5 impressive flagships from Asia that you've likely never heard of

5 impressive flagships from Asia that you've likely never heard of
If our fortnightly column on amazing, but rather obscure smartphones that hail from Asia wasn't a statement enough, then let us reiterate: we dig technology no matter whose hands saw it fit to assemble. For that reason precisely, we occasionally fixate our attention on what the rest of the world is doing, or said otherwise -- companies that are not necessarily part of the mainstream. History has seen upsets before, and its pages are littered with success stories where those from humble beginnings end up on top even after seemingly faced with insurmountable obstacles. But alas, we digress...

With everything going on in the industry, we think it prudent for you to make your acquaintance with a few very current, and very much flagship-material devices, hailing from companies and lands you're not accustomed to. Some of those may ring a faint bell, somewhere in the back of your head, but others will prove completely new, and that's the idea to start with. Are we saying these are the ones that are going to perform that heroic feat we talked about just moments ago? Not at all. But these are some pretty impressive products nevertheless, and ones that, some would say, are marking the beginning of a wider build-up, especially in such places as China. Take a look.

Related phones

X6
  • Display 6.4" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 13 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Quad-core, 2300 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB
  • Battery 4250 mAh
Xplay 3S
  • Display 6.0" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Quad-core, 2300 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB
  • Battery 3200 mAh

FEATURED VIDEO

31 Comments

1. sipha

Posts: 439; Member since: May 12, 2012

IUNI U2 is the One i love.. Almost too good to be true!!

9. MR-H-

Posts: 116; Member since: Apr 10, 2014

That 2nd one is so fk? sexy. sharp edges.

26. Ashoaib

Posts: 3269; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Vivo xplay 3s is so sexy... or ZTE nubai X6 for me... I dont use laptop or a tablet, so I like big phone as all in all... I currently have BEE, a chinese phone 5.5inch and I am happy with it... more value for money

30. simon16

Posts: 16; Member since: May 02, 2014

but it is only available to buy in china :(

2. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

It seems without Chinese companies, there is very little innovation in mobile. This is a great selection of flagships and more interesting to me than what Samsung, HTC, LG, etc. are offering. The Sharp phone is interesting too, but it is overpriced and available only via one carrier in Japan. There is a giant opportunity for Cyanogen to become an extremely popular Android OS flavor if they can extend what they've done with OnePlus to additional Chinese manufacturers and phone models. This might represent the brightest possible future for Android.

6. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Spot on, with your comment.

21. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Yup...some of the first 3D, dual screen smartphones....came from overseas. Some of the first dual and quad cores might have too.

3. ErenJaeger

Posts: 119; Member since: Apr 22, 2014

I'm so tired of people thinking that Chinese phones are all low quality. Some of them are better than the flagships we have in the US and I'd be glad to buy one if they ever come here. Only people who understand phone tech can see their potential.

5. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

+10000 Americans have been brainwashed at thinking that to get a 'PREMIUM' phone you have to spend 650+ dollars on it, or pay 199 on a 2 yr contract, etc. 400.00 will get you a great phone from a Chinese manufacturer.

14. Ninetysix

Posts: 2933; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

We like support and warranty. If I buy one of these phones, can I walk into my local AT&T store and ask for support and activate it? What about parts replacements? Can I order a replacement screen from say Amazon? If I call their support line, will they be able to speak English? The One Plus probably will work. What about the others?

16. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

I've never had an issue with ATT activating a phone, no matter where it comes from. They don't really care about anything other than money :) I would expect parts to be available globally as the Chinese brands ramp up up worldwide sales. BTW, I've found OPO to be extremely responsive, much better than any US company I've dealt with except for Apple.

22. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Wow...this is one of the few times I will agree with you...I make sure even when I get anything from eBay or Amazon its shipped from the US...even tho Aamzon's support and customer service is usually very good. That said....the One Plus One would have been the first phone I got that was imported. Nice to see it will be available in the US.

4. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

I bought a Coolpad 9976A - I would consider that a flagship device - but, who cares...people should buy a phone because they want it, and not just want it because it was labeled as being a 'FLAGSHIP' device.

7. CanYouSeeTheLight

Posts: 1122; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

Nah, that thing won't get software updates, and MTK processor? Not to mention that at 7 inches that thing is more of a tablet than a phone lol

29. cadnanr

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 29, 2014

Hello, I want to buy a Coolpad 9976A. Can you please guide me from where i can buy one of these phone? as i never bought a phone from any chinese online shop, so i am scared that i might loose my money to a scam site. it would be so helpful for me if you please tell me the online stores name from where you bought your phone. thanks once again C. Adnan

8. mturby unregistered

not even the Gs5 or phone 5s looks so amazing as these!

10. CesarRaymond

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 27, 2014

Like this dudes way of writing. Keep up and dat Numbia X6 doe

11. jellmoo

Posts: 2531; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Am I the only one that finds it a little odd that the very first phone I've probably never heard of, is one that's been plastered all over PA for the past week? I know they kinda fess up to it, but it still seems like an odd way to start.

19. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

The world is changing and you have a front row seat. I think it's awesome that PhoneArena is bringing us news from around the world of mobile, especially the edge of mobile innovation which right now is in China.

12. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

The only thing keeping me from buying any of these phones is that none of them are 4G LTE capable...

13. Neo_Huang

Posts: 1067; Member since: Dec 06, 2013

All of them do except for the IUNI U2. Next time, why don't you actually read the articles first before commenting.

15. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

T-Mobile frequency?

17. ErenJaeger

Posts: 119; Member since: Apr 22, 2014

I know for a fact that Oneplus One has LTE on tmobile frequency because it has band 4.

18. fireblade

Posts: 717; Member since: Dec 27, 2013

Too bad they won't export those phones to other countries

20. Bioload25

Posts: 213; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

Oneplus One? That was named 'flagship killer'? Magnesium chassis,SD 801,13mpx camera, FHD LTPS LCD screen? Never heard of it..

23. express77 unregistered

Many people has heard of Oneplus One.

24. xeonfire

Posts: 93; Member since: Feb 15, 2014

Nice phones! The landscapes of smartphones are changing, people who are interested in the future need to move out from under the rock...OPO and Vivo!

25. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Likely never heard of the OnePlus One? Only if you've only stumbled upon PA 30 minutes ago. Otherwise, everybody here has heard of the OnePlus One.

27. Ashoaib

Posts: 3269; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Good job from PA.... promoting new phones...

28. Leonis

Posts: 338; Member since: Jan 08, 2014

I wish these phones came to us here in EU and US. That would change the high pricing quite a bit. Its already ridiculous expensive for a smartphone now a days. Good thing is though all the flagship phones are getting cheaper from last year but it takes a while before we can buy a phone for 300 and get killer specs.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.