Meizu Pro 5 Ubuntu Edition Review: Cute Clumsy Penguin

By 04:52 Tue, 17 Aug 2021 Comments


Introduction

The Meizu PRO 5 might be almost a year recent now, but it is still a gorgeous and exquisite flagship device. The only real question is, could Meizu have possibly made it better by ditching the tried and accurate Android and by taking a shot on Ubuntu - a rarity on the smartphone scene to say the least. But, we won't dive into that quite yet.

First up, lets quickly recall what the Meizu Pro 5 offers users and what made it stand out from the otherwise excellent MX5 model. The Pro moniker usually stands for a bigger screen, flagship chipset and greater camera, and the Meizu Pro 5 bumps exactly those features over the MX5. Plus, we acquire the trending 2.5D classy screen glass to complete the aluminum unibody, which is very welcome.


But besides its gorgeous appearance, the Meizu Pro 5 also offers flagship 2015 specs. It has a phablet-sized 5.7-inch, 1080p AMOrganic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) display. Power is also ample in the Pro 5 even by today's standards, thanks to the Samsung-made Exynos 7420 SoC, that went into the Galaxy S6 lineup as well, plus 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and a Sony IMX230 capturing camera sensor.

Key features

    • 5.7" 1080p AMOrganic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) display of 386ppi
    • Ubuntu Touch 15.04 at the time of writing the review. Updates are often, just like with most Linux distros.
    • Samsung Exynos 7420: octa-core processor with 4x 2.1Giga Hertz (GHz) Cortex-A57 and 4x 1.5Giga Hertz (GHz) Cortex -A53, Mali-T760MP8 GPU, 3GB of RAM
    • 21MP Sony Exmor RS IMX230 capturing camera sensor with two-tone Light Emitting Diode (LED) flash, 1080p video recording @30fps
    • 5MP front-facing capturing camera with 1080p@30fps video recording
    • 32GB of built-in storage; expandable via a microSD slot
    • Cat. 6 LTE (300/50Mbps); Dual SIM; Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) a/b/g/n/ac; Bluetooth 4.1; GPS/GLONASS/Beidou; Universal Serial Bus (USB) Type-C port, Universal Serial Bus (USB) On-The-Go
    • Active noise cancellation via a dedicated mic
    • 3,050mAh battery with 24W mCharge 2.0 (up to 65% battery power in 30min)

Main disadvantages

    • No 4K video recording, unlike the Android version
    • The mTouch Home button with a fingerprint scanner is present but does not work under Ubuntu yet
    • No Frequency Modulation (FM) radio
    • No IR blaster

Overall, all the bits and pieces that made the Meizu Pro 5 remarkable are still present, but even on paper, we can already see quite a lot of compromises brought about by the recent Operating System (OS) in the Ubuntu Edition at hand. The capturing camera has lost its high-res video support, which might actually be the least of its problems, but more on that in the dedicated section.

The lack of fingerprint support is undoubtedly a whole lot more disappointing when you are fully aware that the hardware is there, the software just doesn't want to play nice with it.

Unfinished as it may be, however, it is also worth noting that Ubuntu Touch was first announced back in 2011 and the first Developer Edition saw the light of day in 2013. So, the Operating System (OS) itself isn't quite so young in the traditional sense of the word. Thus, even though we acknowledge its developing nature, we also have reason to expect at least some modern-day features on the Meizu Pro 5 Ubuntu Edition.






Meizu Pro 5 Ubuntu Edition in official photos

But, before we continue reminiscing over lost features and potential, follow along in the next section to stop and appreciate the gorgeous exterior and exquisite build quality of the Meizu Pro 5.


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