[CFT] MEIZU 15 Review

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2018-10-09 20:02

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Edited by rohit42 at 2018-10-14 18:08

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Celebrating Meizu's 15th anniversary, the MEIZU 15-series reflects our fundamentals—stunning design, components of the highest quality, and a pursuit of perfection. Without sacrificing the front fingerprint sensor, the MEIZU 15-series achieves an extraordinary screen-to-body ratio. Night shots become a breeze, and the new haptic feedback system of the MEIZU 15-series will change the way you experience your smartphone forever. Combined with a powerful processor and the upgraded Flyme 7, the all-new MEIZU 15-series is the complete package.
Meet 15. This is how we shape the future
This is brief summary of MEIZU 15 from official MEIZU website. This summary says it all about 15 and I will explain how. I am using this phone for more than 1 month now and I am sharing my experience here. It is 4GB Ram and 64GB storage variant in Black color. So, let’s get started-

Box Contents
The box itself is pretty amazing. MEIZU always do great packaging for its flagship phones. Everybody praised Pro 7 packaging and 15 packaging is no exception. In the box you will get-
  • MEIZU 15
  • USB Type-C Cable
  • Fast Charger
  • Sim Ejector Tool
  • Paperwork (User Manual, Precautions, Warranty Information etc.)
Unfortunately, there is no Back Cover included in the box. There was protective case included in Pro 7 Box though.

Phone Overview
The very first moment I opened the box and saw the phone, my reaction was- What!! It is really 5.46-inch display phone?
This is my 6th MEIZU phone and all other phones have big bezels on top and bottom so this phone looks small compared to other 5.5-inch MEIZU phones. Even M5 with 5.2-inch display is taller than 15.
Top and Bottom bezels are really small which makes it a perfect phone to handle. Side bezels are almost doesn’t exist. They are very small (1.175mm).
  • On top bezel, there is camera, receiver + secondary speaker + notification LED.
  • On bottom bezel, there is mBack button which really isn’t a hardware button but a software button. There is mEngine which simulates the press of the button. It is also the fingerprint scanner. More details on it later.
  • On right side, there is Power Button and Sim Tray. We can use 2 Nano sim only. We can not use Micro SD card.
  • On left side, there are separate buttons for Volume Up and Down to make it easy for the users to find them in dark.
  • On top side, there is just Secondary Voice Cancelation Mic.
  • On bottom side, there is 3.5mm headphone jack and Mic on left, Primary Speaker on right and USB Type C port on center.
  • Back Side of the phone has Dual Camera Set up in Vertical orientation in the center and 6 LED flash ring below it. There is MEIZU branding on the bottom which is hardly visible if you have black color variant. Antenna Lines on top and bottom have some design pattern on it. Edges are curvy so the phone feels really good in hands. It is just 72mm thick.
This is so far best looking MEIZU phone I ever used. Earlier it was M6 Note but this is so beautiful. Material used is not Metal but it is Mixture of Stainless Steel and Aluminum and it is brushed to give it awesome look. This makes the phone lightweight (just 152g). Also it fits in pockets very easily.

Display
It has Samsung custom Super AMOLED display with resolution 1920*1080 and 403 PPI. It seems good on paper right? Honestly speaking, it is first time I am using Super AMOLED Display phone and I can see the difference. My experience with this display is awesome. In wallpapers or videos when there is black color, I can not differentiate between it and bezel color. It blends with the bezel color which means it has true black color. Color are natural and even sunlight visibility is good. You can even change color temperature and display mode in settings. There is eye-protection mode to which will help when using phone at night. It had Always On Display feature too.

Camera
It has 12+20MP dual camera setup. Primary camera has Sony IMX380 sensor and Secondary camera has Sony IMX350 sensor. Secondary camera is Telephoto lens and is used in Portrait Mode shots. It also has 3 times lossless zoom. There is an enhanced night mode too. Whenever there is low light, it automatically switches enhanced night mode and you will see small tooltip too on top. Other features are – PDAF, LDAF, 6-LED Ring Flash, Portrait mode, Beauty Mode, Panorama, Time-Lapse, Slow motion and face tracking.
Front camera is 20MP and has AI capabilities. It is also used for quick face recognition.
Well, camera is really good specially the main camera. Front camera has more noise in low light conditions than the main camera. Main camera is very good in good lighting and even in low light, it performs good due to enhanced night mode. Portrait mode pictures are amazing as they do not look like fake because the blur is perfect. If I compare its camera with M6 Note, no doubt it is better overall. But difference is not huge. Slightly better selfie camera and better portrait shots due to better secondary camera (20MP vs 5MP). Regular photos with primary camera in both the phones are almost same. But better color reproduction, better saturation, better night shots, 3 times lossless zoom and faster shutter speed is what makes the camera of 15 awesome. I am not the type of person who loves taking selfies so I can’t say a lot about front camera. For me, they were very good in good lighting and not the same as primary camera in low lighting. Here are some photo samples- P80816-141057.jpg P80816-141129.jpg P80929-175517.jpg P80929-175612.jpg P81001-184058.jpg P81001-182738.jpg

Software & Performance-
I did Flyme 7 Review here. You can check it to find out all new features in Flyme 7. Unfortunately, Android Base is still Nougat not Oreo. This is the only letdown I found in software. As it my first 4GB Ram variant phone, I can feel how good is Flyme 7. But its not just Ram, it has Snapdragon 660 CPU. It is not the underclock version of SD660 but the 2.2GHz clock speed variant. This is where I felt the lot of difference between M6 Note and 15. SD660 is really a very good SoC. I can feel my phone is very quick compared to SD625. Everything is opened very fast. Heavy apps like Chrome and games like PUBG opens very fast. RAM management is so good too. If I pause a video in YouTube app and close the app from task manager, I will get the same video minimized and paused where I left it.

Gaming performance is awesome too. It has Aderno 512 GPU and it is capable of playing PUBG at very high graphics but PUBG is not optimized for 15 yet so “High” is the highest graphic settings available but frame rate can be set to highest. Also due to the display, playing games is lot more than just playing. Phone doesn’t heat too during gameplay.

Speakers volume is loud and has bass too. Although it has Stereo Speakers but the secondary speaker is responsible for just 10% of total volume. 90% volume come from primary speaker in bottom. Earlier it was M6 Note to have best speaker in MEIZU phones I have. But 15 has slightly better speakers just due to the secondary speaker. Without it, both have same speaker.

Network Reception and Calling experience is very good. Receiver is loud enough and is clear too. I get better data and Wi-Fi speed. And yes, there is VoLTE too but it is not directly available in settings. Option to enable/disable it is only visible when you insert VoLTE supporting SIM. When I inserted Jio SIM, I got the option to enable VoLTE.

Battery back up is one of the main feature we look in any phone. After using three phones with 4000mAh battery (M3 Note, M5 Note and M6 Note), it was huge drop in battery capacity in 15 (3000mAh). Off course, it can not perform same as M6 Note. But it can be charged more faster than M6 Note. In my testing, it can be charged 44% from 0% in 30 minutes and fully charged in 90 minutes. I played PUBG continuously and battery lasted around 5 hours. So, with heavy usage, you can definitely get 6 hours+ screen on time. Unfortunately, due to battery usage info bug, I am not able to record the exact screen on-time for moderate to heavy usage. But yes, with normal usage, we can use it for 1 day for sure. The phone temperature always remains cool. It never touched 40 degree Celsius even while playing PUBG for many hours. However it also has Bateery Drain Overnight issue. I think it is software issue and it will be fixed in future updates. Every morning i notice 5-6% battery drain overnight. If i switch off phone, there is no drain but even after turning on Airplane Mode, there is battery drain overnight.

mBack and Face Unlock
mBack is circular virtual button this time instead of round corners rectangular in shape. Size is reduced to fit in small bottom bezel. Taping on it acts as Back but real surprise is how to go to Home Screen. At first, I tried to long tap to go to home screen and it didn’t work so I though I got faulty device. But then I applied some force and it worked. I got haptic feedback to which felt like an actual button press. So, mEngine is reason behind this. It simulates the feel of button press. And as it is not an actual button, it make something possible which I wanted for a long time in MEIZU phones – Option to Unlock phone directly with fingerprint sensor without turning on screen. Yes, now I just put my thumb on mBack and it unlocks the phone very quickly. No need to turn on the screen. Truly, it is the fastest fingerprint reader on MEIZU phone ever. MEIZU X8 can compete with it but I have to test it.
Face Unlock is fast too and when Raise to Wake feature is enabled, it is just awesome. Just raise the phone, screen will turn on automatically and face the front camera and boom, phone is unlocked in a flash. In dark lighting however, it is not so fast. It takes 1-2 seconds to unlock.

Final Verdict
After using 5 M-Series MEIZU phone, using a flagship phone (with mid range SoC) is a great experience. I really felt the difference between MediaTek Helio P10, SD625 and SD660. If performance, looks and camera are your priority, you should consider this phone. It is worth the money. It has awesome camera, amazing performance, cool temperature, impressive speakers, beautiful display, unique mBack and stunning look. But if you prefer battery, performance and camera and you are low on budget, M6 Note is still the best buy. But with the launch of 16th, 16X and 8X there are more options and alternatives of 15. But 15 is the reason why 16th,16X and 8X exist today. Reason – If 15 was a failure it could have been tough to launch 16th, 16X and 8X. 15 is the first brick in the wall MEIZU is working on and I am proud to be owner of this phone. I would like to Thank Jack Wong for such beautiful device(s). Also you can check official summary and specifications of MEIZU 15 here- https://www.meizu.com/en/15/summary/index.html. And this device is available on MEIZU Official AliExpress Store, you can go to the shop and buy one easily!

Also if you need new Flyme Themes for your phone, you can download them from here -
Amazing Themes Collection - Volume 5


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