Which were your favourite phone reviews of 2014?


oneplus one sandstone 64gb review

What a stellar year 2014 was! Great phones, amazing news and some of the best reviews we have published so far, but which GizChina phone review did you enjoy the most this past year?

2014 started off on a high with some great phone reviews from Oppo, the surprisingly good iNew V3 , Zopo ZP998 the first octacore Mediatek phone and of course the launch of OnePlus. To look back at the year here is a run down of all the GizChina phone reviews of 2014.

Reviews are in date order, click the links to re-read our 2015 reviews:

Which phone review did you enjoy the most? Which helped you with the a phone purchase and what are you looking forward to for the coming year?

Thanks for supporting us at GizChina this past year and we hope to bring you more great up to date news and reviews for 2015.

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100 Comments

  1. mf1gt3r
    January 1, 2015

    It has to be the Vivo Xshot. Love that phone but had to settle for the Nubia Z7 Max, which has turned out to be very capable, even when pitted against LG’s almighty G3.

  2. ktmlover
    January 1, 2015

    For me it has to be the mx4. amazing phone but ended up buying a kingzone k1 turbo and to be honest its a really good phone for the money.

    • Ronnie Katsie
      January 3, 2015

      im interested in kingzone k1 turbo please can you give me a precise summarised preview as per your user experience? thank you (network, build quality, hands feel, screen quality etc)

      • ktmlover
        January 3, 2015

        Its a really good quality phone it feels grate in your hand screen quality is really good, but it does get a bit warm when gaming, Build quality is amazing. I got antutu score of 31561 i would definitely recomend this phone to any one looking for a phone at about the £150 mark. my biggest issue with the phone is iv had the phone for about 5months and have not had one o.t.a update

  3. pa5t1s
    January 1, 2015

    First of all, happy new year 2015! Andi and all GizChin’addicts!
    My personal vote will be, for 2014:
    Nexus 6
    OnePlus One
    Zopo 998
    iOcean X8.
    4 phones bought this year! How many in 2015?well,depends on Andi’s work :p

  4. hansb
    January 1, 2015

    Vivo Xshot.
    Have to say that I didn’t test all phones listed above but despite minor issues for international user I really love this Vivo phone.

  5. hansb
    January 1, 2015

    Oohh and happy new year to all !

  6. iKosh
    January 1, 2015

    My favorite reviews: MX3, iNew v3, OPO, Mi3, Xshot, MX4. I’m looking forward to read about the M1 Note, JiaYu S3 and would be nice to see the IUNI U2 reviewed finally. Also big thanks for Christian and Yash for very detailed testing of lower end devices.
    Happy New Year GizChina.

    • January 1, 2015

      m1 note and S3 should actually be winging their way to us now so keep posted! Happy New Year!

      • Rob
        January 1, 2015

        Can’t wait to hear about the s3, I want the 3GB version but don’t think I can wait that long so will probably get the 2GB one, which one are you going to be reviewing? Am really interested to know about the audio quality. Happy new year Andi.

      • Airyl
        January 1, 2015

        Can’t wait for that S3 to arrive. Hopefully it lives up to the hype.

      • amirexpressir
        January 3, 2015

        one point is interseting (which can be concluded from comments)…No one is talking about Oppo phones..they have really lost this year(whether n1/n3/find7) and interesting again, Iuni u3 is also not that much of choice of users….Xiaomi mi4 isn’t also doesn’t have winner place(unlike the polls in china Most best models/brands,which were resulted from survey a month ago)

  7. Airyl
    January 1, 2015

    Vivo Xshot. I originally saw it as just another phone with a simple design, and it was more expensive than other similarly specced Chinese droids. But then I read your review on it and decided “If the reviews are this good, it’s got to be at least decent right?”. Decided to buy it, and realized how wrong I was with my original assesment. My favourite phone of the year, and if it weren’t for your review I would’ve never had purchased it. Thanks for the work over the year guys! Happy New Year!

    • January 1, 2015

      You made an awesome choice! I still use mine daily, incredible phone and surprisingly durable too. Happy New Year!

      • David
        January 1, 2015

        Hi Andi, I am really torn between buying: MX4 and Xshot

        You tried, both, which one you would recommend for daily use (LTE, browsing, mail) + Camera + MP3 (with headset)

        I would really appreciate some insight

        • SnowyCat
          January 1, 2015

          i got the same problem…however i cant decide between the mx4 and the honor 6 x.x

          • DreadShade
            January 1, 2015

            2 weeks ago I stumbled across the exact problem and decided to go for the mx4 but surprisingly not soon after received honor 6 as a gift by overall experience of both phones :
            Surprisingly Huawei Kirin processor not optimized enough far less than the MTK found in meizu,In third party heavy apps/games meizu outperforms both by performance on paper and in Benchmarks
            Camera: definitely meizu is winner here the 20,6 mp camera outperforms again the 13 mpx shooter of Huawei
            The other cameras even if meizu has just 2 mp and Huawei 5 mp they are exactly on the same level exactly like the iPhone 6 plus camera
            Soft:Huawei has some pretty boring Chinese bloat apps that u cannot delete meizu has too on chinese/universal version but you can delete them easily.Flyme looks nicer to me than Huawei’s EMUI they both have bugs but meizu fixed them with the update which I could install out of the box.No words on the update for honor 6 from Huawei. Meizu said that in max 2 months we will have Android lollipop 🙂
            Design:I like both equally 🙂 it’s your choice build quality equal meizu’s back can be easily changed on metal one (from aliexpress)
            Sound:one word Meizu both headphones and speaker Overall:Meizu is a better choice and will give a better experience good luck with the buy!

            • SnowyCat
              January 2, 2015

              thanks you, however i find EMUI 3 to be really attractive ^^ , i just heard a lot of bad things about the mx4 jsut recently browsing some forums, the camera is good but really as soon as something moves everything is blurry..

              battery life isnt that great and i also heard that there is a lot of keyboard and general ui stuttering ~

              that it can get really laggy from time to time ~ and from the honor 6 i only heard that everything is really smooth and just a bad camera and backside..or what means bad but like..dont know

            • DreadShade
              January 2, 2015

              The stutter in mx4 was only from the top bar and now it disappeared with the update I really like the black Huawei honor 6 but there are some pretty serious bugs. The most surprise is that in performance mode it’s not so performing how I wanted to be but that’s optimization issue.Meizu doesn’t have lag with the newest update and stock keyboard isn’t best but I use fleksy which right now looks and performs best never experienced lag.The only thing what I don’t like is stock browser which is buggy, but I use chrome so there is no problem . Battery is exactly the same as honor 6 it depends in what mode u use scheiße! 🙁 they both don’t perform the best also had some issues with the LTE in Austria and Germany with honor.It depends Huawei looks worse in reality than on paper but still I like the build very much and some nifty features but Dolby sound in ears doesn’t compare to meizu which is top notch.Blurry photos can be fixed by messing with the photo settings at manual once and then you can forget about them

            • DreadShade
              January 2, 2015

              Hey also found the fix to blurry photos if something moves it’s really fast and no settings required it’s called the mode light field at meizu and it works just like the new Honor 6 plus dual camera u can refocus objects later it’s really awesome with the results and with a really blurry photos u get impressive result with a touch

            • David
              January 2, 2015

              I was interested with Honor 6 from spec side. But I haven’t heard the same as yours. I’ve heard that the EMUI is nearly useless and full of bugs. And believe me it would have been easier for me to get the honor (USD100 cheaper than the MX4, available where i live)

              I don’t know how buggy it is though. but it looks pretty outdated that for sure. For MX4, I actually read so many reviews, was hesitating with Vivo Xshot and MX4, got the MX4 yesterday, there are some disappointment indeed but we will see how it goes in the long run.

            • SnowyCat
              January 3, 2015

              What are the disappointments with the mx4?

            • DreadShade
              January 3, 2015

              habs nix i mean almost nothing but the default flyme launcher is like the apple one no app drawer everything stays there but i use stock google launcher so thats no problen.Not the biggest flyme fan but better than emotion

            • David
              January 3, 2015

              Well, the battery performance is poor so far. I wonder if it’s because all the test try it with WIFI or 3G, but with LTE and screen to around 65% brightness, I drain 1% of battery per minute….

              – It overheats
              – The flyme doesn’t let you change as many settings as I wish (I use hotspot a lot, and I like to set the time of idleness required before hotspot turn off), here it’s 5min and that is it.
              – I would have prefered a clevered battery saving mode, also to have a toggle to switch between profile easily.
              – It seems that some change I make in the settings doesn’t matter at all and are not considered. Example: I disabled the wakeup SWIPE RIGHT move, and yet, it still have it activated it. I desactivated Yahoo Weather notification, and it still keeps it.
              – The camera has no Optical Stabilization, I didn’t pay much attention to it, but it seemed obvious as soon as you take picture of things that are moving. I know that more reviewer like to tweak things before taking picture, but i am a LAMBDA user, I usually just hangout or visit stuff, and want to take an instant picture.
              – Auto Brightness is not that good. I also like other OS that have on the top of Auto brightness a way to change the brightness. Ex: on my SONY and LG, when you put autobrightness on, you can set a level of brightness “within” this range of “adaptative brightness”, if you like it slightly brighter while still being adaptative.

              Otherwise, there are good side on this phone, but some of those (small) flaws are really hurting some of my “high” criteria and it kinda make me regret it for now. I will keep it for few days and see if it gets better, if not, I will (cross fingers) try to return it to the store and buy myself another phone.

              I will try to switch FLYME OS version from International to Chinese and see if things gets better.

        • Airyl
          January 1, 2015

          I’m not Andi, but I’ve used both phones and I’d honestly say the Xshot. LTE, browsing and mail are pretty much about the same on both devices.

          The Xshot is slightly better in camera at the moment, despite having a lower pixel count. The inclusion of OIS also helps to take steady videos. Low light performance between the two is negligible, since both are fantastic in low light.

          I’m not certain about music since I didn’t use the MX4 with my Pistons. On the Xshot music through earphones is fantastic thanks to the DAC. You’ve also got the option of adding a microSD card slot on the Xshot which is great if you want to save space for apps.

          • David
            January 1, 2015

            Hello Airyl,
            Thanks for this, it’s hard to encounter someone with experience of both. You mean that the camera is just “slightly” better? or is it really visible in some situation? (i personally don’t mind the pixel count)

            The thing that, from reviews, seems to be a bit odd is the 15:9 ratio of the Meizu that would generate trouble if upload pics and video online.

            On the other hand, I had the chance to hold a MX4 and it felt good on the hand. How do you compare the two in terms of size and how it “feels” in the hand?

            In one review Andy mention that he has hard time going back to his Vivo as the MX4 offers so much more space for little size difference, did you also feel that or do you think that the 5.2′ screen of the vivo is plenty enough?

            Thanks that is really appreciated

            • Airyl
              January 2, 2015

              Thanks, I guess it’s good that many of my friends are into these types of phones. Anyway, the cameras on both phones are very good. Unless you’re comparing them side by side, you won’t notice much of a difference. If you’re into selfies though, the Xshot wins hands down. Aside from those, you really won’t be able to see the difference.

              I’m not sure about the aspect ratio affecting uploaded pictures. I’ll ask my friend and catch up with you.

              I honestly feel that the MX4 is slightly more comfortable to hold than the Xshot. The shape fits my hand well and the finishing on the plastic back panel is cool and smooth. The MX4 is more slippery than the Xshot though, so you’ll need to be a bit more cautious when using it.

              I’m one of those people who like large phones, so I really liked the MX4’s larger screen. Games and pictures looked great on it, and the quality of the panel itself was top notch. But I also felt that the 1.6 inch difference between the two wasn’t really that much. I had no problems or qualms going back to the Xshot’s 5.2 inch display.

              I hope this answers your questions.

              P.S- My friend says the Xshot has sounds better with earphones, but the MX4 has a louder speaker.

            • David
              January 2, 2015

              Hello Airyl,

              Thanks for your time and precise answer. It seems then that given my criteria there is not clear winner. Even between the two ELITE (blue) and Ultimate (white) versions of the Xshot I don’t even know what to chose. Consumerism in all its beauty haha.

              So you (or your friend) didn’t have the blurry picture problem? When i tried to phone the 20MPX picture with HDR was just aweful, I decreased to 16mp with no HDR and it was pretty good.

              So if i am correct, you suggest the MX4 has a better screen? (I personnaly enjoyed how it looked)

              I guess I should also consider the 200USD price difference. between MX4 32GB and Xshot Ultimate. Do you objectively think it worth the price difference?

            • DreadShade
              January 2, 2015

              Hey it depends the mpx count adds sharpness/detail the same problem happened with choosing 20 mpx at Sony xperia z3
              And belive me if you don’t know how to take professional photos with lighting and such e.g. Lumia 1020 with 41 mpx looked like **** and between them Both can take pictures better in their style,Performance is amazing that the 8 core meizu processor is more optimized than snapdragon 801 but I would say that it’s on par with 805
              Music: vivo has its pro here the DAC has a slight edge over meizu but difference is not so big I would say overall 200 buck is kinda no point in paying both are great phones it depends on your taste

            • David
              January 2, 2015

              Hi Dreadshade,
              I am a completely “regular” user and when I take pictures its usually in the heat of the moment. I just take off my phone and snap. I let it almost always in AUTO. So it seems Vivo Xshot would most likely be a better “phone” by my criteria, but the pros are too slight while the difference of price and availability (I can get the MX4 in a store nearby) would make the MX4 the wisest choice.

              I’ve heard people complaigning about some things:
              – The ratio 15:9
              – No return button
              – Battery life

              Did you find these problems as well?

              Thanks for replying.

            • DreadShade
              January 2, 2015

              Battery Life: By default it’s set in performance mode which uses all 8 cores 😐 that’s prettt battery eating but in balanced mode this problem doesn’t persist I use it intensely everyday and it reaches from 100 percent to 30-20 in performance mode it’s one day straight of intense use in power saving 1.5-2 days.
              Button: I love the meizu holo button and it’s gestures you fairly slide the finger up for return on the holo circle.There is smartbar turned on but you can turn it off because I find it annoying in third party apps,the smartbar remains on stock apps. Easy fix is to disable it from settings
              The gestures are awesome and you assign them fast 🙂
              Ratio: never had any problems with it I’m a heavy app user music/games/graphics/blah blah and the resolution was like native it’s one of the best screen brightness and detail I ever saw.My uncle bought the Xshot for 200 bucks more yesterday I showed him my meizu and he was more impressed by it.Good luck with your purchase,
              Never found a problem that isn’t easily fixable on meizu the new upadate fixed a lot of bugs!

            • David
              January 2, 2015

              Thanks! That’s nice to read.

              I’ve bought it this afternoon (philippines time) for around USD380 at the store. They only had silver and gold. I took the gold even if I would have prefered the grey one (never saw it in real though)

              I updated FLYME to the latest version. Set up my apps etc. However I’ve noticed:
              – I cannot connect with my EXCHANGE accounts (Hotmail).
              – There is no dedicated Contact App (but can access through phone app)
              – The camera is for me not that convicing. if there is any moving object, it will be so blur.
              – Battery seems to drain really fast (I just finish the update though, hope it get better)
              – The auto brightness doesn’t seems to work

              Have you experienced those problems and found a way around that?

            • DreadShade
              January 2, 2015

              1 there is a contacts app it’s just in a folder search it it’s hidden somewhere m
              2 mess with the manual once and with the settings until you reach the needed effect of camera e.g. If you want no blur shutter speed must not be more than 1/2 seconds cause you’ll need a tripod if you want to do the amazing photos it can take at 20 seconds you definitely will need one for that speed but result is amazing hell.
              3 battery – it gets better by doing a very old trick never charge it until it reaches 0 percent and after battery is drained charge it until 100 percent when it’s full repeat this process 3-5 times I did it with meizu and honor 6 and opo , Htc one and it worked on every phone. Aut brightness works but you can go in settings and fix it like this go in a dark room with a lamp turn auto brightness off and set.brightness to 0 after that turn on the lamp and auto brightness.learn to use the pro camera of meizu http://www.androidheadlines.com/2014/11/android-manual-mode-basics-meizu-mx4-camera.html.Didnt experience the problem with the accounts cuz didn’t try I’ll message later

            • David
              January 2, 2015

              Hi DreadShade
              Danke !

              1) Not sure I understood, but I found the contact if you go in the “PHONE” app. Otherwise, i did a search, there is no contact app
              2) I played around with the camera yesterday. It is okay. but I know that in most case, i would not have time to play around the manual. I usually take quick picture.
              3) I drained the battery and charged it all up. A bit skeptical on the battery life, at least with screen open. I will try it out some more and then try to switch in Power Saving and see what happens. In that aspect, I would say that my former Xperia Z3 compact was amazing
              4) Field mode is pretty cool indeed
              5) I did the autobrightness tips, the brightness changes but very slowly, like 20-30sec to go from 0 to 30 while being just under the lamp the whole time

              I cannot access your link, page not found.

            • DreadShade
              January 3, 2015

              hey xperia z3 battery is almost the best on the market so that will be harder for you to understand. the batter level is exactly like galaxy s5 and. htc one. The only one wich were better was OPO and z3 ( not mini but still awesome battery) for the photo guide simply google “meizu mx4 camera blur” and use android headlines link. the camera here is at pro level but i cant use some features without a tripod (same issue at xshot) for e. g shutter speed the longer the more light in picture u get but if u use more than half a second 1/2 u will need a tripod not to move the phone. but thats pro feature so i understand (very much to explain)

            • David
              January 3, 2015

              Hi Dreadshade, thanks for this.

              I seem to have a poorer battery than expected. Also, I fully charged this morning, it lasted only 4 hours. I recharge it and it stucks at 99%.

              I’ve checked CPU-Z, it seems that the battery is 3000mah Li-ion and not 3100mah Li-Po.

              I am very disappointed so far with my overall experience. Hope it gets better with the coming few days or I will try to return it to the store.

              Would it be possible that it comes from the 4.0.4.1I version vs 4.0.4.1A version?

              Thanks
              David

            • DreadShade
              January 4, 2015

              dear david u got the gold one? hell that runs on yunOS and is basically buggier i remembered that gold is different u could try go to that store and ask what the hell is with your battery cpu z says that i have 3100 mah li Po. But i have the grey version u have yunOs mixed with flyme so i didnt have experience with. Im really sorry with your experience. Message me more and ill answer your questions.

            • David
              January 4, 2015

              Hi DreadShade, I don’t think it was on YunOS, however, I changed to Flyme “A” version and it seems better.

              Now that you tell me that your battery on CPUZ is 3100mah Li-Po I guess I really need to go back to the store and exchange it. They have the “white and silver rim” one. they sadly don’t have the dark grey

            • DreadShade
              January 5, 2015

              I got yesterday the silver wings edition from a local warehouse on cpu z it showed 3100 then I updated the preinstalled cpu z and then it showed 3000 mah I think it’s a software bug hell.The late is pretty a battery sucker but my battery life is fine without it.
              The battery life is ok like my old Htc M8 but worse than the oneplus.
              I get like 10 hours in non stop use balanced mode 6-7 hours performance mode and 11-12 in power saving without heavy gaming it’s pretty fine but I plan to eventually buy a new Powerbank.No big deal for me to carry it since it looks classy Cuz’ it’s made from aluminum I plan buying a 16000 mah for long travels.I strongly recommend to anyone carrying a Powerbank even that smallest with 2000 mah because sometimes it’s a lifesaver.Lol we’re really flooding this post with our conversation 🙂

            • David
              January 5, 2015

              I taxi hit me while driving my bike today, on my way to the store to replace my phone. Minor injuries; but good thing I had the phone in its box, inside my backpack, otherwise if it would have been in my pocket, bye bye.

              I went to the store to get a replacement, but I used CPU-Z on a silver unit, same problem (3000mah Li-ion), I had to really get “insisting” to eventually lead to a refund (no refund policiy).
              The CIO of the Philippines distributors called me and we talked technical, he convinced me that it’s all the same battery, it is probably just an error in the “CPU Z” or in the “description of the baterry inside the code”. As it seemed that impossible to get refunded, and that all unit seems to be the same, I just ask for replacement (will get one from their main branch in manila). It would be a shame to turn my back on a phone that would prove itself great if i get a functional unit.

              I reinstalled the 4.0.4.1I firmware, no app installed yet, and switch to my office WIFI (cut the LTE), it seems my battery is good that way (loose 1% per 2 hours). I will try to set up my email etc tonight and have another test tomorrow with wifi on etc. See if having push notification kills my battery.

              How many hours of browsing you manage to get?

              On my battery it says MX461 LTE PHONE but no other info.

            • David
              January 3, 2015

              do you have the same problem with the battery profile and details?

            • DreadShade
              January 2, 2015

              Read post lower also.Found Other fix for camera use the light field mode you can refocus after its really awesome

      • arsalan
        January 5, 2015

        Hi Andi:
        Why I am not getting email updates about gizchina posts? I miss a lot of things. Am I the only one or else everybody not getting it. Please restart if you have stopped it. Thanks

  8. Miko
    January 1, 2015

    I loved the MX4 review you did and it was a deciding point for me to buy this phone (over Mi4/1+1) and so far I haven’t regreted it at all.
    For the money I gave (around 280 euros) I got a phone that covers me in everything I need for my daily basis and if I want to play games, which is not so common for me, I know that it will not let me down.
    I love the response, the camera and the feeling when I hold it. Thanks @Gizchina:disqus!!!
    And HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  9. mf1gt3r
    January 1, 2015

    It has to be the Vivo Xshot. Love that phone but had to settle for the Nubia Z7 Max, which has turned out to be very capable, even when pitted against LG’s almighty G3.

  10. ktmlover
    January 1, 2015

    For me it has to be the mx4. amazing phone but ended up buying a kingzone k1 turbo and to be honest its a really good phone for the money.

    • Ronnie Katsie
      January 3, 2015

      im interested in kingzone k1 turbo please can you give me a precise summarised preview as per your user experience? thank you (network, build quality, hands feel, screen quality etc)

    • ktmlover
      January 3, 2015

      Its a really good quality phone it feels grate in your hand screen quality is really good, but it does get a bit warm when gaming, Build quality is amazing. I got antutu score of 31561 i would definitely recomend this phone to any one looking for a phone at about the £150 mark. my biggest issue with the phone is iv had the phone for about 5months and have not had one o.t.a update

  11. pa5t1s
    January 1, 2015

    First of all, happy new year 2015! Andi and all GizChin’addicts!
    My personal vote will be, for 2014:
    Nexus 6
    OnePlus One
    Zopo 998
    iOcean X8.
    4 phones bought this year! How many in 2015?well,depends on Andi’s work :p

  12. MexiDroid
    January 1, 2015

    Meizu MX4
    camera, battery, and mtk that can fight to qualcomm

    • January 12, 2015

      MX4 pro is better. my friend.

      • MexiDroid
        January 14, 2015

        not at all, and im talking about the MTK6595 vs Qualcomm 801
        MX4 vs OnePlus One (I Have This)

  13. Guest
    January 1, 2015

    Vivo Xshot.
    Have to say that I didn’t test all phones listed above but despite minor issues for international user I really love this Vivo phone.

  14. Guest
    January 1, 2015

    Oohh and happy new year to all !

  15. iKosh
    January 1, 2015

    My favorite reviews: MX3, iNew v3, OPO, Mi3, Xshot, MX4. I’m looking forward to read about the M1 Note, JiaYu S3 and would be nice to see the IUNI U2 reviewed finally. Also big thanks for Christian and Yash for very detailed testing of lower end devices.
    Happy New Year GizChina.

    • Andi Sykes
      January 1, 2015

      m1 note and S3 should actually be winging their way to us now so keep posted! Happy New Year!

    • Rob
      January 1, 2015

      Can’t wait to hear about the s3, I want the 3GB version but don’t think I can wait that long so will probably get the 2GB one, which one are you going to be reviewing? Am really interested to know about the audio quality. Happy new year Andi.

    • Airyl
      January 1, 2015

      Can’t wait for that S3 to arrive. Hopefully it lives up to the hype.

    • amirexpressir
      January 3, 2015

      one point is interseting (which can be concluded from comments)…No one is talking about Oppo phones..they have really lost this year(whether n1/n3/find7) and interesting again, Iuni u3 is also not that much of choice of users….Xiaomi mi4 isn’t also doesn’t have winner place(unlike the polls in china Most best models/brands,which were resulted from survey a month ago)

  16. Airyl
    January 1, 2015

    Vivo Xshot. I originally saw it as just another phone with a simple design, and it was more expensive than other similarly specced Chinese droids. But then I read your review on it and decided “If the reviews are this good, it’s got to be at least decent right?”. Decided to buy it, and realized how wrong I was with my original assesment. My favourite phone of the year, and if it weren’t for your review I would’ve never had purchased it. Thanks for the work over the year guys! Happy New Year!

    • Andi Sykes
      January 1, 2015

      You made an awesome choice! I still use mine daily, incredible phone and surprisingly durable too. Happy New Year!

    • David
      January 1, 2015

      Hi Andi, I am really torn between buying: MX4 and Xshot

      You tried, both, which one you would recommend for daily use (LTE, browsing, mail) + Camera + MP3 (with headset)

      I would really appreciate some insight

    • SnowyCat
      January 1, 2015

      i got the same problem…however i cant decide between the mx4 and the honor 6 x.x

    • Guest
      January 1, 2015

      2 weeks ago I stumbled across the exact problem and decided to go for the mx4 but surprisingly not soon after received honor 6 as a gift by overall experience of both phones :
      Surprisingly Huawei Kirin processor not optimized enough far less than the MTK found in meizu,In third party heavy apps/games meizu outperforms both by performance on paper and in Benchmarks
      Camera: definitely meizu is winner here the 20,6 mp camera outperforms again the 13 mpx shooter of Huawei
      The other cameras even if meizu has just 2 mp and Huawei 5 mp they are exactly on the same level exactly like the iPhone 6 plus camera
      Soft:Huawei has some pretty boring Chinese bloat apps that u cannot delete meizu has too on chinese/universal version but you can delete them easily.Flyme looks nicer to me than Huawei’s EMUI they both have bugs but meizu fixed them with the update which I could install out of the box.No words on the update for honor 6 from Huawei. Meizu said that in max 2 months we will have Android lollipop 🙂
      Design:I like both equally 🙂 it’s your choice build quality equal meizu’s back can be easily changed on metal one (from aliexpress)
      Sound:one word Meizu both headphones and speaker Overall:Meizu is a better choice and will give a better experience good luck with the buy!

    • Airyl
      January 1, 2015

      I’m not Andi, but I’ve used both phones and I’d honestly say the Xshot. LTE, browsing and mail are pretty much about the same on both devices.

      The Xshot is slightly better in camera at the moment, despite having a lower pixel count. The inclusion of OIS also helps to take steady videos. Low light performance between the two is negligible, since both are fantastic in low light.

      I’m not certain about music since I didn’t use the MX4 with my Pistons. On the Xshot music through earphones is fantastic thanks to the DAC. You’ve also got the option of adding a microSD card slot on the Xshot which is great if you want to save space for apps.

    • David
      January 2, 2015

      Hello Airyl,
      Thanks for this, it’s hard to encounter someone with experience of both. You mean that the camera is just “slightly” better? or is it really visible in some situation? (i personally don’t mind the pixel count)

      The thing that, from reviews, seems to be a bit odd is the 15:9 ratio of the Meizu that would generate trouble if upload pics and video online.

      On the other hand, I had the chance to hold a MX4 and it felt good on the hand. How do you compare the two in terms of size and how it “feels” in the hand?

      In one review Andy mention that he has hard time going back to his Vivo as the MX4 offers so much more space for little size difference, did you also feel that or do you think that the 5.2′ screen of the vivo is plenty enough?

      Thanks that is really appreciated

    • Airyl
      January 2, 2015

      Thanks, I guess it’s good that many of my friends are into these types of phones. Anyway, the cameras on both phones are very good. Unless you’re comparing them side by side, you won’t notice much of a difference. If you’re into selfies though, the Xshot wins hands down. Aside from those, you really won’t be able to see the difference.

      I’m not sure about the aspect ratio affecting uploaded pictures. I’ll ask my friend and catch up with you.

      I honestly feel that the MX4 is slightly more comfortable to hold than the Xshot. The shape fits my hand well and the finishing on the plastic back panel is cool and smooth. The MX4 is more slippery than the Xshot though, so you’ll need to be a bit more cautious when using it.

      I’m one of those people who like large phones, so I really liked the MX4’s larger screen. Games and pictures looked great on it, and the quality of the panel itself was top notch. But I also felt that the 1.6 inch difference between the two wasn’t really that much. I had no problems or qualms going back to the Xshot’s 5.2 inch display.

      I hope this answers your questions.

      P.S- My friend says the Xshot has sounds better with earphones, but the MX4 has a louder speaker.

    • David
      January 2, 2015

      Hello Airyl,

      Thanks for your time and precise answer. It seems then that given my criteria there is not clear winner. Even between the two ELITE (blue) and Ultimate (white) versions of the Xshot I don’t even know what to chose. Consumerism in all its beauty haha.

      So you (or your friend) didn’t have the blurry picture problem? When i tried to phone the 20MPX picture with HDR was just aweful, I decreased to 16mp with no HDR and it was pretty good.

      So if i am correct, you suggest the MX4 has a better screen? (I personnaly enjoyed how it looked)

      I guess I should also consider the 200USD price difference. between MX4 32GB and Xshot Ultimate. Do you objectively think it worth the price difference?

    • Guest
      January 2, 2015

      Hey it depends the mpx count adds sharpness/detail the same problem happened with choosing 20 mpx at Sony xperia z3
      And belive me if you don’t know how to take professional photos with lighting and such e.g. Lumia 1020 with 41 mpx looked like **** and between them Both can take pictures better in their style,Performance is amazing that the 8 core meizu processor is more optimized than snapdragon 801 but I would say that it’s on par with 805
      Music: vivo has its pro here the DAC has a slight edge over meizu but difference is not so big I would say overall 200 buck is kinda no point in paying both are great phones it depends on your taste

    • David
      January 2, 2015

      Hi Dreadshade,
      I am a completely “regular” user and when I take pictures its usually in the heat of the moment. I just take off my phone and snap. I let it almost always in AUTO. So it seems Vivo Xshot would most likely be a better “phone” by my criteria, but the pros are too slight while the difference of price and availability (I can get the MX4 in a store nearby) would make the MX4 the wisest choice.

      I’ve heard people complaigning about some things:
      – The ratio 15:9
      – No return button
      – Battery life

      Did you find these problems as well?

      Thanks for replying.

    • Guest
      January 2, 2015

      Battery Life: By default it’s set in performance mode which uses all 8 cores 😐 that’s prettt battery eating but in balanced mode this problem doesn’t persist I use it intensely everyday and it reaches from 100 percent to 30-20 in performance mode it’s one day straight of intense use in power saving 1.5-2 days.
      Button: I love the meizu holo button and it’s gestures you fairly slide the finger up for return on the holo circle.There is smartbar turned on but you can turn it off because I find it annoying in third party apps,the smartbar remains on stock apps. Easy fix is to disable it from settings
      The gestures are awesome and you assign them fast 🙂
      Ratio: never had any problems with it I’m a heavy app user music/games/graphics/blah blah and the resolution was like native it’s one of the best screen brightness and detail I ever saw.My uncle bought the Xshot for 200 bucks more yesterday I showed him my meizu and he was more impressed by it.Good luck with your purchase,
      Never found a problem that isn’t easily fixable on meizu the new upadate fixed a lot of bugs!

    • David
      January 2, 2015

      Thanks! That’s nice to read.

      I’ve bought it this afternoon (philippines time) for around USD380 at the store. They only had silver and gold. I took the gold even if I would have prefered the grey one (never saw it in real though)

      I updated FLYME to the latest version. Set up my apps etc. However I’ve noticed:
      – I cannot connect with my EXCHANGE accounts (Hotmail).
      – There is no dedicated Contact App (but can access through phone app)
      – The camera is for me not that convicing. if there is any moving object, it will be so blur.
      – Battery seems to drain really fast (I just finish the update though, hope it get better)
      – The auto brightness doesn’t seems to work

      Have you experienced those problems and found a way around that?

    • SnowyCat
      January 2, 2015

      thanks you, however i find EMUI 3 to be really attractive ^^ , i just heard a lot of bad things about the mx4 jsut recently browsing some forums, the camera is good but really as soon as something moves everything is blurry..

      battery life isnt that great and i also heard that there is a lot of keyboard and general ui stuttering ~

      that it can get really laggy from time to time ~ and from the honor 6 i only heard that everything is really smooth and just a bad camera and backside..or what means bad but like..dont know

    • Guest
      January 2, 2015

      The stutter in mx4 was only from the top bar and now it disappeared with the update I really like the black Huawei honor 6 but there are some pretty serious bugs. The most surprise is that in performance mode it’s not so performing how I wanted to be but that’s optimization issue.Meizu doesn’t have lag with the newest update and stock keyboard isn’t best but I use fleksy which right now looks and performs best never experienced lag.The only thing what I don’t like is stock browser which is buggy, but I use chrome so there is no problem . Battery is exactly the same as honor 6 it depends in what mode u use scheiße! 🙁 they both don’t perform the best also had some issues with the LTE in Austria and Germany with honor.It depends Huawei looks worse in reality than on paper but still I like the build very much and some nifty features but Dolby sound in ears doesn’t compare to meizu which is top notch.Blurry photos can be fixed by messing with the photo settings at manual once and then you can forget about them

    • Guest
      January 2, 2015

      1 there is a contacts app it’s just in a folder search it it’s hidden somewhere m
      2 mess with the manual once and with the settings until you reach the needed effect of camera e.g. If you want no blur shutter speed must not be more than 1/2 seconds cause you’ll need a tripod if you want to do the amazing photos it can take at 20 seconds you definitely will need one for that speed but result is amazing hell.
      3 battery – it gets better by doing a very old trick never charge it until it reaches 0 percent and after battery is drained charge it until 100 percent when it’s full repeat this process 3-5 times I did it with meizu and honor 6 and opo , Htc one and it worked on every phone. Aut brightness works but you can go in settings and fix it like this go in a dark room with a lamp turn auto brightness off and set.brightness to 0 after that turn on the lamp and auto brightness.learn to use the pro camera of meizu http://www.androidheadlines.com/2014/11/android-manual-mode-basics-meizu-mx4-camera.html.Didnt experience the problem with the accounts cuz didn’t try I’ll message later

    • Guest
      January 2, 2015

      Hey also found the fix to blurry photos if something moves it’s really fast and no settings required it’s called the mode light field at meizu and it works just like the new Honor 6 plus dual camera u can refocus objects later it’s really awesome with the results and with a really blurry photos u get impressive result with a touch

    • Guest
      January 2, 2015

      Read post lower also.Found Other fix for camera use the light field mode you can refocus after its really awesome

    • David
      January 3, 2015

      Hi DreadShade
      Danke !

      1) Not sure I understood, but I found the contact if you go in the “PHONE” app. Otherwise, i did a search, there is no contact app
      2) I played around with the camera yesterday. It is okay. but I know that in most case, i would not have time to play around the manual. I usually take quick picture.
      3) I drained the battery and charged it all up. A bit skeptical on the battery life, at least with screen open. I will try it out some more and then try to switch in Power Saving and see what happens. In that aspect, I would say that my former Xperia Z3 compact was amazing
      4) Field mode is pretty cool indeed
      5) I did the autobrightness tips, the brightness changes but very slowly, like 20-30sec to go from 0 to 30 while being just under the lamp the whole time

      I cannot access your link, page not found.

    • David
      January 3, 2015

      I was interested with Honor 6 from spec side. But I haven’t heard the same as yours. I’ve heard that the EMUI is nearly useless and full of bugs. And believe me it would have been easier for me to get the honor (USD100 cheaper than the MX4, available where i live)

      I don’t know how buggy it is though. but it looks pretty outdated that for sure. For MX4, I actually read so many reviews, was hesitating with Vivo Xshot and MX4, got the MX4 yesterday, there are some disappointment indeed but we will see how it goes in the long run.

    • SnowyCat
      January 3, 2015

      What are the disappointments with the mx4?

    • Guest
      January 3, 2015

      habs nix i mean almost nothing but the default flyme launcher is like the apple one no app drawer everything stays there but i use stock google launcher so thats no problen.Not the biggest flyme fan but better than emotion

    • Guest
      January 3, 2015

      hey xperia z3 battery is almost the best on the market so that will be harder for you to understand. the batter level is exactly like galaxy s5 and. htc one. The only one wich were better was OPO and z3 ( not mini but still awesome battery) for the photo guide simply google “meizu mx4 camera blur” and use android headlines link. the camera here is at pro level but i cant use some features without a tripod (same issue at xshot) for e. g shutter speed the longer the more light in picture u get but if u use more than half a second 1/2 u will need a tripod not to move the phone. but thats pro feature so i understand (very much to explain)

    • David
      January 3, 2015

      Hi Dreadshade, thanks for this.

      I seem to have a poorer battery than expected. Also, I fully charged this morning, it lasted only 4 hours. I recharge it and it stucks at 99%.

      I’ve checked CPU-Z, it seems that the battery is 3000mah Li-ion and not 3100mah Li-Po.

      I am very disappointed so far with my overall experience. Hope it gets better with the coming few days or I will try to return it to the store.

      Would it be possible that it comes from the 4.0.4.1I version vs 4.0.4.1A version?

      Thanks
      David

    • David
      January 3, 2015

      Well, the battery performance is poor so far. I wonder if it’s because all the test try it with WIFI or 3G, but with LTE and screen to around 65% brightness, I drain 1% of battery per minute….

      – It overheats
      – The flyme doesn’t let you change as many settings as I wish (I use hotspot a lot, and I like to set the time of idleness required before hotspot turn off), here it’s 5min and that is it.
      – I would have prefered a clevered battery saving mode, also to have a toggle to switch between profile easily.
      – It seems that some change I make in the settings doesn’t matter at all and are not considered. Example: I disabled the wakeup SWIPE RIGHT move, and yet, it still have it activated it. I desactivated Yahoo Weather notification, and it still keeps it.
      – The camera has no Optical Stabilization, I didn’t pay much attention to it, but it seemed obvious as soon as you take picture of things that are moving. I know that more reviewer like to tweak things before taking picture, but i am a LAMBDA user, I usually just hangout or visit stuff, and want to take an instant picture.
      – Auto Brightness is not that good. I also like other OS that have on the top of Auto brightness a way to change the brightness. Ex: on my SONY and LG, when you put autobrightness on, you can set a level of brightness “within” this range of “adaptative brightness”, if you like it slightly brighter while still being adaptative.

      Otherwise, there are good side on this phone, but some of those (small) flaws are really hurting some of my “high” criteria and it kinda make me regret it for now. I will keep it for few days and see if it gets better, if not, I will (cross fingers) try to return it to the store and buy myself another phone.

      I will try to switch FLYME OS version from International to Chinese and see if things gets better.

    • David
      January 3, 2015

      do you have the same problem with the battery profile and details?

    • Guest
      January 4, 2015

      dear david u got the gold one? hell that runs on yunOS and is basically buggier i remembered that gold is different u could try go to that store and ask what the hell is with your battery cpu z says that i have 3100 mah li Po. But i have the grey version u have yunOs mixed with flyme so i didnt have experience with. Im really sorry with your experience. Message me more and ill answer your questions.

    • David
      January 5, 2015

      Hi DreadShade, I don’t think it was on YunOS, however, I changed to Flyme “A” version and it seems better.

      Now that you tell me that your battery on CPUZ is 3100mah Li-Po I guess I really need to go back to the store and exchange it. They have the “white and silver rim” one. they sadly don’t have the dark grey

    • arsalan
      January 5, 2015

      Hi Andi:
      Why I am not getting email updates about gizchina posts? I miss a lot of things. Am I the only one or else everybody not getting it. Please restart if you have stopped it. Thanks

    • David
      January 5, 2015

      I taxi hit me while driving my bike today, on my way to the store to replace my phone. Minor injuries; but good thing I had the phone in its box, inside my backpack, otherwise if it would have been in my pocket, bye bye.

      I went to the store to get a replacement, but I used CPU-Z on a silver unit, same problem (3000mah Li-ion), I had to really get “insisting” to eventually lead to a refund (no refund policiy).
      The CIO of the Philippines distributors called me and we talked technical, he convinced me that it’s all the same battery, it is probably just an error in the “CPU Z” or in the “description of the baterry inside the code”. As it seemed that impossible to get refunded, and that all unit seems to be the same, I just ask for replacement (will get one from their main branch in manila). It would be a shame to turn my back on a phone that would prove itself great if i get a functional unit.

      I reinstalled the 4.0.4.1I firmware, no app installed yet, and switch to my office WIFI (cut the LTE), it seems my battery is good that way (loose 1% per 2 hours). I will try to set up my email etc tonight and have another test tomorrow with wifi on etc. See if having push notification kills my battery.

      How many hours of browsing you manage to get?

      On my battery it says MX461 LTE PHONE but no other info.

    • Guest
      January 5, 2015

      I got yesterday the silver wings edition from a local warehouse on cpu z it showed 3100 then I updated the preinstalled cpu z and then it showed 3000 mah I think it’s a software bug hell.The late is pretty a battery sucker but my battery life is fine without it.
      The battery life is ok like my old Htc M8 but worse than the oneplus.
      I get like 10 hours in non stop use balanced mode 6-7 hours performance mode and 11-12 in power saving without heavy gaming it’s pretty fine but I plan to eventually buy a new Powerbank.No big deal for me to carry it since it looks classy Cuz’ it’s made from aluminum I plan buying a 16000 mah for long travels.I strongly recommend to anyone carrying a Powerbank even that smallest with 2000 mah because sometimes it’s a lifesaver.Lol we’re really flooding this post with our conversation 🙂

  17. Miko
    January 1, 2015

    I loved the MX4 review you did and it was a deciding point for me to buy this phone (over Mi4/1+1) and so far I haven’t regreted it at all.
    For the money I gave (around 280 euros) I got a phone that covers me in everything I need for my daily basis and if I want to play games, which is not so common for me, I know that it will not let me down.
    I love the response, the camera and the feeling when I hold it. Thanks @Gizchina:disqus!!!
    And HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  18. MexiDroid
    January 1, 2015

    Meizu MX4
    camera, battery, and mtk that can fight to qualcomm

    • Coolicool
      January 13, 2015

      MX4 pro is better. my friend.

    • MexiDroid
      January 14, 2015

      not at all, and im talking about the MTK6595 vs Qualcomm 801
      MX4 vs OnePlus One (I Have This)

  19. Matouš Kostlivý
    January 5, 2015

    Andy, I must confirm what Airyl says. If there wouldn’t be your review and personal preference choice testimony, I wouldn’t ever look at Vivo Xshot. I bought it today second hand for 200 bugs (white elite version) and for the money I feel like I made a really good treat! The phone really looks like a luxury device, something you can’t capture from the pictures.

    Before I had Jiayu G5 and honestly, even though dual sim feature is something I was looking for, I’m willing to sacrifice that in favor of better camera and functional GPS.

  20. Matouš Kostlivý
    January 5, 2015

    Andy, I must confirm what Airyl says. If there wouldn’t be your review and personal preference choice testimony, I wouldn’t ever look at Vivo Xshot. I bought it today second hand for 200 bugs (white elite version) and for the money I feel like I made a really good treat! The phone really looks like a luxury device, something you can’t capture from the pictures.

    Before I had Jiayu G5 and honestly, even though dual sim feature is something I was looking for, I’m willing to sacrifice that in favor of better camera and functional GPS.

  21. Suraj Baraik
    January 8, 2015

    Vivo Xshot

  22. Suraj Baraik
    January 8, 2015

    Vivo Xshot

  23. AndrTech
    June 3, 2016

    Come on, it is in 2016 now. We can get much better smartphone with affordable price, like the Bluboo Maya with 2GB+16GB storage, 13MP camera and Android 6.0, it is with low price.

  24. AndrTech
    June 3, 2016

    Come on, it is in 2016 now. We can get much better smartphone with affordable price, like the Bluboo Maya with 2GB+16GB storage, 13MP camera and Android 6.0, it is with low price.