Top 5 Chinese Smartphones for Under $500 – September 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 September! 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 Pocophone F1

Xiaomi Pocophone F1

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past month, then you’ll not be surprised finding the Xiaomi Pocophone F1 on this list. Xiaomi’s latest flagship killer does indeed pack some of the best hardware on the market, while costing a fraction the price of many other options.

The Poco phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 along with either 6GB of RAM (8GB for Armoured Edition) and 64GB, 128GB or 256GB of internal storage (expandable). The handset sports a large 6.18-inch Full HD display with a high res 20MP selfie snapper above it, meanwhile on the back we find a dual camera setup comprised of main 12.2MP and a secondary 5MP shooter.

Finally, the smartphone is powered by a large 4000mAh capacity battery and runs MIUI 9.5 based on Android 8.0 Oreo.

2. Meizu 16th

Meizu 16th

Another really good phone that can now be found for under $500 is the recently launched Meizu 16th. Meizu’s flagship is a premium device coming with a 6-inch Super AMOLED display, a metal body, very thin bezels and an under-display fingerprint scanner.

The handset is then fueled by a beastly Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 that is paired with either 6GB or 128GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB of internal memory.

In the camera department we find a good 12MP shooter with F/1.8 aperture in the back along with a 20MP sensor to snap photos with a shallow depth of field effect. At the front we have another 20MP to snap selfies at ultra-high resolution.

The Meizu 16th packs a 3070mAh battery and runs FlyMe 7.5 based on Android 8.1 Oreo.

3. Xiaomi Mi 8

Xiaomi Mi 8

At just over three 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.

4. 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.

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

If you prefer bigger phones, you can also check out the Honor Note 10 coming with a massive 6.95-inch display and a larger 4900mAh battery.

5. 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 September, 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. apple2005
    September 15, 2018

    I couldn’t understand one thing from such articles that the one placed in beginning of the article are the best or the end. Or the numbering or sequence has nothing to do with the “best”?

    September 17, 2018

    what about ZTE NUBIA RED MAGIC??????????????