“At MEIZU’s first meet up in India yesterday, we got a chance to check out the popular m1 note phablet”
Given Xiaomi’s success story in India, we weren’t surprised by rumours that one of its biggest competitors in China, MEIZU, was looking setting up shop in the country. The company has been teasing its imminent launch here on its social media channels of late, and yesterday, it organised its very first meet-up in India in Bangalore. The low-key event was more of an informal introduction, given that MEIZU is still in the process of readying operations in India. Unlike its Chinese counterparts like Xiaomi, OnePlus and Honor, MEIZU also operates through offline channels. Company representatives at the event also stated that they weren’t looking to partner exclusively with any online retailer, which should make MEIZU products more easily accessible online as well. There were three devices mentioned at the event – the MX4, MX4 Pro and the m1 note, but the focus for now seems to be only on the last. MEIZU had a few display units of the m1 note available for media, and we got a chance to go hands-on with the smartphone. Here’s an unboxing and our first impressions.
The m1 note comes packaged in a flat, square white box with branding in the front. Opening up the lid reveals three neat compartments inside. The smartphone is cradled in one, while the remaining two contain the two-pin wall charger and USB cable respectively.
Like Xiaomi, MEIZU has often been associated with taking its design cues from Apple, and the m1 note is a classic example. It draws inspiration from the colourful iPhone 5c, and is also available in a range of bright shades like blue, green, yellow and pink. There’s also a white option available, and that’s what we got our hands on. The smartphone features a unibody polycarbonate exterior with a glossy finish, that’s prone to being smudged easily.
Coming to the all-important camera features, the m1 note features a 13MP primary snapper with dual-tone LED flash, along with a 5MP front camera. The camera app features a full-blown beautification option. Once you take a photo, you can adjust the outline of your eyes and mouth, and then choose which beauty mode you want to add. While some of the results look quite artificial, the app’s image processing algorithms are impressive, since it’s able to beautify the face of a single or all persons in the frame. We can’t really comment on image quality as yet considering we could only test the cameras indoors in poor lighting.
The m1 note is fuelled by a 3,140mAh battery. Connectivity options include dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, GPS and GLONASS. The phone supports 4G only on one SIM, and currently the only LTE network supported in India is band 3 (1,800MHz, FDD LTE). Unfortunately, it’s incompatible with the more popular band 40. In China, the m1 note is priced at approximately Rs 10,000 and Rs 12,200 for the 16GB and 32GB variants respectively. There’s no indication of India-specific pricing yet, but we expect it to be nothing less than aggressive. Given that most devices in the Rs 10,000 – Rs 15,000 range feature HD displays and quad-core processors, the m1 note might have a serious edge over the competition if it is priced sensibly.