Top 5 Chinese Smartphones for Under $500 – September 2017


Our top 5 list for the month of September doesn’t vary to much from the last one, as most Chinese phone manufacturers seem to have been resting during the warm months of summer. That doesn’t mean the handsets on this list are any less good than before, so with that out of the way, let’s have a look at the best Chinese smartphones for under $500!

Top 5 Chinese Smartphones for Under $500

1. Nubia Z17

The Nubia Z17 is one of the most complete Chinese smartphones out in the market and it does that costing slightly less than its closest rival – the OnePlus 5. Nubia’s handset is indeed powered by a beastly Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 together with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage.

The two rear cameras are a 23MP shooter with F/1.8 aperture and OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) for the primary and a secondary 12MP with 2X optical zoom. The selfie camera can snap 16MP photos, sports a BSI sensor and F/2.0 wide aperture.

The Nubia Z17 comes with a big 5.5-inch Full HD IPS display coated in 2.5D glass, a 3200mAh battery (compatible with Quick Charge 4.0) and 4G LTE connectivity with band 20 support. The only downside of the phone is the lack of an headphone jack, but you can use adapters or Bluetooth earphones to solve the problem.

2. OnePlus 5

OnePlus 5

You probably don’t need us to tell you why the OnePlus 5 is an amazing phone, but just in case, here’s a quick recap.

The OnePlus 5 is the latest flagship-killer launched by the rapidly growing Chinese phone maker – OnePlus. The smartphone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage.

OnePlus’s handset features a dual camera combo on the back composed of a 16MP Sony IMX398 with F/1.7 aperture and a secondary 20MP shooter with telephoto lens; the selfie snapper at the front is also high res at 16MP and has a wide aperture of F/2.0.

The handset comes with the same 5.5-inch Full HD Amoled display from the past year, a 3000mAh capacity battery with Dash Charge 5V 4A support, it runs Android 7.0 Nougat and works on pretty much any 4G LTE network around the globe.

3. Xiaomi Mi 6

Xiaomi Mi 6 Black

It wouldn’t be a Chinese smartphones list without a Xiaomi device, so here we have the Xiaomi Mi 6.

The handset features the same powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 CPU we saw on the OnePlus 5, as well as 6GB of RAM and a whopping 128GB of internal storage – all of that for less than $500.

Xiaomi’s smartphone is slightly smaller at 5.15-inch screen size and below it we find a fingerprint scanner beneath a layer of glass. The Mi 6 also comes with two cameras on the back of the phone, with a primary 12MP shooter with F/1.8 aperture and OIS, accompanied by another 12MP telephone camera. Using the two of them you’ll be able to create photos with a shallow depth of field effect when in portrait mode.

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The Xiaomi Mi 6 packs a 3350mAh battery which supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 technology and it supports 4G LTE networks, but there’s no band 20 support.

4. Huawei Honor 9

Huawei Honor 9

Another absolutely compelling 5.15-inch device is Huawei’s Honor 9. The Chinese smartphone is powered by a really good performing Huawei HiSilicon KIRIN 960 CPU coupled with 6GB of RAM and a whopping 128GB of internal storage (expandable).

Following the trend Huawei have been pushing for more than a year now, the Honor 9 comes with a fancy dual camera setup composed of a 12MP primary camera with F/2.2 aperture and a secondary 20MP black and white shooter, which will capture more details and add the to the photos; the front-facing camera has a resolution of 8MP and a wide F/2.0 aperture.

The Huawei Honor 9 features a good sized 3200mAh battery, supports 4G LTE but no band 20 and runs Android 7.0 Nougat OTB.

5. Xiaomi Mi Note 2

Xiaomi Mi Note 2

Here’s a smartphone you probably didn’t expect to see after almost 1 year from its official launch – the Xiaomi Mi Note 2. With the launch of the somewhat disappointing Mi Note 3 – which features an underwhelming Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 and a boring design – the more powerful and – in our opinion – better looking Mi Note 2 is dropping in price, making it a really appealing option.

The handset is powered by a still great performing Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, 6GB of RAM and either 64GB of 128GB of internal storage (they’re both under $500!).

Other than that, we find a beautiful 5.7-inch OLED panel produced by LG, a 22.5MP Sony IMX318 rear camera with F/2.0 aperture, 4K and 120fps video capability, and an 8.0MP front facing shooter with F/2.0 aperture as well.

Xiaomi’s Mi Note 2 comes with a good sized 4070mAh battery, Quick Charge 3.0 support and in its Global version supports pretty much any 4G LTE network around the world.

Top 5 Chinese Smartphones for Under $500 – Conclusion

This concludes our September’s top 5 Chinese smartphones monthly list. Do you guys agree with our picks, or would you have preferred seeing any other device? Let us know in the comments below!

If you want to spend much less than $500, check out our under $200 and under $100 buying guides!

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