Top 5 Chinese Smartphones for Under $500 – August 2018

Best Chinese Smartphones

Welcome back to our monthly rendezvous with the top 5 best smartphones you can currently get out of China in the month of August! Yes, we know, there are probably better phones out there, but why would you spend more than $500 on a phone when you can get some really impressive handsets for less than that? With that in mind, let’s check out one of the best selection of phones we’ve ever seen in this category!

Top 5 Chinese Smartphones for Under $500

1. Xiaomi Mi 8

Xiaomi Mi 8

At just over two months since its official launch, the Xiaomi Mi 8 is finally able to join our list with a price tag of under $500. Xiaomi’s latest 6.21-inch flagship is a beast of a phone powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC along with 6GB of RAM and either 64GB, 128GB or even 256GB for some extra bucks.

Its great cameras are another selling point for the Mi 8. Coming with two 12MP rear cameras and a large F/1.8 aperture, the phone is able to snap some impressive photos. We then also find an high-res 20MP shooter on the front for high quality selfies.

The Xiaomi Mi 8 comes with a good sized 3400mAh battery, an infrared face scanner to unlock the phone and runs MIUI 10 based on Android 8 Oreo.

2. Xiaomi Mi Max 3

mi max 3

Launched around a month back, the Xiaomi Mi Max 3 is hands-down one of the best devices for under $500. For about $250 you do indeed get a good looking phone with a massive 6.9-inch, a power efficient Snapdragon 636 CPU and an insane 5500mAh capacity battery, for that alone you could consider getting this handset. If you’re willing to spend around $100 more, you can even afford the variant with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage (which is expandable as well).

Other specs on the Mi Max 3 include a 12MP + 5MP rear camera setup with F/1.9 aperture, an 8MP selfie snapper which supports Face ID, a headphone jack and Bluetooth 5.0 LE.

Xiaomi’s Mi Max 3 large battery can be fast charged at 9V/2A 18W using Quick Charge 3.0, while it runs MIUI 9.5 based on Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box.

3. Honor 10

honor 10

Another great option for under $500 is the latest Honor 10. The handset comes with a really powerful Huawei HiSilicon KIRIN 970 along with 6GB of RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of storage (both expandable and at less than $500).

The Honor 10 then features a 5.84-inch FHD+ IPS display, a Leica Dual camera “3.0” composed of a main 16MP image sensor with F/1.8 aperture and OIS, plus a secondary 24MP shooter. Meanwhile at the front we have another 24MP selfie snapper with F/2.0 aperture.

Honor’s phone is fueled by a 3400mAh capacity, sports NFC and runs Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box.

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4. Asus ZENFONE 5Z

As prices have dropped for the better performing Asus Zenfone 5Z, we’ve preferred this option over the older Zenfone 5. Asus’ phone does indeed come with some pretty powerful hardware including a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage that is anyhow expandable.

The smartphone then sports a large 6.2-inch FHD+ display, above it we find an 8MP selfie snapper, meanwhile on the back there’s a dual camera setup comprised of a main 12MP snapper with F/1.8 plus OIS and a secondary 8MP.

The Asus ZenFone 5Z packs a good 3300mAh capacity battery, runs Android 8.0 Oreo and supports Global 4G LTE connectivity.

5. OnePlus 6

Coming at around $500 we have one of the best handsets you can get out of China if you love an almost stock Android experience – the OnePlus 6. OnePlus’ latest handset is equipped with the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 along with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, which fuel the large 6.28-inch 2280 x 1080 19:9 AMOLED display.

On the camera front, we find a 16.0MP + 20.0MP rear camera combo with optical image stabilization, and a 16MP selfie shooter.

The smartphone packs a good sized 3300mAh capacity battery and runs OxygenOS based on Android 8.1 Oreo.

Honorable Mention – Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S

Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S

The Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S has been slowly dropping in price, finally going under $500 and making it one of the best phones in this price range. Xiaomi’s tri-bezel-less phone is powered by a beastly Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 CPU along with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage for an incredibly smooth user experience.

The rear shooters are a main 12MP with F/1.8 aperture and a secondary 12MP sensor with telephoto lens, the smartphone also supports dual pixel technology for super quick autofocus and OIS (optical image stabilization). Meanwhile selfies are handles by a 5MP snapper with F/2.0 aperture and 1.2μm big pixels.

Finally, the Mi MIX 2S packs a 3400mAh battery, supports wireless charging, 4G connectivity and runs MIUI based on Android 8.0 Oreo.

Top 5 Chinese Smartphones for Under $500

Best Chinese Smartphones

This is it for the month of August, hopefully you have found your next daily driver among our picks. If you didn’t and you’d have suggested other options, then let us know in the comments below!

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. Lazar Prodanovic
    August 16, 2018

    A) Asus doesn’t really qualify for Chinese goods,
    B) Meizu 16 Pro & 16 should be on the first two spots.

    • Pierre GizChina
      August 16, 2018

      Well, they’re a Taiwanese company, which is technically China.

      I agree on the Meizu 16th and 16th Plus, two great phones but they’re currently really hard to get. I’ll make sure to add them next month!