Meizu MX 4-core

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Pros: Excellent sound straight from the headphone jack, slick OS, digital output

Cons: Just the usual issues with paying full price for an unlocked phone rather than a carrier subsidized mainstream phone.

For those interested in using their phone as their main audio source, the Meizu MX 4-core is my top recommendation. It ticks all the boxes for a quality phone - responsive interface, nice screen, camera that is actually useful, good amount of memory, etc. But there are plenty of nice phones out there. What sets this one apart is the audio quality - it's really good!

 

Straight from the headphone jack, this thing sounds superb. It's clean, clear, and has a black background. It has a good amount of volume too, able to comfortably drive plenty of full sized headphones from Ultrasone, Grado, Audio Technica, etc. The low output impedance (~3 ohms) means it works well with most IEMs too.

 

Also worth noting is the SPDIF output capabilities. Using an adapter (that Meizu is still finalizing) the MX 4-core can be used as a transport connecting to an external DAC. I successfully played standard and hi-res material, and the MX feeds it bit-perfect to the DAC. Very useful. 

 

See HERE for my complete in-depth review. Bottom line - this is a very competent phone, and also an excellent portable audio device. 

Meizu MX 4-core
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Description:

General 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 Announced 2012, April Status Coming soon. Exp. release 2012, June Body Dimensions 121.3 x 63.3 x 10.3 mm Weight 139 g - Touch-sensitive controls Display Type ASV capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors Size 640 x 960 pixels, 4.0 inches (~288 ppi pixel density) Multitouch Yes Sound Alert types Vibration, MP3 ringtones Loudspeaker Yes, with stereo speakers 3.5mm jack Yes Memory Card slot No Internal 32/64 GB storage, 1 GB RAM Data GPRS Class 12 (4+1/3+2/2+3/1+4 slots), 32 - 48 kbps EDGE Class 12 Speed HSDPA 21.6 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot Bluetooth Yes, v2.1 with A2DP, EDR USB Yes, microUSB (MHL) v2.0, USB On-the-go support Camera Primary 8 MP, 3264x2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash Features Geo-tagging, smile detection, Wide dynamic mode Video Yes, 1080p@30fps Secondary Yes, VGA Features OS Android OS, v4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Chipset Exynos CPU Quad-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A9 GPU Mali-400MP Sensors Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass Messaging SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Mail, IM Browser HTML, Adobe Flash Radio No GPS Yes, with A-GPS support Java Yes, via Java MIDP emulator Colors Black (front)/ white, green, blue, pink, violet (back) - MicroSIM card support only - Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic - TV-out (via MHL A/V link) - S/PDIF - SNS integration - Google Search, Maps, Gmail, Talk - MP3/WAV/eAAC+/FLAC player - MP4/H.263/H.264 player - Organizer - Document viewer - Photo viewer - Voice memo/dial - Predictive text input Battery Standard battery, Li-Ion 1700 mAh

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Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC