Is the Meizu Pro 7 Plus Worth Its Asking Price?
A couple of weeks back, Meizu launched their flagship phones in the Philippines: the Pro 7 and the Pro 7 Plus. While dual cameras are no longer a wow factor these days, the Chinese company seeks to attract customers by letting you utilize the phones’ twin shooters for selfies by slapping on a 2-inch AMOLED screen behind the device as well. The question is: “Is that enough to draw discerning smartphone users to make the jump to the brand?”
Meizu Pro 7 Specs
- 1.6GHz MediaTek MT6757T Helio P25 octa-core processor
- 4GB of RAM
- Mali-T880 MP2 GPU
- 5.2-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display; 1920×1080 resolution
- 2-inch Secondary AMOLED display; 240×536 pixels
- 64GB of internal storage
- 4G, LTE
- Dual SIM
- Twin 12-megapixel rear cameras, f/2.0 aperture, PDAF, Dual LED flash
- 16-megapixel front camera, f/2.0
- WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC
- GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
- Fingerprint scanner
- USB Type-C
- 3000mAh battery
- Android 7.1 Nougat; Flyme 6
Not Your Typical Smartphone
The Meizu Pro 7 doesn’t follow along with the lines of the typical smartphone coming out of China and handles similar to one of Sony’s devices. It has a more rectangular frame because of the aforementioned AMOLED screen on the back but is still comfortable to hold in the hand through a tad bulkier in the pants pocket.
We were initially worried about the durability of the display or whether or not it would withstand the abuse of the daily grind and, while we didn’t drop the phone to test out its sturdiness, the display remains scratch free from all the times it has been thrown into our bags or slipped in and out of our pockets. It does help that the Meizu Pro 7 does come with a protective case to help keep the device pristine.
While we’re on the topic of the 2-inch AMOLED panel on the back, we didn’t particularly use it as much nor did we care so much about seeing our notifications pop up during meetings that we could usually ignore by flipping over the phone face down on the table. If that isn’t your cup of tea as well or want a quiet break from living the connected life, you can disable the feature. We did get to use it for selfies but we’ll get to that in the camera section of the review and let’s talk about its main display first.
Like all Super AMOLED panels, you’re getting an awesome experience with the display of the Meizu Pro 7. At full HD, you’re getting sharp images and great colors with deep blacks; making YouTube videos or binge-watching your favorite TV series or movie a delight.
While the display is awesome, you’re going to want to bring a pair of earphones rather than use the speakers on the device. It produces a good amount of volume, but the sound quality of the device just isn’t on par with the display. You’re getting a lot of distortion at about 70 percent and it only gets worse as you toggle the volume rocker up.
Performance Rivals Smartphones in its Price Point
In terms of performance, the Meizu Pro 7 is on par with the phones within its price range and handled our day-to-day tasks like a champ. Some may be irked by the fact that it’s rocking a SoC by MediaTek, but the Helio P25 is one of the company’s more decent processors and is paired with 4GB of RAM lets it hum along nicely.
The device runs on the latest version of Android Nougat with Flyme 6 on top of it, while it doesn’t interfere with the apps we usually have on our device, we did notice a pretty huge stumbling block. The secondary screen would freeze from time to time, requiring us to restart the phone when we did want to use that rear display. That’s a bit of a bummer given that it’s one of the company’s unique selling points for the Meizu Pro 7, but it should be solved by updating the software.
It’s also worth mentioning that Google services on the devices have been sideloaded for you. If you do need to perform a factory reset on the device, it’s best to be aware of that but it is pretty easy to do as well.
Second Display Means You’ll Be Using the Front Cam Less
Let’s talk about the cameras. The Meizu Pro 7 has twin 12-megapixel cameras that are setup similar to the ones found on Huawei’s flagship devices. You’ve got an RGB sensor plus a monochrome sensor that help get sharper details and handle dynamic range better as well. The cameras do output some great photos and the bokeh feature does a good job of blurring out the background without going overboard but we wish that you could adjust the amount of bokeh like other smartphones that have this feature.
That secondary display is supposed to help your selfies with the dual rear cameras and you can definitely tell the difference between the image quality of the front cam and the rear cameras. There are three modes to shuffle through (Original, Blur, and Beauty) but you can’t tweak the settings on the different modes.
As we mentioned above, there’s a bit of difference between the front and rear cameras but that doesn’t mean that front camera isn’t good as well. If you don’t want to use the secondary display, the front camera is capable of capturing great selfies too.
There’s also a ton of features on the camera of the Meizu Pro 7, but we’ll create a separate article for that so make sure you check it out.
More Than Enough Juice for the Day
For battery life, the Pro 7 got a time of 9 hours and 8 minutes on the PCMark Battery Benchmark test, which translates to full day’s worth of juice even with mobile on for the greater part of the day. Who we don’t have an exact time for it, the USB C port ensures that when you do have to charge the device, you’ll be up and running sooner rather than later.
Verdict: Facing Stiff Competition
Despite the hiccups we encountered with the device, we genuinely enjoyed our time with the Meizu Pro 7. You are getting performance on par with devices at its price point, but the device is facing a tough, uphill battle; plus they need to fix a lot of things on the software side of things. The brand may be well known to tech heads, such as ourselves, but the general public might be wary of dropping Php 22,990 on a smartphone brand they might not recognize and the secondary screen, a nifty feature to have if you enjoy taking selfies, may not be enough to attract consumers who may go for other options.