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Meizu muscles into international territory with the bright new M5c smartphone

Meizu has announced the M5c, a smartphone the company described to Digital Trends as a very special one, because it’s the first phone is has designed exclusively for sale outside China. The device itself isn’t going to challenge Meizu’s high-end models such as the Pro 6 Plus, and instead is made for anyone not wanting to spend much money on a new phone, while still getting a quality device.

What makes it “international?” Meizu has added band 20 (or 800Mhz) 4G LTE support to the modem, which is a bigger deal than it first sounds. This is a very commonly used frequency in Europe, and it means almost regardless of the network you’re connected to — in the United Kingdom in particular — the M5c will provide 4G LTE speeds. Much better than the 3G speeds achieved by phones without band 20 support. However, Meizu fans in the U.S. still won’t benefit from this addition, as band 20 isn’t used by North American carriers.

The other international aspect highlighted by Meizu on the M5c is the presence of its Flyme 6 user interface. The long-awaited update, which is based on the most recent 7.0 Nougat build of Android, isn’t expected to be publicly released until July this year; but will be installed out of the box on the M5c. The operating system will be driven by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM, but Meizu hasn’t confirmed which chip it will be. A spat with Qualcomm saw Meizu use both Samsung’s Exynos chips and MediaTek chips recently.

Made from polycarbonate, the 8.3mm thick M5c comes in a variety of bright colors, including gold, blue, pink, black, and a very attractive red. The body hides a 3,000mAh battery, which powers a 5-inch screen with a 1280 x 720 pixel resolution, meaning the M5c should return great standby time. The camera on the back has 8 megapixels, an f/2.0 aperture, and a dual-color flash, while the selfie camera has 5-megapixels. Other specifications include 16GB of internal storage, a MicroSD card slot with up to 128GB capacity, plus a hybrid SIM tray that accepts two SIMs alongside the MicroSD card.

Meizu will confirm how much the M5c will cost closer to its release towards the end of June, but rumors ahead of the launch put the price at around $100.

Article originally published on 05-19-2017. Updated on 05-23-2017 by Andy Boxall: Rewritten to reflect the Meizu M5c’s official launch.

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