Meizu 21 Pro: Overpriced at 5,299? Li Nan’s Candid Take: Xiaomi 14 Ultra Wins on Cost

Meizu Kicks Off 2023 with a Major Shift to AI, Halting Traditional Phone Development

In a surprising and groundbreaking announcement, Meizu began its 2023 operations by revealing a major shift in its business strategy. Upon celebrating the Spring Festival, Meizu announced it would cease the development of traditional smartphone projects and pivot towards an “All in AI” approach. While the future implications of this transformation for Meizu remain uncertain, it’s clear that competing within the fiercely competitive smartphone market against giants like Huawei, Xiaomi, Honor, vivo, OPPO, and Apple has become increasingly challenging, with these key players dominating the market share.

The strategic pivot to AI comes after Geely’s acquisition of Meizu, following the release of several smartphone models. This marks a significant transition for Meizu, as it moves fully into the AI arena.

Meizu Press Image

Support for this sweeping change began with endorsement from Meizu’s former executive, Li Nan. Having been away from Meizu for several years, Li’s fondness for the company was evident as he expressed relief and support for the company’s determination to change tracks, airing his belief that without changing lanes, Meizu would not have a future. However, it poses a question as to whether Meizu will completely forgo the production of smartphones or simply evolve beyond traditional models. With their ambiguous announcement, they’ve left themselves some wiggle room for the future of their product lineup.

Li Nan Comment

This sudden pivot from Meizu suggests that they still had projects under development, notably a high-end device approaching a 6000 Yuan price point, which Li Nan was the first to reveal – perhaps at the behest of his old friends at Meizu.

Li Nan had a positive outlook on the Meizu 21 Pro, engaging with fans and rating the device highly. He described it as a refined version of the Xiaomi 14 Pro with improved design and ergonomics. Despite his praise for the device, Li Nan also expressed concerns, especially given the timing of its release amidst competitors like Xiaomi and Huawei. Pricing the Meizu 21 Pro over 5000 Yuan might have been debatable, especially considering the competition from the Xiaomi 14 Ultra and Huawei Pocket 2.

Comparison Image

Despite the uncertainty surrounding Meizu’s pivot and future direction, Li Nan disclosed several key aspects of the Meizu 21 Pro: its promising features, the 29th release date, and a price point over 5000 Yuan. Meizu’s CEO Shen Ziyu also showed confidence after reviewing rival launches, claiming that the Meizu 21 Pro had advanced AI concepts that could compete with the Xiaomi 14 Ultra and Huawei Pocket 2, thereby bringing a fitting end to Meizu’s era of smartphones with its upcoming release.

To commemorate this transition, Meizu released a poster that paid tribute to tech titan Steve Jobs by riffing on the legendary trio he announced with the first iPhone: Meizu reimagined it as “LLM+Phone +AI Device.”

Tribute Poster

The promotional period for the Meizu 21 Pro was somewhat underwhelming. With news of the release only breaking on the same day as Xiaomi and Huawei’s events, it left the tech community in a haze. Furthermore, Meizu positioned the 21 Pro in the high-end price segment with a leaked price of 5299 Yuan.

Meizu 21 Pro Teaser

Confronting the harsh reality of the market, where Apple’s iPhones have traditionally dominated the 5000-plus price range, only Huawei has managed a breakthrough with its Mate and P series after several iterations and introduction of powerful new features, gaining consumer recognition. Xiaomi, vivo, and OPPO have also seen years of fluctuation in this segment, with several models failing entirely, only showing promise in recent years.

With underlying specifics about the Meizu 21 Pro kept under wraps until its release a week later, speculations about the device’s performance, camera quality, design, system, AI, or any unique selling points were rife.

Anticipating Features

As we consider whether the Meizu 21 Pro can stand its ground at a starting price of 5299 Yuan, and with Meizu’s imminent pivot to AI on the horizon, the concerns raised by Li Nan appear quite valid. In responding to a fan, Li Nan even hinted that the price was too high, suggesting that at least defeating the “14u” was necessary—clearly referring to the Xiaomi 14 Ultra—while also mentioning pricing concerns…

Price Discussion

In a market segment where Xiaomi’s 14 Ultra incorporates satellite communication and other top-tier hardware starting at 6499 Yuan, competition is fierce. For example, vivo’s X100 Pro offers potent camera capabilities starting from 4999 Yuan, and the OnePlus 12 maintains a solid balance of features starting from 4299 Yuan.

What could potentially justify the Meizu 21 Pro’s 5299 Yuan price tag? Amidst uncertainty, Meizu’s former leading figure, Yang Yan, takes the stage as a guest speaker. Li Nan’s remarks, though seemingly skeptical, could very well be part of the promotional push. Some speculate the price might even start lower, at 4799 Yuan. With such a brief promotion period and an emotional approach maxed out, it’s up to the fans to respond.

Eager Expectation

Meizu’s shift towards AI and the brief but lightning-fast promotion of the high-end Meizu 12 Pro have left people caught off guard. It’s a pivotal moment for tech enthusiasts and fans to share their thoughts on these swift developments.

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