The top 5 Chinese smartphones for under $500 list is pretty much the best selection of devices the Asian country has to offer as they rarely go above the $500 mark. In this list we’ve tried to include newer and few older handsets that are still very relevant in the market. Let’s check them out!
Top 5 Chinese Smartphones for Under $500
Huawei Honor 9
Let’s begin with probably one of the best smartphones you can get at the moment, although a bit pricey, we’re talking about the Huawei Honor 9. The smartphone has been announced only a few days back and if it’s anything like what the Honor 8 was like when it came out, then we’re pretty sure the Honor 9 will succeed in many markets.
The Huawei Honor 9 is powered by the home baked Huawei HiSilicon KIRIN 960 CPU clocked at 2.4GHz, a whopping 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD).
The phone sports a dual camera setup with the primary camera being 12MP and the secondary 20MP and only black&white, these two shooters will definitely produce really high quality photographs. The front-facing camera has a resolution of 8MP and a wide F/2.0 aperture.
Huawei’s Honor 9 comes with a 5.15-inch Full HD OLED display, it packs a 3200mAh battery and runs Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box.
Xiaomi Mi 6
Launched in the month of April the Mi 6 is Xiaomi’s flagship of 2017, at least for the time being. The beautifully crafted handset features the latest and powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset, 6GB of RAM and a whopping 128GB of internal storage (and yes, it’s still under $500!).
The phone sports a 5.15-inch Full HD IPS display embedded in a full metal body, where we also find the two 12MP cameras on the back with OIS (optical image stabilization) and optical zoom (on the second lens). The front-facing camera has instead a resolution of 8.0MP.
The Xiaomi Mi 6 supports 4G LTE connectivity for lots of bands, sadly no band 20 yet though. The built-in battery is 3350mAh and the phone runs MIUI 8 based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat.
The Nubia Z17 is the latest flagship from the Chinese company headquartered in Shenzhen. As such it sports all the best hardware currently on the market, going from the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 to the new flagship standard of 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage (non expandable).
The Nubia handset isn’t just powerful though, it’s beautiful as well. It comes with a stunning 5.5-inch Full HD dual curved display and a premium looking full metal body, with a red ring around the two cameras on the back to give it a somewhat unique look.
Since we’re talking about cameras, the Nubia Z17 isn’t shy in that department, the manufacturer has indeed put an high res 23MP camera as primary, with OIS and F/2.0 aperture, and a secondary 12MP shooter with 2x optical zoom to create photos with a shallow depth of field. Meanwhile on the front we find an high megapixel count 16MP selfie camera with F/2.0 aperture.
The Nubia Z17 supports most 4G LTE networks, including band 20, it packs a 3200mAh battery and runs Android 7.0 out of the box.
Xiaomi Mi Max 2
It wouldn’t be a “top Chinese smartphones” list without at least two Xiaomi devices in it. This time we’re talking about the Xiaomi Mi Max 2, the handset launched about 1 month ago is probably the best phablet currently around and it won’t dry your wallet neither.
The Mi Max 2 shines for its outstanding autonomy, given by the big 5300mAh battery and super power efficient — albeit a bit controversial — Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 CPU, the 6.44-inch display is also “only” Full HD, so there isn’t any unnecessary drainage of battery.
The Xiaomi handset comes with 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, a 12MP camera on the back with 4K recording capabilities and a 5MP front-facing shooter. The Xiaomi Mi Max 2 works on 4G LTE networks but there’s no band 20 support.
Here‘s our review of the Xiaomi Mi Max 2
Albeit already discontinued (except in India), the OnePlus 3T is still available from many Chinese online retailers and thus earns a spot in this list. The so called “flagship-killer” still features pretty overkill hardware even by today’s standards.
It’s indeed powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chipset and paired up with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage (non expandable). In the camera department we find the good Sony IMX298 16MP image sensor with OIS and F/2.0 aperture, meanwhile the selfie shooter is a Samsung 3P8SP with also 16MP resolution.
The OnePlus 3T supports most 4G LTE networks around the world, including band 20, it packs a relatively big 3400mAh battery and runs Android 7.0 Nougat our of the box.
Here are some more handsets that have been left out but are still great alternatives under the $500 mark:
- LeEco Le Pro 3 X720 with 5.5″ FHD Display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 CPU, 6GB RAM and 64GB Storage (non expandable), Band 20 supported;
- Coolpad Cool Play 6 with 5.5″ FHD Display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 653 CPU. 6GB RAM and 64GB Storage (non expandable), Band 20 not supported;
- Huawei P10 (if you find the right deal) with 5.1″ FHD Display, Huawei HiSilicon KIRIN 960 CPU, 6GB RAM and 64GB Storage (expandable), Band 20 supported;
Top 5 Chinese Smartphones for Under $500
This concludes our list and we hope your found your next flagship phone! If want you to spend a lot less than $500 then have a look at our “Top 5 Chinese Smartphones for Under $200” or “Top 5 Chinese Smartphones for Under $100” lists.
Drop a comment below to let us know what your think about the list!