Meizu Pro 7 Plus review:
While many Meizu flagship phones have featured launches throughout the year upping the specs or increasing the size of the apparatus, Meizu is shifting it up of 2017. The Meizu PRO 7 comes in two flavors; a version that is smaller, and the bigger, more powerful 7 Plus. It’s common for Meizu to release a bigger version of its devices on, but this time around they’re not just offering two sizes, they are prioritizing the one that is larger by giving it specs too. Both phones offer a visually identical build, including that second display on the back, and at their end day offer near experiences that are identical too, but this review will be focused on the bigger PRO 7 Plus. Now check Meizu Pro 7 Plus review here.
In The Box:
You quite possibly the stunning and most tasteful package of all time, the Meizu Pro 7 and Pro 7 Plus will impress in the get-go. This features the telephone and boxes packed in a manner that is vertical and space-age looking box stands. With the SIM tray eject tool is as slick, inside the presentation right out front, and the telephone in its pocket between two boxes. One of these boxes holds the manuals, warranty pamphlets and USB Type-A to Type-C cable, while another box retains the distinctive mCharge 4.0 wall charger, which can output 5V, 9V or 12V and 2A of charging power.
Case also included in the box.
Meizu is shipping two unique versions of the Pro 7; a more compact version with a 5.2-inch 1080p Super AMOLED display, MediaTek Helio P25 SoC, Mali-T880MP2 GPU, LPDDR4X 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage (eMMC 5.1) for ¥2,880. A bigger version of the phone ships with a 5.7-inch Quad-HD Super AMOLED display (2560 x 1440), MediaTek Helio X30 SoC, PowerVR 7XTP GPU, LPDDR4X 6GB of RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of internal storage (Samsung KLUCG4J1ED-BOC1 UFS 2.1) starting at ¥3,580. Both models feature a unique 2-inch Super AMOLED display (240 x 536) on the back.
The bigger PRO 7 ships in black, gold and red colours, while the bigger PRO 7 Plus is split into two groups: 64GB ships in matte black, distance black, amber gold and crystal silver, while the 128GB ships in matte black and space black. The phones will be formally available in Brunei, Cambodia, Mainland China, Egypt, France, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Myanmar, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Ukraine and Vietnam.
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A generous 16-megapixel camera sits up front, over the display, while two detectors are situated around the back. Both back cameras feature f/2.0 lenses and a Sony Exmor IMX386 detector beneath. The bigger Pro 7 Plus steps in at 157.3mm high, 77.2mm wide and the exact same 7.3mm thin, weighs slightly more at 170g, and packs in a bigger 3,500mAh battery inside. Meizu’s most current skin, Flyme 6.0, runs atop Android 7.0 Nougat. 32-bit/192KHz audio can be output from the 3.5mm audio jack on the phone thanks to the Cirrus Logic CS43130 chip inside.
Meizu made the switch to Super AMOLED using the PRO 6 Plus at the end of 2016, and it was every bit for the better. The 5.7-inch Quad-HD Super AMOLED panel on the PRO 7 Plus looks phenomenal, with those deep blacks and ultra high contrast ratios that just OLED can provide, and a set of ultra saturated colours out of the box. These saturated colors can be easily toned down since the default display mode that was dynamic is undoubtedly the most saturated in the four options. Standard will provide you the most color accurate option, and all four display modes feature equal balance. This balance looks good in general, and trends slightly warm, although it is not noticeable unless directly comparing side.
The panels of Meizu have traditionally been very bright panels, and the switch from IPS LCD to AMOLED has not changed that a bit. The display is bright and is very easy to see outside. The response time/persistence speed is really good, and although there are a few noticeable ghosting when scrolling through a high contrast thing (read: black text on white background), it isn’t visible in most situations. Viewing angles are excellent, and display some color shifting only at extreme angles. Many times displays that exhibit color shifting of any sort are the result of the oleo phobic coating on the glass, not the panel and this panel exhibits far less than many phones do.
It’s not often you find a phone with more than one display, and even then most telephones that are dual-screen feature a screen above the major one. Meizu went for something different this time around, and it is even different than the dual-screen Yotafone, which also offers a display on the back.
Instead of a large e-ink screen how the Yotafone has, Meizu uses a tiny 2-inch screen instead, situating it near the right side of the phone (left if you’re taking a look at the back). This screen is placed under the dual-camera array for a reason; so that you can use the excellent cameras on the back of the 33, it may be used as a viewfinder. As it can create ultra high quality portrait shots without the need for somebody to take the shot, this is particularly important for the portrait style that’s available with the cameras on the trunk.
The camera can be launched directly from the screen, clicking on the icon at the camera program, or then slipping down to start and by tapping to wake. The 3 major main modes (first, beauty, blur) can be switched between using a swipe left or right, and clicking anywhere on the screen begins a 3-second timer to take the shot. Swiping over will give a larger display of some advice and the temperature, and the committed pedometer will be paged over to by another swipe.
Performance and Memory:
MediaTek became famous for their low-powered chips, and since their inception have grown to the mid to high-end market. Offering processors covering the gamut of cost and functionality classes, MediaTek’s Helio line forces plenty of phones out there. Meizu has often jumped for their phones between MediaTek and Samsung Exonos chipsets, and this creation utilizes MediaTek’s latest X-series for the PRO 7 Plus, in addition to a PowerVR 7XTP GPU for the graphics side of the house. Everything on the phone runs lightning from launching and running to playing the latest games programs, the PRO 7 Plus manages it all with finesse.
This button is a tap for moving back, and a physical media for moving home. Swiping up anyplace on the bezel to the left or right of this button brings up the menu that is multi-tasking, and it is here we see the change. Last generation we saw a alternative from Meizu that used the card system out of inventory Android, albeit being a reversed flow. This time around Meizu has gone scrolling row of cards, where the cards are stacked horizontally from left to right. While user preference likely decides whether or not this is a positive move, it’s less conducive to quickly switching between programs, and not being able to double-tap a dedicated Overview button (as other Android phones has) means no instant way of switching between two programs.
It is certainly not all negative though, as Meizu has some functionality when these thumbnails are dragged down found. Programs can be locked into memory, maintaining an app running constantly for immediate access rather than letting the system remove their footprint for other apps to use. Apps can also be blurred out so that someone else can’t read the screen via the “key” button; something useful for when you are scrolling through programs and don’t want other people to read what is on the screen.
There is also of course the native multi-window function that shipped with Android 7.0 Nougat last year, and allows two apps to be run on screen at once. Functionality works identically to inventory Android, except for calling up windows of course, which is done by dragging the thumbnail of an app down in the multi-tasking Overview screen, followed by clicking on the button that is multi. Dragging all of the way down or up, and resizing each window the programs on screen will go back to the main app filling up the screen.
A floating orb that was white can be enabled, called Smart-Touch, which is moved around the display to fit your comfort level. This can be used in place of the house button, and a range of options exist tap, double tap, hold, slide up, slide down, and slide right or left. This last part in particular is one of the most genius implementations you’ll find on any Android cellphone, as it essentially “alt-tab’s” through open programs. This ultra moving between screens helps make up for the fact that there’s no quick button and adds by enabling users to move between more than just two programs at a time.
The PRO 7 Plus sits about at the performance level of a top-tier 2016 flagship phone, when it comes to benchmarks. That might not sound encouraging considering we are already halfway through 2017, but benchmarks don’t always reflect real world performance, simply because real world programs and games might never push at the level of functionality that a benchmark can measure. It’s worth noting that the 7 Plus’ processing power will not match 2017 flagship phones . Geek-bench 4, among our benchmark tests that are normal, would not run because of an error.
You can expect better than average battery life on the Meizu PRO 7 Plus when compared to flagship phones on the market. After a day’s use, most days had left, and from the day’s end I often saw more or 40% left of the battery. Standby is generally excellent on the phone, although heavier use days would bring it down and more in line with normal battery life. Some of this is optimization on the part of Meizu, in regards to identifying actual battery life that is good, but some of it is also a positive. It is all in Meizu handles program use and background data, and sometimes it may be problematic, although this sounds a little weird.
Take Hangouts, Allo Discord: my usual suite of communications programs for instance and a couple of others. I had to add these apps all to usage exception list and the background data to get them to send notifications . By default Meizu uses a wakeup timing way of enabling alarms to come through and checking for updates in-app. Setting the phone to performance mode doesn’t fix this automatically, you’ll need to go into the security app and set the background data and app usage to “always allow,” otherwise you’ll experience delayed notifications.
At times this would mean multiple emails missed for some time, and messages that go until I opened the app, unread. This is an annoying thing to have to specify, as users will miss emails and messages and not know why it is happening. The default shouldn’t be to place apps to sleep so aggressively, or at least have an way of turning off this, while I understand it’s done to arbitrarily conserve data costs. As it stands you’ll need to change these settings for each app within the security app.
Flyme 6 launches with the Meizu PRO 7 Plus. Flyme 6 brings about some important refinements to Meizu’s tried and true Android skin, and solidifies the appearance and feel of the OS, all while making great strides to flip Flyme into something truly excellent. Many of the essential design characteristics of Meizu have remained since the start; things like single-button navigation throughout the phone, and vibrate and mute buttons for toggling in the telling shade media volume receiving the priority adjustment when using the volume rocker.
The program navigation bar went the way of the Dodo but it is one of the evolutions that Meizu has gone through to find its distinctive identity in Android manufacturers’ world. Mostly unchanged is the house launcher, which is just one of the things that makes the phone feel older than it might otherwise. It is a fairly standard launcher that basic in most aspects. Apps are laid out on the screen in a random pattern, and there’s no way to sort them by title or type. There’s no functionality that is long-press, and no options whatsoever in general when it comes to scrutinizing the launcher.
Meizu does have a good theme engine, however the software did not let wallpaper or theme changing. Everything on the system changes, from fonts to sounds, wallpapers, icons, the telling color and even animations. Flyme is a sleek, well presented as it is stylish OS that’s every bit as quickly. There are important settings for locking the phone down in particular circumstances also, like a “Kid Space” mode which helps keep kids from using programs they shouldn’t be, or a “Game Mode” that turns off those pesky back buttons and other gestures that could become easily pressed while gaming.
The camera software of Meizu finally saw overhaul and a substantial update in Flyme 6, and all of those updates are here for the better. The interface is pretty industry standard looking, with a shutter button on the bottom, a switch to the left to move from front to back back and cameras, and a gallery button on the right. Swiping left or right modes from Beauty, Photo and Video modes (in that order from left to right), and extra modes can be found from the button on the top left.
Mode gives tons of options to tweak via a pop-up bar above the shutter button to users, and is good. Shutter speed can be adjusted between 1/5000th of a second up to 20 seconds, and ISO can be adjusted from 100 to 1600. Other options include manual focus, exposure value, saturation, contrast, and white balance. Another super interesting mode is the White & Black mode, which uses a shot that is monochrome to be taken by one of the two sensors. The two Sony Exmor IMX 386 detectors on the back are identical, except for one feature that is important; one is a version of the other detector. This helps Meizu identify subjects better but also doubles as a way to capture monochrome subjects when wanted.
Camera Performance and Results:
Meizu’s camera experience is fast to say the least, and frequently launches in under two seconds flat. Double tapping on the home button calls this mode up from anywhere, and it is nice to have something so reliable to launch the camera. This isn’t a very long time per say, but these can feel long when compared to phones such as the Galaxy S8 or HTC U11’s essentially focus times. HDR speed also is a little slow, a difficulty Meizu has needed for some time, but this time around it’s at least enough to be useful in situations where there’s little to no movement. Just make certain to leave the HDR off when taking shots of moving objects, or the subject will turn out blurry.
The highlight of the show is the new portrait style, made possible thanks. These sensors detect the background to blur, giving the picture a professional picture. These kinds of shots are good for detailed shots of objects or either portraits, and can’t be used for most types of shots, or even video. Results of the portrait style are stunning; tons of excellent focal points, great range and detail are all suits of the mode. The processing is completed so there is no waiting for the phone after taking the shot, to do something.
In general though, the results of the camera aren’t super impressive. Images turned out darker than they should be; it seems like something is off in the program, and even daylight shots are dark. Taking a look at the details of every image doesn’t immediately show any problems. Daytime shots are around 100-200 ISO, and shutter speeds all seem OK. It feels like most of the shots I took are either too dark or too fuzzy, even if there’s a fast shutter speed used (1/100th of a second or faster). Detail ranges from good to acceptable from scene to scene, but there’s a good deal of issues that seem to point to quality lenses being used here. It is unfortunate too given the sensors, which should produce imagery that is excellent and are generally great sensors. See all the samples and videos in gallery below!
Other important qualities of the picture, like selection, are not great either. HDR mode helps this a bit, but in general HDR looks fake and seems to do more damage than good in many situations one reason why HDR is not automatic in the first place. Low light conditions are terrible however you slice it which is surprising because Meizu touts a new 4-stage algorithm to help enhance low light shots. When I got a shot things seemed great. I saw ISO max out around 13,000, which is reassuring to see Meizu pushing the detector hard to let a great deal of light in, but generally ISO is prioritized far too frequently over shutter speed.
- Excellent design
- Back screen is innovative, although limited in its options
- Very Good display
- Above average speaker
- 32-bit audio output
- Tons of awesome OS alternatives in Flyme 6
- Fast and new camera applications
- Lots of privacy settings
- Normal camera results
- Problems with notifications from the box unless tweaked
Meizu’s latest flagship phones sports lots of positives, build and including a sexy design, a great AMOLED display on the front and back, and some killer features. The new system can produce some stunning results in the ideal light, which portrait mode is killer, but the results are average at best. Battery life is good, and even sometimes great, but comes at the cost of a performance difference between the PRO 7 Plus and mobiles in the same price range. Audio output is excellent, and the results are clear, clean and loud, even though there’s just a single speaker. Flyme 6 brings a great deal of great features to the table also, sporting tons of oodles and choices of customizability. It’s a great alternative, especially if you’re a Meizu fan, and offers excellent value.
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