recording and a custom-made CyanogenMod 11s that's a more powerful replica of stock Android.

OnePlus One

OnePlus One

Huawei has its stake in this battle as well. The Honor 6 is cheaper and is a very close match for the Meizu MX4 on almost every count. Its 13MP doesn't do 4K video though.

Huawei Honor 6

Huawei Honor 6

LG's G3 is a little taller than the Meizu MX4 but has a great 5.5" QHD display, a great 13MP camera and 4K video and is easier to obtain both in and outside Asia. It will cost you more though.

LG G3

LG G3

In the densely populated smartphone market, there's seldom a device that can go along unrivaled and unchallenged. The Meizu MX4 should know this best and prepare for it properly.

Unfortunately, Meizu isn't really doing all it can to secure a winning spot. Xiaomi is all over the internet with their phones, OnePlus (and subsequently Oppo) made a lot of hype about the One even though it's their first (and for now only) phone.

Meizu sure have a great smartphone to market but this doesn't necessarily mean it's able to get the public attention the way the competition has been trying. We've said it before - Meizu needs to work harder on building its brand recognition outside of China to give its otherwise solid products a better fighting chance on the global market.

Retail package

True to its heritage, the Meizu MX4 comes in an elaborate retail box. There is an A/C adapter (2A), USB cable and perhaps headphones (there's a dedicated compartment but it was empty in our case), and the device itself, in a separate book-like folder.

Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

Retail box and contents

Meizu MX4 360-degree spin

At 144 x 75.2 x 8.9mm, the Meizu MX4 isn't the most compact of smartphones but you have to keep in mind it features a 5.36" display. The 147g are more than adequate, giving the MX4 a solid feel, yet without excessive weight.

Design and build quality

The Meizu MX4 looks almost exactly like its predecessor but there are different materials employed this time around. The front is completely covered with Gorilla Glass 3 and features a single cutout for the earpiece.

The 5.36" display is part of the design itself - there are almost no bezels on each side of the screen and the top and bottom spaces are pretty minimal as well. The single control on the front, aside from the display is the Home button. It's very powerful despite it's minimalist design - it's a small capacitive circle that lights up when the screen is on.

Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

The Meizu MX4

This time around, the back panel doesn't enclose around the sides - the actual rear cover is still removable. Instead of a glossy plastic Meizu has gone for a matte finish and the frame around the entire phone is now metal, giving the whole package a more premium feel. The MX4 comes in white, gold or grey.

Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

Sloping edges

The back panel blends in with the frame nicely and you'll hardly suspect it to be plastic just by looking at it. Still we would've liked to see a complete metal unibody, which would've been quite similar to the HTC One (M8).

The sloping frame of the Meizu MX4 makes the body look thinner. Meizu didn't invent this design combining flat on the front, curved towards the back but have nailed it for their latest smartphone. And it's a design language we haven't seen too much of late, so it doesn't feel tired or cliché.

Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

The Meizu MX4 in hand

Everything about the Meizu MX4 is simple and elegant. It just looks neat.

Controls and handling

The front of the Meizu MX4 features the 5.36" display and the single capacitive home button. You can lock the device by holding the button and you can unlock it by swiping on the screen. A swipe down will bring down the notification area. A swipe up will unlock the device. A swipe to the right will bring up the settings menu and a swipe to the left will unlock you into the camera. You can always double tap the screen to light up the lockscreen.

Above the display there's a small earpiece cutout and the 2MP front-facing camera to the right of it.

Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

The front controls

The sides are almost bare of any controls. The volume rocker on the left of the Meizu MX4 is pretty much it.

Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

The sides

The loudspeaker grille is on the bottom. In the center lies the microUSB 2.0 port, the main microphone and the small slit in the back panel that allows you to pry it open.

The top has another microphone for noise cancellation, the seldom-used power button and the 3.5mm headphone jack.

Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

Top and bottom

Undoing the back cover reveals the microSIM card slot and the non-removable battery. Otherwise the back features only the 20.7MP camera lens and the dual-tone LED flash. Both LEDs fire simultaneously and appear quite powerful.

Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

The back

Handling the Meizu MX4 is comfortable. Thanks to its sloping back the smartphone fits comfortably in the palm and the sharp, chamfered edges are easy to hold onto. Meizu has done a good job with the weight distribution - the MX4 doesn't feel heavy and actually feels quite compact for its screen size.

Meizu MX4
Meizu MX4

The Meizu MX4 held in one hand