Top 5 Chinese Smartphones for Under $500 – March 2018

Best Chinese Smartphones

The MWC just wrapped up a couple weeks back but, sadly enough, it didn’t bring us any new additions to our list – as far as Chinese smartphones go. So, in the wait of the much rumored devices that are going to be launched by Xiaomi and other bigs by the end of the month, we will now list what are currently the top 5 phones from China you can get for less than $500!

Top 5 Chinese Smartphones for Under $500

1. OnePlus 5T

oneplus 5t

Launched in November of 2017, the OnePlus 5T is still one of the best smartphones you can get from China, period. The handset packs a flagship-level Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor paired with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage as well as the trendy 18:9 aspect ratio and “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, 5T’s battery capacity is 3300mAh and it can be fast charged at 20W through Dash Charge. The phone runs OxygenOS based on Android 8.0 Oreo and works on pretty much any 4G LTE network around the globe.

2. Xiaomi Mi6

Xiaomi Mi6

Still on the list – hopefully not for much, replaced by a Mi7 – we have the Xiaomi Mi6. Xiaomi’s device is still one of the best phones you can get for under $500, coming with a greatly performing 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 comes with a good sized 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

The latest Nubia Z17S also keeps his spot on this list as one of the best looking and powerful devices currently on the market. The handset comes with a flagship 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 the “full screen” design and the thin side bezels aren’t a priority for you, 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.

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4. Honor View 10

honor view 10

The Honor View 10 is Huawei’s flagship running on the Chinese SoC. The handset does share a lot of the hardware present on the much more expensive ($800) Huawei Mate 10 Pro while coming at almost half the price. 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 nicely sized 3750mAh capacity battery that supports 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. Xiaomi Mi Note 3

Xiaomi Mi Note 3

Albeit not a “true flagship”, the Xiaomi Mi Note 3 earns a spot on the list for its great compromise between build quality, specs and price (at around $300). Xiaomi’s latest phone in the Mi Note series does indeed come with a good performing Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 CPU along with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage (expandable).

Camera wise, the Mi Note 3 is equipped with a dual 12MP setup that has been proven to be one of the best shooters on the Android side (according to DxO Mark). The camera also comes with an F/1.7 aperture, 4K video recording, OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) and 120fps slow motion capability. Meanwhile the selfie snapper boasts a high 16MP resolution.

The Xiaomi Mi Note 3 packs a 3500mAh capacity battery and runs MIUI V9 based on Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box.

Top 5 Chinese Smartphones for Under $500

Best Chinese Smartphones

In conclusion, above you have five formidable phones that will definitely make any owner happy. Sure, they aren’t the latest and greatest but they do cost less than $500 and will provide a smooth Android experience along with great quality images. If you aren’t happy with our picks though, let us know down below what other phone you’ve liked to see on the list. That said, next month will most likely be filled with many new entries, hopefully. See you in around 30 days!

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

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  1. Shad8x .
    March 15, 2018

    What about list of smartphones under 300$ and 400$ ? :/ Its a pretty big jump from 200$ to 500$ ya know, thats why mid-range phones exist, not just budget and flagship.

  2. Dave White
    March 15, 2018

    All old phones except the Honor. This list will be redundant in about two months.