Meizu MX3 review: Eastern connection

Marian Petrov, 2 November 2013.

Tags: Meizu, Android

Google Now

Unlike most Android devices these days, the Meizu MX3 doesn't have a reserved shortcut to launch Google Now. Instead you need to turn to the widget or app shortcut on the homescreen.

In addition to being able to recognize voice commands, Google Now will learn from your usage patterns, and display relevant information. For example, if you search for a particular sports team frequently, Google Now will display information about upcoming games you wouldn't want to miss.

The service interacts with you by generating cards which are displayed on your screen and give you a short overview of information it believes is relevant to you. Going to work in the morning? Google Now knows this and lets you know there's a big traffic jam on your usual way to the office, and will offer you an alternate route. This extends to a multitude of other areas, including weather, traffic, public transit stations, and nearby points of interest.

Meizu MX3 Meizu MX3 Meizu MX3 Meizu MX3
Google Now

You can either type or talk to Google Now and the app will give you one of its aforementioned info cards (if available) and read you its contents aloud (you can disable this from the app settings). If there's no card to help with the answer to your question, Google Now will simply initiate a Google web search instead.

There is also a Google Now widget which generates information for you based on what your interests are.

Meizu MX3
Google Now widget

Synthetic benchmarks

The Meizu MX3 shares a chipset with the I9500 Galaxy S4 - an ARM big.LITTLE quad-core Cortex-A15 and quad-core Cortex-A7 combo on a Exynos 5410 Octa SoC. The four 1.6 GHz Cortex-A5 cores do the heavy lifting, while the auxiliary 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7s ensure the power-efficient performance for less-demanding tasks.

There are 2 GB of RAM and graphics are handled by the PowerVR SGX 544MP3 GPU.

Currently the Snapdragon 800 and Apple's 64-bit A7 chip are the standard-setters, with the Exynos 5 Octa trailing slightly behind, but let's see how the Meizu MX3 fares.

BenchmarkPi shows it to be a below average performer, outclassed by the likes of the HTC one, the Snapdragon Galaxy-600-powered S4 and even the Octa-rocking Galaxy S4.

Benchmark Pi

Lower is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    99
  • LG G2
    99
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    115
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    115
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
    130
  • HTC One Max
    131
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    132
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    132
  • HTC Butterfly S
    135
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    147
  • HTC One
    151
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    166
  • Sony Xperia Z
    264
  • HTC Butterfly
    266
  • Oppo Find 5
    267
  • HTC One X+
    280
  • LG Optimus G
    285
  • HTC One mini
    293
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    305
  • Meizu MX3
    307
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    330
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    350
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    359
  • Nexus 4
    431

Linpack also places the Meizu MX3 in the unenviable company of year-old ex-flagships - the likes of the HTC's One X, Galaxy S III and Nexus 4.

Linpack

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    1081
  • LG G2
    1054
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    1034
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    1004
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
    818
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    791
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    788
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    743
  • HTC One Max
    723
  • HTC Butterfly S
    669
  • HTC One
    646
  • Sony Xperia Z
    630
  • HTC Butterfly
    624
  • LG Optimus G
    608
  • Oppo Find 5
    593
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    413
  • HTC One mini
    320
  • Meizu MX3
    289
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    214.3
  • Nexus 4
    213.5
  • HTC One X+
    177.7
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    175.5
  • HTC One X
    160.9
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    141.5

Geekbench 3 is a cross-platform benchmark that gauges CPU and memory performance. The Meizu MX3 once again failed to impress, making itself comfortable mid-table.

Geekbench 3

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    2937
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    2670
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2638
  • Apple iPhone 5s
    2561
  • LG G2
    2243
  • HTC One
    1972
  • HTC One Max
    1899
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    1869
  • LG Optimus G
    1623
  • Meizu MX3
    1579
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    1315
  • LG Nexus 4
    1288
  • HTC Butterfly
    1257
  • Oppo R819
    1047
  • HTC One mini
    887

Quadrant is another composite benchmark that saw the Meizu MX3 post a score that is decent, but hardly spectacular.

Quadrant

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia Z1
    20388
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    20052
  • LG G2
    19815
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    18177
  • HTC Butterfly S
    13130
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    12446
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    12376
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    12105
  • HTC One Max
    11914
  • HTC One
    11746
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
    11346
  • Sony Xperia Z
    8075
  • HTC One X+
    7632
  • LG Optimus G
    7439
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    7153
  • Oppo Find 5
    7111
  • Meizu MX3
    6116
  • HTC One mini
    6048
  • HTC One X
    5952
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    5916
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    5450
  • Nexus 4
    4567

AnTuTu 4 saw the Meizu MX3 trailing behind the likes of the LG G2, Galaxy S4, HTC One and One Max, but edging ahead of the Nexus 4.

AnTuTu 4

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    31109
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    30850
  • LG G2
    30243
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    29185
  • Samsung Galaxy S4
    27613
  • HTC One
    26389
  • HTC One Max
    26348
  • Meizu MX3
    24391
  • LG Nexus 4
    17006

Now, the GPU-intensive GLBenchmark 2.5 and 2.7 focus on the off-screen prowess of the PowerVR graphics chip inside the Meizu MX3. GLBenchmark 2.5 saw the Meizu outclass some of its direct rivals - the Snaprdagon-powered Galaxy S4 and both HTC Ones, but 2.7 saw it slide lower down the ranks.

GLBenchmark 2.5 Egypt (1080p off-screen)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    68
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    60
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    60
  • Apple iPhone 5s
    56
  • LG G2
    54
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    43
  • HTC Butterfly S
    42
  • Meizu MX3
    42
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    41
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
    41
  • HTC One Max
    41
  • HTC One
    37
  • Oppo Find 5
    32
  • Google Nexus 4
    32
  • Sony Xperia Z
    31
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    31
  • Sony Xperia SP
    31
  • Apple iPhone 5
    30
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    30
  • LG Optimus G
    21
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    17
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    17
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    17
  • HTC One mini
    15
  • HTC One X
    11

GLBenchmark 2.7 T-Rex (1080p off-screen)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    26
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    23
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    23
  • Apple iPhone 5s
    23
  • LG G2
    22
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    17.1
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    17.1
  • Apple iPad 4
    16.8
  • HTC Butterfly S
    16
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
    16
  • HTC One Max
    14
  • Google Nexus 10
    13.9
  • LG Optimus G
    13.9
  • Sony Xperia Z
    13.5
  • Meizu MX3
    13
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
    13
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    12.8
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    6.4
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    6.3
  • HTC One mini
    5.6
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    4.9

In Epic Citadel's High Quality setting, the Meizu MX3 managed to top our list. Granted it has a few less pixels than its competitors, which could have given the GPU inside an extra strain.

Epic Citadel

Higher is better

  • Meizu MX3
    58.8
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    54.9
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    54.9
  • LG G2
    51
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    47.7
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    37.2
  • HTC One
    35.6
  • HTC One Max
    34.9
  • HTC Butterfly
    29.6

Browsing the web is an essential skill of a modern day smartphone, so we tested the JavaScript performance in SunSpider, HMTL 5 performance in BrowserMark 2 and both mashed together in Vellamo.

SunSpider saw the Meizu MX3 about on par with the S600-powered Galaxy S4.

SunSpider

Lower is better

  • Apple iPhone 5s
    403
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    587
  • Apple iPhone 5
    694
  • Apple iPhone 5c
    704
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    750
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    845
  • LG G2
    908
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    1046
  • Meizu MX3
    1085
  • HTC One
    1174
  • HTC One Max
    1295
  • LG Optimus G
    1293
  • HTC One mini
    1375
  • LG Nexus 4
    1379
  • HTC Butterfly
    1397
  • Oppo R819
    1423
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    3858

The MX3 did reasonably well at HMTL 5 but still failed to get near the top spots in the table.

BrowserMark 2

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 5s
    3549
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    3041
  • Apple iPhone 5
    2825
  • Apple iPhone 5c
    2799
  • LG G2
    2718
  • LG Optimus G
    2555
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    2438
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    2419
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2398
  • HTC Butterfly S
    2378
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
    2338
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    2314
  • HTC One
    2262
  • HTC One Max
    2243
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
    2170
  • HTC One mini
    2164
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    2107
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2093
  • Meizu MX3
    1832
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1801
  • Oppo Find 5
    1797
  • Nexus 4
    1794
  • Nokia Lumia 920
    1774
  • Google Nexus 10
    1773
  • HTC Butterfly
    1475
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    1247

And finally, the MX3 dropped back down to its usual below-average spot in Vellamo.

Vellamo

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    2944
  • LG G2
    2908
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2904
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    2853
  • HTC Butterfly S
    2592
  • HTC One Max
    2523
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2418
  • HTC One
    2382
  • HTC One mini
    2252
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2189
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    2078
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    2060
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    2056
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    2019
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
    1936
  • HTC Butterfly
    1866
  • Oppo Find 5
    1658
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    1641
  • Meizu MX3
    1619
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1568
  • LG Optimus G
    1522
  • Nexus 4
    1310

In terms of synthetic benchmarks the Snapdragon 800 and the software optimizations of the competition are well out of reach, but the Meizu MX3 is a more than decent performer in real life. It didn't slow down once during our testing - apps are launched instantly, webpages loaded reasonably fast and animations are buttery smooth.

The Snapdragon 800-powered devices have the MX3 on the run but you can go about your business not noticing this.

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