The stuff floating in the wake of a flagship - minis, phablets, all sorts of spinoffs. Everyone does it, trying to capitalize on the novelty and the excitement. Meizu moves in a different way. To begin with, it has what's probably the smallest squad for the season. A couple of flagships (the MX4 pair) and a couple of phablets (the brand new M1 series).
A small lineup, but not lacking quality. More importantly though, it's been put together with a purpose. The m1 note will try and make a splash outside Asia with flagship-worthy hardware at an entry-level price, while the regular m1 is helping Meizu tap the vast Indian market.
The Meizu m1 note was a hot topic in our rumor section for quite a while only to see its interest rating spike twofold following the official announcement. At those prices that hardware can get anyone's attention.
While most other midrange phones still offer 720p displays, and are powered by Snapdragon 400's or the fresh Snapdragon 410, the Meizu m1 note boasts a 5.5" 1080p display and an octa-core processor from MediaTek. There's 2GB of RAM, a capable 13MP camera and a fat 3,140mAh battery.
Meizu phones have often been criticized for having too much Apple in them. The Flyme skin with no app drawer is heavily influenced by iOS and so is the phone's design. On the other hand, Meizu's build quality has always been solid and the spec sheet is flagship grade - the Apple-like user experience and looks are probably meant to count as a bonus, if you're that kind of person.
The m1 note is a typical Meizu in that it lacks a microSD slot. The smaller Meizu m1 will be the very first phone from the Chinese maker to have one. The India-bound Meizu m1 has 8GB of inbuilt storage, while the m1 note starts at 16GB and Meizu will double that for you for $30 extra.
A microSD slot has a number of benefits such as local backup, easier ROM installation, or just faster data transfers. Another Apple-inspired decision or just the way Meizu does things makes little difference in the end.
User-replaceable batteries are close to becoming extinct, which is another piece of bad news no doubt for users who value that level of flexibility. For the price, the Meizu m1 note can be forgiven a few things but we do hope the list isn't too long. We'll know soon.