5 Reasons you should buy a Chinese Android smartphone!


Over the past few weeks I have seen quite a few of my friends and family make the switch from their current phones to Chinese Android smartphone devices. Here are 5 reasons why I think you should also make the switch.

The Chinese Android phone market use to be quite a secret for us hardcore fans. A market where weird and wonderful devices would appear, a place we could get the highest specifications at the lowest prices, or just a way to have a phone that would stand out from the crowd!

The past 12 months has seen some real changes though to the point that Chinese phones have surpassed better know brands, and the world is taking notice!

So if you are on the edge and you need pushing over to the side of Chinese phones, here are 5 reasons why you should but a Chinese smartphone!

5 reasons you should buy a Chinese Android smartphone!

Design and Innovation

Take a look at the latest phones from Samsung, HTC, LG, Apple, and what you will see are slight design updates from previous models. International phone makers are not pushing the envelope any longer, their phones are no longer exciting and a joy to use.

oppo n1 hands on impressions

Now take a look at the latest phones from Nubia, Xiaomi, Oppo, JiaYu, Zopo etc. They pack amazing new features, great design, the latest hardware all with exceptionally high quality!

Latest Hardware

Where must international brands will eventually have the latest screen tech, processors, cameras features etc, the chances are that there is at least one Chinese smartphone maker who is offering next generation hardware on a device available now our in the near future!

xiaomi mi3 tegra 4 snapdragon 800

Vivo for example (and possibly Oppo) will have the worlds first 2K display phone on sale before the end of the year, most modern Chinese phones have wireless charging, NFC, gesture controls ETC. All all Chinese manufacturers are addressing camera technology with better sensors, lens and software!

Choice

Head to your local electronics store and you probably have the choice of either a Galaxy S4, Note 3, HTC One, Moto G etc…. The choices aren’t all that amazing and all look rather bland when compared to what China has to offer.

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which chinese phone

Regardless of budget China offers the best choice of Android smartphones on Earth! There are phones to fit every wallet, pocket, use, personality and there are hundreds of new models arriving each month!

Individuality

When was the last time you were out and you saw someone who wasn’t using a Nokia, Blackberry, iPhone or Samsung device? Sure they are good phones, but they are hardly individual!

gionee elife e7 hero

A smarpthone is a highly personal piece of equipment, it stores names, numbers and even photos of your loved ones, it has your music, web history, and other media data making it unique to you, but on the outside most devices look the same!

jiayu g5 review

On the other hand the Oppo N1, iOcean X7, iNew V3, JiaYu G5, Gionee E7, Xiaomi Mi3, Meizu MX3 etc are all completely unique from one another. Not only do they come in various colours but they have totally unique designs to meet your style, needs and way of life!

Value for money

zopo zp998 review

By far the most advantageous reason to buy a Chinese smartphone is value for money. Where can you buy a none Chinese smarphone off contract with a 5.5-inch 1080 display and 8-core processor for just $300 like the Zopo ZP998, what about a Snapdragon 800 powered phone for just $320 like the Xiaomi Mi3, or a 4G LTE phone like the Nubia Z5 mini LTE for just $380? How about a quad-core smartphone with Antutu Benchmarks of 17,000 for just $200?

Why did you choose a Chinese smartphone?

These are just a few of the reasons why many smartphone customers are looking at Chinese Android phones as viable phone options now. What are your reasons for looking at or owning a Chinese smartphone? Let us know in the comments section below.

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187 Comments

  1. sss
    December 16, 2013

    Hi Andi,

    I’m from Philippines and I have been following Gizchina for over a year now and have not bought a China phone due to below reasons:
    1. Warranty – this makes me think twice in buying a China phone because it might be a hassle if it is defective or needs to be repaired. Though I’m willing to risk this if I see a very good phone that’s irresistible.
    2. Wifi – can you confirm if there are no wifi issues in famous branded China phones? I bought a Vido Mini One and the wifi is really really bad even changing firmwares.
    3. Firmware support – are they a lot of third party firmware developers for China brand phones?

    I’m actually waiting for the Vivo Xplay now.. hope that it can satisfy my curiosity on China phones!

    • December 16, 2013

      Hi, 1. Warranty could be an issue but it really depends on the brand you go for and where you buy it.
      2. I’ve not had an issue with WIFI on the phone’s I have tested this year.
      3. Firware support is good now. Finally Chinese brands are seeing this as an area which needs work.

      If I were you I would hold out for the Find 7, it will probably be similar spec to the Vivo, but better support.

      • sss
        December 16, 2013

        Thanks for the tip! When are they planning to release the Find 7? The only thing that I’m hesitant with Oppo is the price. Normally, their phones are priced similar to international brands already.

        • Oz
          December 16, 2013

          Yes, but usually 100 to 200 dollar cheaper for equivalent models. I bought a Oppo5 32G on black weekend special for $449 for my son and its better than equivalent HTC, Samsung etc.

        • Frank Wu
          December 16, 2013

          You pay for what you get! The Oppo 5 pricing has dropped and for a premium phone, well worth it’s selling price now!
          I have it for 10 months already and everything is running like clockwork! Don’t save for the sake of some cheap unknown brands!

        • February 27, 2014

          Hi sss,

          Oppo Find 7 will be presented in Beijing on March 19th, probably at the Watercube (National Aquatics Center).

          Hope this helps.

          Cheers,

    • zaikatanox
      December 16, 2013

      OPPO actually has a really good reputation working with third party developers, and there exist several third party ROM you can choose for your phones, the obvious one being CyanogenMod (Android 4.3.1), which will come pre-installed with the CM edition (and can be installed almost effortlessly on the ColorOS version of N1).

      And since the release of source code for Xiaomi Mi2 series, these phones have picked up pace in third party development, and some eager coders have actually started porting Android KitKat to the Mi2 series. I hope Xiaomi too will soon release the source code for Mi3, so that third party developers can start hacking away πŸ™‚ It is hard though to expect developers to be as enthusiastic with Xiaomi/OPPO vs. famous name brands such as Sony, HTC or Samsung, but I think (hope) that will change real soon.

    • Adrian Lim
      December 16, 2013

      Hi sss,
      I’m also from the Philippines, Manila to be precise. If I may I have some views that would probably make you reconsider opting for a China phone.
      1. Warranty – Look for a good local distributor here in the Philippines. A distributor has exclusive rights and benefits over “Grey” market units or units purchased and shipped online. Obviously local warranty is what you are looking for. Philippine Law’s state under R.A. 7394 – bounds all distributors to honor a minimum of 6mos warranty. Most big distributors offer a year. (Huawei, ZTE, Gionee, THL) Take your pick.
      Take note, Cherrymobile, My Phone, Torque, Starmobile, SKK, CKK, ZH & K, BS Mobile, DTC, O+, Arc Mobile, Technically these are all considered China phones as well. Locally rebranded here in the Philippines and some US brand but all still manufactured in China. Otherwise known as OEM.
      2. Wifi – was never an issue ever! These were my previous China phones; Oppo Finder X907, Oppo Find5, THL W11 1GB+16ROM, Vivo Xplay, Thl W8s, THL W300, THL T100 Current.
      3. Firmware support – SInce most of cheap or entry level to high end China phones are equipped by Mediatek SOC’s, the only drawback was its lack of accessible source codes from manufacture as compared to Quallcom’s. Again local distributors has access to factory firmwares and can give to local consumers the free firmware upadate.
      Vivo Xpaly is a fantastic phone. I cant wait for the Xplay 3s, and so should you. Right now I’am very happy with my 2 day old THL T100 prototype. =)
      In case you are wondering.. If you want greater peace of mind, Im from NOVO7 Tech, and we are the Philippines Official Distributor of THL smartphones.

      • JAni Guazon
        December 16, 2013

        Sir adrian..Im from ph too..how much is the THLT100?^_^

  2. Ben Liu
    December 16, 2013

    Andi,

    Whilst I am a fan of the China Droids, I really dont agree with your arguments in this post.

    1) Chinese phones *sometimes* do different designs – but these are far and few. In fact, I think only Oppo and Xiaomi in your list actually does do different designs. Jiayu, THL, Zopo have all designs that are “inspired” by the international brands/models not to mention the shameful Goophones that are down right imitiations.

    2) Choice – again though, when you are a choosing from one imitation to another (or “inspired by”), this is no different than say choosing from the originals.

    3) Individuality – Well, you will be very individual if you do choose an imitation but at the same time, people recognise you are using an imitation. Its the same situation where someone uses an iphone 5c and another uses a Goophone 5c as someone with a real Louis Vuitton bag spotting a “Grade B” LV bag. You will be pretty embarrassed at that situation whereby prestige is involved (yes, you are “individual” in going the imitations in this case).

    4) Value for Money – I would agree about 6 months ago, but now, the market is almost struggling because of the recent low priced competition such as the Moto Q and of course the Nexus 5 which both have some VERY decent hardware at about the same price as the top end Zopo and even undercutting Oppo/Xiaomi’s in price. Unless the Chinese offerings can drop by another 30%, then they are not as competitive as what they use to be.

    I normally do like and agree to your posts – but this one I cannot as this reasoning is probably not as applicable for all Chinese Droids as you’d like to think.

    • December 16, 2013

      Hi Ben,

      1) Yes, ‘sometimes’ there are clones, but in reality there are fewer knockoffs now than before and if you look at premium phones from China none are clones.

      2) This is based on buying a clone. I would never reccomend doing so, but still there is a lot more choice for Chinese phones even removing the clones.

      3. Again this is based on a clone. People who do buy a clone obviously don’t want to be individual.

      4. The Nexus 5 isn’t afforable in all countries and many have complained about the poor battery the soso camera. Moto have one low cost phone that’s it, what if you didn’t like it? What other low-cost choice is there?

      The Find 5 is a better choice, affordable, has the best dev support of any phone and can be bought internationally. If you shop around there are plenty of great deals on Chinese phones.

      Anyway, thanks for taking the time to leave your thoughts πŸ™‚

      • Ben Liu
        December 16, 2013

        well..
        1) Just because there are fewer knockoffs now, does not mean that the Chinese Android market isnt still infested with them. A quick look at your favourite Drop ship site and you’ll notice so many Note 3 clones (Tengda, Star, No.1 etc), iPhone clones (Zopo, Goophone, N3, Cubot, Xiaocai, Jaiyu G5), Galaxy clones (THL, No.1, Goophone), HTC One Clones (Cubot, Cube), Lumia Clones etc etc. I estimate that the “original designs” probably account for maybe 10% of the models,whilst the 90% are obvious clones or “inspired by”.
        Obviously, you are advocating the purchase of the Premium Chinese Droids, but that takes the entire value statement out of the equation given these are on par in price with some of the major players. For example, LG and Sony (Optimus G2 and Xperia Z) can now be had for about the same price as an Oppo or Mi3. Like why would anyone go for these unknown brands for the same price (regardless of the “slightly better” hardware)?

        2) Removing obvious clones from the equation will remain a smaller segment of choice. Again though – there is still not enough argument to buy a Chinese phone over a branded one when priced at the same bracket?
        3) majority of the market isnt about being individualistic. This is the main reason and driver for so many iSheep that continues to buy Apple regardless of how much they are getting ripped off.
        4) Nexus 5 is priced in most locations around the world as the same or better than an Oppo or Xiaomi. I remember I had the same choice between the Mi2 or the Nexus 4 for my dad and I picked the Nexus 4 given the excellent support it has. The support for Find, the Mi or whatever pales in comparison to the mainstream AND official support from the community AND Google directly. Furthermore as I have said above – other mainstream flagships are coming down in price very quickly such as the LG and Sony’s that will match these prices.

        From what I see, the only place that the Chinese Droids fit into is the Value segment of $100-$250 range where mainstream brands are still trying to flog off 512MB/Single or Dual Core models. Even this is started to get diluted with the introduction of Moto G and the upcoming Sony/LG “Value” phones.

        • December 16, 2013

          I don’t think we are going to agree on this one Ben πŸ˜‰

        • December 16, 2013

          Just for a reference, Nexus 5 costs here in Finland 460 EUR ($640). Xiaomi Mi-3 is about 240 EUR ($330). But I understand that in some other parts of the world Nexus 5 is much cheaper.

          • Ben Liu
            December 16, 2013

            They are probably trying to keep Nokia alive in its home country by making every other major brand expensive. πŸ™‚ In Australia, its $399 for the 16GB with the Xiaomi Mi3 16GB on import for $599 or the Mi2 for $419.

            • jodieisme
              March 26, 2016

              If you lived in Aussie, you should probably considering to get xiaomi imported from Indonesia..

  3. John Doufu
    December 16, 2013

    I’m sorry but this is such a biased article. I have been following this website for a while now because I was open to the idea of a Chinese smartphone, however, I can think of a 100 reasons now to not buy a Chinese android smartphone.
    1. Design and innovation? Really? Most Chinese smartphones still look very tacky and if they don’t look tacky they are often blatant copies of Apple/HTC/Samsung. The slight tweaks of designs has to do with the fact their designs are already very good.
    2. Latest hardware? Although the mtk processors are new, they use old ARM processors unlike the latest big brand phones. Although they often have enough raw processing power they lack in the WIFI/GPS/Bluetooth/Radio departments.
    3. Choice? You have just as much choice buying a big brand phones. Although I must say the choice really isn’t that great with Chinese phones since they all copy each other and every phone these days has an oversized 5″+ screen and is not so mobile.
    4. Individuality. Ok I could agree, not many people have a Chinese smartphone for the same reason people don’t drive in a Lada anymore. I guess if you really just want to be different you can buy a Chinese smartphone or buy some special skin for your phone.
    5. Value for money? I will have to agree most flagship phones are tremendously overpriced but the new Motorola Moto G costs roughly 1000 RMB and has received international acclaim for being a very fast, stable phone and extremely good value for money. They also offer very good support and service, something that really annoys me about Chinese smartphones. They rarely get updates and don’t even have Google Play (there are some exceptions of course, namely MIUI community)

    • December 16, 2013

      I’m not saying ‘5 reasons Chinese phones are better’, or ‘5 reasons you should forget international brands in favour of Chinese brands’, I’m just giving 5 reasons why I think people should buy a Chinese smartphone.

      1) It is a shame that China does make a lot of clones, but I think we have posted enough new, innovative designs to show that most are not tacky looking or clones (but this is really just a matter of individual taste at the end of the day).

      2) Not all Chinese phones have Mediatek chips, and as you can see in the post I mentioned the Vivo Xplay 3S with a 2k display, that is the latest hardware is it not? Also, the first phone to have a Snapdragon 800 and Tegra 4 option was the Xiaomi Mi3 (see the image in the post). First phone to have a MEMS camera is going to be Oppo.

      3) Again, they don’t all copy.

      4) So would you say Lenovo, Huawei, ZTE, Xiaomi, Oppo, Meizu, Vivo make the Lada’s of the phone world? Think about the big picture.

      5) The Moto G is a great priced phone. When other manufacturers do the same then value for money won’t be a great avantage for Chinese phone makers, but that hasn’t happened yet.

      Thanks for posting your comments. It means a lot that you took the time πŸ™‚

      • zaikatanox
        December 16, 2013

        One thing to note about Moto G is that, yes it is a great value phone, but keep in mind that it’s using Snapdragon 400, which is based on Cortex A7 (rather than the more powerful Krait architecture found in S4 Pro or newer Snapdragon chipsets such as 600 or 800).

        MT 6589T is also based on the same CPU architecture, and clocked a bit higher. Moto G and Xiaomi Red Rice are actually priced kind of similarly (depending on where you live obviously). Both don’t have LTE, Hongmi has smaller internal storage, but Moto G does not have micro SD expansion; not to mention Hongmi’s support for dual-SIM card. They both perform similarly for day-to-day functions. As for which has the better value for money, again, it depends really on what you’re looking for in a phone.

        For some, dual-SIM and micro-SD expansion are a must, and Hongmi will be infinitely more desirable. Some other users just have to have the latest and greatest version of Android (by the way, Moto G is still currently running on Android 4.3, whereas Hongmi Android 4.2.1), in which case Moto G will edge it out.

        And as Andi has mentioned, Chinese smartphones have come a long way. Some of the recent phones are actually really good, and the only substantial differentiating factor between Chinese and other brand name phones nowadays really is just the lack of LTE for most of Chinese phones. This too will change soon, as China Mobile is currently rolling out China’s first TD-LTE commercial network (and manufacturers will be following suit).

        • John Doufu
          December 16, 2013

          Moto G has a guaranteed update to Android 4.4 whereas most Chinese mobile phones never get updated officially. I wouldn’t be surprised if it will get a few more software updates. Anyway, these numbers aren’t really that important but according to reviews, the Moto G runs extremely smooth like the nexus series.

          The snapdragon might have outdated cores, it is also very energy efficient and the Moto G has also been praised for good battery life. The big difference between snapdragon and mediatek chipsets is not the processors but the quality of the bluetooth, wifi, gps, accelerometer.

          As for the mainstream, most people don’t use dual-SIM. Overall, I think the user experience is most important and the Moto G is up to par with the flagship phones when it comes to user experience over raw power. I might sound like a Moto G salesmen but I’m not, I just think the Moto G is the best example of a low cost phone. I also see a trend coming that LG/HTC and Samsung will make more affordable phones as technology has reached a level where the mainstream doesn’t need a flagship phone anymore to get a well performing phone.

          As for the Xiaomi Red Rice, it’s a nice phone with good 3rd party modding community and regular updates but I greatly prefer the Moto G minimalist design and the snapdragon core. I also think the motorola customer service and support is better overall.

          • Allanitomwesh
            December 16, 2013

            Much as I like the Moto G,I do not think it is the law when it comes to a budget droid. There are other ,more capable Droids in the mid range,the only thing that makes the Moto lucrative is it’s price. I bought my friend a Xperia SP on sale over the independence day holiday,and it is one very capable Midranger. The reason I buy Chinese phones is for the same ones I get mad at big brands for. The first one being the ridiculous markups on otherwise crappy devices just because of brand recognition. How many 1ghz single core phones has Samsung slapped with the galaxy title for $200? It’s atrocious. On the argument of warranty,my last three smartphones have never required me to claim anything,simply because the build quality was good for 2 years without issue. All my Nokias before that did the same.Everyone is quick to praise Motorola about how they are updating devices when anyone with the original RAZR will tell you otherwise,let alone ATRIX. Let’s not even get started on LG. OPPO give fortnightly beta’s to ColorOS with new features,bug fixes,so on. The 4.3 Beta is up next but the ColorOS is so feature packed I don’t even think I’m missing anything,we got half that stuff back in 4.1. Tell that to Samsung and their hideous Touchwiz. Look at the OPPO N1,now look at the Note 3,2 and 1 and tell me who is innovating on design.Look at the Find 5 and then Look at the S3/4 and tell me which one you’d show off to friends at the bar.Just read the new Vivo’s specsheet,or the JiaYu G2F for 80 bucks and the LG G2 and Moto G looks crappy. It’s not that Chinese phones are better,it’s that the competition locally keeps them on their toes,whilst everyone else is out splashing money on their marketing. I’ve been posting that i’m waiting for the Find 7,because it is worth waiting for,which is more than I can say for the Galaxy S5…

            • Sere83
              December 16, 2013

              I agree a bit but you’re wrong about the Moto G and I definitely wouldn’t buy a Jiayu g2F instead. The reason the Moto G is getting so much hype is that it amazingly cheap for what it is and it runs a snapdragon 400 which beats out the MT6589 and crushes the considerably worse MT6582 in the Jiayu G2F. It also runs a very smooth stock android build optimized by motorola (not the buggy MTK builds in the Jiayu) and is guaranteed a 4.4 update. Motorolas history of updates has been bad, this is true but they are now fully controlled by google and I cannot see this happening again. Larger chinese companies like oppo and xiaomi offer great support. Smaller companies like jiayu do not. My last phone was a vowney v5 from china, and while it was ok, it only had 2 Firmware updates updates that did very little to fix bugs and had some hardware and software qualilty control issues that a company like motorola would never allow. Motorola have really narrowed the price gap between big name and domestic chinese manufacturers with the Moto G and changed the game. Personally If I was to buy a cheap phone now it would be the Moto G or the Xiaomi Hongmi which both offer solid software upgrade paths. I agree though samsung are a disgrace, pumping their junky low end galaxy crap in the market at rip off prices, they should be boycotted, id take a chinese manufacturer over them any day of the week,

            • Allanitomwesh
              December 17, 2013

              The MT6582 for $85 is not shitty,consider it is competing with Qualcomm’s single core Snapdragon 200,and that my friend,is shitty. The JiaYu will run LeWa OS,which is by far the most stable MTK ROM you’ll ever find apart from OMNI.It will for sure get MIUI support,just like the G4.Now for this price I get the same 720P display but with 8MP camera,dual sim and SD card expansion. JiaYu have yet to use a shitty display,so I’m not worried about getting some crappy TFT. Let us assume an atrocious $100 markup by resellers if the build quality is anywhere near the G5. The phone is still $180 and still comparable to the Moto G,down to the benchmarks[which ofcourse are not everything but if your in the same ball park it matters]. That is what a sweet deal looks like. I’m not saying the Moto G is bad,I’m just saying I’m not about to say “Chinese phones are doomed”. Qualcomm knows Mediatek has them beat at the low end,otherwise they wouldn’t have taken time to bash their octacore.

      • February 27, 2014

        Good article Andi anyways. Keep em’ coming

  4. trapchan
    December 16, 2013

    i couldn’t possibly agree with the “exceptionally high quality” part … they’re known to have a bad quality control.

    • Allanitomwesh
      December 17, 2013

      Clearly you haven’t used a Xiaomi

  5. Android
    December 16, 2013

    China made phone replacement parts that makes incredibly difficult to get..

    • February 27, 2014

      Don’t think so..just need to surf a bit over Chinese sites and you get spare parts of every single model.

  6. SandyKhan
    December 16, 2013

    Andi and other guys around,

    Is it a good idea to buy a clone of some well-reputed flagship?

    Thanks

    • December 16, 2013

      No

    • Allanitomwesh
      December 16, 2013

      No it is not,they are made cheaply. Get an original design.

      • Barry
        December 18, 2013

        Individuality: can’t get more individual than Honphone H1 but you hated it with a passion, Andi Fact is all Chinese phones are not created equal. Some of the more expensive and better quality brands you can rely on for upgrades; the others just pump out new phone after new phone and completely ignore their previous models
        BTW has Gizchina stopped being an unbiased reviewer of phones and become a marketing tool for phone manufacturers?

        • Allanitomwesh
          December 18, 2013

          I was skeptical of the H1 from the start,the Renders were way too ambitious for a small manufacturer. The end result was a poor finish of an otherwise brilliant theory. But when a Chinese manufacturer plays their cards well they make gorgeous stuff,just look at Vivo.

  7. Mohammed
    December 16, 2013

    All I know is, the revolution will be televised! China phone manufacturers are on the verge of taking over the ‘phone planet’. Truth is, people can not continue with the rip-off of the global brands. Phones should be cheap and innovative…I think China brands like Xiaomi, Oppo, Zoppo, Vivo etc have provided the final solution…Awesome phones, affordable price and beautiful designs.

    • Alex
      December 17, 2013

      I agree but then again I disagree at the same time… Awesome? , yes and no… Pricing has started to climb… Plus I live in the US and 4G has been here for a while now by technology life expectancy standards. The running joke is they will produce 4G phones when 5G has already started to roll out in the US lol

  8. Alex
    December 16, 2013

    All these China phones and I have yet to see ANY aftermarket extended battery companies putting out related products. That must mean something… You can broadcast to the who world that these phones are efficient enough to last the day with HEAVY usage + background multitasking. Of course I will never believe that statement… I use a 9,300MAh extended battery with my Galaxy Note 2 from ZeroLemon, and I have to say “IT’S THE BEST $45 INVESTMENT/ACCESSORY BY FAR!” I don’t give a flying “bleep!” if the phone is bulkier, so what?! I can use it ALOT during the day and still go out to a night club and record video, take picture, upload them to Face Book right on the spot till the weee hours of the night… Try that with these small stock batteries… Until aftermarket companies get their act together and come aboard like CM and other ROM makers have done. I feel a lack of love from the rest of the related business community, and that worries me… Where are all the cases from companies like OtterBox? Not to mention things like docks for home/office as well as the car… What?, Hey, Motorola smartphones have docks for the car and home, so does alot of other blue chip companies, why not all the China smart phones out there?! Almost forgot, lack of 4G LTE, of course I know, it’s coming in the future, by that time the US will have 5G, right…? lol

    • Oz
      December 16, 2013

      First Chinese phone manufacturer primary market is local – China.They therefore do not have the capacity to make more for export. LTE in China is different – that is why they are slow to make make products for international LTE market. This is changing. Why buy aftermarket accessories when the original is cheap. Its not like Apple, where an original charger cost heaps.

      • Alex
        December 17, 2013

        First off I never said that there wasnt enough stock or inventory, second when I say accessories what I mean is, as an example I have a samsung galaxy note 2 and Samsung does not manufacture a monster battery like the one I am currently using so of course I turn to an after market manufacturer. Zerolemon makes fantastic batteries in my opinion and much larger compared to the extended battery that Samsung has for my phone and at a much lower price as well, so why in the world would I pay for a Samsung product when an aftermarket one does just as good or better for a lot less of a price. Also I’m not saying that all aftermarket companies make fantastic stuff, a lot of them manufacture and sell garbage compared to some of the OEM products. I’ve read a lot of the reviews before I bought the current extended battery that I’m using with my note 2. I think good research is the key before making a purchase, though some people are impulsive buyers.

        On a side note if you’re saying that there’s not enough stock for international buyers then why are so many people from around the world on this website so much, it doesn’t benefit us unless we live in China then. If that’s the case though the manufacturers should step up production and lower their cost for international buyers that way they will turn a higher profit by sheer volume and saturate the market with their products. By doing this they can snuff out the competition because of their innovative products and lower pricing, does any of this make any sense or am I crazy lol

      • Alex
        December 17, 2013

        If China is looking to take over the technology markets or telecom and technology products they should make LTE products that function in other parts of the world as well. If possible make something that has multiple bands that can support other forms of 4G LTE or 4G whatever. now if I was designing a phone, I would make something That has both GSM and CDMA including several other forms of technology so it would be compatible with as many markets as possible. this might cost more to manufacture but I would still try to pull it off and keep the prices as low as possible and try to make my money on volume to local and international buyers alike.

  9. Hasib
    December 16, 2013

    I am totally agree about the latest hardware part and the gear design part of good Chinese brands and above all the affordable price. Oppo is a big brand but you have to agree is a bit pricy compared to other Chinese brands. Just look at the Xiaomi mi3 and Nubia Z5s. They look great with latest hardware but price 320 and 330$. Same spec with international brand you have to expend over 550$. But the only think these Chinese brands lacks is international availability. If they start to release their phone internationally I bet the international brands will have a hard time. Very soon I am going to have either mi3 or z5s

    • Hasib
      December 16, 2013

      Typo mistake “great design”.

  10. deedhoet
    December 16, 2013

    Why they don’t make phone like NEC Terrain ?

  11. Guest
    December 16, 2013

    Hi Andi,

    I’m from Philippines and I have been following Gizchina for over a year now and have not bought a China phone due to below reasons:
    1. Warranty – this makes me think twice in buying a China phone because it might be a hassle if it is defective or needs to be repaired. Though I’m willing to risk this if I see a very good phone that’s irresistible.
    2. Wifi – can you confirm if there are no wifi issues in famous branded China phones? I bought a Vido Mini One and the wifi is really really bad even changing firmwares.
    3. Firmware support – are they a lot of third party firmware developers for China brand phones?

    I’m actually waiting for the Vivo Xplay now.. hope that it can satisfy my curiosity on China phones!

    • Andi Sykes
      December 16, 2013

      Hi, 1. Warranty could be an issue but it really depends on the brand you go for and where you buy it.
      2. I’ve not had an issue with WIFI on the phone’s I have tested this year.
      3. Firware support is good now. Finally Chinese brands are seeing this as an area which needs work.

      If I were you I would hold out for the Find 7, it will probably be similar spec to the Vivo, but better support.

    • Guest
      December 16, 2013

      Thanks for the tip! When are they planning to release the Find 7? The only thing that I’m hesitant with Oppo is the price. Normally, their phones are priced similar to international brands already.

    • zaikatanox
      December 16, 2013

      OPPO actually has a really good reputation working with third party developers, and there exist several third party ROM you can choose for your phones, the obvious one being CyanogenMod (Android 4.3.1), which will come pre-installed with the CM edition (and can be installed almost effortlessly on the ColorOS version of N1).

      And since the release of source code for Xiaomi Mi2 series, these phones have picked up pace in third party development, and some eager coders have actually started porting Android KitKat to the Mi2 series. I hope Xiaomi too will soon release the source code for Mi3, so that third party developers can start hacking away πŸ™‚ It is hard though to expect developers to be as enthusiastic with Xiaomi/OPPO vs. famous name brands such as Sony, HTC or Samsung, but I think (hope) that will change real soon.

    • Guest
      December 16, 2013

      Yes, but usually 100 to 200 dollar cheaper for equivalent models. I bought a Oppo5 32G on black weekend special for $449 for my son and its better than equivalent HTC, Samsung etc.

    • Frank Wu
      December 16, 2013

      You pay for what you get! The Oppo 5 pricing has dropped and for a premium phone, well worth it’s selling price now!
      I have it for 10 months already and everything is running like clockwork! Don’t save for the sake of some cheap unknown brands!

    • Adrian Lim
      December 16, 2013

      Hi sss,
      I’m also from the Philippines, Manila to be precise. If I may I have some views that would probably make you reconsider opting for a China phone.
      1. Warranty – Look for a good local distributor here in the Philippines. A distributor has exclusive rights and benefits over “Grey” market units or units purchased and shipped online. Obviously local warranty is what you are looking for. Philippine Law’s state under R.A. 7394 – bounds all distributors to honor a minimum of 6mos warranty. Most big distributors offer a year. (Huawei, ZTE, Gionee, THL) Take your pick.
      Take note, Cherrymobile, My Phone, Torque, Starmobile, SKK, CKK, ZH & K, BS Mobile, DTC, O+, Arc Mobile, Technically these are all considered China phones as well. Locally rebranded here in the Philippines and some US brand but all still manufactured in China. Otherwise known as OEM.
      2. Wifi – was never an issue ever! These were my previous China phones; Oppo Finder X907, Oppo Find5, THL W11 1GB+16ROM, Vivo Xplay, Thl W8s, THL W300, THL T100 Current.
      3. Firmware support – SInce most of cheap or entry level to high end China phones are equipped by Mediatek SOC’s, the only drawback was its lack of accessible source codes from manufacture as compared to Quallcom’s. Again local distributors has access to factory firmwares and can give to local consumers the free firmware upadate.
      Vivo Xpaly is a fantastic phone. I cant wait for the Xplay 3s, and so should you. Right now I’am very happy with my 2 day old THL T100 prototype. =)
      In case you are wondering.. If you want greater peace of mind, Im from NOVO7 Tech, and we are the Philippines Official Distributor of THL smartphones.

    • JAni Guazon
      December 17, 2013

      Sir adrian..Im from ph too..how much is the THLT100?^_^

    • Adrian Lim
      December 17, 2013

      No price yet. What I have is the prototype still. But stay tuned though. We will have a soft launching on the 20th at SM Southmall check this link. http://www.tipidcp.com/viewtopic.php?tid=38209&page=1 =)

    • Multicorechina.com
      February 27, 2014

      Hi sss,

      Oppo Find 7 will be presented in Beijing on March 19th, probably at the Watercube (National Aquatics Center).

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,

  12. Ben Liu
    December 16, 2013

    Andi,

    Whilst I am a fan of the China Droids, I really dont agree with your arguments in this post.

    1) Chinese phones *sometimes* do different designs – but these are far and few. In fact, I think only Oppo and Xiaomi in your list actually does do different designs. Jiayu, THL, Zopo have all designs that are “inspired” by the international brands/models not to mention the shameful Goophones that are down right imitiations.

    2) Choice – again though, when you are a choosing from one imitation to another (or “inspired by”), this is no different than say choosing from the originals.

    3) Individuality – Well, you will be very individual if you do choose an imitation but at the same time, people recognise you are using an imitation. Its the same situation where someone uses an iphone 5c and another uses a Goophone 5c as someone with a real Louis Vuitton bag spotting a “Grade B” LV bag. You will be pretty embarrassed at that situation whereby prestige is involved (yes, you are “individual” in going the imitations in this case).

    4) Value for Money – I would agree about 6 months ago, but now, the market is almost struggling because of the recent low priced competition such as the Moto Q and of course the Nexus 5 which both have some VERY decent hardware at about the same price as the top end Zopo and even undercutting Oppo/Xiaomi’s in price. Unless the Chinese offerings can drop by another 30%, then they are not as competitive as what they use to be.

    I normally do like and agree to your posts – but this one I cannot as this reasoning is probably not as applicable for all Chinese Droids as you’d like to think.

    • Andi Sykes
      December 16, 2013

      Hi Ben,

      1) Yes, ‘sometimes’ there are clones, but in reality there are fewer knockoffs now than before and if you look at premium phones from China none are clones.

      2) This is based on buying a clone. I would never reccomend doing so, but still there is a lot more choice for Chinese phones even removing the clones.

      3. Again this is based on a clone. People who do buy a clone obviously don’t want to be individual.

      4. The Nexus 5 isn’t afforable in all countries and many have complained about the poor battery the soso camera. Moto have one low cost phone that’s it, what if you didn’t like it? What other low-cost choice is there?

      The Find 5 is a better choice, affordable, has the best dev support of any phone and can be bought internationally. If you shop around there are plenty of great deals on Chinese phones.

      Anyway, thanks for taking the time to leave your thoughts πŸ™‚

    • Ben Liu
      December 16, 2013

      well..
      1) Just because there are fewer knockoffs now, does not mean that the Chinese Android market isnt still infested with them. A quick look at your favourite Drop ship site and you’ll notice so many Note 3 clones (Tengda, Star, No.1 etc), iPhone clones (Zopo, Goophone, N3, Cubot, Xiaocai, Jaiyu G5), Galaxy clones (THL, No.1, Goophone), HTC One Clones (Cubot, Cube), Lumia Clones etc etc. I estimate that the “original designs” probably account for maybe 10% of the models,whilst the 90% are obvious clones or “inspired by”.
      Obviously, you are advocating the purchase of the Premium Chinese Droids, but that takes the entire value statement out of the equation given these are on par in price with some of the major players. For example, LG and Sony (Optimus G2 and Xperia Z) can now be had for about the same price as an Oppo or Mi3. Like why would anyone go for these unknown brands for the same price (regardless of the “slightly better” hardware)?

      2) Removing obvious clones from the equation will remain a smaller segment of choice. Again though – there is still not enough argument to buy a Chinese phone over a branded one when priced at the same bracket?
      3) majority of the market isnt about being individualistic. This is the main reason and driver for so many iSheep that continues to buy Apple regardless of how much they are getting ripped off.
      4) Nexus 5 is priced in most locations around the world as the same or better than an Oppo or Xiaomi. I remember I had the same choice between the Mi2 or the Nexus 4 for my dad and I picked the Nexus 4 given the excellent support it has. The support for Find, the Mi or whatever pales in comparison to the mainstream AND official support from the community AND Google directly. Furthermore as I have said above – other mainstream flagships are coming down in price very quickly such as the LG and Sony’s that will match these prices.

      From what I see, the only place that the Chinese Droids fit into is the Value segment of $100-$250 range where mainstream brands are still trying to flog off 512MB/Single or Dual Core models. Even this is started to get diluted with the introduction of Moto G and the upcoming Sony/LG “Value” phones.

    • Andi Sykes
      December 16, 2013

      I don’t think we are going to agree on this one Ben πŸ˜‰

    • arinium
      December 16, 2013

      Just for a reference, Nexus 5 costs here in Finland 460 EUR ($640). Xiaomi Mi-3 is about 240 EUR ($330). But I understand that in some other parts of the world Nexus 5 is much cheaper.

    • Ben Liu
      December 16, 2013

      They are probably trying to keep Nokia alive in its home country by making every other major brand expensive. πŸ™‚ In Australia, its $399 for the 16GB with the Xiaomi Mi3 16GB on import for $599 or the Mi2 for $419.

    • jodieisme
      March 26, 2016

      If you lived in Aussie, you should probably considering to get xiaomi imported from Indonesia..

  13. Guest
    December 16, 2013

    I’m sorry but this is such a biased article. I have been following this website for a while now because I was open to the idea of a Chinese smartphone, however, I can think of a 100 reasons now to not buy a Chinese android smartphone.
    1. Design and innovation? Really? Most Chinese smartphones still look very tacky and if they don’t look tacky they are often blatant copies of Apple/HTC/Samsung. The slight tweaks of designs has to do with the fact their designs are already very good.
    2. Latest hardware? Although the mtk processors are new, they use old ARM processors unlike the latest big brand phones. Although they often have enough raw processing power they lack in the WIFI/GPS/Bluetooth/Radio departments.
    3. Choice? You have just as much choice buying a big brand phones. Although I must say the choice really isn’t that great with Chinese phones since they all copy each other and every phone these days has an oversized 5″+ screen and is not so mobile.
    4. Individuality. Ok I could agree, not many people have a Chinese smartphone for the same reason people don’t drive in a Lada anymore. I guess if you really just want to be different you can buy a Chinese smartphone or buy some special skin for your phone.
    5. Value for money? I will have to agree most flagship phones are tremendously overpriced but the new Motorola Moto G costs roughly 1000 RMB and has received international acclaim for being a very fast, stable phone and extremely good value for money. They also offer very good support and service, something that really annoys me about Chinese smartphones. They rarely get updates and don’t even have Google Play (there are some exceptions of course, namely MIUI community)

    • Andi Sykes
      December 16, 2013

      I’m not saying ‘5 reasons Chinese phones are better’, or ‘5 reasons you should forget international brands in favour of Chinese brands’, I’m just giving 5 reasons why I think people should buy a Chinese smartphone.

      1) It is a shame that China does make a lot of clones, but I think we have posted enough new, innovative designs to show that most are not tacky looking or clones (but this is really just a matter of individual taste at the end of the day).

      2) Not all Chinese phones have Mediatek chips, and as you can see in the post I mentioned the Vivo Xplay 3S with a 2k display, that is the latest hardware is it not? Also, the first phone to have a Snapdragon 800 and Tegra 4 option was the Xiaomi Mi3 (see the image in the post). First phone to have a MEMS camera is going to be Oppo.

      3) Again, they don’t all copy.

      4) So would you say Lenovo, Huawei, ZTE, Xiaomi, Oppo, Meizu, Vivo make the Lada’s of the phone world? Think about the big picture.

      5) The Moto G is a great priced phone. When other manufacturers do the same then value for money won’t be a great avantage for Chinese phone makers, but that hasn’t happened yet.

      Thanks for posting your comments. It means a lot that you took the time πŸ™‚

    • zaikatanox
      December 16, 2013

      One thing to note about Moto G is that, yes it is a great value phone, but keep in mind that it’s using Snapdragon 400, which is based on Cortex A7 (rather than the more powerful Krait architecture found in S4 Pro or newer Snapdragon chipsets such as 600 or 800).

      MT 6589T is also based on the same CPU architecture, and clocked a bit higher. Moto G and Xiaomi Red Rice are actually priced kind of similarly (depending on where you live obviously). Both don’t have LTE, Hongmi has smaller internal storage, but Moto G does not have micro SD expansion; not to mention Hongmi’s support for dual-SIM card. They both perform similarly for day-to-day functions. As for which has the better value for money, again, it depends really on what you’re looking for in a phone.

      For some, dual-SIM and micro-SD expansion are a must, and Hongmi will be infinitely more desirable. Some other users just have to have the latest and greatest version of Android (by the way, Moto G is still currently running on Android 4.3, whereas Hongmi Android 4.2.1), in which case Moto G will edge it out.

      And as Andi has mentioned, Chinese smartphones have come a long way. Some of the recent phones are actually really good, and the only substantial differentiating factor between Chinese and other brand name phones nowadays really is just the lack of LTE for most of Chinese phones. This too will change soon, as China Mobile is currently rolling out China’s first TD-LTE commercial network (and manufacturers will be following suit).

    • Guest
      December 16, 2013

      Moto G has a guaranteed update to Android 4.4 whereas most Chinese mobile phones never get updated officially. I wouldn’t be surprised if it will get a few more software updates. Anyway, these numbers aren’t really that important but according to reviews, the Moto G runs extremely smooth like the nexus series.

      The snapdragon might have outdated cores, it is also very energy efficient and the Moto G has also been praised for good battery life. The big difference between snapdragon and mediatek chipsets is not the processors but the quality of the bluetooth, wifi, gps, accelerometer.

      As for the mainstream, most people don’t use dual-SIM. Overall, I think the user experience is most important and the Moto G is up to par with the flagship phones when it comes to user experience over raw power. I might sound like a Moto G salesmen but I’m not, I just think the Moto G is the best example of a low cost phone. I also see a trend coming that LG/HTC and Samsung will make more affordable phones as technology has reached a level where the mainstream doesn’t need a flagship phone anymore to get a well performing phone.

      As for the Xiaomi Red Rice, it’s a nice phone with good 3rd party modding community and regular updates but I greatly prefer the Moto G minimalist design and the snapdragon core. I also think the motorola customer service and support is better overall.

    • Allanitomwesh
      December 16, 2013

      Much as I like the Moto G,I do not think it is the law when it comes to a budget droid. There are other ,more capable Droids in the mid range,the only thing that makes the Moto lucrative is it’s price. I bought my friend a Xperia SP on sale over the independence day holiday,and it is one very capable Midranger. The reason I buy Chinese phones is for the same ones I get mad at big brands for. The first one being the ridiculous markups on otherwise crappy devices just because of brand recognition. How many 1ghz single core phones has Samsung slapped with the galaxy title for $200? It’s atrocious. On the argument of warranty,my last three smartphones have never required me to claim anything,simply because the build quality was good for 2 years without issue. All my Nokias before that did the same.Everyone is quick to praise Motorola about how they are updating devices when anyone with the original RAZR will tell you otherwise,let alone ATRIX. Let’s not even get started on LG. OPPO give fortnightly beta’s to ColorOS with new features,bug fixes,so on. The 4.3 Beta is up next but the ColorOS is so feature packed I don’t even think I’m missing anything,we got half that stuff back in 4.1. Tell that to Samsung and their hideous Touchwiz. Look at the OPPO N1,now look at the Note 3,2 and 1 and tell me who is innovating on design.Look at the Find 5 and then Look at the S3/4 and tell me which one you’d show off to friends at the bar.Just read the new Vivo’s specsheet,or the JiaYu G2F for 80 bucks and the LG G2 and Moto G looks crappy. It’s not that Chinese phones are better,it’s that the competition locally keeps them on their toes,whilst everyone else is out splashing money on their marketing. I’ve been posting that i’m waiting for the Find 7,because it is worth waiting for,which is more than I can say for the Galaxy S5…

    • Sere83
      December 16, 2013

      I agree a bit but you’re wrong about the Moto G and I definitely wouldn’t buy a Jiayu g2F instead. The reason the Moto G is getting so much hype is that it amazingly cheap for what it is and it runs a snapdragon 400 which beats out the MT6589 and crushes the considerably worse MT6582 in the Jiayu G2F. It also runs a very smooth stock android build optimized by motorola (not the buggy MTK builds in the Jiayu) and is guaranteed a 4.4 update. Motorolas history of updates has been bad, this is true but they are now fully controlled by google and I cannot see this happening again. Larger chinese companies like oppo and xiaomi offer great support. Smaller companies like jiayu do not. My last phone was a vowney v5 from china, and while it was ok, it only had 2 Firmware updates updates that did very little to fix bugs and had some hardware and software qualilty control issues that a company like motorola would never allow. Motorola have really narrowed the price gap between big name and domestic chinese manufacturers with the Moto G and changed the game. Personally If I was to buy a cheap phone now it would be the Moto G or the Xiaomi Hongmi which both offer solid software upgrade paths. I agree though samsung are a disgrace, pumping their junky low end galaxy crap in the market at rip off prices, they should be boycotted, id take a chinese manufacturer over them any day of the week,

    • Allanitomwesh
      December 17, 2013

      The MT6582 for $85 is not shitty,consider it is competing with Qualcomm’s single core Snapdragon 200,and that my friend,is shitty. The JiaYu will run LeWa OS,which is by far the most stable MTK ROM you’ll ever find apart from OMNI.It will for sure get MIUI support,just like the G4.Now for this price I get the same 720P display but with 8MP camera,dual sim and SD card expansion. JiaYu have yet to use a shitty display,so I’m not worried about getting some crappy TFT. Let us assume an atrocious $100 markup by resellers if the build quality is anywhere near the G5. The phone is still $180 and still comparable to the Moto G,down to the benchmarks[which ofcourse are not everything but if your in the same ball park it matters]. That is what a sweet deal looks like. I’m not saying the Moto G is bad,I’m just saying I’m not about to say “Chinese phones are doomed”. Qualcomm knows Mediatek has them beat at the low end,otherwise they wouldn’t have taken time to bash their octacore.

    • Multicorechina.com
      February 27, 2014

      Good article Andi anyways. Keep em’ coming

  14. trapchan
    December 16, 2013

    i couldn’t possibly agree with the “exceptionally high quality” part … they’re known to have a bad quality control.

    • Allanitomwesh
      December 17, 2013

      Clearly you haven’t used a Xiaomi

  15. Guest
    December 16, 2013

    China made phone replacement parts that makes incredibly difficult to get..

    • Multicorechina.com
      February 27, 2014

      Don’t think so..just need to surf a bit over Chinese sites and you get spare parts of every single model.

  16. SandyKhan
    December 16, 2013

    Andi and other guys around,

    Is it a good idea to buy a clone of some well-reputed flagship?

    Thanks

    • Andi Sykes
      December 16, 2013

      No

    • Allanitomwesh
      December 16, 2013

      No it is not,they are made cheaply. Get an original design.

    • Guest
      December 18, 2013

      Individuality: can’t get more individual than Honphone H1 but you hated it with a passion, Andi Fact is all Chinese phones are not created equal. Some of the more expensive and better quality brands you can rely on for upgrades; the others just pump out new phone after new phone and completely ignore their previous models
      BTW has Gizchina stopped being an unbiased reviewer of phones and become a marketing tool for phone manufacturers?

    • Allanitomwesh
      December 18, 2013

      I was skeptical of the H1 from the start,the Renders were way too ambitious for a small manufacturer. The end result was a poor finish of an otherwise brilliant theory. But when a Chinese manufacturer plays their cards well they make gorgeous stuff,just look at Vivo.

  17. Guest
    December 16, 2013

    All I know is, the revolution will be televised! China phone manufacturers are on the verge of taking over the ‘phone planet’. Truth is, people can not continue with the rip-off of the global brands. Phones should be cheap and innovative…I think China brands like Xiaomi, Oppo, Zoppo, Vivo etc have provided the final solution…Awesome phones, affordable price and beautiful designs.

    • Alex
      December 17, 2013

      I agree but then again I disagree at the same time… Awesome? , yes and no… Pricing has started to climb… Plus I live in the US and 4G has been here for a while now by technology life expectancy standards. The running joke is they will produce 4G phones when 5G has already started to roll out in the US lol

  18. Alex
    December 16, 2013

    All these China phones and I have yet to see ANY aftermarket extended battery companies putting out related products. That must mean something… You can broadcast to the who world that these phones are efficient enough to last the day with HEAVY usage + background multitasking. Of course I will never believe that statement… I use a 9,300MAh extended battery with my Galaxy Note 2 from ZeroLemon, and I have to say “IT’S THE BEST $45 INVESTMENT/ACCESSORY BY FAR!” I don’t give a flying “bleep!” if the phone is bulkier, so what?! I can use it ALOT during the day and still go out to a night club and record video, take picture, upload them to Face Book right on the spot till the weee hours of the night… Try that with these small stock batteries… Until aftermarket companies get their act together and come aboard like CM and other ROM makers have done. I feel a lack of love from the rest of the related business community, and that worries me… Where are all the cases from companies like OtterBox? Not to mention things like docks for home/office as well as the car… What?, Hey, Motorola smartphones have docks for the car and home, so does alot of other blue chip companies, why not all the China smart phones out there?! Almost forgot, lack of 4G LTE, of course I know, it’s coming in the future, by that time the US will have 5G, right…? lol

    • Guest
      December 17, 2013

      First Chinese phone manufacturer primary market is local – China.They therefore do not have the capacity to make more for export. LTE in China is different – that is why they are slow to make make products for international LTE market. This is changing. Why buy aftermarket accessories when the original is cheap. Its not like Apple, where an original charger cost heaps.

    • Alex
      December 17, 2013

      First off I never said that there wasnt enough stock or inventory, second when I say accessories what I mean is, as an example I have a samsung galaxy note 2 and Samsung does not manufacture a monster battery like the one I am currently using so of course I turn to an after market manufacturer. Zerolemon makes fantastic batteries in my opinion and much larger compared to the extended battery that Samsung has for my phone and at a much lower price as well, so why in the world would I pay for a Samsung product when an aftermarket one does just as good or better for a lot less of a price. Also I’m not saying that all aftermarket companies make fantastic stuff, a lot of them manufacture and sell garbage compared to some of the OEM products. I’ve read a lot of the reviews before I bought the current extended battery that I’m using with my note 2. I think good research is the key before making a purchase, though some people are impulsive buyers.

      On a side note if you’re saying that there’s not enough stock for international buyers then why are so many people from around the world on this website so much, it doesn’t benefit us unless we live in China then. If that’s the case though the manufacturers should step up production and lower their cost for international buyers that way they will turn a higher profit by sheer volume and saturate the market with their products. By doing this they can snuff out the competition because of their innovative products and lower pricing, does any of this make any sense or am I crazy lol

    • Alex
      December 17, 2013

      If China is looking to take over the technology markets or telecom and technology products they should make LTE products that function in other parts of the world as well. If possible make something that has multiple bands that can support other forms of 4G LTE or 4G whatever. now if I was designing a phone, I would make something That has both GSM and CDMA including several other forms of technology so it would be compatible with as many markets as possible. this might cost more to manufacture but I would still try to pull it off and keep the prices as low as possible and try to make my money on volume to local and international buyers alike.

  19. Guest
    December 16, 2013

    I am totally agree about the latest hardware part and the gear design part of good Chinese brands and above all the affordable price. Oppo is a big brand but you have to agree is a bit pricy compared to other Chinese brands. Just look at the Xiaomi mi3 and Nubia Z5s. They look great with latest hardware but price 320 and 330$. Same spec with international brand you have to expend over 550$. But the only think these Chinese brands lacks is international availability. If they start to release their phone internationally I bet the international brands will have a hard time. Very soon I am going to have either mi3 or z5s

    • Guest
      December 16, 2013

      Typo mistake “great design”.

  20. deedhoet
    December 16, 2013

    Why they don’t make phone like NEC Terrain ?

  21. Adrian Lim
    December 16, 2013

    ‘m also from the Philippines, Manila to be precise. I was a die hard NOKIA fan since 1998 from NOKIA 1610, 8210, 9110, 9210i, 8910, N958GB, N8 (last because I lost it).

    Now I was very fascinated and amazed at how China who was always known to be the greatest imitator or cloner to an ingenious and innovative visionary. It was hard to educate the Philippine market to make them believe and experience how great China phones are now! A lot of the Filipino’s here have that stubborn colonial mentality and always believed that branded one’s are the best. Most of them also still doesn’t know and are always surprised to find out that although Apple is a US company, Samsung a Korean company, both are global brand leaders by their own right but both have manufacturing factories in Shen Zhen, namely HEG and FOXCONN. I find it funny that they still beg to disagree until I pull out my July 2012 issue of TIME Magazine “Apple proudly made in China”

    Now, after my NOKIA streak, Ive jumped from the Tegra powered Aliyun, to Oppo Finder X907, Find5 X909, THL W11 1/16GB, W8s 2/32GB, W300 & finally my 2 day old T100 which Im so happy tinkering with.

    More power to you GIZCHINA & ANDI. With your efforts of updating us with the latest tech trends and news, this slowly but surely brings us to our ultimate goal, which is making CHINA phones a real option and contender if not today but in the near future.

    Me and my team will probably be in China early-mid January. Would love to bump into you in Shen Zhen someday and share our views. =)

  22. highwind
    December 16, 2013

    For me it is

    1. Individuality + Diversity

    2. Price/Performance
    3. Powerefficency/Performance
    4. Dual-Sim + replaceable battery + SD-card Slot on most phones
    5. Stock Android on most phones

  23. The Number Twenty Four
    December 16, 2013

    Come on Andy, you have to admit that the Jiayu G5 isn’t a good example of unique design. πŸ˜€ (That’s coming from someone with the G3)

  24. zamborgar
    December 16, 2013

    andi where the hell can i get a xiaomi mi3 for 320 usd the lowest price i could find was 425 usd or 509 usd for the 64 gb version if you know some websites that i dont know of please help me out to find a better price… thank you

  25. joe
    December 16, 2013

    Until the chinese manufacturers decide to build devices that support LTE in north america it doesnt matter what other advanced tech the devices have or how low the prices are ($300 for a non lte phone is ridiculous in my opinion) there is little point in purchasing. Any device without LTE support in this day and age is far behind the times.I follow gizchina closely and there are probably at least 4 chinese devices i would have bought this year if they had LTE, i see finally now a few devices coming with LTE support but not sure if they will support LTE in canada or not?

    • zaikatanox
      December 16, 2013

      United States, maybe, but I live in Canada, and plans with even just a little data cost astronomically high. I can barely keep it below the limit, and I don’t even have an LTE-enabled phone. Naturally, with LTE, I will use my data even more, and thus, may use up my monthly quota in 3 or 4 days (trust me, I’m a heavy data user, and this is certainly possible). What am I to do for the remaining 25 days?

      Sure, you may argue that WIND Mobile and Mobilicity provide unlimited throttled Internet for relatively cheap, but these providers have no LTE, and you will roam outside of their zones for even receiving normal messages or calls. Those which have reasonably priced LTE plans are local carriers for provinces like Manitoba and Saskatchewan, otherwise, you’re pretty much stuck with the big three (or their sub-brands).

      • joe
        December 16, 2013

        Im in canada and have no problem paying for lte,i dont care how much it costs. I always laugh when i see people who have nice devices like s note 3 or G2 and run on wind,what a waste.

  26. Sere83
    December 16, 2013

    My main issue with Chinese phones is really speed of updates. The only company that updates phones quickly in china is Xiaomi. MIUI may not be on 4.4 yet but already includes many features from 4.4 in its 4.2 builds so the lack of 4.4 update is not as noticeable or necessary and you still get regular rom updates with tweaks and improvements and chances are if you have recent xiaomi hardware 4.4 will come eventually once miui is updated to v6. Oppo, a great company but no sign of even 4.3 yet on any of their devices. Then once you drop into the smaller manufacturers using MTK chipsets they are all at the mercy of Mediatek really and even the MT6592 Octo is not arriving with 4.4. Many smaller chinese manufacturers also have no real upgrade path in place, so if your phone ships with 4.2 chances are you will get a few minor updates to fix issues but not a full point release like 4.3 or 4.4 as they are busy devleoping newer handsets

    • zaikatanox
      December 16, 2013

      OPPO will be releasing the CyanogenMod version of N1 soon, and it will based on either 4.3.1 or 4.4. Not too mention that it is really easy to install CM on the phone that ships with ColorOS. Marques Brownlee and Android Authority have reviewed CM on the N1, and again, this ROM is based on Android 4.3.1 (when the official CM version is released, it may even come with KitKat).

      There are several third party ROMs out there that are based on 4.3, which will work with the Find 5. OmniROM even has KitKat based OS for the Find 5 and the N1. Huawei has already stated that they will upgrade their P6 to KitKat in January. I think the P6 will be awesome running KitKat (there has been a tremendous improvement in its performance ever since the latest firmware update, it shipped a bit laggy, now it’s really smooth, KitKat will do even more wonders).

      MIUI will almost definitely come with KitKat on their next major upgrade (I think there has been rumour that the next Android will ship around February next year, similar timeline as the official KitKat ROM for LG G2 or Galaxy S4). Just as a side note, Mi3 Snapdragon version will ship with Android 4.3, so you know that they’re not standing still.

      And lastly, several of Rockchip-based tablets have too already been updated to KitKat (Pipo M8 and Pipo U8 for example; check the reviews on Youtube), so these manufacturers and chip-makers are not as slow as you may think πŸ™‚

      • Sere83
        December 16, 2013

        Yeah my last 2 phones have been chinese, xiaomi m1 and vowney v5, but now I have a nexus 5 its really nice knowing that I will be the first to get the newest version of android when it is released. I think big players like xiaomi and oppo and huawei are ok, but the smaller phone manufacturers are not there yet in terms of updates. Also with phones like the Moto G (which has a 4.4 update coming in jan) it is becoming less worthwhile for international customers to import cheap phones from the smaller Chinese manufacturers. Although I do think that both Flyme OS and MIUI are visually better designed roms than anything from htc, samsung, sony or LG.

        • zaikatanox
          December 16, 2013

          Nexus devices are always an exception πŸ™‚

          Besides the Google editions of the name brand phones, how many old HTC, Samsung or LG you saw are already running KitKat (official ROM)? Galaxy S3/4, have just been updated recently to 4.3, and LG G2 is still running 4.2.2. Even Moto G will only get KitKat early next year, and Motorola Mobility is a Google company.

          I understand that Chinese companies still have some things to catch up, but we are way past the days where the best Chinese phones are clones and copies of Apple and Samsung πŸ™‚

          • Sere83
            December 16, 2013

            Yeah for sure, once they start including LTE and companies like xiaomi and meizu hit europe/US, i can see them taking huge market share. MIUI is probably the best android rom available along side stock android.

            • shikhar
              December 16, 2013

              Hi Sere, Hows Vowney v5? I am planning to buy one.
              Thanks.

            • Sere83
              December 16, 2013

              Hey.

              Its OK but it did have a few problems for me. There were too light burn patches on the screen that developed after a few months of use. GPS never worked despite me trying many fixes, a common issue with MT6592 phones. 3G was also a little dodgy and it could get stuck on ‘E’ sometimes when H was available, The ear speaker sound was too low, but i switched to an MIUI rom and that fixed that problem. You can read my full review here…

              http://www.modaco.com/page/news/_/android/android-reviews/vowney-v5-review-r1172

              Bare in mind that review was done before light patches developed or installing MIUI. MIUI helped make the experiences better. To be honest though I wouldnt recommend it now, if you want a cheap phone, buy a Xiaomi Hongmi or Motroloa Moto G.

            • February 27, 2014

              Hi shikhar,

              Looking good..I would wait for some cool MT6592 models though.

              Cheers,

  27. Zino
    December 16, 2013

    Nice article,

    Ive been looking for new phone for a while now. More and more brands are dropping the micro sd card slot which I really dont like. Some chinese OEM’s seem to offer some nice phones with sd card slot. The ZTE Nubia Z5S mini LTE version caught my eye, and it looks like a really good phone for me personally. Although there are still some minor obstacles in the way from me getting one:

    – Availability (I live in europe and I have no idea how to get my hands on one)

    – Quality build (I can imagine warranty cases can be a bit tricky with a foreign device)
    – Software support (not a lot of online support for things like rooting and installing custom roms)
    – Fakes (Ive heard of fake xiaomi mi2s if you order from the wrong store)
    – Good reviews of the phone! Most of the time I cant find any proper reviews of rather unknown devices
    – Compatibility in my country is another thing that im worried about

    It would be great if you guys could make a nice review of the Nubia Z5S / Mini. I havent been able to find one and it seems like they are both really decent devices!

    • Mobile hunter
      December 17, 2013

      Hi Andy,

      I am fully agree with zino. Nubia z5s is really nice phone with good specs. Could you please suggest from where I can get international version (India) and at reasonable price around 300$. Hardware wise I think it is also reliable. Please post your review and availability also.

      • December 17, 2013

        If I get a chance to test it I will be sure to review it πŸ™‚

        • Mobile hunter
          December 17, 2013

          Please suggest any site to purchase the international version(India).

          • King
            December 17, 2013

            You could use Aliexpress.com and choose the top rated reseller who ships to India. Yash Garg (he posts here often) had mentioned this in his reply to a similar query, a few months ago.

            • Mobile hunter
              December 21, 2013

              Hi king,

              May I know the member name of Yash Garg.

  28. Adrian Lim
    December 16, 2013

    ‘m also from the Philippines, Manila to be precise. I was a die hard NOKIA fan since 1998 from NOKIA 1610, 8210, 9110, 9210i, 8910, N958GB, N8 (last because I lost it).

    Now I was very fascinated and amazed at how China who was always known to be the greatest imitator or cloner to an ingenious and innovative visionary. It was hard to educate the Philippine market to make them believe and experience how great China phones are now! A lot of the Filipino’s here have that stubborn colonial mentality and always believed that branded one’s are the best. Most of them also still doesn’t know and are always surprised to find out that although Apple is a US company, Samsung a Korean company, both are global brand leaders by their own right but both have manufacturing factories in Shen Zhen, namely HEG and FOXCONN. I find it funny that they still beg to disagree until I pull out my July 2012 issue of TIME Magazine “Apple proudly made in China”

    Now, after my NOKIA streak, Ive jumped from the Tegra powered Aliyun, to Oppo Finder X907, Find5 X909, THL W11 1/16GB, W8s 2/32GB, W300 & finally my 2 day old T100 which Im so happy tinkering with.

    More power to you GIZCHINA & ANDI. With your efforts of updating us with the latest tech trends and news, this slowly but surely brings us to our ultimate goal, which is making CHINA phones a real option and contender if not today but in the near future.

    Me and my team will probably be in China early-mid January. Would love to bump into you in Shen Zhen someday and share our views. =)

  29. provokanter TabellenfΓΌhrer
    December 16, 2013

    For me it is

    1. Individuality + Diversity

    2. Price/Performance
    3. Powerefficency/Performance
    4. Dual-Sim + replaceable battery + SD-card Slot on most phones
    5. Stock Android on most phones

  30. The Number Twenty Four
    December 16, 2013

    Come on Andy, you have to admit that the Jiayu G5 isn’t a good example of unique design. πŸ˜€ (That’s coming from someone with the G3)

  31. zamborgar
    December 16, 2013

    andi where the hell can i get a xiaomi mi3 for 320 usd the lowest price i could find was 425 usd or 509 usd for the 64 gb version if you know some websites that i dont know of please help me out to find a better price… thank you

  32. dwayn
    December 16, 2013

    the only reason i buy chinese phones… is the price to performance ratio. nothing beats it is this aspect.

  33. joe
    December 16, 2013

    Until the chinese manufacturers decide to build devices that support LTE in north america it doesnt matter what other advanced tech the devices have or how low the prices are ($300 for a non lte phone is ridiculous in my opinion) there is little point in purchasing. Any device without LTE support in this day and age is far behind the times.I follow gizchina closely and there are probably at least 4 chinese devices i would have bought this year if they had LTE, i see finally now a few devices coming with LTE support but not sure if they will support LTE in canada or not?

    • zaikatanox
      December 16, 2013

      United States, maybe, but I live in Canada, and plans with even just a little data cost astronomically high. I can barely keep it below the limit, and I don’t even have an LTE-enabled phone. Naturally, with LTE, I will use my data even more, and thus, may use up my monthly quota in 3 or 4 days (trust me, I’m a heavy data user, and this is certainly possible). What am I to do for the remaining 25 days?

      Sure, you may argue that WIND Mobile and Mobilicity provide unlimited throttled Internet for relatively cheap, but these providers have no LTE, and you will roam outside of their zones for even receiving normal messages or calls. Those which have reasonably priced LTE plans are local carriers for provinces like Manitoba and Saskatchewan, otherwise, you’re pretty much stuck with the big three (or their sub-brands).

    • joe
      December 16, 2013

      Im in canada and have no problem paying for lte,i dont care how much it costs. I always laugh when i see people who have nice devices like s note 3 or G2 and run on wind,what a waste.

  34. Sere83
    December 16, 2013

    My main issue with Chinese phones is really speed of updates. The only company that updates phones quickly in china is Xiaomi. MIUI may not be on 4.4 yet but already includes many features from 4.4 in its 4.2 builds so the lack of 4.4 update is not as noticeable or necessary and you still get regular rom updates with tweaks and improvements and chances are if you have recent xiaomi hardware 4.4 will come eventually once miui is updated to v6. Oppo, a great company but no sign of even 4.3 yet on any of their devices. Then once you drop into the smaller manufacturers using MTK chipsets they are all at the mercy of Mediatek really and even the MT6592 Octo is not arriving with 4.4. Many smaller chinese manufacturers also have no real upgrade path in place, so if your phone ships with 4.2 chances are you will get a few minor updates to fix issues but not a full point release like 4.3 or 4.4 as they are busy devleoping newer handsets

    • zaikatanox
      December 16, 2013

      OPPO will be releasing the CyanogenMod version of N1 soon, and it will based on either 4.3.1 or 4.4. Not too mention that it is really easy to install CM on the phone that ships with ColorOS. Marques Brownlee and Android Authority have reviewed CM on the N1, and again, this ROM is based on Android 4.3.1 (when the official CM version is released, it may even come with KitKat).

      There are several third party ROMs out there that are based on 4.3, which will work with the Find 5. OmniROM even has KitKat based OS for the Find 5 and the N1. Huawei has already stated that they will upgrade their P6 to KitKat in January. I think the P6 will be awesome running KitKat (there has been a tremendous improvement in its performance ever since the latest firmware update, it shipped a bit laggy, now it’s really smooth, KitKat will do even more wonders).

      MIUI will almost definitely come with KitKat on their next major upgrade (I think there has been rumour that the next Android will ship around February next year, similar timeline as the official KitKat ROM for LG G2 or Galaxy S4). Just as a side note, Mi3 Snapdragon version will ship with Android 4.3, so you know that they’re not standing still.

      And lastly, several of Rockchip-based tablets have too already been updated to KitKat (Pipo M8 and Pipo U8 for example; check the reviews on Youtube), so these manufacturers and chip-makers are not as slow as you may think πŸ™‚

    • Sere83
      December 16, 2013

      Yeah my last 2 phones have been chinese, xiaomi m1 and vowney v5, but now I have a nexus 5 its really nice knowing that I will be the first to get the newest version of android when it is released. I think big players like xiaomi and oppo and huawei are ok, but the smaller phone manufacturers are not there yet in terms of updates. Also with phones like the Moto G (which has a 4.4 update coming in jan) it is becoming less worthwhile for international customers to import cheap phones from the smaller Chinese manufacturers. Although I do think that both Flyme OS and MIUI are visually better designed roms than anything from htc, samsung, sony or LG.

    • zaikatanox
      December 16, 2013

      Nexus devices are always an exception πŸ™‚

      Besides the Google editions of the name brand phones, how many old HTC, Samsung or LG you saw are already running KitKat (official ROM)? Galaxy S3/4, have just been updated recently to 4.3, and LG G2 is still running 4.2.2. Even Moto G will only get KitKat early next year, and Motorola Mobility is a Google company.

      I understand that Chinese companies still have some things to catch up, but we are way past the days where the best Chinese phones are clones and copies of Apple and Samsung πŸ™‚

    • Sere83
      December 16, 2013

      Yeah for sure, once they start including LTE and companies like xiaomi and meizu hit europe/US, i can see them taking huge market share. MIUI is probably the best android rom available along side stock android.

    • shikhar
      December 16, 2013

      Hi Sere, Hows Vowney v5? I am planning to buy one.
      Thanks.

    • Sere83
      December 16, 2013

      Hey.

      Its OK but it did have a few problems for me. There were too light burn patches on the screen that developed after a few months of use. GPS never worked despite me trying many fixes, a common issue with MT6592 phones. 3G was also a little dodgy and it could get stuck on ‘E’ sometimes when H was available, The ear speaker sound was too low, but i switched to an MIUI rom and that fixed that problem. You can read my full review here…

      http://www.modaco.com/page/news/_/android/android-reviews/vowney-v5-review-r1172

      Bare in mind that review was done before light patches developed or installing MIUI. MIUI helped make the experiences better. To be honest though I wouldnt recommend it now, if you want a cheap phone, buy a Xiaomi Hongmi or Motroloa Moto G.

    • Multicorechina.com
      February 27, 2014

      Hi shikhar,

      Looking good..I would wait for some cool MT6592 models though.

      Cheers,

  35. December 16, 2013

    The reason I bought china phone a year ago (Tooky T83 for $110) is obviously the price. It was one of the cheapest phones with 800*480 IPS display those days with 5mp camera with autofocus and impressive 2500 mAh battery and Android 4.0. And don’t forget free shipping. The phones with the same specs cost 2.5 times more in my country (Russia). Of course it has an old Mediatek 6575 and only 512 RAM, but I don’t play games and for me the performance is great, no lags, every program I need works smoothly, except GPS, actually I do not understand that n-core marathon, except in terms of using FHD resoultion, but I do think it is excessive for phones, for me 720p is enough, give battery some life!

    Now I want to point out some negative tendencies in china phone industry nowdays.
    First, china phones became popular when you could buy for $200 a phone, that from a big brand cost $400-$600. But what I see now isn’t assuring. When I look at $300-400 china phones, I don’t get it. It is too risky for me to buy such a pricey phone without warranty. Not to mention it is not recommended for us in Russia to order phones in winter. The battery will die in post logistic centers in Siberia)))) Mine also died one third I think on the way.
    Second, the great plus for every china phone vs top branded was tf-card slot, now what we see in oppo, xiaomi etc? They are making no card slot popular, whaat?
    Third, in early days it was clean Android, now every company thinks that they are Google or Something and make their makeovers of Android, I don’t say they shouldn’t try but make it a downloadable option. I do not want to use your stupid pre-installed software that can’t be de-installed without root, cheez, that’s why I hate Samsung, Sony, and others.
    Cheers, gizchina readers.

  36. Chrispynutt
    December 16, 2013

    Hi Andi,

    Reasons why I am hesitant to by a Chinese phone.

    Updates: Either a phone is well supported by their parent company, but has no expandable storage or replaceable battery. Or they just abandon it.

    Why is this a problem? MTK don’t provide source code to the community, if a Quallcom or Nvidia chip device is abandoned there is still a hope that you might get a port to a new OS. If a phone ships with 4.2 you generally have that for the life of the phone.

    Learnt this the hard way with my Ainol Aurora.

    A thousand models with new ones out all the time. Not always true, but how can you expect a community to build up around a model when it will be outdated or updated with a couple of months. It fractures the community base, making updates and support far harder.

    Everyone follows everyone else. Whilst there are some interesting designs, generally high end phones are 5.3″, mid 4.5-5″ and low end below that. A couple of tablets in the mix. Doesn’t matter which from a thousand different makes they generally follow the same trend. No high end small devices unless they are iPhone clones and then you have a stupid overlay on Android and a device that looks like a clone.

    What can happen to fix this?

    Companies release flagship international phones, commit to updating 1 or 2 phone for at least a year.
    Marvell, Allwinner, etc release their own LTE chips with source code winning the community over.
    Companies partner with local retailers for rebranding and support. If FAEA approached Tesco to make a phone companion to the HUDL they would sell a ton in the UK and Tesco would provide the local presence.

    • December 17, 2013

      Very good points! thanks for bringing them up. Lack of support is an issue, but I have a feeling this will improve over the next year.

      • POY
        May 5, 2014

        Hi Andi,

        I’ve seen tutorials for people putting THL batteries into other chinaphones to get higher capacity. Do you know if there is either an extended battery and case for the W8/W8s or another brands battery with the same size form factor with higher capacity?

        I wish ZeroLemon made batteries for our phones!

        Thanks

  37. Zino
    December 16, 2013

    Nice article,

    Ive been looking for new phone for a while now. More and more brands are dropping the micro sd card slot which I really dont like. Some chinese OEM’s seem to offer some nice phones with sd card slot. The ZTE Nubia Z5S mini LTE version caught my eye, and it looks like a really good phone for me personally. Although there are still some minor obstacles in the way from me getting one:

    – Availability (I live in europe and I have no idea how to get my hands on one)

    – Quality build (I can imagine warranty cases can be a bit tricky with a foreign device)
    – Software support (not a lot of online support for things like rooting and installing custom roms)
    – Fakes (Ive heard of fake xiaomi mi2s if you order from the wrong store)
    – Good reviews of the phone! Most of the time I cant find any proper reviews of rather unknown devices
    – Compatibility in my country is another thing that im worried about

    It would be great if you guys could make a nice review of the Nubia Z5S / Mini. I havent been able to find one and it seems like they are both really decent devices!

    • Guest
      December 17, 2013

      Hi Andy,

      I am fully agree with zino. Nubia z5s is really nice phone with good specs. Could you please suggest from where I can get international version (India) and at reasonable price around 300$. Hardware wise I think it is also reliable. Please post your review and availability also.

    • Andi Sykes
      December 17, 2013

      If I get a chance to test it I will be sure to review it πŸ™‚

    • Guest
      December 17, 2013

      Please suggest any site to purchase the international version(India).

    • Guest
      December 18, 2013

      You could use

    • Guest
      December 18, 2013

      and choose the top rated reseller who ships to India. Yash Garg (he posts here often) had mentioned this in his reply to a similar query, a few months ago.

    • Guest
      December 21, 2013

      Hi king,

      May I know the member name of Yash Garg.

  38. dwayn
    December 16, 2013

    the only reason i buy chinese phones… is the price to performance ratio. nothing beats it is this aspect.

    • Multicorechina.com
      February 27, 2014

      +1000 and we can close this thread πŸ˜‰

  39. egoi7t
    December 16, 2013

    The reason I bought china phone a year ago (Tooky T83 for $110) is obviously the price. It was one of the cheapest phones with 800*480 IPS display those days with 5mp camera with autofocus and impressive 2500 mAh battery and Android 4.0. And don’t forget free shipping. The phones with the same specs cost 2.5 times more in my country (Russia). Of course it has an old Mediatek 6575 and only 512 RAM, but I don’t play games and for me the performance is great, no lags, every program I need works smoothly, except GPS, actually I do not understand that n-core marathon, except in terms of using FHD resoultion, but I do think it is excessive for phones, for me 720p is enough, give battery some life!

    Now I want to point out some negative tendencies in china phone industry nowdays.
    First, china phones became popular when you could buy for $200 a phone, that from a big brand cost $400-$600. But what I see now isn’t assuring. When I look at $300-400 china phones, I don’t get it. It is too risky for me to buy such a pricey phone without warranty. Not to mention it is not recommended for us in Russia to order phones in winter. The battery will die in post logistic centers in Siberia)))) Mine also died one third I think on the way.
    Second, the great plus for every china phone vs top branded was tf-card slot, now what we see in oppo, xiaomi etc? They are making no card slot popular, whaat?
    Third, in early days it was clean Android, now every company thinks that they are Google or Something and make their makeovers of Android, I don’t say they shouldn’t try but make it a downloadable option. I do not want to use your stupid pre-installed software that can’t be de-installed without root, cheez, that’s why I hate Samsung, Sony, and others.
    Cheers, gizchina readers.

  40. Chrispynutt
    December 16, 2013

    Hi Andi,

    Reasons why I am hesitant to by a Chinese phone.

    Updates: Either a phone is well supported by their parent company, but has no expandable storage or replaceable battery. Or they just abandon it.

    Why is this a problem? MTK don’t provide source code to the community, if a Quallcom or Nvidia chip device is abandoned there is still a hope that you might get a port to a new OS. If a phone ships with 4.2 you generally have that for the life of the phone.

    Learnt this the hard way with my Ainol Aurora.

    A thousand models with new ones out all the time. Not always true, but how can you expect a community to build up around a model when it will be outdated or updated with a couple of months. It fractures the community base, making updates and support far harder.

    Everyone follows everyone else. Whilst there are some interesting designs, generally high end phones are 5.3″, mid 4.5-5″ and low end below that. A couple of tablets in the mix. Doesn’t matter which from a thousand different makes they generally follow the same trend. No high end small devices unless they are iPhone clones and then you have a stupid overlay on Android and a device that looks like a clone.

    What can happen to fix this?

    Companies release flagship international phones, commit to updating 1 or 2 phone for at least a year.
    Marvell, Allwinner, etc release their own LTE chips with source code winning the community over.
    Companies partner with local retailers for rebranding and support. If FAEA approached Tesco to make a phone companion to the HUDL they would sell a ton in the UK and Tesco would provide the local presence.

    • Andi Sykes
      December 17, 2013

      Very good points! thanks for bringing them up. Lack of support is an issue, but I have a feeling this will improve over the next year.

    • POY
      May 5, 2014

      Hi Andi,

      I’ve seen tutorials for people putting THL batteries into other chinaphones to get higher capacity. Do you know if there is either an extended battery and case for the W8/W8s or another brands battery with the same size form factor with higher capacity?

      I wish ZeroLemon made batteries for our phones!

      Thanks

  41. tmxturuu
    December 18, 2013

    Im from Mongolia which has 2100mhz for 3G and basic 900mhz, 1800mhz for 2G so which ever phone i buy will work here with no problems except the TD-SCDMA. 1st. Price is the biggest reason to buy chinese phones, 2nd. Lately chinese companies like Xiaomi, Oppo are making competitive maybe better phones from spec perspective. but software side is still behind. 3rd. Because i live right next to China its much easier to buy low shipping addons.

  42. tmxturuu
    December 18, 2013

    Im from Mongolia which has 2100mhz for 3G and basic 900mhz, 1800mhz for 2G so which ever phone i buy will work here with no problems except the TD-SCDMA. 1st. Price is the biggest reason to buy chinese phones, 2nd. Lately chinese companies like Xiaomi, Oppo are making competitive maybe better phones from spec perspective. but software side is still behind. 3rd. Because i live right next to China its much easier to buy low shipping addons.

  43. jasneskis
    December 18, 2013

    Have two Chinese phones. One is a fake Note II. It was sold as quad core, but is only a dual core and the storage card does not work. Bad seller, not trust worthy from AliExpress.
    Second phone is a Jaiyu. It works great and I would buy that brand again.

    I want a 6″ to 7″ phablet phone now. I am waiting for the octacore to really get to all brands. Jaiyu doesn’t make a big phone yet so I’m looking for another brand. i need suggestions..
    I like the price of Chinese phones so i can play with them, I like the idea of the phone coming out where I can put my own logo on it. If it is a good phone, the right size, I will go for that phone.

  44. Guest
    December 19, 2013

    Have two Chinese phones. One is a fake Note II. It was sold as quad core, but is only a dual core and the storage card does not work. Bad seller, not trust worthy from AliExpress.
    Second phone is a Jaiyu. It works great and I would buy that brand again.

    I want a 6″ to 7″ phablet phone now. I am waiting for the octacore to really get to all brands. Jaiyu doesn’t make a big phone yet so I’m looking for another brand. i need suggestions..
    I like the price of Chinese phones so i can play with them, I like the idea of the phone coming out where I can put my own logo on it. If it is a good phone, the right size, I will go for that phone.

  45. Jon Lovett
    February 27, 2014

    Hi there,

    I know I’m about 2 month late to this thread, but can someone give me a pointer….

    I’m looking at the iNew V3, but I can’t find a case for it anywhere (that I like). There only 2 on Ebay UK. One’s studded with diamonds and looks like something that Elton John might like πŸ™‚
    The other is like the free one that included in the box when you buy the phone. Which I don’t like…

    Has anyone seen anything else any where??

  46. Jon Lovett
    February 27, 2014

    Hi there,

    I know I’m about 2 month late to this thread, but can someone give me a pointer….

    I’m looking at the iNew V3, but I can’t find a case for it anywhere (that I like). There only 2 on Ebay UK. One’s studded with diamonds and looks like something that Elton John might like πŸ™‚
    The other is like the free one that included in the box when you buy the phone. Which I don’t like…

    Has anyone seen anything else any where??

  47. Rahul S Deshpande
    March 4, 2014

    Andy if money was no object, which Chinese android phone would you buy in the 5″ form factor, something that behaves and looks ultra premium?

  48. Rahul S Deshpande
    March 4, 2014

    Andy if money was no object, which Chinese android phone would you buy in the 5″ form factor, something that behaves and looks ultra premium?

  49. Alim
    March 18, 2014

    Very good Andy. You’re wright.
    I’ve 2 mobile lines. a GSM for work use and a CDMA for private use. Being an expert in Chinese smart phones, Would you please nominate the best 3-5 phones that have:
    – CDMA+GSM dual sims dual standby.
    – 5.3-5.7 inch malty touch screen.
    – 16-32 GB Rom 2-3 GB Ram.
    – 8+ MB rear cam. 2+ front.
    – Android 4.2 or higher.
    – Other specs are not that important for but would be a plus.

    Eagerly waiting your replay with many thanks in advance.

  50. Guest
    March 19, 2014

    Very good Andy. You’re wright.
    I’ve 2 mobile lines. a GSM for work use and a CDMA for private use. Being an expert in Chinese smart phones, Would you please nominate the best 3-5 phones that have:
    – CDMA+GSM dual sims dual standby.
    – 5.3-5.7 inch malty touch screen.
    – 16-32 GB Rom 2-3 GB Ram.
    – 8+ MB rear cam. 2+ front.
    – Android 4.2 or higher.
    – Other specs are not that important for but would be a plus.

    Eagerly waiting your replay with many thanks in advance.

  51. nikola
    March 27, 2014

    Here is my guide if you are planing to buy a smartphone from China. The link is: geekify.tk/buy-chinese-smartphone/

  52. nikola
    March 27, 2014

    Here is my guide if you are planing to buy a smartphone from China. The link is: geekify.tk/buy-chinese-smartphone/

  53. Abdul Aziz
    May 29, 2014

    Hi,
    I bought a chinese tablet MTK6572 ACE I100 on 7th May 2014, it would have worked hardly for 5 days, thereafter it could not start properly and hanging at startup screen, so i took it to the vernder and so may repairing centre but every body refused to repair.

    My experience to the chinese product is absolutely horrible.
    Please let me know my tab can be repaired.

    Thanks in advance,
    Abdul Aziz

  54. Guest
    May 29, 2014

    Hi,
    I bought a chinese tablet MTK6572 ACE I100 on 7th May 2014, it would have worked hardly for 5 days, thereafter it could not start properly and hanging at startup screen, so i took it to the vernder and so may repairing centre but every body refused to repair.

    My experience to the chinese product is absolutely horrible.
    Please let me know my tab can be repaired.

    Thanks in advance,
    Abdul Aziz

  55. drsleep
    June 19, 2014

    Where can I get backup batteries for a S5 clone.Fastcardtech only ship one per order now.Claiming Customs are getting strict

  56. Guest
    June 19, 2014

    Where can I get backup batteries for a S5 clone.Fastcardtech only ship one per order now.Claiming Customs are getting strict

  57. jeo thomas
    July 17, 2014

    Hi Andi, what do you think about goophone? Is it a good idea to go for i? Would I face issues with warranty in India

    • July 18, 2014

      I would not recommend buying one

  58. jeo thomas
    July 17, 2014

    Hi Andi, what do you think about goophone? Is it a good idea to go for i? Would I face issues with warranty in India

    • Andi Sykes
      July 18, 2014

      I would not recommend buying one

  59. tricker
    August 20, 2014

    all made in china products are poor

    • jodieisme
      March 26, 2016

      Yeah, well then, say that to apple inc please..
      Most of their devices are made IN CHINA..

  60. Guest
    August 20, 2014

    all made in china products are poor

    • jodieisme
      March 26, 2016

      Yeah, well then, say that to apple inc please..
      Most of their devices are made IN CHINA..

  61. vlamark@serbia.eu
    November 3, 2014

    What should I say,
    lenovo P780. Excelent phone, half the price of the popular devices, battery 4Ah (2-4 days of usage), dual SIM, waranty, design, semi metal casing, supported by 3rd party developers. model for Chinese market can be bought for about 160 USD. If flashed with (slightly modified) European ROM, you get device almost the same as European market version (worth 300 USD). I’m using it 4 months, no glitch, on the other hand, my friend with S4 has several times used factory reset believing that it is going to make his phone stable.

  62. Guest
    November 3, 2014

    What should I say,
    lenovo P780. Excelent phone, half the price of the popular devices, battery 4Ah (2-4 days of usage), dual SIM, waranty, design, semi metal casing, supported by 3rd party developers. model for Chinese market can be bought for about 160 USD. If flashed with (slightly modified) European ROM, you get device almost the same as European market version (worth 300 USD). I’m using it 4 months, no glitch, on the other hand, my friend with S4 has several times used factory reset believing that it is going to make his phone stable.

  63. Chris
    November 14, 2014

    I’m planning to buy either this year or next year vivo xshot.Do vivo keep their phones updated?
    Extra : I can buy officially because I live in Indonesia where Chinese manufactures are more common than in the western market,so i’m not worried about the warranty and network bands.

  64. Guest
    November 14, 2014

    I’m planning to buy either this year or next year vivo xshot.Do vivo keep their phones updated?
    Extra : I can buy officially because I live in Indonesia where Chinese manufactures are more common than in the western market,so i’m not worried about the warranty and network bands.

  65. chitetskoy
    April 2, 2015

    The problem of any China gadget or even electronic devices (including the CCTV DVRs), probably with the exception of Lenovo, is the lack of technical or even driver support. Seen problems with numerous Chinese products on that.

  66. chitetskoy
    April 2, 2015

    The problem of any China gadget or even electronic devices (including the CCTV DVRs), probably with the exception of Lenovo, is the lack of technical or even driver support. Seen problems with numerous Chinese products on that.

  67. A man with a brain
    April 3, 2015

    “Design and innovation” yeah right.. All I see is a rip off from brands like Apple or Sony. For example, Xiaomi blatantly keeps copying Apple and Huawei copies Sony Xperia in their Ascend series.

    • NoWay0303
      January 29, 2016

      lol, and Apple, Sony, Samsung rip off your money with overpriced cps. Admittedly, some of the design of china phones were inspired by Apple, Samsung, Sony, etc… but there is nothing wrong with that and some spare parts of samsung and sony are china made and even iPhone is actually “made in china”. Your just a hater, that’s all…

      • Johnny Chan
        April 6, 2016

        Hes not a hater and your are dumb.

        Not sure if you have studied commerce or that matters. No doubt mainstream phones are overpriced in comparison to China phones. Yet everyone has common sense knows something called R&D – research and development fees which costs millions or billions and these companies trying to get back their money the spent on develop phones. Though I do agree on apple sucking too much money caz their hardware’s too slow with such high price.

        Yes phones are made in China, that’s bcaz they wanna have low factory rent fees and Labor fee to coupe with their massive output – again, on R&D.

        These ppl are shameful enough to sell things mocking others. Yes they are cheap caz they didn’t spend a penny on employing designers, engineers etc.

        Yea right, you call ppl respect intellectual property haters. Disgraceful of ppl support these cheap phones because they are cheap. And China doesn’t care for intellectual property.

        If you spend yrs trying to invent something, and ppl just take your ideas and sell them. Then you start talking.

      • Johnny Chan
        April 6, 2016

        Not sure if you have studied commerce or that matters. No doubt mainstream phones are overpriced in comparison to China phones. Yet everyone has common sense knows something called R&D – research and development fees which costs millions or billions and these companies trying to get back their money the spent on develop phones. Though I do agree on apple sucking too much money caz their hardware’s too slow with such high price.

        Yes phones are made in China, that’s bcaz they wanna have low factory rent fees and Labor fee to coupe with their massive output – again, on R&D.

        These ppl are shameful enough to sell things mocking others. Yes they are cheap caz they didn’t spend a penny on employing designers, engineers etc.

        Yea right, you can call ppl respect intellectual property haters. Disgraceful of ppl support these cheap phones because they are cheap. And China doesn’t care for intellectual property.

        If you spend yrs trying to invent something, and ppl just take your ideas and sell them. Then you start talking.

    • Johnny Chan
      April 6, 2016

      Not sure if you have studied commerce or that matters. No doubt mainstream phones are overpriced in comparison to China phones. Yet everyone has common sense knows something called R&D – research and development fees which costs millions or billions and these companies trying to get back their money the spent on develop phones. Though I do agree on apple sucking too much money caz their hardware’s too slow with such high price.

      Yes phones are made in China, that’s bcaz they wanna have low factory rent fees and Labor fee to coupe with their massive output – again, on R&D.

      These ppl are shameful enough to sell things mocking others. Yes they are cheap caz they didn’t spend a penny on employing designers, engineers etc.

      Yea right, you can call ppl respect intellectual property haters. Disgraceful of ppl support these cheap phones because they are cheap. And China doesn’t care for intellectual property.

      If you spend yrs trying to invent something, and ppl just take your ideas and sell them. Then you start talking.

  68. Guest
    April 3, 2015

    “Design and innovation” yeah right.. All I see is a rip off from brands like Apple or Sony. For example, Xiaomi blatantly keeps copying Apple and Huawei copies Sony Xperia in their Ascend series.

    • NoWay0303
      January 29, 2016

      lol, and Apple, Sony, Samsung rip off your money with overpriced cps. Admittedly, some of the design of china phones were inspired by Apple, Samsung, Sony, etc… but there is nothing wrong with that and some spare parts of samsung and sony are china made and even iPhone is actually “made in china”. Your just a hater, that’s all…

    • Johnny Chan
      April 6, 2016

      Not sure if you have studied commerce or that matters. No doubt mainstream phones are overpriced in comparison to China phones. Yet everyone has common sense knows something called R&D – research and development fees which costs millions or billions and these companies trying to get back their money the spent on develop phones. Though I do agree on apple sucking too much money caz their hardware’s too slow with such high price.

      Yes phones are made in China, that’s bcaz they wanna have low factory rent fees and Labor fee to coupe with their massive output – again, on R&D.

      These ppl are shameful enough to sell things mocking others. Yes they are cheap caz they didn’t spend a penny on employing designers, engineers etc.

      Yea right, you can call ppl respect intellectual property haters. Disgraceful of ppl support these cheap phones because they are cheap. And China doesn’t care for intellectual property.

      If you spend yrs trying to invent something, and ppl just take your ideas and sell them. Then you start talking.

  69. Zaeyou Cui
    January 29, 2016

    I am definitely different cause I have been a fan of a different brand which was not mentioned above. And it is HUAWEI. You will never ever regret buying their latest phones and even the previous year/s units. I have owned Honor 6+ before and was completely satisfied. I got what I need and I love the simplicity of their software/UI and camera. ALSO, if you buy one from China, one thing that I love the most is having a VIP Gold member card(Which apparently, I dont know if the free repair will also work here in our country). I can confirm all of these because I own their latest smartphone HUAWEI MATE 8. πŸ˜‰ <3 Cheers

  70. Zaeyou Cui
    January 29, 2016

    I am definitely different cause I have been a fan of a different brand which was not mentioned above. And it is HUAWEI. You will never ever regret buying their latest phones and even the previous year/s units. I have owned Honor 6+ before and was completely satisfied. I got what I need and I love the simplicity of their software/UI and camera. ALSO, if you buy one from China, one thing that I love the most is having a VIP Gold member card(Which apparently, I dont know if the free repair will also work here in our country). I can confirm all of these because I own their latest smartphone HUAWEI MATE 8. πŸ˜‰ <3 Cheers

  71. Lars Andersson
    August 11, 2016

    I have one Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 Prime as I use as a mobile 4G Internet Server and Wi-Fi modem (802.11ac, dual-band 2.4 and 5 MHz, Cat4 150/50 Mbps) serving my ASUS desktop computer, Lenovo surftablet and my new Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro with Internet connections via Wi-Fi.

  72. Guest
    August 11, 2016

    I have one Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 Prime as I use as a mobile 4G Internet Server and Wi-Fi modem (802.11ac, dual-band 2.4 and 5 MHz, Cat4 150/50 Mbps) serving my ASUS desktop computer, Lenovo surftablet and my new Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro with Internet connections via Wi-Fi.

  73. January 16, 2017

    cool

  74. Renan xD
    January 16, 2017

    cool

  75. netsurfer912
    April 20, 2017

    Possible reasons to not buy one:
    – less polished software
    – it might spy on you
    – if something goes wrong the chances you can fix it are slim
    – few or no custom ROMs, possibly not even a way to root

    However I don’t disagree with the reasons listed in the article. The value for the money is certainly great.

  76. netsurfer912
    April 20, 2017

    Possible reasons to not buy one:
    – less polished software
    – it might spy on you
    – if something goes wrong the chances you can fix it are slim
    – few or no custom ROMs, possibly not even a way to root

    However I don’t disagree with the reasons listed in the article. The value for the money is certainly great.