Meizu, the Chinese smartphone company, has made good on its promise that its hardware would be available to international buyers this year. It has opened the virtual doors to Meizumart, its own online store, where you can purchase its MX3 smartphone from $400. The announcement comes a short time after newcomer OnePlus revealed the One, a high-end phone available for a low price. Meizu takes a knowing swipe at OnePlus’ pre-order system on its homepage, saying the MX3 can be purchased “without invitation.”
What do you get for your $400? The MX3 is a good looking phone with a 5.1-inch display, equipped with an unusual 1800 x 1080 pixels, which isn’t quite enough to make it 1080p. Inside isn’t the MediaTek chip you may expect, but one of Samsung’s eight-core Exynos 5 Octa processors, and 2GB of RAM.
So far, so good, but sadly the remainder of the MX3’s specs don’t quite hold up when compared to the OnePlus One. The rear camera is produced by Sony and has 8-megapixels, while the front facing selfie cam has 2.1-megapixels, and the phone lacks 4G LTE connectivity. Meizu did produce an MX3 with 128GB of internal memory, but this option is missing from Meizumart, leaving buyers with a choice of either 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB.
The choice of colors is also restricted to either black or white, but at the time of writing, only the black version is in stock. Meizu highlights a few of the features which make the MX3 standout, including a clever antenna and cooling system, making the phone more energy efficient, and a strong speaker system driven by a Wolfson audio chip. Finally, the phone uses Meizu’s own version of Android called Flyme OS 3.0, which is surprisingly enjoyable to use and has a modern, flat design.
Interested in an MX3? The 16GB phone will cost you $400, the 32GB is $430, and the 64GB phone is priced at $470. Meizu offers free worldwide shipping and a year’s warranty on each device. While it’s not quite the bargain we’d hoped for, it does help Meizu gain some attention before launching its first Ubuntu OS phone, which we’re expecting before the end of the year.