Top 5 Chinese Smartphones for Under $500 – October 2018

Best Chinese Smartphones

Hello and welcome to October’s edition of our top 5 Chinese smartphones for under $500 roundup! This month, we have a couple new interesting additions to go along with some already solid phones which have kept their spot on the list. If you were looking for the best phone money can buy – yes, we aren’t spending more than $500 on one, then keep reading!

Top 5 Chinese Smartphones for Under $500

1. Xiaomi Pocophone F1

Xiaomi Pocophone F1

The Xiaomi Pocophone F1 is, of course, one the best phones you can currently get under $500, heck you can even find it for less $300 if you look around. Xiaomi’s latest flagship killer packs some of the best hardware on the market, while costing a fraction the price of many other options.

The Pocophone 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 Plus

Meizu 16th Plus

Last month the Meizu 16th was able to get on this list due to its good to performance to price ratio along with its sweet design sporting very slim bezels all around the display and an under display fingerprint scanner. This time around, we swap it for its bigger brother, the Meizu 16th Plus, a bigger 6.5-inch phone using a Super AMOLED panel FHD+ that is powered by a flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 CPU, paired with either 6GB or 128GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB 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 Plus packs a 3640mAh battery which supports mCharge 4.0 (12V2A 24W) and runs FlyMe 7.5 based on Android 8.1 Oreo.

If you want to save some extra bucks, check out the smaller Meizu 16th which is equipped with the same hardware.

3. Xiaomi Mi 8

Xiaomi Mi 8

The Xiaomi Mi 8 keeps a spot on the list as it’s still one of the most affordable SD 845 powered phones at just over four months since its official launch. Xiaomi’s phone comes with a  6.21-inch display, the previously mentioned Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC along with 6GB of RAM and either 64GB, 128GB or even 256GB of storage

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.

Alternatively, if you’re willing to spend a little extra while staying under $500, the under display fingerprint scanner equipped Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro might be a great option.

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4. Honor 10

honor 10

If you don’t like Xiaomi or its MIUI, the Honor 10 might be up your alley. 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.

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. OnePlus 6

Coming at around $500 (below $500 for China version) 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.

Beware, the OnePlus 6T is launching this month, so if you don’t want to be burnt you might want to wait for the new flagship to be released into the market. Albeit it’s really hard to tell if it’s gonna be under $500.

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 October, 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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