If battery life and value-for-money are among your chief concerns, the Meizu M3s is a good buy
Chinese smartphone maker Meizu recently launched M3s, a small-screen variant of the M3 Note, in India. The Meizu M3s is a decent mix of the latest specs and Android software, and it checks off beautiful display, fingerprint sensor, large battery, and places itself in sub-10K smartphone bracket. It comes in two variants —2 GB RAM with 16 GB ROM and 3 GB RAM with 32 GB ROM priced at R7,999 and R9,299, respectively. The smartphone is available in three colours—grey, silver and gold. We reviewed the silver 2 GB+16 GB variant; here’s what we liked and what we did not.
The smartphone comes with 13-megapixel rear camera, 5.0 megapixel front camera, octa-core A53 processor, and 3020 mAh battery along with 24 GHz dual band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, digital compass, digital ruler, amongst others. A dual SIM phone with hybrid SIM slot, it means you can use two SIM slots or one SIM slot and microSD card at a time and it supports all 4G networks.
Inside the box, Meizu packs the M3s right on top, which looks like a iPhone from the front. Beneath the phone lies a paper manual and two small boxes—one contains the USB cable and the other wall adapter. The first impression of the device is favourable, owing to its sleek appearance with a sophisticated metal body. The metal unibody construction with nice chamfered edges make it look like a premium smartphone, some may even confuse the phone with Apple iPhone 6. The device is non-slippery, which is a rare quality in metallic phones.
The metallic smartphone tends to get colder when not in use, and hotter when in use. It heated up very mildly during the review period. The heating issue, however, can worsen in hot climates. The phone comes with Asahi Dragontrail glass, instead of the popular Corning Gorilla glass. However, when we accident-ally dropped it, the screen did not shatter or crack. The top edge of M3s has 3.5mm audio and the bottom edge has charging/data transfer port and the speakers. The speakers of the phone are good enough, if not great.
In terms of battery, the inbuilt 3020 mAh battery in the smartphone lasted for a day and a half after one full recharge, and the usage involved calls, moderate YouTube streaming, messaging, social media, and games like Candy Crush and Subway Surfers. The long battery life can let Meizu survive longer in the competitive smartphone market in India. The M3s allows you to download trending apps such as Candy Crush, Facebook, WhatsApp, Shareit and many others in one touch without accessing or logging in Google Play Store.
Camera is another feature which sets this phone apart. The Chinese brand has managed to offer a fantastic camera, which captures a great amount of details in each click. For media lovers, the camera offers various features like panorama, HDR, smart scene, slow motion, time lapse, professi-onal mode and also allows you to capture six-second GIF images. It also has inbuilt photo filters and advanced photo editing tools. The device manages to keep its performance quite satisfactory and packs a 5-inch Full HD display which offers soft yet bright display colours and sharp texts.
However, one of the major disappointments from this phone is its FlyMe OS 5.1 operating system (runs above Android Lollipop). The OS, or hardware of the phone, does not have keys for navigation, or to go back to the previous screen, which forces an user to rely on the home button for switching the apps or closing it. The device has only a single navigation button called mBack, which acts as home button, fingerprint scanner and back button. The fingerprint scanner is too weak and often failed to read the fingerprint.
If you need a smartphone right away and Redmi 3s Prime is out of stock, then Meizu M3s can be an option. Also, if you spend most of your time clicking pictures or editing it or creating GIFs, then you can consider buying it. The phone is not best in the segment, but it is not bad either in this price range.
Estimated street price: R7,999