Meizu M2 mini review
One of the most attractive budget smartphones of this summer
- Interface and software platform
- Benchmark performance testing
- Testing built-in sensors and GPS
- Camera testing
- Battery test
- Video review
As you know, in January of this year, Meizu introduced its budget smartphone, which was called Meilan or simply M1. Outside of China, this smartphone has become known as Meizu M1 Mini or Meizu Blue Charm. This device turned out to be quite successful and was in great demand. However, the realities of the market and the high level of competition among Chinese manufacturers forced Meizu to release a new model in the budget segment after only six months, which received the following serial number - Meilan 2 or M2.
The Meizu M2 smartphone, known to us as the Meizu M2 Mini, received 2 times more RAM and internal memory compared to its predecessor. Appearance and general design concept at the same time remained almost the same. The novelty received a polycarbonate body with rounded corners and edges and in several colors. But inside the changes affected not only the amount of RAM and built-in memory. M2 Mini also received a new MT6735 quad-core processor, which, although inferior in power to the MT6732 processor used in the previous model, still operates at the highest possible frequency for this chip of 1.3 GHz, unlike many budget smartphones, where the frequency was lowered up to 1.0 GHz.
The manufacturer also equipped the M2 Mini with a slightly less capacious battery compared to its predecessor, and a branded mBack button appeared on the front panel of the device, like the older brother M2 Note .
The announced price of Meizu M2 Mini was only 599 yuan, which corresponds to about $94. And although it is not realistic to purchase this smartphone for the indicated amount, the M2 Mini still could not leave us indifferent and not cause an acute desire to get 1 copy of this device for testing in our studio.
What can you expect from a budget smartphone for this amount and from one of the largest manufacturers in China, you will find out by reading the review of the Meizu M2 Mini smartphone, written according to the results of our testing. Traditionally, we will announce our conclusions at the end of this article. In the meantime, happy reading!
The Meizu M2 Mini smartphone comes in a traditional light cardboard package, which is well known to us from the recently tested Meizu M2 Note smartphone in our studio. At the same time, the size of the box of the younger model turned out to be more compact.
On the lid of the box, we see 2 hieroglyphs and the number 2, which can be translated as Meilan 2, which is the second name of this model used in China. Of the useful, it is worth noting that on the back of the box are indicated the cellular network frequencies supported by this instance.
Under the cover of the package you will find a tray with several compartments. In the largest on the left is the smartphone itself, under which you will find a manual in Chinese and a cable in a special recess under it.
In the compartment at the bottom right you will find a charger with a current capacity of 1.2A and a connector for the Asian standard sockets, and in the upper right corner you will find a special master key for removing the SIM card tray. By tradition, this master key has a cutout in the form of a cloud, corresponding in shape to the logo of the proprietary Flyme operating system.
The delivery set of the Meizu M2 Mini smartphone does not include any additional accessories, which is typical for this manufacturer. Transport films are applied on both sides of the device.
Our copy of the device was additionally equipped with a protective film and a silicone bumper case, but we recall once again that they are not included in the standard package.
So, the scope of delivery of the Meizu M2 Mini smartphone looks like this:
- The smartphone itself.
- Charger with a current strength of 1.2A.
- Branded white USB cable.
- Manual/warranty card in Chinese.
- A paperclip to remove the SIM tray.
Let's move on to the appearance of the smartphone.
The front panel of the device is made of Dragontrail tempered glass from AGC (Asahi Glass Co.). A similar glass is installed on the older model, Meizu M2 Note.
At the bottom of the front panel there is a proprietary mBack button, also already familiar to us from the M2 Note model.
And in the upper part of the front panel you will find a slot for the earpiece, an event indicator, light and proximity sensors, as well as a front camera window.
The body of the device is made of polycarbonate, the same as in the older model. The volume and power buttons are located on the right side of the case.
And on the left side face you will find a tray for two Nano-format SIM cards. Slot number 2 is combined and allows you to install a Micro-SD card instead of a SIM card.
Both slots support 4G networks, but by installing one such card in one of the slots, another card in the second slot will work only in the GSM network. There is only one radio module in the device, so when making a call from one of the SIM cards, the second one will not be available at that moment.
At the top of the Meizu M2 Mini, we found only a standard 3.5 mm audio jack for a headset or headphones.
Whereas on the bottom you will find 1 hole for a microphone, 4 holes for an external speaker and a Micro-USB port with OTG support between them.
At the top of the rear panel are the rear camera eye and a single-section LED flash. And at the bottom you will find the manufacturer's logo and an inscription indicating the country of manufacture.
The thickness of the Meizu M2 Mini case is 8.7 mm, like the older model. But in other measurements, the M2 Mini is more compact, as its display diagonal is 0.5 inches smaller.
Thanks to all this, as well as rounded edges, the body of the device is very comfortable to hold in your hand, as well as to use a smartphone with one hand.
By comparison, the M2 Mini is more compact than Doogee's Valencia 2 Y100 Pro and even more compact than its predecessor, the M1 Mini.
The assembly of the case of our Meizu M2 Mini instance turned out to be excellent. We did not find any squeaks or any backlashes in it, which is not expected from a budget device. The buttons and the SIM card tray do not dangle or rattle, and the ergonomics of the smartphone can be considered almost perfect. Finally, Meizu has placed the power and volume buttons on the right, where it is convenient to press them with the thumb of the right hand when necessary.
In general, in appearance, the Meizu M2 Mini smartphone can be considered a smaller copy of the M2 Note model, with the exception of the placement of buttons and the use of a single-section flash.
The dimensions of the Meizu M2 Mini case were 140.1 * 68.9 * 8.7 mm, and the weight was only 131 grams.
Next, we will look at the technical part of the smartphone, starting with the display.
Like the previous model, the M2 Mini has a 5.0-inch display. At the same time, the display resolution was 1280x720 pixels (294 ppi), while in the M1 Mini model it was non-standard and corresponded to 1280x768 pixels.
The manufacturer of the Meizu M2 Mini display is not known to us. It is made using GFF technology (glas-to-film-to-film full lamination) and is a sandwich of glass and two touch films, assembled without air gaps like OGS displays. The display has an anti-reflective coating that does its job well. However, the presence of an oleophobic coating is questionable, since the display collects fingerprints decently.
In the Multitouch test application, the Meizu M2 Mini display showed support for up to 10 simultaneous touches, which pleasantly surprised us, since this is practically not found in a budget device.
The viewing angles of the M2 Mini's display were good, although not the best. At some angles, the brightness is quite noticeably reduced, and the colors on the display take on a yellow tint. When viewed from a right angle, the color balance is slightly shifted to colder shades. The color rendition of the display is good, we did not reveal any serious distortions during the testing process.
Comparison of displays with Doogee Y100 Pro:
The margin of brightness of the M2 Mini screen is high, although it is somewhat inferior to the same indicator in the older model. The contrast level can also be considered high. Therefore, on a sunny day, you will not have problems with the readability of the display.
In general, we liked the display of the Meizu M2 Mini smartphone. Apparently, the manufacturer did not try to save on anything here, as a result of which we got one of the best displays among budget smartphones.
Let's get acquainted with the Meizu M2 Mini interface.
Interface and software platform
The Meizu M2 Mini smartphone runs on the Android 5.1 Lollipop operating system with a pre-installed proprietary Flyme 4.5 shell. It is immediately worth noting the high response speed of the touchscreen and the very easy sliding of a finger on the glass. We did not find any lags or slowdowns in the interface in this device, and the smoothness of its operation is commendable.
Swiping down from the status bar will open a quick access menu to the main functions, where you can turn on Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular data, activate silent mode and adjust the brightness of the display. Here you will also find the notification panel.
A single press of the mBack button will perform the "Back" function, and a long press will put the device into sleep mode or call the voice assistant.
Swiping up from the bottom of the desktop will open the recent apps panel. And if you hold your finger on an empty spot on the desktop, then you will open the settings panel, with which you can add widgets, customize the wallpaper or the location of the icons.
Since during testing we used the version of the device with the Flyme 188.8.131.52U operating system, we did not find the Russian language for the menu in the settings. At the same time, the Russian keyboard is present in the smartphone.
Separately, we note the presence in the menu of the Meizu M2 Mini smartphone of various smart functions - unlocking with a double tap, activating various functions or applications using the corresponding finger pattern on the lock screen, and so on. There is also a SmartTouch function in the menu, which we examined in detail when testing the Meizu M2 Note smartphone. When this function is activated, a smart dot appears on the screen, a single press on which will perform the "Back" function, and with a double tap on it you will close the current application. If you swipe up from this point, you will go to the desktop, and swipe down to open the notification panel. In the same menu, you can assign an action for a long press on the mBack button.
In addition, in the M2 Mini menu you will find the option to set the power usage mode. Depending on the tasks at hand, you can select power-saving mode, balanced mode, or high performance mode.
In the screen settings, you can adjust the color balance by selecting a colder or warmer gamut with the slider. To transfer data between devices in the settings menu, you can select only Bluetooth.
The Meizu M2 Mini smartphone has an over-the-air firmware update function, although we did not use it, since the Russian language will not appear from this anyway. If you have the same firmware version, then you will have to install the firmware with the Russian language manually.
In Meizu smartphones purchased in China, the Russian language is present only in versions with firmware that has the letter “A” at the end, although it may disappear here when installing updates over the air. You can find more information about this on the internet.
To install Google services in the app store from Meizu (AppCenter), enter "guge" in the search and install the desired application.
Next, we will move on to testing the Meizu M2 Mini smartphone in various benchmarks, starting, as usual, with AnTuTu.
Benchmark performance testing
As we said above, the Meizu M2 Mini smartphone runs on a 64-bit Android 5.1 Lollipop operating system with a pre-installed proprietary Flyme version 4.5 shell. The device is powered by a 4-core 64-bit MT6735 processor with a core clock speed of up to 1.3 GHz.
This processor is inferior in performance to the MT6732 chip used in the M1 Mini, although the manufacturer can be credited for not following the path of many other companies that installed a weaker version of this chip with a clock frequency of 1.0 GHz in their budget devices ( MT6735P or MT6735M).
For the graphics in the M2 Mini, the 2-core video accelerator Mali-T720 MP2 with a clock frequency of 600 MHz is responsible. The amount of RAM in this smartphone is 2 GB, and the built-in memory is 16 GB. At the same time, about 11.5 GB is available to the user. Also recall that the display diagonal in the Meizu M2 Mini is 5 inches, and the resolution is -720p.
In the test of the Antutu v5.7.1 program, the Meizu M2 Mini smartphone showed 25617 points, which once again proves the presence of the MT6735 processor in the full version. Almost the same result was shown by the Mlais MX Base smartphone we tested earlier. Although both of them lost almost 20% to the previous budget smartphone from Meizu, the M1 Mini model.
In the 3DMark test with a display resolution of 720p, the Meizu M2 Mini smartphone scored 3098 points.
And when testing graphics in the Epic Citadel program, the device produced a result of 37.7 frames per second at the same resolution of 1280x720 pixels and ultra high settings. These results are also close to those of the Mlais MX Base smartphone with similar hardware.
Let's check the operation of the smartphone in practice in the game Asphalt 8. With the maximum graphics settings for HD resolution, the Meizu M2 Mini coped with this game without any problems. However, after 10 minutes of play, the pyrometer showed the case heating up to 56 degrees, which we classify as “above average”. Although we did not experience much discomfort for the hands with such heating of the case.
Of course, you should understand that using the Meizu M2 Mini smartphone for modern games will not be the best solution, although you can spend some time playing games with this device if you want. Also, M2 Mini, despite its budget focus, is able to perform almost any everyday task assigned to it.
Testing built-in sensors and GPS
Let's check how the situation is with the built-in sensors in the Meizu M1 Mini smartphone. The Sensor List program showed the presence on board this device of an accelerometer, a magnetic field sensor, a gyroscope, an orientation sensor, a gravity sensor, a linear acceleration sensor, a vector rotation sensor, as well as light and proximity sensors. All of the above sensors work.
As you can see, the equipment of sensors in the Meizu M2 Mini smartphone is quite consistent with the level of smartphones in more expensive segments, and this device can rightfully be considered one of the leaders in this segment in terms of this indicator.
Let's move on to the operation of GPS navigation in the Meizu M2Mini smartphone.
After a cold start and no Wi-Fi connection, the smartphone connected to the satellites almost instantly. The positioning accuracy was 7-10 meters. It is also worth noting that the Meizu M2 Mini smartphone sees GLONASS satellites and connects to them without any problems. We focus on this point because its older brother, the M2 Note model, did not find GLONASS satellites at all during our testing.
Thus, when using the Meizu M2 Mini smartphone as a GPS navigator, you will have absolutely no problems.
Next, we will check the operation of the built-in cameras.
The Meizu M2 Mini smartphone has a 13 megapixel rear camera with a sensor from Samsung, perhaps even the same as in the older M2 Note model. The design of this camera uses 5 lenses and protective glass Gorilla Glass 3 on the outside. The aperture value of the camera lens is F/2.2. The flash for the rear camera has a single powerful LED with a warm glow tone.
As for the front camera, here the manufacturer also installed a 5 MP OV5670 PureCel sensor from OmniVision, as in the M2 Note and M1 Note models. The camera design uses 4 lenses, and the aperture value was F / 2.0.
The camera interface in the Meizu M2 Mini smartphone is already familiar to us from the M2 Note model. Here you will find manual and automatic shooting modes, beauty shooting mode, panorama shooting mode, QR code scanning mode and slow motion.
In manual mode, you can independently choose the shutter speed, white balance, ISO, set the aperture value, and so on. And the "Beauty" mode will allow you to get spectacular shots of portraits.
In the camera menu, you will also find the ability to overlay various effects - sepia, monochrome and others, as well as the ability to activate the HDR function, overlay a grid for a more correct orientation of objects in the frame, activate electronic image stabilization, and so on. The maximum photo size is 13 MP and the maximum video resolution is 1080p at 30 fps.
When shooting with the front camera, you can use several software settings to correct the shape and size of the eyes, the shape and tone of the face, and so on. We have already seen the same features, called FotoNation 2.0 and Face AE, in the Meizu M2 Note smartphone. Also, for shooting from the front camera, you can manually set the white balance and ISO.
The maximum resolution of pictures from the front camera is 5 megapixels (2576x1936 pixels), and the maximum resolution of video is Full HD.
As for the operation of the built-in cameras in the Meizu M2 Mini smartphone, smooth and accurate autofocus, as well as the correct determination of the white balance, should be separately noted here. Pictures are well-colored and detailed, especially when shooting objects at close range. In general, as for a budget device, the cameras in the Meizu M2 Mini smartphone shoot very decently, and we cannot find fault with anything here.
Next, we will check the autonomy of the smartphone.
According to the manufacturer, the Meizu M2 Mini smartphone has a 2500 mAh battery. In this device, the battery is non-removable, like the older model, as well as its predecessor.
In the AnTuTu Battery Test program, the smartphone scored almost 5 thousand points. With the help of a special USB tester, with which we check the real capacity of the batteries, we found that when charging the M2 Mini smartphone from 0 to 100%, the battery was charged at 2316 mAh.
Of course, we do not rule out measurement errors, but still, the difference compared to the declared capacity turned out to be unexpectedly large. Has Meizu really decided to follow in the footsteps of some Chinese manufacturers overestimating the capacity of batteries in their devices “on paper”? Or does this feature apply only to our particular instance? Most likely, the company simply lied with interest, since if you hold the smartphone on charge for about 40 minutes, the battery charges up to the declared figure.
We also tested the Meizu M2 Mini smartphone for autonomy when watching online videos on Youtube, where it lasted 5 hours and 39 minutes, which is a good result.
Thus, taking into account the weak processor and the low resolution of the display, the battery in the Meizu M2 Mini smartphone will last for at least 1 full day of use, and more economical users will charge this device once every two days. So, we have no complaints about the autonomy of this device.
Next, we will test the sound of the Meizu M2 Mini external speaker. We chose the most sonorous and expressive melody and listened to it ourselves. After that, we set the same melody when checking the volume level using a special device.
We can say that the external speaker of the Meizu M2 Mini smartphone does a good job. The sound from the speaker in this device is clear and has no distortion, although the maximum volume level is not the highest. Our words were confirmed by a special device, which recorded a maximum volume of about 92.5 dB. So, in this respect, the M2 Mini is nothing special.
To check the sound in the headphones, we downloaded a FLAC file to the smartphone's memory. Next, we listened to this audio file several times in Xiaomi Hi-Fi Mi headphones. And I must say, we were pleasantly surprised to find out how high-quality the sound of the melody turned out to be. Let's just say that in budget-class devices, the Meizu M2 Mini smartphone surpassed everyone in terms of sound quality in headphones. So, to enjoy listening to your favorite songs, this smartphone is definitely suitable.
For those who like to listen to the radio on the way to work, this device is not suitable, because, like many Meizu smartphones, there is no built-in FM receiver in the M2 Mini.
Well, we have already covered the main points, and now it's time to summarize our testing.
Let's start with the advantages of the device:
1) An excellent combination of cost and equipment of the device. For the money (about $120) this is one of the best deals on the market.
2) High build quality of the device.
4) The presence of a full version of the MT6735 processor.
You can also add a very good screen for a budget smartphone, a convenient mBack button and solid built-in cameras to the advantages.
Let's move on to the disadvantages :
1) The absence of the Russian language in the firmware, which disappears after the update even in those smartphones where it was previously present. What is it, the desire to force us to buy only official versions of smartphones with international firmware from local representatives of the company or an unfortunate omission does not change the essence of the matter.
2) Lack of a separate slot for memory cards. Of course, now we have the option to install 2 SIM cards, unlike the M1 Mini. But putting the consumer in front of a choice - 1 memory card and 1 SIM card or 2 SIM cards and 11.5 GB of internal storage, is not entirely reasonable.
3) Weak sound from external speaker.
Despite some significant drawbacks, the main of which is the lack of the Russian language, the Meizu M2 Mini smartphone leaves us with only positive emotions. Of course, the absence of the Russian language will scare away many buyers, since paying extra for a device with an international firmware version from a local dealer will raise the final cost of this smartphone to a level that will allow you to buy a device with a larger diagonal or more powerful hardware in China. Let this device be from a less famous brand, but the Russian language will already be in it by default and will not disappear after updates. However, we hope that the manufacturer will change its policy, because the competition in the Chinese smartphone market has now reached its maximum intensity. Otherwise, we expect devices with custom firmware versions to appear in many Chinese retailers in the very near future. And even if it will no longer be possible to use the “over the air” firmware update function, the Meizu M2 Mini smartphone is definitely worth it. After all, for just $120 you get a smartphone with an optimal screen size, high-quality display and excellent body assembly, balanced hardware and very pleasant sound in headphones. Believe me, this smartphone is able to give what no other budget smartphone will give - the pleasure of owning it.
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Link to the product
- Device type: smartphone.
- Available colors: white, gray, blue, pink.
- Case materials: plastic, glass.
- Operating system: Flyme 4.5 based on Android 5.1 Lollipop
- Networks (depending on phone versions*):
GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz (band 5/8/3/2);
TD-SCDMA: 1880-1920, 2010-2025 MHz;
UMTS: 900/1900/2100 MHz;
FDD LTE: 1800/2100/2600 MHz (band 3/1/7);
TDD-LTE 1900/2300/2500/2600 MHz (band 39/40/41/38)
- SIM cards: Dual Nano-SIM, Dual Standby
- Processor: MT6735, 64 bit, 1.3 GHz, 4 cores Cortex A53
- Video accelerator: Mali-T720 MP2, 600 MHz
- RAM: 2 GB LPDDR3 EMMC 5.0 (Samsung), 640 MHz
- Storage Memory: 16 GB, up to 128 GB Micro-SD card slot in SIM2 slot
- Interfaces: Micro-USB 2.0, dual band 2.4/5.0 GHz WiFi 802.11 (a/b/g/n), Wi-Fi Hotspot, Bluetooth v4.0, OTA, OTG, 3.5 mm audio
- Screen: IPS, 5.0'' HD (1280x720), GFF full lamination, 294 ppi, AGC Dragontrail glass
- Cameras: rear -13 MP (4160x3120), Samsung ISOCELL, f/2.2, 5 lenses + protective glass Gorilla Glass 3, autofocus, digital stabilization, LED flash (continuous shooting, digital zoom, geo-tagging, touch focus, recognition face, HDR, panorama, ISO selection, exposure compensation, white balance, timer, scene selection), 1080p@30fps video; front - 5 MP (2576x1936), f/2.0, OmniVision OV5670, PureCel, 4 lenses, FotoNation 2.0
- Navigation: GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
- Battery: non-removable, SONY/ATL, 2500 mAh
- Dimensions: 140.1 x 68.9 x 8.7mm
- Weight: 131g
* - Smartphone Meizu M2 Mini in online stores can be found in 4 different versions:
1. International / official (Flyme OS 4.5.3 I , supplied through official dealers outside of China, not available in Chinese online stores) - at the moment the only version that receives updates with the Russian language.
2. Universal / Public (M578, Flyme OS 4.5.3 A , for any operators within China - GSM850, GSM900, GSM1800, GSM1900, UMTS2100 (B1), LTE2100 (B1), TD-SCDMA2000, LTE850 (B5), TD- SCDMA1900, LTE1800 (B3), LTE2600 (B7), LTE900 (B8), LTE800 (B20), TD-LTE2600 (B38), TD-LTE2500 (B41), TD-LTE2300 (B40), TD-LTE1900 (B39)) - the most common and most suitable for our countries.
3. For China Unicom (M578U, Flyme OS 4.5.3 U - GSM900, GSM1800, GSM1900, UMTS2100 (B1), LTE2100 (B1), TD-SCDMA2000, TD-SCDMA1900, LTE1800 (B3), TD-LTE2600 (B38 ), TD-LTE2500 (B41), TD-LTE2300 (B40), TD-LTE1900 (B39)).
4. For China Telecom (M578C, Flyme OS 4.5.3 Q - GSM850, GSM900, GSM1800, GSM1900, CDMA800 (BC0), LTE2100 (B1), LTE1800 (B3), TD-LTE2500 (B41) ) .
5. for China Mobile (M578M, Flyme OS 4.5.3 C - GSM900, GSM1800, GSM1900, UMTS2100 (B1), TD-SCDMA2000, TD-SCDMA1900, TD-LTE2600 (B38), TD-LTE2500 (B41), TD- LTE2300 (B40), TD-LTE1900 (B39)).
The Flyme OS 4.5.3A firmware version can be installed by sellers independently on any carrier version of the smartphone and is not a determining factor in identifying the device being sold. Supported frequency ranges should be checked with the seller.