Which phone manufacturer should make the first Chinese Nexus phone?

China’s smartphone manufacturers have really been pushing the boat out this year. We’ve seen some great world-class phones from the likes of Oppo, Huawei, ZTE and Xiaomi, and we are going to see more from small brands such as JiaYu, UMi and Neo in the near future. All these amazing Android phones got us thinking, if Google were to team up with a Chinese phone maker for a Nexus handset who would you want it to be?

Chinese phones with Vanilla Android

We don’t imagine a Chinese Nexus phone is on the cards just yet, but with the way the industry is moving it would be foolish to think a Chinese brand wouldn’t be considered sometime in the future.

If such a partnership was to go ahead it could change the course of Chinese phone development! We would get a phone with the latest hardware, latest Android version and at the lowest possible price! What’s more competing Chinese brands might be more inclined to release the source code for their phones on time to allow alternative ROMs and a healthy developer community to grow!

It’s unlikely we are going to see the Nexus 5, 6 etc made by a Chinese manufacturer, but when Google do decided to team up with one of China’s up and coming brands who would you like it to be?


zte grand memo hands on

ZTE are already a huge brand with a monstrous range of Android smartphones and stunning flagship devices. They are no stranger to the international limelight and are tipped to be the first phone maker to ship a Snapdragon 800 powered handset later this year!

In fact we would love to see a Nexus version of the current Grand S (with an updated processor)!


huawei gl07s

Huawei are another Chinese phone giant. Again they have a huge range of phones and seem to ship new flagship phones every quarter (the P6-U06 is rumoured to be their next big launch).

Gizchina News of the week

Huawei are unique in China in that they develop and manufacture not only their own phones but also the quad-core processors which power them.

Read Also:  Xiaomi granted a new pop-up design patent


xiaomi m2a hands on photos

Xiaomi are the masters of high-quality and low-cost here in China. Yes there are cheaper phones on the market, but few meet Xiaomi’s high specifications and fewer still get weekly updates and international support.

However, one of the main draws to the Xiaomi brands is that the phones use the companies own MIUI ROM making them highly unlikely for a Nexus phone, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed.


black oppo find 5 photo

Of the brands mentioned till this point Oppo seems the most likely candidate for a Google Nexus phone. They have proven they are able to produce high-quality, world leading smartphones, and already have a growing and active fan-base. More importantly though, Oppo phones could really do with a vanilla Android install as Oppo ROMs tend to be a little on the ugly side.


production jiayu g4 photos

Compared to the rest, JiaYu is a tiny brand with limited resources but they are growing and have proven their commitment to developing new phones by showing off many of the models they plan to introduce later this year.

JiaYu have proven that they can produce great looking phones with high specifications, but what they need to do is improve their speed of development and time to market. Jiayu also need to gain more experience manufacturing phones running processors other than Mediatek’s, the upcoming JiaYu S1 Snapdragon phone will give us an indication of how they can apply current knowledge to new chipsets.

Anyone else?

We have barely skimmed the surface of Chinese phone makers with this short list there are literally hundreds more and the speed they are growing and gaining recognition could mean any of the smaller factories could have a chance a producing a Nexus handset in the future.

Who do you guy’s think could team up with Google? Are their any brands we haven’t mentioned you think we should have? Are their any current Chinese phones you think would make a suitable Nexus 5? Let us know in the comments section below.

Previous White JiaYu G4 available from May 6th in limited numbers
Next Huawei G700 quad-core MTK with 2GB RAM leaked photos


  1. kolyamba
    May 5, 2013

    There is no Lenovo, but crappy Jiayu? LOL 😀

  2. fikri
    May 5, 2013

    ZTE or lenovo I mean, becaue they have a big market.

  3. Jan M
    May 5, 2013

    I would LOVE to see a Nexus with the JiaYu “feel” (I’m sure all that handled a G3 will know what I mean) – But as stated in the article, they really need more time to develop as a company and manufacturer first. I have big hopes for JiaYu. Buuut, at their /current/ time-to-marked-rate – I fear their ‘Nexus’ – would probably hit the market /After/ the following Nexus :/

    In the present world – my money would be on Huawei. They have the experience in both research, development and production that google would at a minimum require. They have experience with their own SoC developement – and maybe most important of all in this setting – they are already well established in Europe and the US, as a good quality, nice-price brand.

    ZTE is runner up 😉 Oppo seems to make some great sets – but I really have no experience there to judge by.

  4. FRIC
    May 5, 2013


  5. FTP
    May 5, 2013


    • FTP
      May 5, 2013

      I realized that Meizu is in Hong Kong.. so please ignore this..

      • May 5, 2013

        Meizu are in China, their main office is Hong Kong. A Meizu Nexus device would be really nice 🙂

  6. njren
    May 5, 2013

    Google doesn’t officially exist in China, so how is this supposed to work? You can’t even buy apps from the Play Store. And let’s just imagine the cries of hypocrisy you’d hear when the headline hits the streets: “Google teams up with Chinese brand for newest Nexus device”. So why would Google even consider this? Profit? No profit to Google in Nexus devices. Market share? Android already has 90% of the smartphone market in China. Build up Google services? Too late; Baidu wins. Google famously left in 2010, taking (in their view) the moral high ground over censorship and state-sponsored hacking. Yet despite Google having between 5-15% of the search market, Android has grown to that eye-popping 90%. Seems just about the perfect situation for a company that’s non-grata in the country. Then there’s that little matter of the PRC government publishing a report on how concerned they are over Google’s influence in the domestic market. And you think they’d risk further tweaking those forces by announcing a major tie-up with a domestic manufacturer?

    It’s the ultimate irony, though. The only reason for the explosion in Chinese smartphones and all their ancillary economic benefits has been the availability of a free, fully developed Android OS. Google can sit back and watch for now. Detente works.

    • Xiaolu
      May 6, 2013

      +1 No Chinese-Nexus stuff on the horizon

      I cross my fingers for the coming of Ubuntu Kylin (麒麟) for mobiles in the country. It’d be sweet for GNU/Linux users, although no real threat for Android vendors. A Huawei/Lenovo/ZTE/Xiaomi Ubuntu Kylin would make me happy, that QSD 800 @2,3Ghz, 4GB RAM (to fully replace desktop and get the job done), Adreno 330 (4K capable) and a nice 6″ screen… Shut up and take my money! 😛

    • XrainX
      May 6, 2013

      Very good post.
      Also I was saying the free Android showed to chinese how important is the software. Without Android developed by Google I can say Android smartphones would not exist today.

      Regarding the subject, I think only Lenovo and ZTE.

  7. May 5, 2013

    Xiaomi, because they have had successful R&D carried out in collaboration with universities from the U.S.

  8. Freeje
    May 5, 2013

    I agree with Njren. This won’t happen unless the government allows them to given that they are concerned with Android supremacy.

  9. darkwing
    May 5, 2013

    I was going to say something similar 😛 unless a chinese maker makes a “nexus clone”, or you get a “baidu nexus”. Google is still really limited in china, as they consider it dangerous for people’s ideology

  10. Aditya
    May 6, 2013

    Xiaomi is perfect actually! They make great devices already at lower prices, so that’d be great for Google too to get some good pricing! I’m sure Xiaomi won’t mind 1 of their phones running stock Android. As they already so many other people using MIUI! 😀

  11. Sere83
    May 6, 2013

    Well, ZTE or Huawei are the obvious ones as they are both properly established abroad already and have huge international supply chians and sell a huge amount of phones overseas. But given Huawei’s investigation buy US authorities its pretty much impossible. ZTE has also not really produced a really strong top end handset yet.

    Xiaomi although strong, have limited hardware manufacturing experience and while all they’re devices to date have been well built, in terms of actual design they are pretty run of the mill and pretty chunky by todays standards too. Although they have very strong ties with qualcomm and obviosuly foxconn.

    Meizu again have a very nice design aesthetic, and a meizu nexus would look great but they are tainted a bit by their ‘iClone’ roots and lack the software expertise to remove bugs and optimise quickly and efficiently. Their hardware is also exactly ground breaking.

    Jiayu is obviously a joke because they are essentially still seen as a minor clone manufacturer (G5? What were they thinking?)

    Oppo would funnily enough probably be the best choice in terms of actually build quality, and have recently in the find 5 produced a real top end contender. They also have experience in making very slim cutting edge hardware, but still lack any brand recognition or a proper worldwide supply chain

    • Sere83
      May 6, 2013

      *not exactly ground breaking

  12. Airyl
    May 6, 2013

    I thought that Xiaomi was China’s Nexus? They both release amazing smart phones at amazing prices, both underestimated the demand, both release updates frequently, and both are widely loved by many people. Only Xiaomi has better hardware while Nexus devices have better looks.

    • Sere83
      May 6, 2013

      Well, build quality its debatable, Xaiomi’s phones are well built but not better built that Neuxs 4 and they are pretty chunky in comparison to the Nexus 4, OK the m2s has snapdragon 600 but it was only just announced, google could bring something new in at Google I/O. Camera and display are also not much better than neuxus 4.

      I Have a MiOne and the thing about MIUI is that while it is a very nice custom OS, all the customization leads to many more bugs in the English builds than a nexus 4 running stock android.

      Also MIUI V5 is not based on the latest version of android and they will be even further behind when 4.3 is announced. A lot of MIUI’s functionality can also be replicated with play store apps. I still am a xiaomi fan but if a 32GB LTE nexus 4 arrives at google I/O I will probably make the switch.

      • darkwing
        May 6, 2013

        Xiaomi is a really good manufacturer, since they introduced high end specs and materials from top suppliers (qualcomm for instance) at mid end prices. However it is true that google made a really good phone at a really low price (also mid end). Their strongest point is their android distro which is really cool (miui) on the bad side, miui will also be available for the nexus. I think the biggest advantage that xiaomi has is that their phones seem to be unique while still having really high specs, long story short, xiaomi phones are more about fan base than superiority (kind of like apple).

  13. May 6, 2013


  14. Bob
    May 8, 2013


  15. Kula
    May 22, 2013

    Oppo for sure !

  16. May 24, 2013

    I just bought an Oppo Find 5 after buying a lot of Samsung Galaxy phones (Tab, S2, Note, S3, Note 2, Note 2LTE) and it gives me the best satisfaction. So I’d opt for Oppo.

  17. SanDroid
    May 24, 2013

    Great post! Xiamo seems to be a good brand