With Meizu M6 Note, the manufacturer is determined to fight Xiaomi’s dominance in the middle-class segment. About 2 years ago, Meizu was on the same level of Xiaomi and could not only keep up with Xiaomi with its M2 Note, but it could also score with its camera’s quality. However, after the launch of the Redmi Note 4 Pro and 4X series, Meizu and its M5 Note were outstripped. Meizu M6 Note now houses a Qualcomm processor, and in one day the manufacturer had 6.3 million pre-orders. With M6 Note, Meizu directly attacks Xiaomi Mi A1 and Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X by combining the best of the two smartphones. Meizu M6 Note has a uni-body aluminum case and houses a Snapdragon 625 processor, a dual-camera, a 4000mAh battery and max. 4/64GB of main memory. Of course, there will be a global version with Flyme system. Its version with a smaller storage costs about 170$.
Versions and order
Ordering Meizu M6 Note turns out to be a bit more difficult than ordering a Xiaomi device. As soon as the Global version is available at a good price in European countries, we will inform you here. For now, all that remains is importing, but it is difficult to find a Global version of M6 Note. There will be different versions with different storage sizes (3/16, 3/32, 4/64GB) as well as with different colors (black and chinahandys.net-blue).
Design and build quality
Meizu M6 Note does not reinvent the design of a smartphone, but in the price range below 200$, you don’t need to. Meizu M6 Note has a classic uni-body aluminum case with 2 straight antenna lines at the top and bottom, which guarantee good reception. The lenses of the dual-camera are fixed one below the other, which looks great, as does the 4-times LED with 2 True-Tone lights. The Meizu logo is placed quite discreetly below the dual-camera. The front has a classic appearance with a physical home button. A notification LED that pulsates pleasantly in white can be found at the top left side.
With a length of 155mm, a width of 75mm and a thickness of 8.5mm, Meizu M6 Note is slightly longer than Note 4X (151x76x8.45mm) and, because of the 4000mAh battery, 1mm thicker than Mi 5X (155x76x7.3mm). With a weight of 177g, M6 Note is about 12g heavier than Mi 5X. Considering the big battery, the weight is alright for a 5.5-inch device. The materials used, as well as the perfect build quality, provide you with a premium feeling while holding the M6 Note in the hand. The slightly rounded 2.5D glass secures good haptics and there are no sharp edges to be found. The 3mm bezels are absolutely okay.
As usual, the Meizu device does not have an additional back- and options-key. Flyme-OS doesn’t feature on-screen buttons either. The home button can be pressed (home-command) or only tapped (go-back-command). To see the multitasking overview, you have to swipe up at the left or right side of the home button. The fingerprint scanner is also integrated into the home-button and unlocks M6 note fast and precisely, but not from standby mode. In this case, tapping the button is not enough, you’ll have to press it firmly. If you got used to it, this is not a problem at all. Headphone connection, speaker, microphone and Micro-USB port are located at the bottom of the device. What a pity that Meizu does not have the new USB Type-C port. Some users will be pleased, but I think all manufacturers should switch to Type-C.
The SIM tray is located on the left and can contain either 2 Nano-SIMs or 1 Nano-SIM and 1 Micro-SD card for storage expansion (up to 200GB). The power and the volume control buttons are located on the right. Both of them are firmly attached to the case and have a nice feedback. In terms of design and build quality, Meizu M6 Note surpasses Redmi Note 4X and is, like Mi A1, almost on the same level as the most expensive smartphones on the market. The home button in combination with the Flyme-system is just awesome. The design is a matter of taste and you have to decide for yourself which device you like better. Compared to Mi A1, I like the Meizu M6 Note better.
Similar to Xiaomi, also Meizu offers possibilities for the customization of the display. Color temperature can be adjusted with a continuum, you can set a timer for the blue-light-ratio (reading mode) and the automatic brightness works excellently. Meizu M6 Note houses a 5.5-inch IPS display with a 1920x1080pixels resolution, resulting in pin-sharp of 403PPI, just like Mi A1 and Redmi Note 4X. The brightness of 450cd/m² is sufficient for the use outside, but can also be put to a very low level. This is perfect when using your phone before sleeping. After having activated the automatic brightness, you can choose a personal standard brightness, to which the display will adjust. Contrast is as good as with Redmi Note 4X and excellent for an IPS display. Nevertheless, here I like Mi5X slightly better. Furthermore, there is a difference in color representation. In fact, Meizu’s color representation is a bit colder than Xiaomi’s. However, as already mentioned, you can adjust that in a continuum. In the end, both displays could have been made by the same manufacturer, comparing them directly. If you make slight adjustments in the software, M6 Note and Mi A1 look exactly identical.
Of course, Meizu used a touchscreen with 10 points of contact, and all inputs are registered fast and precisely. Gorilla Glass or not, the M6 Note passes our scratch test with a screwdriver without a mark. Meizu M6 Note’s display is just perfect and on the same level as Mi A1’s display.
System and performance
Until now, there hasn’t been a smartphone with a Snapdragon processor and a Flyme system. Meizu usually used MediaTek processors, which performed well. The reason for the good performance is the strongly adapted system named Flyme. In the case of Meizu M6 Note, it is based on an up-to-date Android 7.1.2 system and is available with Version 6. The Qualcomm processor 625 is the perfect companion for daily use. In the test, the processor played all 3D games without any problems. Using graphically demanding games, you have to lower the graphics settings for a smooth run, as the Adreno 506 GPU struggles sometimes. In my opinion, the Snapdragon 625 processor is currently the best one in the middle-class range. This is not only because of the performance of the processor but rather because of the combination of energy-efficiency and pleasant power. Meizu M6 Note does never get too hot and battery consumption is always kept within reasonable bounds.Antutu Result Geekbench Multi Result Geekbench Single Result 3D Mark Result
You can choose between different storage versions (3/16, 3/32, 4/64GB). Our testing device has a 3/32GB storage, and the RAM has a pace of 5.4GB/s. The internal storage has a nice reading/writing speed of 213/65 MB/s. In practice, you bare notice any difference between MIUI, Stock-Android, and Flyme-OS. However, Flyme is much faster in turning the device on and off than the other two systems. We noticed in the review of Mi5X that Google’s Stock-Android on Mi A1 is slightly faster than MIUI on Mi5X, whereas Flyme places right in between.
Meizu’s Flyme OS is just as strongly adapted as Xiaomi’s MIUI, which means you have to get used to it first. The Global version is delivered with Global ROM and a pre-installed Play Store. Flyme’s design is extremely stylish and fine, Flyme apps, on the other hand, are more minimalist and simple. It is no wonder that the clear and slim system has so many fans. After just one day, I was back in the Flyme mTouch button mode. I think this single button makes many things much easier and you can also easily swipe to the multitasking overview.
Meizu M6 Note camera
Meizu devices usually produce nice pictures. The M6 Note is my first dual-camera smartphone by Meizu. The manufacturer combined a 12MP Sony IMX362 main sensor with a 5MP sensor. The main camera’s aperture is f/1.9, whereas the 5MP sensor has an aperture of f/2.0. The second sensor is nothing special (Mi A1 has double-zoom), but it creates the depth of field in bokeh-shots and improves the images in bad lighting conditions. Meizu M6 Note’s front camera has awesome 16MP.
In normal/good light conditions, Meizu’s device takes great pictures for the price range up to 200$. Images have a high dynamic range, are rich in details and overall pin-sharp. Only color representation seems a bit unnatural, as it is slightly too warm. Bokeh-shots are nice as well after 2-3 attempts, so the dual-camera proves to be quite useful. However, the skin tone appears a bit unnatural as well. Meizu’s night-shots are excellent for a middle-class smartphone. Even in low light, the pictures have enough details and image noise is minimized. Selfies turn out great, too.
As it is common for this price segment, you have to go without OIS and EIS when recording videos, which produces shaky recordings. In compensation, the device produces great recordings with 4K and 1080p and they have a nice audio quality. The CAF (automatic autofocus) works especially well with videos. With photos, it could be a bit faster. All in all, Meizu offers one of the best camera set-ups in the price range up to 200$!
Meizu M6 Note vs. Xiaomi Mi A1 – camera comparison
In good lighting conditions, Xiaomi has a slightly better color representation (more natural) and offers a bit more details. On the other hand, Meizu has a better dynamic range, which is also an advantage. None of the smartphones offers an automatic HDR-mode.
In terms of Bokeh-shots, Xiaomi stays the winner. Using Mi A1, bokeh-shots turn out well at the first attempt (mostly), and since color representation is extremely important in portraits, the pictures are better than using an M6 Note.
Selfies, on the other hand, look better when they are taken with M6 Note. The pictures have more details and more sharpness. Still, color representation is a bit unusual.
Meizu does a slightly better job in terms of videos. The autofocus works better, but the videos’ quality is similar and convincing with both smartphones. In terms of night shots, Meizu M6 Note clearly beats Mi A1. The Xiaomi device cannot keep up in this category. Take a look at the images and decide for yourselves which ones you like better.
Of course, it also provides Bluetooth 4.2, GPS and dual-band WiFi (2.4GHz and 5GHz) with n-standard. Xiaomi Mi A1 already supports ac-standard, but nobody really needs that. Range and throughput of the WiFi are great. Besides the standard sensors (acceleration, proximity and brightness sensor), the device also offers a gyroscope and a compass. OTG is supported, but you have to go without NFC and an FM-radio.
The perfect GPS reception was noticeable as a pedestrian as well as with the car. I could start navigating quickly and the navigation was always precise. Using the compass as pedestrian worked perfectly as well.
Meizu M6 Note’s speaker is sufficiently loud and you even notice a rudimentary bass. There is no difference between the Meizu device and Mi A1. Sound quality with the headphone jack is also high, but not on the same level as Mi A1, which provides an even clearer and louder sound.
The 4000mAh battery provides an outstanding battery life in combination with the Snapdragon 625 processor. Meizu’s operating system Flyme works very energy-saving and the device had to be charged only after 2.5 days with a DOT (display-on time) of 9-10 hours (intense use with taking pictures, watching videos, benchmarks, gaming, surfing etc.). In the PCMark battery test, the Meizu device runs for good 12 hours. Although Redmi Note 4X and Mi Max 2 run for 16 hours, the battery life of M6 Note is not significantly lower than the one of the Xiaomi devices. Apparently, MIUI likes the battery test better than Flyme does. Nevertheless, 12 hours are pretty good and nobody will complain about M6 Note’s battery life. Even power-users can get through the day.Battery lifetime Result Unit: hours
Meizu promises quick-charge, but the function unfortunately only works with the provided power supply unit, with which the smartphone is fully charged in 1 hour and 40 minutes. All other QC adapters need 2.5 hours. If you want to charge the phone from 50 – 100%, it takes 1 hour and 10 minutes, which is not bad. In comparison, Mi A1 does not support quick-charge at all but manages to charge its 3000mAh battery in the same amount of time (1:40).