You've probably heard of brands like Huawei, ZTE and Lenovo, although you may not know that the latter manufactures phones in addition to laptops. Xiaomi, also, it is increasingly popular all over the world, and even in China it is as well known as Apple.
There are also Meizu, Letv, Oppo, Homtom, Vernee, UMI, Ulefone, Elephone, Doogee, Leagoo, Mazze, Bluboo, Oukitel And so we can go on for a while. Phones that won't sound familiar to a European audience but offer fantastic value and are worth your attention.
The problem with many Chinese phones is that they can be hard to get, and if something goes wrong, it is harder to get it tidy. To buy a Chinese phone of these models, you will often have to search sites like eBay or Amazon. Be sure to read on our gray market technology buying advice before doing so.
Should you buy a Chinese phone?
Excellent quality / price ratio
Dual SIM card
Sers nico among your friends
Watch out for the technical service. It will cost you to claim
You may incur import tariffs (charged at 20 percent of the value in shipping paperwork plus an administration fee)
The phone may not work with the network (be sure to check before buying)
Google Play may not be preinstalled (as with some Xiaomi and Meizu phones).
Features and specifications
Most of the Chinese phones we have reviewed are dual-SIM With dual standby, although sometimes, however, this second SIM comes at the expense of the microSD slot – it is often one or the other. The number of phones that support 4G in both SIM slots is increasing, but phones with dual standby will ask you to select one or the other for the data and not both.
The fact that a Chinese telephone supports 4G does not necessarily mean that it works with European operator networks. It is advisable to check the frequency bands of a phone before buying it because Chinese phones often do not connect to the 800MHz band.
Whereas the processors of Qualcomm they are tremendously popular among European phones, many Chinese phones come with MediaTek chips cheaper. The faster among these is the Helio X25, X27 and X30. Tests have usually shown that they are not as fast as their Qualcomm cousins, although they are more than capable in their daily tasks. A key difference is its HotKnot support instead of NFC.
It is quite common for these phones to come with three or four gigabytes of RAM, some even specifying 6 GB or 8 GB, while the storage is usually 32GB or 64GB as a standard with the possibility of expanding its memory through microSD.
You can almost certainly find a fingerprint scanner, in addition to one 13Mp camera in the rear and 8Mp in the front. The functionality of the camera is very similar to that of any other Android phone, but the 'Face Beauty' mode may bleach your skin tone.
A full-HD screen is common, with Quad-hd, but HD screens are still in the cheaper models. Most have 5.5 inch large screens in diameter or more.
The screen is usually a IPS panel of good quality, and can often be marketed with 2.5D arc glass or 3D glass. This does not mean that the screen is curved, but that the edges of the screen have a slight curvature when joined with the frame.
Gorilla Glass is another common feature, which fortunately gets Chinese phone brands to implement in the same way as other manufacturers in other parts of the world.
The customizable gestures they are not integrated in Android, But they are very common in Chinese phones. This means that it is likely that you can press twice to wake up the screen, set a pattern on the screen in standby mode, or start an application that you have previously predefined. Many Chinese phones will also allow you to use gestures to activate the camera shutter.
We do not recommend any Chinese phone that we have not physically tested. Therefore, we offer this report not as a definitive guide for the purchase of Chinese phones, but as a guide of what you can find when you buy products from China through their websites.
The OnePlus 5 is a model that has rapidly evolved the young catalog of the company. A good combination of solid design, with excellent software, in a package whose price is less than 500 euros.
You may not be able to regain an authentic bargain, but OnePlus is still significantly cheaper than many of your competitor's devices and is incredibly fast and has improved the quality of its cameras. There are disadvantages such as non-waterproofing, the Quad HD screen or the absence of wireless charging. We strongly recommend considering this phone if you have been tempted by the Galaxy S8 or LG G6 with the new screen format.
RRP: From 499 euros
Undoubtedly this is an incredible phone, it competes with the likes of the Galaxy S8, LG G6, Sony Xperia XZ Premium and HTC U11, but it costs half. It has a large screen and is a much more comfortable size to handle with one hand. The Xiaomi includes one of the leading processors of this year, the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, and has 6GB of RAM. Do not disappoint.
Price: 450 euros
The Honor 9 is a phone without a doubt impressive for a price without equal at this time. In terms of performance, it is up to the flagships of the year and only lacks striking features such as waterproofing or a screen that completely eliminates the bezel or frame. It has a very good processor, a large amount of RAM and costs less than 400 euros. In addition, you will have local technical support, as it is the subsidiary brand of Huawei, so you can even take it to a physical store for repair.
RRP: 399 euros
This is a great large screen Android phone with very decent performance, a great camera and a lot of storage capacity. We would like to see a Quad-HD screen on the flagship phone of Xiaomi, with which you will surely gain in sharpness and defined colors. Google applications are not preinstalled, but it is solved with a few adjustments after commissioning.
RRP: 322 euros
Mi Mix de Xiaomi offers a very good quality / price ratio with a processor core that allows you to face any task. It has 256 GB of storage, which are many gigabytes, and its price is much less than what you will have to pay for the new iPhone X. The Mi Mix is the phone you buy when you want to surprise others. It is a revolutionary phone that will undoubtedly set the standards for everything new that is to come, with a magnificent screen without a bezel, a beautiful ceramic body, fantastic performance, long battery life and all the fantastic fantasy technology. In short, a highly recommended option.
RRP: 419 euros
Working with Flyme OS 5, Meizu Pro 6 Plus is a fantastic Android phone with great performance, a vibrant display and handling high resolution values with a decent camera. Unfortunately, although cheaper than some flagships, it is perhaps something expensive for its range, and to put some fault to highlight, the Flyme operating system does not just fall in love. This does not mean that you set a very low price list for a mobile with body.
RRP: 315 euros
Huawei Mate 9 is, in the absence of the arrival of Mate 10, in our opinion, the best of the manufacturer, with an impressive battery, an improved dual-camera configuration and an elegant and coolly developed design. The reference results were some of the best we have seen, with an excellent quality / price ratio. The EMUI 5 interface makes a huge difference in the experience of using Android, and we can't wait to see if Huawei's new technology improve the successor phone's performance.
Price: 450 euros
It is not as fast as its predecessors, with whom it shares the same design, but it is just as beautiful. We like the extra capacity of your battery and storage space, in addition to the improved Z1 cameras. It is impossible to ignore the interesting price in a phone rather than complete.
RRP: 235 euros
The Elephone S7 is a very good looking phone at an affordable price, with decent performance and generous storage aid. On the negative side, the cameras are not the best in the market and the rear panel is plastic, compared to the finishes somewhat more premium. Nor can we ask for much more for its entrance price.
RRP: 229 euros
It is not a very broad update of the Redmi Note 3 or Note 4, but the edition of Note 4X Global is a fairly complete entry budget phone. Your purchase via web does not force you to make a large outlay.
Price: 150 euros
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