China New Meizu 15, 15 Plus, and 15 Lite hands-on review

Introduction

Meizu has been on the map since 2003 and for its 15-year anniversary it announced three new phones from its completely new series – Meizu 15, Meizu 15 Plus and Meizu 15 Lite. We were at the launch and saw the whole show and even got to tinker with the devices.

meizu

All three phones come without today’s smartphone fads that all other manufacturers seem to follow – a tall 18:9 screen or a cutout on top of the display for the selfie camera. Meizu decided to go against the flow and introduced three devices that have some overlapping specs but are placed in different price segments to cover a wider target.

Meizu 15 Plus specs

  • Body: Stainless steel aluminum composite frame with coating
  • Display: 5.95-inch AMOLED, 1440x2560px
  • OS: Android 7.1.2 Nougat with Flyme OS 7 on top
  • Chipset: Samsung Exynos 8895 Octa, 4×2.3 GHz & 4×1.7 GHz CPU, Mediatek Helio P60, 4×2.0 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4×2.0 GHz Cortex-A53, octa-core CPU, Mali-G71 MP20 GPU, 6GB RAM
  • Storage: 64/128GB internal with microSD hybrid (SIM2) expansion slot
  • Rear Camera: Dual: 12 MP (f/1.8, 1.55 µm) + 20 MP, phase detection autofocus, quad-LED dual-tone ring flash
  • Front Camera: 20MP
  • Connectivity: Dual SIM, Dual 4G VoLTE, Bluetooth 4.2, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac/b/g/n, A-GPS/GLONASS
  • Battery: 3,500mAh non-removable, mCharge 18W
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader (front-mounted)

Meizu 15 specs

  • Body: Stainless steel aluminum composite frame with coating
  • Display: 5.46-inch AMOLED, 1080x1920px
  • OS: Android 7.1.2 Nougat with Flyme OS 7 on top
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SDM660 Snapdragon 660, (4×2.2 GHz Kryo 260 & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 260 octa-core CPU, Adreno 512 GPU, 4GB RAM
  • Storage: 64/128GB internal with microSD hybrid (SIM2) expansion slot
  • Rear Camera: Dual: 12 MP (f/1.8, 1.55 µm) + 20 MP, phase detection autofocus, quad-LED dual-tone ring flash
  • Front Camera: 20MP
  • Connectivity: Dual SIM, Dual 4G VoLTE, Bluetooth 4.2, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac/b/g/n, A-GPS/GLONASS
  • Battery: 3,000mAh non-removable, mCharge 18W
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader (front-mounted)

Meizu 15 Lite specs

  • Body: Stainless steel aluminum composite frame
  • Display: 5.46-inch LCD, 1080x1920px
  • OS: Android 7.1.2 Nougat with Flyme OS 7 on top
  • Chipset: Qualcomm MSM8953-Pro Snapdragon 626, Octa-core 2.2 GHz Cortex-A53 CPU, Adreno 506 GPU, 4GB RAM
  • Storage: 64GB internal with microSD hybrid (SIM2) expansion slot
  • Rear Camera: 20 MP (f/1.9, 1.4 µm) , phase detection autofocus, ten-LED dual-tone ring flash
  • Front Camera: 12MP
  • Battery: 3,000mAh non-removable, mCharge 18W
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader (front-mounted)
Meizu 15 4GB 128GB Blue Color Unlocked Phone
$220.00
Meizu 15 Plus 6GB 128GB Gray Color Unlocked Phone
$248.00
Meizu 15 Lite 4GB 64GB Red Color Unlocked Phone
$159.00

The Meizu 15 Plus has a more powerful chipset than the Meizu 15 that brings better display resolution and EIS for video shooting. Since it is a bigger phone in size, the battery brings more mAh power as well. In this exact case size does matter, and the Plus-sized device would appeal to fans of bigger phones.

meizu1.jpg

The lite buddy of the Meizu 15 might have a chipset that is aiming for efficiency, instead of power, but it comes in the same 5.46″ package. Although it is not OLED, at first assessment it looks equally bright and colors are almost as vibrant. But with a new UI bringing plenty of features and a flagship body footprint, the power-efficient Meizu 15 Lite is a device to get enthusiastic about.

Keep reading on the next pages where we look further into the new anniversary phones and how they performed in our initial run.

Meizu 15 & Meizu 15 Plus

The Meizu 15 and the Meizu 15 Plus share a unibody back that, according to the company, is a stainless steel aluminium composite material. The phone is unnaturally light and does not feel like metal at all. It has a plastic appearance and collects fingerprints smudges easily. The white color option is a feast for the eyes and is supposed to mimic a ceramic feeling. As much as we’d like to say it is the same as the Xiaomi Mi Mix, there is only a distant resemblance.

meizu2.jpg

Handling feels great due to the size, weight and manufacture, but sadly it is nowhere near the iPhone X, as advertised by Meizu. Fans of bigger devices would love the Meizu 15 Plus, but if you are looking for a more compact phone – the regular 15 is a strong choice.

meizu3.jpg

The AMOLED panel comes with an unusual 5.95″ or 5.46″ diagonal, but the classic 16:9 ratio makes both phones great for online multimedia. The bezels on the side are practically non-existent, adding to the immersive feeling when watching YouTube videos. The resolution is FullHD on the regular version, but it goes up to QHD on the Meizu 15 Plus. It would be nice if the display had an oleophobic coating like the back, because the display does not allow fingers to slide effortlessly and is even harder to clean from smudges.

There is AOD function, while a notification LED sits hidden in the top bezel. There are effects with the LED camera flash that can also be used for notifications.

meizu4.jpg

Meizu introduced software Super mBack button with the midrange M6s but decided to go with a fingerprint scanner/home button in the new flagship. The sensor is a bit small (Meizu is, in fact, proud how small they’ve managed to make it) but has a nice groove around it so it’s easy to use. It is accurate and works effortlessly. For additional security Meizu is offering the now trendy Face Unlock option.

The Meizu 15 shares the same dual-camera setup with the Meizu 15 Plus, but it only comes with OIS. This makes no difference taking photos, hence the camera samples we’re presenting you should show the image quality. Shooting with the secondary camera is not available – there is a 20 MP toggle in the Pro Mode.

Original Image • 20 MP toggle • Original Image • 20 MP toggle

And here’s how the tele lens performs.

Original image • 2x lossless zoom • 3x zoom

The HDR is a manual toggle that might irritate some smartphone photography fans. The phone should be capable of automatically enhancing night shots, so at least you get a little bit of Auto HDR, albeit not mentioned by Meizu anywhere.

Coming with a 3,000 mAh battery in White and Black, the Meizu 15 will be sold in two versions – Standard with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage and Deluxe with twice the memory capacity. Prices are respectively $400 and $445 and the phone is expected to arrive in May.

meizu5.jpg

The Meizu 15 Plus will arrive a month later. It shares the storage options but the RAM is 6 GB.

With a battery pack of 3,500 mAh and Matte Black, Matte Gold, Brushed Black, and White color options, the 15 Plus will be available for either $475 or $525.

The new Flyme OS 7

Along with the new devices, Meizu announced its new Flyme OS 7. It is based on Android Nougat 7.1.2. This might push back carriers and customers, because an older system goes out of date earlier, hence making a phone unsecured way before it should be.

Performance

We managed to run a few quick benchmarks on all three Meizu phones. The phones we used were most likely pre-sale units, so we won’t be comparing the benchmarks results to other phones. The numbers look promising though – the yielded results are close to retail units from other manufacturers with similar specs.

GeekBench 4.1 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Meizu 15 Plus6122
  • Meizu 155893
  • Meizu 15 Lite4464

GeekBench 4.1 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Meizu 15 Plus1863
  • Meizu 151613
  • Meizu 15 Lite923

AnTuTu 6

Higher is better

  • Meizu 15 Plus160718
  • Meizu 15111782
  • Meizu 15 Lite67206

Basemark X

Higher is better

  • Meizu 15 Plus40494
  • Meizu 1520836
  • Meizu 15 Lite10490

Basemark OS 2.0

Higher is better

  • Meizu 15 Plus 3169
  • Meizu 15 2571
  • Meizu 15 Lite 1521

Wrap-up

Managing to stay in the game for 15 years is truly a success for Meizu and we have to give them a hat tip for that. The Chinese market is a specific one and the company has to do something different to stand out. That’s where the introduction of the more conventional screen ratio comes along combined with above average camera specs.

meizu6.jpg

Meizu is aiming to revolutionize the way market segmentation is done and the new 15 series appears to be a nice attempt at feature segmentation.

We are always excited to see new phones and hopefully the Meizu 15 Plus, the Meizu 15 and the Meizu 15 Lite will bring a fresh whiff to a stagnating market. Just maybe.

Caitlyn

www.boonsell.com

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