Features Software

Flyme 5 OS Review: Great Design and Simplistic Approach to Android Customisation

Today, most of the mobile phone companies make their own version of forked android for their phones. The idea is simple – Give a better user experience and features/software that the stock android doesn’t provide. This also gives them an opportunity to stand out among the competition where most of them offer similar specs and hardware almost at the same price. Out of all the versions available, my personal favourites are EMUI, Flyme, and MIUI.

Flyme OS is a firmware developed by Meizu for smartphones based on the Android operating system. The key features are its simple UI, one-handed usability and performance optimisations. The latest version of this OS is the Flyme 5.

International Meizu customers can download the Flyme 5.1.5G for m1note, m2note, MX4, MX4 PRO, MX5 and PRO5 now. Indian customers can download Flyme 5.1.5IN for MX5 and m2note. The m3note comes with Flyme 5 by default. Download here.


Flyme OS is very minimalistic. While many people love jazzy colours and UI transitions, I still love clean and simple UI on my phone. Thats probably, one of the reasons why I love Meizu’s phones for its flat looking icons, simplistic approach to Android and few tweaks which makes it faster than other phones.

Not only, the UI is simple, the gestures and toggles throughout the device are impressive. It does take a little bit of learning to understand Flyme, the moment you do its super simple and fast. Especially, when you want to use the phone one-handed.

With smooth animations, large and easy icons to press the UI stands out the most on the Flyme OS. We have a number of interesting gestures on the Flyme OS. To name a few – While on the locked screen, you can Double tab to wake up,  swipe up to goto the home screen straight away, while on the locked screen, you can swipe down from the top to bring on the notifications to control quick settings.


From the lock screen you can configure your favourite application when you swipe right, and swiping left starts the camera. You can also configure custom gesture settings; you can draw any letter to start an application. While on the home screen, you can swipe up to get a spotlight search option like on the iOS. Swiping up from the bottom left bezel near the single capacitive touch button brings on the multi-tasking switch and the most recent apps. You could quickly switch between them. Its pretty neat and very simple.  Swiping up from an icon closes the program, and swiping up from the background will close all currently open applications.

Flyme both looks good and works really well in a nice iOS/Android hybrid way. Similar to iOS, the stock FlymeOS launcher carries all installed applications on the home screens. Personally, I feel this to be lot cleaner than many other Android interfaces, which hide apps away in an app drawer. Today, many other companies are moving away from app-drawer approach. The keyboard is good too.

The Flyme gives you a good range of application permissions and notification controls to play with. The fingerprint sensor doesn’t just work to unlock screen but also to open private folders and applications. You also have a vault, password protection feature where you can protect private folders and applications. The File explorer is pretty neat and gives you easy categories to look up.


Flyme also supports Multi-screen mode, where two applications can be displayed at the same time in multi-screen mode in an adjustable ratio (only few applications are supported at this moment). Icons can be selected and moved in batch mode to different pages by long pressing Home screen and selecting Icons to move them; further, you can also shake the phone to sort all the icons on the page.

The startup speeds and App launches are pretty quick. While you uninstall an application on the phone, Flyme reminds if you want to clear the app cache simultaneously, thereby providing better and fast performance. The Scan and clear option can also be scheduled. The Immersive Mode where the color of status bar at the top will changes accordingly makes the whole interface more natural and very artistic.

Things can definitely be polished better. Maybe, because of the china first approach, the text sometimes aren’t aligned right and even the translations are too literal. The designers at Meizu have done a pretty good job in working on the icons. That gives a very fresh and a minimalistic look to this version of Android which really feels light.

Hope you liked the review. Which forked version of Android do you like? Any specific reason behind it? Do let us know your thoughts.

Applications Product Reviews

Change settings automatically on Android Phones using Llama

Llama is a location aware mobile app that uses mobile towers/masts to determine your current location and performs routine everyday tasks on your phone. This includes changing ringer/voice/music volume, toggling WIFI/Mobile Data, Start music player when Headset/Bluetooth is connected etc. Further, Llama also provides you with different sound profiles so that you can quickly switch between quiet, loud, silent and normal sound settings based on certain conditions. This comes handy for android phones which do not support profiles by default. Few companies like CyanogenMod do support profiles (for more information read the software section on our Zuk Z1 review) switching at OS level based on proximity of WIFI/Bluetooth devices etc.

You can teach Llama to perform day-to-day tasks automatically by performing the following actions –

Areas – create area names and assign important locations you visit regularly
Profiles –
create various sound profiles (loud/silent) for different needs.
Events –
create different actions (turn on WIFI/play a sound) which gets triggered based on certain scenarios (enter an area/specific time of day)

The following screenshots should help you get started:


The use case scenarios are plenty; to name a few –

1. Put your phone in a Quiet profile when you are at work
2. Switch to a Normal profile when you are at home during a specific period of the day
3. Switch to a Silent Profile when you are visiting a temple/hospital
4. Switch to a Quiet profile for a designated period like core sleeping hours
5. Switch to a Loud Profile when you are at a noisy location like Pub/Stadium
6. Trigger an alarm when you are nearing your destination while travelling
7. Start music player when Headset/Bluetooth is connected
8. Adjust screen brightness according to your location and time
9. Trigger a Silent Profile based on calender event, say an important meeting
10. Play a sound that notifies you to unplug your phone when battery level reaches 100%

Llama is fully customizable in every way for eg: you can set your family to ring even if your phone is set to silent. You can see Llama in action during event creation using the “test action” option like below.


Further, you can import/export your area, events and profiles to SD card so that you can avoid re-configuring the app when you switch between phones or when you need to configure similar settings for your friends/family.

Llama is a great app which I feel is a must have for every android user since it automates profiles switching to a great extent. Best of all it does it with less battery usage since it does not use data services unlike other apps which would drain the battery faster. This app is available free to download from the Google play store. I recommend you to try this app and let us know your thoughts.