With so many Chinese Android phones to choose from we have put together 8 of the best phones for Christmas 2013 to suit all budgets, tastes and uses! From 8-core to budget quad-core and Snapdragon 800 phones!
From a design stand point there is nothing to special about the look of the flagship Zopo ZP998, which basically looks like a larger version of the previous Zopo ZP980/C2. But under that unsuspecting body there are a few nice hidden features.
Measuring in at 151.4 x 76.1 x 9.1mm and made entirely of plastic the ZP998 feels much better in hand than any other Zopo phone to date! The front of the phone is taken up with a 5.5-inch 1920 x 1080 display, there’s a 5 mega-pixel front camera and round the back is a 14 mega-pixel sensor with f2.0 aperture!
The rear of the phone is removable to gain access to the 2400mAh battery, dual SIM (WCDMA and TD-SCDAM) and SD card expansion bay which will take a 64GB memory card. Also inside, but tucked out of site is the 1.7Ghz 8-core MT6592 processor, 2GB RAM, Yamaha audio chip, plus supper for OTG, NFC, wifi mirroring, GPS etc!
The ROM on the ZP998 has had a major overhaul also and now has built in camera beautification features, and gestures controls.
International pricing is currently set at a special introduction price of only $329.99.
Green Orange Nx
Launched at around the same time as the Zopo ZP998 the Green Orange Nx takes it’s predorsessors all alloy design, makes it a little more modern with a tweak here and there, and adds 8-cores for blazing performance.
The Green Orange Nx measures in at only 153.7 x 76.8 x 8.25mm yet the phone manages to hold a shed load of goodies and highend features including support for NFC, OTG and MHL! Also inside the thin chassis is up to 32GB memory, GPS, WIFI, dual-sim support (TD-SCDMA and WCDMA) and of course a 1.7Ghz 8-core MT6592 processor with 2GB RAM!
The specification highlight don’t stop though, Green Orange have added a 5-inch 1920 x 1080 display to the front of the phone, 5 mega-pixel front camera, 13 mega-pixel Sony sensor with F2.0 aperture and most amazingly of all a 2900mAh battery!
Pricing for the octacore Green Orange Nx is 2699 Yuan ($442).
TCL Idol X+
The TCL Idol X+, which will also go on sale in Europe as the Alcatel Onetouch Idol X+, will launch in China before the end of the year. Although the phone hasn’t officially been unveiled yet a number of leaks and spy photos have surfaced giving us a partial idea about the phone.
Like the current quad-core Idol X the 8-core Idol X+ will feature a unibody design (so a non-removable battery) dual-SIM support and possible a micro SD card expansion bay. Screen size is uncertain with rumours ranging from 5.5-inch to 6-inch, our money is on the former with a FHD 1920 x 1080 resolution.
The Idol X+ will probably be offered with either 16GB or 32GB memory, 2GB RAM, 1.7Hhz MT6592 Mediatek chipset and at least a 13 mega-pixel rear camera.
Pomp spent much of 2013 manufacturing low-cost smartphones specifically for export to international markets, but plan to go out with a bang with the launch of the quad-core Pomp C6!
Sitting between the Zopo and Green Orange in terms of design, the Pomp C6 measures in at 7.7mm thick making it one of the thinnest phones on the list, but like the NX the C6 has a surprisingly large battery in that narrow body, bigger even than the Green Orange at 3000mAh!
As with all the flagship phones on the list the Pomp C6 has get’s 2GB RAM, up to 32GB memory, dual-SIM support (WCDMA and GSM), built-in NFC, OTG MHL and supports WIFI display. The display is even a 5.5-inch 1920 x 1080 panel from South Korean manufacturer LG!
Gizchina News of the week
Unlike the 3 phones above listed before it though the Pomp C6 is a quad-core phone with 1.5Ghz MT6589T processor rather than the latest 8-core chip. This might seem like an odd decision for an end of year flagship device, but is actually quite a smart move. The MT6589T is in ample supply meaning not delays and pricing for the chip is low!
For the budget buyers out their the JiaYu G2F represents the best value for money of the current crop of quad-core smartphones. Even when compared to the might Xiaomi Hongmi the JiaYu G2F comes out on top due to a lower retail price, better looking design and more modern quad-core processor.
The G2F is powered by the latest quad-core MT6582 chipset running at 1.3Ghz. This might not me as fast as a MT6589T, but the MT6582 actually out performs the older processor while being easy on the battery.
JiaYu have kept specification sensible on the G2F so you know you are getting a quality phone with no compromise despite the low price. The overall size is 125 x 62 x 9.9mm meaning it has a small 4.3-inch display, but with a resolution of 1280 x 720 it is more than enough.
Complementing the processor is 1GB RAM, 4GB memory, SD card expansion, dual-SIM (TD-SCDMA and GSM but WCDMA is coming soon), OTG, 8 mega-pixel rear camera, 2000mAh battery and a choice of red, yellow, blue, green and black rear panels.
The JiaYu G2F will cost just 499 Yuan in China, meaning a price of just over $100 could be possible for international buyers.
If the rest of these phones just look far to small for you then the UMi Cross at 6.45-inch is one to look at. The model which will go on sale later this month will be an updated version to the one we reviewed, and will include NFC.
At 8.9mm thick the UMi Cross is actually quite thin considering the size of the 1080 display. Not only does the large size allow for great media viewing and web browsing but it means there is more room for the 4180mAh battery.
Other features include a 1.5Ghz MT6589T quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, 32GB memory, dual-SIM, micro SD card slot, Yamaha audio, 8 mega-pixel front camera and 13 mega-pixel Sony Exmor RS rear sensor.
The Cross is already on sale though resellers, but check that the model you are purchasing is the NFC equipped version.
Xiaomi Mi3 Snapdragon 800
The long long long wait is finally over, and on 19th December the Xiaomi Mi3 WCDMA version will finally go on sale across China. Chances of getting a Xiaomi Mi3 with Snapdragon 800 processor before Christmas are going to be slim but if you are willing to pay the premium it could be possible!
The Mi3 WCDMA model supports 3G networks in most European countries, has a 2.5Ghz Snapdragon 800 CPU, 2GB RAM and memory choices from 16GB to 64GB. Other features include an all new all body, one piece construction, large 3100mAh battery, 5-inch 1080 display and NFC.
The Oppo N1 international version will be available for customers outside of China to order from 10th December. The phone features a 5.9-inch 1920 x 1080 display but is still one of the largest phones here due to the innovative rotating 13 mega-pixel camera with dual LED flash.
The rear of the Oppo N1 has a touch panel for easy one-handed operation, there is also NFC round the back too, but the rear is not removable.
Powered by a Snapdrgaon 600 CPU and 2GB RAM the N1 offers more than enough power for most uses, and although designed as a camera-centic device is rather dev friendly thanks to Oppo’s acceptance to open source. There will even be a limited edition CyanogenMod version of the phone available!
Other nice features include the Oclick remote which can control the camera or act as a beeper to help you locate your phone, Oppo’s ColorOS rom and large battery.
Top 8 Chinese Android phones for Christmas 2013
So those are our top picks for Christmas 2013, are there any phones which we have missed that you would have like to seen listed? Do you have any of these phones or plan to ask Santa for one? Let us know in the comments section below!
I wish a Mi3 and I like N1 too (but not the price :)). But is possible that Santa will not believe that I was good this year, so I think I’ll stick with my P6.
Andi, Huawei will not launch their Ascend P6s this year? I think he deserves to be last on the list.
What about the king of phones vivo xplay 3s .
The Vivo Xplay 3s is really a phone to look forward to. I just can’t wait to see how it turns out
If the THL Monkey King 2 will be realesed until the end of the year, it should be in this list too, at my opinion.
+1 for monkey king 2, and umi cross is nice option for large-screen fans.
same here – wondering how the ThL T100 MTK6592 stands up against the ones listed…
Hi Andi, great work on a fantastic site! So much info! I was surprised to see the Umi Cross make the list since the gizchina review found its performance wanting. Aren’t there any better 6-6.5 inch phones available? I’ve been looking into this and found it very confusing, so many options! How about the ThL W300 or one of the “megas” from HDC,Orientphone,Goophone,Doogee650, Ulephone650? ….or maybe its best to wait until January when more octa-core phones become available? I must say my head is spinning! I look forward to any thoughts to help me choose!
I have the zopo ZP990 which I think is great. It has gorilla glass, otg and many more high end features. The design is slim and easy to hold as well. Overall a great phone, check it out!
Yeah, I have seen it but would prefer 6 or 6.5 inch screen. Just not sure why umi cross is here over the other choices…
The Zopo ZP990 is 6 inch… And they probably chose the Umi Cross because it’s one of the biggest screen sizes and one of the most recently released phablets.
Yep, also the NFC model is launching this month. The Cross is a fine phablet for media consumption, just not that great for gaming.
The other ones I mentioned look better though.
Don’t they? Can anyone comment on the other phones I mentioned?
I see, is there a better phone for gaming or is the zoppo 990 best? I would prefer ext sd and removable battery so that rules out the TCL Hero N3. Are there any better 6-6.5 inch phones out there? Confused between all the opptions eg ThL W300 or one of the “megas” from HDC,Orientphone,Goophone,Doogee650, Ulephone650?
Oops yes sorry it does! I did say it was confusing 😀
How is the antenna and GPS reception?
Antenna is just fine, I have a good 3G connection most of the time (only when I venture into the countryside does it go to ‘H’). After having rooted the phone and corrected the GPS local file to the correct file of the country I’m in using FasterGPS I get a fix in under 8 seconds. Only used the GPS 2 times while driving which was fine after the initial fix, so further testing could provide different results, but so far it’s done everything I’ve asked it to.
Thank you! x
Andi, I have a question – Do you think that less than 2GB RAM is enough, considering the free space after adding a basic application on a phone? Here an example: https://www.gizchina.com/wp-content/uploads/images/umi-x2-1GB-antutu-4.jpg
For basic stuff yes, but I’d prefer 2GB. The G2F with 2GB RAM would be amazing!
How can you be sure that 2GB RAM is installed if in the specs of storage the total of free and used space amount only shows 1GB? Or is not delivering what the international customer pays for, still one of those old-time Christmas ‘presents’?
no 3g 850 WCDMA no money , i hope the JiaYu G2F will be a real intertational and have 850 WCDMA cross fingers,
why the america continent is unlucky for want to buy chinese phones, please chinese brands put the 3g 850 WCDMA I think is no difficult for you with that you sell more phones.
They’d need to spend more on modems,or less “budget” processors,making the phone more expensive.
The best phone has to be the N1 because it is basically the only one with representatives all over the world, if the other companies like Zopo, Jiayu, etc will do the same with high end processors, they will probably have more customers than OPPO.
In my opinion, no 1 n3, is a good choice
Best phone is Sharp aquos 302sh. It’s a japanese phone and is available somewhere in December. Does anybody know where to buy it?
While there Aquos 302sh is a nice phone, there are some design flaws, like having the front camera at the bottom. It also packs a rather small battery despite being 10mm thick. It’s also a Japanese phone, and Gizchina doesn’t cover those.
What do You think about Oreintphone P6?? This is the same Ulefone P6 (Star)??
Or it’s better??
Same,orientphone are shameless rebranders.
Star P6 is good phone or better buy zopo zp990?? I want big screen and like play games.
What about Elephone P6??
50$ in pocket 🙂
No experience with Elephone sorry. Looks okay enough.
Mi2 has been out for more than 12 months, the Mi3 WCDMA will launch in a few weeks
To me, Vivo xplay 3s is the best out there. Awesome specs, awesome looks as well as great software features.
So nobody wants Nexus 5 ?
gonna buy the JiaYu fo $100 when available.
Why not nubia z5s?
The X5S is a smartphone for the money, but getting one outside of China is going to be a nightmare. I’ve only seen a handful here.
I’m in the market for a new phone and have always been interested in the unlocked Chinese phones. I live in Mexico and often travel to the USA. I will be using Telcel in Mexico and T-Mobile in the USA. I’m not well versed on Chinese phones so I yield to the opinion of the experts; Which of these phones would you guys recommend? And where can I buy them? I’ve found the OPPO N1 16GB for $500 (32BG not in stock), but that’s all I’ve managed to find. I’ve been looking at the Xiaomi Mi3, the No. 1 (goophone) N3 and the ZOPO ZP998 and wondering what the general consensus is here for best phone? Maybe even the Nexus 5 for simplicity and value? Thanks in advance for your help and suggestions.
I am in exactly the same situation…living in Mexico and travelling to the USA here and there. I would also like to see a recommendation. It seems like Telcel and T-Mobile are the recommended carriers for the dual sim. I just want to make sure the selected phone will work with both of these carriers.
Get a NEO N003 instead!!