Our Verdict

High-end specs, excellent performance and an intuitive UI make this affordable Meizu a real pro.

For

  • Vibrant QHD display
  • Great sound quality
  • Intuitive UI
  • Reliable fingerprint scanner

Against

  • No expandable storage
  • Only available via import
  • Chinese text in some apps
  • Minimal aesthetics

Meizu is a rather unfamiliar name to many living in the UK, US and Australia. However, over the past few years the Chinese smartphone company has been subtlety expanding into the global market, building significant fan bases in France, Russia, Italy, Ukraine and Israel.

This gradual expansion into the Middle East and Europe is no fluke. In China, Meizu products both MP3 players and smartphones, have always been renowned for being well built and affordable.

Prices for the Meizu MX4 Pro are higher than the Chinese RRP but the MX4 Pro still offers great value for money, with the 16GB model currently available for $579 (around £380, AU$750). This price also includes shipping from Hong Kong and an international 12 month warranty.

With the use of the global Meizumart online store and localised sites for certain countries, Meizu has managed to get its products into the hands of consumers all over the world and enhance its reputation further afield.

Meizu MX4 Pro review

The MX4 Pro is a supercharged version of Meizu's 2014 flagship, the MX4, and sports flagship level specs including a 5.5-inch Quad HD screen, a Samsung Exynos 5 Octa 5430 processor (the same as the one found in the Galaxy Alpha) with 3GB RAM, 4G LTE, a 20.7MP rear camera and either 16, 32 or 64GB of internal storage.

It remains to be seen how the specs of the MX4 Pro hold up against upcoming 2015 flagships, however at present these internals are some of the best available.

Despite the numerous benefits, there are often a number of drawbacks associated with purchasing Chinese smartphones. Due to restrictions within China, Google apps and services such as the Play Store are not pre-installed on devices intended for the domestic market.

Thus it's often a difficult task to get them installed and running correctly. Many of these smartphones are also not officially available in the UK, US or Australia and this results in import suppliers selling them with no international warranty, for considerably more than the Chinese retail price.

Fortunately, for anyone who wishes to purchase a Meizu MX4 Pro, the company's official 'Meizumart' store stocks devices that come preloaded with the Google Play Store and provides global shipping.

The MX4 Pro is sleek and minimal, possibly too minimal for some. Around the front things are kept simple with a 5MP front snapper, LED notification light, earpiece and physical home button. This is surrounded by a premium-feeling metallic frame, which seamlessly blends into the smooth plastic rear.

Meizu MX4 Pro review

Meizu opted for a rectangular home key to increase scanning resolution

I personally like the uncluttered design, with the physical home key, but some may just see it as some sort of iPhone 6/Galaxy Note 4 hybrid.

Meizu has slightly moved away from its common design language with the MX4 Pro, opting for the large physical home button, in order to pack in the mTouch fingerprint scanner. The result is a key that feels solid and gives a satisfying click when pressed.

The microUSB port takes up a central position on the bottom edge of the MX4 Pro, flanked by a solitary speaker and microphone. I would have liked to have seen dual front-firing speakers, similar to HTC One M8's, on such a media-centric device.

Meizu MX4 Pro review

The 3.5mm headphone jack and secondary microphone are also up top

However, thanks to the curvature of the MX4 Pro's bottom edge, the speaker is not directly covered by your hand when consuming media in landscape mode.

The sides of the MX4 Pro are rather barren to say the least, with only the volume rocker on the left. A combination of the smooth sides and plastic rear mean the MX4 Pro can be a little slippery in the hand, but not unmanageable.

Where things do start to get awkward is when trying to reach the power key on the top edge of the MX4 Pro. Given that the MX4 Pro is a rather tall device, the power button can be difficult to reach. The button itself, like the volume rocker and home key, has a great tactile and clicky feel.

Meizu MX4 Pro review

If damaged, the rear cover can be easily be replaced

Although the MX4 Pro is a solidly built smartphone, with an aluminium frame, the plastic rear still makes it feel a little less premium than metal unibody devices such as the iPhone 6 and HTC One M9.

The MX4 Pro's rear panel is removable, yet the battery is non-replaceable and there's no expandable storage slot. Taking the back off just to access the microSIM card slot seems a little excessive but this option was probably chosen to reduce production costs.

White and gold versions of the MX4 Pro are also available, which are slightly less understated than the grey model shown here.