With the five-inch M2 ( 6,999), Chinese smartphone maker Meizu takes on Xiaomi’s Redmi 2 Prime, with its 4.7-inch screen ( 6,999).

Design: Compact and well built

Meizu M2 has a unibody design, similar to its more expensive siblings: the MX5 and M2 Note. There are no touch sensitive navigation keys below the screen, because the single oval Home button has to be pressed once or press and hold to exit an app or return to the home screen, respectively. Despite the plastic exterior, the Meizu M2 is built on solid lines. The soft matte finish adds to its looks and improves grip over the phone. At 131 grams, it weighs less than the Redmi 2 Prime (134 g) which has a smaller display. The Meizu M2 is available in funky colour options—blue, pink, grey and white.

Display: Small but sharp

Meizu M2's five-inch display has a 1280x720 resolution, which is quite adequate for reading, web browsing and video playback. The display is a bit reflective, which affects visibility under sunlight. However, colours look very rich, which makes watching movies quite enjoyable. The device allows users to change the colour temperature too, which means you can select between the more soothing yellow-ish tone or the more natural but sharp white tone. The option is still not very common in budget smartphones.

Software: Android 5.1 with unique interface

The phone runs Android 5.1 (Lollipop) with a rather heavily customised interface, known as Flyme OS. The differences are noticeable from the beginning. The icons are completely redone, compared to what Android usually offers by default. Another plus is the limited number of pre-loaded content, which not only frees up internal storage space but also means that unnecessary apps don’t run in the background. Even the regular set of Google apps such as Play, Newsstand, Drive, Gmail and Chrome have been left out. The good thing is that it has been customised well and despite the phone packing in specifications which aren’t very powerful, we didn’t notice any sluggishness.

The Xiaomi Redmi 2 runs on older Android (KitKat) and its MIUI looks cluttered compared to the Flyme OS. Also, it is more resource intensive and that tends to slow down performance during multi-tasking.

Performance: Adequate for day-to-day tasks

Equipped with a MediaTek MT6735 quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM, the phone delivers a smooth performance. It handled basic tasks such as web browsing, reading and social networking without any hiccups. Though it can play some of the lighter games well, it struggles with the heavy games such as GT Racing 2. We also noticed slight heating up on the back panel and edges during gaming, though the phone remains completely cool the rest of the time. Meizu M2’s 2,500 mAh battery can easily give a full day’s backup on one charge. This is a 4G-ready dual SIM phone with 16 GB internal storage and up to 128 GB expandable memory through a microSD card.

In comparison, the Xiaomi Redmi 2 Prime runs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor with 2 GB RAM. There is no major difference in terms of basic performance and multi-tasking capabilities, and the Redmi 2 Prime also does not heat up.

Camera: Good under daylight

Though the phone has a 13-megapixel camera, we were not impressed with the picture quality. While it handles colour reproduction well, but struggles with detail and sharpness, especially when used indoors. It is better for closeup shots, because of the good focus speed. Low-light shots shows significant amount of noise. The front facing camera is of 5-megapixels and is clear enough for group selfies and video chats. Though the Redmi 2 Prime has a 8-meagapixel camera, its good in terms of colour reproduction detail.

Verdict

The Meizu M2 is notable for its uniquely designed and easier-on-resources Flyme OS. It is built well too, and is quite light. These elements gives it a slight edge over the Redmi 2 Prime.

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