“The MEIZU m3 note is a big upgrade over its predecessor. Here’s a first look”
A little under a year ago, MEIZU launched the m2 note (review) in India. The budget phablet was attractively priced, and offered good specs and performance. However, MEIZU was still finding its feet in the Indian market at the time, and the m2 note didn’t get the attention it deserved. Fast forward to 2016, and it’s a different story. MEIZU is now firmly established in India, and with a few key launches under its belt, has just released the m3 note in India. Compared to the m2 note, the m3 note is a big step up, and the affordable price makes it a very enticing option in the sub-Rs 10,000 market.
We have the m3 note with us, so let’s find out what it brings to the table, starting with its unboxing.
The m3 note ships in a standard white retail box, unlike the flat square box its predecessors shipped in. Opening up the lid, you’ll find the smartphone nestled in a cardboard tray on top. The tray features an insert into which MEIZU’s traditional Flyme-themed SIM ejector tool is placed. Inside the tray is a sheath, which contains the warranty, user guide and other information. Underneath, you’ll find a two-pin wall charger rated at 5V/2A, along with a USB cable. Earphones aren’t included in the package.
Moving over to the smartphone, the MEIZU m3 note features a similar design to the m2 note, with rounded corners and curved edges, but thanks to a full-metal upgrade, feels much more premium to hold. The 5.5-inch full HD display takes centre-stage, and is sharp and responsive.
Above the display you’ll find the earpiece, front 5MP camera and sensors. Below the display there’s just the single mBack home button. For those who don’t know how it works, the mBack button functions as both a home and return button. You can tap it to go back, and press it to jump to the home screen. On the m3 note, the mBack button has also been upgraded, and now integrates a fingerprint sensor as well. You won’t find any other buttons below the screen, since recent apps can be accessed by swiping up from the bottom of the touchscreen. On the right side, you’ll find the volume rocker and power button, while the left spine contains an ejectable tray. The m3 note is a hybrid dual-SIM device, with one nano-SIM card and one micro-SIM card, with the latter doubling up as a microSD card slot when required. The bottom edge features the micro-USB port, primary microphone and loudspeaker, while at the top you’ll find the secondary microphone and 3.5mm audio jack.
The back panel is bisected by shiny antenna lines at the top and bottom, and features the primary 13MP camera, dual-LED flash and MEIZU branding.
The m3 note runs Android 5.1 Lollipop at the base, with MEIZU’s Flyme 5 OS on top. Powering the device is an octa-core MediaTek Helio P10 processor clocked at 1.8GHz. In India, MEIZU has launched the 3GB RAM/32GB storage variant of the m3 note, but the review unit we received is a 2GB RAM/16GB storage device. As for the battery, the m3 note is fuelled by a generous 4,100mAh unit. Despite the large battery, the smartphone still feels very sleek, measuring 8.2mm around the waist and weighing a respectable 163g. In terms of connectivity, the m3 note supports 4G LTE, dual-band Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi direct, Bluetooth 4.0 and USB OTG.
The MEIZU m3 note has been priced very attractively at Rs 9,999, and with its 3GB RAM/32GB storage, outclasses the excellent Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (review), which is priced at Rs 11,999 for a similar configuration… at least in terms of pure specs. The m3 note is an upgrade in every sense of the word, and with features like the the metal body, fingerprint sensor and 4,100mAh battery, could be the success story MEIZU is looking for in India. We’ll putting the m3 note to the test over the coming weeks, with a review coming up shortly.