Meizu — a Chinese company — started making smartphones in 2009. Not only was (is) it making blatant iPhone rip-offs since then but it was (is) also doing a pretty good job while at it. It has been doing more than just taking inspiration from Apple, though. It has been trying to make a point, a point that every other Chinese brand is trying to make.
That, it is possible to make a phone that looks ridiculously like the iPhone, works more or less like it but comes almost at half the price. Now with its new phone, it’s not just about making an iPhone look-alike. It’s about taking things to the next level. The new phone MX5, when you look at it for the first time and then when you sift through its spec sheet, looks like a turbocharged iPhone. More than anything, this turbocharged iPhone costs just Rs.17,999.
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The MX5 — just like other Meizu phones — takes inspiration from the iPhone. Everything — from all-metal unibody construction to how the metal curves on the behind, to the speaker holes (and microUSB) placement, to the antenna lines on the back — is so iPhone-like.
Only if it had a curve on the screen towards the edges, we would be talking about some possible lawsuits here (pun intended). So, that’s that. There are differences, although very subtle ones. Just like most full-metal body phones, the MX5 is slippery like a fish. You will have to be careful with it while using it. All that metal however, means that the phone doesn’t easily get smudged even though the aluminium is shiny. The antenna lines and the strip of silver around the camera lens on the back — although made of a different material — don’t look out of place. It seems like they were meant to be there. For a phone that costs just Rs.17,990, we must say Meizu has done a terrific job with the design and materials used.
The MX5 is a slim phone. At 7.6mm, it is in line with the iPhone 6 Plus (7.1mm). At 149 grams, the MX5 is also one of the lightest phones we have in town. The MX5 has a pretty good screen-to-body ratio. The company has utilised bezels well, but there is some room for improvement. You also get a fingerprint scanner – Meizu calls it the M-Touch.
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The front is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. All in all, the MX5 is the best looking phone in the under Rs.20,000 price category right now. If we were to nitpick here, the volume rocker and power button (on the right) feel flimsy to use. We would have liked better feedback.
The MX5 comes with a 5.5-inch FullHD display with a 1080×1920 pixels resolution and 401 ppi pixel density. The important bit here is that the MX5 uses an AMOLED panel, which is something of a rare sight in this price range. The result from that AMOLED panel is quite evident in the picture quality that you get on this phone. You get well saturated colours (colour temperature set to neutral) which look good and appealing. It doesn’t show the annoying tinge you associate with AMOLED panels though and viewing angles are good. The MX5 also retains good viewing angles outdoors. It’s safe to say that Meizu has worked well with the AMOLED display on the MX5.