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Meizu 21 debuts as flagship smartphone with 200MP main camera for under US$600

The Meizu 21. (Source: Meizu)
The Meizu 21. (Source: Meizu)
Meizu now asserts that its latest flagship Android smartphone has more to offer besides its well-hyped ultra-slim-bezel Samsung OLED display. They include a "custom" 200MP main rear camera, dual linear speakers and an updated OS with an AI assistant. The Meizu 21 starts at less than US$500 with the new top-end Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor.

The Meizu 21 has debuted today (November 30, 2023), and could be said to have done so as an alternate-dimension version of the Galaxy S23 or S23+ that even some owners of those Samsung flagships might have preferred.

As such, the 21 adopts the triple rear camera rear panel design, albeit in a way that packs a ring flash into 1 of the minimal protrusions. Furthermore, it is RGB, thereby adding a touch of almost RedMagic-esque flair to the overall esthetic.

Furthermore, the main camera has the 200MP resolution denied to the non-Ultra variants of the Galaxy S23 line. Meizu touts it as a version of Samsung's ISOCELL HP3 optimized to grab "instant" shots with OIS and "Starflow Image" AI. It is accompanied by 12MP ultrawide-angle and 5MP depth-sensing lenses on the back of the 21.

They are joined by a 32MP punch-hole selfie camera (also from Samsung) in the new device, although no-one more interested in just how even the 21's bezels really are will be interested in that aspect of its display.

The flat panel boasts a more or less respectable 1,800-nit peak brightness to go with its 120Hz refresh rate and HDR10+ rating - however, at 6.55 inches, it beats even the Galaxy S23+ as a relatively compact smartphone.

An equally flat frame made of "aviation-grade" aluminum for enhanced durability might also help with that potential advantage. Finally, Meizu hammers the Samsung Galaxy comparisons home with the Flyme 10.5 OS-powered, 80W charging 21's color options: Boundless Black, Spirit Purple, Green and Meizu White.

The Meizu 21 starts at 3,399 yuan (~US$478) for a base model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage, with 12GB variants of 256GB and 512GB of internal storage at 3,699 and 3,999 yuan (~US$520-562) respectively, thereby making for a cost-effective new source of Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 power.

Accordingly, it is a shame that the smartphone will probably be of most interest to - and within reach of - those who drive cars under the brands of Meizu's parent company Geely.

Buy the Meizu LifemeHIFI Audio USB-C to 3.5mm DAC on Amazon

The Meizu 21's color options. (Source: Meizu)
The Meizu 21's color options. (Source: Meizu)


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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2023 11 > Meizu 21 debuts as flagship smartphone with 200MP main camera for under US$600
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2023-11-30 (Update: 2023-11-30)