If you live in the United States, let me tell you something first, you are missing out on some really good smartphones. Sure, the US gets some of the best phones from known manufacturers but there are so many Chinese smartphones that just don’t make it to the United States. In fact, many of the Best Chinese smartphones are unheard and are definitely worth a look. Luckily though, you can have them imported to the states with just a click of a button.
Note: Make sure that the smartphone you are importing runs on all the frequency that your carrier supports. You can check whether the Chinese smartphone supports certain frequency or not by check the detailed specs sheet of the phone on either the manufacturer website or GSMArena.com
OnePlus 5T is not just a good Chinese phone but one of the best smartphones you can buy in 2018. Sure, it was launched in 2017, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a beast of a phone.
- 6” Full HD+ AMOLED Display
- 16:9 Aspect Ratio with minimal bezels
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC
- 6GB/8GB RAM
- 64GB/128GB Storage Configuration
- 16MP Front Camera
- 16MP+20MP Dual Rear Camera Setup
- 3300mAh Battery
The OnePlus 5T without any doubt is on the top of the list of the Best Chinese Smartphones. The launch of the 5T clearly goes to show that a phone doesn’t necessarily need to be expensive to be a good one. The OnePlus 5T competes with phones that cost twice as much (and wins, many a time!) with ease. And if you decide to get the phone, make sure to check out the best cases for the OnePlus 5T as well.
You can buy the OnePlus 5T here>>
Xiaomi Mi 6
Xiaomi Mi 6 is the flagship phone from Xiaomi and it’s the best compact flagship phone money can buy.
- 5.1″ Full HD IPS Display
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 835SoC
- 6GB of RAM
- 12MP Dual Rear Camera
- 8MP Front Camera
- 4K Video Recording
- USB Type-C Connector
- Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0
- 3350mAh Battery
- Bluetooth 5.0
While the phone didn’t make gain as much hype as its predecessor, the Xiaomi Mi 5, it still makes for an excellent phone. The Mi 6 has one of the best cameras around on any smartphone. It easily competes with the cameras found on the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus.
Xiaomi Mi Mix 2
There seems to be this confusion about Xiaomi flagship phone: Is the Xiaomi Mi6 the flagship phone of Xiaomi or is it the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2? Well, here’s your answer! The Mi 6 is the company’s flagship which sells in millions of units. The Mix 2 is more or less an experiment which showcases the focus of Xiaomi on R&D.
The Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC and is paired with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM. The can get the Mix 2 in either 64GB or 128GB configuration.
The Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 is without any doubt one of the best Chinese smartphones of 2018. The design of the phone is also striking. However, it doesn’t grab as much attention as its predecessor did, just a year ago.
The phone comes with 12MP f/2.0 rear camera which is good but not excellent. Also, the use of a smaller 3400mAh battery is a disappointment. The original Xiaomi Mi Mix lasted a lot longer and had a better feel in the hand, thanks to the added heft due to the use of a larger battery. The phone also supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 out of the box.
You can get the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 for the cheapest price here>>
Meizu Pro 7 Plus
Launched in July of 2017, the Meizu Pro 7 Plus has to be one of the coolest functional phones out there. I say coolest functional phone because many of the phones out there do crazy things to make itself look cool but on the down-side makes the phone less functional. The Meizu Pro 7 Plus isn’t one of those phones.
The phone was announced in July 2017 and became available only a few months ago. Unlike other phones of 2017 which have two cameras, the Meizu Pro 7 Plus has 2 display. There’s a 5.7″ 1440 x 2560p AMOLED Display on the front and 2″ AMOLED Display with screen resolution of 240 x 536p at the back.
The Meizu Pro 7 is powered by the Helio X30 SoC. This is one of the few MediaTek SoC to be used on a phone. The camera on the phone is another highlight of the phone. There’s a dual 12MP rear camera at the back and a single 16MP camera at the front.
Thanks to the dual camera setup, the phone takes exceptionally good photos. And it’s while shooting photos where the secondary display truly shines. You can use the rear camera for taking selfies!
The secondary display can also be used for checking out notifications, time and other information such as weather.
The Meizu Pro 7 Plus runs on Android 7.0 Nougat but there’s a rumour that Android 8.0 is just around the corner.
Huawei Mate 10 Pro is the flagship phone from Huawei stable. Huawei has been doing exceptionally well in the International market recently. It sells the phone under the name Huawei and Honor. The company sells phones in both offline and online under the name Huawei. The Honor brand phones are only sold online. The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is their most recent smartphone and it has to be one of the most underrated smartphones of 2017-2018.
The phone packs a lot of features and the specs of the phone are top-notch. Some of the best features of the phone include:
- 6-inch 1080 x 2160 pixels AMOLED Display
- Hisilicon Kirin 970 SoC
- 4GB/6GB RAM
- 64GB/128B Storage
- Dual 12 MP Rear camera with f/1.6 Aperture
- 8MP Front Camera with f/2.0 Aperture
- 4K Video Recording @30fps
- 1080p Video Recording @60fps
- 4000mAh sealed-in Battery
- Fast Charging 58% in 30 min
- USB Type-C Reversible connector
- Android 8.0 Oreo
There’s very little that is missing on the phone. Many of the review websites including GSMArena, PhoneArena and CNet have not to say but praise the phone for its solid build quality and an excellent set of features.
The only complaint that the people have regarding the Mate 10 Pro has to be the use of a 1080p screen and the lack of 3.5mm headphone jack. The other feature that seems to be missing on the phone has to be the wireless charging.
Huawei P10 Plus
Huawei P10 Plus is another flagship phone from Huawei. Yes, Huawei indeed promotes both the Huawei P10 Pro and P10 Plus as their flagship phones.
Huawei P10 Plus has got a lot of features noteworthy which makes it a really good package. Sure, the phone doesn’t have a bezel-less design like the Mate 10 Pro but if that isn’t your priority, the phone is no slouch either.
The Huawei P10 Plus is powered by the top of the line HiSilicon Kirin 960 SoC and comes with either an option of 4GB of RAM or 6GB of RAM. The phone launched with Android 7.0 (Nougat) and the Oreo update is on its way.
The phone has got a dual an excellent dual-camera setup as well. On the rear, the phone has got a 12MP+20MP camera both with a fast f/1.8 lens. Just like the OnePlus 5 and the iPhone 8 Plus, the phone can also shoot with 2x zoom without loss of any quality.
The large battery is another highlight of the Huawei P10 Plus. The 3750 mAh battery is larger than that of the competition and easily last a day and a half. And unlike many of the flagship phones, the Huawei P10 Plus has a Micro-SD card slot for memory expansion.
Here’s a quick run-down of the specs of the Huawei P10 Plus:
- 5.5-inch 1440x2560p IPS LCD Display
- Huawei HiSilicon Kirin 960 SoC
- Mali-G71 MP8 GPU
- 4GB/6GB RAM
- 64GB/128GB Storage
- 12MP+20MP Rear Camera with f/1.8 aperture
- 8MP Front Camera with f/1.9 aperture
- 4K Video Recording @ 30fps
- USB Type-C Connector
The large battery is another highlight of the phone. You can get the Huawei P10 Plus at the best price here>>
Xiaomi Mi A1
Xiaomi Mi A1 is a solid phone that is well worth the money. The design of the phone may not be in line with the mid-range phones of late 2017 which all seem to follow the bezel-less design but apart from that, there’s really anything to complain!
The phone has got one of the best mid-range SoC, the Snapdragon 625 and 4GB of RAM is standard on the phone. What’s more? The phone has a solid dual rear camera which bests even some of the flagship phones from last year.
The dual camera setup on the Xiaomi Mi A1 is similar to that of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and the iPhone 8 X. One of the lenses is standard focal length lens and the other lens is a telephoto lens. The two lens system has 2 purposes on the phone. The first use of the 2 lens system is the 2x lossless zoom and the other key advantage of using the dual-lens system is creating portrait shots.
Both the software and the hardware of the Xiaomi Mi A1 is excellent. Also, unlike other Xiaomi phones, the phone comes with stock Android instead of MIUI software. It makes the phone feel snappy and less bloated.
The thing that separates the Xiaomi Mi A1 from the competition has to be the frequent software the phone gets. The Mi A1, being an Android One phone, will get software directly from Google. The phone is also scheduled to get Android Oreo by the end of January.
Now, let’s quickly go through the specs of the Xiaomi Mi A1:
- 5.5 inch LTPS IPS LCD Display
- 1080 x 1920 pixels
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC
- 32GB/64GB Internal Storage
- 4GB RAM
- Dual Rear Camera: 12MP(f/2.2, 26mm) + 12MP(f/2.6, 50mm)
- 5MP Front Camera
- 4K Video Recording @30fps
- 720p Video Recording @120fps
- 3080mAh Battery
The battery life of the Xiaomi Mi A1 is also solid. The battery endurance has always been a strength of Xiaomi phones. Although the Mi A1 doesn’t feature behemoth battery, the 3080mAh does the better-than-decent job at battery department.
UMIDIGI S2 Pro
Umidigi is a brand that not everyone knows about. In fact, you won’t find the specs of The Umidigi S2 even at GSMArena, far go seeing it in real life. However, if the world doesn’t know about the brand doesn’t mean that it is a bad phone altogether.
The Umidigi S2 Pro excels in some areas and in other areas, it’s a decent phone. The highlight of the phone has to be its price! The company has priced the phone for under $200 and you can get the phone, at times, for under $150. At this price point, the phone is a bargain.
You can check out the review of the Umidigi S2 Pro here as well. We found that the phone not only has goods specs but feels premium on the hand as well. The 5100mAh battery easily lasts all day, however, the phone charges albeit slowly.
The Umidigi S2 Pro is powered by the Helio P25 SoC and can be have had with either 4GB or 6GB of RAM. Also, as with most of the phones of 2018, the phone features an 18:9 aspect ratio display.
Overall, the Umidigi S2 Pro is a solid phone that is well worth its asking price (click the link for pricing update).
Xiaomi Mi Note 3
Too many Xiaomi phones in the list, right? Well, this is going to be the last one. The Xiaomi Mi Note 3 is the company’s best mid-range phone and comes with a host of new features.
The phone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC which is the flagship Qualcomm mid-range SoC. It even beats the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 in terms of performance while being frugal. The phone has an excellent Dual 12MP rear camera capable of shooting videos at 4K resolution. The Xiaomi Mi Note 3 comes with 6GB RAM as standard. It is the best all-rounder mid-range phone in this list of Best Chinese Smartphones which can be imported to the United States with ease.
ZTE Nubia Z17
If you don’t live under the rock, I’m pretty sure that you know about the ZTE Axon 7. It was one of the hottest phones of 2016 and was praised by the world for its premium design, specs and overall feel in the hand. The ZTE Nubia is another series by ZTE where the company sells the phones online exclusively.
But it’s 2018 now and things are albeit different. The competition has grown stronger and there’s a lot of phones to compete with right now. ZTE Nubia Z17 looks to change all that. The phone is more or less a hidden superstar.
The specs of the ZTE Nubia Z17 are as follows:
- 5.5-inch IPS LCD Display
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC
- 6GB of RAM
- Dual 12MP + 23MP Camera with f/1.8 lens and f/2.0 lens
- 16MP Front Camera with f/2.0 lens
- 4K Video Recording
- 3200mAh battery
- Quick Charge 4.0
- USB Type-C
The phone has one of the best hardware you will find on any smartphone. The ZTE Nubia 17 doesn’t look as fancy as the other phones in the list, but if you are looking for a phone that is functional and works like advertised, the Nubia 17 from ZTE is the way to go. If you are on a tight budget, you should definitely consider this phone as it is a really good valued phone on this list of Best Chinese Smartphones 2018.
And this being a ZTE phone, the network connectivity is exceptional. During my time of testing, I found that this phone has the fastest 4G speeds and also had better network coverage than rest of the phone.
Oppo once entered the United States and sold phone really well. But, just after that, for more than a reason, it has to back-off and it’s hardly available in the US right now.
The Oppo R11s is praised by the CNet for having an excellent camera set, both front and back and a really good display. Here’s a quick run-down of the specs of the Oppo R11s:
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC
- 6-inch display with slim bezels
- Front 20-megapixel (with AI) and 16-megapixel rear camera
- 3200mAh Battery
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
- 64GB Storage
- Micro-USB Port
Oppo is one of the largest smartphone manufacturers in the world and sells millions of units daily! It produces the highest selling phone (in terms of volume) in India and many parts of Asia.
However, not all is good with Oppo phones and especially the Oppo R11s. The phone features the old-standard Micro-USB Port and the UI of the phone isn’t particularly impressive. The phones of Oppo also don’t get updated timely.
The phone has a large 3200mAh battery which charges exceptionally fast thanks to the proprietary VOOC Fast Charge technology.
All-in-all, the Oppo R11s is a good package that is definitely worth a mention!
The Verdict: Best Chinese Smartphones
2018 is just here and we are sure there are a lot of good phones yet to come out! This year, we can expect the upcoming OnePlus 6, Xiaomi Mi7 & Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 to top the list.
However, from the list we have right now, the OnePlus 5T is the clear winner here. The phone has the best hardware, best software and is priced reasonably well. However, if you are looking for a budget option, checking out the Umidigi S2 Pro is what I really recommend.
Chinese smartphone makers are really stepping up the game. Just a few years ago, nobody knew who Xiaomi was, OnePlus didn’t exist and Huawei was just getting into the smartphone business.
There are new smartphones coming every other day. We will make sure to update this list of Best Chinese smartphones 2018. Want to import Chinese smartphones to the United States? We will update a tutorial on that one shorty.
What do you think of the list? Do you think that we missed a phone? Which other phone is being on the list and worth a mention? Do let us know down in the comments section down below.