Best Chinese Smartphones 2015 Comparison – OnePlus 2 vs Letv Le 1 Pro vs ZTE Axon vs Meizu MX5

by Linus 6

Chinese smartphone market is full of affordable flagships that both have great specs and performance. However, how do they stack up against each other? This is the comparison of OnePlus 2, Letv Le 1 Pro, ZTE Axon Elite and Meizu MX5, which is brought to you by the TechLineHD. Find out more in the our review.

OnePlus 2 vs. Letv Le 1 Pro vs. ZTE Axon Elite vs. Meizu MX5: VIDEO REVIEW

OnePlus 2 vs. Letv Le 1 Pro vs. ZTE Axon Elite vs. Meizu MX5: DESIGN

Let’s take a look at the design first. These Chinese flagships are not the smallest out there as all of them sport 5.5” displays.
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Still, Letv Le 1 Pro is the most compact one followed by the Meizu MX5.
As far as the choice of materials they are all metal-made except for the OnePlus 2 as it uses a combo of a metal chassis and sandstone back cover, which can be replaced to a variety of different ones.
To be honest, only the Letv Le 1 Pro is truly all-metal device as both the ZTE Axon and Meizu MX5 have plastic top and bottom parts for antennas.
As far as the build quality, they are all top-notch. However, Meizu MX5 has a bit rattling buttons but they are far from the deal breaker.
As far as selfie cameras go, OnePlus 2 and Meizu MX5 have 5MP shooters, Le 1 Pro sports 4MP Ultrapixel snapper and the ZTE Axon leads the way with 8MP in terms of megapixel count.
As far as notification LEDs, OnePlus 2 is a clear winner as it has a highly-customisable one.
All devices have fingerprint scanners except for the Le 1 Pro. If you ask me, I would say that the ZTE Axon has the fastest and the most accurate implementation despite being the only one with the scanner on the back. The second is the MX5 and the third is OnePlus 2 as it clearly lags behind in terms of speed and accuracy.
The button placement is very similar on all the phones except for the fact that Le 1 Pro and the Axon phone have volume rockers on the right.
The bottom is the part where the majority of devices have their loudspeakers but only the Axon phone has a front firing speaker grill.
As far as connectivity goes, the OnePlus 2 and the Le 1 Pro are more future-proof as they both use the USB Type-C ports whereas other phones in this review have standard micro USB ports.
All in all, I have to say that all phones have great design and build but my personal preference is the Le 1 Pro as it is the most compact and it is the only truly all metal phone out of the pack. However, design part is always subjective.

OnePlus 2 gallery:

Check out the OnePlus 2 vs Letv Le 1 Pro comparison review:

Letv Le 1 Pro gallery:

Check out Letv Le 1 Pro X800 review and video review:

ZTE Axon gallery:

Check out ZTE Axon review and the video review:

Meizu MX5 gallery:

Check out Meizu MX5 review and the video review:

OnePlus 2 vs. Letv Le 1 Pro vs. ZTE Axon Elite vs. Meizu MX5: DISPLAY

When it comes to the display, the Le 1 Pro has an edge in terms of sheer specs as it has a 2k panel. However, it is really hard to tell the winner as it all comes to the personal preference e.g. if you like slightly warmer or colder colours or if you prefer the Amoled panel found on the Meizu MX5.
Still, my personal preference goes to the ZTE Axon as it has the most pleasing to the eyes display for me.

OnePlus 2 vs. Letv Le 1 Pro vs. ZTE Axon Elite vs. Meizu MX5: UI

When it comes to the UI, each phone has a different take on Android.

OnePlus 2

OnePlus 2 runs on the Oxygen OS, which has preserved most of the looks of stock Android. Timely software updates assure that you will get a smooth experience overall.
In short, you are getting a stock Android experience with quite a few customisation options and some useful added features.

Letv Le 1 Pro (original stock Chinese ROM):

When it comes to the Le 1 Pro, it runs on the Le UI, which is built on Android 5.0.  The Chinese ROM works very fast and there is no lag whatsoever. It has a nice and flat design, some added features and some design inspirations from Apple. However, you have to keep in mind that the Chinese ROM is mainly designed for the Chinese users and the home button serves as a quick access toggle for Letv streaming services. Also, there are quite a few Chinese apps out of the box.

However, the stock Chinese ROM does not have Google Play services pre-installed. Thankfully, there is an easy way of doing that and you may find the detailed instructions in the video below:

Letv Le 1 Pro with the unofficial international ROM:

You have to keep in mind that many third-party resellers ship the Letv phones with the unofficial international ROM, which has Google Play services out of the box, multi-languages and all the chinese apps removed and that’s a good thing.  However, I don’t recommend this ROM as it comes with lots of bloatware apps that you can’t simply remove, significantly worse UI, battery and camera performance. Please go with the Chinese ROM as you can easily live with the Chinese content on the phone and wait for the official release of international ROM.
ZTE Axon Elite:
I have the Chinese version of the ZTE Axon Elite for a review and thus it has a Chinese ROM. In short, it runs fast and fluid, it has lots of customisation options and no app drawer. Keep in mind that there are no Google services pre-installed on the Chinese version, but they can be easily side-loaded.
Meizu MX5 (older version of the FlyMe OS):

Meizu MX5 with FlyMe OS 5.0.1:


The Meizu MX5 runs on the FlyMe OS, which was recently updated to 5.0 version. This is a Chinese version I have at the moment but to be honest, it doesn’t bother me at all.
I’ve been a fan of FlyMe OS for quite a while as it has tons of customisation options, probably the best working gesture controls on any Android phone and it is very fast and responsive UI overall.
However, the newest version of FlyMe OS has some questionable changes. Well, I really appreciate the recent apps menu that is finally more conventional but there are some odd decision made by Meizu. For example, the gesture controls menu is transferred to accessibility menu… but most importantly, I am absolutely disappointed by the new camera interface.
In the old version, everything was nice and straightforward, you could change the modes by simply swiping up and down very quickly. However, right now you need to go to a separate menu and it takes a lot more time.
Overall, all the UIs of these phones are great to use. At the end of the day, it all comes to the personal preference. I love LeUI, I like FlyMe OS but at the moment I’m in the mood of stock Android, so I’m choosing the Oxygen OS on the OnePlus 2.

OnePlus 2 vs. Letv Le 1 Pro vs. ZTE Axon Elite vs. Meizu MX5: BENCHMARKS

OnePlus 2:

Letv Le 1 Pro:

 ZTE Axon Elite:
Meizu MX5:

OnePlus 2 vs. Letv Le 1 Pro vs. ZTE Axon Elite vs. Meizu MX5: HARDWARE and PERFORMANCE

All the phones in this comparison have flagship-grade specs except for the Meizu MX5. It is still quite a powerful package as it has a Mediatek Helio X10 chip, 3GB of RAM and the base model has only 16GB of non-expandable internal storage.
OnePlus 2, Letv Le 1 Pro and ZTE Axon have Snapdragon 810 chips with slightly different clock speeds and different storage options. Keep in mind that only the Elite version of the Axon phone I have has the microSD card slot.
When it comes to the graphically intensive tasks, the Snapdragon 810-powered devices will provide you with the best possible experience. As far as Meizu MX5, it can also handle 3D games quite well but the level of graphics is simply not quite there yet.

OnePlus 2 vs. Letv Le 1 Pro vs. ZTE Axon Elite vs. Meizu MX5: MULTIMEDIA

When it comes to multimedia, consuming HD content is just a blast on all phones.


As far as loudspeakers go, I would choose the Axon phone since it has a front firing speaker, which is loud and has a decent amount of depth in its sound.
I would give the OnePlus 2 the second place, the third and the fourth to the Le 1 Pro and the MX5, respectively.
When it comes to the music via earphones, the Le 1 Pro is simply the best and the Axon phone is the closest competitor as both of these phones have dedicated Hi-Fi audio chips.
The OnePlus 2 and the MX5 are pretty much the same.

OnePlus 2 vs. Letv Le 1 Pro vs. ZTE Axon Elite vs. Meizu MX5: CAMERA and IMAGE QUALITY

You may check the out the camera interface of each phone in the dedicated reviews.
When it comes to the image quality, I tested these phones under exactly the same conditions and you may check out a dedicated in-depth camera comparison video as well, where I also included the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge and the vivo Xshot:

Daylight and Indoors Image Quality

OnePlus 2:

Letv Le 1 Pro:

ZTE Axon:

Meizu MX5:


Low-light/night Image Quality

OnePlus 2:

Letv Le 1 Pro:

ZTE Axon:

Meizu MX5:



As usual, the daylight images are pretty much comparable and all phones are capable of producing really nice photos. However, OnePlus 2 manages to do the best job if we summarise the quality of lots of images. It tends to capture a very good amount of details, colours look nice, although they tend to be on a warmer side. Also, contrast and dynamic range are usually handled okay but not all the time.
Other competitors are very close to each other but I’m choosing the  either Letv Le 1 Pro or the Meizu MX5 for the second and third places and the Axon phone for the fourth.
As far as the night shots, OnePlus 2 leads the way as it tends to capture more details and the images have less noise and it is simply the most consistent performer.
The second place goes to the Le 1 Pro but sometimes you can take a better shot with either the Meizu MX5 or the ZTE Axon. Thus, it is really hard to rank these phones. That leads to the conclusion that they are pretty much comparable but the night shots will be a hit or miss.
At the end of the day, the OnePlus 2 is your best bet when it comes to the overall image and video quality.

Check out a detailed 1080p and 4k video comparison of each smartphone in the video below:


OnePlus 2 vs. Letv Le 1 Pro vs. ZTE Axon Elite vs. Meizu MX5: CONNECTIVITY

When it comes to connectivity, I don’t have major complaints regarding call quality, signal reception, Bluetooth or Wifi. The only thing is that the GPS may be less accurate on the Meizu MX5 but the difference is not that significant.

OnePlus 2 vs. Letv Le 1 Pro vs. ZTE Axon Elite vs. Meizu MX5: BATTERY LIFE

When it comes to the battery, OnePlus 2 has a 3300mAh unit, Letv Le 1 Pro and ZTE Axon both have 3000mAh and finally the Meizu MX5 comes with 3150mAh battery.
The actual battery life is pretty much comparable on all phones except for the Letv Le 1 Pro. Still, the maximum screen-on time of almost 5 hours can be reached on the OnePlus 2 but it is only possible when doing non-demaning day to day tasks. The Meizu MX5 comes out second with the average 4-4.5 hours of screen-on time, the Axon phone comes third with around 4 hours or less. Finally the Letv Le 1 Pro reaches only around 3.5 or max. 4 hours of screen-on time if you reduce the brightness significantly.

OnePlus 2 vs. Letv Le 1 Pro vs. ZTE Axon Elite vs. Meizu MX5: CONCLUSIONS

We have finally come to the conclusions and you may ask what’s the best phone out of the pack.
Well, it’s not that easy to answer as all offerings are great bangs for the buck but I will try to rank them according to my personal preferences.
I really care about the camera, the battery life and the fact that the phone has a great software designed for international users. Thus, I am choosing the OnePlus 2.
The second option would be the Letv Le 1 Pro and that is mainly due to the all-metal design and fantastic build quality, good camera and probably the best-in-class audio quality via earphones. Also, due to the recent price drops, the Le 1 Pro is just an absolute steal.
The third place goes to the ZTE Axon as it is also a very well designed phone with mainly metal materials, although those fake leather stitchings may look more appealing for female users.
Finally, I love the Meizu MX5 due to its nice metal design but mostly due to great software experience. However, Mediatek Helio X10 processor is good but it is not as powerful or future-proof as the Snapdragon 810 chip found in the latter 3 phones.
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At the end of the day, all phones are great choices if you are looking for affordable Chinese flagship. You really need to ask yourself what are your personal preferences but if you ask me, the OnePlus 2 and the Letv Le 1 Pro are your safest bets.

Check out the OnePlus 2 vs. Letv Le 1 Pro comparison review: