Flashback: A look back at Meizu’s dual screen and no-button phones

Flashback: Meizu

Meizu has had an attention-grabbing historical past and after a number of turbulent years it pulled out of the smartphone market. Now that it’s beneath the wing of car-maker Geely, the corporate is poised to make its return with the launch of the Meizu 20 collection on March 30. As thats nonetheless a few weeks out, lets take a look again at Meizus most attention-grabbing telephones whereas we wait.

The corporate was based in 2003 and initially made MP3 gamers. Its first telephone was unveiled in January 2007. It was dubbed the Meizu M8 and it ran Mymobile software program based mostly on Home windows CE 6.0. Nonetheless, getting the telephone to market proved to be an enormous situation. Meizu introduced the M8 to CeBIT in March 2008, over a yr after first saying it, and it was nonetheless in a prototype stage with barely working software program. However that was solely the start of the M8s woes.

In keeping with Apples legal professionals, it bore greater than a passing resemblance to the iPhone. After an emergency redesign the telephone additionally modified its title to the miniOne. The litigation battle continued and M8 manufacturing was finally halted in 2010 and all gross sales have been banned.

Meizu M8: original designMeizu M8: redesign
Meizu M8: unique design redesign (picture supply)

The Meizu M9 launched in early 2011 and it was the companys first Android telephone. This mannequin was powered by the Samsung Hummingbird chipset, a yr after the unique Galaxy S used it. This was solely the start of Meizus relationship with Samsung.

This was adopted by the Meizu MX, which was additionally the primary official outing of the closely personalized Android pores and skin often called Flyme OS. The MX additionally used an Exynos chip and featured a pointy 4.0 qHD show. Meizu was nonetheless overtly borrowing from Apples designs as we famous in our assessment.

Meizu MXMeizu MXMeizu MXMeizu MX
Meizu MX

Skipping over to the Meizu MX3, its declare to fame was that it was the primary smartphone with 128GB of in-built storage. That was loads for 2013. And if youll enable us a small detour, flagships 10 years later ought to have greater than 128GB base storage there, we mentioned it. By the way in which, this telephone used the Exynos 5410 Octa (aka the Galaxy S4 chipset). Meizu was arguably the largest Exynos shopper exterior of Samsung itself.

Meizu MX3Meizu MX3Meizu MX3Meizu MX3
Meizu MX3

The corporate opened as much as new suppliers and the Meizu MX4 from late 2014 was its first to make use of a MediaTek chipset. It had an attention-grabbing 5.36 bezel-less show (on the edges, at the very least), provided nice battery life and audio high quality, the 20.7MP digital camera was stable too.

At this level Meizus key situation was that its telephones have been comparatively unknown exterior of China at a time when the likes of Xiaomi and OnePlus have been increasing quickly.

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Meizu MX4

2014s Meizu M1 Notice can be worthy of consideration, this was the primary of the reasonably priced Notice collection. Regardless of its comparatively weak MediaTek MT6762 chipset that solely had Cortex-A53 cores, the 5.5 1080p show used a elaborate IGZO panel (although its high quality wasnt pretty much as good as on Sharp telephones).

Meizu M1 NoteMeizu M1 NoteMeizu M1 NoteMeizu M1 Note
Meizu M1 Notice

Okay, nicely skip to the actually good things. The Meizu Professional 5 was an enviable flagship its metallic unibody was smooth, as was the two.5D Gorilla Glass on the entrance that sat above the 5.7 AMOLED show (1080p).

This telephone was powered by the Exynos 7420 Octa. A number of months earlier Samsung launched its Galaxy S6 with that precise chip and solely that chip (Qualcomm was having a second in 2015). The Sony-made 16MP digital camera senor on the again boasted OIS and produced spectacular pictures. We concluded our assessment by saying that the Meizu Professional 5 was a straightforward telephone to suggest, if solely folks might really purchase one Meizus distribution community was nonetheless severely missing in comparison with its competitors.

Meizu Pro 5Meizu Pro 5Meizu Pro 5Meizu Pro 5
Meizu Professional 5

Then in 2016 got here the Meizu Professional 6. It was smaller than its predecessor with a 5.2 Tremendous AMOLED show however no much less premium (metallic physique, Gorilla Glass 4, 3D Contact, you title it). Nonetheless, the explanation we bear in mind this mannequin is completely different it was one among only a few telephones that used MediaTeks Helio X25, a uncommon chipset with a 10-core CPU.

Meizu Pro 6Meizu Pro 6Meizu Pro 6Meizu Pro 6
Meizu Professional 6

The three-cluster design had two Cortex-A72 (2.5GHz), 4 A53 (2.0GHz) and 4 extra A53 (1.4GHz). This beat most Android telephones in multi-core benchmarks, although not all (notably the Galaxy S7 edge and Huawei P9 edged it out in our testing, even when solely simply). The Mali-T880 MP4 GPU underperformed compared, nevertheless.

The Helio X20 was an earlier 10-core design (identical {hardware}, however the A72 pair ran at 2.3GHz) and some months later Meizu used it within the extra reasonably priced MX6. There was additionally the Meizu Professional 6 Plus after that, which converted to the Exynos 8890 Octa, the identical chipset because the Galaxy S7 used earlier in 2016. The Plus featured a 5.7 QHD show (additionally with 3D contact).

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Meizu MX6 and Meizu Professional 6 Plus

Meizu all the time had an inclination for out of the field considering, at the very least when it wasnt attempting to repeat the iPhone. The Meizu Professional 7 and Professional 7 Plus launched in mid-2017 and in addition to having 5.2 FHD and 5.7 QHD Tremendous AMOLED shows on the entrance, respectively, additionally they had 2 AMOLED shows on their backs (240 x 536px).

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Meizu Professional 7 Plus

Weve seen fairly a number of gaming telephones function a secondary rear show since then in addition to telephones just like the Xiaomi Mi 11 Extremely. This show might work as a viewfinder when taking selfies with the primary cam, however sadly it lacked At all times On performance.

The Professional 7 excessive version and the Plus used the Helio X30, the final of the X-series and MediaTeks final try at a 10-core CPU. The bottom Professional 7 featured a Helio P25 as a substitute (8-core CPU). The Professional 7 collection was additionally the primary time Meizu introduced a dual-camera, although it was a colour+monochrome combo quite than an extremely large or telephoto lens.

Meizu continued churning out attention-grabbing designs through the years, however the firm by no means grew as massive and as common as a few of its compatriots. It will definitely wound down operations, releasing a brand new telephone from time to time. Earlier than we wrap up, we wished to say one attention-grabbing prototype the Meizu Zero.

The Meizu Zero prototype never saw a commercial releaseThe Meizu Zero prototype never saw a commercial releaseThe Meizu Zero prototype never saw a commercial releaseThe Meizu Zero prototype never saw a commercial release
The Meizu Zero prototype by no means noticed a industrial launch

Are you able to guess why its known as that? It had precisely zero buttons, audio system or charging ports. The facet buttons have been changed by capacitive sensors, the speaker used a piezoelectric transducer, the battery was charged over a proprietary 18W wi-fi system, information transfers have been executed over cell networks and Wi-Fi.

None of that was unseen beforehand, e.g. the HTC U12+ did away with the facet buttons, Sharp and Xiaomi had had piezo audio system, wi-fi charging was fairly nicely established in 2019. Nonetheless, this was the primary telephone to mix all these in a single place whereas concurrently throwing away all transferring components.

With Apples grumbling about placing a USB-C port on its iPhones, many speculate that it wish to drop the wired charging port altogether. That is hardly a brand new hypothesis, weve been listening to some model of this rumor for years now. But when it really does it, this shall be a uncommon alternative for Meizu to say we did it first.

No matter occurred with the Meizu Zero? It began off nice, profitable an iF Gold Award for its non-porous design (Googles Pixel 4 and 4 XL additionally picked up Gold awards that yr). Nonetheless, issues got here crashing down simply weeks later Meizu was utilizing a crowd-funding marketing campaign on Indiegogo to try to promote the telephone and it set a modest purpose of $100,000.

After two months of campaigning, the telephone had simply 29 backers, solely 24 of which really pre-ordered the telephone on the, let’s imagine formidable, value of $1,300. Somebody picked up the one Pioneering Unit at $3,000, although we cant promise that mentioned somebody wasnt working at Meizu on the time. Even with the tremendous low funding purpose that wasnt sufficient and the very muted curiosity led the corporate to cancel the undertaking altogether.

Meizu by no means lacked ambition and when it was doing its personal factor, it produced some really distinctive designs. Weren’t saying that every one of them have been good, however they have been distinctive.

We hope that the corporate retains the identical spirit and that it expands to extra markets with Geelys monetary backing and worldwide retail footprint, it appears to wish to just do that. Geelys curiosity transcend diversifying its portfolio, Meizu is engaged on an infotainment software program dubbed FlymeAuto, which can promote vertical integration within the Geely household of merchandise.

Flashback: Meizu

Which is your favourite Meizu deign one of many telephones we talked about above or one of many ones we skipped? And do you assume that the Zero idea had benefit or that it was only a gimmick?


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