The Meizu 15 Plus offers a perfect blend of great hardware and poor, shackling software
Meizu's 15-series devices have been in the headlines for a while now. The company finally released the smartphones a few days ago, though, with the lineup of devices being in commemoration of Meizu's 15-year anniversary.
The Meizu 15 Plus is the flagship device amongst the three launched devices. It sports a 5.95-inch QHD AMOLED display, and is powered by the Exynos 8895, Samsung's 2017 flagship SoC. The fact that it's a 16:9 device is sure to appeal to a niche crowd, though we're not sure if opinions will be positive, considering how large the display is. The device comes in two variants: one with 64 GB of storage, and the other with 128 GB. Both have 6 GB of RAM to call upon.
Camera-wise, it features a dual rear camera setup (12 MP + 20 MP, f/1.8 aperture). The rear cameras are equipped with both OIS and EIS, which makes for an impressive lineup. The secondary rear camera is a telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom, while the selfie shooter is a 20 MP sensor.
The Meizu 15 Plus features a 3500 mAh battery, chargeable via a Type-C port and with Meizu's 24W mCharge. The device comes equipped with stereo speakers, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a rear-mounted fingerprint reader, facial recognition, and a new, powerful haptic engine that's said to rival that found on the iPhones.
On paper, the Meizu 15 Plus looks like one of the best flagships we've seen this year. It has none of the weaknesses we've seen on other flagships—no notch, has a headphone jack, and has a sizeable battery. Its cameras are also impressive, at least on paper. However, a few things mar the overall package of the device. For one, it runs on Android Nougat, which—considering the fact that we're about four months away from the launch of Android P—is just shameful.
All things considered, software is what truly holds the Meizu 15 Plus back. Flyme OS is divisive at the very least and has painfully aggressive RAM management, the device runs on Nougat instead of Oreo, and there's a lack of Treble support as a result. Most annoying is the fact that Meizu devices are inherently averse to bootloader unlocks.
Treble support and an unlockable bootloader would have made this a flagship truly worthy of the headlines. But as it stands, the Meizu 15 Plus is a flawed piece of art. Bells and whistles are all good and fun on paper but questions are to be asked if you only get to play with them with chains on.
The Meizu 15 Plus has a base (6/64 GB) price tag of about US$475, while the model with 128 GB will leave your pockets US$520 lighter.