With Meizu Pro 7 Plus, the Chinese manufacturer presents a new high-end smartphone. The past year has been very successful for Meizu, although people in Europe probably didn’t notice that. In 2016, the manufacturer sold 22 million smartphones (source), which is a number that leaves even well-known manufacturers like Sony (15 million) behind.
On the other hand, in contrast to Xiaomi or Oneplus, Meizu is little known in Europe, and Meizu Pro 7 Plus won’t be sold officially in European countries. Nevertheless, Chinahandys.net procured a test device. If the smartphone could convince in practice, you’ll find out in the following review. A 5.7-inch AMOLED display with a dual-camera and a second AMOLED display on the rear, a brand new Helio X30 processor, and a big storage raise some hope for a new top smartphone.
Design and build quality
The feature that distinguishes Meizu Pro 7 Plus from other smartphones is the second display on the rear. Although such a display is new to the world of smartphones, the additional feature fits well into the remaining appearance of the phone. Instead of marking the display in a conspicuous way, it was designed in discreet black and is placed into one component together with the dual-camera and the dual-LED flash. Because of this arrangement, the rear seems still very clear.
With the 5.7-inch display, Meizu Pro 7 Plus almost belongs to the category of phablets. Using the phone with just one hand is not possible. The smartphone’s dimensions are 157x77x7.3mm and are similar to those of most 5.5-inch smartphones, despite the bigger display. Furthermore, the smartphone is really slim and has a pleasant weight (170g), too.
Volume control and power button are located on the right. The soft-touch buttons are replaced by a multi-functional home-button. Touching it quickly, the “back” command is carried out. Pressing the button mechanically, the “home” command is set off. For opening an overview over the opened apps you have to swipe upwards next to the home button. It takes some time getting used to the operation of the smartphone, but after that, you can operate the phone as well as with soft-touch buttons. The home-button functions as fingerprint scanner as well. it works very well and unlocks the device in less than a second. However, I found it a bit annoying that you have to press the button mechanically in order to unlock the smartphone.
Meizu Pro 7 Plus’s build quality is at a premium level. Nothing gives way when pressing on the phone and the metal casing gives you a high-end feeling while holding the phone in the hand. The battery is not replaceable. You can insert 2 Nano-SIM cards in the slot on the left side.
Meizu Pro 7 scope of delivery
Meizu Pro 7 is delivered in a stylish black box. The box contains a protective case, a USB-C cable, a power plug and a tool for opening the SIM slot. An instruction manual is also available, but only in Chinese.
Meizu Pro 7 Plus has a 5.7-inch 2K display with a 2560x1440pixels resolution. The display works with AMOLED technology. The display was fully convincing and it’s safe to say that this is the best panel Meizu ever used in a smartphone. Thanks to the AMOLED technology, the contrast is incredibly high, as black areas are just not illuminated. Color representation is very strong. You do not have a natural image, but you get a very strong image with lively colors. Red and blue especially seem a bit exaggerated compared to other high-end phones. However, you only notice this in a direct comparison. Thanks to the extremely high-resolution, Meizu Pro 7 Plus has awesome 518 pixels per inch. You definitely cannot detect any single pixels and every content appears perfectly sharp.
In direct comparison to Meizu Pro 7, the plus version stands out with a higher brightness. According to the manufacturer, the brightness is 430cd/m² (Meizu Pro 7: 50cd/m²). Together with the high contrast, the smartphone is suitable for the use outside. Even in direct sunlight, you can still read the display well.
I really liked the factory settings. Those wanting to customize the display, unfortunately, get a rather small range of possibilities to do so. You can only choose between adaptive, standard, photo and dynamic. The integrated reading mode, on the other hand, is a feature I really liked. This mode reduces the blue light ratio of the smartphone. It can also be activated automatically in the evening.
The touchscreen registers up to 10 points of contact simultaneously and works very precisely and fast. Gorilla Glass 5 protects the display from scratches. Meizu Pro 7 Plus survives a test with screwdriver and keys without visible damage.
Meizu Pro 7 Plus’s unique selling proportion is the second display on the rear. The manufacturer calls it “fenêtre”, which is French for “window”. The “fenêtre” is a 1.9-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 536x240pixels. The display is activated automatically as soon as you turn the smartphone over and works very well in practice. You can also activate the display via tapping twice.
However, the second display’s functions are quite limited for now. After being activated, it only shows the clock and the weekday or a pre-defined background. Swiping left, you see the current weather conditions and your steps done today. Furthermore, you can see notifications. The content of these notifications (e.g. Messenger or WhatsApp messages) is not shown (yet), but maybe there will be some future updates concerning this matter.
The most practical function of the second display is perfect for selfie fans. Clicking once on the secondary-display icon in the camera app, the rear camera gets displayed on the second display so that you can take selfies with the rear camera. As the rear camera has a significantly better quality than the front camera, you can take really nice selfies with it.
As a result, we can say that the second display on the rear is a feature with potential. However, functions are currently quite limited. The only useful feature is the selfie function.
Meizu Pro 7 Plus is the first smartphone housing the new Mediatek Helio X30 processor. The CPU was presented at the beginning of 2017 and provides 10 cores. Those are divided into 3 clusters:
CPU Cluster 1: 2 x ARM Cortex-A73 @ 2.6GHz
CPU Cluster 2: 4 x ARM Cortex-A53 @ 2.2GHz
CPU Cluster 3: 4 x ARM Cortex-A35 @ 1.9GHz
The highlight of the high number of cores is not only the speed but especially the energy efficiency, to which also the new 10 Nanometer manufacturing process contributes. The clusters are activated depending on the intensity of use. When using only basic functions, the energy saving cluster with 1.9GHz is working alone, whereas during gaming and performing higher demanding tasks the other clusters work, too. MediaTek promises an increase in performance by 35% compared to the Helio X20; simultaneously, energy efficiency is increased by up to 50%. Additionally, Meizu Pro 7 Plus offers 6GB of LPDDR4X RAM and a PowerVR 7XTP GPU with 850MHz. The memory modules are fast UFS 2.1 storage, of which you either have 64 or 128GB (depending on the version) at your disposal.
In theory, Meizu Pro 7 Plus offers an incredible performance, which is also confirmed by using the phone. Using Meizu Pro 7 Plus, after years I had the impression that MediaTek finally is up to the standard of high-end smartphones, which mostly used Qualcomm Snapdragon processors. Meizu Pro 7 Plus navigates through the system very fast and without load time. Loading apps and rendering in the browser also works fast and easily. Meizu Pro 7 Plus does a nice job when gaming, too. All games can be played fluently and without noticeable restrictions. Heat development is kept within limits and the smartphone gets warm at the hottest spot (39°), but it is never unpleasantly hot.Antutu Result Geekbench Multi Result Geekbench Single Result
In terms of the memory modules, Meizu used high-quality hardware as well. The RAM has a speed of 7GB/s and is on average, as is the UFS memory with a reading speed of 300MB/s and a writing speed of 250MB/s. All in all the performance is on a top level and can keep up with a Snapdragon 835 and 821, although these Qualcomm processors have the better benchmarks.
Meizu Pro 7 Plus runs with FlymeOS 6 on Android 7.0 base. Flyme is a strongly modified user interface with a big fan base. Flyme’s look is more colorful than Stock Android and the icons have a minimalist layout. As it is typical for Chinese interfaces, there is no app drawer. All apps are displayed on the home screen and can be grouped nicely thanks to a thought out folder- system. On Meizu Pro 7 Plus, Flyme offers a multi-screen view, some fine-tuning, and a security center. The system runs very smoothly and fast, and it has a very appealing appearance.
Currently, Meizu Pro 7 Plus is available in most China-shops either with English/Chinese original software or with modified multi-language Custom ROM with Google Play Store. Both versions are not recommendable, as the shop ROM won’t get any updates and on the original software there are a lot of Chinese apps. Luckily, the manufacturer also offers a Global ROM without Chinese apps, on which you can also install the Google Play Store with one click. The installation is easy and can be carried out by inexperienced users as well.
Meizu’s first dual-camera set-up consists of two 12MP Sony IMX386 sensors with an aperture of f/2.0. One of the sensors is a color sensor and the other is a monochrome black/white sensor. Therefore, you have the possibility to take excellent black-and-white images as well as bokeh shots. However, double zoom, as well as optical image stabilization, are not available. There is only an electronic stabilization for videos with full-HD resolution.
Camera quality in daylight is quite nice. The photos are sufficiently sharp and there is no image noise. Directly compared to pictures made by Oneplus 5 and Xiaomi Mi6, the image quality of Meizu Pro 7 Plus is on the same level as the competitors’. In terms of color representation, I would say Meizu Pro 7 Plus did a better job, as the pictures have strong colors, which are shown to its fullest advantage.
In terms of night shots, we get mixed results. Partly the photos are really nice and have little image noise and a good color representation. However, often the opposite is the case and Meizu Pro 7 Plus takes such images:
The selfie cam has a mediocre quality. It offers 16MP with an f/2.0 aperture on the data sheet, but the selfies convince a lot less in reality. It is possible to take some nice pictures, but in direct comparison, sharpness is lower and the focus also works worse. However, you can easily go without the selfie camera, as you can take selfies also with the rear camera, thanks to the AMOLED display on the rear. You can see a small thumbnail then and use the volume control as trigger. Using this function, selfie fans will totally be satisfied.
In terms of the dual-camera functions, the black-and-white images turn out quite nicely, the portrait function, on the other hand, is rather useless. Here, the manufacturer lacks software optimization, as in every picture either parts of the face or the hair are not clearly separated from the background but are portrayed blurry.
All in all, Meizu Pro 7 Plus gets mixed results considering the camera. The image quality of standard photos taken in good lighting conditions is great and the possibility to use the rear camera for selfies is really nice. On the other hand, the phone fails at taking night shots and the bokeh function is rather useless.
Meizu Pro 7 Plus is a dual-SIM smartphone. You can insert 2 Nano SIMs at the same time. Storage expansion is not possible, unfortunately. All necessary 2G and 3G, as well as LTE with 1800 and 2600MHz, are supported. Reception is good and is on the same level with other high-end smartphones. During calls, the phone can also convince with a warm voice transmission and a pleasant sound. The speakerphone can be used as well.
The phone offers almost everything in terms of connectivity, but some things are not of flagship quality. For instance, the device “only” offers Bluetooth 4.2 and not 5.0 standard. Although this is not a real restriction in daily use, the 5.0 standard is already supported by the cheaper Xiaomi Mi6.
Dual-band WiFi with the latest .ac-standard is supported as well. Besides the standard sensors, Meizu also includes a gyroscope and a compass. NFC, infrared-sender and FM radio, on the other hand, are not provided.
The internal speaker is convincing, although the device only offers a mono speaker. The sound is loud and clean, even at full volume. In addition, the headphone jack (thank god!) is extremely high quality. Music has a spatial and differentiated sound, as it can be seldom heard on a smartphone. Meizu did a really great job here.
Housing a 3500mAh battery, Meizu Pro 7 Plus’s capacity is only mediocre for a 5.7-inch device with a 2K display. However, we can see here that the new MediaTek Helio X30 processor (produced in a 10nm process) is extremely energy-efficient. Meizu Pro 7 Plus does not reach the top values of Xiaomi Mi6 or Oneplus 5, but it provides enough power for one full day with power use. The device needs about 9% of the battery for a one-hour YouTube video at medium brightness. Playing intense 3D games consumes 13% of the battery. In the PCMark battery test, the smartphone lasted for good 7 hours.Battery lifetime Result Unit: hours
In daily use, you get enough power for one day of intense and two days of moderate use. The mCharge 4 quick-charge function is convincing, too. Using the provided adapter, Meizu Pro 7 Plus is fully charged in about 90 minutes. Charging the phone with about 10%, you have 60% after half an hour.