Top Chinese flagship smartphones you can buy this Christmas

Over the past few weeks we have highlighted entry-level and mid-range phones for your Christmas lists, and now it is time for the money no object phones. Here are the top flagship phones you can buy this Christmas.

This year has been an amazing one for Chinese flagship phones. We have seen new companies mix it up with the old, we have seen old names from the past make a splash and all while prices keep crashing down!

Xiaomi Mi4

xiaomi mi4 review

The Xiaomi Mi4 is a phone which appeals to some but not all due to the design and size. If you don’t mind the thick body and unexciting exterior and you like your phones to be easy to handle then the 5-inch Mi4 is a great bet.

When launched the Xiaomi Mi4 was reaching prices over close to $500 outside of China, but now as stock has stabilised you can pick the flagship Mi4 up for around $375.99.

Specs are of the usual high-standard for Xiaomi. The display being a 5-inch 1920 x 1080 panel, there is 2GB RAM on board, 3000mAh battery and even an IR blaster built in to the alloy chassis.

ZTE Nubia Z7 Max

nubia z7 max

The Nubia Z7 Max is a phone I have been itching to get my hands on and review, but whether it is due to low stock or stores simply not carrying the phone I’ve just not been able to snag one.

Anyway the Z7 Max is the larger, brother of the Z7 Mini, and gets all the same great features only in a 5.5-inch 1080 package. Standout features for the Nubia Z7 Max include dual SIM, LTE, micro SD memory expansion and pro level camera features.

Hardware is way above standard with a 2.5Ghz Snapdragon 801 chipset and 2GB RAM handling things and a larger 3100mAh battery (removable). Great specs and if you are lucky a great price too.

Meizu MX4

meizu MX4 review

The Meizu MX4 is one of the surprise phones of this year. It takes the traditional Meizu design and look and mixes it with up to date manufacturing, and a surprisingly capable Mediatek processor.

Having a Mediatek chip onboard may put off a few of you, but those of us in the know see the potential and power of that Mediatek chipset. Other great features include a stunning 5.35-inch display, 2GB RAM, large 3100mAh battery and amazing 20.7 mega-pixel main camera from Sony.

Bamboo OnePlus One

bamboo opo

The OnePlus One has been the phone that most companies have want to beat this year, and that they have certainly been doing (at least these most recent phone launches), but the OPO is still a killter phone.

Based on the Oppo Find 7, the OnePlus One has 3GB RAM, Snapdragon 801 chipset and comes with either CyanogenMod (international version) or Color OS (Chinese version). So far all version of the OPO have been very hard to buy, but the Bamboo model is by far the rarest and best looking of them all.

Being rare it isn’t cheap, but if you have the money to spend then you will really enjoy this wood backed phone.

Read Also:  Honor 80 Pro confirmed with all-new 160MP camera

Vivo Xshot

vivo xshot review

Gizchina News of the week

Up until very recently the Vivo Xshot was my favourite phone of the year, it is sill in my top 2 phones and one I am more than happy to recommend to anyone wanting a flagship device.

Vivo really made one of the most perfect phones with the Xshot. The specification offers the power of a Snapdragon 801 and 3GB RAM and the design allows for up to 128GB SD cards. Audio is simply stunning as are the photographs the 13 mega-pixel F1.8 rear camera can produce. The Xshot is also one of the few phones I use for selfies too thanks to the front facing flash!

Again not a cheap phone at almost $500 but with a 2 year warranty and shipping from the EU it is a better deal than most.

Huawei Honor 6 Extreme

huawei honor 6 launched

Huawei tool their Honor 6 and gave it a shot in the arm, and best of all they didn’t call the resulting phone a Pro or Plus, but instead the Huawei Honor 6 Extreme. If you already have an Honor 6 then I’m not sure the Extreme model is worth updating too, but if you have the choice the newer phone would be the one to choose.

As usual Huawei use their own Kirin chipset, this time a 2.0Ghz Kirin 928 with 3GB RAM and Mail T628MP4 GPU. An SD card slot has room for up to 128GB cards and the battery is a good 3100mAh cell which is great for a 5-inch FHD smartphone.

Huawei Ascend Mate 7


Huawei have had a great year of producing some really stunning designs, but none have grabbed my attention more than the Huawei Ascend Mate 7. Imagine a Vivo Xplay 3S made entirely of metal, with a more luxurious and thinner design and you have a rough idea of how the Mate 7 looks and feels.

A fingerprint scanner in the rear keeps your photos and data private and a decent battery means you can spend more time away from you charger.

Two version are available with either 16GB memory and 2GB RAM or 32GB memory and 3GB RAM. Both have dual SIM and micro SD memory expansion and come in a lovely gold colour option.

Oppo Find 7

oppo find 7 review

Early in the production run of the Oppo Find 7 there were issues with the display (I personally had issues) but now the phone has been on sale for while those issues have been worked out. The Find 7 is the phone the OPO is based on, but it comes with space for a 128GB SD card, removable battery and has that very cool notification light.

Two version of the Oppo Find 7 are available, the 2GB RAM 1080 model and 3GB 2K version, personally I would save some money and enjoy the extra performance of the 1080 version, aka the Oppo Find 7a.

We’ll that makes up our top flagship phones which you can buy now for Christmas, but we will have another list of Chinese phones for you to enjoy next week when we list our top Chinese smartphones for 2014.

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  1. Miko
    November 28, 2014

    @ Andi:
    “It is still in my top 2 phones and one I am more than happy to recommend to anyone wanting a flagship device”
    Which is the other device in your top 2? 🙂

    • November 28, 2014

      Meizu MX4, but I can’t decide if I like the Pro or standard version most 😀

      • iKosh
        November 28, 2014

        … than it’s a top 3.

      • Miko
        November 29, 2014

        That’s what I was thinking too! 🙂 I still can’t decide also. And we are not the only ones… the Russian Meizu community has a poll at the moment between the standard/pro versions and the results are 53-47% for the standard MX4 after 1k votes, and just saying that shows that the standard MX4 is that good!
        I ordered the standard version 32 GB 1 week ago… should be in my hands next week. So my Christmas gift is already on its way! 😀
        P.S.: Should we wait your PRO review next week or it needs more time for a full detailed review?

      • PoliceWala
        November 29, 2014

        Andi, when’s the Mi3 Review Contest result coming? The moderators told me to ask you.

      • Kingu Prima
        November 30, 2014

        what do you prefer in the PRO version (also hesitating between the 2 models :P)

      • SnowyCat
        December 7, 2014

        keep the pro version and gift me the standard one :3

  2. Konstantinos Natsios
    November 28, 2014

    xiaomi mi4 has 3gb ram.

    • RRRobert
      November 28, 2014

      I can only hope for a release of the FDD-LTE version anywhere between now and a week or two, tops. Otherwise I’ll probably choose the Honor 6 Extreme instead

      • RRRobert
        November 30, 2014

        Come to think of it… the Honor 6 Extreme is hardly anywhere to be found for sale. Maybe Andi can spend some time in writing a top 10 of “most appealing vaporware announcements of 2014”.

  3. arsalan
    November 28, 2014

    I bought Huawei Ascend Mate 7 yesterday 3/32 GB golden. It is really a fantastic device.

    • RoboTrigger
      November 29, 2014

      You should do a review, there aren’t that many floating around. Is it the dual-sim version and where did you order it from?

      • arsalan
        November 29, 2014

        Sorry, I am not familiar with writing a review. But it is a fantastic device in every aspect. I bought it locally by around 550 dollars. It is 3 GB and 32 GB prime version, golden colour.

        • claude
          November 29, 2014


          • arsalan
            November 30, 2014

            Yes, you are right. In the 2nd slot, you either put a nano sim or sd card. But there is a workaround for that. Where you can put both in the 2nd slot. The workaround is given in the thread.

            • claude
              November 30, 2014

              I am not a real specialist of 4G bcz in my country it s almost not available yet, but if i trust amazon there is many 4G bands

              LTE FDD Band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/20/28 (Aphase) LTE TDD Band 40

              Tell me if i am wrong


            • arsalan
              November 30, 2014

              If you are in North America, the MT7 TL10, the premium version is not working there on 4G bands. If you’re somewhere else, you Google the frequency bands of Huawei Ascend Mate 7 frequency coverage. I am using only 3G at present.

            • claude
              November 30, 2014

              Thx a lot for ur help…
              Can u give me the link abt the nanosim/microsd on xda .. i searched but didnt find somthg abt it…

              best regards

            • claude
              November 30, 2014

              thx my friend…
              I understand how they do it… it s fuc..g. good idea !!!!
              If i finally buy this mate 7, sure i will try this..
              I dt find another phablet with dual sim, microsd, and 3G 850 band…
              All the time there is a problem..

            • arsalan
              November 30, 2014

              Happy that I helped. ? ?

            • claude
              December 4, 2014

              After a week with the Mate 7 are u still satisfacted ? Do u have some regrets abt the size or other issue ? Did u try to add 2 sims and a sd together ?

          • mfmx
            November 30, 2014

            The problem is the NanoSIM (it should be dual MicroSIM) and the very few LTE bands supported.

          • RRRobert
            November 30, 2014
    • visitor
      December 7, 2014

      That golden icons are fantastic. would be a good icon pack to elementary os.

  4. Edgar Ng
    November 28, 2014

    I own the standard MX4 and is loving every bit of it 😛

  5. zhongtiao1
    November 28, 2014

    I think I’m going to wait until the Ubuntu touch version of the meizu mx4 comes out.

  6. Sasha
    November 29, 2014

    What is your favored camera phone Andy? Please Answer!? And which phone have better display, Iuni u3 or oppo find 7? Thanks

    • Kenshiro
      December 1, 2014

      Hey Andi, I’d love to see a review of the Nubia z7max, it looks really good. One thing I miss on reviews, in general, also on other forums, is the lack of information on how the built-in storage is partitioned. This can lead to bad surprises once you purchased the phone and have it in your hands…

  7. Kingu Prima
    November 30, 2014

    what about the MX4 PRO 😉

  8. toioioio
    December 1, 2014

    any chance for the vivo xshot to be found in the european market?

    Do you recomend it as a camera centric phone or should i look elsewhere?

    • amirexpressir
      December 5, 2014

      Most of time its better than s5 16MP camera

  9. raulb
    December 1, 2014

    I recently received the Meizu MX4, and its a really nice device. Its reasonably well built, looks good and feels nice to the touch.

    Standouts are screen, its gorgeous and its engineered really well, I don’t know how to describe it, the lcd is extremely close to the screen so the text literally pops out at you, and you get the feeling you are touching the icons.

    I also like the the unconventional resolution. Width is definitely more useful then length in this case. The audio quality both in call and for music hits the high notes, punchy and clear. Flyme is zippy and fast enough, though as an OS Miui is more polished and ‘complete’. Flyme is work in progress and has some rough edges. Contrary to early reports the touchscreen is not laggy or insensitive at all. The only time I felt a slight lag is touching the speaker icon during a call, sometime you need to touch it twice, but that’s the only place.

    The camera is a huge letdown. It definitely needs a lot of optimization, the colors are washed out, and its difficult to believe this is the output from the latest flagship 20MP Sony exymor sensor. Sometimes my mi2s camera with a aged and modest 8mp feels better.

  10. amirexpressir
    December 3, 2014

    Although not chinese, but Still,it come from china: Philips i966 is also great(thnx to its features) and I really hope the Next flagship of Vivo from Xplay serie, kills Note 4,in terms of Not just CPu(which probably will be snap810) but also Camera(IMX 240 or better sensor)…the build/audio,fingeprint and others, I am sure vivo can handle it(except battery which Hopefully will be big like mx4 pro)

  11. Muhammad Yasir
    December 8, 2014

    Andi bro , what BEST phone can u suggest to me UNDER $200 , possibly somewhere ALONG the lines of 150-175$ at most!

    P.S should i wait for Jan 2015 , for Android 5.0 phone releases ?

    • SteveCanada
      December 2, 2015

      ECOO E04

      • Muhammad Yasir
        December 3, 2015

        wow … a reply after an year .. AND its not even andi :/

  12. Rene Goris
    December 12, 2014

    I own the ZTE Z7Max and Oneplus One

  13. Ethos Evoss
    December 16, 2014

    Purchased Mate 7 BEST phablet on the planet .. only £300

  14. jugg
    December 24, 2014

    HUAWEI mate7 sophisticated look with a narrow border of fingerprint recognition, non-removable battery, very concerned about this product.

  15. rekt
    December 25, 2014

    Coolpad F2 4G