Meizu M3E Review - Affordable Photography Phone In Style
|The next great affordable phone?|
|Good type of IPS screen!|
|Speaker holes below|
The same goes with the headphone audio reproduction. While this doesn't have a HiFi DAC / AMP combo on paper, audio reproduction is neat. Sound signature is flat and it responds very well to tuning or EQ-ing. Bass reproduction is fast and tight (sub-bass is a little lacking though) and layer of vocals and instruments together with their placement is on point. It is even safe to say that it has an entry-level HiFi grade type of quality.
Battery performance is good enough considering it has a sharper FHD screen!
|Camera modes and settings|
Speaking of that camera software, there are different types of modes to choose from. In particular I find the beauty, macro, panorama, and manual more useful than the other features. We also liked that you can even use the grid and level gauge as photo guides at the same time.
Focusing speed is nice, taking close-up photos up to 2 inches near is possible, and shooting is speedy enough. HDR mode (around 1 second speed) isn't slow in shooting as well. It's not the fastest or the most accurate, but for an entry-midrange phone we can rate it as excellent.
Rear Camera Samples
|Auto and HDR|
|Crispy and punchy daylight snap|
|Long exposure 1|
|Long exposure 2|
On the other hand, the 5 MP f/2.0 (a little brighter) is quite decent too. It has several levels of beautification and can detect your face with ease. It just doesn't have touch to focus and screen flash for shooting in lowlight conditions.
Quality is punchy, sharp, and detail on daylight shots. It's just a little soft and washed on very bright conditions. In lowlight, struggles are obvious. Even with the brighter f/2.0 lens, grains, loss of detail, and dynamic range is visible.
Selfie Camera Samples
See also: How To Take Screenshot Using Meizu M3E?
The M3E boast the midrange grade 1.8 GHz 64 Bit Helio P10 octa core processor and Mali T860 graphics. It's the SoC setup we commonly see in sub PHP 15K phones. What's impressive here is Meizu was able to put that setup (for an international brand) in the sub 10K range to PHP 7K if on sale. It's paired with 3 GB of RAM for multitasking and 32 GB of enough storage that's even expandable with the use of a micro SD card.
Performance is stable and speedy!Speaking of speed, opening and closing of apps and switching from an app to another is breeze. Hiccups and slow-downs are rare and loading light even to some heavy apps is possible.
In gaming, the likes of Asphalt 8 and Modern Combat are playable on high-settings. For NBA 2K17, you'll need to tweak the graphics settings to medium and low w/ player high for a playable experience. Frame drops will be experienced once the phone heats up (warm) though.
|FlyMe OS skin!|
In terms of software, the M3E comes with a heavily modified version of Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS by using FymeOS 5.2.1 skin. We find that skin clean and intuitive, but there's a lot of learning curve before you'll master the use of it.
For example, taking a screenshot is different, there's no Android on-screen keys, you'll use the fingerprint scanner / home button for navigation, and there's no Playstore at first (I'll be available once the Google services is installed via Meizu's own App Store).
Then like what we said before, you'll need to turn the screen on first before unlocking the device using the fingerprint sensor.
The rest of the telephony experience like making calls, doing SMS, Bluetooth sharing / pairing, Waze (GPS), OTG, and LTE, works wonderfully. It's gyroscope sensor also worked when we played Pokemon GO. Due to our limited time with the device, we failed to test it on VR though.
Pros - One of the best build / aesthetics for the price, sharp full HD screen, good and speedy performance, functional UI (once mastered), and great main camera
Cons - Long learning curve, need to turn on the screen first before unlocking, outdoor legibility
VerdictConsidering the sub PHP 10K price tag, the Meizu M3E is beautiful, capable, and can shoot very good photos using the main camera. There are very few phones on its caliber at this price point which makes it one of the top dogs in its class. Overall, we can consider this handset as a steal at PHP 7K (on sale) or a decent buy at PHP 10K (on regular SRP).
Build / Design - 4.25
Display - 4
Audio - 4
Battery - 4
Camera - 4.25
Performance - 4
Average - 4.08 / 5