The Meizu 18 Pro is the world's latest Snapdragon 888-, 50MP- and UFS 3.1-enhanced phone
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Meizu is hot off the mark with the launch of its new series of flagship Android smartphones. These successors to the 17 and 17 Pro were initially rumored to have under-display selfie cameras, although they have turned out with central punch-holes instead. However, the rest of the display may well make up for it: both devices have the E4 AMOLED panels for which the Redmi K40s are also hyped, with a 2K+ resolution apiece.
The Meizu 18 and 18 Pro both have quad curves to these screens, which might not be to every consumer's taste. Then again, they also share other encouraging specs, not the least of which is a Snapdragon 888 SoC each, paired to the same LPDDR5 RAM found in the Xiaomi Mi 11 and UFS 3.1 storage.
The OEM claims to keep these powerful new components cool through a new VC thermal-management system, whereas its "mEngine 4.0" tweaks might boost their gaming performance by up to 26%. It also asserts that its "mSmart 2.0" system will enhance the 888's built-in 5G connectivity. Wi-Fi 6E and Qualcomm's newest 3D ultrasonic fingerprint sensor are also found across the board here.
The Meizu 18 Pro is distinguished in its display size as well as its rear-panel attributes. It is a 6.7-inch screen phone, whereas the 18 is 6.2 inches (thereby also just hovering above the "mini" category). The 18 Pro also has a quad rear camera hump most reminiscent of the OnePlus 9 Pro as leaked by Dave2D recently. The 18, on the other hand, has a cleaner vertical triple-cam set-up more like that of the LG Velvet (or the latest Galaxy S21 FE renders, for that matter).
The 18 Pro's larger hump contains a Samsung GN1 50MP shooter as a main sensor, joined therein by a Sony 32MP ultrawide camera with a 130° field of view and a 2-centimeter iminimal range so that it can also double as a macro sensor. There are also an 8MP 3x telephoto lens, and, finally, a 3D ToF camera Meizu has put there so it can market the 18 Pro as an AR-centric device.
The 18, on the other hand, has a 64MP main camera along with the 3x telephoto from the 18 Pro and a 16MP ultrawide lens - no ToF here, then. It also has a 4,000mAh battery with a new 36W top charging rate, whereas the 18 Pro has a 4,500mAh capacity with its OEM's top 40W wired and wireless charging standards. It also packs 10W reverse-wireless charging.
Unfortunately, the 18 and 18 Pro have joined the no-charger brigade in 2021. Meizu has implemented a scheme whereby a consumer can send them 2 old adapters to get a new brick for this series in return; hopefully, that will work out for both parties. Finally, the 18 and 18 Pro will ship with Flyme 9, the OEM's latest Android 11 skin that, by the looks of it, has been developed into OriginOS territory.
Meizu is already taking pre-orders for these new premium devices on its website. The 18 starts at 4,399 yuan (~US$680) for an 8GB RAM/128GB SKU, or 4,699 yuan (~$712) to double this storage. Its 12GB/256GB top-end model is 4,999 yuan (~$773) - the same price as the 18 Pro's 8/128GB base model. Doubling this storage costs 500 yuan (~$77) more, whereas its own 12GB variant is 500 more again (or a total of ~$927).
These are relatively expensive prices for Meizu in all honesty, especially compared to their 17-series predecessors. Nevertheless, considering their specs, it is a shame that they will also probably never see a release outside of China.