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To help you find the best Chinese smartphones for your money, we analyzed more than 23 options from a wide variety of different brands and then scored them according to their performance in several key areas. We ranked each phone based on its performance, camera quality, build quality, and battery power. Then, we narrowed our choices to the top 10 smartphones and presented them in this buying guide. We recommend finding a Chinese smartphone that works on your regional network and one that provides a good combination of the above features and functionalities. We preferred smartphones with good display quality, long-lasting batteries, and ultra-responsive processors.
With these factors in mind, we selected the OnePlus 8 Pro as the best Chinese smartphone. Keep reading to learn more about this powerful phone and the other best smartphone top picks we selected.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This Chinese smartphone provides a stunning 120Hz display with bright colors and added durability, making it perfect for anyone who loves to stream movies or play games on their phone. It also features a snappy internal process and blazing-fast 5G network speeds.
This Chinese manufacturer has taken the OnePlus line to the next level with the OnePlus 8 Pro. This is one of the most high-end smartphones, and it improves upon tons of the most amazing features from the previous generation. The OnePlus 8 Pro also adds brand new functionality and options, as well. We were most impressed with the OnePlus 8 Pro’s display, which features beautiful QHD+ resolution (3168 x 1440 pixels), a 120Hz refresh rate, and HDR10+ support for extra-colorful picture quality. Plus, you’ll get 5G connectivity options on this brilliant smartphone, enabling you to stream your favorite movies and shows from anywhere you get cell service.
Related: If you have an elderly loved one, you may want to check the best cell phones for seniors.
This Chinese smartphone is dedicated to reliable, snappy performance, as well. With its Snapdragon 865 processor, you’ll get quick response times and smooth overall operation, even when you’re playing games or using resource-heavy business applications. The OnePlus 8 Pro also designed incredibly well and should feel great in your hands. It offers a premium finish and IP68 water and dust resistance, which is a first for the OnePlus flagship series lineup, making it a great option if you’re in the market for the best waterproof phones. You’ll also get excellent wireless power capabilities with the OnePlus 8 Pro. It gets charged up quickly from wireless chargers and can even act as a wireless charging feature for your other mobile devices when you need it.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This powerful Chinese smartphone offers a large 4200 mAh capacity battery with incredibly long-lasting power for all-day use. You’ll also get snappy performance with a high-tech Kirin 980 processor and a stunning OLED display with a 3120 x 1400 pixel resolution, which is better than you’ll find on many flagship series phones.
If you’re looking for a premium Chinese smartphone experience, then look no further than the Huawei Mate 20. It’s built with premium quality inside and out. The best feature, though, is its incredible battery life. The battery offers an impressive 4200 mAh capacity of power, and the Mate 20 can last at least a day and a half before you’ll need to recharge it. You can even get two days of use out of the Mate 20 if you’re careful with only using the basics. You’ll also get a fast 40W charging cable included in your purchase, which fully charges the battery in minimal time. The Huawei Mate also includes a wireless charging feature for even more flexibility.
Related: In case you have two sim cards, it may be worth buying the best dual sim phone in the market.
The Huawei Mate 20 features dual SIM technology, as well, so you can separate business from personal use, or maintain two separate contact lists if that’s important to you. It’s also extra responsive and powerful with its Kirin 980 chipset. This octa-core processor makes everything on the phone run incredibly smooth. This includes creating a friendly user experience in the user interface, even though it can be a little complicated at times due to the lack of refinement you often find in alternatives like Samsung and iPhone. However, the Mate 20 doesn’t lag or stutter thanks to the phone’s snappy Kirin 980 processor. The Mate 20 also features an impressively premium design. It’s got a metal frame and stunning OLED display with curved glass, all of which work together to create a beautiful looking phone. It’s a great option for anyone looking for one of the best phones for business.
Award: BEST DURABILITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you want added durability for your Chinese smartphone, then you can’t go wrong with this option and its rubberized edges, MIL-STD-810G certification,shatter-resistant display. It also gives you powerful performance with its Helio P90 chipset and impressively long-lasting 5500 mAh battery.
The Ulefone Armor 7e brings added durability and ruggedness to the Chinese smartphone category. If you work a tough job and tend to damage your phones a lot, then this is a great choice for you. The Armor 7e features pretty much anything you could ever want when it comes to durability. At first glance, you’ll notice the outer casing with four long sites and rubberized plastic covering the edges and corners. With this tough build quality, the Armor 7e will be able to survive tall drops and even hits with ease. The display is also extra touch, with an oleophobic coating and built-in screen protector on the Gorilla Glass 5 display. You’ll also be pleased to know that the Armor 7e meets MIL-STD-810G specifications and features an IP69K rating. These ratings mean it can be used in the field or on a worksite without worries of getting ruined, even from high-pressure sprays of water. Even more, the Ulefone Armor 7e is built with waterproof glue, which keeps water out even more effectively. It’s safe to say that this is one of the most durable Chinese smartphones your money can buy today.
The Ulefone Armor 7e rugged smartphone also features a powerful Helio P90 chipset, which powers the phone to the point where you will experience minimal lag or stuttering. This level of performance makes the Armor 7e a good competitor against even the most premium Chinese smartphones. It’s also designed incredibly well, with a large 6.3-inch display and FHD+ resolution. It looks good in most situations but could use a little more brightness and color. You might worry about battery life with all of these premium features, but you can rest assured that the Armor 7e will last you a long time. Its battery is rated at 5500 mAh and will last you for hours on end before you need to charge it again. The battery also features a wireless charging feature, which is a nice touch. For even more durable options, check out our best rugged smartphones buying guide.
Award: BEST QUALITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: This premium flagship phone offers the best when it comes to design, display, and camera quality. With a next-gen camera array on both the front and back of the phone, you’ll be able to take the best selfie photos and video with ease.
We have a lot of praise for the Huawei P30 Pro Chinese smartphone. It’s built well with an incredibly appealing design and form factor. This level of quality and attention to detail is apparent inside and out, and it’s apparent as soon as you hold the phone in your hands for the first time. The Mate P30 Pro features a sleek design aesthetic that includes a metal frame, glass back, and extra-large display. The display’s image quality is what really makes the phone shine. It’s a curved, infinity design with minimal bezels and full HD resolution. If we’re being honest, the resolution is a little disappointing, but you’ll still get amazing picture quality with sharp details and vivid colors. The display even features HDR, or high dynamic range, color support for a more immersive experience.
We were also really impressed by the Huawei P30 Pro’s camera setup. It features a rear-camera array with three different lenses and a Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensor. On the main camera, you’ll get a high resolution of 40 megapixels of resolution, as well as a stellar 32-megapixel selfie camera on the front. The Mate P30 Pro snaps excellent photos and video recordings, so if you’re a mobile photographer, you’ll be extra pleased with this device. The camera also includes tons of different software enhancements like optical image stabilization (OIS) to make sure you get a clear, detailed picture or video, every time. It’s a great option for anyone in search of the best phones for vlogging and prefer a chinese model.
#5 Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Chinese Smartphone
Award: BEST LARGE SCREEN
WHY WE LIKE IT: With a large 5260 mAh battery and a large, high-resolution display, you’ll get a solid mid-range option with this Chinese smartphone. The display is the phone’s best feature, with bright and vivid color reproduction, along with a responsive in-display fingerprint sensor and HDR10 support.
The Xiaomi Mi Note 10 entry-level phone offers solid mid-range performance and functionalities. It doesn’t quite hold up to the most expensive or premium options, but it does well overall and is more affordable than those flagship phones, as well. One area in which this large-screen Chinese smartphone excels, though, is when it comes to battery life and camera quality. The Xiaomi Mi Note 10 was the first smartphone to offer a 108-megapixel camera sensor, and still produces better image and video quality than many of the newest flagship phones available on the smartphone market today. We were very impressed by the Note 10’s stellar camera performance. It can take amazing shots, both still images and video, in a variety of different lighting scenarios, including low light situations. If you’re looking for an excellent camera, this is the Chinese smartphone that will work best for you.
We were also really impressed by the Mi Note 10’s truly-powerful battery life. With a large, 5260 mAh battery, you’ll get all-day battery life and often even multi-day battery performance. Of course, as with all batteries, performance can be lessened when you run the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 on the brightest display settings and while using resource-heavy applications all day long. The Mi Note 10’s display is also something to be applauded. It’s brighter and more colorful than its affordable price point suggests. And while it only offers a 2340 x 1080 pixel resolution, the display still outperforms many of the other options of the smartphone market, making it one of the best large screen phones on the list. You’ll also get cutting edge charging functionality with the included 30W fast charger, which gives you a full charge in the matter of an hour or two.
Award: BEST STORAGE OPTIONS
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you need a lot of internal storage to store pictures, movies, and app data, then you’ll love this Chinese smartphone. With 256GB of base storage and the option to expand up to 2TB with a microSD card, this phone has all of your storage needs covered.
The ZTE Axon 10 Pro is a good mid-range Chinese smartphone that offers reliable processing power with its impressive Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset. This processor, paired with the phone’s 8GB of RAM, makes quick work of mobile games and processor-heavy applications. Everything runs smoothly on the Axon 10 Pro, even the user interface, which is a little clunky in some areas. We were impressed by the phone’s overall performance, and you’ll be sure to get a reliable user experience if you buy this option.
Where the ZTE Axon 10 Pro really shines is in its storage options. For starters, the smartphone offers a large base internal storage of 256GB. This is impressive enough on its own, but it gets even better when you find out the Axon 10 Pro also has a microSD card slot with support for up to 2TB of additional storage. If you like to use your smartphone as a portable music and movie player, then the Axon 10 Pro is your best bet. And while the ZTE Axon 10 Pro doesn’t feature the most exciting design in the world, it still has a beautiful AMOLED screen with a 2340 x 1080 pixel resolution and responsive in-display fingerprint sensor. You’ll also get a wireless charging feature for an added versatility bonus. For 5G capabilities, check out our best 5G phones buying guide.
Award: BEST FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you use your phone for photography purposes, then you can’t go wrong with this powerful Chinese smartphone. With excellent low light performance, impressive camera software, and large megapixel sensors, you’ll be able to take your photography to the next level with this option.
The Huawei P20 Pro catches its stride when it comes to its onboard camera array and everything that comes with it. The phone features an impressive triple camera setup with 40MP, 20MP, and 8MP lenses, each with a different purpose that enhances your overall image quality. The camera also features a really great night mode for low light photography. We were even more impressed by the Huawei P20 Pro’s camera software enhancements, the best of which includes an AI algorithm to sharpen the overall detail of your images.
When it comes to design and performance, the P20 Pro sports Huawei’s beautiful design mindset. The phone looks sharp, with rounded corners, a metal frame, and a gorgeous OLED display. Unfortunately, the OLED display is where the design suffers the most. It’s not as sharp as other Huawei phones, but it still looks good under most circumstances. The P20 Pro also features a plucky Kirin 970 CPU and a big 4000 mAH battery, the combination of which can give you a whopping two-day battery life with average use. No need for the best portable charger with this device!
Award: BEST ON A BUDGET
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re on a budget and looking for the best budget Chinese smartphone, then this is the choice for you. With a snappy Kirin 970 chipset and tons of expandable storage, you’ll get both performance and flexibility on this entry-level phone.
The Honor View 10 Chinese smartphone takes performance to the next level when compared to its affordability. This affordable phone offers a snappy Kirin 970 processor, which gives you flagship performance without the added price tag. While the user interface feels a little heavy at times, it’s overall very responsive and easy to use. The Honor View 10 also sports an appealing design, from its back cover to the bright and colorful IPS display on the front. The screen size measures in at just under six inches, as well, making this one of the best small Chinese smartphones your money can buy.
Perhaps the best design quality here with this budget phone is the Honor View 10’s overall storage functionality. The phone comes with 128GB of built-in storage out of the box, but it can also be expanded to include much more space with the inclusion of the microSD card slot. The camera on the Honor View 10 is acceptable, but it lacks the polish and software enhancements that you’ll find in more premium handsets. All in all, though, you’re getting excellent value and quality here for such an affordable phone. It’s a good option if you’re in the market for the best phones for kids.
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Award: BEST DISPLAY
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you love devices with large, bright displays with slim bezels and no notch, then you’ll love this Chinese smartphone. Plus, with its fast Snapdragon processor and impressive camera array, then this smartphone gives you plenty of premium functionality.
The Vivo X50 Pro is a Chinese smartphone that excels in the display quality department. This is a large, 6.56-inch beautiful AMOLED screen with Full HD+ resolution, at 2376 x 1080 pixels. The display also features an impressive 90Hz refresh rate, which makes action movies and mobile games extra smooth. However, the best part of this display is the fact that it stretches nearly all the way across the phone for an infinity display effect. There are virtually zero bezels and you’ll also notice that there is no notch for the front-facing camera. Instead, you’ll get a unique punch-hole design that keeps the camera out of the way. The effect is truly stunning, which is why the Vivo X50 Pro phone has the best display in this category.
The Vivo X50 Pro also earns high marks when it comes to performance. Sure, it doesn’t offer the latest and greatest CPU, but the included Snapdragon 765G processor offers plenty of power for all of your needs. The Vivo’s user interface can feel a little clunky at times, and it has too much pre-installed bloatware – but it offers an overall reliable and smooth user experience. The Vivo X50 Pro really shines with its camera, though. It features an incredibly innovative gimbal camera system that stabilizes your photos and videos much better than the standard optical image stabilization tech can. The results are sharp, detailed pictures in any situation. Great if you’re looking for one of the best selfie camera phones.
Award: BEST FOR FAST CHARGING
WHY WE LIKE IT: With a unique design, powerful processor, and the fastest charging technology, this Chinese smartphone is extra versatile for the broader customer base. You’ll also get an amazing camera with next-gen AI enhancements and AR capabilities.
At first glance, you’ll notice just how unique the Honor View 20 truly is. It features a similar shape and form factor to many flagship Chinese phones available today, but there are a few things that stand out. The first is the phone’s radical color design on the backplate. It looks different and unique, and it surely will turn some heads. Next, you’ll get a unique punch-hole design on the display for the front-facing camera. This gives you even more display real estate, which is a nice plus. In our opinion, these additional design features elevate the overall user experience. You’ll also get an extra-responsive Kirin 980 processor with the Honor View 20. This makes the UI and mobile applications feel snappy and smooth. Unfortunately, you’ll miss out on some more advanced design aspects here, like 5G connectivity and wireless charging capabilities.
The Honor View 20 also provides impressive overall camera performance. While it doesn’t feature the multi-lens approach that is so common on new Chinese smartphones, you’ll still get a powerful 48-megapixel camera on the rear camera setup and a solid 25-megapixel sensor on the front-facing selfie camera. We were impressed by both the rear and front cameras, which snap really clear and detailed shots. This is mostly due to the AI Ultra Clarity enhancement, which uses Artificial Image Stabilization (AIS) and four-in-one superpixel tech to create crisper results. The Honor View 20’s camera is also capable of excellent low-light photography, making it one of the best low light camera phones on our list.
In terms of specs, we ranked the best Chinese smartphones in many of the same ways we did with the rest of our smartphone buying guides. First and foremost, we started by looking at each phone’s overall performance and reliability. We only included phones in our guide if they were able to function smoothly throughout the day with most applications and workflows. We awarded bonus points to phones that provided extra-powerful processors for things like gaming or business applications. In this area of our analysis, we also preferred phones with user interfaces that were simple and easy to learn. If this is your first Chinese smartphone, you might be surprised with a brand new UI that you’ve never seen before, but this shouldn’t be a downside to the Chinese phone you purchase.
Next, we looked at form factor and design aesthetic. This includes ranking phones based on their display quality and additional amazing features like biometric security and camera quality. We preferred phones with a premium build quality, with extra-tough displays and metal frames for protection against drops. We also ranked phones with high-resolution screen quality higher than other options. When it came to the camera setup, we looked for phones with multi-lens arrays, high-megapixel sensors, and intuitive software overlays and enhancements to make your photos really pop.
Finally, we considered each phone’s battery life and durability. We preferred phones with large batteries as they last the longest before needing a recharge, even when playing mobile games or using 5G network speeds. We ranked phones highest if they could provide all-day battery life. We also preferred phones with specific durability features like IP68 water and dust resistance or Gorilla Glass 5 for the displays.
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