Tech

iPhone Who? Best Chinese Phones 2017 Reviews!

Updated on February 04, 2017.

The new iPhone 7 is awesome. So is the new Samsung Galaxy S7. But what do those phones have in common? Both phones are really expensive.

Both these phones along with the new flagship devices will cost you around 600 to 700 dollars which is a lot of money to invest on a phone. Yes, there are mobile plans that will subsidize your new phone making it less expensive, but if you do that, you are generally stuck with the same carrier for around two years. And then you have to hope that the carrier provides you good service because there is no way back out of it.

Therefore, if you are on a tight budget there are a lot of options out there of Chinese Brand Phones that are really good in quality but costs a fraction of what the popular flagship phones costs.

As you may know, pretty much every phone nowadays is produced in China and except from the popular brands like Apple, HTC and Samsung, Chinese phones were of bad quality as they were usually just cheap copies of those popular brands phones. But the game have changed and now Chinese phone makers are investing on their own brands, making quality devices that can compete with a flagship device and sometimes, even be a better option.

Examples of Chinese phone brands that are popular nowadays are Oneplus with their popular OnePlus one, Oneplus 2 and so on and Xiaomi with their huge range of devices.

To help you to get to know those brands and their recommended phones, we created a Top Rated Chinese Phone Brands list. Keep on Reading and we guarantee you will be interested in a few of those phones.

Best Chinese Phones 2017

OnePlus 3

The Oneplus 3 was released in June 14, 2016 and it is one of the most beautiful and powerful devices you can buy.

It usually costs way less than half of its popular competitors, but under the hood it has great specs.

Personally I think that the OnePlus 3 is the most beautiful device that OnePlus has made so far. It weighs 158 grams. On the back, the phone has a minimalist design made of aluminum and the phone is just 7,35mm thick.

The OnePlus 3 has a 5.5 inch screen which is perfect for media consumption like Youtube videos, reading text without the need to be constantly scrolling and even gaming. Its resolution of 1920 X 1080 pixels (401 ppi) makes everything on the phone looks great as you cannot see any individual pixel and images get crispier. Another good thing of OnePlus 3 is that it has a AMOLED panel which makes colors look more natural and also helps you to save battery life as, for example, when you have a black image displayed, the pixels that would show you the black part of the image just shut themselves off, making the hole screen more energy efficient.

The phone has a biometric reader on the front which can be used to unlock the phone. This way, you get rid of that boring task of typing a pass code or make those geometric figures. The biometric reader on this phone is really fast and hardly misses the recognition.

Another great plus on this phone is the amount of RAM it has. 6GB. Yes, that is right, this phone has more RAM available than most computers out there. Along with a 64 GB storage, you will have plenty of hardware for demanding games and apps.

It comes out of the box with Android 6 without any skin on it, so you get the perfect Android experience as it is meant to be.

Cubot X16S Smartphone

Another great option if you are on a budget is the Cubot X16S. This phone has everything: great design, great specs and costs you way less than the value of a flagship device. And it comes factory unlocked.

Powered by a MT6735A 1.3GHz Quad-Core fast processor with 3 GB of RAM this phone can manage pretty much every game and APP you need.

It has a 5.0 IPS inch screen with resolution of 1280X720. It one of the best screens available on the market of Chinese brand phones. It is very clear, colors look natural and even though it is not that high of a resolution, you will have a hard time trying to find individual pixels and imperfections on this screen.

But the Cubot X16S gets attention on its looks. It is a beautiful phone. You got glass on the front and the back, similar to the iPhone 4 design, but in a really thin device. Only 6.2mm thick.

With 16GB of internal storage, you have enough room for a lot off apps and media, but if this isn`t enough, you can Always expand it later with a Micro SD Card.

This chinese phone has an 8.0MP camera on the front and an amazing 13.0MP camera on the back.

UMI Super

This chinese phone is a beast! Period. And it is hard to believe that it is priced under $250.

It is a beautiful unibody phone all made in aluminum, it has a 5.5 FHD Gorila Glass 3 protected screen, with resolution of 1920 X 1080, which, for you math freaks out there, gives you more than 400 PPI.

But when I said this Chinese brand phone UMI Super is a beast, I meant it. It is powered by a Octa-core Helio P10 clocked at 2.0GHz and it has an amazing 4GB of RAM. This means that you can play any game out on PlayStore, no questions asked. From Pokemon GO to those crazy shooters that look like are mini versions of Call of Duty. You can play them all and your phone won`t even heat. Too much.

With 32GB of Rom, there is plenty of space for music, vídeos and whatever you want to fill your device with.

Another nice feature it has is the back finger print scanner with helps you unlock your phone very quickly. I personally prefer when we have those fingerprint scanners on the back because I usually take the phone out of my pocket with the index finger placed on the spot where the sensor usually is anyways, so at the time I face the device it is already unlocked and ready to go.

Camera! This one is also a Camera beast. It has a 13MP rear camera and a 5MP front camera so if you like to take pictures, your are going to be pleased with this phone`s cameras quality.

It comes out of the box with stock Android 6.0! Yes, stock Android! Don`t we all love stock Android?

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3

One thing that is noticeble in chinese branded phones are that it is getting bigger and bigger. It appears to be a trend, I am afraid that our phones are getting bigger every year.

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 is one of those phones, but it makes it in such a way that you don`t feel it is huge. It is really comfortable to hold due to its curved edges. It is really comfortable to hold.

Another thing that Chinese branded phones do and it goes at the straight opposite as the famous American / Korean brands is that Chinese manufactures are not that crazy about making thinner and thinner devices. Well, the Redmi Note 3 is no fat cell phone, but it does have a 4000mAh battery which is more than enough to get you through the day without worrying about charging your phone. Depending on how much you use, you may get two full days on a single charge.

Another feature I love about this phone is the back fingerprint scanner, as I said, I put this phone on my pocket and when I pick it up, it is already on and unlocked. It is so natural to pick the phone with your index finger on the fingerprint sensor that you do this without having to think about it.

About the display, we also get a 5.5” screen on this one with 1080P resolution. It is really gorgeous and really good for movies. It also have some exclusive features called Sunlight Display, Night Display and Reading mode, which adapt the brightness of the screen to best comfort depending on your needs at that particular moment.

It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 64bit 1.8GHz Hexa Core processor, 3GB of RAM and 32 GB of ROM. Therefore, if you need a powerful phone, a phone that will last you longer and an amazing 16MP rear camera phone, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 is the way to go.

Ulefone Power 4G LTE

I like to travel a lot. Who doesn`t right? But myself, I am a sucker for travel. I am traveling whenever I can. So when they gave me the Ulefone Power to test, I saved it for around three weeks because I had to test it on my next trip. So when I went to Argentina for a one week trip, I took it with me and I had a pleasant experience.

This phone has an Octa core processor, it has 3 GB of RAM, it has 16GB of ROM – which can be expanded with a Micro SD up to 128GB – it has a nice 5.5 inch 1080P screen protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3…. I mean, the phone is awesome.

But it is not the best part about this phone. It is its battery. It has a monstrous 6050mAh Sony battery. I mean if you compare it with the 1715mAh battery from the iPhone 6S or the 3000 mAh battery from Samsung Galaxy S7 or even the 4000 mAh battery of the Xiami Redmi Note 3, you can see that it is a huge, huge battery. Apple fans over there, no worries. I know the iPhone has a great energy management, it is super power efficient and so this 1715mAh battery gets you through and entire day, but come on. The Ulefone has a 6050mAh battery! It is more than three times more power juice. And I gotta tell you that the Android energy management system is not bad on this phone either.

Back to my trip, I charged the phone up to 100% when I got to the hotel and left. It was around 11 am in the morning. I went that day to Puerto Madero, took a huge amount of pictures, then I went to the Caminito and took a lot of pictures that as well, went back to the Puerto Madero to have dinner, went back to the hotel at around 11:30 PM and I had … 57% battery left. And I used my phone as I normally do. I took a lot of pictures as I already said, browsed the web from time to time, social networks and all… I just didn`t listen to music because I was traveling with my wife and that would be rude to be there with the earphone on all the time, but even so, it is huge.

The manufacturer Ulefone claims that you can get up to 4 days of battery life on normal use with the Ulefone Power. I gotta say I doubt that, but they are not way off. I could get around two days of battery life without too many effort from my part and I am a heavy user. If you are not as a heavy user, you can get up to three days of autonomy with this device. It is huge.

So, the Ulefone is a great device by its specs. It has great camera, great performance and a beautiful screen, but the selling point for this device it is camera. If you need a device that will last longer on a single charge, the Ulefone Power 4G is the way to go.

Vernee Apollo Lite Smartphone 4G

The Vernee Apollo Lite is another interesting chinese brand phone. Usually priced under $300, the phone has amazing specs.

It features a MTK6797 Helio X20 Deca Core CPU that clocks at 2.3GHz, it has 4GB of RAM, 32 GB of ROM and has a beautiful 5.5 inch 1080P HD screen. And it is the lite version of this phone. It is rumored that Vernee will soon launch a 6GB RAM version of this phone soon.

On the design, the phone looks a lot like the OnePlus 3, it has a metal unibody design too, but the biggest difference between the two is that on the Vernee Apollo Lite, the fingerprint reader is on the back on the phone. I like it better there.

Battery size? 3180mAh non-removable battery which should be enough to give you one or two days on a single charge.

The rear camera on this phone is a really nice 16MP camera that supports 4K video recording. If you plan to use it for 4K video, you will probably need a SD Card on this phone. The Vernee Apollo Lite supports cards up to 128 GB.

Overall, this phone is really powerful and well-built. The white version is really pretty and we liked it more than the regular black version.

It comes out of the box with Android 6.0 basically unmodified.

BLUBOO Picasso

The BLUBOO Picasso is one of our favorite chinese smartphones. It is not as powerful as the previous ones we showed you but it is as good as them.

The BLUBOO comes with a Quad-Core processor clocked at 1.3 GHZ, 2 GB of RAM and 16GB of ROM. While it won`t be good for the most demanding games and apps, this will run you basic apps without problems. Browse the web with Google Chrome, Facebook App, Twitter App, they all work fine.

The phone has a 5 inch screen with a 720P resolution which looks really good.

Camera wise, you get a 8MP camera on both the front and the rear of the device. While it won`t get the prize for best camera on a phone, it will be more than enough for those casual photos and selfies.

But what drives attention to this phone is its looks. It is beautiful.

It is thin and the back of the phone has a unique diamond design that looks awesome. It looks a bit like the old HTC Diamond but it is even better. The name of the phone works perfect with it. While not a power beast, it looks awesome!

Asus ZenFone 3

I know, I know. You guys are shouting at the screen right now saying that Asus is not chinese. And indeed it is not. Asus is a taiwanese company. But we decided to include this phone on our list anyway for two main reasons:

First, the Zenfone line is yet not much known here in the U.S. and second, the Zenfone line can also be considered a low-cost / high-value asian phone.

Now that you have forgiven me, let`s talk about the phone.

If you look at a ZenFone 3, chances are that you are going to fall in love for it immediately. It is gorgeous.

On the front, we got an 5.2 inches, Super IPS 1080P Screen with Gorilla Glass. There are many colors available that you can choose from: White, Gold, Blue and Black. I personally think that the white version is the prettiest version of them all, but the black is really good too.

The ZenFone 3 is really thin. Just 6.16mm thick. But it has a metal frame and glass back that will make the phone look and feel very durable.

If you are a photo freak, you are not going to be disappointed with this phone. It has a 16MP rear camera capable of 4K recording and it is protected by Sapphire, which means a scratch free camera lens. As if it wasn`t enough, it has laser foccus which promisses to foccus in jus 0.03 seconds. No more ruined photos, even those quick ones.

Under the hood we get a 64-bit, 2.0GHz octa-core Snapdragon™ 625 processor, 3GB or 4GB of RAM depending on the model you choose. This phone has fast charging which allows you to fully charge your phone from 0% to 100% in just two hours.

And last, but not least, we have that great fingerprint reader on the back.

For under 400 dollars, you sure need to consider the Zenfone 3 as an option.

BLU VIVO 5R Smartphone

Yes, I know that BLU is an American company. But, surprise, surprise. Their phones are produced in… China. Most people gets surprised when they find out that most of BLU`s phones, if not all of them, are rebranded versions of some of the best chinese branded phones available.

Since BLU Vivo 5R is one of the latest and best budget phones we can find, we decided to put it on our list as well.

That amount of money will get you a 5.5 inch Full HD Display with curved glass. The phone is 8.1mm thick with an metal back that fells very solid and nice on the hand. It has that rear fingerprint reader that we all love that will help you to get your phone unlocked before you even face directly at it.

Under the hood we get a MediaTek 6753 64-Bit 1.3GHz Octa Core Processor with 3GB of RAM. This is more than enough for most apps and multi-tasking without any problems. This phone is very fluid and you can even play most of the new games on it without having to worry about performance.

With 32GB of ROM, there is plenty of space for musics and apps, but you can always expand that storage with a SD Card. Speaking of music, this phone has DTS Surround Sound. Music on it, sounds much better than most phones available out there.

The BLU VIVO 5R has a 3,150 mAh Battery that will get you through one full day of battery life, even if you are a hard user.

Lastly, the phone has a 13MP Sony IMX258 rear camera and a 8MP wide-angle Selfie Camera on the front.

For under $250, BLU VIVO 5R is a great option for a budget smartphone.

BLU PURE XR

And yet again, we included another BLU phone on our list. And it is one of the best and cheapest smartphones we reviewed so far.

The BLU PURE XR usually will cost around half of what your usual flagship device would, but it will deliver you a great quality phone. There is this trend of searching for the flagship device killer and this is one of our top rated smartphone for that.

On a all metal unibody desgin, the Blu Pure XR has a 5.5” Full HD Super AMOLED Curved display with 1080×1920 resolution. It has the latest MediaTek helio P10 64-Bit 2.0GHz Octa Core processor, 4 GB of RAM and 64GB of Internal Storage. It is a beast of a phone that will cost you much less than the usual iPhone 7 or even the newest Pixel and Pixel XL from Google.

This phone has a 16MP Main Camera and 8MP Wide-Angle Front Camera, making it a great phone both for taking picture and for selfies.

Even though the fingerprint sensor on this phone is on the front, it works pretty much flawlessly which is great to have.

If you are considering buying a phone that will last years without getting slow without spending too much, the BLU Pure XR is the smartphone to go.

Lenovo Vibe Shot

We could not end our list without a Lenovo phone, am I right? And we have chosen the most different phone available on their range. The Lenovo Vibe Shot.

The Vibe Shot from Lenovo is a device that was brought last year during the MWC. The best part about this phone is that you have a hard time deciding if it is a camera with a phone attached or a phone with a nice point and shoot camera attached.

Its appearance is more to the camera side. It is compact and well-built. It is made from aluminum on the sides and its front and rear glass panels are protected by Gorilla Glass.

It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core 1,7 GHz processor, has 3GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage that can be expanded via a Micro SD Card up to 128 GB. Its screen is a 5,0’’ Full HD (1920×1080) IPS panel. Battery wise it has a 2.900 mAh battery that should be enough for a full day of use.

But its main selling point is its camera. The rear sensor is a 16MP with six pieces lens, infrared foccus and optic image stabilization. If you are a photo manic, go for the Lenovo Vibe Shot. You won`t regret it.

Vernee Mars

The first thing you are going to notice about the Vernee Mars is that it looks a little bit like the iPhone 7. Maybe a little too much.

But the fact is that even though it looks like the iPhone 7 in general, it has its differences and this phone is a great option for a power phone when you are on a budget.

The Vernee Mars is a 4G Smartphone with a Metal Unibody. Its screen is gorgeous and it has a ultra-thin bezel of just 1mm. This gives the Vernee Mars a 81% screen to body ratio. This is great because you will get a massive 5.5 inch screen on a phone of that is less than 6 inches tall.

The Vernee is powered by an Helio P10 Octa Core 2.0GHz processor, it has 4GB RAM and 32GB of internal storage. It also comes with quick-charge enabled which can get up from a completely dead battery to around 50% charge on just 30 minutes.

One thing that we liked about the Mars Smartphone is that it has a side mounted fingerprint sensor. Even though I am a much bigger fan of rear fingerprint sensors, I must admit that this version on the Vernee Mars is really good. Its position is great and easily accessible. It is a place where you naturally puts your finger anyways, so by the time you get your phone out of your pocket it is already unlocked.

About the cameras, this phone is also a beast. It has a Sony IMX258 camera with 13MP on the rear. It has dual tone flash and photos taken with this phone look amazing.

One last thing, it comes with stock Android 6.0! Ow yeah!

Letv Le 2 X620

The best way to describe this phone is: The OnePlus 3 and the iPhone 6 had a baby together.

Following the latest trend of aluminum unibody phones, the Letv Le 2 X620 is an affordable chinese phone but it may be the most unknown phones of our list. First, Letv is not very famous, not even between chinese phones enthusiasts and second, even though the phone looks great, it is obvious that they maybe got too much inspired by other phones.

But don`t just give up on this phone yet. It has a powerfull 10 Core 2.3 GHz processor, 3 GBs of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage. With a high resolution 5.5 inch screen this phone is great to view content on. Videos, web browsing… anything will be great to view on this gadget. And when you find out how much it costs… you`ll be tempted to get one.

It has a rear fingerprint scanner that works pretty much flawlessly and on the back of this phone you also get a 16MP camera. Photos taken by this phone aren`t always perfect, but it will do the trick on good light conditions. Night photos though, are not recommended.

Also worth mentioning is that the phone comes with an USB Type-C socket instead of the usual Micro USB port, which means faster data transfer and faster charging.

Ulefone Metal

The name of the phone gives it all up right away. The Ulefone Metal is a smartphone built in a unibody metal case that gives this chinese phone a good style.

The phone is available in Silver, Black or Grey colors. All those colors are similar to the ones that the iPhone is available.

The Ulefone Metal is powered by a MTK6753 Octa core processor, 3 GB of Ram and 16 GB of internal storage that can be expanded with a micro SD card up to 128 GB.

The screen of the mobile phone is a gorgeous 5 inch HD Panel with resolution of 1280 x 720px.

If you need a phone with battery enough for a long day of use, the Ulefone Metal gets you covered with a 3050mAh non removable baterry. On our tests, it was more then enough to hold a entire day of heavy use.

On the back, a nice finger print reader is available for fast unlocking and a 13MP camera are available for use. Photos taken on this phone are good. Not great, but you won`t feel disappointed, specially after you find out how much this phone costs.

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