Chinese manufacturers have really upped the quality of their hardware this year and the newly unveiled Meizu MX4 Pro sets a new high bar for features per dollar. But there’s a catch – you’re going to have to wade through a sludge of marketing terms too pungent even for Apple. Hold your breath, we’re going in.
Only two months ago Meizu unveiled its new rather good MX4 flagship, but the MX4 Pro already outdoes it in almost every regard. The display is a tad larger at 5.5-inches and has also seen its resolution bumped up to 2,560 x 1,536. Meizu dubs this “better than normal 2K” and technically it is the highest resolution smartphone display available, but not by any significant amount.
The MX4 Pro’s display boasts an impressive 546 PPI, an acceptable maximum brightness of 450 nits, and “2048 levels of brilliance control”, which I presume means adjustable brightness. Perhaps a more important point to note is that the new NEGA LCD panel consumes only 5 percent more power than the original MX4’s smaller 1920 x 1152 LCD panel.
You will find an octo-core big.LITTLE Samsung SoC powering the MX4 Pro this time around, rather than the old MediaTek offering. The Samsung Exynos 5430, which also powers the Galaxy Alpha, contains four Cortex-A15 and four Cortex-A7 CPU cores accompanied by a Mali-T628 MP6 GPU. The handset also has 3GB of RAM, NFC connectivity, LTE support, a 3,350 mAh non-removable battery, and a new 5MP front facing camera with f/2.2 aperture. The MX4’s 20.7MP Sony IMX220 sensor sticks around as the rear camera.
The MX4 Pro doesn’t stop at the basic hardware. Meizu’s mTouch fingerprint scanner is located on the front of the phone, which makes use of the TrustZone feature built into Samsung’s Exynos SoC. This locks the processing of fingerprint and security data away from would-be hackers. Come 2015, the fingerprint scanner will also allow users to make payments through AliPay.
Finally we land at the criminally named “Retina Sound” feature (yes you read that correctly). Meizu has packed a high-performance 32-bit ES9018K2M DAC into the MX4 Pro, which features low harmonic distortion and noise characteristics, combined with an OPA1612 op-amp and some high-end passive filtering that appears to offer a flat frequency response all the way up to 80 kHz, if you need it.
Despite one or two marketing faux pas, the Meizu MX4 Pro contains some pretty nifty hardware, and it’s priced at only CN¥2,499 ($410), CN¥2,699 ($440) or CN¥3,099 ($510) for either the 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB memory options. The handset is only destined for China at the moment, but we’ll keep an eye out for international release details.