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Meizu M3 Note Review – One of the Best in Class

by Linus 59

Meizu is one of those Chinese manufacturers, which produces some great yet affordable smartphones and the M3 Note is one of their latest offerings. It is pretty cheap, it has an all-metal unibody design and some great specs. This is Linus, learn more in the full review.

Thanks to Giztop for sending Meizu M3 Note for a review.

Meizu M3 Note Review: VIDEO REVIEW

Meizu M3 Note Review: UNBOXING

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The phone ships with the some paperwork, a charging brick, USB cable and a SIM ejector pin.

Meizu M3 Note Review: SPECS

Display
5.5″ 1080p (Full-HD)
Processor
Mediatek MTK6755, 64-bit, quad-core (up to 1.8GHz)
RAM
2GB
Camera
5MP Front/13MP Back
Connectivity
Bluetooth, 3G, 4G, GPS, WIFI, GSM,EDGE, GPRS, UMTS, HSPA, HSPA+, dual-SIM.
Battery
4.100 mAh (non-removable)
Dimensions
153.6 x 75.5 x 8.2 mm / 163g
OS
FlyMe OS 5.1 (Android 5.1.1)
Storage
16GB (expandable via microSD card slot up to 128GB)

Meizu M3 Note Review: DESIGN and DISPLAY

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I’m really impressed with the design and all-metal build. The phone is very comfortable to hold in the hand but it may be a bit slippery as most aluminium phones.

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The M3 Note is quite huge due to its 5.5” 1080p display, which is sharp, vibrant and you can adjust colour temperature to your liking in the settings menu. The only shortcoming is that it could be slightly brighter for outdoor use.

img_9952We have a 5MP snapper along with the LED notification light on the top.

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On the bottom there is only one button but it has quite a few features. Firstly, it can be physically pressed as it acts as a home button. Also, it has a touchpad and it is a feature that I love and miss on some other phones. E.g. you can simply tap they key and it acts as a back button. Last but definitely not least, we have a fingerprint scanner, which is fast, accurate but it does not work straight from the standby mode. That means that you have to physically press it to wake the screen up and then use your fingerprint to unlock the device. A really cool feature that you can use your fingerprint for other purposes, e.g. you can lock certain apps.

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A 13MP camera with dual-tone dual LED flash is on the back and we have plastic top and bottom parts for antennas.

The buttons are nice and tactile, and they do not rattle at all.

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However, a hybrid dual-SIM or microSD card tray does rattle quite a bit.

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We still have a regular micro USB port, which sits next to the loudspeaker. Speaking of which, it is pretty good but the sound could have more depth. However, the main issue is that sometimes it starts crackling at the highest volume setting.

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Overall, I’m really happy with the design and the way the M3 Note is built except for the rattling SIM card tray.

Meizu M3 Note Review: HARDWARE and PERFORMANCE

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Our review unit has a quad-core Mediatek 6755 Helio P10 chip with the max. clock speeds of 1.8GHz, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable storage.

To be honest, this is the first Helio P10-powered phone we are reviewing and I have to say that I was not impressed by its performance.

Asphalt 8 is one of the most versatile tests to check phones’ abilities and the M3 Note does not perform well. Firstly, I made sure that the phone is set to performance mode and tried playing the game on the highest graphics setting. The performance was horrible. There was a lot of lag, stutter and it was practically impossible to play the game.

Then I switched the graphics to medium, things have gotten a lot better but still, there were quite a few skipped frames.

Meizu M3 Note Review: BENCHMARKS

Meizu M3 Note Review: USER INTERFACE

Meizu M3 Note ships with the FlyMe OS 5.1, which is built on top of Android 5.1.

If you are familiar with the FlyMe OS, you will feel right at home. There is no app tray but there are some neat features. For example, you can swipe down anywhere on the screen to open up the notification shade. Swiping up brings a search bar. If you swipe from the bottom, you will open up your recent apps and this is one of my favorite features.

We have a bunch of other features, plenty of customization options, various tweaks and settings to play with. Just to name a few, you can use choose from a variety of themes, use gesture controls, which work fine and so on.

However, you have to keep in mind that the Chinese version of the phone ships with some bloatware, you would need to flash Google services manually and there are no multi-languages.

On the other hand, the FlymeOS runs fast and fluid, I didn’t have a single hiccup and it may be may be a personal preference but I really enjoyed using it on a daily basis.

Meizu M3 Note Review: CAMERA

The camera app is simple, easy to use and it is fast to take pictures. You have a few shooting modes, including a manual mode, and some settings to play with.

Meizu M3 Note Review: IMAGE and VIDEO QUALITY

When it comes to the daylight image quality, it is pretty good and you can get some nice looking pictures with a decent amount of detail, natural looking colors and even pretty accurate dynamic range.

However, the quality decreases in lower-lit situations. You may still get some very good looking images but there will be a bit more noise and slightly less detail. Still, the image quality is pretty good for the phone this cheap.

The night camera performance is kind of a letdown. It is not the worst I’ve seen but I expected a bit more from this phone. The images are not bright enough, there is a low amount of detail and a lot of noise.

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The selfie camera is pretty good and you will be able to take some decent looking selfies with it.

As for 1080p video, the quality is actually pretty good. Sure, the footage could look a bit sharper but the biggest downside is that the camera does not have continuous auto-focus feature.

Meizu M3 Note Review: CONNECTIVITY

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As you may have expected, Meizu M3 Note has no connectivity issues. In fact, I was really curious how the Helio P10 works when using the GPS and I can assure you that it is very accurate.

Meizu M3 Note Review: BATTERY LIFE

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We’ve come to the battery life and it is great. A 4100mAh unit allows you to use the phone for at least a few days depending on the usage. I could constantly get over 6 or even 7 hours of screen-on time on a mixed use.

Meizu M3 Note Review: CONCLUSIONS

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So, there you have it, the Meizu M3 Note. The device is well built, it has a nice metal design, the display is sharp and vibrant, the UI has tons of features and it works fast.

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Also, the camera can take some good looking daylight images, the battery life is great and the fingerprint scanner is fast and accurate.

However, the Helio P10 chip does not handle 3D games at the highest graphics settings the way we expected. Well, at least on the M3 Note.

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Also, you have to know that the fingerprint sensor does not work straight from the standby mode, the device ships with some Chinese bloatware, the low-light camera performance does not impress and the SIM card tray rattles quite a bit.

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All in all, Meizu M3 Note is still a great offering for the price and it can be highly recommended for those who don’t mind a few shortcomings.

4.0

Buy Xiaomi Mi5
  • Tremaine Underwood

    I predicted a review after the un-boxing ;-). Thank you Linus.

  • metalboyz

    Thanks..
    But, it would be perfect just if you include a screenshot of available sensor in the antutu info tab.

    • np 🙂 ok, i will take a note

  • Tremaine Underwood

    The performance of the 6755 is pretty disappointing. The performance of my MTK6752 M1 Note is still better I get 49000 in Atutu and 900/4000 in Geekbench and the gaming with most things is very smooth. I think the X10 should have been used for Mid range phones for this round, there was actually no need for this chip. They could have dropped the 6753 to the lower end of the segment. Having said that Meizu constantly updates and optimize their roms. My phone improved hugely over time

    • Steven Fox

      The P10M here is basically an MT6750 with a slight bump in clocks.
      Although the 8 cores can reach 1.8Ghz, they rarely do, and the phone actually runs at 1-1.2Ghz most of the time, while the GPU is probably clocked at 400-450 Mhz, instead of the 600 for the full P10.
      On the plus side, this device is a heck of a power saver, and perhaps the software still has a few bugs that’s keeping the chip from it’s full potential.

  • did4skalia

    Like for mee very poor review :/

  • Mosh

    am dissapointed….nothing new from meizu …almost same as m2 note….wish they wud have given it a 16mp back n 8mp front….plus android 6…your review is nice but overall phone not worth it…le pro wud have been better with a 3.5mm

    • balcobomber25

      16mp wouldn;t mean better pictures.

      • teja

        Exactly !!

  • Yogi

    good people of the internet what would you buy picking from only two phones. Meizu M3 Note or Xiaomi Redmi Note 3? And why?

    • Muhammad Yasir

      Redmi Note 3 pro … you will NOT regret it !

      • balcobomber25

        MaxPower is regretting it. He has not been impressed at all with it.

        • Maurice

          Hi Balco, is it true? Damn I was planning to get the RN3Pro but hesitating after reading your comment. Maybe I should get a decent phone like the Redmi 3 Pro and see what’s coming to the market.

          • balcobomber25

            Yea he hasn’t been impressed with his at all. You can usually find him on the other site (gizchina) and ask him about.

          • Maurice

            I have seen a review of the MI4S by android authority on Utube. Because of a small fall during the review the screen cracked instantly. I have a question for you, should I wait for the Redmi 3A with the SD435 or go for the Redmi 3 Pro with SD616? I like the RN3 Pro but it is bigger.

          • balcobomber25

            If you like the Note 3 Pro go for that one. It took me less than a day to get used to the difference from a 5 inch screen to a 5.5 inch screen. I was hesitant to use a phone that big but now I prefer it.

          • Maurice

            Thank you, I like it but I don’t have huge pockets on my jacket. Now the MI4C prime is sold at $200 but it doesn’t have an SD card slot. If I go for the MI4C, I will lose the SD card slot of the Redmi 3 Pro and its amazing battery life. With MI4C I get a better SOC, FHD screen and great camera. I am wondering if the MI4C has a great battery life. It is shame that the RN3PRO do not have a width of 74mm. I wish I had money I would have gone for the MI5 64gb rom version in black color. Cheers!

          • balcobomber25

            The Meizu Mx5 has a width of 74.7mm

          • Maurice

            I am a Xiaomi fanboy LOL

          • balcobomber25

            I am too but then something happened, I won a Meizu MX5 in a contest on another site. After using it for a year I love this phone, i would place it along side the Mi3 for greatest phones I have ever used. Flyme is very similar to MIUI, only a little lighter.

          • Adam Irvine

            I know 4 people with the Redmi Note 3 Pro, they all rate them very highly…

            No bugs, nothing wrong with them, I don’t know why MaxPower has had such a poor experience with it because I can’t see any faults with them… They all have the 3gb/32gb version though, I don’t know if MaxPower might have had the 2gb/16gb version???

            Like I said on GizChina, the only thing I’ve had to do to all 4 from GearBest is flash the official Miui rom onto them using the official ‘MiFlash Tool’ because they’re coming from GearBest running an ‘un-heard-of’ version of Miui…

            Cheers! 🙂

          • Maurice

            Thank you Adam, the problem is that I never had a smartphone before. My old blackberry 8900 isn’t working properly so I need a phone quickly. I am not asking people to chose for me either. I decided to cut a cardboard at the size of both phones in order to help me to decide which phone I should buy.

            Honestly, if the Redmi 3 Pro had a SOC like SD650 or even SD625 I would have ordered it instantly. That being said, some Redmi 3 owners are very happy with the SD616 which is handling everything very well. There are also some gaming reviews where the phone handles most the games. I recognize also that the Redmi Note 3 Pro is a lot better compared to the Redmi 3 Pro. It has a better screen and of course a powerful soc (SD650). I am planning to use a silicone case so I am a bit concerned by the width of the phone.

            I am not really a gamer but I plan to install FIFA 2016, I will use the device for calls, web, emails and sometime I will use the camera for short videos and pictures.

            I could get the Redmi 3 Pro at 151€ and the Redmi Note 3 Pro at 208€ (both without shipping costs) from a well known shop. I am just wondering if it is worth to add the price difference (57€) in order to get the Redmi Note 3 Pro.

            Thanks in advance!

          • Adam Irvine

            Personally, I would go for the Redmi Note 3 Pro given what you get for the price…

            I’m about to order one for a good friend of mine who is in a similar situation to yourself, he has never owned a smartphone and is used to Nokia feature phones… I personally believe that the ease of use and simplicity that miui provides will make for a very easy and enjoyable transition, coupled with the 4000mAh battery life and speed that the spec offers I genuinely think that its a solid move for someone in your shoes.

            The final thing you should think about chucking in the mix is ‘future-proofing’ and so when comparing the Redmi Note 3 Pro (3GB/32GB) to other phones at a similar price point, I think you’ll find that it’ll stick around a lot longer than the competition…

            Like my One Plus One, when the official updates run dry, you’ll definitely be able to turn to the community to continue the android update journey 😉

            That’s my input anyway… 🙂

          • Maurice

            Thank you very much for your answer and honesty! I will take into account your final comment in order to make my final decision. Cheers and have a great day!

          • Ionut Johnny

            No problem here with the 2gb 32 version.

        • Muhammad Yasir

          y 🙁 ?

      • Yogi

        do Meizu M1 Metal is a better option than Meizu M3 Note comparing to the Redmi 3 Note?

        • Muhammad Yasir

          meizu metal had a disastrous camera… so its out of the equation.
          if u want , go for a few RN3 pro reviews and see how it compares with the m3 note camera and then decide

    • Najib Ar-Rahman

      Redmi Note 3 pro is sure the ONE to beat. But I’m disappointed with the FEEL – can sense some cost-cutting measures with its build quality.

      Honor 5X sure has a better build quality and premium feel to it. But its 16GB ROM and General Performance is a notch below the RN3

  • Samuel Odan

    16GB internal storage with a hybrid sim slot is dumb
    It’s like having dual sim functionality without strage expantion
    That’s why i prefer the redmi note 3 to the redmi note 3

    • Muhammad Yasir

      wait … u prefer RN3 to RN3 ?!
      whats the difference ?!

      • Samuel Odan

        Sorry i meant ” i prefer RN2 ro RN3″
        Wasn’t careful enough

    • balcobomber25

      Redmi Note 3 has the same hybrid sim slot…….

  • illystor

    It could just be a fluke, or it may just be my eyes playing tricks on me, but the daylight photos seem to do a little better in one particular respect compared to the M2 Note. I’ve always found in situations where it is a bright day but there are shadows in view, you either can have detail in the shadows with the well it regions becoming a blinding white, or detail in the bright regions with the shadows lacking detail. The shots out and about, though there’s still some instances where the bright sky seems over-exposed a little, seem to handle this better, with both the dark and light regions having a reasonable amount of detail, and colours not looking too washed out.

    Is it just me or is anyone else getting that vibe?

    • Steve B

      Thought they looked worse to be honest. Quite overblown in places, step back same as Meizu Metal was. Cheaper lens elements perhaps.

  • 5/5 with the cons? I am not convinced by the tester.

    • Muhammad Yasir

      heh

    • it was done by a mistake by other editor, because I forgot to add stars rating to a review 🙂 corrected to 4/5

  • Muhammad Yasir

    still 5 star ?! WTF ?!
    this cannot play games .. this cannot unlock directly and cam sucks and STILL 5 stars ?!

    WHY LINUS !

    • It happened that I forgot to add a star rating and my fellow editor just randomly added 5 stars 😀 I corrected it to 4. You know I wouldn’t do it after writing all the shortcomings lol

      • Muhammad Yasir

        lol … your fellow editor is so dope :p

        also , im v.disappointed in m3 note. hoping for better and MOAR SUPER CHEAP PHONES this year! any suggestions with regards to upcoming SUPER CHEAP super phones ?

        • haha yeah 😀 Super cheap super phones haha 🙂 not sure about anything super cheap but super good coming out soon but some of the Chinese companies just announce something unexpectedly …

  • Rigge

    Good review, but I would be more accurate if you’d put it a rating between 1-10.. instead of 1-5… Thanks for the review Linus and keep up the good work!

    • thanks! Honestly, I didn’t put ratings to my reviews before because they usually raise lots of discussions 🙂 I’ll keep that it mind

  • I love this phone!

  • VMortens

    All fine, but where’s the usual night photo of Honda Civic?? It’s become a solid piece in every review and I tend to use it for the comparison needs 🙂

    As per the phone – I think it’s a decent, reliable successor of what Note 1 represented. The camera seems even slightly better than in M1/M2. For the price it seems great.

    • hahaha 😀 If you see a night photo of my Civic, that means that I needed to drive somewhere just to test the camera 🙂 next time I’ll make sure to include it

  • Guys, check out my short video on Meizu M3 Note:

  • Faisal Shaharyar

    i am pretty much sure that no one will buy this phone over redmi note 3 or letv1s if the price difference is going to be $50-$70.
    the only difference between this one and Note 2 is going to be metal body and the chipset.. even the performance would not be much different.

  • Steven Fox

    Meizu is using the M version of the P10 which has the GPU and CPU clocked lower than the full version of the chip.
    Performance should be on par with the old MT6752, but with better power efficiency.
    Not much to go on in GPU tests, as the Mali 860MP2 offers a very minor improvement over the 760MP2 in the MT6752(around 15-20%, which results to 4-5 more fps in games).
    If you are looking for a more stable budget gaming chip, should wait for the Kirin 650 which has a Mali 880MP2 that will be enough to play Asphalt 8 in high settings with minor frame drops.

  • Thang Cheong Pin

    I’m using Meizu M2 Note. To your opinion, is it worth for me to upgrade to M3 Note?

    • Steven Fox

      You should consider only an X20-X25 device for an upgrade.

  • AbdulB1

    I will never recommend meizu as they have locked bootloaders and their stupid button layout.

  • jose lopez huertado

    un 10 para meizu la mejor marca de china

  • Sjoerd

    Still, with 3D performance, would this be faster than a MT6572 phone?

    • Sjoerd

      Oh nvm just saw that Steven Fox already answered my question, thanks ^^.

  • Antonio

    I have it from some days. GREAT phone. Amazing design, extreme, battery, antiscratch screen, very fast ( I don’t use games), good camera enough. For the price ( 208 euro including good quality headphones) is a must buy. Cheaper than the Redmi Note 3 pro ( here looks there are many Xiaomi salesman…)