The Next Big Thing

Top 5 high-end Chinese smartphones

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 June, 2015, 8:01am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 June, 2015, 8:49am

In recent years, China has become the world’s fastest growing market for smartphones. More than 500 million people use smartphones in mainland China and more than 390 million smartphones were manufactured in 2014, according to market analysis firm iResearch. Chinese mobile makers, including Xiaomi and Huawei, are leading the domestic market, with ambitions to occupy a larger market share by launching high-end smartphones with high-resolution screens, powerful batteries and lower price tags than Apple, which topped China's smartphone market during the first quarter of 2015.

SCMP staff reporters have examined this burgeoning market segment to find some of the most competitive smartphone makers. Their inclusion is based on functionality, design, price, and popularity with users.


Meitu M4

Best known for its popular photo editing app Meitu Xiuxiu, which has attracted more than 300 million users in mainland China, Meitu's first sortie into the smartphone market features a powerful camera which works with the built in beauty software to make photo subjects look younger and more attractive. The Android 4.4-based 32 gigabyte M4 retails for 2,199 yuan and comes equipped with 13 megapixel front and back cameras.


Nubia Z9

A subsidiary of Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE, Nubia's strengths lie in its innovative design for their high-end Z9. The 32 gigabyte Z9 retails for 3,499 yuan and features a three-in-one technology which converts three buttons for power, volume and touch ID into one. It also supports two SIM cards. More than five million Nubia phones were sold in 2014 with the company predicting that figure to double in 2015.


Meizu MX4 Pro

Popular with young Chinese professionals and university students, Meizu's strengths lie in its in-built beautifying image software, a 1080 video camera, and a lighter body. The 32 gigabyte, Android 4.4-based MX4 Pro retails for 2,199 yuan. It broke records in the first quarter of 2015 by selling five million phones, equal to total sales the year before.


Huawei P8

Popular with businessmen and equipped with the fastest CPU developed and made in China, the 16 gigabyte P8 retails for 2,888 yuan and features an HD camera, supports two sim cards and can operate with the Huawei B2 digital bracelet. More than 600 million units of Huawei's P series were sold within 10 months of the devices' launch.



"China's Apple" has successfully secured its top rank among Chinese smartphone makers by selling more than 61 million phones in 2014. Its primary strategy of targeting lower income customers saw a slight shift in late 2014 with the launch of the MiNote. The 16 gigabyte phablet 2,299 yuan includes an HD camera, slim body, Hi-Fi sound, fast CPU and long battery life. It also supports two sim cards.