For this year’s CES, we were expecting to run into a few lesser-known Android handsets from various Asian manufacturers. With hardware specs hitting a ceiling of sorts, OEMs are finding out new ways to tweak Android’s user interface in order to differentiate themselves from the pack. Chinese manufacturer Meizu is no exception and with their latest device — the Meizu MX3 — we were surprised to find a completely unique Android experience, unlike anything we’ve seen from bigger named OEMs.
Dubbed “Flyme OS 3.0,” the UI changes just about everything you’ve come to know about a traditional Android experience. Using a minimal, flat interface, Flyme OS is built around 1-handed use. This is an attempt by Meizu to address the trend of ever growing display sizes, while our fingers have remained the same length as they have for countless generations.
The emphasis on 1-handed operation is most apparent in the custom launcher where app are organized vertically, in addition to horizontally, allowing for a “pull down and lock” gesture to access those hard to reach apps toward the top of the display. A swiping gesture from the bottom bezel reveals recent apps for multitasking, as well as favorite apps and brightness settings.
Speaking of gestures, you’ll find there are no back or menu buttons (either on the bezel or software buttons). Instead, the function of “going back” is executed by simply swiping up from the home button. This is even carried to the sleep functions where holding the home button will sleep the device (this can also be done the traditional way by reaching for the power button), or waking the device by swiping up on the home button.
Meizu MX3 quick specs
- 5.1 inch 1080×1800p SLCD display
- Samsung Exynos 5 “8-core” processor
- 2GB DDR3 RAM
- 8MP/2MP – f/2.0
- 2,400 mAh battery
- NFC and HSDPA+
- Available storage: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB or 128 GB
For now, Meizu MX3 availability is limited to Asia and a few European regions. The Meizu rep we spoke with did reveal the company’s to plans to bring the Meizu MX3 to the states in Q3 of this year (we’re guessing via Amazon or direct from the OEM). With the Android space getting more and more crowded, newcomers like Meizu definitely have their work cut out for them. Whether the MX3 will be as much of a success in the US as it is in China remains to be seen. We’ll be keeping an eye out.