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.

Read Also:  Top 5 Best Smartphones for Under $150 – July 2022

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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29 Comments

  1. balcobomber25
    September 17, 2017

    I would swap out the Honor 9 for the Oppo R11. I have been using one for about a few weeks. I have never liked OPPO in the past but this phone is starting to win me over. The SD660 is very powerful and efficient, you will never know you don’t have a SD8XX chip until you look at the spec sheet.

    • NextHype
      September 18, 2017

      +1
      Only disppointment is lack of B20 but its what you get buying an Oppo device
      Have you tried its camera, Balco ?

      • balcobomber25
        September 18, 2017

        The camera is typical of every OPPO phone I have used, it’s not amazing but it’s very good. Overall it’s a very good phone, the only things I don’t like about is I have never been a huge fan of ColorOs and I hate the design, it’s just too bland and boring for me.

        • NextHype
          September 19, 2017

          OK thanks.
          You don’t use Nova or another app to tune your OS to your taste ?

          • balcobomber25
            September 19, 2017

            No, I am honestly not a fan of app drawers or launchers.

  2. Akif
    September 17, 2017

    What about Zuk Z2 Pro? The best you can get for your money.

    • FritsK
      September 17, 2017

      Indeed, great device. Too had the white and gold makes it look rubbish. I can’t understand why there is no black version of it anymore.

    • Louis Mario
      September 18, 2017

      Maybe because is discontinued, but sure is a great device for the money

  3. balcobomber25
    September 17, 2017

    I would swap out the Honor 9 for the Oppo R11. I have been using one for about a few weeks. I have never liked OPPO in the past but this phone is starting to win me over. The SD660 is very powerful and efficient, you will never know you don’t have a SD8XX chip until you look at the spec sheet.

    • NextHype
      September 18, 2017

      +1
      Only disppointment is lack of B20 but its what you get buying an Oppo device
      Have you tried its camera, Balco ?

    • balcobomber25
      September 18, 2017

      The camera is typical of every OPPO phone I have used, it’s not amazing but it’s very good. Overall it’s a very good phone, the only things I don’t like about is I have never been a huge fan of ColorOs and I hate the design, it’s just too bland and boring for me.

    • NextHype
      September 19, 2017

      OK thanks.
      You don’t use Nova or another app to tune your OS to your taste ?

    • balcobomber25
      September 19, 2017

      No, I am honestly not a fan of app drawers or launchers.

  4. Akif
    September 17, 2017

    What about Zuk Z2 Pro? The best you can get for your money.

    • FritsK
      September 17, 2017

      Indeed, great device. Too had the white and gold makes it look rubbish. I can’t understand why there is no black version of it anymore.

    • Louis Mario
      September 18, 2017

      Maybe because is discontinued, but sure is a great device for the money

  5. Faress ElFarissi
    September 17, 2017

    I came here , and nubia z17 the top in my mind , and it is .
    The list lis perfect.

  6. sryudotcom
    September 18, 2017

    Please add Oppo R11, Oppo R11 Plus, Vivo X9s, Vivo X9s Plus, Vivo X20, Vivo Xplay 6 to the list

  7. Faress ElFarissi
    September 18, 2017

    I came here , and nubia z17 the top in my mind , and it is .
    The list lis perfect.

  8. sryudotcom
    September 18, 2017

    Please add Oppo R11, Oppo R11 Plus, Vivo X9s, Vivo X9s Plus, Vivo X20, Vivo Xplay 6 to the list

    • Louis Mario
      September 18, 2017
    • Louis Mario
      September 18, 2017

      Unfortunately the xplay 6 is over USD$600

  9. LifelessNewt
    September 18, 2017

    Mi Note 2 is getting a really good price.

  10. LifelessNewt
    September 18, 2017

    Mi Note 2 is getting a really good price.

  11. Daisy Guo
    September 19, 2017

    Why not add NOMU S10 Pro. It is the best smartphone I have ever used.

  12. Daisy Guo
    September 19, 2017

    Why not add NOMU S10 Pro. It is the best smartphone I have ever used.

  13. Jonny Terrel
    September 27, 2017

    El Nomu S10 Pro hace su presentación oficial en video, véanlo está genial, http://www.htcmania.com/showthread.php?t=1353547 !