Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 vs Meizu M2 Note – Which is the Best Budget Smartphone of 2015?

by Linus 1

Chinese smartphone market is full of devices that can easily challenge more known for Western users manufacturers in terms of price/performance ratio. Today we are comparing two great budget smartphones – Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 and the Meizu M2 Note.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 vs Meizu M2 Note: VIDEO

Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 vs Meizu M2 Note: DESIGN

When it comes to the design, both phones are not the smallest out there due to 5.5” displays.
On the front both devices sport 5MP selfie cameras, earpiece, sensor light and the notification LED but only the one on the Redmi Note 2 can be customised.
The Meizu phone only has one physical key, which acts either as a back or home button. The Redmi Note 2 has a more conventional implementation with 3 nicely backlit capacitive keys.
Both phones are made of plastic but Redmi Note 2 has a matt and soft to the touch finish whereas M2 Note has a glossy one, which is more prone to fingerprints and smudges.
As far as optics, both devices have 13MP shooters but the Meizu has a dual tone dual LED flash.
The Xiaomi phone has a removable back cover, where you can find a user replaceable battery, two micro SIM card slots and the microSD card slot.
The Meizu M2 Note has SIM card tray, which can either take two nano SIM cards or a combo of nano SIM and the microSD card.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 chose the right side for the power switch and a volume rocker whereas M2 Note has the same buttons on the left.
On the bottom both phones have a charging port and the mic but Meizu phone also has a speaker grill, which Xiaomi implemented on the back side of the Redmi Note 2.
On the top, we see the headset jacks but only the Redmi Note 2 has the IR blaster.
Overall, both phones are well made but Meizu M2 Note is a clear winner, because the backplate of the Redmi Note 2 is making some crackling noises when pressed and the buttons feel kind of cheap.
The Meizu M2 Note is much more comfortable to hold in the hands due to a slightly smaller footprint and a more rounded corners, the build quality is excellent and the phone doesn’t feel cheao by any means.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 vs Meizu M2 Note: DISPLAY

Both phones have 5.5” 1080p panels, which are one of the best in class. They are sharp, bright, vivid and crispy to look at. The Redmi Note 2 has a bit more punchy colours, which are not always accurate and a slight yellow tint.
Still, both panels are great for the class and it is hard to call a winner here.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 vs Meizu M2 Note: UI

When it comes to the UI, both phones are similar in terms of the high level of custumisation of Android 5.0 Lollipop.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 runs on MIUI 6 as there is still no official MIUI 7 version for this phone. If you are familiar with the MIUI, it has tons of features, settings, customisation options and it is just so much different than the stock Android.
You can select from thousands of themes available online. Also, you can change wallpapers, fonts, transitions, animations and so on.
Overall, the MIUI is full of features and settings but I cannot say that it flies through everything once you install lots of apps and use the phone on a daily basis. Yes, it is fluid most of the times but there is occasional stutter from time to time. You can live with that but I believe the phone needs to get a software update to improve the overall user experience.
The Meizu M2 Note runs on the FlyMe OS, which is another interesting take on Android. It is a highly customised ROM and it is pretty hard to tell that it is Android. It has a lot of inspiration from iOS but I guess that’s ok.
As usual to the Chinese smartphones, there is no app drawer, so all the apps sit on the home screens.
There are tons of different apps and customisation options like themes and wallpapers. In addition, all the apps are running smoothly and have a nice flat design.
The smartphone has tons of gesture controls and they work like a charm. These features are one of the best implementations I’ve seen on any smartphone (including high-end flagships)
Overall, I really enjoy the Flyme OS and how fast and fluid it is almost all the time. In addition, I love the design and overall look and feel of it. Finally, constant software updates make you feel that Meizu cares about its devices after releasing them even after a long time.
To sum up, I would recommend the Flyme OS as it feels a bit more polished despite having less features than the MIUI 6. However, we have to wait for the official MIUI 7 build for the Redmi Note 2.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 vs Meizu M2 Note: HARDWARE and PERFORMANCE

Meizu M2 Note has an octa-core 64-bit MediaTek MT6753 with the clock speeds of 1.3GHz, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of expandable storage.
Graphically intensive tasks like 3D gaming work fine but there are some skipped frames and naturally graphics don’t look that stunning like on the flagship devices. Still, there are no major hiccups or lags and you can still enjoy gaming.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 is quite a powerhouse for the price. It has a Mediatek 6795 Helio X10 chip, which has 8 cores and the clock speeds of up to 2GHz. The chip is supplemented with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable storage. If you opt in for a more expensive Prime model, you will get a slightly more powerful chip (2.2 GHz) and 32GB of storage.
This combo of specs proves to be a real deal when it comes to 3D gaming as Asphalt 8 and Real Racing 3 ran almost perfectly. The graphics are not on par with flagships but still look very good. I didn’t experience stutter or lag that it is worth complaining. Overall, I am very happy with the performance.
A downside is that the phone gets a bit warm pretty quickly but not hot that it becomes uncomfortable to hold it in the hand.
All in all, The Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 is a clear winner when it comes to the sheer power and highly demanding tasks like gaming.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 vs Meizu M2 Note: MULTIMEDIA

When it comes to the multimedia consumption, both devices are brilliant for watching full HD content due their vibrant 5.5” screens and smooth playback.
As far as the loudspeaker quality, the Redmi Note 2 produces a higher quality sound with more depth in it. The speaker on the Meizu M2 Note is not a bad one but it is simply not as good as the on the Xiaomi phone.
When it comes to the sound via earphones, both devices are comparable and it is hard to distinguish a winner.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 vs Meizu M2 Note: CAMERA

The Redmi Note 2 comes with the MIUI camera app, which is nicely designed, it has some a few shooting modes and settings to play with.
The shutter speed is very fast and this is thanks to the phase-detection auto-focus system.
The camera app on the Meizu M2 Note is a bit iOS inspired as you have to swipe to choose from different a shooting modes like auto, manual, beauty, panorama, slow-mo, scan and so on. In addition, there are some settings to play with.
The shutter speed is fast and overall using this camera app is just a blast.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 vs Meizu M2 Note: IMAGE QUALITY

Xiaomi phone’s pictures will always come first and if the images are compared side by side, the Redmi Note 2’s photos will always be on the left side.
When it comes to the daylight image quality, both devices are pretty good and some of the shots look very similar.
However, more often than not, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 2’s images have a better dynamic range, contrast, have more details and look a bit sharper overall. However, the colours usually look a bit oversaturated.
Meizu M2 Note is not a bad camera device and its images tend to have more natural looking colours but sometimes they may look washed out. Also, sometimes the daylight images can look even better than the ones taken by Xiaomi phone, but it is a hit or miss. However, M2 Note usually has softer focus on the corners when it comes to the indoor images.
When it comes to the night shots, the Redmi Note 2 has an edge here. The images have more details and less noise, better focus and better handling of the direct illumination of the sensor.
On the other hand, some shots may look pretty similar and Meizu M2 Note can illuminate the scene a bit better.
When it comes to the selfie cameras, Redmi Note 2 takes better looking images but the ones taken with the M2 Note will also do the job for the social media.
All in all, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 is a better all-around camera smartphone.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 vs Meizu M2 Note: VIDEO QUALITY

When it comes to the 1080p video, the Xiaomi phone has a tad more details but most importantly, it has the continuos auto-focus whereas the M2 Note lacks this feature.
All in all, I have to say that while Meizu M2 Note can take some good looking images, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 is a better all-around camera smartphone.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 vs Meizu M2 Note: CONNECTIVITY

As for connectivity, both phones support 4G LTE on both SIM card slots. I have no complaints about the call quality on either phone, GPS is working fine, but the Wifi range seems to better on the Redmi Note 2.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 vs Meizu M2 Note: BATTERY LIFE

When it comes to the battery, the Xiaomi phone has a removable 3060mAh unit whereas the M2 Note has a 3100mAh battery, whcih is sealed in.
When it comes to the real-life usage, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 could achieve just around 2 or maximum 3 hours of screen-on time with the auto-brightness when the usage did not involve any highly demanding tasks. We definitively want to see a software upgrade to improve that and hopefully the upcoming MIUI 7 will address this issue.
The Meizu M2 Note performs significantly better. I could get over 6 hours of screen-on time under exactly the same usage, which is one of the best in class.
Given the current software versions, the Meizu M2 Note just blows Redmi Note 2 out of the water in the battery department.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 vs Meizu M2 Note: CONCLUSIONS

So, there you have, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 vs Meizu M2 Note.
Both phones are really good offerings and they are definitely one of the best budget phones of the year.
They both sport great displays, good build quality, good cameras and have no major issues.
On one hand, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 has more sheer power, a better all-around camera, a removable battery, a better loudspeaker and the IR blaster. On the other hand, the Xiaomi phone does not sport excellent build quality as the Meizu M2 Note, it has a lot worse battery performance and the UI is not as fast as.
In the end, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 is a slightly better and more future-proof choice but it still needs software optimisations to call it a much better phone. Still, you would not make a mistake buying the M2 Note depending on what you mostly use your phone for.