Meizu's powerful new contender costs less than a Moto G

Meizu's new cut-price flagship contender costs less than a Moto G
It's big and cheap

Chinese manufacturer Meizu has held a launch event in Bejing for its latest device, the Meizu M2 Note.

Meizu is a brand name that you might not have heard of, but in its native China it is doing incredibly well, building up a dedicated fan base and getting a huge investment from the Alibaba online shop.

If you haven't heard of Meizu yet you probably will in the near future, with the company keen to expand into the European and US markets, and we've been told that its latest release, the M2 Note, will be heading our way soon.

Big features, small price

Like its compatriots OnePlus, Meizu has been building a decent reputation for creating powerful handsets with impressively low price tags.

Meizu M2 Note

At the launch, Meizu was candid about how its M1 Note handset was not perfect, and listed how it had worked hard to fix these problems for the M2 Note.

For example the polycarbonate unibody remains, but the design has been tweaked to make it more comfortable to hold, eliminating the rounded back and reducing the depth by 0.2mm to 8.7mm. Apparently holding an M2 Note will be like "sticking out your hand in a 60mph car", though we're not too convinced by that.

It also supports dual SIMs, which got an enthusiastic response from the mostly Chinese audience at the launch event, as it will allow consumers to switch between the two big networks, China Mobile and UniCom, with ease.

Those of us outside of China should still get some benefits from being able to use two SIM cards at once.

Meizu M2 Note

One of the SIM card ports can also be used for a microSD card, which gives the M2 Note a combined expendable storage of up to 160GB.

Performance has been improved, with a 1.3GHz octacore 64-bit processor as well as Android 5.0 and 64-bit FlyMe OS – Meizu's custom overlay for Android.

The M2 Note also comes with a 5.5-inch 1080p display, a 13 megapixel rear camera, a 5MP front facing camera and 2GB of RAM.

The revolution starts at home

The biggest new feature of the M2 Note, according to Meizu, is the brand new home button, known as mBack. The round home button of previous Meizu devices has been dropped, as well as fingerprint scanning.

Meizu M2 Note

In its place we have the slightly oval mBack button, which is designed to help people navigate the phone with only one hand – something that's usually a struggle with phablet devices.

The 16GB M2 Note will go on sale in China for 799RMB (around $129, £85, AU$168) with the 32GB coming in at 999RMB (around $161, £106, AU$210).

We've asked Meizu for the international pricing, but it is not revealing it just yet. It's likely to not be quite as cheap as its Chinese prices, but we're confident that it will still be very competitively priced that could give OnePlus a hard time.

Chinese customers can pre-order it today, and for the rest of the world we'll have to sit tight for a launch date, but as soon as we hear one from Meizu we'll let you know.

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. He’s personally reviewed and used most of the laptops in our best laptops guide - and since joining TechRadar in 2014, he's reviewed over 250 laptops and computing accessories personally.