Meizu Pro 7 Plus Implements USB Power Delivery Over a USB Type-A Connector and Supports mCharge 4.0 Using MediaTek Technology
Meizu had been known for budget-friendly Android phones and like players based in Southern China, have enjoyed a meteoric rise in mobile phone sales surpassing even the likes of Sony and Microsoft. As with other players that started at budget-end of the spectrum, Meizu has come out with more expensive premium models like the Meizu Pro 7 Plus.
Meizu has also traditionally used a variety of processors from MediaTek, Samsung, and Qualcomm meaning that Meizu phones could not always take advantage of the Qualcomm Quick Charge technology which is only available on Qualcomm based phones. To address this, Meizu has branded its implementation of various fast charge technologies as mCharge. The Meizu Pro 7 Plus uses MediaTek's Helio X30 and Meizu labels its fast charging technology mCharge 4.0. Based on our testing, it appears that mCharge 4.0 is based on MediaTek's Pump Express 3.0 which supports over 23W of fast charging through USB Power Delivery based communications similar to how Qualcomm Quick Charge 4 has adopted USB Power Delivery.
However, what is unique here with the Meizu Pro 7 Plus is that although it has a USB Type-C connector, it implements USB Power Delivery over a USB Type-A connector. Since a standard USB Type-A cable and AC power adapter does not have the CC lines needed for USB Power Delivery communication, Meizu is obviously doing something very different here with the USB Type-A connector in an effort to differentiate their mCharge 4.0 technology but that means you need to use very specific Meizu USB Type-A chargers and cables for this.
We also found that the Meizu Pro 7 Plus could fast charge at 8 volts using the Sony Pump Express Plus 2.0 based UCH12 Quick Charger, lending further evidence that mCharge 4.0 uses MediaTek's Pump Express technology.
The Meizu Pro 7 Plus also supports USB Power Delivery with normal USB Type-C based USB Power Delivery chargers but only 9W of charging could be achieved, with Meizu clearly promoting its own mCharge 4.0 charging technology to achieve the best charging performance.
We purchased the Meizu Pro 7 Plus online in China and it arrives in a premium looking sheer black case.
The phone itself was tucked into the cardboard inner sleave, and we pulled out the phone through the clear plastic tab sticking out.
The Meizu Pro 7 Plus comes with a clear plastic phone cover, documentation, a USB Type-C to Type-A charging cable, and a USB Type-A based AC charger.
This Meizu AC charger supports 25 watts (5 volts @ 5 amps) and 10 watts (5 volts @ 2 amps) and doesn't really mention anywhere on its casing what type of charging technology it supports.
This Meizu charger needs this specific USB Type-A to Type-C cable to deliver over 23W to the USB Type-C port of the Meizu Pro 7 Plus. The Huawei P10 uses a similar approach where you can't lose the special charging cable and differentiates its SuperCharge cable through purple connectors. The Meizu charger and cable doesn't have any color differentiation and no real way to quickly tell that they are special accessories specific to providing fast charging to the phone. For the unsuspecting user, using a regular USB Type-C to USB Type-A cable like the Insignia 4 ft USB Type A-to-USB Type C Charge/Sync Cable with the Meizu charger only provides 10W of charging.
Apart from fast charging, another unique feature of the Meizu Pro 7 Plus is its small secondary display at the back of the phone.
This secondary display is activated when you put the phone face down, allowing you to see the time and messages without having you to flip the phone around. You can also use this display to create selfie photos using the higher resolution camera on the back of the phone.
The Meizu Pro 7 Plus also only has one button and like Apple, doesn't use stock Android soft keys to enable back or recent Apps navigation. With the Flyme operating system simplistic approach and use of high end audio codec chips like the Cirrus Logic CS43130, the Meizu Pro 7 Plus really tries to take the best of Apple's features but provide them in a low cost platform that is especially suitable for China. Even Meizu's unique implementation of USB Power Delivery communication over a USB Type-A connector, has whiffs of Apple's use of USB Power Delivery over Apple's own Lightning connector.
Meizu is always full of surprises and the Meizu Pro 7 Plus definitely shows that Meizu is blazing its own path on many fronts.