Meizu’s new flagship puts a display on the back of your phone


As smartphone makers race to use up every millimeter of space on the front of our devices, the backs have gone woefully unappreciated. Meizu’s new Pro 7 series wants to change that.

The Pro 7 (and Pro 7 Plus) add a small AMOLED panel to the rear of the device, in a rather bold bit of asymetry. It’s an attractive device.

Meizu says you can use it as a display to take high quality selfies using the rear camera, as well as basic time and weather information. You can also just set a wallpaper for it, if you’re into that kind of thing. I just think it looks cool.

The specs are about what you’d imagine for a 2017 flagship, except with a Helio processor, which are popular in Chinese devices. For the standard Pro 7 the specs are as follows:

  • 5.2-inch FullHD AMOLED display
  • Helo P25 processor
  • 4 GB RAM / 64 GB Storage (eMMC 5.1)
  • Dual 12MP color/monochrome cameras (IMX386)
  • 16MP front camera
  • 3000 mAh battery
  • Cirrus Logic CS43130 Hi-Fi Audio chip
  • Comes in Black, Gold and Red
  • Headphone jack (because we have to list such things nowadays)

As for the Plus model:

  • 5.7-inch QuadHD AMOLED display
  • Helio X30 processor
  • 6 GB RAM / 64 or 128 GB Storage (UFS 2.1)
  • Dual 12MP color/monochrome cameras (IMX386)
  • 16MP front camera
  • 3500 mAh battery
  • Cirrus Logic CS43130 Hi-Fi Audio chip
  • Matte black, space black, amber gold and crystal silver
  • Also a Headphone jack

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to get one in the US easily, as Meizu’s market is primarily China and some parts of Asia and Europe. The phones use Meizu’s Flyme OS, which is built on Android 7.0, but doesn’t include Google apps and services (as is usually the case in China). You can, however, sideload the software.

There’s no price information for the phones yet, but they will go on sale somewhere in September. Though the jury’s still out on whether the back screen will be useful, it’s a clever idea that I’d like to see more Android phones emulate.