What, a new Meizu E3? Not quite! Meizu’s latest trick is called M6T and should compete in the price range of 130$, but looks similar to the E3. Compared to the top-of-the-range device, this time in particular there is also a Global version. Meizu is also competing directly with the recently released Homtom S99. Find out which of the two mobile phones wins the race in this review!
Design / Build quality / Scope of delivery
In terms of design, Meizu is quite close to the successful E3. To be precise, the M6T is a smaller version of the E3, but cheaper. The cover of the M6T is made entirely of plastic in contrast to the top-of-the-range device. As with the Homtom S99, the rear of the M6T consists of one piece (unibody). On the left side is the dual SIM slot, which can also accommodate a micro-SD card and a nano SIM. At the upper edge there is a 3.5 mm jack connection. On the right, as you would expect, you find volume control and power button. The bottom side offers a micro-USB connection. The same applies to the S99, the connection is OK for the price range. A microphone is not visible because it is located behind the speaker outputs on the left side. The media loudspeaker is located on the right.
Compared to the Homtom S99, the build quality seems more sophisticated, especially the transition from glass to plastic feels much better. However, the side keys somewhat wobble. The M6T is also slightly longer than the S99 (152 mm). The smartphones are almost similar in width, the M6T is 73 mm wide. In thickness, the Meizu beats the Homtom device with just 7.5 mm. The Meizu M6T is quite light. It only weighs 149.3 g. The front is completely covered with high-quality scratch-resistant glass. The earpiece has a metal cover. However, only the basic sensors are provided: proximity and brightness sensor. The M6T provides a notification LED as well. As with the E3, the LED is not visible as long as it doesn’t shine, which is does exclusively in white.
The rear is quite unspectacular. Our testing device has a matt gold rear, without any special characteristics. Other colors available are: black / black and black front with red rear. In the upper half in the middle you find a vertical dual camera… right, not a fake one… almost insane to think of such a thing. The camera is supported by an LED flash. Below the camera there is an almost classic fingerprint sensor, which unlocks the phone very reliably and super fast. The fact that high-end devices unlock faster is only noticeable in direct comparison. The S99 performs much slower here, especially when activating the display. With the M6T, the recognition rate of the finger is also better with slight contamination, or there is no difference to clean fingers. Finally, there is the Meizu logo on the rear, which is engraved instead of printed on the bottom half.
Meizu is clearly ahead in terms of build quality. The design is, as it is typical for Meizu, much more elegant, which most of you might like better.
Meizu M6T scope of delivery
The M6T is delivered in a simple blue package. The equipment seems a little lean compared to the Homtom device. Not even a screen protector is provided. Besides the smartphone you receive:
- SIM ejection tool
- power supply (EU, 1.5A)
- USB-A to micro-USB cable
- operating instructions (multilingual)
Meizu’s M6T has a top 5.7-inch LCD LTPS (low temperature poly silicon) display with a resolution of 1440 x 720 pixels, resulting in a pixel density of 282 ppi. That doesn’t sound like much at first and is also below the retina value of 300 ppi, but the image is still damn good. Because of the on-screen buttons, a specified screen-to-body ratio of 74% is reached.
As already mentioned, the display reacts very quickly to inputs and registers 10 fingers simultaneously. After a test with a knife, the display can be described as scratch-resistant, so the glass is tempered, even if Gorilla Glass is not mentioned by name.
The colour of the display is well matched, but with a white image it has a slight red cast. So it is rather warm. However, the colour temperature can be customized in the display settings. Nevertheless, the colours are strong and the black level is fine. The viewing angle stability is excellent. Even with a steep incline, the image is hardly darker. The typical IPS discolouration into brown only occurs with very steep inclinations.
The display is enclosed in a 4 mm wide frame on the sides. At the top it is 10 mm, at the bottom it is 11 mm. These are good values. In bright sunlight it is still easy to read from the display. However, using the maximum brightness level is mandatory.
The M6T scores well with the display. The image appears more vivid, stronger and the reaction is better. All in all a good display, especially for this price range. The only drawback is that it is not a Full HD panel. But this is also normal in this price range.
In this area of the test, the Meizu phone has to take criticism, which somewhat clouds the overall picture. The M6T houses the same processor as the S99. In particular, a MT6750 by Mediatek with 4 Cortex-A53 cores, which clock at 1.5 GHz in the performance cluster. The power saving cluster also consists of 4 Cortex-A53 cores clocking at around 1 GHz. We can say almost the same about the Meizu M6T as about the Homtom S99: The processor achieves about 50,000 points in the Antutu 7.1 Benchmark. That’s enough for most graphically less demanding games. Playing the brand-new Asphalt 9 (to the Play Store), however, is no fun even with the lowest settings. For playing Asphalt 8, as it was the case with the S99, the lowest graphics setting must also be selected in order to have some pleasure.
Basically, the performance is sufficient for normal tasks. Multitasking works well with the 3 GB LPDDR3 eMMC 5.1 RAM (3500 MB/s). This is also where the highly adapted FlymeOS comes in, but more on that later. The speed of the RAM is about the same as that of Homtom S99; both phones do multitasking tasks quite simply, if you let the apps a few seconds to work. The internal memory of the M6T is only half the size compared to the S99, namely 32 GB. The speed of the memory is also identical to that of the S99, reaching approx. 123 MB/s in reading and 112 MB/s in writing. These are not particularly fast values, but they are sufficient for standard tasks. The memory can also be expanded by 128 GB via micro-SD card.
Geekbench Multi Result
Geekbench Single Result
Playing demanding games, the smartphone gets warm; not too hot, but still clearly noticeable. So you could say that the phone is pretty much a Homtom S99 in terms of technology, with a prettier display, if it weren’t for FlymeOS.
FlymeOS – Android 7.0
It is a little sad to still choose Android 7.0 aka Nougat as basis of the system, even if FlymeOS is perfectly adapted and optimized for the in-house smartphones. At least, the security patch is from May 5th. FlymeOS is well-arranged and does not require an app drawer. That means all apps are on the first level. Navigation through the operating system is very fluid and feels good. There are no lags. Unlike the E3, the M6T has a pre-installed Play Store. Localization as a translation of the system is also largely successful.
As is typical for FlymeOS, there are many adjustment options for the look. One possibility is, for example, to completely redesign your mobile phone via “themes”. There is an extra section in the settings. Funnily enough, the test version of the M6T does not allow you to change the background image. The test mobile phones may be delivered with a system that does not allow adjustments without Meizu’s permission. It is also possible, but rather unlikely, that it is a bug. (see Update)
There is extensive gesture control available, such as double-tap-to-wake or skipping music titles while the display is switched off. In addition, the “Smart Touch” option can be used to create a point on the display which can be used for many other, user-definable navigation options. The FlymeOS on the M6T is better optimized than the rather raw Android on the S99 from Homtom. FlymeOS also enables the calibration of various sensors such as the brightness sensor.
Face Unlock is not yet available in this version of FlymeOS. As a special security measure, only the fingerprint sensor is available, which works very reliably and quickly, as described before.
Meanwhile there is an updated version of FlymeOS for the M6T on Meizu’s website. Just download the update in version 184.108.40.206.G (global) and place the “Update.zip” file in any folder on your mobile phone, e.g. ‘Downloads’. Then open the download folder with the integrated file manager and search for the.zip update. The Update.zip has a FlymeOS logo as icon, click on it. The M6T will ask you if you want to start the update. Confirm with OK and let the phone work for a few minutes. The changelog mainly contains bugfixes. Among other things, the desktop background can be changed at will after the update.
Custom Roms for Meizu M6T
It is unlikely that there will be Custom Roms. Meizu does not make the bootloader easily accessible, also, it is a low budget phone with Mediatek processor. For such phones there is usually no large fan community. In principle, the FlymeOS is the better variant, the only drawback is the now out-of-date operating system, which is why Homtom is ahead with its raw Android version.
The equipment of the cameras is somewhat ambivalent. Very nice and almost unreal is the fact that the dual camera is a real one. No fake sensor in this price range, from a manufacturer that is not Xiaomi – that’s crazy. The only competition is the Redmi S2, but there you also have to pay a bit more. The next suitable dual camera is only available from 210$ on, with the Redmi 6 Pro / Mi A2 Lite (but soon probably also with the Redmi 6 for 150$). So why is the camera ambivalent? The camera, equipped with an OmniVision OV13855 sensor with 13 MP, takes good pictures during the day. In the evening, however, the quality decreases rapidly. The camera app also reports that bokeh shots are not possible in low light. This is probably due to the somewhat closed f/2.2 aperture. The second sensor is only responsible for depth information. This also becomes clear when you read the data. An f/2.8 aperture with a ridiculous 2 MP, packed in a sensor with the sonorous name SP2509. If you hold the second sensor closed during a bokeh photo, the information of the second sensor cannot be processed. The photo is taken but the background is not blurred, an indication that the lower sensor is needed to take a bokeh photo.
The photos are nice as long as the light conditions are quite good. Only in bad light, for example in twilight, you can leave the camera in your pocket. With very complex scenarios such as undergrowth, the camera setup reaches its limits with the bokeh function, which is not completely reprehensible. Even high-end devices often have problems adding the bokeh effect to holes and exposed nuances. Nevertheless, the image appears particularly coarse cut. But if you take pictures of clearly separated areas, you will get beautiful pictures. However, the images can only withstand magnification to a certain extent. If you zoom down to the smallest details you will see that it is not a high-end camera. It is also nice that the edges of the photos are as sharp as the rest of the picture.
The selfie camera consists of a single 8 MP Samsung 4H7 sensor with f/2.0 aperture. Actually, it should take photos of a similar quality as the rear sensor. However, as usual, there is a slightly earlier image noise in darker environments. However, I was surprised that the selfie camera delivered very presentable results.
In the duel against the Homtom S99, the Homtom device unfortunately loses mercilessly. The camera of the M6T is much better here, even though it can’t connect directly to the quality of the higher price ranges. Meizu has managed to provide the cheapest working dual camera setup and the shots are really quite good at the same time.
Connectivity is consistently at a good level. Thanks to the plastic rear there should also be no great interference. Reception and connection strength are good. There were no problems in buildings either.
Telephone calls are transmitted clearly. Both parties could understand each other loud and clear. Background noise has been properly filtered out even when there is no extra noise-canceling microphone. A fan, which is probably used more frequently at these temperatures, was not included in the recording in several test calls.
The navigation worked without problems on longer distances as well. After a short time of route calculation, navigation worked without deviations. A-GPS and GLONASS are used. The navigation was accurate to 2-4 meters.
Of course, Bluetooth is also a must. The Bluetooth 4.1 connection is stable even through a wall. However, the connection does not withstand an additional floor differentiation. At first I wanted to write that the speakers didn’t differ much, but then, in direct comparison, differences became noticeable. The M6T is a lot louder than the S99. Unfortunately, at the highest level, it also sounds more tinny. Meizu’s smartphone can highlight heights much better than the Homtom device. Neither of them provide enough bass. The mid-ranges are fine for both smartphones. But the M6T managed to show some more details.
In terms of headphones, over and in-ear, the Meizu phone also performs better than the S99. It seems to provide the jack connector with a little more power, making the DT 990 Pro run a little better, but not perfect. The same applies to the use of the 1More Quad In-Ears. They sounded a little louder, a little more detailed, even if you can’t get the nuances of a high-end audio codec. Flac files are supported by both smartphones.
At the end of the day, Bluetooth also shows a slightly better tuning. It is not perfect, but an equalizer really helps. In the default settings, the bass is pronounced but not as powerful as with the Homtom phone. The heights, on the other hand, are also dropping quite a bit. The mid-ranges are louder and more pronounced. With a little effort, however, the sound image can be balanced even better with an equalizer. As with the S99, some details are also swallowed here.
This means that the M6T does not completely outperform the Homtom S99, but always ranks slightly above it. The sound quality is definitely a bit better, but still far from “nice”. It can score especially as a better companion on the go, as it provides a little more power for portable devices.
Does the M6T have to surrender to the Homtom device in the battery test? After all, the Homtom S99 has almost twice the capacity while the M6T provides 3300 mAh. The answer is: not quite.
In the battery benchmark, the M6T does not achieve the performance of the Homtom, but in daily use it also easily lasted for two days. Sometimes even a third day was possible. This is not inferior to the Homtom device, for a battery half the size. In the battery benchmark the Meizu reached 9 hours at half brightness, which is a good value, compared to the Homtom S99, which only reached 12 hours. A YouTube video at half brightness consumes 12% in half an hour. So you seldom have to be afraid that your smartphone will switch off too soon. The battery warning from 30 % on is somewhat unusual. With that percentage, you’re not really in danger yet. From 10 % on, an additional message appears that the smartphone will now shut down because the battery level is too low. Probably this should be more of a warning and has been translated wrongly. In fact, the smartphone usually switches itself off at 2% and can then be rebooted, but this ends in a shutdown as well.Battery lifetime Result Unit: hours
As far as charging is concerned, exactly one hour was needed for 45%. This means that the M6T can last for another day of regular use. Those who give the smartphone a little more time will receive a fully charged battery after approx. 2 ½ hours.
The energy-saving modes are also worth mentioning. There are two of them: a normal power-saving mode and a super power-saving mode. With the latter, as usual, the functionality is limited to a minimum of possible functions such as telephone and SMS. In addition, the background is replaced by a black image.
Conclusion and alternative
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