Soon all Chinese smartphones might look the same


Android is currently the most popular mobile platform and unlike Apple, it is driven by several device manufacturers. While the underlying operating system is the same, each brand would have their own customised skin to differentiate themselves from the rest.

For the regular consumer, the custom interface adds more value and nifty features which doesn’t come stock standard. Of course, there are others that will consider pre-installed software as unnecessary bloatware, and proclaim plain vanilla is the way to go. Whichever side you pick, let’s take a look at the Chinese manufacturers.


With Apple seen as a status symbol, most of these Chinese smartphone UI lacks an App Drawer. Yes, it can be simple for first timers but power users might find it cluttered or annoying when it comes to organising their home screens. Of course, another popularity with Chinese Android UI is the wide availability of themes that you can customise to your preference.

So Xiaomi has their MIUI, while Huawei has their very own EMUI. On the current version, EMUI looks awfully similar to Xiaomi’s own interface from the flat icon design, to the minimalistic approach for its built-in apps such as phone dialer, alarm clock, stopwatch, toggle switches and even the menu page. Even the shutdown menu interface that’s displayed after long pressing the power button looks the same as well.

Just recently, images of OPPO’s new ColorOS 3.0 has surfaced, and it looks awfully familiar with both custom interfaces. The photos you’re seeing here is an OPPO R7 Plus that runs on ColorOS 3.0.0_151216_Alpha. At first glance, it looks like another honor device if you didn’t notice the ColorOS and OPPO branding.

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So far there’s no word of its release but it is likely to be running out of the box with their upcoming 2016 models. Disappointingly, it still runs on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop instead of the very latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

At the rate these Chinese companies are going, they all might end up looking the same and the only difference is the exterior and the logo plastered at the back. What do you guys think? Do you fancy these app-drawerless interfaces or the mainstream offering from Samsung, HTC, ASUS and Sony?




Alexander Wong