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

meizu 21, flagship smartphone, 200MP camera, Snapdragon 8 Gen 3,

The Meizu 21. The Meizu 21. 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.

Capturing Moments in Unprecedented Detail

The standout feature of the Meizu 21 is undoubtedly its "custom" 200MP main rear camera. This puts it in a league of its own, surpassing even the non-Ultra variants of the Galaxy S23 line. The resolution, coupled with advanced features like OIS and "Starflow Image" AI, promises an unparalleled photography experience.

A Design Fusion: Beauty and Durability

Meizu has elegantly fused aesthetics and durability in the 21's design. The triple rear camera panel, featuring a ring flash and RGB aesthetics, adds a touch of sophistication reminiscent of RedMagic. The flat panel, with its 1,800-nit peak brightness, 120Hz refresh rate, and HDR10+ rating, challenges the norms of compact smartphones.

The "aviation-grade" aluminum frame not only contributes to the device's sleek appearance but also enhances its durability. Meizu's attention to detail extends to color options, with Boundless Black, Spirit Purple, Green, and Meizu White providing users with a range of choices.

Powerful Performance at an Affordable Price

Under the hood, the Meizu 21 boasts the new top-end Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, offering users a powerful and efficient performance. The base model, starting at 3,399 yuan (~US$478), provides 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. For those seeking even more storage, 12GB variants with 256GB and 512GB options are available at 3,699 and 3,999 yuan (~US$520-562) respectively.

This pricing strategy positions the Meizu 21 as a cost-effective alternative for those looking for Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 power without breaking the bank.

Conclusion: A Compelling Option with a Geely Touch

The Meizu 21 emerges as a compelling option in the flagship smartphone market, offering a unique blend of cutting-edge technology, stunning design, and affordability. While it competes with the likes of the Galaxy S23 series, its distinctive features, such as the 200MP main camera, set it apart.

However, it's worth noting that the affordability of the Meizu 21 may make it more accessible to those associated with Meizu's parent company, Geely, due to pricing considerations. Despite this, the Meizu 21 stands tall as a testament to Meizu's commitment to pushing boundaries in the smartphone industry.

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