6 Top Chinese Phones You Should Buy Instead of the iPhone 5!

6 Top Chinese Phones You Should Buy Instead of the iPhone 5!


Chinese phones are no longer just clones and knock offs of foreign products but instead represent some of the best Android phone currently available! Here are our top Chinese phone on the market now.

With so many great phones from the likes of HTC, Apple, Samsung, Sony and others why would you decide to buy a Chinese made phone instead?


Why buy a Chinese phone?

  • Low cost.
  • Great specification.
  • Latest specification.
  • Unique designs.
  • Individual.
  • Latest version of Android OS

Who doesn’t want a low-cost phone, rocking a unique style with the latest Android OS with iPhone 4S killing specification?

So now we have you interested in the prospect of buying a Chinese Android phone, which models do we recommend? Well here are our top Chinese phones available on the market today!


6 Top Chinese Phones You Should Take a Look at!


top chinese phones xiaomi m1Xiaomi M1

The Xiaomi M1 has been on the market for a while now and is probably only a few months away from being updated to the much speculated Xiaomi M2, but until the new Xiaomi phone is available the M1 is one of the best Chinese phones on the markets.

Xiaomi M1 Specification

The M1 might be Xiaomi’s first attempt at producing an Android smart phone, but it seems they got the ingredients almost perfect first try! While the M1 does lack a front facing camera for video chat and posing it makes up for it by having a 1.2 ghz dual-core CPU, 8 mega-pixel rear camera, large 4 inch screen and the excellent MIUI operating system based on Android 4.0 Ice-cream Sandwich.

Why should I buy a Xiaomi M1

So the M1 has a great specification but that’s not all! Xiaomi have also produced a bunch of excellent after market accessories for the M1 from colourful covers and cases to extra batteries and even custom wallpapers!

Xiaomi also have a thriving community and really go the extra mile to make their users feel special. One example is that they have been known to send Xiaomi users custom UI tweaks to M1 owners on their birthdays!

How much is the Xiaomi M1?

The original dual-core, 8 mega-pixel Xiaomi M1 is available for 1999 Yuan ($313) but if you shop around you can find it cheaper. There is also a cheaper Xiaomi M1 Youth model available which gets some slight downgrades but only costs 1500 Yuan ($235)


top chinese phones meizu 2-coreMeizu MX Dual Core

Meizu are going to feel super lucky with this list as they are going to appear twice! The Meizu MX dual core is actually Meizu’s second Android phone to hit the market, but when compared to their original M9 smartphone the MX is light years ahead!

Meizu MX Dual Core Specification

The dual core MX is actually available in 2 models, and we suggest you go for the recently released model which get’s and updated 32nm chip and improved Wi-Fi. The MX also gets a very impressive 8 mega-pixel rear camera with auto focus and, with the latest version of the OS, gets burst photography capable of capturing 5 photos in a few seconds!

Meizu have always prided their audio quality and the MX is no acceptation thanks to one of the most feature packed music players we have ever seen on an Android smart phone!

I won’t write all the specifications here as the MX 4-core (listed below shares most of the same hardware).

Why should I buy a dual-core MX?

Other than the fact the dual-core MX has a Samsung dual core Exymor processor, amazing 8 mega-pixel rear camera, and feels like one of the best built Android phones we have ever used, the MX also gets a beautiful custom Flyme OS based on Android 4.0 ICS!

Like Xiaomi, Meizu also enjoy a huge and active fan base, but unlike Xiaomi Meizu’s fans are international, with the company enjoying a 40,000 strong English-speaking fan base!

How much is the dual core Meizu MX?

The dual core Meizu MX is available new for 2399 Yuan ($376) of as a refurbished model known as the Meizu MXre for just 1999 Yuan ($313).


top chinese phone meizu 4-coreMeizu MX 4-Core

The Meizu MX 4-core shares the same appearance and excellent craftmanship as it’s slightly slower dual-core counterpart, but boasts explosive speed and performance thanks to the quad-core CPU.

Meizu MX 4-Core Specification

Both Meizu MX models get the same large 4 inch screen produced by Japanese display giant Sharp which offer a resolution of 960 x 640 pixels. They both also have built in sensors for light, and direction as well as an electronic compass and GPS for navigation.

A larger 1700mAh battery also helps improve the battery live of the 4-core MX, but it is really that 4-core 1.4Ghz Samsung CPU which make the 4-Core MX one of the most must have Chinese phones on the market!

Why should I buy a 4-core Meizu MX?

Well apart from the great specification, beautiful UI and huge Chinese and English fan base the MX also has some great and useful functions built in to it’s Flyme OS such as a ‘Find my phone’ application, Meizu’s very own App store, plus all Meizu owners can sign up for their own Flyme account which offers users their own custom email address and cloud based back up of certain files!

Meizu MX 4-Core price.

The 4-core MX has only been on sale for a few weeks so a reconditioned model won’t be available for some time, however a new 4-core MX is such a bargain price we can’t see why you wouldn’t just buy one!

2599 Yuan ($407) is the price for a new 4-core MX which makes the Meizu not only the fastest Chinese phone on the market, but also the cheapest quad core Android phone in the world!

Read Also:  Xiaomi Is Currently Worth $100 Billion


top chinese phone little pepperBeidou Little Pepper

Before we get a ton of comments about this phone yes it is made by Beidou, NOT Baidu! Beidou if you have never heard of them are a Chinese e-seller of electronics who have decided it’s about time they got involved with this Android phone business they’ve heard so much about.

The Little Pepper is Beidou’s first Android phone, and it is actually the cheapest model here and in fact the cheapest dual-core Android phone in the world!

Beidou Little Pepper Specifications

I was really tempted to write the price of the Little Pepper at the start of it’s introduction, however I really want you to see just how much of an amazing bargain this phone is first!
The Little Pepper get’s a 1Ghz dual-core CPU, dual sim card support, front and rear cameras with the rear being a 5 mega-pixel auto focus unit, all of which is controlled by Android 4.0 ICS via the large 4 inch screen!

Why Should I buy the Beidou Little Pepper?

It’s the cheapest dual-core phone in the world and features a better specification than the iPhone 4!! Plus’s it really is cheap!

How much is the Little Pepper Chinese Phone?

I can’t contain myself anymore! the price of the Little Pepper is an amazing 699 Yuan ($109)!! It’s so cheap you could buy 3 Little Peppers for the same price as a dual core MX !


top chinese phones jiayu g3JiaYu G3

As Chinese phones go the JiaYu G3 is the surprise of the bunch! It comes from a brand many foreigners may well not know, yet it is one of the best looking Android phones ever produced!

JiaYu G3 specification

The JiaYu G3 is one of only 2 phones on this list which boasts an alloy body meaning it should be super durable and it look really classy!

It’s not all looks though as the G3 has a large 4.5 inch touch screen, and is powered by the al new dual-core 1ghz MT6577 CPU, actually the JiaYu G3 is the first Chinese phone ever to make use of this low cost yet powerful CPU!

512mb RAM and a PowerVRM GPU mean that the JiaYu should perform well as a gaming and multimedia device while the huge 2750 mAh battery should see the G3 for hours even with such a large screen!

There are also dual cameras with the rear being an 8 mega-pixel capable of capturing some great photos!

Why should I buy a JiaYu G3?

Well it boasts the latest dual core CPU available, as a flashy alloy body, large 4.5 inch screen and could very well outlast any other phone here due to that whopping 2750 mAh battery!

How much is the JiaYu G3?

The JiaYu G3 isn’t on sale yet, but will be very soon! Already there is a huge interest in this phone and many online resellers are advertising various prices starting at a ridiculous $370! But, you should be paying about $250 for a G3 with smart shoppers finding them for as little as $210!


top chinese phone oppo finderOppo Finder

The Oppo Finder is Oppo’s second Android device and the first all touchscreen phone from the large and popular Chinese phone maker.

While the Finder doesn’t grab the headlines as often as phones from Xiaomi and Meizu, when it does it really grabs our attention and makes are mallets quake with fear (watch the video below).

Oppo Finder Specification

The Oppo Finder is officially the world’s thinnest Android smart phone as it measures in a wafery thin 6.65mm! It’s so thin in fact that the 8 mega-pixel rear camera doesn’t quite fit in to the main body and actually sits out little!

A 4.3 inch Super Amoled+ screen produces the type of stunning, bright and detailed visuals we have come to expect from such a screen, while a dual core 1.5ghz CPU and 1GB RAM mean the Finder is no slouch when it comes to gaming and web browsing!

Why should I buy an Oppo Finder.

The Oppo Finder really is the Chinese phone which makes you really understand just how the Chinese tech industry has changed. Here we have a dual core phone with great cameras and a super stylish design, the world’s thinnest! Which can also be used as a hammer!!

How much does the Oppo Finder Cost?

When the Finder launched earlier this year the 4.3inch, dual core phone cost 3999 Yuan ($627) which placed it well in to iPhone territory, however as the market has become more demanding prices for the Finder have dropped to a more affordable 2498 Yuan ($391).


Do these Chinese phones make your top 6?

So those are just 6 Chinese phones which you should seriously think about buying, but there are plenty of other phones available from China from huge brands such as Huawai, ZTE and Lenovo all of which are worth another look as well as phones from Ktouch, Aliyun and Coolpad!

If you know of any Chinese phones which you think should have made it in to our top 6, or perhaps you know of 4 more to make it a top 10! Then let us know in the comments section below!


Image sources: Meizu, Oppo, Xiaomi


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  • amby

    Hi andi , doesn’t jiayu g3 have 1 gb RAM ? You have mentioned it as only 512 MB. Do we have any official launch dates yet? Several esellers are doing preorders, but as you would imagine, the Western world doesn’t trust most of these Chinese esellers. They will be more comfortable if they know that the phone is out and is in stock…
    May be you should start selling these phones via gizchina or a new site 😉 you surely got our trust.

    • Hi Amby, no it seems that the official word is that the Jiayu G3 has 512mb RAM (although some sources say 1Gb), no word on a firm launch date but I’m keeping my eye on it. Haha a Gizchina store is an interesting idea but I’m not sure I want to …. yet 😉

  • @dealsend

    6 Top Chinese Phones You Should Buy Instead of the iPhone 5!

  • Hope build quality is good too – 6 Top Chinese Phones You Should Buy Instead of the iPhone 5!

  • ark


    7- huawei ascend p1

    8- zopo zp200 (auto-stereoscopic sreen)

    • Good choices Ark! Perhaps I should make another post with the top 10 Chinese phones!

      • kranti

        andi im from india and which is the safest website to buy jigyu g3 t from china

  • GizChina: 6 Top Chinese Phones You Should Buy Instead of the iPhone 5!

  • 6 Top Chinese Phones You Should Buy Instead of the iPhone 5!

  • 6 Top Chinese Phones You Should Buy Instead of the iPhone 5! @zite

  • mok

    any china phones that are confirmed 1gb in ram? many thanks!!!

    • The Xiaomi M1, Oppo Finder, and I’m pretty sure the Meizu MX all have 1Gb RAM.

  • 6 Top Chinese Phones You Should Buy Instead of the iPhone 5!

  • 6 Top Chinese Phones You Should Buy Instead of the iPhone 5!

  • 6 Top Chinese Phones You Should Buy Instead of the iPhone 5!

  • 6 Top Chinese Phones You Should Buy Instead of the iPhone 5!

  • Fel

    i am interested in the JiaYu myself and any sort of samsung note-esque one with a good UI.
    in regards of Meizu, i bought and binned them all again, hideous OS with freezing or switching off with full batteries so one has to take the whole thingy apart and put bats back in again. Also, no vanilla ics and their flyme and other os releases still has a beta feel after officially launched and have issues like over heating etc. with the newest flyme 1 release i cant use vpn anymore. no meizu sucks

    • Sorry to hear that but I actually quite like the Flyme OS, although I have had problems with it on the Meizu M9. I like the look over the Jiayu G3 too, however I think I would be tempted to pay the extra and buy an Oppo Finder for its larger screen and super tough body!

  • Simon

    Hi Andi, loved the article. Do you read Chinese? How else do you get this info?

    I wanted to buy a Beidou Little Pepper as a travel phone, the dual SIM will be perfect. But the website is Chinese only.

    Supposing I found a Chinese friend to order for me, is it a Mandarin installation of Android? Is it just a setting or would it need a custom ROM?

    Thanks for doing some interesting research

  • Geodex

    Andi, the Little pepper site you gave doesn’t seem to load anything up. If you could probably make a screen short of the features when you get the time. That will be tasty at its price.

  • conchita

    hi andy, loved your work. I wanted to buy a Beidou Little Pepper, but where can i buy it?

    • It is available for preorder through the official site but it is only in Chinese. I’ll have a look to see if there any English speaking stores selling them and will let you know.

  • stanimir

    Hi Andy, i really think you are wrong about the jiayu g3 phone, it should have 1GB RAM like the g2 model they already have.
    Also their official website is showing the same information,1GB RAM:



    I hope i am right, because this is the phone i am waiting for.
    By the way, any news when it will be available for sale?

    • I’ve heard rumors suggesting either 1GB or 512mb. But if the official specs say 1GB then that must be right 🙂

  • Geodex

    Andi, thanks but unfortunately I don’t speak Chinese either. Waiting on you for an update if it supports English. I must say the price makes me feel very uneasy. Pretty excited to see the full feature list. Anything above 512MB RAM for a phone at this price is a must buy.

    Honestly though all Chinese phones above the $300 mark are a let off, we can afford mainstream brand names with that money. Xiaomi disappointing me with their m2 feature leaks again.

    Andi, I bought the clone m2 you posted last week, will be receiving it in a matter of hours. Will comment more about it when I have it.

  • Fabio

    Great article. I would buy a new phone but I want ones with the bootloader UNLOCK. Now I have a Meizu M9 and the big issue is the impossibility to install custom ROM like cyanogen.

    Do you know if the other phones in the list have a unlocked bootloader?


    • Sorry I don’t know of any.

    • I’m going to look in to this. I’m sure there must be a way to install a custom rom.

  • ark
  • ark
    • Cheers for that Ark thanks!

  • Geodex

    Thanks Andi, I have seen that post on the front page and bookmarked it. Waiting for your confirmation when it is released.

    On another note I got the knock off xiaomi m2. It’s MTK 6575 so rooting it was very easy. 3 easy steps. The phone is wonderful and it actually has 8 megapixel camera. Touch perfect and everything seems fine so far. Will tell you more as I use it on the that thread.

    • Awesome! Feel free to write up a review with photos for me and I’ll post it here 😉

  • Fel
  • Fel

    Hi Andy, any tip of a good 5x hand set? i like the samsung note but its too pricy in Beijing. So i could buy a fake one or maybe a smaller set as long i could put vanilla ics or Jely beans on it. Am currently in Inner Mongolia but soon back to BJ and screening ZhongGuanCun.
    Also, any idea when aniol flame will be released? heard mid august from some folks in BJ. cheers

    • I’ve had a go of a few 5 inch phones but I’ve not been overly impressed. I’d get a 4inch Chinese phone as they seem to be much better for the same money.

  • Florian

    Thanks Andi !
    And where can we buy these phones ?
    Maybe a “top resseler list” would be a futur great article ? 😉

    • I really want to make a list of top Chinese phone resellers, problem is knowing which online stores are trustworthy. I don’t want to accidentally recommend con men and scammers.

  • Vlad-III

    Official specification about RAM—> It has 1Gb.



  • Florian

    Open your own shop here, you can make money 😉 !

    • Nope don’t think a Gizchina shop will be opening anytime soon. But I do have another gadget related site I’m in the planning stages of while I’m sure you’ll all be interested in…..

  • It is worth waiting for couple of main stream phones from Lenovo.. For example the Thinkpad Tablet 2 which is powered by Windows 8. This will surely take on iPad and other competitors.

    • Perhaps! There actually is a new Lenovo phone now which I will be writing about soon which looks pretty good.

  • Technologov

    Please also write about Zopo ZP300 Field, as I believe it is one-of-the-best Chinese smartphone to-date.

  • tonya

    i want to purchase the iphone 5 can you send me the direct link to get one

    • hi the iPhone 5 is not available yet! Apple haven’t even announced it….

  • hi
    thanks for this writeup
    can you me the links for a few chinese websites selling these phones at the price you are indicating (or lower)
    everywhere i look i see these phones at a far higher price
    i want one shipped to india

  • damian

    really wish Zopo had the zp100 or 500 with dual core because of their excellent LCD and camera…..can you recommend some <$250 phones with dual core that have cameras and LCD's equal to the Sony camera and Sharp AVS screens on the Zopos?

  • Tom

    Hey Andy,
    I just bought a Huawei 8288 (instead of the Samsung galaxy 3 S I wanted beacuse the sales person at china moble persuaded me by the price and pretended quality.
    Now I try to put onn some apps, but cant access by google store (for example hanping dictionary or other dictionaries)
    I am a very conservative phone user, dont need much specials.
    You ahve any idea hoe I can replace google store to download apps?

  • kunal sea

    hi andi

    i am into mobile handset business in india and also want to contact the manufacturers or the sellers you have provided please let me.know………… 6 Top Chinese Phones You Should Buy Instead Of The IPhone 5 so that i can bring these phones in india

  • Boniface Mbaria

    Always wanted to ask why most manufacturers here use the PowerVRX 531 GPU..with other great specs like 720*1280 resolution and 1 GB ram..wont it affect the graphics performance

  • Hey Andi,

    Love your site…;)
    I live in China and I want to buy my first smartphone.
    Was gonna go for an HTC One S but dont really wanna
    spend that much money on a phone…
    The Meizu and the Oppo also go in that price range…
    So I’m trying to decide between Xiaomi and Jiayu?
    Have you tried both and which one would you recommend?
    I’d need it for movies, music, chat, gps and occasional browsing..
    when I travel…
    Would appreciate your advice!
    Thank you,

  • Sid

    So which one of these phones works in North America? That Jiayu is really nice buy it only has 2100mhz on 3G. Someone should make a list hint hint.

  • This is a very good article. I am from Brazil and I have a friend that is going to China, I will ask him to buy one of this mobiles to me. iPhone is not that great when you have a loooot of companies trying to be better than Apple, and cheaper.


  • Sara

    Hi Andi!
    İ am really interested in getting a chinese smart phone, but i have seem some around $ 160 would they be a great deal too? Coz i want baby pink color, that’s why i got interested in chinese phones, they have so many cute phones!!

  • XCV

    Jiayu G3 has actually 1 Gb Ram and not all the phone is metal; the removable back cover is plastic.

  • CJ


    After not being satisfied with many American brands (although made in China), I have started looking at cheaper products and came across the Goophone I5 with the Tegra 3 processor (1.5Ghz), 1-2GB RAM/16-32ROM. The sites(chinaecart, android-sale, ect) selling this seem fishy or too good to be true so I am extremely hesitant. Any advice on getting what is advertised with this Goophone I5? Any help is appreciated!

    • It’s not been launched. Anyone who says they have it actually don’t!

      • ammY

        i want to buy Oppo Finder !
        can u help me to buy iT as i m frOm India..?

  • Kevin

    Hey Andi,

    Out of all these which one would you suggest personally? and are there any newer phones now in China that are better? (no budget)


  • Kevin

    Also, what do you think of the Oppo Find 5, Meixu X2 and Xiami Mi2 in comparison to other smartphones out there……what do I need to be careful with?? (battery life???)


  • Andy Royde

    Do you know a good, safe site to buy a goophone?

    • Andy Royde

      Andi, do you know of a good place to buy a goophone?

  • jerry

    great article, andi!

  • ND

    Any idea if we can access google play store from the meizu mx dual core? Thanks

  • Simon Liew

    Hi Andi,

    How would you rank Huawei Ascend P1 ?
    Recently I got one for my wife on her birthday, I was blown away. We like this phone very much. I like the weight of this phone only 110 gm.with the battery.. and it’s very slim too. Soon I got myself a dual sim card model i.e. S500 and it’s a great phone too. Both loaded with ICS and for that price I paid I have nothing to complain.

    Simon Liew

  • jims

    Hi:I just bough a 4,0 i android off dhgate I did a search for unuocked phones it was
    just what I wanted an bought it, on a later search I find it is not unlocked to late it is shipped how can I make this phone work on citizens or platinumtel who have bring your owne phone sim card service . I think the phone is a MTK or skinny girl with 2 sims on gsm It is a really neat looking phone with wifi 2 cams, 1,3 & 8.0 MP I hope I can make it work
    can You help me???

  • Andrey

    What do you think of the Star N9000 I9220 5 inch MTK6575 Android 4.0 3G Mobile Phone?

  • luboo

    I would suggest the Innos D9 (now available in Europe by a company called Pentagram). That beast has a 4100mAh battery!

  • Abbas

    Hey Andi,

    I am interested in the Oppo Finder. Can you please confirm if the video is authentic?? it is very hard to believe. Can you please advice on where can i buy one.


  • james

    could u please tell me any good Chinese website that sell good phones i heard “android-sale.com” are trust worthy is it true please reply soon thanks

  • my name is ibrahim in nigeria lagos state please i need this phone to buy unlock it to work in nigeria please let me know if is ready to buy.

  • hi, Oppo Finder works in india , do the network providers in india has internet settings for this mobile

  • Iftikhar A Khan

    prices of china made Meizu MX 4-Core phone

  • required name

    article from the past! Where are mi2, mx2? What are all these old phones do here and are compared to iphone 5???

  • filioe vieira

    Ei andy
    Im looking for the most safe and secure online smartphone Shop to buy one, but im afraid because im from portugal and china is far so if you know any store tell me please.
    Thanks and goog luck this site is awsome

  • Karan

    Where can I buy Beidou Little Pepper for $108 as you have mentioned above. I’m from India. Which is the best site to buy china phones.? What is the diffrence between MTK6575 and 6577.
    Please reply.

  • Hi I was wondering if there are any places online where I can buy a previously owned Oppo Finder?

  • ken

    good article.. will you be updating this post soon?
    there’s lots of new models out now here in hong kong..
    zopo mobile is def. in my top 3 mobiles to get this year!

  • Kapil Mittal

    I m looking forward to buy good budget phone from China.
    Any opinion?

  • chubby8

    This unbranded phone has very good specifications for the price, and that’s why i’ve just ordered one, ill see how the quality and performance fairs when i get it in 2 weeks.

  • pielie

    Jiayu G5 advanced is the phone with best specs and looks very nice + it has steel back cover for extra quality

  • Tamas Kr Fodor

    Elephone running the Chinese market what so ever !

  • David Mannion

    The Cubot range is excellent.

  • jasneskis

    This useful article needs to be updated. All these phones are small. Big phones need to be included. Maybe there should be a special category for them. The 6+” phablet and a catagory for the 5 to 5½” phones.

    • Ibrahim Bahakim

      They should just make a new article. This one is very old.