Meizu’s next device is about to launch, and it’s targeted at international fans

Meizu Pro 6 Plus review
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
Chinese smartphone manufacturer Meizu will launch a new device on May 23, and it’s one that’s very special to the company, Meizu’s head of global marketing, Ard Boudeling, told Digital Trends. Why? It’s the first which has been expressly designed for its international fans. While Meizu has produced devices only for China in the past, this new model has been specially developed for use outside China. Meizu sells its smartphones online in parts of Europe, Asia and South America.

Exactly what this will mean will come with the announcement, and Meizu isn’t teasing anything beyond a single image with a multi-colored letter C in the centre at the time of writing. What will make it suitable for international audiences? Only Meizu knows at the moment, but we wonder if it means a change to Meizu’s Flyme user interface, which is placed over the Android operating system on most other Meizu phones. However, this is speculation on our part for now.

To coincide with this push into dedicated international devices, Digital Trends spoke to Boudeling ahead of the launch, to understand more about a company which may be unfamiliar to many.

Research and development

meizu international phone launch may 23 interview news ard boudeling
Ard Boudeling.

“We started as a hardware company 14 years ago, and hardware is still at our core today,” Boudeling told Digital Trends. “When we started doing hardware in 2003, we didn’t use a fixed research and development budget. Rather, every idea or project was reviewed individually and received resources if it seemed worthwhile. At the time it was basically innovate or die, and we found this method most effective since no good project would get dismissed due to budget restraints. The market has now matured, yet we maintain our attitude to let R&D work free from budget restrictions.”

Engineers in Meizu’s R&D department obviously like the relative freedom, and many have worked for the company for more than a decade. What has this open approach to innovation resulted in? Boudeling gave us a few examples. In 2014, the MX4 Pro became the first Android phone with a fingerprint sensor that needs a finger pressed down on it to activate, rather than being slid down the sensor like other examples at the time. This is now standard on all high-end Android smartphones. The examples continue, with Meizu’s way of disguising antenna bands on its metal smartphones commonly adopted elsewhere, and Huawei taking inspiration from Meizu’s multi-functional fingerprint sensor in its own user interface recently.

“In 2017, we will continue to demonstrate that we are among the companies bringing innovation to this industry,” Boudeling confidently stated. He noted the debut of Super mCharge, a fast-charging technology demonstrated earlier this year, which took a battery to 100 percent charge in 20 minutes — way faster than all other fast-charging technologies available at the moment, including Meizu’s own existing mCharge. It’s not certain the Super mCharge system will be available this year though. Meizu is also invested in making its cameras the best they can be, with a dedicated camera R&D department. The MX6’s camera was the fastest in the world upon release, taking pictures at a mere 319ms.

No U.S. launch plans

Last year, Meizu shipped 22 million units — breaking previous company records — and two million of those were sent outside China.

While the arrival of a true international phone from Meizu is great for those where the company’s phones are readily available, it’s not so good or U.S. fans, as the company doesn’t have any plans to launch here, leaving many to rely on importers if they want to own a Meizu phone.

The mystery Meizu phone will be announced on May 23, and rumors are currently swirling around the impending arrival of a phone referred to as the Meizu M5c.

Mobile

Rekindled yet again, Nokia’s next-gen phones offer more than just nostalgia

HMD Global, a startup that designs and builds Nokia Android smartphones, wants to put the Nokia brand name back “where it belongs.” It helps that it’s made up of ex-Nokia employees. We go behind the scenes to see how HMD formed.
Mobile

Do these case images confirm a side-mounted fingerprint scanner on the S10 E?

It won't be long now; With 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.
Mobile

Here’s how to download podcasts and listen to them on Android or iOS

Podcasts have become a cultural staple. Here's how to download podcasts and listen to them on your Android or iOS device, and which apps to use if you're looking to get the most out of the format.
Mobile

Do these Geekbench results accurately represent the Moto G7?

The Moto G6 range is still relatively new to the market, but rumors have already started about the Moto G7, which is expected some time in 2019. Apparently, a G7 Power version will be joining the G7, G7 Play, and G7 Plus.
Home Theater

Report: Spotify preparing to launch $100 in-car streaming device

According to a report, people familiar with Spotify's plans say the company is readying a dedicated in-car music streamer that will cost $100. It will work with any Bluetooth-enabled audio system and can be controlled by voice.
Mobile

Here's how to convert a Kindle book to PDF using your desktop or the web

Amazon's Kindle is one of the best ebook readers on the market, but it doesn't make viewing proprietary files on other platforms any easier. Here's how to convert a Kindle book to PDF using either desktop or web-based applications.
Home Theater

Spotify adds artist-blocking feature, despite its denials

Though it continues to claim you can't do it, there's lots of evidence that Spotify has added an artist-blocking feature to its platform, making it easy for users to never hear a specific musician or band.
Computing

Yes, you can use Android apps on your Chromebook. Here's how

You can now get Android apps on your Chromebook! Google has enabled the Google Play Store app support on its Chrome OS and Chromebook hardware, so to get you started, here's our guide on how to get Android apps on a Chromebook.
Mobile

Is 5G as fast as they’re saying? We break down the speeds

We take a look at the kinds of speeds you can expect from 5G when the networks roll out. Find out 5G compares to the last generation of network technology, what the minimum and maximum speeds will be, and what it means for us.
Mobile

Tizen 4 arriving on Samsung’s Gear S3 and Gear Sport smartwatches

Samsung is updating the Gear S3 Classic, Gear S3 Frontier, and the Gear Sport to the newest version of Tizen 4. Along with of some little tweaks to usability and quality-of-life, Samsung has added some new features.
Mobile

Here are the best selfie cameras on the market, according to DxOMark

DxOMark, the company known for testing cameras, is now extending its smartphone analysis to include the front-facing camera. The Selfie ranking will be kept separate from the overall mobile score.
Deals

Here are 19 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great small gift ideas), we've rounded up 19 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth keyboard.
Product Review

It may be basic, but the TicWatch E2 is all the smartwatch you need

Want a smartwatch that can track heart rate, has GPS, and interact with notifications — for cheap? Mobvoi’s Google Wear OS-based TicWatch E2 can do it all, for just $160.
Mobile

Mobvoi’s TicWatch E2 and S2 are the most affordable Wear OS smartwatches yet

Quality smartwatches don't have to be expensive, and Mobvoi's TicWatch is the proud paladin of that philosophy. Mobvoi's new TicWatch S2 and are both available for low prices from Amazon and Mobvoi's website.