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Meizu 16s review: Intriguing hardware, frustrating software (Latest version)

For a small Chinese smartphone manufacturer, Meizu definitely enjoy grabbing headlines. For example, earlier this year he had the. Announced Meizu Zero, the "world's first golf smartphone" – a device that later rejects it as a marketing stunt.

The Meizu 16 & # 39; s is not a marketing slip. Instead, Meizu refined its practicality Meizu 16th for 2019. What improved Meizu, and more importantly, is the 16 & # 39; s mobile phone you might actually want to buy?

Find out in Android Authority's Meizu's review.

About this review: I reviewed the 16 & # 39; s provided by Meizu on T-Mobile's network. During this time, the Flyme 7.2.3 unit ran with the security patch of February 1, 2019.

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Meizu 16s review: The big picture

The Meizu 16 & # 39; s is the company's newest flagship smartphone. It offers some small updates on its predecessor, the Meizu 16th. Although the Meizu is primarily intended for the Chinese market, it will eventually be sold worldwide.

As the Meizu offers 16 flagship specifications at a mid-range price, we see it as an affordable flagship. "This segment has the most recent phones like the Xiaomi Mi 9 and Asus ZenFone 6. Let's find out if the Meizu can compete 16 & # 39; s.

What's in the box

  • mCharge (24W) loading brick (European)
  • White USB-A to USB-C cable

Meizu recently reduced the number of items included in its products. Rather than doing a lot of good things in the box, Meizu offered discount to Chinese customers buying the phone and accessories together. Therefore, the 16's ship with just the 24W charging brick and USB cable. Headphones and other accessories must be purchased separately.


  • 151.9 x 73.4 x 7.6 mm
  • 165g
  • No bracket / punch hole camera
  • Carbon Black, Phantom Blue, Pearl White
  • In-display fingerprint reader
  • No water or dust resistance rating

Meizu did not change much of the external design when comparing the 16th to the 16th. The company says it is focusing its efforts on customizing the internal hardware. You will probably have the design of the 16's if you appreciate slim and lightweight smartphones with conservative looks. Overall, there's nothing to showy about the 16s outside.

Meizu's in-display fingerprint reader

Perhaps the Meizu 16s best design feature is the in-display fingerprint reader. Overall, this sensor works pretty well; Meizu claims it's twice as fast as the 16th browser, thanks to some software enhancements. In addition, I really like how the phone describes the fingerprint reader area as your finger approaches it. It made me easy to acclimatise this new type of verification.

Unfortunately, the in-screen reader is an option, which means that the screen shines lightly while reading. This is usually not a problem. However, the brightness of the light can be a little annoying at night if you do not completely cover the sensor area.

Overall, there's nothing to showy about the 16s outside.

Meizu 16s face unlock icon

I also configured the Meizu 16s to use face recognition to unlock as a backup method. Frankly, I was surprised at how quickly the phone could verify my face, even with different facial expressions.

You 16s behind, with fingerprints

I was surprised to learn that the Meizu does not support wireless charging, despite its all-glass design. It would make it easier for me to reconcile with the fact that the 16's glass makes it incredibly smooth.

For example, I often woke up that the phone was on the floor rather than my nightcap. Furthermore, I couldn't keep it in my pocket, because it would only fall out when I sat down. I have unintentionally a dozen or so drop tests & # 39; performed when the phone just didn't touch the surface like me.


You are in hand

  • 6.2-inch
  • 2232 x 1080 Full HD + resolution
  • AMOLED panel

Perhaps the Meizu 16 & # 39; s the most noticeable way to display the screen. With a ratio of 91.53 percent and beautiful curve, the Meizu 16s and the whole screen experience are still comfortable in the hand. Honestly, the impressive then-animated – without a notch or a pop-up mechanism – makes competing phones somewhat dated compared.

Meizu 16s, with front screen scratch visible

The show itself looks good too; It offers good sunlight readability and rich colors. In addition to a standard eye-friendly mode that can be activated from sunset to sunrise, the 16's also support multiple screen modes: Adaptive, Standard, Photo, and Dynamic. You can also manually adjust the white balance in the settings.

With that said, the glass on the Meizu 16s scratched easier than I expected. Multiple, striking small scratches and one deep scratch on the front glass appear within two weeks of use. There is no official glass protector pre-installed, which worries me about the long-term durability of the Meizu 16s.


Meizu 16s Antutu benchmark result with an overall score of 351,577

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  • OneMind 3.0 AI Engine
  • 6GB or 8GB LPDDR4X RAM
  • 128GB or 256GB of the UV 2.1 storage
  • No expandable storage support
  • Limited support for global LTE networks
Read more:

The Meizu 16 & # 39; s offers some impressive specifications and it delivers a flagship level performance as expected. The phone feels fairly fast overall and is undoubtedly on par with its competitors.

Meizu emphasized its OneMind 3.0 AI Engine, which is a series of software optimizations. It is very difficult to say to what extent these optimizations help with performance. However, I can say that the software has launched programs very quickly and has opened stakeholders in the background, without slowing it down, even when I closed the phone for a while.

Meizu 16s dual-SIM card tray

Just like any other Chinese smartphone, the Meizu supports 16 dual-SIM cards. The global variant offers some interesting 4G LTE tapes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 20 and 40. These tapes allow the phone to with some 4G LTE networks mostly in Europe to connect.

On T-Mobile (USA), the phone often dropped to 2G (EDGE) or lost service altogether.

However, if you want to use a phone in the United States, I can't recommend the Meizu 16 & # 39; s. While supporting some of the ties that both AT&T and T-Mobile use, it doesn't support band 12 (which is the primary frequency of AT&T and T-Mobile's secondary "Extended Range" frequency ) or most other American LTE tires. I could use the Meizu 16 & # 39; s with T-Mobile 4G LTE in urban settings. However, the phone often dropped to 2G (EDGE) or lost the service.


Meizu 16s battery use display

  • 3,600mAh
  • mCharge Fast Loading (24W, 12V / 2A)

I was consistently able to use the Meizu 16s for one and a half with moderate usage at a single charge. With heavy use I could use the phone for a full day without any problems. The 16 & # 39; s are on par with competitors.

Annoying, it comes at a cost because the phone's software is very aggressive with its per-app "smart background" feature. With just a few exceptions, if I wanted a program to send my notifications, I had to manually turn off the feature. This was a very frustrating process because I expected app notifications with the Meizu 16s to work just like most other Android smartphones.

May 16s and its mCharge quick-loader

The Meizu 16 & # 39; s supports 24 W mCharge, which will give you a 40 percent charge in 30 minutes (≈1440 mAh). This can be enough if you are in a small pinch, but I am reluctant to call this load "fast" as it is not very competitive. For example, the Huawei P30 Pro can take up to 70 percent more than twice as fast in the same 30 minutes (402940 mAh).


You are behind the camera

  • Primary: 48MP Sony IMX586, f/1.7, OIS
  • Secondary: 20MP Sony IMX350, f/2.6, set 3x lossless zoom & # 39; capable
  • Front Camera: 20MP Samsung 3T2, f/2.2

In good light, the cameras on the Meizu produce 16s good photos with a pleasant color profile. I feel like the camera does a good job of delivering beautiful but accurate photos. There are also some good dynamic ranges. As expected, the automatic HDR can help.

Having said that, it's not a perfect setup. I noticed, like most mid-range smartphones, that the 16 & # 39; s had problems processing things like bright red colors that were blown out. The built-in portrait mode also missed the edges of subjects more than I wanted. Finally, I noticed a few cases where the phone didn't have the color temperature of the scene as much as it would have. However, this did not happen very often and when it did, it was not a big problem.

<img width = "840" height = "630" src = "×630.jpg" class = "attachment-size-size-large” alt=”Test scene for Meizu 16s” />
<img width = "840" height = "630" src = "×630.jpg" class = "attachment-size-size-large” alt=”Test scene for Meizu 16s, 3x lossless zoom” />
<img width = "840" height = "630" src = "×630.jpg" class = "attachment-size-size-large” alt=”Low light test scene for Meizu 16s” />
<img width = "840" height = "630" src = "×630.jpg" class = "attachment-size-size-large” alt=”Low light, zoomed-in test scene for Meizu 16s” />

I was really disappointed with the advertised 3x "lossless" zoom. When I zoomed in, I noticed that the photos were dimmed with dull colors. This was especially true in low light environments.

Regarding the low light in general, the 16 & apos; s do a decent job; It is able to maintain the most colors, but struggles with detail. It also sometimes has a noticeable amount of noise. However, the built-in SuperNight mode works much better by combining up to 17 frames in a single image.

<img width = "840" height = "630" src = "×630.jpg "class =" attachment-sized size-large” alt=”Meizu SuperNight mode test scene 2″ />
<img width = "840" height = "630" src = "×630.jpg "class =" attachment-sized size-large” alt=”Google Pixel 3 XL night mode mode plays scene 2″ />
<img width = "840" height = "630" src = "×630.jpg "class =" attachment-sized size-large” alt=”Meizu SuperNight mode test scene 1″ />
<img width = "840" height = "630" src = "×630.jpg "class =" attachment-sized size-large” alt=”Google Pixel 3 XL Night Sight Mode Test Scene 1″ />

Compared to Google's own Night Sight technologySupernight seems to perform better than a moderate amount of lighting is available. I noticed that the Meizu 16s & # 39; SuperNight better recognized the value of some highlights while still beating the shadows.

<img width = "840" height = "630" src = "×630.jpg" class = "attachment-size-size-large” alt=”Selfie taken with the Meizu 16s, beauty down” />
<img width = "840" height = "630" src = "×630.jpg" class = "attachment-size-size-large” alt=”Selfie taken with the Meizu 16s, light beautify” />

Meizu is the first manufacturer to use Samsung & # 39; s ISOCELL Slim 3T2 sensor for their front camera. It's great for the occasional selfie or group photo.

<img class = "alignnone size-large wp-image-987916" src = "×560.jpg” alt=”Meizu 16s camera app” width=”840″ height=”560″ />

Meizu's built-in camera application is simple and easy to use. There are a variety of additional modes available: panorama, scan (for QR codes), time lapse and slo-mo. However, I think it can be improved by providing more feedback when taking photos or processing them. There were times when it didn't respond, because I was trying to capture a second photo before the first finish processing.


<img class = "alignnone size-large wp-image-987917" src = "×560.jpg” alt=”Meizu 16s fast app launcher” width=”840″ height=”560″ />

  • Flyme 7.3
  • Android 9 Piece

In the past I noticed how much I appreciated Meizu's personal Flyme user experience. Many of the same aesthetics can be found here on the Meizu 16 & apos; s. In some cases, Meizu's design makes Android easier to use by making common sense simplifications to the user interface. However, I think it's time for Meizu to change the design a bit, as it has hardly changed since I Meizu Pro 7 Plus almost two years ago.

There are some really nice software features included. One of my favorites is the fast app launcher, which protrudes an alphabetical list of programs when floating on either side of the home screen. You can then just move your finger and release about the program you want to launch.

<img class = "alignnone size-large wp-image-987918" src = "×560.jpg” alt=”Meizu 16s full-screen multi-tasking view” width=”840″ height=”560″ />

I also like the different navigation options, including one with which you can use full screen gestures. When using full-screen gestures, you can tell the phone to ignore the screen gestures so that any swipe on the sides of the screen is interpreted only by the app in the foreground, rather than the gesture system of the phone. This makes it no conflict with any applets. Perhaps Google should consider copying this feature before it is released Android Q.

Meizu has recently been criticized for being far more passive with global model updates than Chinese model updates

Speaking of future versions of Android, there's almost zero percent chance of receiving updates from Meizu on the 16s. And while some Meizu's Flyme updates can handle, it's good enough, I'm worried the updates won't reach worldwide variations of the 16 & # 39; s. Meizu got it confronted with criticism to be passive with global model updates compared to Chinese model updates. Meizu has since excuse, but so far nothing has been done other than what users have said to "keep quiet." To make matters worse, there is no hope for third party support, as the boot loader on the 16th cannot be unlocked.

<img class = "alignnone size-large wp-image-987919" src = "×560.jpg” alt=”Meizu 16's notice color problem” width=”840″ height=”560″ />

I find this situation particularly worrying considering how buggy the software is on the Meizu 16 & # 39; s: you can't change the background; Google Cast often disconnects without warning; The default Android photo-in-photo controls are disabled; The notification screen does not always display background color notifications correctly; and so on. Considering the slow pace of Meizu's software updates, these issues are difficult to experience.

Until Meizu gets his act together, software will be the 16th Achilles heel

Until Meizu gets his act together, software will be the Achilles heel of the 16th. While Meizu is definitely not the first Chinese smartphone manufacturer to deliver a poor global software experience, Meizu's competitive pricing can no longer be used as an excuse, thanks to improved support from other phone makers.


<img class = "alignnone size-large wp-image-987912" src = "×560.jpg” alt=”Meizu 16 & # 39; s playing music via Spotify” width=”840″ height=”560″ />

  • No headphone jack
  • Stereo speakers
  • Bluetooth 5.0

The headphone jack on the Meizu 16s is combined with the side-speed speaker for a stereo sound configuration. Meizu chose this design to keep the rings at a minimum. The sound quality is somewhat lower, but I think it's a fair deal given the big screen-to-body ratio. In general, sound sounds pretty good, even though it's a little flat.

Although the Meizu 16s also supports Bluetooth 5.0, the antenna looks slightly poor. To avoid frequent sound shortening with my Sony headphones, I need the best audio sound, a setting that reduces the sound quality when the Bluetooth connection is poor. Overall, I don't think it's a big concern unless you have to use Bluetooth devices on long ranges.

The Meizu 16s does not include a 3.5mm headphone jack

Unfortunately, the Meizu 16s does not include a 3.5mm headphone jack. Worse, Meizu does not include a dongle in the box. However, it recently released a nice, decent Hi-Fi audio dongle for 169 yuan ($ 25) along the Meizu 16s. It is unclear whether this dongle will be available outside of China.


<img class = "alignnone size-large wp-image-987927" src = "×560.jpg” alt=”Meizu POP 2 loading container, open” width=”840″ height=”560″ />

In addition to the Hi-Fi audio dongle, Meizu also launched its POP 2 earbuds and EP63 Noise Canceling headphones.

The POP 2 earbuds are designed to replace the existing POP earbuds. They are fairly affordable at 399 yuan (~ $ 58) and are IPX5 certified so you have no snow or rain problems. Meizu claims that the POP 2 earbuds can last up to 8 hours and can be used for another 16 hours with the enclosed charging case.

<img class = "alignnone size-large wp-image-987929" src = "×560.jpg” alt=”Meizu EP63NC Headphones” width=”840″ height=”560″ />

If you're willing to spend even more – 499 yuan (~ $ 72) – you can grab the Meizu EP63NC headphones. The EP63NC offers the same IPX5 certification, but does not require a payload, as it uses power in the neckband for up to 11 hours. They offer slightly better sound quality, although I thought the noise canceling was a little poor overall.


Meizu 16s (M1971)
performance 6.2-inch AMOLED screen
18.6: 9 ratio
2,232 x 1,080 resolution
2.5D glass
processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
Save 128GB / 256GB UV 2.1
Not changeable
(256GB exclusive to China)
battery 3,600mAh
24W mCharge fast loading
No wireless charging
cameras back:
48 MP Sony IMX586 main sensor, ƒ / 1.7 aperture, OIS
20 MP Sony IMX350 secondary sensor, ƒ / 2.6 aperture

20MP sensor, ƒ / 2.2 aperture

headphone no
security Super mTouch Optical In-Screen Fingerprint Sensor (Goodix)
software Flyme 7.3, based on Android 9 Pie
Carrier frequencies (global version) GSM: Band 2, 3, 5, 8
WCDMA: Band 1, 2, 4, 5, 8
CDMA: Band C0
TD-LTE: Band 40
FDD-LTE: Band 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 20
Dimensions and weight 151.9 x 73.4 x 7.6 mm
Colours Carbon black
Pearl White
Phantom Blue

Value for money

  • 6GB RAM and 128GB Storage: 3.198 yuan (~ $ 462)
  • 8GB RAM and 128GB Storage: 3,498 yuan (~ $ 506)
  • 8GB RAM and 256GB Storage: 3.998 yuan (~ $ 578)

By the time of writing, Meizu did not provide global pricing and availability details. If the global models of the Meizu are priced similarly to their Chinese counterparts, we can expect them to be reasonably competitive.

Respectfully, Meizu has avoided heading for an upward price trajectory like some competitors like OnePlus did. Despite this, they have managed to deliver some excellent hardware that has much more expensive smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S10 in certain areas.

The value offered by the Meizu 16s is strikingly similar to that of the Xiaomi Mi 9. It's a bit short in software, but has slightly better hardware. Time will tell if Meizu Xiaomi can underperform with their global pricing with this model.

<img class = "alignnone size-large wp-image-987904" src = "×560.jpg” alt=”You are in hand” width=”840″ height=”560″ />

Meizu's review: The verdict

My experience with the Meizu 16s made me feel more confused than anything else. Meizu seems to have developed the 16's, while its global users have been neglected. The full-screen display, high-end specs and good cameras make me think the 16's are for tech enthusiasts. But then I am reminded of the dark global software situation. Even for the hardcore Meizu fans out there, the 16 & # 39; s are tough selling, as Meizu's next smart phone is probably not too far off.

My experience with the Meizu 16s made me feel more confused than anything else

Overall, the Meizu 16s have the potential to be a good choice if Meizu is confronted with the software situation. But with strong rivals having their collective software games on the verge, the 16 & apos; s are a tough sale.

Should the Meizu 16s still be taken seriously? Let us know in the comments section below!

Thanks for reading Android Authority& # 39; s Meizu 16s review.