Meizu MX4 vs. Xiaomi Mi4 – which is better?

Meizu and Xiaomi have become the two smartphone giants in China in the past few months, overcoming the sales of companies like Apple and Samsung with their flagships, namely the Xiaomi Mi4 and Meizu MX4. Both of these devices offer high-end specs at prices you can only wonder at.

Meizu and Xiaomi are the main competitors in the mobile industry of China at the moment, and Meizu seems to have gained some ovations with its MX4 device thanks to the very attractive price, well below that of Xiaomi Mi4. The upper hand is at Meizu at the moment, but did the flagship earn the praise or is the Xiaomi Mi4 actually better than Meizu MX4?

Xiaomi MI4 was released in a 64 GB version just a few days ago for $400 and the device shortly sold out, bumping Xiaomi sales a good deal. The 16 GB version will set you back $325, which is not a big difference, meaning that it’s worth the 60 extra bucks for much more storage space. The Xiaomi Mi4 offers an excellent design, high-end specs, simple MIUI 6 UI and fair price (lower than most flagships on the market).

The Meizu MX4 was launched last week for a measly $320, a surprising price since the device had had a record score (52.811) on Antutu Benchmark a few weeks ago and boasts excellent specs. The price of the Meizu MX4 immediately made the device insanely popular in China and is currently available for pre-order. The flagship will start shipping around September 20, so we’re eager to see some hands-on videos after that date. The Meizu MX4 impresses with its large screen and excellent CPU.

But let’s get down to business and specs, so we can determine which Chinese flagship should be the leader. First off, let’s check the screens. The Meizu MX4 has a 5.36 inch IPS LCD, 1152*1920 resolution screen with 418 ppi. The Xiaomi Mi4 has a 5 inch, IPS LCD, 1080*1920 resolution screen with 441 ppi. The Meizu MX4’s screen is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3, whilst the Mi4 doesn’t have any outstanding screen protection, which is a risky play from the company. There’s not such a big difference, but Meizu MX4 wins this round with a bigger screen sporting better resolution aside from good screen protection.

Let’s see how the flagships feel in our hands, and talk a bit about their size, weight and design. The Meizu MX4’s dimension are 144 x 75.2 x 8.9 mm, whilst the Xiaomi Mi4 measures 139.2 x 68.5 x 8.9 mm, making the Meizu a tad bigger than the Xiaomi Mi4 but the flagships’ thicknesses are roughly the same. The MX4 weighs 147 g whilst the Mi4 weighs 149 g, so there’s no notable difference there.In terms of size and weight we can conclude that both phones are mostly the same. The Xiaomi Mi4 has a non-removable 3080 mAH battery whilst the Meizu MX4 has a removable 3100 mAH battery, which makes it just a tad better.

When it comes to design, the side bezels on the MX4 are a bit thinner than on the Mi4, The Xiaomi Mi4 has an excellent, flat metal design similar to some LG Optimus editions and has a solid build to it. The Meizu MX4 has a more rounded design, with a rounded back and metal frame that bears some similarity to HTC’s One M8 flagship. Overall, both phones are assembled from premium materials and look great, it’s a matter of which design fits you best. I would choose the Mi4’s design because I love flat, solid phones more than the ones with rounded backs like the MX4.

Mi 4 – 2014 top smartphone

Now, for the most important part: specs. The Xiaomi Mi4 runs a quad-core Snapdragon 801 CPU clocked at 2.5 GHz with Adreno 330 GPU. The Meizu MX 4 on the other hand, runs a MediaTek MT6595 CPU with Quad-core 2.2 GHz Cortex-A17 & quad-core 1.7 GHz Cortex-A7 with a PowerVR H6200MP4 GPU. When it comes to processing power, the Meizu MX4 is a clear winner. If you’re looking for an extremely competent device, and you’re down to the Meizu MX4 and Xiaomi Mi4, the MX4 should be the one you go for. What counts as a minus for both phones is that neither feature microSD card slots. That’s a shame.

When it comes to camera, the MX4 arises as a winner once again, with its Sony 20.7 MP 5248*3936 rear shooter and 2 MP Full HD front camera compared to the Mi4’s 13 MP 4128*3096 rear shooter. The front cam on the Mi4 is better, though, sporting 8 MP Full HD, made for the more selfie-enthusiastic. Nonetheless, the MX4 packs a better camera, so it beats the Mi4 once again. When it comes to camera features, they are more or less the same, including HDR, panorama, auto focus, touch focus, face detection, etc.

When talking about connectivity, the MX4 and Mi4’s 4G version are compatible with most 3G and 4G bands in China, we don’t know whether models compatible with U.S. bands will come out soon enough. The MX4, rumors say, is compatible with European 3G and 4G bands, while the Mi4 is only 3G compatible in Europe, so that’s a plus for Meizu.

Both flagships are based on Android 4.4 KitKat, and both run their own UI on top of it. The MX4 runs Flyme 4.0, whilst the Mi4 runs MIUI 6. I can’t say much about either UI because I haven’t yet had the chance to test them out properly, but the MIUI 6 seems a bit closer to my taste than the Flyme OS. That’s mostly because I’m into the minimalist design and simple interface of the MIUI 6 since before it had launched, so I might be biased here. You tell me which UI is better. In any case, both are Android based and tweakable so no worries here, UI should not be a serious differentiating factor.

Now, we need a conclusion. Both flagships are really nice. I mean their specs are awesome, their design is neat, their features are cool and their prices are amazing. The differentiating things come in performance, screen protection and price, actually. The Meizu MX4 is the clear winner here, even though I don’t like the design of the phone. It has a better processor, better rear camera, better connectivity, better screen protection and my gosh you can get it for $320! This price is a bit uncertain, though, because the phone is now out of stock and its price has risen to $449 on e-bay, so we will have to see what happens when it starts shipping on September 20. The Xiaomi Mi4 is an excellent phone and if I wasn’t always so constrained by finances, I would go for the Mi4, because even though I’m a power user, I might not need the monster specs of the MX4 and I do prefer the design of the Mi4. Which flagship would you choose if you had the chance to get one?