Reviews
Pros

-Unibody metal design
-Expandable storage via microSD card
-Dual-SIM capabilities
-Large, vibrant display
-USB Type-C
-Long lasting battery
-Fast charging
-Fluid performance
-Hi-Fi audio

Cons

-Lackluster camera
-Weak speaker
-Limited LTE band support

Rating
Our Rating
Battery
9.1
Display
8.9
Camera
7.9
Performance
8.9
Software
8.8
Design
9.0
Bottom Line

With its full metal unibody construction, beautiful display, solid battery life, aggressive pricing, and processing package that is arguably the best right now, the Meizu Pro 5 is a fantastic flagship offering that should certainly not be overlooked.

8.8
Our Rating
You have rated this
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A now almost standard trend in the Android smartphone world is the presence of “Pro” or “Plus” iterations of popular flagships, with this suffix not only indicative of a bump in size, but, as seen with a lot of such devices, a boost in specifications and features as well. Meizu has jumped on the bandwagon with the Meizu Pro 5, and while the Chinese OEM may have dropped the MX moniker, the Pro 5 is essentially the larger sibling of the flagship MX 5. What does this Pro iteration bring to the table? We find out, in this in-depth Meizu Pro 5 review!

Meizu in Videos

Design

Meizu Pro 5-2

As mentioned, the Meizu Pro 5 is basically a larger version of the previously released MX 5, and retains the design language of its flagship counterpart, with its metal unibody construction and rounded corners and sides. The device is thin and relatively lightweight, and as you would expect from a full metal body, feels solid in the hand. While the rounded sides do make the device comfortable to hold, it doesn’t offer much in the way of grip, making for quite a slippery device.

Meizu Pro 5-11

Taking a look around the device, the power button and volume rocker are on the right side, and the buttons feel solid, while offering a good amount of tactile feedback. Up top is the headphone jack, and on the left is the dual SIM tray, with the secondary SIM slot also functioning as a microSD card slot. At the bottom is a single speaker, and the charging port, this time of the USB Type-C variety, making Meizu one of the few OEMs to adopt the latest standard.

You won’t get any capacitive or on-screen navigation keys with the Pro 5. Instead there is a solitary home button instead, which functions as a back button with a light tap, and also a sleep/wake button with a long press. The home button is very easy to press, but doesn’t offer a lot of tactile feedback, and actually feels kind of cheap, which is surprising, given the otherwise solid build quality of the device.

Meizu Pro 5-13

Of course, as has also been the case with their previous smartphones, Meizu’s design inspiration is pretty obvious when looking at the Pro 5, with the device sharing more than a few common elements with the iPhone. But despite not being the most original design, the Pro 5 is still a sleek and attractive device.

Display

Meizu Pro 5-6

The Meizu Pro 5 sees a 0.2-inch bump in display size when compared to its flagship sibling, with it featuring a 5.7-inch AMOLED display. The display resolution remains at 1080p however, resulting in a pixel density of 386 ppi. Quad HD may have been expected with the larger display and the Pro moniker, but Full HD more than gets the job done in this case. Text and graphics are still very sharp and easy to read, and media consumption remains a joy with the additional screen real estate that is available. As is often the case with AMOLED screens, colors are bright, vibrant, saturated, and full of contrast, and the viewing angles are also excellent. All of it is covered with a 2.5D glass panel featuring subtle curves along the edges, and blending in quite well with the curved sides of the Pro 5.

Performance

Meizu Pro 5-16

In a rather surprising move, the Meizu Pro 5 is powered by the same processing package seen with the current generation Samsung flagships, with the device featuring an octa-core Exynos 7420 processor, clocked at 2.1 GHz, and backed by the Mali-T760MP8 GPU, and 3 or 4 GB of RAM depending on your choice of storage. We all know how powerful and efficient this processing package can be, and it’s a great move by Meizu to use it with their flagship smartphone as well.

As expected, the Pro 5 flies through basic functions and everyday tasks, and everything from scrolling, swiping between homescreens, and opening and closing apps, to more processing-demanding activities like gaming and multi-tasking are handled very well. The Meizu Pro 5 is definitely no slouch in the performance department, and no matter what you throw at this phone, it is not going to let you down.
note-5-thumbSee also: Samsung Galaxy Note 5 review42

Hardware

Meizu Pro 5-12

32 GB or 64 GB are the built-in storage options available, which, as mentioned, also determines the amount of RAM you get. You can expand the storage via microSD by up to 128 GB, but with the second SIM slot doubling as the microSD card slot, users will have to make a choice between expandable storage or dual SIM capabilities.

Meizu Pro 5-15

The Pro 5 comes with a standard suite of connectivity options, including 4G LTE. However, LTE band support is quite limited, which restricted my internet speeds to HSPA+ on the T-Mobile network. While still fast, the probable lack of 4G LTE support is something to keep in mind for consumers in the US.

Meizu Pro 5-10

The single speaker unit at the bottom gets surprisingly loud, and the sound quality is actually quite decent as well. However, its placement means that it is very easy to cover up when using the device in the landscape orientation, especially while playing games, and the audio gets muffled easily. The Pro 5 also comes with built-in Hi-Fi audio, allowing for a much better audio experience when using headphones, which is great for those who use their smartphones as the primary music players.

Meizu Pro 5-7

The Pro 5 comes with a fingerprint scanner embedded into the physical home button up front that is very easy to use, and features a tap and hold setup process similar to what is seen from the likes of Samsung and Apple. It is fast and reliable enough, and while there aren’t any major issues while using it, this isn’t the most accurate fingerprint scanner that I’ve come across. It does unlock the device on the first attempt the majority of the time, and fails to do so maybe only 2 out of every 10 attempts, which isn’t too bad, and certainly not enough to completely ruin the experience.

The Pro 5 comes with a large 3,050 mAh battery, that allows for really good battery life. The screen-on time consistently passed the 4 hour mark even with a lot of gaming and watching videos on YouTube, and with moderate usage, it wasn’t difficult to get up to a day and a half of use out of the device. The Pro 5 also comes with fast charging capabilities via Meizu’s mCharge 2.0 technology, which results in the battery charging up to 65% in just 30 minutes.

galaxy s7 vs htc 10 vs lg g5 aa (8 of 10)See also: Best Android phones (December 2015)460

Camera

Meizu Pro 5-9

The Meizu Pro 5 comes with a 21 MP rear camera with phase detection and a laser auto focus system. The sensor is made by Sony, which is usually a good sign of the phone being capable of producing good looking photos, and that is true with the Pro 5, for the most part. In adequate lighting, the device can take some great looking shots, with plenty of color, detail, and sharpness. HDR image processing also brightens up the image further, and brings back a lot of hidden details from the shadows, without looking unnatural.

Meizu Pro 5-5

However, as lighting conditions worsen, image quality deteriorates as well, and rather rapidly at that. Images begin to look soft and muddy, and with very little detail, and the camera also tends to overexpose, leading to a lot of overblown highlights.

What really cripples the camera experience with the Pro 5 is the camera application itself. The app is pretty simple and straight forward to use, but the entire interface is tailored for use in the portrait orientation, and doesn’t rotate when switching to landscape, making for an extremely cumbersome experience. Further, common modes like HDR are buried within the camera settings, and when using the camera in the landscape orientation, switching between different modes is a slow process. The camera interface does work very well when taking selfies with the 5 MP front-facing camera though, but things are much less desirable when it comes to using the primary shooter.

Software

Meizu Pro 5-3

On the software side of things, the Meizu Pro 5 is running the latest version of the Flyme OS, based on Android 5.1 Lollipop. However, you will be hard-pressed to find any Material Design elements across this user interface, or even some aspects of the general Android experience that you may be used to, such as the fact that there is no app drawer to be found, leaving users dependent on folders to keep things organized.

Meizu Pro 5-1

That said, the UI is actually quite clean, with some nice transparencies and minimalistic looking icons, and isn’t overly colorful like some other user interfaces out there. The Flyme OS may not be your typical Android experience, but it doesn’t try to overwhelm you with features either, with just a few built in to keep things interesting. Most of these features are gesture-based, including double tap to wake, swiping downwards to bring down the notification shade, or drawing different characters on the screen to open up various applications.

There is also what Meizu likes to call Smart Touch, which essentially puts a virtual joystick of sorts on the display, that can be re-positioned anywhere on the screen. It can be configured to perform a variety of actions, some of which are identical to the gesture controls, such as double tap to close an application, swipe left or right to switch between tasks, and open the notification drop down, just to name a few.

Specifications

Display5.7-inch AMOLED display
1920 x 1080 resolution
386 ppi
Processor2.1 GHz octa-core Samsung Exynos 7420
Mali-T760MP8 GPU
RAM3/4 GB (depending on storage option)
Storage32/64 GB
expandable via microSD card up to 128 GB
Camera21 MP rear camera with laser autofocus
5 MP front-facing camera
ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 4.1
GPS + GLONASS
NFC
USB Type-C 1.0
Battery3,050 mAh
SoftwareAndroid 5.1 Lollipop
Dimensions156.7 x 78 x 7.5 mm
168 grams

Gallery

Pricing and final thoughts

The Meizu Pro 5 is currently priced at $513 for the 32 GB (and 3 GB RAM) version, requiring an additional $60 for the 64 GB and 4 GB RAM iteration.

Meizu Pro 5-14

So there you have it for this detailed look at the Meizu Pro 5! Meizu is generally known for their affordable smartphone offerings, and while affordable certainly isn’t one of the ways to describe the Pro 5, it is still quite aggressively priced for all that it offers. While this device isn’t ideal for US consumers due to the lack of 4G LTE support, it is certainly a great choice for those in other markets around the world. With an all metal construction, a beautiful 5.7-inch display, a fingerprint scanner, and a processing package that is arguably the best right now, the Pro 5 is easily the best flagship Meizu has released to date, and should certainly not be overlooked.

Buy now on Amazon

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  • Juan Ovalles

    What about MEIZUs updating schedule with previous devices? Will this flagship get at least android M? And after that Android N? Really good hardware but without software updates it isn’t future proof….

    • balcobomber25

      Meizu has had an interesting history with updates. Some phones get them, some don’t (which is not unlike Samsung). But so far the updates have been excellent for the MX5.

  • 1213 1213

    Its a great looking phone but due to the fact it came out later, its more expensive than the s6 in the UK. I don’t thinknSamsung would lend their chip any earlier though, because I’d probably go for it if it was cheaper.

  • MAHOGANY HD

    If I have to spend over $500 on a phone , I won’t buy this phone. I’d go for known brands like Samsung, Sony Moto, LG or Sony.
    I think the phone is overpriced.

    • George

      Well, it is it kinda cheaper and offers sd card support to expand the storage, plus 1080p screen which adds improved performance and battery life (with a hit in clarity of course, but 1080p can’t be called blurry by any scenario).
      It’s a great alternative imho.

    • Kig3Eo

      Overpriced ? Seriously???????
      when you buy brand product the pay for the brand+product where the brand cost more than the product cost…
      So what is more overpriced here ?

      • Arturo Raygoza

        If I’m dishing out 6 bills for a high end phone, I rather get the 6P.

      • Veaceslav Nikolaev

        Yes it`s overpriced and not worth the money. I have that thing and a G4, and i can honestly tell you that i wouldn`t pay even half the price if i knew the “joys” of this device before buying. Just a few examples: The software is the worst i ever had to deal with in a smartphone: Apps freezing randomly or loading until eternity, the built in root works whenever it decides to do so leaving apps without root access randomly, the google installer takes a hundred tries to install GAPPS (don`t you think that they will work after installation, the phone will decide that for you :), the music player (which is one of the worst piles of shit i ever saw) randomly skips songs or just stops working in the middle of listening, the phone will not load websites or internet based apps despite having a full signal and i could go on forever. Then we have a camera without OIS in a smartphone that costs over 400€ – a camera that will make pictures similiar to a 2012 phone whenever you try to use the zoom or shoot in low light…I won`t even start about the camera app itself, which is an abomination.
        Then there is the screen, which ALWAYS will be yellowish or blueish instead of white (depending on the colour temperature you choose) and when you turn it down or to the side, you`ll get the whole rainbow colour spectrum.
        I could go on, but you get the idea. You can buy a G4, S6, an Xperia or even some Chinese brands like the ZTE Z9, Oneplus or some Huawei device for the same money or even less, and all of them will do the job much better than this one. There are 2 things that this device has over similiar priced smartphones, and these are the sound quality and the battery life. Other than that, there is absolutely nothing that justifies the price of this thing, and since the bootloader is locked, you`re stucked with all this crap. In short: If you don`t know where to put your money and want a phone for over 400€ where nothing works properly, go on and buy this device, you won`t regret it.

        • Dante

          Pics or it didnt happen!
          (really thinking about getting it but hestitant after the mx4) tho it definetely has the best audio on the market right now

      • crunchor

        Yes this is overpriced. A phone value is from 3 parts: brand+hardware+software. A phone like this has basically no brand value, you don’t want anyone knows you use a Chinese no one knows brand. Then the price should be olny hallf of what famous brand flagship does.

        • AldrexChamaYoloSweg

          Grow up.

        • balcobomber25

          Brand value only exists in those that lack self esteem and need constant reassurance of their actions by others.

  • Zoran Kovacec

    I have meizu mx5 and it is the best smartphone what i have in last 2 years, that pro 5 have 2k display it will be best phone for that money.

  • Sead Pozderac

    This is honestly dream phone. Hope to get one and for xda development, particularly AOSP. For me, only downside to stock Android is camera app, it’s optimizations and software processing.

  • Karly Johnston

    If you like importing Chinese phones more power to you. They offer great value for money if you can do without LTE but this price is far too close to flagship to be enticing.

    • Arch Angelos

      That’s Because it Is A Flagship LOL.

    • balcobomber25

      This has LTE support and it is a flagship. It may not have LTE for your country, but the countries this is officially sold in all have LTE support.

      • Karly Johnston

        It is officially sold in China and that is the country the LTE is for so your point is what?

        • balcobomber25

          Trying to figure out what your point is. You said it lacks LTE, it does not, it supports LTE in over 100 countries around the world.

          • Karly Johnston

            Actually it only works in 17 countries and most of them are little developing countries no one lives in.

          • balcobomber25

            17 countries that no one lives in? That’s funny because it supports LTE on bands 1800/2100/2600 the following countries all use those bands:

            Brazil
            Chile
            Columbia
            Costa Rica
            Venezuela
            China
            Hong Kong
            India
            Indonesia
            South Africa
            Japan
            Malaysia
            Pakistan
            Philippines
            Singapore
            South Korea
            Taiwan
            Thailand
            Israel
            Kuwait
            Lebanon
            Saudi Arabia
            Qatar
            UAE
            Australia
            New Zealand

            That is only a small sample of the countries those networks are available in, this leaves out Africa and Europe. Most major European cities have at least one of these networks. Guess that didn’t work out how you thought.

  • rocketryan

    You can buy the s6 cheaper in the uk, no brainer.

    • Andreas Larsson

      To bad the s6 has to high resolution with such a small battery

      • rocketryan

        The battery is a week point but recently ive been getting about 3.5 hours screen time and 18 off the charger, which with quick charging i think is just acceptable. Thats battery at about 60 % most of the time

    • Airyl

      This has a microSD card slot and a bigger battery.

      • rocketryan

        Micro SD just slows shit down just buy a phone with enough storage, bigger battery is always better but if it gets you through the day. Horses for courses after all.

    • Dante

      where lol

      • rocketryan

        Amazon or ebay

    • balcobomber25

      Yup and you get to deal with the horrible Touchwhiz UI and a pathetic battery.

      • rocketryan

        But you get one of the best cameras on a phone, and it charges fully in one hour. Touchwiz is a low but better on s6 than previous models. And people wont think youve spent 50 quid on ebay on a cheap Chinese handset.

        • balcobomber25

          I have an amazing camera on my Meizu MX5 which lasts two days and charges in 50 minutes. And if you need validation from other people on your purchases you might as well just by Apple.

          • rocketryan

            I dont need validation, but if im spending flagship money i want flagship stuff apart from the processor its a 2 gen old note 3 screen and sony camera from the z1 i owned in 2013. Not dissing the phone but no google apps installed and price is ridiculous in uk. Why would you choose this over the s6 which is on pretty much all tech websites the best android phone right now and cheaper.

  • Daggett Beaver

    Those specs at $513. Wow.

  • nebulaoperator

    UK amazon £479.99 someone is tripping big time.

  • rocketryan

    Why does anything rectangular instantly “look like an iphone” apple didnt use unibody phones first or use the shape first. The only real similarity is probably the speaker being on the bottom but really how many ways can you drill holes on the bottom of a phone.

  • Poincare

    Lab tested this piece of junk last week. This makes a Moto look like a gold-plated joy. Meizu is a crap brand and this junky Chinese crap is just that. Skip this and get a real droid device by LG or Samsung.

    • balcobomber25

      Interesting considering most of the Pro 5 is made from Samsung components. Haven;t used the Pro 5 so I can;t comment. But the MX5 is an excellent phone.

  • ohmyohmy

    Meizu Pro 5 camera is better than what your review tried to portrait!
    It has great dynamic, colour balance & detail……… tech racism is getting worst

    • nastia

      what about the flash light when you take a photo in the night? is it good or does the light of the flash just ruins the photo?

  • ohmyohmy

    One more thing. No where in this review that highlight the blockbuster feature of Meizu Pro 5 Camera: manual mode + super long exposure time (420s)…that’s 7minutes exposure!! Epic night shoot, ladies & gentlamen

  • Muhammad Zalazar

    can someone give me a sample of the 420 second of shutter speed when shooting in the night?

  • Joseph Bell

    Are you going to do a review of the Ubuntu version of this phone?