Meizu launched its budget m3 note smartphone in India recently, but the company won’t be pushing the Android Marshmallow update on the phone anytime soon.The company is in fact more bothered its own Flyme UI and says users should be looking at that instead of worrying about Android updates.
In a conversation with IndianExpress.com, Jennifer, who works on the product side for the Chinese company, said it is meaningless to see just the Android version and it is more important to look at the features built for Flyme UI. Meizu says it works to distinguish which part of Android is good and what needs work and brings only important elements to its Flyme UI.
She said they are working hard to deliver the latest security patch received from Google at the earliest, as “security is a key to the success of Flyme UI and the reason behind its 20 million customers”.
The Meizu m3 note is the first direct competitor to Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 3 smartphone with competitive specs on paper, including a large 4100mAh battery. Meizu, however, sees the phone as much more than competition. In fact, Leon Zhang, Marketing Head of Meizu India, goes to the extent of calling it “the beauty of attraction”.
The Meizu m3 note features a metal unibody design and specs to match the likes of Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 3 or other similar smartphones. The differentiator is not the design but what runs on the device, the company says, putting the focus on its Flyme UI 5.1 which run on top of Android 5.1 Lollipop.
But custom ROMs have for long had one simple problem, that of being pretty late to the part when it comes to Android updates. Within a few days, Google will announce Android N at its annual developer conference I/O 2016 in San Francisco. And that will leave Meizu’s so called ‘beauty of attraction’ running a two-year-old operating system.
But the company doesn’t think it is a valid evaluation. “We believe the key with software is interaction and integration and our Flyme UI 5 brings seamless UI and neat software elements to make an otherwise old OS feel updated,” said Leon.
With Flyme UI 5, Meizu has added card style multi-window option and Jennifer was quick to note that it is a fully functional multi-tasking feature. The new gallery app on Meizu’s Flyme UI sorts pictures based on time and place. The picture gallery can also be viewed based on maps, very much like Google Photos app.
Meizu claims significant performance improvement on Flyme UI 5 versus Flyme 4.5 and has reduced memory consumed by system apps in favour of more user apps. Like other Android ROMs, Flyme UI also boasts of 1000+ themes and 10,000+ wallpapers.
Flyme UI does bring elements from Google’s vanilla Android, but it lacks some of the core Android 6.0 Marshmallow features. Users won’t get Google Now on Tap and there is no doze. Meizu says m3 note comes with a significantly large 4,100mAh battery but we would have liked to see Google’s Doze battery optimisation here.
Meizu m3 note does sound like a good option, but the Android 6.0 release for India is definitely not on cards.