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41009 17/5/2018 05:37
mp3pan Junior
Edited by mp3pan at 17/5/2018 05:47

The competition in the smartphone market in Mainland China is at a record high in 2018, with industry pundits predicting who will survive and who will go belly up every now and then. To survive and thrive, all smartphone designers face two strategic choices in their new model development. One is to follow the trend and adopt whatever is considered new and most marketable. This is obviously the easy way out in terms of cost of development and procurement of components. Another is to buck the trend and do whatever you think is necessary in your pursuit of excellence. To say the least, this would be a much more treacherous path. The cost of innovation can be overwhelming and the stakes will be really high. Meizu tried it on its previous flagship Pro7 series and failed. They are not to be fazed, though. Now with the release of the new 15 series, Meizu demonstrates its dogged determination in its quest for a well-rounded, well-balanced, and innovation-packed flagship series. They certainly did it.

The 15 series is said to be the masterpiece of Meizu's top leader, known by his forum account as J.Wong. Over the years he's earned himself the reputation of being a perfectionist in the design of his Dream Phone, as is dubbed in the industry. The 15 series comes in 3 models, 15 Plus (5.95-inch diagonal at a 16:9 aspect ratio); 15 (5.46 inch, 16:9), and 15 Lite (5.46 inch 16:9, also domestically named M15 ), and they are every bit J.Wong's phone when it comes to handling and craftsmanship. Weighing 177g, the nearly 6-inch 15 Plus boasts ultra thin bezels on the top and the bottom, and almost non-existent bezels on the left and right of the screen, which is custom-made Super AMOLED from Samsung. 15 weighs 152g and M15 even lighter. They are palm-friendly at their best, and even for 15 Plus, it still sits comfortably well in my pocket without feeling an inch too big nor a gram too heavy.   

In the middle of the phone's chin there sits the fingerprint scanner, also doubles as the Home button of the device. It's much smaller than all circle-shaped counterparts seen on models of different brands, only a third as big as Meizu's popular oval-shaped Home buttons. Yet it works like a charm. It takes less time to unlock the phone than its own predecessors and outside rivals, with a friendly "nudge" when pressed a bit harder than a slight touch, enabled by its made-to-measure pressure sensitive sensor underneath the fingerprint scanner, which they call mEngine. It's the best Home button you can ever wish for.

Besides the fingerprint scanner, the three models all come with the Face Unlock Technology as well. Understandably it is slightly slower to unlock the phone than fingerprint, it still comes in handy on many occasions and is a very welcome option. Personally at my everyday work I am required to wear rubber gloves at all times and Face Unlock serves as a nice surprise because it saves a lot of trouble.

The 15 Plus and 15 both come with speakers on both the forehead and the bottom of the phone, offering their users an unprecedented acoustic user experience like no others.

A new series would not have been worthy of the honor of being called flagship if they come with common-or-garden cameras. No, certainly not for the 15th anniversary models. The 15 Plus and 15 are equipped with the cutting-edge dual camera boasting Sony IMX380 (12MP 1.55um sensor) plus IMX350 (20MP wide-angle sensor), seen also on the new HuaWei P20) with the capability of 2* optical zoom and 3* lossless zoom. As if for good measure, both models come with 4-axis optical image stabilization technology and multi-frame synthesis technology for low-light conditions. I was very lucky to have had my hands on a 15 Plus shortly before the release conference, and I took the opportunity to try out its camera when I was in WuZhen for the release. The town is known for its well-preserved, quaint-looking stone bridges and wooden houses with black tiles and its laid-back lifestyle and fascinating night views. The scenery was one of a kind, and the 15 Plus camera did its night views justice to the fullest. See a few of the shots and be the judge yourself. All photos are taken with my bare hands (i.e. without a tripod), and what you see below are the original ones without resorting to any means of Photoshopping or editing whatsoever.  

A Portrait Mode is also available on 15 Plus and 15 to help blur the background and accentuate the subject of your composition. The M15 is the entry-level model so it doesn't have a dual camera and 2* zoom (digital zoom is available though), nor the Portrait Mode. The focus speed is swift and effortless, and as you can see, the pictures are clean and full of details with impeccably accurate exposures.

There is too much about Meizu's new 15 series to be said in one article, try as I may. You may say an aspect ratio of 16:9 is now out and what is in is 18:9. To some extent it may be true, but it's only a matter of opinion. Other things being equal, a 16:9 ratio gives the user a much larger screen area than 18:9, and as of this moment, large quantities of videos and games and webpages are still based on and optimized for 16:9 screens. When the crowd is flocking mindlessly toward the 2:1 ratio (or a notch screen for that matter) like a herd of lemmings, smartphone fans should count their blessings that there's still one Chinese smartphone designer, Meizu, that seeks to push the envelop and perfect the good old 16:9 ratio category. For this fact alone, I tip my hat to them. Way to go, Meizu!



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PULKIT007 Member 21/5/2018 01:04 From the mobile phone
Great review
kArViX Member 17/5/2018 21:29
Beautiful review
CityOasis Junior 17/5/2018 18:50
nice photos
Vinaykumarrock9 Middle Member 23/5/2018 22:42
bro any samples for Portrait mode