So which Chinese phone did I choose?

So which Chinese phone did I choose?


After careful consideration and taking on board your comments and suggestions, I finally took the plunge and bought a new Chinese phone yesterday and I couldn’t be happier! So which Chinese phone did I choose? Meizu Mx2, Xiaomi M2 or The Oppo Find 5?

Why these 3 phones?

I really had my heart set on all 3 phones and believe I would be equally happy with any of the 3 I had short listed, but unfortunately there can only be one. But before I tell you which phone I bought and my reasons for doing so, I’ll quickly go over why it was these 3 phones and not others I wanted.

First of all each of the 3 phones I chose were within my budget. I didn’t fancy splashing my cash on something like the ZTE Grand S or Nubia Z5 considering they don’t really offer much more in the way of hardware or value for money over the Oppo, Xiaomi and Meizu.

zte grand s goes on sale

I didn’t choose an MT6589 phone due to the fact I didn’t want to wait for a few months for them to start shipping, and the longer I wait the larger the selection will have become and my choice would become increasingly difficult (I don’t envy you guys choosing between the JiaYu G4, Umi X2, Sheng X7 and others as they all look truly breath-taking!).

So with that in mind I settled on either the Oppo Find 5, Xiaomi M2 and Meizu MX2. All of which, in my opinion, offer amazing value for money, and come from manufacturers with proven track records and are committed to continued updates.

The Poll results

It came as no surprise to me that the Oppo Find 5 came out on top of the Poll, with the Xiaomi M2 coming second and Meizu Mx2 a close third.

which chinese phone would you buy

Your comments were greatly valuable too, but with everyone offering valid arguments for and against various phones I found myself switching and changing, and even considering a 4th phone, the Huawei Honor 2!

The Choice

In the end I still wasn’t sure which to buy, so I made the decision to head to the phone market, have one last play around with each phone, then bite the bullet and buy the phone which I liked the most.

However their was a problem with this! The Oppo Find 5 only launched yesterday and rather being available across China, only launched in Shenzhen and larger cities including Beijing and Shanghai! Undeterred I set out in the hopes I would get my hands on a sample phone to at least test to help with my decision.

Meizu MX2

First stop was the Meizu store. There are actually 3 Meizu stores locally, all of which have the latest MX2 in stock (since launch) and each store has plenty of display models for you to play with before parting with your money (Oppo please take note).

Meizu mx2 hands on

The MX2 has a number of features which I love. It offers a great design, I like the Flyme ROM, I have grown to really like the on-screen navigation which Meizu call a smart bar and the overall quality of construction is second to none.

But there were also a few concerns. I had heard users complain of overheating, the battery life has been reported as extremely poor, and a number of reviews had mentioned random slowing down and crashing.

I’ve suffered first hand from all of these issues with a Meizu M9, and after testing the dual-core MX last year and getting an early hands on with the MX2 last year, I can confirm that these problems are still present, but no where near as serious as before.

Unfortunately for Meizu though the sample MX2’s at the store failed to impress. One model refused to open apps which I often use such as Wechat, and the other suffered from extreme lag when using the camera (a good camera is paramount to me).

So the MX2 was a no go.

Oppo Find 5

oppo find 5 hands onLow and behold I wasn’t able to locate a single Oppo stockist which had a demo Find 5 to get my hands on (our test unit should be here soon but I just couldn’t wait). Thankfully I have my sources, and after a quick QQ chat with a contact in Shenzhen had what I needed to know.

Me: Is the it (Oppo Find 5) good?
Contact: OK.
Contact: But the UI is crap.

For someone only to concentrate on the bad, speaks volumes for the phone. No mention of the performance, the viewing angles of the 5-inch 1080 display, or how well the 13 mega-pixel Sony Exymor rear camera is, just a simple “Ok” and “the UI is crap”.

I’ll wait for my own hands on before contemplating spending my hard-earned cash on an OK phone with crap UI.

Xiaomi M2

xiaomi m2 hands on photos and specificationsSo that left me with the Xiaomi M2. I’ve played around with M2’s owned by friends and knew that the local phone market had a good stock of them, plus it is the cheapest of all 3 of my choices, but is there anything really that amazing about the M2 which would have me choose it over the other phones?

As a matter of fact yes:

Personal experience

From personal experience with the M2 I knew that it offered fantastic performance, a beautiful 720p screen (we don’t all need 1080) and one of the best 8 mega-pixel rear sensors in the business!


From the various reviews I had read everyone seemed to agree that the Xiaomi M2 was a bargain to good too be missed. Not one review highlighted areas of concern which might put me off, plus features from the camera, to speed and battery life were all commended!

Rear camera

Both cameras on the M2 are really quality pieces of kit, but as I’m not one for taking photos of myself it’s the 8 mega-pixel rear camera which stands out to me. Not only is the image sensor the same found in the much more expensive Samsung Galaxy S3, but the software has been optimised for capturing great photos time and time again as fast as it possibly can.

If you have ever taken a HDR photo with an iPhone 4S or even the iPhone 5 you will know that the time to save the image can be a good few seconds. The M2 on the other hand captures the photos and spits it in to the internal memory in no time at all!


Although the M2 is the cheapest phone of the 3, it packs the same Qualcomm S4 Pro as the more expensive Oppo Find 5 plus it has 2GB of RAM too! This results in super fast operation with no notable slowdown what-so-ever (take note Meizu).

I’ve not ran any tests of my own yet, but after seeing what the phone is capable of from reports around the web I know it is capable of some serious benchmarks.


Xiaomi’s MIUI ROM is super customisable. Everything about the ROM can be tweaked from the settings, and new themes are available from the built-in theme store.

Xiaomi m2 themes

But more than that is the fact that the M2 actually packs two areas for ROM installation meaning you can easily install a custom ROM on the M2 and switch back to the original ROM whenever you like.

There is even a stock version of Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean available as an official Xiaomi ROM! meaning you can turn your Xiaomi M2 in to a budget Nexus device and still enjoy official support from Xiaomi and MIUI!

Still early days

I’ve not had the phone for a day yet, so there is still chance I could regret my decision and there will be a cheap M2 on Taobao soon, but from my first day with the phone (and previous hands-on time) I don’t think that is likely!

I plan to write a full review of the M2 soon, and be sure to check out the comparisons between my own M2 and the Oppo Find 5 when we receive our test unit.

What do you guys think? Would you have made the same decision?

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  • rianto

    xiaomi 2 is also my choise
    the best part of xiaomi when you buy the phone you can also buy the accecories.
    Consider how bad my nexus 4 battery,
    I’m not interested in non removable battery ever again.
    With xiaomi 2 i can use the phone while charge my other battery.

    • I agree! Those large 3100mAh batteries with case are only about 150 Yuan!

  • Fel

    great choice mate, i love the mi store too. fb downloads fast on it. jbl 10 is ok but 7 was bit better maybe. friday should be nre update as the m2 updates every 2 weeks.

    love mine and will bring some to europe in july i guess…

  • Rob

    None of these three phones would have made it to my short list, for they don’t support dual sim operation.

    But, if I had to choose one, I’ve would have gone for the OPPO.

  • Foggy day photo looks like there’s Curiosity robo-arm missing 🙂

    And congrats on the new phone — personally I like Chinese smartphones because they’re affordable, so with them you buy a daily tool, not an idol you should pray to.

    This is why I ordered Jiayu G3 recently 🙂

  • chandan

    One of the most important USP of chinese phones is that they mostly support Dual SIM…this is very important and if they can’t then, we will buy known brands like LG, Samsung, or Sony…

    • Dual-sim is something I have never needed so the Xiaomi (or Meizu and Oppo) not offering it wasn’t a deal breaker for me personally.

  • Dame

    With the reasons you gave, I believe you made the right decision. I might have to follow suit.

  • velvetfinger

    no Dual-sim is deal breaker for me, i have already a galaxy, corp phone and ipod. and having 2 phones is really a pain

    Moreover the 6589 has dual sim active capabilities, which is a great feature missing in the 6577. it allow you to have the 2 lines active together so you can have 3g from one sim and receive calls from the other sim as well (not possible to my knowledge with the 6577)

    So yes, i guess i’ll have to wait 2 month for that but i do think it is worth waiting

  • Airyl

    Andy, how do you think the Xiaomi Mi2’s camera matches up to the Newman N2’s camera? Performance wise? Which is more fluid? Which display is better? Is it OK that I’m asking so many questions? Sorry for asking so many questions but I need to buy a phone soon, and I’m contemplating between these two.

    • Good question! I think a photo shoot out is needed! I’ll work on it tomorrow!

  • Lexey

    Good choise ))!! i think i will also order 1 than compair my honor 2 and deside wich 1 i like more )

  • fonix232

    I personally wouldn’t have chosen either of them, as there are better phones on the market, for less money.

    For example, FastCardTech just began distributing the quad-core Xiaolajiao LA-Q1, for 210$, Tegra3, HD screen, 1GB of RAM, so far the best price/value ratio phone.

    Only problems so far were the modifications by Beidou to the stock Android, the lack of full software (no full-flash package has been released, thus no modded ROMs yet), and a few hardware problems in the first batch (Beidou changed the 3.5 Jack layout, and thus the right channel is working only with the regular headphones).

  • Sérgio Silva

    Meh, it’s a pity for the other phones really, as in theory they should be great as well.

    Where did you buy your Xiaomi by the way? Online store?

    I’m thinking of grabbing a 32GB version but they seem to be out of stock there, and I don’t really understand the differences between the versions there

    The middle and right version look like they’re ridden with mobile carrier lock or something, but my Chinese sucks and Google’s not that good either 😛

    Will eagerly await for your Mi2 review!

    • I bought mine from a local phone market here in Qingdao.

      • kchayar

        Okay, I will bite. Where in Qingdao? And how much did you pay for it? I am nearby, in Weifang. It’d be nice to sport that phone.

        • There is a phone market in Taidong under the Macdonalds. Send me an email and I’ll give you the number of the store I bought it from.

          • Robert

            Do you known a shop in Xiamen? My Friend is there and tries to find a Mi2. His Chinese is not so good. On the display info he only find a number that starts with the letter U

            • I don’t know of any shops no. What number is he looking at?

  • Ronnie katsie

    Jiayu now has english version of there website and in mere future we the so called international buyers we will be able to purchase direct from them

    • AndroidFreak

      can you kindly share a link to the english version

  • Kester

    I purchased my M2 on Xmas eve, and received it on the 17th Jan in Australia (my mate in China was busy with work).

    All I could say is, I have only had one crash/restart from an app that could not open.

    I have been using M2 running on English since the very first day, but even with the English ROM, there are still some Chinese characters.

    So, it got me curious how it would be like running the mandarin version. Little do I realise, the functions are much better and there are more things you can do running the mandarin version instead of English.

    You can do take pictures with voice command with the mandarin version, but not in English.

    The music player has equaliser only on the mandarin version, the English version simply has not equaliser or tuner at all.

    As we all might expect, playing songs with matching lyrics is available on the mandarin version, but none for the English music player.

    Nevertheless, I have not regret a bit for buying the M2, it just killed my Google Nexus S in comparison.

    Andi, I made my decision to purchase the M2 after spending a month reading your blog! Well done mate!

    • Hi Kester, glad to know I helped with your decision 🙂 Did you update your M2 to the latest ROM? My phone has the voice command for taking photos in the English version, I’ve not had a look at the music player yet though.

  • Kester

    Also, the pre-installed “Weather” app wouldn’t work in Australia, its simply because the app only contains weather info for all the major cities in China.

    The “Calendar” app is essentially the same as Google’s calendar app, it works well with my google schedules.

    I haven’t fiddled with the security & privacy settings with M2, this is something I notice that is way different that other major branded phones. The M2 does actually have a lot of privacy & security settings. Any comments on the pre-installed security apps Andi??

    • I’ve not looked at them yet. I’ll try and get it all in the review.

  • Airyl

    Looking forward to that Newman N2 vs Xiaomi Mi2 battle!

  • Sly


    This phone support video, HDMI output? (through USB MHL adapter, or other) or is possible connect it to TV ?

    Could you please test the NHL app “NHL GameCenter™”? I want to buy M2 and want to be sure it can run this app.

    Many thanks!

  • Markoff

    i really hate MIUI but it can be solved by installing custom clean ROM, other thing I don’t like about M2 is shape like brick, display size is also so so, except these two things I must agree it’s rational choice and best value for the money, my colleague has it, I decided few months ago for Amoi N820 and don’t regret it, soon there should be Android 4.2.1 available (already developer’s edition), of course by specifications it’s slower with worse display, but when using JB my phone is as smooth as M2 and it was bargain for half price of M2, I think in this price category is still not possible to buy anything else, same as is not possible to buy anything better for price of Xiaomi M2

    if I would be in your place willing to spend more money, let’s say 2-3000 I would probably wait for some MTK6589 phone or would be choosing between Newman N2 and Jiaoyu G3, Huawei Honor 2 sounds OK too but Huawei mobiles are becoming expensive since you start to pay for Huawei brand compare to other chinese brands

    btw. after reviewing you have to return phones? i was under impression you can keep them, if you are returning them you should mention it at end of articles, it’s very good advertisement for non-biased honest reviews

  • Markoff

    I made mistake, it should be Jiayu G4 instead of G3

  • Kester

    Im running on Android 4.1.1 MIUI version JBL10.0 JR003L

    It works now! Whew, glad there is voice control on the English version.

    • Awesome! There is also another update this Friday I think, which might bring more functions to the phone 🙂

  • gelez

    For me others: nubia, because is more thiner and it have lte, after oppo find 5, its so nice

  • gelez

    pd: zte nubia for sale 1 february,

  • akash

    no one congratulated you yet!! congrats on the great phone mate..i also would haave went for xiaomi,,,
    a question though….are there any 6589 devices available NOW? so many have been launched…and many have been leaked..but are there any which is actually out there in the market for now??

    • The only one I’ve actually seen on sale is a Ginoee model, there might also be a few TCL and ZTE’s about too, but not seen them in stores yet. Cheers mate!

  • Sérgio Silva

    For the curious, here is an OPPO Find 5 sort-of review:

    Apparently the screen is gorgeous and the battery life fantastic. Let’s wait for more reviews, I guess.

    • If that’s true I’ll get one for my wife (so I can play with it too;) )

  • Sérgio Silva

    Thanks for the info =)

    Also grats on the purchase, I hope it’s a keeper since I’ll most likely get one as well.

    OPPO Find 5 seems like Waldo, nowhere to be seen 😛

  • Fel

    yeah mate got a find5 for quite some extra cash…again.. with my wee food-grabbing tools (read…HANDS) i ve to say … 4,3 like the m2 is max. i dont watch movies and so on nor do i play. my second sim card is ffs a china mobile one which is rendered useless on all gsm handsets.. got a free Samsung Note from CM though so i ve 2 packs anyway, i like some new china fons but hands down, wont be changing cause theirs a nicer bird around all the time.

  • chandra mohan

    Hi Andi,

    What abu U9508 huawei glory, quad core, 720p screen, 2gb ram,,little cheaper than mi 2,

    Anyway u bought mi 2, still I am in the dilemma, I am interested to buy a mobile, actually planned to sale my current iphone 4 S and switch back to android again

    Local sellers ready to take my iphone 4 s for 2350 rmb, I am interested to pay more money,

    When you compare mi 2 and oppo 5 you may try to compare with U9508, if possible though

  • ubelai

    Pleased to see you picked the M2! Congrats on the new phone. 🙂

    I’m currently waiting for mine to be delivered to Australia, so unbelievably keen to get my hands on it!!

    I personally saw the M2 as the best choice of phone for myself; all those awesome specs (not to mention the 4.3″ screen, coming from iPhones before my G3 really came to show how much I used my phone with one hand)

    Cannot wait for the review – although my phone could arrive tomorrow or the day after! 😛

  • Allanitomwesh

    A good choice Andi. You won’t regret it. I am however unable to land one at a decent price,and i’m now waiting for OPPO’s promise of a 32GB International Find 5. The Nexus 4 has also made a comeback so things are tough.

  • ivan

    Wow, great choice there. I would go to Find 5 out of the 3 since well, the largest screen and I am talking about 2-thumbs typing on large screen for non-English country (while still using English language occasionally) so it is a matter of choice and need. However, speaking about performance, M2 all the way, I heard the only phone able to compete with it is the Octa-core Samsung Galaxy S4 or the “almost myth” Lenovo k900 (as mentioned in your late article) or any new phones using Qualcomm Snapdragon 800. In short it is the best phone benchmark wise and almost everything else. MIUI is grand 🙂 gonna love the themes and they even add it daily not to mention the fan-made.

  • Geo

    Which site do you think is the safest to buy a phone from?I have been through reviews and comments,etc. considering major chinese electronics websites and to be honest i found none without any serious complaint.I would very much appreciate an unbiased answer.Thanks!

    • Geo

      Still waiting for an answer…:)….

  • Robredz

    Well like the look of the Oppo, but the M2 has the best price/performance ratio, so on balance i think you got the right phone for you

  • Jevus

    How much did it cost you? and how much should have been with the 3000mah?

    • I paid 2100 Yuan for mine (as I got it from a market and the prices are going up for CNY) the 3100mah battery is 150 Yuan, but not bought one of those (and not sure I will need to as the battery is fine)

  • Sérgio Silva

    Xiaomi Mi2 = 1999 CNY ~= 238€
    3100mAH battery = 150 CNY ~= 17€

    so 255€ all in all, or somewhere around that.

  • Sérgio Silva

    Also for some reason my comments don’t appear like replies, despite me clicking on the “reply” link. Facebook link also doesn’t seem to work.

    It seems that the site has some rough edges to polish still, as I tried different browsers before and results are the same :\

    • This is a new commenting system which we are still working on.

  • Martin


  • daniel f

    Hi Andi,
    found your page on my search for Chinese phone – so far the best resource i could find up to now! Kudos!
    I have a business trip to China coming up and was therefore planning to buy a phone there locally. Is it possible to pick up the usual suspects (Newman N1, Jiayu G3/ G4, …) at a random dealer or would I rather need to order online (also regarding retail price)? Thanks for a short info on how to go about.

  • Syed Faisal Hasan


    Have been trying to search around , but still unable to get it verified. Since I am regular visitor on this website.

    Has anyone tried or can confirm that any of the mentioned Chinese dual core 6577 or quad core 6589 does support USB OTG for connecting USB flash drives or particularly USB 3G Wimax/EVO modem.

    I know that it is available in the majority of the numerous chinese brands for android tablets ,but not android mobiles.

    I did buy a Hero H9500+ (unbranded cousin of ZOPO ZP900) but found out that it does not have the necessary hardware support for USB OTG.

    To my knowledge it is still only available in leading brands of Androids and not the Chinese siblings.

    Thanks for your answers

  • Arch Stanton

    I have a UMI x1,cheaper than these phones but happy with it until today,the screen has gone all grey,anyone else had a similar problem with chinesse phones?

    • Have some spots appeared on the screen. Going to send it back for repair.

      • oren

        i am checking but anyway under 2g or wifi google acount keep cheking and no problem with battery

  • Sere83

    Yeah tbh as a Mi One owner I think you made the right choice. In terms of firmware stability the M2 will be good and you will be seeing very regular updates also the international community is very large unlike many of the smaller brands. Camera will also probably be a cut above most MT6589 handsets.

    My issue with the M2 is more cosmetic, its quite chunky in comparison to say a GS3 or a Nexus 4. Also as much as I love MIUI it is also not perfect. And while Xiaomi do support their phones I am still waiting for jelly bean many monthes later. I would also like a larger display.

    This bring me to my dilemma…..

    The M2 with export bumps is actually about the same price as a Neuxs 4, and while the nexus 4 is great and I would like the larger display, lack of removable battery and is a bummer although perhaps not a deal breaker and I may miss a few MIUI features. Cameras are also an issue, I really wonder how the Nexus 4 compares to the M2, i can’t imagine there would be much in it as I believe they are both sony sensors. Although Nexus 4 camera reviews suggest it is pretty average.

    Another thought was to maybe try and take a hit on specs and go cheaper and wait for the Jiayu G4 or Neo N3. But I have to admit I do sometimes look at my friends iphone cameras with a hint of jelousy!

    Decisions decisions….

    • Sere83

      Also quick question andy…..

      How does the M2 camera compare to the Newman N2?

      • ApOka

        YES! compare it Andy `lease 😉

        And i can say that these 3 chinese smartphones are really interesting, but I would get into the group the Newman N2 (or also the huawei honor 2 although not as high-end, with similar performance more interesting prices)

      • A Newman N2 VS Xiaomi M2 camera shoot out is underway:) Watch this space!

        • John

          Watching closely. 😛

        • ApOka

          But why not put on this list the Neman N2? I think it’s one of the most sought also lately and specifications that have nothing to envy to Oppo, Xiaomi and Meizu and is much cheaper…

          • Airyl

            Newman N2 vs Xiaomi Mi2 is gonna be great. Also, is it only me or do these two brands share a lot of similaraties? The Xiaomi M1 and Newman N1 both were released to great reception, both released budget models shortly after that, and both released highly anticipated quad core phones in 2012.

          • Airyl

            They both also seem to be rolling out the most updates for their phones.

        • John

          2nd day of watching closely.:P

    • rianto

      I’m a lg nexus 4 owner. i will sell this phone asap i get my xiaomi 2. battery and cell reception suck big time. camera is just average.

  • Eric

    Mtk6589 phones are out tcl y900 for rmb 2299 tcl p600 for 1999 both from taobao or you could look at local chinese tcl dealers. I just placed an order for zte v987 with for rmb 1699, they will ship 2 days later. First 500 orders for the zte will get a free bluetooth handsfree and portable charger, which i missed even though i ordered preety early. I have given these info through the tip us function you have on the website and still dont see these infos updated.

  • Tao

    After waiting 2 months, I bought 2 xiaomi MI2 several weeks ago. I can’t wait another 1 or 2 months for Oppo Find 5 or ZTE Nubia 5. And there are so much bad talks about their UI (personally by my experience about ZTE i don’t like at all their support and their UI because i use more than 1 year one their smartphone before switching to MI2).
    I was really amazed by the quality not only hardware but software (generally speaking i think it is the real weakness of Chinese brands). MI2 is better than Iphone 4s and far better than Samsung Note (Note looks and feels very cheap comparatively).
    The thing I Iike the most is even without rooting your phone you can manage your apps permissions as you want.
    One more thing my parents don’t like it because MI2 screen is too small only 4’3. They have difficulties to read because of their age.

  • oren

    hi Andi after setup m2 few times i discovered that
    1.ultimate rotation control must have and work flowesly change orientation of sms,music,gallery and actually all except lockscreen
    2. exdialer fit very nice you can choose the size of font colors and change colors buy the time of the dat (black saving battery and white is for the day)
    3.speakerphone controll works vey smooth enable/disablewhen you get close to the ear
    4.talking caller id works and says the contact name during a call
    5.sanity not compatible with that phone
    5 times more then wifi or 2G

  • newreader

    hey andi,

    can you make article of the best dual sim phones?
    lets be true to ourselves 99% of people choose to buy chinese phones
    because of dual sim capability.
    your site is known because of that…

    can you make an article the best dual sim phones outhere?

    thanks andi

  • Nomax

    @oren: 3G really that bad – energy-wise? Can anybody confirm this?


    • oren levy

      Nomax it is confirmed by some in i dont know outside
      but its around 8% per h idle if disable DATA but on 3G no problem
      if you on WIFI on and 3G no problem
      i wish more confirmation
      rom 3.1.25 international both system

      • Nomax

        Hmm, we need more sources to have this confirmed.

        For me, this is kind of perfect deal, considering its cheaper AND has a better cam than Optimus 4 x HD. I dont need full HD (which will eat the battery like nothing else) on a phone, maybe only when someone ties to use it as a desktop replacement on an external monitor.

        Any sources that ship to the EU (Germany) – are there problems with CE certification someone knows of?

    • 3g takes little power. You have to un-sync your Google account because it keeps on checking your emails and any other account updates including your location.

      • oren

        Greg i cheked no sync at all steel consume battey 8% an hour idle…

  • zedge

    Is kind offtopic but anybody knows about caesar a9600?