Meizu has always had a slightly different approach to smartphones but history reveals that being different doesn’t always pay off. Now, the company is back in business, this time in the premium segment with its two new smartphones, the Meizu 16 and the Meizu 16 Plus. For the first time in Meizu’s history, the company is going to use the flagship chipset from Qualcomm in its smartphones — the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845. So, Meizu is finally going with the mainstream chipmaker, after years of reliance on competitors like MediaTek and Samsung. This does put the new Meizu 16 and the 16 Plus in the big leagues, right besides smartphones like the Mi 8, Mi Mix 2S, and even the OnePlus 6.
Meizu 16 Design
Hate the notch up front on recent smartphones? You’d be glad to know that the Meizu 16 and the Meizu 16 Plus are both notch-less smartphones. Before you get too excited, note that they don’t have pop up cameras like that of the Vivo Nex or even the OPPO Find X, but the company’s design is very refined to minimise the bezels on all the four sides!
Symmetry has always been a big part of Meizu devices and despite the challenges associated with new age 2018 smartphones, the company has managed to retain a symmetric design on its new Meizu 16 series. But without a pop up camera, does it mean that the Meizu 16 has a thick forehead?
Not really! Meizu explains that the company had to spend millions of dollars to re-customize the screen packaging technology to ensure that all the necessary components on the front are incorporated in the thin forehead on the top. The forehead of a smartphone has always been a crowded spot, with the earpiece, cameras, and sensors all cramming for space up on top. While it’s not as thin as the Vivo Nex’s almost non-existent forehead, the company has managed to bring the screen to body ratio to up to 91.18% with this design.
Wait a second! If you remember, the Vivo Nex has a 91.24% screen to body ratio, and comparing this figure to Meizu 16’s 91.18% STB ratio, you’d immediately understand how thin its bezels are!
As I said above, the design is pretty refined and the overall smartphone looks beautiful from up front. The overall body is made out of glass and the back cover comes with a 7 layer coating process that creates a texture very close to ceramic. There are two colors available, White and Black and with the polished glass finish, the Black variant in particular turns out to be quite reflective, similar to OnePlus 6’s Mirror Black edition.
Meizu’s obsession with refined design translates into a lighter and thinner smartphone too! So, officially, Meizu is marketing the Meizu 16 as the thinnest in-screen fingerprint smartphone in the world! The Meizu 16 is just 7.3mm thick, way less thinner than OPPO Find X which measures 9.3mm.
If you have been a regular flagship user over the years, you would have realised that smartphones have gradually become heavier. This is another area where Meizu 16 excels as the phone weighs just 152 grams! In comparison, the Vivo Nex weighs 199 grams, Find X weighs 186 grams and even the OnePlus 6 weighs 177 grams. That’s a significant difference in weight and big thumbs up for Meizu in limiting its weight and thickness to such an extent!
Meizu 16 Specs
So far the Meizu 16 is turning out to be quite an impressive smartphone. In the specs department too, the phone doesn’t disappoint. The 16 series comes with the powerful Snapdragon 845 chipset (so no more less powerful chip alternatives for Meizu fans!) that is 1.53 times faster than its predecessor, the Meizu 15 Plus. After seeing the Meizu 16 come to life, it really looks as if the 15 series was just a testing platform for the company in order to perfect the 16 series for the mainstream market.
The phone starts with 6GB of RAM and goes up to 8GB of RAM for higher-end models. The top-end model comes with 8GB LPDDR4X RAM and 256GB of UFS 2.1 storage. Meizu 16 comes with a 6-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED display will its elder sibling will feature a larger 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display with the same resolution. In comparison, the 16 features a 3010mAh battery while the 16 Plus has a larger 3640mAh battery inside.
Both the models feature an in-display fingerprint sensor and after months of debugging and optimisation, the recognition speed is 0.25 seconds and the success rate is as much as 99.12%. While an in-screen fingerprint sensor might not be as fast or accurate as a traditional optical sensor, it’s really exciting to see more companies opting for this new technology which will further speed up its optimisation, helping it mature soon.
Another highlight of the Meizu 16 series is the new liquid cooled copper tube cooling system inside. This will ensure that the phone will stay cool even in the heaviest of gaming scenarios, ensuring you get maximum performance from Snapdragon 845 and its supporting hardware. With phones like the Honor Note 10 featuring liquid cooling tech, this move from Meizu is not really surprising.
Other features include dual band Wi-Fi 2×2 MIMO and LTE 4×4 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0, Qualcomm aptX support and Sony LDAC for the best wireless music experience.
Meizu 16 Cameras
The Meizu 16 series features a large 20MP sensor up front with ArcSoft’s beauty algorithms. You also get special features on the front camera such as bokeh mode.
The rear dual camera setup is the same as the Meizu 15 Plus, so you get a 12MP IMX 380 sensor paired with a 20MP IMX350 sensor. Additional features include four axis OIS, and 1/4s shutter speed. This setup paired with the advanced Spectra 280 ISP on the SD845 should ensure high quality photos from the phone. Further, like all other flagship phones of 2018, Meizu 16 also relies on AI to improve its photography. The phone features a solid auto HDR mode and scene recognition that promises vibrant colors on your landscape photos.
Meizu 16 Software
The new Meizu 16 series comes with the latest Flyme 7 UI based on Android Oreo out of the box. The company is using OneMind AI to create a new app preloading technology that promises to improve start up speed by up to 36%. The phone also features Meizu’s SuperSwipe technology that is said to improve UI fluency by up to 67% by optimising the CPU’s multi-core algorithms.
In order to give you the best gaming experience, Meizu has also set up a joint lab with top gaming publishers in China like Tencent and NetEase to ensure games are optimised for its new devices. Considering liquid cooling and hardware on board, Meizu 16 should run most high-end games without a sweat!
mBack has always been an important part of Meizu smartphones and the new Meizu 16 series comes with the improved Super mBack 2.0. The new version replaces the small circle in favour of a small horizontal bar at the bottom of the screen. This definitely reminds us of Android Pie’s navigation button but Meizu adds that it accepts the standard Super mBack gestures seen on its previous devices.
Meizu 16 Price & Availability
The Meizu 16 comes in three variants and their prices are as follows:
6+64GB: 2698 Yuan (~$395)
6+128GB: 2998 Yuan (~$439)
8+128GB: 3298 Yuan (~$483)
The Meizu 16 variants and their prices are as follows:
6+128GB: 3198 Yuan (~$468)
8+128GB: 3498 Yuan (~$512)
8+256GB: 3998 Yuan (~$586)
The Meizu 16 goes on sale via major retailers including Meizu mall, JD.com, Suning tesco and even via offline channels from August 20. The phones are already up for reservations on these sites.
Our Meizu 16 hands on is coming real soon, so stay tuned to the site in the coming hours!