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best chinese phones

The Best Chinese Phones in 2021

Author: Anthony Lee

Phone & Tablet Expert

Welcome to our big China mobile phone test. We have put together detailed background information.

We want to make the purchase decision easier for you and help you to find the best Chinese mobile phone for you.

You can also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. You will also find some important information on this page that you should pay attention to if you want to buy a Chinese mobile phone.

  • Chinese phones can be a really cheap alternative to the usual cell phone brands. They are not the “cheap junk” that products from China are often associated with.
  • There is a huge market with many different models. Including somewhat more specialized devices such as gaming smartphones, outdoor phones and real battery monsters.
  • Buying it isn’t as complicated as you might think. You just have to pay attention to a few things and then the new cell phone can be safely and safely ordered from China.

Best Chinese Phones

Price-Performance Winner Among The Chinese Phones

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9
  • The 48MP main camera will allow you to capture all your…
  • With the Note 9´s 13MP front camera you will become the…
  • We cannot deny the Redmi Note 9’s manufacturing quality,…
  • In addition, Xiaomi has not wanted to leave behind the use…
  • The back of the phone is colored through an intricate IMT…

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro smartphone comes with a lot of features for its relatively low price. The bright 6.67-inch FHD display has a low proportion of blue light and is extremely robust thanks to Gorilla Glass. The quad camera enables high-quality recordings with a 64 MP main camera. In addition to this camera, there is also the ultra-wide angle camera, a portrait sensor and the macro camera.

The generous 5020 mAh battery supplies the phone with sufficient power and ensures a long service life. Customers appreciate the very good price-performance ratio, the great camera and the attractive design. The cell phone is available in five colors.

Chinese Phone With The Most Attractive Features

 Our Pick
OnePlus 8 Pro
  • 120 Hz Fluid Display – Watch your favorite shows and…
  • 5G Capable – Experience faster upload and download speeds…
  • 48 MP Quad Camera – Frame every moment with a 48 MP main…
  • 8 GB RAM + 128 GB storage – Experience powerhouse…
  • High-Capacity 4510 mAh Battery – Speed up your charge with…

The OnePlus 8 Pro belongs to the upper league of China phones and has many brand new features. It has 128 GB of memory and 8 GB of RAM. It also offers space for two SIM cards.

The 6.7-inch 3D Fluid AMOLED ensures flawless scrolling and swiping more smoothly than ever before. The quadruple camera and the 48 MP main camera ensure pin-sharp images. The 4510 mAh battery ensures a long runtime. The customers are very enthusiastic about the good quality and equipment. This is how the higher price is justified. In addition, the smartphone looks very valuable and classy.

Customer Favorite Among Chinese Phones

Honor 9X Lite
  • 6.5″ FullView Display, 2340p x 1080p, 16.7M colors, 397 PPI,…
  • ROM: 128GB, RAM: 4GB, 12nm Kirin 710F Chipset, Android 9.0…
  • Rear Camera: 48MP(f/1.8) + 2MP(f/2.4), Front Camera:…
  • 2G bands: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, 3G bands: HSDPA 850 /…
  • International Model – No Warranty in the US. Compatible with…

The Honor 9X Lite has an internal memory of 128 gigabytes and can be expanded by 256 gigabytes via a microSD card. In addition to a microSD card, two SIM cards also fit into the mobile phone.

The smartphone has four cameras, two on the front and two on the back. So it can be unlocked comfortably via face recognition. Alternatively, there is also a fingerprint scanner. Depending on your choice, the delivery also includes a protective cover to protect the noble case from scratches.

FAq's: Chinese Phones

Why should I buy a Chinese phone?

In short: Because you can really save!

Smartphones from the eastern part of the world are often colloquially referred to as “China phones”. That sounds subliminally like cheap junk, but it is by no means the case.

Smartphones from China are inexpensive, but not cheap. Buying a China cell phone can really be worthwhile, because they are often cheaper than cell phones from other established manufacturers with comparable equipment.

In addition, new features are often found first in models from Chinese manufacturers. If you want to be the first to hold the latest technology in your hands, take it.

However, caution is advised, new features are not always fully developed and really marketable. You should therefore rather wait for the first reviews.

We summarize: Smartphones from China offer really good features at a lower price with an enormous variety of products.

What should I look out for when buying a smartphone from China?

The purchase is not as easy as at your local store. At the same time, however, it is nowhere near as complicated as one might think. Here is an overview of what you should definitely pay attention to:

  • LTE band 20
  • International / global version
  • Plagiarism
  • Paypal

In the following we want to show you what exactly you can imagine under these points:

LTE band 20

Make sure that the mobile phone supports one of the LTE frequencies commonly used: LTE band 20 with a frequency of 800 MHz. 

Without Band 20 you have no or only bad reception.

You can usually find this information on the data sheet in the product description.

The whole thing has technical reasons that we will not go into further here. You can find out more information in the further reading.

International / Global version

Avoid buying a smartphone labeled “China Version” (or similar). Instead, buy a phone labeled “Global Version” or “International Version” (alternatively also Global / International ROM).

This ensures that the device contains the usual Android features. Some of them are not allowed in China and are therefore not included in the Chinese version.

The global version is usually the correct one.

It is best to always take a look at the comments for the respective product and read what experiences other buyers have had.

Plagiarism

If you buy plagiarism, you have to expect that customs will withhold the goods and, as a result, you will incur additional costs.

So don’t buy fakes, imitations or smartphones that misuse the logos of well-known manufacturers.

Phones that pretend to be high-end smartphones from Apple or Samsung, for example, and are available at a noticeably low price, are mostly plagiarism.

Dealers who offer such smartphones are also dubious and not trustworthy.

Paypal

If you do not purchase your phone from Amazon, for your own safety, always pay with PayPal. If the delivery doesn’t reach you, you can benefit from PayPal buyer protection.

You can get your money back up to 180 days after purchase. With other means of payment you are mostly on your own if you have problems and the chances of a replacement are very poor.

If an online shop offers PayPal as a method of payment, it can usually be classified as serious.

What alternatives are there to Chinese phones?

As an alternative to the many Chinese brands, you can of course use smartphones from any other manufacturer. The market is huge. It’s always worth watching test videos, reading reviews and comparing the devices with each other.
Here is an (incomplete) overview of other manufacturers that do not come from China:

  • Apple
  • Samsung
  • Sony
  • Google
  • Motorola
  • LG
  • Microsoft
  • Blackberry
  • Nokia

Samsung has offers in every price range. So there is something for everyone. If the cell phone is being purchased for older generations, it is worth looking at senior cell phones.

Another alternative is always buying used. In particular, more expensive devices can then be inexpensive.

Chinese Phones: Purchase Criteria

In the following we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the multitude of possible Chinese phones.

The most important criteria for comparing the Chinese smartphones are:

  • Battery life
  • Storage capacity
  • Camera
  • Regular Updates
  • Display

In the following we explain to you what is important for the individual criteria.

Battery life

The battery capacity is specified in mAh (milliampere hours). Most normal smartphone batteries have a capacity of around 3000 – 4000 mAh.

But that alone says little. The battery life differs depending on the display size, display type, performance and use. Therefore, pay attention to information such as the usage time. This makes it easier to compare cell phones.

China has the right specialist models for people who value a long-lasting battery. Up to 13,000 mAh (!) Are possible there.

But then you have to accept that compromises will be made elsewhere.

Storage capacity

Be clear about how much memory you will need beforehand. It’s extremely annoying when your storage is full and you can’t download anything.

The usual storage capacities are 16, 32, 64, 128 and 256 gigabytes. 128 gigabytes are a lot for a smartphone. Only a few need that.

Those who hardly download anything to their smartphone can manage with 16 gigabytes. Over time, however, it can get a little tight if you download a lot of music or the photos in your gallery keep growing.

16 gigabytes are only recommended if you really only have very few pictures, videos, music and apps on your smartphone.

Life is more relaxed at 32 gigabytes. That is actually enough for the average consumer. But even here photos and songs can accumulate quite quickly if you have the cell phone for a long time. With 64 gigabytes, you are also well served as a more active user.

Real power users, who take thousands of photos, have several hours of film material, download tens of thousands of songs and hundreds of apps, access the even larger storage options accordingly.

If you can’t estimate how much storage space you will need, you are on the safe side by buying a cell phone with expandable storage. Another option is to use a cloud service.

Remember that the operating system is not included in the storage capacity. As a result, you can lose another 6 gigabytes.

Camera

If you want to snap a lot of photos, you should of course also use a cell phone with a good camera. The dealers provide a lot of technical information intended to illustrate the performance of the camera.

The most prominent is the number of megapixels. You can get a first impression with it, but ultimately the mere numbers don’t tell you anything.

There are many aspects that make a good camera than just the numbers on the data sheet indicate. Therefore, always look at tests or, if possible, try the camera yourself.

In tests, you can also familiarize yourself better with the different features of a smartphone camera. Many cell phones not only take normal photos and videos, but also have special modes such as slow motion or time lapse.

Even if you don’t really care about the camera, it can still play a crucial role. If you attach great importance to the design of the cell phone.

There are different solutions for placing the camera depending on whether you want a completely borderless display, whether you want a little border or a little more.

In this overview we explain where the front camera can be housed.

Normal
The front camera sits at the top of the display side. The display does not reach all the way to the top and the camera sits above it in the housing.

Notch
The display protrudes right and left to the edge of the housing. Only in the middle is there a recess for the camera and sensors.

Hole punch
The camera sits on the top left or right of the display and is completely enclosed by the display.

Pop-up camera
The display extends over the entire front. If necessary, the camera automatically moves out of the smartphone housing.

Slider
The display extends over the entire front and the mobile phone has a sliding mechanism with which the front camera can be brought out.

Flip camera
There is only one camera that is front and rear camera at the same time. The rear camera rotates to the display side if necessary and functions as a front camera.

Under display
The front camera sits under the display and is not visible. The display extends over the entire front.

Here you can see two different types of flip cameras. In the normal state, it is quite normally on the back of the cell phone. On the left the flip camera is combined with an automatic slide mechanism.

Regular updates

Find out how long your smartphone will receive software updates. That can be different for every manufacturer. This is especially important with regard to the security updates.

The long-term supply of updates can be difficult, especially with Chinese manufacturers. To the rating: An absolute top value in the industry is 4-5 years. Often it is only 1-2 years.

Display

You can recognize a good display by its type, resolution and size. An OLED or AMOLED display is better than an LCD display. Stronger colors and a higher contrast can be displayed on them.

They are also more energy efficient. OLED and AMOLED mean exactly the same thing. For good sharpness, the mobile phone should have a resolution of at least 350 ppi (pixels per inch).

This specification is more precise than, for example, the Full HD specification because it takes the size of the display into account. With a very large display, Full HD can appear blurred.

If you are uncertain, test reports are also very helpful at this point.

Facts about Chinese Phones

Common abbreviations for Chinese phones

The following table is intended to give you an overview of the most common abbreviations for Chinese phones.

AI
Stands for artificial intelligence. The term cannot be clearly defined and can be misused for marketing purposes.

IP68
The device is dust and waterproof (after submersion in up to 1.5 meters deep water for 30 minutes) The IP number (International Protection) stands for a protection class according to international standards.

QI
The mobile phone can be charged inductively by placing it on a suitable charger.

GB
Gigabytes. The unit in which the storage capacity is specified.

Is there a warranty for my Chinese phone?

If you import a cell phone from China, Chinese law applies. The guarantee is a maximum of one year, but can differ from shop to shop. If you order from a reputable shop, we will also help you in the event of a warranty claim.

If you don’t even receive your smartphone, you can use PayPal Buyer Protection to claim your money back up to 180 days after placing your order.

To do this, you must of course have paid with PayPal. Amazon and some credit cards also offer buyer protection.

Is there spy software installed on Chinese phones?

In some countries such as the USA, such software is not allowed to be built by Chinese companies. It is unclear to what extent this is for political reasons or to what extent the measures are actually linked to espionage.

There is no public evidence. The fact is, however, that in the past some Chinese cell phones came out of the factory with security holes that could be exploited for this purpose.

The Chinese government is censoring the internet and monitoring its population. Theoretically, companies are directly controllable by the government.

However, it is not known to what extent they actually interfere in the end. But it is also uncertain whether all the other big brands will handle your data seriously.

Last product update on 2021-03-08 | Source: Amazon Affiliate