Top 5 Chinese Smartphones for Under $500 – January 2018


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While our list hasn’t changed too much from the past month, we feel like these below are some of the best selection of handsets we’ve ever had in this price range. Interested? Then keep reading to find out what we believe are the top 5 Chinese smartphones for under $500!

Top 5 Chinese Smartphones for Under $500

1. OnePlus 5T

oneplus 5t

The OnePlus 5T is still the undisputed flagship killer of 2017 and probably a large part of 2018 as well, at least until the OnePlus 6 comes out. The smartphone sports a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor paired with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage as well as the trendy “full-screen” design with very slim top and bottom bezels.

The display on the OnePlus 5T is a large 6.01-inch Full Optic AMOLED with an 80.5% screen-to-body ratio and 18:9 aspect. In the camera department, we have a 16MP main shooter with F/1.7 and a secondary 20MP sporting the same wide aperture, the latter is used in low light situations. On the front, we find a 16MP snapper for high resolution selfies.

Lastly, battery capacity is 3300mAh with super fast Dash Charge support (20W), it runs OxygenOS based Android 7.1.1 Nougat OS and works on pretty much any 4G LTE network around the globe.

2. Xiaomi Mi6

Xiaomi Mi6

At almost a year from its launch, the Xiaomi Mi6 is still one of the best phones you can get for under $500, coming with a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 CPU, as well as 6GB of RAM and a whopping 128GB of internal storage – all of this while staying below the aforementioned price tag.

The Mi6 is also a great option for those looking for a smaller device as it sports a 5.15-inch Full HD display. Xiaomi’s phone features two cameras on the back, with a primary 12MP shooter with F/1.8 aperture and OIS, accompanied by another 12MP telephoto camera. Using the two of them you’ll be able to create photos with a shallow depth of field effect when in portrait mode.

The Xiaomi Mi6 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.

3. Nubia Z17S

Nubia Z17S

This month the latest Nubia Z17S takes the place of the older Z17 as it packs pretty much the same hardware, including a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, while sporting 2017’s full screen design on a large 5.73-inch panel with 1080x2040px resolution and ultra-thin side bezels.

Nubia’s Z17S comes with two rear cameras which are a 12.2MP shooter with F/1.8 aperture and OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) for the primary and a secondary 23MP snapper with a B&W sensor. The selfie camera has a resolution of 5MP and is accompanied by another 5MP secondary shooter.

The smartphone packs a 3100mAh capacity battery, with Quick Charge 3.0 support, it features NFC but there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack. 4G LTE connectivity works on pretty much any network around the world.

If you don’t really care about the “full screen” design and the thin side bezels, then the plain Z17 might be a better option as you can get the 8GB RAM or 128GB storage variants at around the same price.

4. Honor View 10

honor view 10

The Honor View 10 is a real flagship phone coming at a relatively affordable price. We call it flagship as it actually shares a lot of the hardware present on the much more expensive ($800) Huawei Mate 10 Pro while costing almost half of that. The Honor View 10 is indeed powered by the same Huawei HiSilicon KIRIN 970 octa-core CPU paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage (expandable).

Honor’s phone comes with a large 5.99″ FHD+ display, a main 16MP rear camera with an F/1.8 wide aperture and a secondary 20MP B&W shooter. Meanwhile at the front we find an high res 13MP selfie snapper with F/2.0 aperture and face recognition.

The View 10 is fueled by a decently sized 3750mAh capacity battery with Huawei Super Charge 3.0 support, runs Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box and works on various 4G networks, but band 20 isn’t among them.

5. Oppo R11s

Oppo R11s

Finally, the Oppo R11s is back on our top 5 list for its overall good compromise between design, specs, cameras quality and price. The smartphone packs a big 6.01-inch AMOLED FHD+ display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, coated in Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and surrounded by very slim top and bottom bezels. Under the hood we find a mid-range – but still powerful for most users – Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 CPU, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage.

Camera wise, the Oppo R11s is equipped with a main 16MP Sony IMX398 rocking a wide F/1.7 aperture and a secondary 20MP Sony IMX350 telephoto camera featuring the same F/1.7 aperture; meanwhile the selfie snapper has 20MP resolution and F/2.0 aperture. The smartphone can shoot 4K videos at 30fps or slow-motion ones at up to 120fps.

The R11s packs a 3205mAh capacity battery and supports a plethora of 4G LTE networks, but unfortunately it does not feature band 20.

Top 5 Chinese Smartphones for Under $500

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What do you guys think of our picks for the month of January? Would you have chosen differently? Let us know in the comments section below with your constructive feedback for us and fellow readers!

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

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