Xiaomi M2 Vs. Google Nexus 4! Which would you buy?

Google and LG rocked the gadget world this week by launching the Nexus 4! A quad-core flagship Android phone which has an affordable $299 price tag! But which is better? The Google Nexus 4 or the slightly cheaper and similarly spec’d Xiaomi M2 from China?

In the past when comparing Chinese phones with their big brand counterparts, the Chinese phones would often be seen as the underdog (or cheap knock off) but with the recent leaps Chinese phone companies have been taking and the fact that Google have priced the Nexus 4 so competitively, the gap between phones has lessened!

So if it came down to a choice between the Xiaomi M2, one of the most powerful phones on the market (from China) with a rather low $317 price tag or the recently launched Google Nexus 4 from LG at $349 (for the 16GB model, which is the same as the cheapest M2) which would you buy?


Xiaomi M2 specification

xiaomi m2 preorder

The Xiaomi M2 has a 4.3 inch display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 and a PPI of 342! A quad-core Qualcomm Snapdraggon S4 CPU clocked at 1.5ghz and 2GB RAM runs Xiaomi’s  heavily modified version of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (MIUI 4.1).

Software features include  screen mirroring and voice assistant technologies similar to those found in the Nexus 4’s Android 4.2 OS!!

The rear camera on the Xiaomi M2 is a 8 mega-pixel model which is capable or recoding 1080 video at 9oFPS, the front camera is also capable of 1080 video recording too!


Google Nexus 4 specification

google nexus 4 vs xiaomi m2

Gizchina News of the week

The Nexus 4 is manufactured by LG and has a similar specification to the Xiaomi M2. It too has a Qualcomm S4 quad-core CPU, and 2GB RAM, plus a 8 mega-pixel rear camera.

The screen on the Google Nexus 4 is larger than the M2’s and measures in at 4.7 inches with a resolution of 1280×768 which equals to 320PPI.

As the LG made Google phone is a Nexus device it get’s the latest ‘vanilla’ version of Android. In this case Android 4.2 which is the latest version of Jelly Bean and boasts display mirroring and a voice assistant in the shape of Google voice search.


Xiaomi M2 Vs Google Nexus 4

[table id=4 /]


Which would you buy?

As you can see from the (rough) comparison chart above it’s not so easy to choose between the Chinese Xiaomi M2 and the LG made Google Nexus 4!

which would you buy xiaomi m2 or google nexus 4

Both the Xiaomi M2 and Google Nexus 4 offer very similar specifications. They both come equipped with the same Snapdragon S4 CPU, the same amount of RAM and even similar rear cameras! In fact the only area which they are different is screen size and then the larger Nexus phone costs only slightly more (which makes sense).

Personally I don’t think there is much of a debate over which to buy. If you want something powerful and pocketable go for the Xiaomi M2, if you want a larger screen get the Nexus 4!

xiaomi m2 pre sale from 30th October

Chinese phones used to be seen as low-cost alternatives to big brand phones, now Chinese phones are competing and excelling against the best the biggest brands in the world have to offer!


Previous World's thinnest phone Vivo X1 real photos leaked!
Next ZTE Grand X LTE hopes to be a Nexus 4 rival (it won't)


  1. ThinkOutsideTheBox
    October 31, 2012

    Get ready for the comment wars, Andi, LoL. There are 2 other Chinese Quad Core phones available right now online called the “Lenovo Lephone K860″ with 5” screen for $360, and the “ZTE U985 Grand Era” 4.5″ IPS Display for $365.

    The main reason I’m going with the Nexus 4 personally, is because I can use 4G on this cheap phone, and it’s guaranteed to be in stock for my by Christmas. Another thing that caught my eye with the Nexus 4 is that it has “Slimport” technology.

    • halid
      November 9, 2012

      Xiaomi is also “4g” capable. You meant hspa right? I am more intrigued by xiaomi recording 90fps in 1080p. Thats amazing considering other high end phones only go up to 30fps. I am in usa so nexus for me.

    • felix
      December 12, 2012

      haha, in stock before Christmas ? Impossible 🙂

  2. Andrea
    October 31, 2012

    Let me reuse your words 😀

    “Personally I don’t think there is much of a debate over which to buy”: I totally agree with you! I’d go over the nexus all the way because of the community, support and updates! Do not forget availability for customers all over the world, warranty, build quality and everything I can imagine goes towards the nexus…

    • PeterP
      October 31, 2012

      Got to agree with the support and community comment.
      This makes it a complete no brainer for the Nexus 4. Shame it doesn’t have a better spec, maybe there will be a Nexus 4 Pro version out with dual sim, microsd slot, 1080p screen, 13mp HDR camera. The nexus 4 is a pretty mid market affair IMHO.

    • PeterP
      October 31, 2012

      Forgot to say, really needs LTE as well.

      • ThinkOutsideTheBox
        October 31, 2012

        I don’t think LTE is needed, at least for me it’s not, because with T-Mobile in my area, their hspa+ 4G can match LTE speeds.

  3. Nucly
    October 31, 2012

    Well this one is a nobrainer for me, I would go for Nexus… Specs wise are both almost the same, but Nexus has direct Google support – you get the latest Android updates when they are released.

    + Warranty.. 2 years in my country, so I dont have to pay the shipping…

    Xiaomi should cut their prices down or there will be no reason to buy the M2 anymore (for people outside china)

  4. Oscar
    October 31, 2012

    And don’t forget the ZTE U950, Tegra 3 for $160 (although most of the other specs leave a bit to be desired).

    I think I’d go with the Nexus 4 as well. I can get it straight from Google. With the Xiaomi I’d have to deal with shady resellers. And that’s not to disparage all resellers, there certainly are good and honest ones. My only gripe with the N4 is the lack of expandable storage.

  5. Mustafa
    October 31, 2012

    Pure Android is the best, I prefer the Nexus 4 even if it was $100 more expensive.

  6. Lionel
    October 31, 2012

    Hi Andi,
    The Xiaomi mi2 doesn’t have microSD card slot but is microSD card slot persent in Nexus 4 ?

    • Ansgar
      November 5, 2012

      Both do not support micro sd card

  7. Amizz
    October 31, 2012

    I would buy the Nexus 4!!!

  8. teja
    October 31, 2012

    my first option is LG because XIAOMI (other premium Chinese brands) are like sour grapes for INDIAN , LG promised to release this device in INDIA from NOVEMBER a big THANKS to them . Samsung-Google ditched INDIAN phone lovers not releasing their nexus devices . Nexus 7 yet to release INDIA but entire WESTERN WORLD used it and heading to wards NEXUS 10 .

    one great news for INDIAN chinese phone lovers ZOPPO MOBILES got a tie up with another IT company in India to release its devices . zoppo 900 leader is available for INR 19000 ($358) and even mentioned they are releasing another 5 inch phone sooner .

  9. IgorP
    October 31, 2012

    I think Nexus4 is the winner here and thats a no brainer. Latest flagship model directly from GOOGLE. Unlocked, with full support for latest 4.2 android with all the updates. Also N4 is rocking S4 Pro, winch is clocked at slightly higher 1.7Ghz.

  10. Caynan
    October 31, 2012

    The only problem on the Nexus 4, to me, is the lack of micro sd, and what really sucks on buying a Xiaomi M2 is the waiting and since i`m not in china i have to pay at least $100 to a reseler, not counting the shipping cost and the taxes.

  11. October 31, 2012

    for international customers the xiaomi m2 would cost upward of $400 so the nexus 4 even has a price advantage

    • Josh
      December 6, 2012

      yes,it’s too expensive for international customers,I discovered one reseller IBUYGOU,it’s US$399.99,i could buy the Nexus 4.

  12. October 31, 2012

    @Andi have you received any word on your jiayu g2 order?

    • October 31, 2012

      I ordered the G3. Nope nothing

  13. October 31, 2012

    g3 sorry typo

  14. sickgrinder
    October 31, 2012

    I always go with the underdog, but the Nexus has some pretty let down features one being no SD Card and no LTE (not like the speed really matters but if you are buying a phone from an american company, it should be expected to have all the bells and whistles that the american providers have) and last, only one sim card slot.

    The biggest selling points are though that the Nexus will always be updated to the latest and greatest Android while everyone else plays catch up with their modified ui’s or just plain laziness.

    Although I have been holding out to buy a new phone until the Nexus 4 came out, I went with another manufacture for less and got the features that i wanted.

    • keenmay
      October 31, 2012

      ” I went with another manufacture for less and got the features that i wanted”
      What phone did you get?

      Both N4 and Mi2 have same let down lack feature for me. Though picking between the two is no brainier. For same reason as people already indicated, I would pick the N4. Besides even if you want a Mi-2, how the heck do you get one? and don’t forget risking on buying and shipping from China for international people.

      Off topic, any news on the rumored Nexus 5 (J butterfly)? It has everything I wanted, but can’t imagine it’s cheap though :(.

      • sickgrinder
        October 31, 2012

        Well I originally ordered a G3, but canceled and got a Newman N1, granted the screen res is not super hd but in reality, it is just a phone.

  15. Sid
    October 31, 2012

    This is a no-brainer. Nexus 4 is the obvious choice for almost every reason, availability, support, perceived quality, no hassle Google Play store…

    It is amazing how far these Chinese phones have come, but still, their main advantage is the price.

  16. Viktor
    October 31, 2012

    Nexus 4 by all means.

    The additional $30 is nothing compared to the support, availability, community, trust, etc. that Google and LG offer.

    Also, Nexus 4 has a barometric sensor, which can be used by hikers and paragliders.

    I just hate how Chinese manufacturers handle their customers.
    1. Why do i need to win a lottery to buy the phone?
    2. Why they can’t ship a phone 2-3 months after official market go-live?

    I hope that after Nexus 4 goes live, the Chinese phone prices will go down rapidly. They can’t compete with Google with the same or even with a 10-20% lower price. They would need to offer something near half the price of Nexus 4.

  17. Phantom Lord
    October 31, 2012

    No one…because there is a 1 slot for SIM card. I prefer dual SIM with dual standby

    • дядя Вася
      November 2, 2012


  18. Olivier
    October 31, 2012

    Xiaomi M2 !!!

  19. Inkflow
    October 31, 2012

    The sad truth is that it is impossible to compare something you can’t buy with something you can! The mi2 will be widely available in about a year from now. For western people it is simply impossible to buy the mi2, especially not under $400.

    The Nexus 4 wins simply because there is no competition!

  20. Diqiu-Long
    October 31, 2012

    Well I think both phones are very good, I’m very impressed with the price off the Nexus 4, but LG on the hand doesnt have a good reputation with phones, but for a big part that was about there software.

    For me as I’m not living in the USA the price difference between Xiaomi M2 and Nexus 4 is bigger then calculated by Andi, because in the Netherlands we often get $ = €.

    So it would probably mean an Nexus 4 16GB would cost me about € 350 which is very good price for such an powerfull phone, but the Xiaomi M2 is still cheaper, its costed converted to euro about € 250.

    Personally I’m not sure which one is really better, I know the Xiaomi M2 got an really good camera, but I think the camera in Nexus 4 will be good to.

    But I’m not very happy with the limited space off 16GB in the Nexus 4, yes I know it should be enough, but because I use an smartphone to for taking snapshots and recording I think it might not be enough.

    The Xiaomi M2 atleast comes in 32GB, but I like the options to, Huawei Honor 2, Newman N1 those are both cheaper and they seem like an nice alternative although not as powerfull as the Xiaomi M2 or Nexus 4.

  21. Alex
    October 31, 2012

    Does anyone else hate that the Nexus 4 uses on-screen buttons rather than having capacitive buttons built into the shell? imho, It limits viewing space and increases the chance of hitting one accidentally.

    • thesniper321
      October 31, 2012

      I do hate that

      • Francis.R.
        October 31, 2012

        I hate those on-screen buttons too for the same reason (besides those buttons look so big!). I’d prefer a dual sim but if I had to buy between a nexus or a xiomi I’d choose the xiaomi despite the nexus’s software upgrade because it drive me mad to think that I am not using every inch of the screen 😛

    • IgorP
      October 31, 2012

      I don’t like physical buttons, i think physical buttons are a thing of the past. moving parts break and stick out on a device with a smooth screen. i say NO to buttons:)

    • David
      November 2, 2012

      Thank God someone else mentioned this! I thought I was all alone. I got rid of my Galaxy Nexus purely for this reason.

    • nexus4_fan
      November 24, 2012

      Well, I also hated that but after many many many hours of searching I found this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnadQLj0p0I

      It says about a hybrid tablet mode which I love, because in landscape the virtual buttons move to bottom and the remaining screen is pure 720P, so apps are in native resolution. Also, the on screen buttons get smaller and I just love that mode. It will sure come to Nexus 4 as well

    • November 24, 2012

      Check this out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnadQLj0p0I

      It shows a hybrid tablet mode which I love, it shrinks the soft keys AND it moves them to the bottom in landscape mode, so the remaining are is PURE 720P, so apps run in native resolution. I changed my opinion about on screen buttons after seeing this.

  22. sere83
    October 31, 2012

    This is the exact dilemma I have been facing. I was set on getting the M2 but tbh i think the Nexus 4 is more likely now.

    As people have mentioned before Xiaomi’s stupid limited batch release cycle means that most people outside China have very little chance of getting one any time soon anyway.

    And unless you have a personal connection in china your looking at $400 + for importing from sites who will be bumping the price up as usual. So pricing will in fact be very similar once you take that into account. I also suspect the LG build might be slightly better although the m2 will still be nice.

    As someone mentioned before though at the end of the day it comes down to availability and the M2 is basically an unknown at this time. It took a damn long time for me to get my M1 so i’m expecting similar from the M2 and spec wise the M2 has very few if any advantages over the Nexus 4, so It may have to be the N4 after all.

  23. Rianto
    October 31, 2012

    in Indonesia LG said nexus 4 will be $500++ man that crazy
    i like xiaomi 2 because the battery and back cover color (the chance i get it is 1% even through my friend in china)
    nexus 4 have an ugly design like the other nexus phone

  24. steve
    October 31, 2012

    I only know tha M2 has those features: what about nexus 4 ?

    8Mpx camera is Sony back-illuminated sensor (better low light pictures ?)
    Wifi display : Can broadcast 1080p video contain trough WIFI to any WIFI TV screen
    Wifi direct
    dual antenna (better reception ?)
    bluetooth 4.0 (lower power then 3.0)
    bluetooth HID (use keyboard/mouse etc bluetooth)
    USB on the go (can connect any USB device to it, even your camera to unload pictures)
    barometer sensor (in case wonder about altitude or weather condition ?)
    compass (find your way)

    Personally I care most is Sony’s BI sensor , what about N4 low light picture quality ?

  25. Vanlon
    November 1, 2012

    I’m going with the xiaomi. The reasons being it’s smaller only 2mm wider than my current phone. I hate how big phones have become. Also replaceable battery is key, these high res screens chew up the battery pretty fast. The 3000mah battery is enticing as well.

    • HEctor
      November 5, 2012

      3000mah battery ?
      did you see the chart ?

      Also nexus 4 is not 350usd but 300usd.

      • JuanK
        November 5, 2012

        No 300 usd if for the 8 gb model and the article compares the 16 gb on both phones (theres a 32 gb model on Xiaomi). 16 gb model is indeed 350 usd

  26. zoltek
    November 1, 2012

    Nexus 4 for sure !

  27. tood
    November 1, 2012

    Nexus 4 prey to all the cards in the mobile market I will choose Naxos 4 because of the price and because of the community.
    I would suggest to xiaomi and other freedoms in China to reduce the price

  28. suXia
    November 1, 2012

    That’s a no brainer. These days I often move cards between my tablets/phones/android micro-pc so a phone without a microsd slot is a no-go, even if they give me 64GB of onboard storage for the same price.

  29. Bill Tu
    November 1, 2012

    Nexus 4 causes it doesn’t have to preorder and does not let you wait so long. Maybe Xiaomi do the preorder because they are afraid of the number of sold phones can be lower than their expectation, but I hate to wait more. Besides, international buyer must buy phones from China with higher price.

  30. Fel
    November 1, 2012

    not sure yet since i do live in China and no word of Nexus 4 release so far. Also, MIUI community is pretty active and the UI pretty good. sd card i dont mind too much since both should support USB OTG and good old drop box

  31. November 1, 2012

    The Nexus 4 does not have a MicroSD slot 🙁

    • November 1, 2012

      Nope but don’t they offer a larger Google Drive account or something?

  32. thesniper321
    November 1, 2012

    Just saw a hand on of the nexus 4 and I’m with andi on this one the look of the nexus is a big MEH, I’m with xiaomi on this one.

    • Mik
      November 2, 2012

      the price Austria for the Nexus 4 ist 700 USD! So for me it is not even a competition. The hilarious thing is that LG said that high labor costs are the reason for the excessive price and yet in Germany the phone is available for nearly half of the price.

      So 700 USD for a cheap budget phone, with no exchangeable battery, no SD card slot, no dual sim.

  33. iiyama94
    November 1, 2012

    Already order mi2

  34. TommyG
    November 2, 2012

    If the Xiaomi were more readily available in the US, I think I would opt for it. I really like the styling of it better than the Nexus. The buttons, flat edge and maximum use of space make it more interesting to me. The size is just about right. The Nexus 4 seems a bit too big and I don’t like the rounded edges. I prefer a bit more square design and not so much space above and below the screen.

    I’m probably going to hold out until so more interesting phones become available or wait for the Xiaomi to come to the US. I really like the idea of them making only one phone a year too unlike LG which makes many different models.

  35. ying
    November 4, 2012

    No MicroSD slot and no replaceable larger battery is a no-go.

  36. jpenzo
    November 25, 2012

    somes specs are equivalent
    but the M2 is superior in termes of hardware see the benchmarks
    about the software the pure android of the nexus 4 is a good thing
    but the MiUI OS is also one of the best OS for smartphone

  37. Marc
    December 24, 2012

    I spent a few days trying to buy a Nexus 4 without luck. When I found out that the Nexus 4 doesn’t have USB OTG support, though, I was suddenly happy that my efforts had failed! Now my Xiaomi Mi-2 is on its way. I am a big Nexus line fan, but the lack of OTG was a deal-breaker for me. So Xiaomi, you get my money this round; Hopefully the next Nexus will meet my requirements.

  38. diad
    December 24, 2012

    For me it’s very simple, one of my friend has sgs3 and when I hold it in my hand, just think is too big for a phone I hate that.
    The second think is the 90fps camera(720p, for people who say1080, 1080 is for 30fps) but if you don’t use it you just don’t need, and I love slow motion so for me it’s a big revolution on a mobile phone, I think is the only but I’not sure.
    And for me miui is realy cool, no need to root it, the root is one your phone when you buy it, and the optimisation of miui rom is realy crazy, just for exemple, my actually phone(I agree it’s a pice of shit beside the nexus or xiaomi m2) was almost 1200 at the benchmark with the software original and with a miui rom who let me put the setting just like I want it 3600 but I have just some bug because it’s not the rom for this phone but the phone is a lot of more fluid. The thing what I want to say to you is just that miui rom develop all the potential of your hardware and the root and setting give you the opportunity to put your phone better for YOUR use.
    For someone who talk about play store compatibility with miui I say it’s work very well, the only thing is bad is that the miui rom is only in chinese or english and I’m french(yes sorry for my bad english) but the miui community is huge and we have traduction of the rom. For me I prefere to keep the original version in english is not too difficult.
    An for the rest the hardware is almost the same nothing more to say except: I realy want to have this xiaomi m2 I’m waiting for it. Just take care to the fake.
    Peace and enjoy xiaomi m2 is a machine gun ;D

  39. tekgadgt
    July 12, 2013

    Forgot about the dedicated GPU in the N4,,,,