If you’re after a phone that takes the best selfies on the planet, then you’ll want to pick up a Meitu. The V6 is luxury, 18-carat gold rivets in the back, 4 cameras and a leather finish that has both men and women stopping to ask what kind of phone I’ve rested on the table.
Meitu V6 Design
The Meitu V6 is a luxury device through and through. In a world where manufacturers are moving towards smaller bezels, Meitu is not scared of making them bigger. The curves at the top and bottom have a bit of historical significance in the selfie phone world, they are an homage to the Casio Casio TR line which could command well above asking price for a year after it hit the streets.
The V6 has a hand-stitched calfskin leather in four colors Edinburgh Blue, Melbourne Green, Morocco Powder (pink), and Rotterdam Orange. it has real 18K gold rivets on its back and gold colored metal frame to match.
The top bezel of the V6 is huge thanks in part to the dual cameras. The lower bottom doesn’t miss out on the size too as it houses a circular fingerprint scanner. The Meitu V6 rounds off the design with its boomerang-shaped front-facing stereo speakers at the top and bottom.
The front and rear cameras are each 12MP and they are 4 of them, two on the front and two on the back. With an aperture of f1.8, 6P lens comes with fourth-generation dual ISPs and optical image stabilizer (OIS) technology.
The V6 packs 4 cameras in total, two on the front and two on the back. The back camera uses two 12MP Sony IMX362, the second back camera is for professional Bokeh camera, the front and back both adopts OIS technology which can finish real-time focus within 0.13 seconds.
The front camera has a has a smart LED light and two sets of dual tone LED flash that can do a great job in very low light conditions. This Meitu V6 has a new AI technology and we love the way it works. Meitu doesn’t disappoint with the ton of filters and beauty enhancements built into the camera app. There are also live filters for video recording. Since this is a camera-centric phone, it is easy to understand why it has 128GB of storage.
Once you leave the camera app and want to edit the photos on Meitu Beauty Cam easy photo editor, Makeup+, Selfie city or Poster Lab. They come pre-installed apps, which you can of course download on either the Google or Apple app stores.
Front Facing Camera
The Meitu V6 has a great front facing camera, even with no filter the quality of the photo is amazing! Their Beaty mode is powered with AI which we’re hearing a lot these days. But it’s really important to be able to keep skin detail but get rid of imperfections. I’ve got a whole series of selfies for you to be able to see what’s possible with the camera beauty mode as well as the preloaded apps.
Meitu MakeUp+ is an app that’s available for download on both iOS and Android, and it will make any of your photos look amazing no matter what your front facing camera looks like (within reason of course). The number of modification you can make to a photo are insane, arrange the position of your nose, it’s size angle, your hair color (which by the way so many people believed I actually colored my hair) just to name a few.
The Camera on the V6 has a lot of options, within the app itself you have backlight and normal, playing around with these can give you different effects for how the camera implements HDR.
Here you can see on a typical street in San Sebastian the first photo is normal and the second is backlight you can see the difference when you look at the top of the buildings and the color of the sky.
You can even see the setting works well on the front facing camera as well.
We did find that food photos took a lot of work to look good if you check the restaurant photos that have low light (which is a lot!) the photo’s lack dynamic range and brightness.
The Meitu V6 has a 5.49” FHD OLED display, we’ve mentioned it before, it’s got big bezels. The colors are pretty accurate though the display is on the warm side. We like that the display is bright enough to use in full sunlight, the auto brightness works well and when you’re using the phone in the dark the lowest brightness is dark enough. We do have one complaint about the display, we do like sharing videos with friends, and the viewing angles aren’t very wide. You’ll be able to share a video comfortably with one other person, add any more and it will start to look a bit washed out.
The Meitu V6 runs MEIOS 4.1, adding face ID, which can unlock safely by 106 facial features to unlock the phone. You shouldn’t actually take this to mean that this is very secure, you should just see it as a convenient way to unlock your phone. We are genuinely surprised how well it works, Samsung’s facial unlock is significantly worse!
Our Meitu V6 came preloaded with Google Services, in fact, Taiwan is currently the only location outside of China where the Meitu is sold. They’re looking at Japan and perhaps the West, reviews like these are meant to help test the waters on how a phone like this might do. Sure, the price tag is currently pretty expensive on Amazon you can buy it for $999 (but it comes without Google..ugh, and from our first test unit that didn’t come with Google Meitu hasn’t made it easy to sideload Google’s services).
MEIOS is a very Chinese OS, there is no app drawer and there are fingerprints of translation all over the app, it’s in English and Chinese (traditional/simplified). We do love little details like the one below when the power dips below 5% you get this cute reminder, accept that you’re going into low battery mode or accept it… I see.
Like many Chinese makers that we’ve reviewed, there are compromises that you have to make if you are going to pick up their phones. You get lots of great options in terms of little things like availability in notifications, dual sim (that has good options for which sim is getting data and/or taking phone calls), silent mode and others.
Like OPPO, who we have reviewed extensively, you can get used to the lack of app drawer but you have to overlook the problems with the details like the one above and the haphazard way that the settings or organized. It’s not easy to find settings in MEIOS, the structures aren’t very logical. If you’re used to a flagship phone like a Pixel or Samsung the approach to Android is very different. If you come from IOS then it will be even less so, the Android system is a hybrid and Android and iOS have been aligning a bit more and more over the last few years. However, unlike Huawei or OPPO they’re less and less like the best of both world’s it feels cheap which is the opposite of the entire handset experience (especially the phone).
The thing is, if you’re after the best selfie phone on the market you might be willing to overlook this. I know more than a few women in Taiwan who would end our friendship to steal this smartphone from me, yes Tina I’m looking at you. She doesn’t mind the small quirks, annoying but you learn to navigate them, she is currently on an ASUS ZenFone 5, and I could make the same complaints that I have about ZenUI than I have about MIEOS.
Meitu has also run into quite a few issues with privacy concerns, their Apps ask for too many permissions and if you check Cnet’s article their response to the accusations is very Chinese. Wechat needs them for it’s platform, which is a platform that is the best in the world at tracking activities and preferences.
To enter the western markets I often wonder why companies like these don’t go the route of Android One.
Performance & Battery Life
On a day to day basis, the UI performed well apps opened quickly and you could switch beteen them with no issue. Benchmark wise it’s very average, and definatly not what you expect from a phone with such a high price tag. However, we get that these things are becoming less and less important since it’s the actual performace of the phone that matters.
The Meitu V6 runs Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box. It has a 3100mAh battery and comes with the usual connectivity features.