Top 5 Chinese Smartphones for Under $500 – September 2019

Welcome to our last summer edition of the top 5 Chinese smartphones for under $500! As always, we have some 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, cause we aren’t spending more than $500 on one, then keep reading!

Top 5 Chinese Smartphones for Under $500

1. Redmi K20 Pro

Redmi K20 Pro best chinese smartphones

The last flagship killer by Redmi – the Redmi K20 Pro – is still one of the best flagship alternatives on the market you can currently get. The smartphone does indeed come with a large 6.39-inch AMOLED panel with a real full screen design an under display fingerprint scanner and is powered by a Snapdragon 855 coupled with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage.

In the camera department we find a main 48MP Sony IMX586 shooter paired with an 8MP telefoto and a 13MP ultra wide-angle lens. Meanwhile in the pop-up camera we find a 20MP snapper.

The Redmi K20 Pro is fueled by a 4000mAh, supports fast charge at 27W and runs MIUI 10 based on Android 9 Pie.

2. Vivo iQoo

Vivo iQoo

Next up we have the first flagship from the recently established iQOO brand – the Vivo iQOO. The handset is powered by the flagship Snapdragon 855 CPU along with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. We then find a large 6.41-inch Super Amoled display with Full HD+ resolution and a 19.5:9 aspect ratio.

In the camera department, the smartphone is equipped with a main 12MP sensor, a secondary 13MP sensore with ultra wide lens and a third 2MP depth sensor, on the front we instead have a 12MP selfie snapper.

Finally, the Vivo iQOO comes with a large 4000mAh capacity battery, supports fast charging at 22.5W and runs Android 9 Pie out of the box.

3. Xiaomi CC9

Xiaomi CC9

If you want some of the features you find on a flagship device like an AMOLED display but you aren’t willing to spend anywhere near $500, then the Xiaomi CC9 could be a good option to consider. The smartphone does indeed pack a beautiful 6.39-inch Full HD+ AMOLED panel and is fueled by a decently powerful Snapdragon 710 CPU along with up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage.

On the upper part of said display we find a super high-res 32MP selfie snapper, meanwhile on the back we have a triple camera setup, including a primary Sony IMX586 48MP sensor, coupled with a 8MP ultra-wide angle lens and a 2MP depth sensor

Finally, the Xiaomi CC9 is powered by a big 4030mAh battery with support for fast charging at 18W, there’s also an IR emitter, NFC and an audio jack.

4. OnePlus 7

oneplus 7

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While the OnePlus 7 Pro will probably cost more than $500 for a little while, its little brother – the OnePlus 7 – is instead now below our threshold. The smartphone does pack some pretty incredible specs for the price, which paired with the curated OnePlus software makes it one of the best phones on the market.

The OnePlus 7 is indeed powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, along with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. The display is 6.41-inch in size, with FHD+ res and 19.5:9 aspect ratio.

Camera wise, we find a primary 48MP image sensore paired with a 5MP secondary. On the front we instead have a 16MP selfie snapper.

OnePlus’ 7 is fueled by a 3700mAh capacity battery with support for 20W fast charge and runs Oxygen 9.0.

5. Nubia Red Magic 3S

Nubia Red Magic 3S

Finally, we have the dream phone for the mobile gamers out there – the Nubia Red Magic 3S. Nubia’s gaming phone does indeed pack a massive 6.65-inch display which should be a joy to play on with its FHD+ resolution and 90Hz refresh rate.

The smartphone is then powered by the beastly Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus CPU along with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage for an AnTuTu score of over 460k points.

Nubia’s Red Magic 3S is also well equipped in the camera department with a single but high-end Sony IMX586 sensor with 48MP resolution and OIS. Meanwhile at the front we find a 16MP selfie snapper.

Other features on the gaming phone include a 3.5mm audio jack, IR emitter, a large 5000mAh capacity battery and Android 9 Pie as the OS out of the box.



MEIZU 16S Pro best chinese smartphones

If you prefer having a super thin top bezels instead of a notch or pop-up camera, then the latest Meizu 16S Pro could be a very good option for you. The smartphone packs a 6.2 inch display with  FHD+ resolution and 90Hz refresh rate. It’s then powered by the flagship Snapdragon 855 Plus CPU along with up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage.

Cameras include a primary Sony IMX586 48MP sensor on the back coupled with a 20MP shooter and a third sensor for macros. At the front we find a 20MP resolution camera for selfies.

Finally the battery on the Meizu 16S Pro has a capacity of 3600mAh, supports 24W fast charging and 18W wireless charging, while the phone runs Flyme OS based on Android 9 Pie.

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 for your next Chinese smartphones, check out our under $200 and under $100 buying guides!

Previous Realme 5 update brings Digital Wellbeing and Camera improvements
Next Redmi Note 8 sales commence on September 17th