America's Apple and Korea's Samsung may be dominating the smartphone market, but with manufacturers like Xiaomi and Huawei unleashing some pretty serious slabs of tech on the world, China is clearly angling for a spot at the top of the pile. Chinese manufacturer Meizu took a big leap toward getting there today with the announcement of their Meizu PRO 6 which, it claims, is the first deca-core smartphone on the planet.
Meizu already impressed with its PRO 5 phone which was released late last year. This latest iteration of the phone is smaller than its predecessor, shrinking from 5.7 to 5.2 inches, while it retains the same 21-pixel rear-facing camera and 1080P AMOLED screen.
But what really sets the new phone apart is its processor – a deca-core MediaTex Helio X25. That's 10 cores as opposed to the eight found in the latest phones from Samsung and HTC. But, of course, speed isn't all about the number of cores, so we'll have to see just how fast the phone really is in our test later this month. Still, one can't imagine the phone being very slow.
If that's not enough to impress, Meizu has also incorporated a bunch of other goodies into the handset, many of which don't hide the fact that the company is gunning after the iPhone, something it began doing back in 2010.
There's now what Meizu calls "3D press," which is similar to Apple's pressure-sensitive 3D touch screen, a fingerprint sensor and an audio chip that comes from Cirrus Logic, the same company that provides the component to Apple. The phone's body is also milled from mostly metal with the company boasting a "metal-to-material ratio of 98 percent."
It's not all Apple mimicry though. Meizu has also placed a 10-LED ring flash on the back of the phone surrounding the laser used for autofocus, which is definitely a new twist. It's also developed what it calls mCharge 3.0, a USB 3.0 charging solution that it claims can bring the phone to 26 percent in 10 minutes and a full charge in an hour. That's a good thing considering that the battery is on the small side at only 2,560-mAh (compared to 3,000 mAh in the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and HTC 10 or the 2,915 mAh in the iPhone 6 Plus), which could be one of the PRO 6's weak spots.
Another negative is that the phone doesn't accommodate flash storage and is only available in either a 32 or 64 GB configuration.
Those slight disappointments are more than made up for in the price, however. The 32GB version is now available for pre-order for 2,499 Chinese yuan (about US$385) while the 64GB version can be had for 2,799 yuan ($432). At the moment the phone is only available in China, and plans for international distribution have yet to be announced. But even if you can't get your hands on one, you can hope that other smartphone makers will follow the lead of the PRO 6 in terms of the new processor and reasonable price.