By Rob Dunn
Contributing Writer, [GAS]
The electronic cloning market in China is undoubtedly very real and lucrative, but Popular Science recently featured an article about how Chinese Electronic companies are actually one-upping the originals.
Case in point: The Meizu M8, aka the “miniOne.”
It looks almost identical to the iPhone, and does have many of the same features. Specifically, the miniOne sports the following niceties:
- 0.3Mp camera on front for videoconferencing (640×480), 3Mp camera on back.
- WiFi support
- 720×480 resolution
- DMB TV Tuner(!)
- AVI/MPEG/WMV support
- 4/8/16Gb versions available
- Support for GSM + SCDMA Networks (3G & 3.5G to come later)
- Other typical smartphone features- i.e. Bluetooth, GPS, etc.
- Windows CE 6.0 OS
In the past, concerns of hardware quality have been the main reason why most people cringe at the idea of purchasing a low-cost electronic item from China, and still should be, if the company has no or little prior history. However, Meizu is a reputable company which already manufactures an attractive and well regarded line of high-quality media players.
The miniOne is set to be released in Q4 2007 (Wikipedia states “December 7th, 2007”), and will be priced at ~$230 for the 4Gb model and ~$460 for the 16Gb phone (I assume this places the 8Gb model at around $340). Additionally, there will first be an M8/miniOne available without phone capability, then later a cellular model will be released, pending carrier licensing issues which are being addressed at this time by Meizu. Oh, the bad news? It will only be released in China at first.
I don’t know about you, but I think I might actually want one of these, mostly because I couldn’t stand the iHype awhile back, and partially because I like underdog manufacturers that actually put out quality hardware. I’d still be a bit apprehensive at the lack of haptics, but I think I could look past it. The only questions are, when will it come to the US, and will it work with my cellular carrier?
Maybe if Meizu would send us a phone (or two) to review…*hint*