Top 5 Chinese Smartphones for Under $500 – February 2019

Best Chinese Smartphones $500 2019

Welcome back to our February’s top 5 list. Keep in mind that this is the month of the MWC (Mobile World Congress) so we will – hopefully – see it revamped in around 30 days. Nevertheless, for the time being, down below you’ll find the five best Chinese smartphones you can currently get for less than $500; keep reading!

Top 5 Chinese Smartphones for Under $500


1. Xiaomi Pocophone F1

Xiaomi Pocophone F1

Albeit not too fresh anymore, the Pocophone F1 launched in August still boasts an incredible specs to price ratio, making it one of the best phones on the market. The handset does indeed pack a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 along with either 6GB of RAM (8GB for Armoured Edition) and 64GB, 128GB or 256GB of internal storage (expandable); all of that for around $300!

On the Pocophone F1 we then find 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. Xiaomi Mi MIX 3

Xiaomi Mi MIX 3

The flagship Mi MIX 3 launched a couple months back recently got below the $500 mark, thus we can finally include it in our top 5 list! Aside from the innovative design and sliding mechanism, the handset is also a great bang for the bucks specs wise. The Mi MIX 3 does indeed pack a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 CPU coupled with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage which powers the 6.39-inch Samsung AMOLED notch-less display.

In the camera department, the MIX 3 features a main 12MP shooter with f/1.8 aperture paired with another 12MP snapper. At the front we then find two more cameras of 24MP and 2MP resolution.

The Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 packs a 3200mAh capacity battery, it features NFC, 10W wireless charging and runs Android 9.0 Pie out of the box.

3. Lenovo Z5 Pro GT

lenovo z5 pro gt

The recently launched Lenovo Z5 Pro GT stays on the list as it’s monster of a phone which packs a next gen Snapdragon 855 CPU along with at least 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.

The smartphone then sports a large 6.39-inch Samsung AMOLED display with FHD+ resolution, a 16MP main rear camera with f/1.8 aperture paired with 24MP secondary, meanwhile on the front we find another dual camera setup of 16MP and 8MP res.

Finally, the Lenovo Z5 Pro GT with its fancy sliding mechanism packs a 3350mAh capacity battery, sports NFC and runs ZUI 10 based on Android 9 Pie

4. Nubia Red Magic Mars

Nubia Red Magic Mars

If you’re a fan of gaming phones and you’ve been saving up to get one, then the Nubia Red Magic Mars might be your best option under the $500 price mark. Nubia’s gaming phone does indeed pack a flagship Snapdragon 845 CPU with a special cooling system to keep temps low along with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.

Since it’s a gaming phone, Nubia decided to save some space by only having a single 16MP shooter with f/1.8 aperture on the back which can do 240fps slow-mo videos, meanwhile at the front we find an 8MP snapper.

The Nubia Red Magic Mars boasting a 6-inch FHD+ display is powered by a good sized 3800mAh capacity battery with support for 5V3.2A Neocharge fast charging and runs ANdroid 9.0 Pie OTB.

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5. Meizu 16th Plus

Meizu 16th Plus

If you really don’t like the notch and you’d rather have slim bezels around the phone, then the Meizu 16th Plus might be the right choice for you. The smartphone packs a large 6.5-inch Super AMOLED panel with FHD+ resolution and 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’re looking for a more compact device, also check out the Meizu 16th (non Plus) coming with pretty much the same specs in a smaller 6-inch screen size.

Honorable Mentions

Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro

Xiaomi Mi 8


If you’re a big Xiaomi fan and you’re fine with having a notch, then the Mi 8 Pro with its under display fingerprint scanner is probably the best phone produced by the company in the sub $500 price segment. The Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro comes a flagship Snapdragon 845 processor, along with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage.

The phone then packs a 6.21-inch display with the previously mentioned under display fingerprint scanner. Meanwhile on the back we find a transparent back cover just like on the Explorer Edition.

Another selling point for the Mi 8 Pro are its great cameras. 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 3000mAh battery with Quick Charge 4.0+ 18W support, an infrared face scanner to unlock the phone and runs MIUI 10 based on Android 8 Oreo.

Top 5 Chinese Smartphones for Under $500

Best Chinese Smartphones $200 2019

This is it for the month of February, 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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