Flyme 4.0 vs MIUI V6 vs IUNI OS – A look at 3 of the top Chinese ROMS


flyme miui iuni os

We take a look at three of the latest, most up to date ROMS from Chinese smartphone companies Flyme 4.0 from Meizu, MIUI V6 from Xiaomi and IUNI OS from IUNI.

There was a time in the dark ages of Chinese smartphones where the ROM would be the major problem. Poor design, lack of updates and bugs used to cause havoc on hardware that was capable of a lot more. Those days are over now though and most Chinese smartphone makers are producing amazing ROMS that offer everything you could need including frequent updates.

Flyme 4.0 vs MIUI V6 vs IUNI OS

In this article we take a look at three ROMS, 2 of which are recently updated and will be released soon and the third which will soon be released with English language options.

Flyme 4.0

Flyme is the custom ROM from phone maker Meizu that is now in to it’s 4th iteration. Meizu announced Flyme 4.0 at the Meizu MX4 launch last week and confirmed that the new ROM would be released for the MX4, MX3 and even the MX2 smartphones which should be great news to owners of the older devices. Flyme 4.0 is based on Android 4.4.2 in our sample phone.

flyme 4.0

On the surface the look of Flyme 4.0 has changed very little to Flyme 3.0, but looking under the hood we find some great new features.

The look of Flyme 4.0 is of the en vogue ‘flat’ look, which was actually first introduced with Flyme 3.0 (yes, before Apple launched iOS7). Now, all ROM makers are going for the simplified style.

Flyme 4.0 has a set of Flyme icons for hundreds of the most popular apps. Personally I’m not that keen on the Flyme icons as they appear to large, but Meizu had thought about that and switching from Flyme to standard icons is as simple as flicking a switch.

All your apps are arranged on the home screens of Flyme 4.0, there is no app draw, a common feature with all the ROMs here. To keep things tidy we have a dock for our most used 4 apps and other icons can be arranged in folders.

Flyme 4.0’s new notification area now extends the full length of the screen with a transparent background. Quick settings are also available here and can be customised and arranged to suit your needs.

Head in to the main settings of Flyme and things haven’t changed all that much from Flyme 3.0. There are some new colours and the switch icons are the same, but the rest of the UI remains unchanged.

From the settings we can switch between English, Chinese, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese and Russian. Flyme developers have also added some gesture options on the lock screen which they call “smart wake” in the settings. The options include double tap to wake, slide up to unlock, slide left to enter the camera and swipe right to open an app of your choice.

Some apps in Flyme 4.0 have been given an refresh with a simple new look and brighter colours, while the camera app has been completely reworked to offer new features and all new UI.

Swiping from left to right on the screen in the camera app switches the camera option and there are plenty to choose from including auto, manual, face beauty, panorama, refocus, night, bar code, slow-motion, macro. Switching from one option to the other brings up a bunch of unique setting options for you to tweak and play about with.

Multitasking on Flyme is handled by a draw which can be opened by swiping up from the bottom of the display. Apps can be either locked individually or all at once, and you can easily lock apps so they continue to run in the back ground. Oddly Flyme 3.0 also had an area to adjust the brightness in the multitasking bar, which is now no longer available.

Flyme 4.0 for the Chinese market also has a great looking weather app with animated weather, and a built-in SIRI like voice assistant. For the English ROM these features have been removed, but we hope they will be added in the final build.

Currently Flyme 4.0 is only available for the MX4 but will be released on other models. Flyme 3.0 can be downloaded on the Samsung S4 and Nexus devices in the future.

MIUI V6

MIUI V6 was announced during the Xiaomi Mi4 launch, however the ROM isn’t officially available yet and is still only for developers and is a little laggy at times. The official release will be in October sometime and will be based on Android 4.4.4. MIUI V6 will be released for all Xiaomi devices over the coming months but only the newer phones will have a Kitkat based rom, the Xiaomi Mi2 for example will have MIUI V6 based on Android 4.1.

Visually MIUI V6 is much nicer, simpler and cleaner looking than MIUI V5 it replaces. It is still a ROM that is heavily influenced by iOS, perhaps even more so than before, and overall little has changed in terms of function between the older and newer OS.

The icons in MIUI V6 are very simple and bright, I really do like the look of them, the whole UI looks playful and fun, and if that isn’t for you then anyone of the MIUI based themes can easily be added to suit your style.

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miui v6

Like Flyme there is no app draw, and you can arrange your apps in folders depending on your usage. The dock in MIUI can hold 5 icons making which I prefer as I can set my most used app in the center.

The notification area has a transparent background to it, and this time swiping to the right will bring up customisable quick settings, brightness control and music controls.

MIUI V6, like V5, allows you to set the buttons of your phone up for different features. In my case a quick tap of the left menu button brings up the multi-tasking window where I can clear or lock apps.

miui v6

Holding down the home button can be set up to use Google Now voice search, there is also Xiaomi’s own voice assistant if you are able to speak Chinese. Also from the buttons settings there are also a limited number of lock screen gestures. There is no quick wake but you can choose to use the back button to activate the camera (by default you can swipe right on the lock screen to open the camera).

The settings UI has been made lighter and clearer. The white background and bright icons make all the settings more accessible and easier to find than before. Even a season MIUI V5 user will easily find there way around. From the settings we can also switch language buy officially MIUI only supports English and Chinese. A similar UI can be found in the build in Games store app, and the calendar app gets a nice new look also.

Speaking of system apps, the MIUI weather app with it’s all new look now natively supports cities outside of China, great news as this is by far one of the best weather apps available (in my opinion).

The camera app has been redesigned too, and looks alarmingly close to the camera app in iOS7. As with Flyme you can swipe from let to right but this time you only get access to filter and a general settings window.

MIUI V6 is a very nice and bright OS, but some users are going to be put off by it’s similarities with IOS. The ROM itself is very functional with great features, and although there are only officially 2 languages, the MIUI community are quick to release alternate language versions.

As mentioned above MIUI V6 is currently for developers only, but as MIUI V5 is already available on hundreds of phones from many different manufacturers we expect the same to happen here too.

IUNI OS

IUNI OS is the youngest of the ROMS and takes a totally different approach to things when compared to MIUI and Flyme. Rather than adding as many features as possible to the ROM, IUNI have decided to make IUNI OS bloat free and lightweight. This means that features and functions are down to a minimum, but what the OS has got performs extremely well.

iuni os english

The simple UI and ROM has also allowed IUNI OS to be quickly and officially ported to 11 Chinese smartphones to date including all versions of the Xiaomi Mi3, Oppo Find 7a, OnePlus One and more.

For less tech savvy users the IUNI OS is a breath of fresh air, the limited features mean less flicking through options, and simply getting on and enjoying the phone. It also means we can expect plenty of new features to be added to the OS as development goes by.

Again we are looking at a flat UI, with colour choices sitting between the muted look of Flyme and the bright icons of MIUI. There is no app draw and only 4 icons can be placed in the dock, and apps can be sorted in to folders.

From the home screen swiping down from anywhere on the screen brings up a black transparent notification area, while swiping up from the bottom of the screen bring up quick settings, brightness control and the task manager.

iuni os english

As IUNI have kept things simple they have been able to polish things and give some nice little touches which both Flyme and MIUI don’t have. Animations in IUNI OS are smooth and classy looking giving a unique feel to the ROM. The animated clock icon is a really nice touch as is the randomly changing lock screen image.

There are no smart wake options in IUNI OS for now, but you can wake the screen up with the power button as usual and swipe to the right to quickly access the camera. Speaking of which the camera app is the most simple to use of all the ROMs, with only options for sound, HDR, night mode, panorama and record. As far as I can tell you cannot even choose the image size or even the resolution of the video.

IUNI OS is a very nice ROM which will appeal to phone users who just want everything to work without fuss. For the more advanced Android user though the lack of features and settings could be a little frustrating.

Flyme 4.0 vs MIUI V6 vs IUNI OS

So 3 different ROMs from 3 different phone makers. Which ROM do you fancy trying? What features are missing? And what other Chinese phone ROMS are worth a write-up? Let us know in the comments below.

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76 Comments

  1. EnderW
    September 11, 2014

    Stock Android 4.4 and certain upgrade to L. No dumb skins. This is the reason I would rather buy Moto G instead of any “octacore” Lenovo / Leagoo / …

    • Squizzy911
      September 11, 2014

      I think the Halo Skin by Google is out of date. i am hoping that the L Update will bring a fresh new skin.

      but i like all of this 3 system UIs 🙂

      • andreicos
        September 12, 2014

        can be english iuni os download for iuni u2?

    • desponent
      September 11, 2014

      ROM is easy to modify, hardware is fixed until you buy a new phone.

  2. desponent
    September 11, 2014

    So Iuni OS already has english? Perfect. Since it’s a snapdragon it won’t be long til someone port a ROM for it if it’s somehow not good anyway.

  3. Antonis
    September 11, 2014

    Andi, are you sure that FlyMe 4.0 supports the Greek language? Because I’m Greek, I own the MX3 model but I also want to buy the MX4 in the next month. I’m waiting for your answer as soon as possible. Thank you in advance!

    • September 11, 2014

      Hi, I have a feeling I was reading one thing while typing another. Sorry to get your hopes up, there currently isn’t Greek in Flyme 4.0

    • User
      September 15, 2014

      why do you want to change from mx3 to mx4? doesn’t mx3 satisfies your needs? isn’t it good? i ask because i’m interested in buying the mx3.. 😀

      • Antonis
        September 15, 2014

        No not at all. Of course it satisfies my needs. It’s the best smartphone I ever had . Excellent build quality, impressive screen and it’s supported by the community of meizufans with weekly updates. I’ll give the MX3 to my sister so I want to buy the MX4, because it’s an awesome phone. To sum up, you can find it in many Chinese retailers at a very low price. I suggest you to buy it.

  4. Faux-News
    September 11, 2014

    Include in the review Funtouch OS and Emui3.0 too. And have them placed side by side.

    • September 11, 2014

      Yup, funtouch is awesome will certainly write it up, would also like to do something with Nubia too.

  5. kolyamba
    September 11, 2014

    what? IUNI never was “top chinese ROM”. and where’s popular Baidu ROM? ColorOS? seems like gizchina is forcing brand iuni too much…

    • September 11, 2014

      ColorOS has been done to death we all know about it, Baidu ROM is terrible. IUNI, MIUI V6 and Flyme V4 are all new and not many people have seen them yet.

      • joe
        September 11, 2014

        What rom does the nubia z7 have?

        • balcobomber25
          September 27, 2014

          Nubia UI 2.5.

  6. Matthew Wright
    September 11, 2014

    Does any of these phones have manual exposure on the camera?
    These 3 phones are at the top of my next phone list.
    But I would really like manual exposure for night shots.
    I know the mx4 does, what about mi4?

    • September 11, 2014

      MX4, IUNI U3 and Xiaomi Mi4 all do

      • Matthew Wright
        September 11, 2014

        You said the IUNI U3 has basic camera controls.
        I mean being able to set the shutter speed longer to get light trails.
        Not how much light enters the camera.
        I saw your review on the Meizu and it looks like it has the feature.
        Sorry for the confusion.

        • jenztom
          September 16, 2014

          MIUI 5 has manual exposure up to 2 sec. sadly, MIUI 6 doesn’t as of the moment. If you want long exposure on any phone. Then you might want to get Camera FV-5 (works well with MX4, U3 or the Mi4) which can take LEs longer than 5 seconds

          • Matthew Wright
            September 16, 2014

            I have tried that camera app on my Nexus 4, the problem was the picture is only 1.MP output, that’s to small for anything useable.
            It’s a toss up between the iuni u3 and the mx4

            • jenztom
              September 16, 2014

              I think it also depends on the hardware. My Mi 3 can go as high as 8.3 MP for long exposures on CFV-5

  7. EnderW
    September 11, 2014

    Stock Android 4.4 and certain upgrade to L. No dumb skins. This is the reason I would rather buy Moto G instead of any “octacore” Lenovo / Leagoo / …

    • Squizzy911
      September 11, 2014

      I think the Halo Skin by Google is out of date. i am hoping that the L Update will bring a fresh new skin.

      but i like all of this 3 system UIs 🙂

    • desponent
      September 11, 2014

      ROM is easy to modify, hardware is fixed until you buy a new phone.

    • Guest
      September 12, 2014

      can be english iuni os download for iuni u2?

  8. desponent
    September 11, 2014

    So Iuni OS already has english? Perfect. Since it’s a snapdragon it won’t be long til someone port a ROM for it if it’s somehow not good anyway.

  9. Antonis
    September 11, 2014

    Andi, are you sure that FlyMe 4.0 supports the Greek language? Because I’m Greek, I own the MX3 model but I also want to buy the MX4 in the next month. I’m waiting for your answer as soon as possible. Thank you in advance!

    • Andi Sykes
      September 11, 2014

      Hi, I have a feeling I was reading one thing while typing another. Sorry to get your hopes up, there currently isn’t Greek in Flyme 4.0

    • Guest
      September 15, 2014

      why do you want to change from mx3 to mx4? doesn’t mx3 satisfies your needs? isn’t it good? i ask because i’m interested in buying the mx3.. 😀

    • Antonis
      September 15, 2014

      No not at all. Of course it satisfies my needs. It’s the best smartphone I ever had . Excellent build quality, impressive screen and it’s supported by the community of meizufans with weekly updates. I’ll give the MX3 to my sister so I want to buy the MX4, because it’s an awesome phone. To sum up, you can find it in many Chinese retailers at a very low price. I suggest you to buy it.

  10. Faux-News
    September 11, 2014

    Include in the review Funtouch OS and Emui3.0 too. And have them placed side by side.

    • Andi Sykes
      September 11, 2014

      Yup, funtouch is awesome will certainly write it up, would also like to do something with Nubia too.

  11. Allanitomwesh
    September 11, 2014

    Funtouch vs Emotion vs Whatever Lenovo uses.

    • desponent
      September 12, 2014

      I’m using the latest Lenovo Vibe 2.0 on my G4S, it’s a fast fluid and solid rom (aside from the fact that it’s hard to root).

  12. September 11, 2014

    Nice one Andi was waiting for it, you should have included Emotion UI too. And should have commented on how effectively the OS act with battery.

  13. Danny H.
    September 11, 2014

    It’s great that IUNI OS support Engish now! Can you confirm that this will be rolled into the official version of the OS, not some experimental build, @Gizchina:disqus ?

  14. kolyamba
    September 11, 2014

    what? IUNI never was “top chinese ROM”. and where’s popular Baidu ROM? ColorOS? seems like gizchina is forcing brand iuni too much…

    • Andi Sykes
      September 11, 2014

      ColorOS has been done to death we all know about it, Baidu ROM is terrible. IUNI, MIUI V6 and Flyme V4 are all new and not many people have seen them yet.

    • Guest
      September 11, 2014

      What rom does the nubia z7 have?

    • balcobomber25
      September 27, 2014

      Nubia UI 2.5.

  15. Matthew Wright
    September 11, 2014

    Does any of these phones have manual exposure on the camera?
    These 3 phones are at the top of my next phone list.
    But I would really like manual exposure for night shots.
    I know the mx4 does, what about mi4?

    • Andi Sykes
      September 11, 2014

      MX4, IUNI U3 and Xiaomi Mi4 all do

    • Matthew Wright
      September 11, 2014

      You said the IUNI U3 has basic camera controls.
      I mean being able to set the shutter speed longer to get light trails.
      Not how much light enters the camera.
      I saw your review on the Meizu and it looks like it has the feature.
      Sorry for the confusion.

    • jenztom
      September 16, 2014

      MIUI 5 has manual exposure up to 2 sec. sadly, MIUI 6 doesn’t as of the moment. If you want long exposure on any phone. Then you might want to get Camera FV-5 (works well with MX4, U3 or the Mi4) which can take LEs longer than 5 seconds

    • Matthew Wright
      September 16, 2014

      I have tried that camera app on my Nexus 4, the problem was the picture is only 1.MP output, that’s to small for anything useable.
      It’s a toss up between the iuni u3 and the mx4

    • jenztom
      September 17, 2014

      I think it also depends on the hardware. My Mi 3 can go as high as 8.3 MP for long exposures on CFV-5

  16. Allanitomwesh
    September 11, 2014

    Funtouch vs Emotion vs Whatever Lenovo uses.

    • desponent
      September 12, 2014

      I’m using the latest Lenovo Vibe 2.0 on my G4S, it’s a fast fluid and solid rom (aside from the fact that it’s hard to root).

  17. Abhilash Atmaram
    September 11, 2014

    Nice one Andi was waiting for it, you should have included Emotion UI too. And should have commented on how effectively the OS act with battery.

  18. Danny H.
    September 11, 2014

    It’s great that IUNI OS support Engish now! Can you confirm that this will be rolled into the official version of the OS, not some experimental build, @Gizchina:disqus ?

  19. balcobomber25
    September 12, 2014

    While they look nice and I know Flyme and MIUI perform very well (at least past versions have), I prefer pure Android to anything.

  20. Chris
    September 12, 2014

    You should post base app comparisons like dialer/messaging/email/gallery/music/video etc! And include nubia ui! 🙂

  21. balcobomber25
    September 12, 2014

    While they look nice and I know Flyme and MIUI perform very well (at least past versions have), I prefer pure Android to anything.

  22. Chris
    September 12, 2014

    You should post base app comparisons like dialer/messaging/email/gallery/music/video etc! And include nubia ui! 🙂

  23. Eli Dabush
    September 12, 2014

    I am using miui v6 on mi3… Great ROM..very fast and easy to use. Very cool stuff in it..the only thing I notice missing is the panorama option in camera.

  24. Eli Dabush
    September 12, 2014

    I am using miui v6 on mi3… Great ROM..very fast and easy to use. Very cool stuff in it..the only thing I notice missing is the panorama option in camera.

  25. smsm the king
    September 13, 2014

    but I think coloros it the best because the gesture mode off screen and, app camera have slow Sutter,and 50MP shot, and it have MaxxAudio

    • Not gonna say
      September 14, 2014

      If you read carefully you’d see that all these features find their equivalents in Flyme 4.0. Sadly most exciting features of Flyme are aimed for China, such as voice assistant, mobile payment and other online stuffs.

      • smsm the king
        September 14, 2014

        (Flyme 4.0 :the camera option and there are plenty to choose from including auto, manual, face beauty, panorama, refocus, night, bar code, slow-motion, macro)
        No slow Sutter no 50mp photo
        And there is nothing about gesture mode off screen in Flyme 4.0
        And of course it doesn’t have MaxxAudio

  26. smsm the king
    September 13, 2014

    but I think coloros it the best because the gesture mode off screen and, app camera have slow Sutter,and 50MP shot, and it have MaxxAudio

    • Guest
      September 14, 2014

      If you read carefully you’d see that all these features find their equivalents in Flyme 4.0. Sadly most exciting features of Flyme are aimed for China, such as voice assistant, mobile payment and other online stuffs.

    • smsm the king
      September 14, 2014

      (Flyme 4.0 :the camera option and there are plenty to choose from including auto, manual, face beauty, panorama, refocus, night, bar code, slow-motion, macro)
      No slow Sutter no 50mp photo
      And there is nothing about gesture mode off screen in Flyme 4.0
      And of course it doesn’t have MaxxAudio

  27. trapchan
    September 14, 2014

    are the other two also has call / sms blacklist / blocking like on MIUI??

    It’s a very important feature that works flawlessly in iOS 7

  28. trapchan
    September 14, 2014

    are the other two also has call / sms blacklist / blocking like on MIUI??

    It’s a very important feature that works flawlessly in iOS 7

  29. ferdi
    November 19, 2014

    Anyone using Coolpads UI? Id ordered the Umi Zero and not expecting it to be glitch free out of the box but unlocked prerooted from factory, Umi are marketing it as a phone open for full customisation. Should be some interesting ROMS coming out of Lollipop right now. And all direct clones of the big name UIs are available for kitkat I think.

  30. ferdi
    November 19, 2014

    Anyone using Coolpads UI? Id ordered the Umi Zero and not expecting it to be glitch free out of the box but unlocked prerooted from factory, Umi are marketing it as a phone open for full customisation. Should be some interesting ROMS coming out of Lollipop right now. And all direct clones of the big name UIs are available for kitkat I think.

  31. john
    December 11, 2014

    God, someone please help me, does anyone know a custom ROM compatible with IUNI U3?
    IUNI OS is one of the worst. The english support is not completed, parts of the OS are still in Chinese-which I remedied with morelocale app. Another issue is the lack of play store, and after installing both play service and Play Store, it is simply a never-ending stream of issues.
    Not to mention the OS whilst minimal is still full of non-google bloatwares that are simply terrible compared to the default google apps.

    • Me
      October 20, 2016

      Would recommend miui V7, but think you helped yourself out, cause 2 yrs ago…

  32. john
    December 11, 2014

    God, someone please help me, does anyone know a custom ROM compatible with IUNI U3?
    IUNI OS is one of the worst. The english support is not completed, parts of the OS are still in Chinese-which I remedied with morelocale app. Another issue is the lack of play store, and after installing both play service and Play Store, it is simply a never-ending stream of issues.
    Not to mention the OS whilst minimal is still full of non-google bloatwares that are simply terrible compared to the default google apps.

    • Guest
      October 20, 2016

      Would recommend miui V7, but think you helped yourself out, cause 2 yrs ago…

  33. Greg Zeng
    February 3, 2015

    We heavy users of Android – have our favorite apps, etc …. that we put onto our handpieces. Could you see if your favs perform equally well on these operatig systems please?

    My favs: Boat Browser, Neo Launcher, All In One utility, ProCapture Camera, Zooper Widgets, …

  34. Greg Zeng
    February 3, 2015

    We heavy users of Android – have our favorite apps, etc …. that we put onto our handpieces. Could you see if your favs perform equally well on these operatig systems please?

    My favs: Boat Browser, Neo Launcher, All In One utility, ProCapture Camera, Zooper Widgets, …

  35. a1
    February 15, 2015

    which OS occupies large memory in RAM?and which OS occupies less memory in RAM?

  36. Guest
    February 15, 2015

    which OS occupies large memory in RAM?and which OS occupies less memory in RAM?

  37. Brijesh Valera
    September 1, 2015

    I am looking for summary which one is best, not to conclude like you should tell which one is worth.

  38. Brijesh Valera
    September 1, 2015

    I am looking for summary which one is best, not to conclude like you should tell which one is worth.