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Best Chinese Android smartphones (October-November 2016)

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Best Chinese Android smartphones (October-November 2016)

Things made in China often carry a bad rep: after all, being affordable is often given as their first and foremost virtue. You can't deny that being competitive in terms of price is what Chinese companies are great at, but recently they have picked up the pace when it comes to innovation. Just look at the chart of the world's biggest phone makers last year, in 2015: 7 out of the top 10 are from China. This is no coincidence: the Chinese market has grown hugely, but it is also international buyers that appreciate the work done by Chinese Android phone makers.

These are the best Chinese Android phones

With rising stars like Xiaomi and Meizu working along with the heavyweights from Lenovo and Huawei, there is quite a lot of exciting new Chinese phones that you should know about.

We bring you just that: these are the best Chinese Android phones in various price tiers: from the premium, top-tier phones to the affordable ones. Take a look.

Higher-end phones

Price: $400 | Review

Best Chinese Android smartphones (October-November 2016)

The OnePlus 3 is the first OnePlus phones to truly feel mature: gone are the experimental sandstone finishes, gone is the extremely annoying invitation system and coming to replace them is a phone that feels well-built and very solid. The OnePlus 3 might not have any gimmicky features that would make it espcially unique, but it does have that special $400 price tag in a world of similarly-specced $800 phones, and it does feature one solid and fast performance.

Powered by the top-end Snapdragon 820 system chip and with a whopping 6GB of RAM, the OnePlus 3 runs fast and has a well-performing camera. It's hard to find a reason not to recommend it, at its outstanding price, it's one of the best phones around.

Huawei P9

Price: $550 (€510) | Review

Best Chinese Android smartphones (October-November 2016)

Huawei had phenomenal growth last year, finishing as the world's third-largest phone maker behind giants like Samsung and Apple.

The P9 is its most important phone for 2016, carrying flagship status and offering an innovative dual rear camera setup. It also features sleek metal design and huge aspirations. But there are a couple of downsides as well: most notably, the custom Huawei interface on top of Android is a polarizing feat that many will find hard to get used to. Then, the camera has a few gimmicks up its sleeve like the Leica brand (it's questionable whether Leica had much of an involvement with the lens here) and simulation of super wide-aperture, f/1.1 lens, but in reality those tricks are no replacement for great camera quality and the P9 is a step below this year's best cameraphones. Still, if you're in the search for a great regular-sized smartphone, the P9 has the performance and good looks to fit the bill. It's also much more affordable than the Samsungs and Apples of this world.

ZTE Axon 7 | 7 Mini

Price: $400 | $300

Best Chinese Android smartphones (October-November 2016)
Best Chinese Android smartphones (October-November 2016)

ZTE is serious about entering the US market and this year it's introduced not one, but two phones for the US market: the 5.5" ZTE Axon 7 and its slightly smaller sibling, the 5.2" Axon 7 Mini. You can already buy the former for $400, a delicious price given the generous specs: Snapdragon 820, 4GB of RAM and a whopping 64GB of storage, while the latter is up for pre-order at a still enticing $300 price. There is one important thing that users have to consider when thinking about getting either one of these: the Android custom skin used on both is plenty different from most others and takes some getting used to. Plus, camera performance seems to be just slightly below the like of the OnePlus 3, but is still not bad by any means. The remarkable thing about the Axon family is the dual front-facing speakers that produce clear and loud audio, great for those YouTube and Facebook video addicts, as well as for those who listen to music via the speakers.

Meizu MX6

Price: $300

Best Chinese Android smartphones (October-November 2016)
Best Chinese Android smartphones (October-November 2016)

The Meizu MX6 is a thin and stylish phone made out of aluminum and priced competitively when compared against mainstream flagships. Still, for a Chinese phone, it is not a cheap device, but there seems to be good reason for it. It performs well, has a smooth and stutter-free interface, as well as a seriously impressive battery life, but is not particularly outstanding in terms of camera performance and has a few peculiarities in the menu system. Also, 4G LTE band support is extremely limited, so chances are that this will only work as a 3G phone in many markets. Nonetheless, it's a device worth looking for,

Honor 8

Price: $400 | Review

Best Chinese Android smartphones (October-November 2016)
Best Chinese Android smartphones (October-November 2016)

The 5.2" Honor 8, a child of Huawei's US-bound Honor sub-brand, is a truly beautifully designed phone. It features a stylish glass construction with a metal frame, and a fancy dual-camera system with a pair of 12MP sensors: one used mainly for gathering color information, and one for gathering luminance data. It's remarkable how this handset squeezes all out of the 3,000 mAh battery on board: it lasted over 9 hours on our test, more than just about any mainstream flagship out there. Sure, that custom skin on top of Android might take some getting used to, but it still functions smoothly and the learning curve is not as steep as it might seem.

LeEco Le Pro 3

Price: $400

Best Chinese Android smartphones (October-November 2016)

LeEco is something like China's Netflix, except it also makes its own hardware, and in the past couple of years it has been making phone. The Le Pro 3 is the first phone that will actually be available in the United States, and that's a big step for the company. So what makes the Le Pro 3 special? It's certainly the value: at $400 this is yet another phone offering incredible value for the money. The phone is also thin, stylish and very good looking. It's in fact one of the first phones to come with the latest and most powerful chip by Qualcomm: the Snapdragon 821, along with 4GB of RAM and a generous 64GB of storage. Unfortunately, the Le Pro 3 has fallen victim to the no-3.5mm headphone jack trend, and you will only be able to use its USB-C port to connect headphones (if you have ones that support USB-C connection).

Best Chinese Android smartphones (October-November 2016)
Best Chinese Android smartphones (October-November 2016)

Xiaomi, China's most talked about tech prodigy, seems to have fallen a bit out of grace in the past year or so. Its phones generally offer great value for the money, but they also have very limited 4G LTE band support and fail to deliver push notification for many messengers, both significant issues that make dealing with them a big hassle. Still, if you're interested in the Xiaomi ecosystem, its Mi 5s and Mi 5s Plus both provide the firepower in terms of adequate specs at a great price.

Affordable phones

Price: $200 | Review

Honor 5X

Honor 5X

Best Chinese Android smartphones (October-November 2016)

Honor, a sub-brand of Chinese Huawei, delivers a stylish metal phone with a 5.5" 1080p display, a fingerprint scanner and the very decent Snapdragon 615 system chip for a very alluring price. 

The only downside to this phone is the somewhat unusual and a bit clunky user interface, but for all else this is a really good-looking device that packs much more style than other affordable phones and is worth consideration. 

Xiaomi Mi Max

Price: $220 | Review

Best Chinese Android smartphones (October-November 2016)
Best Chinese Android smartphones (October-November 2016)

The Xiaomi Mi Max is different! A gigantic, 6.44-inch phone with a thin body and a premium metal construction, a decent camera and very good performance, is something that a certain group of people, however, will certainly appreciate. It also helps that this large size allows it to pack a huge battery that results in some impressive battery life. So who will the Mi Max be suitable for? Those who value boosted productivity on a larger screen, gamers, and a ton more. Just keep in mind that LTE bands are limited and as usual with Xiaomi phones, you get no official repair centers if you buy it in the United States.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro

Price: $200

Best Chinese Android smartphones (October-November 2016)

Another Xiaomi, the Redmi Note 3 Pro is often said to be the pinnacle of Xiaomi's success: a 5.5-inch phablet with a fairly solid build quality, the feature rich MIUI interface and decent specs for a dirt cheap price. The Pro version of this handset also features a fingerprint scanner on the back, as well as more RAM and storage for expanded capabilities.

Meizu M3 Note

Price: $180

Best Chinese Android smartphones (October-November 2016)

The Meizu M3 Note is a re-fresh on an already familiar Meizu design. With a great-looking 5.5-inch 1080 x 1920-pixel display with the traditionally fast Meizu interface, and with a well-performing camera, the M3 Note checks all the essential boxes. Plus, it has very good battery life.

Xiaomi Redmi 3s

Price: $140 | Review

Best Chinese Android smartphones (October-November 2016)
Best Chinese Android smartphones (October-November 2016)

The most affordable phone in Xiaomi's lineup, the Redmi 3s is one that stands out with remarkable battery life. After all it's not everyday that you find a 5" phone with a massive, 4100 mAh battery. The Redmi 3s also features the entry-level Snapdragon 430 system chip, which might not break any benchmark records, but does provide fast and smooth performance in the daily grind. Its camera is also a level above other devices in the same price tier, providing very nice detail and good image quality.

Meizu m3

Price: $150 (¥600) 

Meizu m3

Meizu m3

Best Chinese Android smartphones (October-November 2016)

The new Meizu m3 is a direct answer to the stellar Xiaomi Redmi 3. And one that has what it takes to be a worthy contender: with a similar price, the m3 has a very refined and likable design, and adds the fingerprint scanner many Meizu phones don't have. It runs the custom Meizu skin that is particularly fluid and runs well, it offers a very good camera and great iconography. Not bad for such an affordable phone, is it?

  • Options

posted on 25 Nov 2014, 07:41 44

1. Ahsan (Posts: 37; Member since: 09 Jun 2011)

i hope this explain why samsung is falling down in China.

posted on 25 Nov 2014, 13:07 42

22. fanboy1974 (Posts: 1345; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)

It's what I said yesterday. It's not touchwiz bringing down Samsung; there are so many good phones on the market right now. The true winner here is Android.

posted on 15 Feb 2016, 06:15

100. phonearenarocks (Posts: 450; Member since: 26 Mar 2015)

You still seem to be living in 2014! Get back to present!!

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 11:22

106. Good-Is-Better (Posts: 82; Member since: 12 Nov 2015)


WELL IT IS DISABLED FOR THIS OTHER POST: Best smartphones you can buy right now: March 2016. "The comment section has been disabled for this story".

And we all know why!

posted on 21 Oct 2016, 06:51

135. CoastCity (Posts: 257; Member since: 07 Mar 2014)


posted on 11 Mar 2016, 13:11

109. MSi_GS70 (unregistered)

PA u forgot vivo phones !

posted on 29 Mar 2016, 07:44

116. laryluv82 (Posts: 1; Member since: 29 Mar 2016)

hi yes what happen to blu and their very nice phone thier have come a long way from the past in know because i own the blu pure xl an amazing phone it has so many featue that more high price phone and more blu give more for less just take time to check out the line up from blu

posted on 08 Apr 2016, 09:53

117. MSi_GS70 (unregistered)

these best (except mate 8) Pa u wanted say worst ?

DA BEST china smartphones are :
1. Huawei P9 P9 Plus
2.Vivo Xplay5 Ultimate
3.Vivo X5Pro
4.Oukitel U10
5.Oppo R9 plus
6.Vivo X6S Plus

posted on 09 Apr 2016, 16:19

124. poptart (Posts: 45; Member since: 28 Nov 2014)

Absolutely xiaomi, lenovo, ZTE and especially Vivo can compete with anyone. Great list btw

posted on 25 Nov 2014, 13:45 12

23. NexusX (Posts: 524; Member since: 16 May 2013)

are samsung and apple cutting deals with regulators to bar these chinese smartphones from entering the US?
the amount of competition in the smartphone market can easily lower the prices of current flagship smartphone by $200 if they open the floodgate for the chinese.

posted on 25 Nov 2014, 16:54 24

27. alrightihatepickingusernames (Posts: 474; Member since: 29 Dec 2013)

My assumption is that most of these OEMs either don't have the resources to penetrate the US market, or they fear the US market because of all the patent lawsuits they'd face.

posted on 26 Nov 2014, 03:37 1

37. joey_sfb (Posts: 6143; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)

China itself is a huge market for them. So they are hardly saturating their own market.

posted on 19 Nov 2015, 01:54 8

83. kabhijeet.16 (Posts: 812; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)

US is a small market compared to China & India..

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 21:53 1

114. iushnt (Posts: 1847; Member since: 06 Feb 2013)

But the most profitable one..

posted on 21 Oct 2016, 07:40

136. Junito (Posts: 84; Member since: 12 Feb 2012)

Maybe so, but at the end, is about who is going to generate the most revenue. What is the purpose of selling millions and millions of devices in poor countries. The goal is to penetrate the US market, and Europe, and yes, also see post #27 a big factor.


posted on 11 Mar 2016, 10:31

102. Chuck007 (Posts: 1189; Member since: 02 Mar 2014)

Huawei will do great in the US if they continue their partnerships with the industry's top players (Google then Leica). I'm still not a fan but who knows if their devices will be popular in a couple years. People thought I was nuts when I bought a Samsung TV 12 years ago.

posted on 26 Nov 2014, 01:23

33. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)

I hope it will happen soon and the prices will be lowered $200. imagine note 4 in $500 launch price, thats not bad

posted on 26 Nov 2014, 05:54 2

38. techsavvy.jaz (Posts: 154; Member since: 07 Feb 2012)

Thing is these OEMs play safe game, they don't want to bite something they can't chew. They just want to sell the current stock before manufacturing the next batch. The other thing is, the USP of these mobiles is price to specs ratio, but trying to get their foot in other countries they have to make sure that, at least people know little bit about them, and that means marketing, and that results some spending, ultimately they wont be able to sell at the price, yeah there are local regulations as well.

posted on 09 Oct 2015, 14:16

64. coldspring22 (Posts: 340; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)

Maybe if you buy a boat load of these phones, US customs will stop it. I ordered few phones from Chinese e-tailors and there was no issues getting it delivered directly to my address in US.

posted on 10 Oct 2015, 20:49

72. sinalia (Posts: 3; Member since: 10 Oct 2015)

When I wanted to get nexus smartphone from USA. it's really difficult from our side

posted on 26 Nov 2014, 00:11 26

32. WcdinChina (Posts: 2; Member since: 25 Nov 2014)

I am chinese living in China ,i'm using samsung note 2 right now,but i won't buy samsung for my next phone.Meizu is great ,i don't like Xiaomi cause it's really difficult for us to buy ,20 seconds and it's all sold. Usually we need 4000+ renminbi(CNY) to get a samsung flagship smartphone(galaxy note/galaxy s),but now I can get a meizu mx 4 with 1799,and for mx4 pro,it's 2499.I think it's better than samsung in some ways.Please ignore those mistakes i made in writting English ,i just want you to know how i think about this.

posted on 01 Jul 2015, 17:27 1

58. Natural-George (Posts: 1; Member since: 01 Jul 2015)

I swear, I really like you. Also, you I love chinese in conjuction with china. You have spoken well. Nice to meet you, we gat to have a better talk on facebook. facebook.com/youcallmeyoung

posted on 09 Oct 2015, 12:56 3

62. afegit (Posts: 45; Member since: 12 Feb 2014)

nice subtle troll with the facebook in china

posted on 09 Oct 2015, 10:46

60. JunitoNH (Posts: 1927; Member since: 15 Feb 2012)

Actually, you did a pretty good job, considering. Only thing I noticed, just use spaces after your punctuation to make things more legible; other than that, great job, and welcome :)

posted on 09 Oct 2015, 14:11

63. coldspring22 (Posts: 340; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)

You can't buy Xiaomi phones in China in retail shops? If it's only sold online, I see that Xiaomi phones are available to buy in many e-tailer sites in China. So it's not necessary to buy in a flash sale unless you want lowest price. In fact that's how I bought my Xiaomi phone for use in US.

posted on 10 Oct 2015, 21:06

73. sinalia (Posts: 3; Member since: 10 Oct 2015)

So compared to phones in us, what do u think of xiaomi made in China

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 10:54

104. maddy996 (Posts: 91; Member since: 06 Jan 2014)

Same repeated Comments... :-D

posted on 12 Oct 2015, 02:59

75. MSi_GS70 (unregistered)

None of these I like.. except P8

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 13:06

108. MSi_GS70 (unregistered)

caple need fall down.. too

posted on 03 May 2016, 16:17

131. PhoneFixer (unregistered)

Phone Arena do you know what Vivo company is ?

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