Meizu 15, a smartphone that’s perhaps not that widely known in Europe came to us in for a review. To be honest we only heard about this phone and didn’t exactly know what to expect, and even after further testing we’re left with mixed feelings, but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.
Inside the factory box (that itself looks really nice with a huge number 15 inscribed), Meizu included the phone itself, user manuals, a branded Type-C charging and data transfer cable, a SIM tray tool and a branded charging adapter.
The phone that came to us came in the black color version, but also available are gold, white and blue versions. The build quality is good, the phone feels solid, it’s made of aluminum, but it’s a true fingerprint magnet, to say the least. Let’s now go into a bit more details about it.
Right of the bat, the Meizu 15 has a really nice display. Although this phone was released in April 2018, Meizu seemed not to care about current trends in display manufacturing and just decided to stay with the normal 16:9 aspect ratio display. With the diagonal of 5.46” and the resolution of 1080 x 1920, this display has the pixel density of 403 PPI, which is really good and because of it no pixelization is visible whatsoever.
Apart from going their own way in terms of design, Meizu also ditched the standard LCD panel that most Chinese manufacturers implement into their smartphones and instead went on to put an AMOLED display into their Meizu 15. The colors are really nice, very sharp and accurate, not too much saturated, the blacks are very deep and the display is plenty bright which means that sunlight legibility is on par. We also have Always-On display function, which is a nice addition.
As we’ve said at the beginning, the display is really nice.
Hardware and OS
Here we can see that the Meizu 15 is an upper mid-ranger in all its glory. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 chipset, the same one we could find in, for instance, the Xiaomi Mi A2. This is a very capable chipset that will be more than enough for an average user. It will let you do everything well enough. You shouldn’t expect it to outperform Snapdragon 845 or Kirin 980, but day to day, you won’t exactly notice that it’s lagging or stuttering at all. Another thing, thanks to which the phone works this well, is memory configuration. Our phone came with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage memory, which is OK, but you can get the Meizu 15 with 128GB of internal storage memory as well. There is also a front mounted fingerprint scanner, and due to the display having the aspect ratio it does, it looks really good there on the front. It’s also super fast and it precise, so you won’t have any problems with it.
Sound is reproduced through 2 speakers, one on top and one at the bottom of the device, which means that we have stereo sound. This is perhaps the best thing about this phone – the sound is really good, plenty loud with deep basses, and beautifully reproduced mid and high tones. Video viewing and music reproduction will be a real treat on this phone.
Now, software-wise, this is where we get most of the issues. This is a current smartphone, yet it works only on Android 7.1.1 Nougat, and we just can’t wrap our heads around this choice. Not only that, but Meizu chose to put the Flyme UI v7 on top of the Android. This UI is OK but it has some bloatware. Honestly though, the bloatware doesn’t affect the phone in any way at all. We’re just disappointed that the company chose to stick to the old version of Android now when even the competitors are pushing Android Pie onto their phones.
Menu navigation is great, the phone is responsive and in general it works just fine. It’s just that we like to stay current with our software.
Meizu 15, on its back, has a double camera setup. The main sensor is a 12 megapixel f/1.8 sensor with PDAF and laser AF, while the secondary sensor has the resolution of 20 megapixels and it only works when taking portrait photos.
Photos taken by the primary camera are just – fine. Nothing special, really. Colors look a bit washed up, there’s not too much digital noise but there is a substantial lack of details in them. The camera is just fine for taking an occasional photo, but don’t expect any sort of professional level pictures. Portrait photos are surprisingly good, edges are very nicely separated and overall they are nice.
The same goes for video – they are good, with a stable framerate, but they lack details. Also, the Meizu 15 is capable of recording 1080p and even 4K videos at 30 fps which is a welcome addition.
The front facing camera is good. It works well, and selfies are more than decent to post them on social media. It’s a shame that the front facing camera doesn’t provide the capability to take portrait photos, but it is what it is.
Videos taken by the front facing camera are also fine, and overall it will suffice most users. Video calls will work really well.
Now, there’s one thing that deserves a separate mention. On the back, below the camera setup there are 6 LED diodes that work together to illuminate the photos in low light shooting conditions. These LEDs are super strong, and when taking portrait shot with them turned on, it’s super inconvenient for the subject to stay calm since they are so bright. On the other hand, they do their job really well, and such photos turn really nice even when the light is scarce.
In terms of connectivity options, the Meizu 15 is a true 2018 mid-ranger. It has many features, but not all. Wireless connections include WiFi 802.11 on a dual-band with the HotSpot mode, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS etc. What it doesn’t have is NFC sadly. For wired connections the Meizu 15 uses a USB Type-C connector, and for music enthusiasts there is also the bottom mounted 3.5mm headphone port.
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, dual band with WiFi Direct and hotspot support
- Bluetooth v4.2 with A2DP and LE support
- GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS i BDS satelites
- USB Type-C 1.0
Supported network bands:
- 2G GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
- 3G WCDMA: 850, 900, 1700, 1900, 2100 MHz
- 4G LTE: 800, 850, 900, 1700, 1800, 2100, 2600 MHz
- 4G TD-LTE: 1900, 2000, 2300, 2500, 2600 MHz
Battery that powers the Meizu 15 has the capacity of 3000 mAh. It’s not super big but it is more than enough to provide a full day of heavy use. Wireless charging is sadly not enabled but we do have fast charging technology implemented via mCharge 4.0, which is a 24W charging system. It is capable of charging up the phone in around 1 hour and 40 minutes from 0 to 100%. The results are really good though, it can last up to 18h while talking over 3G networks.
All this said, we still don’t exactly know what to think about this phone. The Meizu 15 is generally a good phone that will do things mostly good, but it feels as if it was built two years ago. In 2018, it looks and feels – old.
Another huge drawback is its price. It costs around 400 euros, and frankly, we think that it’s way too expensive. There are many other options that cost much less and that are as capable, if not even more.
Meizu 15 is a good phone, don’t get us wrong, but we just can’t recommend it to anyone who’s not a fan.
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