The Meizu M5 is shaping to be the more interesting device of the mid-range M5 duo. We already took the M5 Note for a spin and it turned rather uninspiring without any meaningful upgrades to offer. On the other hand, the M5 comes with a bigger screen and battery, the latest mTouch key with biometric security, and a newer Android version over the M3.
The M5, just like its Note sibling, is taking a shortcut by borrowing the dated chipset from the M3. It even keeps the same camera setup with a 13MP rear snapper and a 5MP front one. And unlike the Note, the M5 appearance didn't get a refresh.
Even though Meizu has chosen to keep a lot from the M3, the M5 is bringing some noticeable changes to the series, and we are hoping it would do better than the M5 Note.
We're experimenting with a shorter review format for this phone as it gives the spare time to review a broader range of devices. We hope it still answers all the questions you may have about the device. Our goal was to give you our impressions in a shorter, concise manner but without sacrificing the performance assessment and the results from the full tests we normally perform. We hope you enjoy it. Any feedback is welcome.
Meizu M5 might be bigger in size, but it hasn't changed a bit when it comes to appearance since the M2. The phone's entire rear panel is made of plastic and has nicely curved sides which somewhat makes it feel smaller in hand.
The retail box of the Meizu M5 includes only the basics - a regular 5V/2A charger plug and a microUSB cable. There are no headphones inside.
Since the back is all plastic, there is no need of antenna lines to get in the way. Glass covers the front with 2.5D edges making for an upmarket look and feel. Another point worth making is that the entire front is black top to bottom regardless of the color version.
The 5.2" screen has an IPS matrix of 720p resolution or in other words 287ppi density. Its viewing angles are excellent - wide and with no color distortion, while its sunlight legibility is above average with a score of 2.710.
The 5.2" display has a maximum brightness of 480nits and a very good contrast of 1:1060. The color rendering is okay though not the most accurate (it's better than the M5 Note for sure). The color rendering out of the box has an average deviation of DeltaE 6.5 and playing with the color settings won't help you do much better than that.
|Display test||100% brightness|
|Black, cd/m2||White, cd/m2|
The screen might be the centerpiece of the M5, but the mTouch key below easily gets the credit for one of the most interesting features. It's an all-in-one button with three functions - tap for Back, click for Home, and there is an embedded fingerprint scanner for when the screen is locked. While the biometric sensor isn't always on, it's very fast, accurate, and is capable of recognizing your fingerprint from any direction.
The M5 is powered by a 3,070 mAh battery - that's 200 mAh higher capacity than the cell inside the Meizu m3. The M5 scored a very good 76-hour endurance rating in our battery test. Unfortunately, there is no Quick Charging support.
Since Meizu is not a registered Google Services partner, the international M5 comes without Google's services preinstalled. Instead, the phone gives you access to an installer which installs them for you hassle free. Other reviewers have been pointing out that these, essentially sideloaded, Google apps and services drain the battery faster than usual, but we assure you this behavior was only found on the reviewers units, which were sent out running an earlier pre-production version of the ROM. With the latest software build, we've been enjoying great battery life.
Our endurance rating is the time you can keep using the M5 on a single charge if you are to make an hour of 3G talks, web browsing and video playback each day. This sort of usage pattern may not apply to you, but we've established it, so our battery scores are comparable across devices.
Meizu M5 is a dual-SIM phone, but it uses a hybrid slot so you would have to make the choice of either a second SIM or a microSD card.
The phone comes in a 16 or 32GB storage option out of the box - getting more gigabytes means you won't have to give up on the second SIM card.
Finally, the bottom of the M5 is where the audio jack, the microUSB connectivity port, and the loudspeaker are. The primary mic is also around.
The M5's speaker scored a Good mark in our loudness test, but its output sound quality is one of the worse ones we've heard lately.
|Speakerphone test||Voice, dB||Ringing ||Overall score|