Chinese smartphones have emerged from a murky past of iPhone clones and questionable software to become a new force in the global market. These phones tend to be a lot cheaper, even taking import costs into account, but often have at least the same build quality and good features. The number of large Chinese phones officially sold in the United States is declining thanks to the huawei ban , but we’ve put together a list of the best officially available and imported products.
Importing Chinese smartphones
Why buy a Chinese smartphone? A question whose answer is now obvious given the success of Chinese brands in the market. The devices made in China are characterized by powerful hardware and low prices. Imported devices worthy of our recommendation will work fine, but before purchasing it is important to check compatibility with the frequency bands of your mobile service provider.
You can buy Chinese smartphones online, on official brand sites (in the case of OnePlus), or on e-commerce sites like Amazon, for example. Buying the most famous Chinese devices is no longer a problem, but when it comes to brands relatively unknown in France, they must above all be imported from afar.
Before importing a Chinese device, be sure to check the reliability of the site where you want to purchase the smartphone, as well as warranty details, customer support, and return policy in the event of a malfunction. It is also important to take into account the corresponding customs and shipping costs.
The best Chinese phones officially available in the United States
OnePlus 7 Pro: always on top
The OnePlus 7 Pro, the most expensive model presented with OnePlus 7, has just arrived on the market, ready to take on the big names in the sector. The design of the device has evolved and is now reminiscent of the last OPPO or Vivo (as luck would have it), but with design elements that make it unique, such as the curved display and the high refresh rate. This is a 6.67-inch Samsung FullHD AMOLED, notchless and capable of reaching 90Hz.
Let’s move on to what’s under the hood. The smartphone incorporates a Snapdragon 855 processor supported by 6 GB, 8 GB or even 12 GB of RAM and 128/256 GB of internal memory. OxygenOS is based on Android 9.0. The 4000mAh battery supported by Warp Charge continues to live up to the show. All starting at $ 669.
Huawei P30 Pro: an exceptional experience
With the P30 Pro , Huawei has launched a smartphone with an unparalleled camera. The camera, developed with Leica, does not have one, not two, but three on the back, plus an auxiliary ToF sensor. With the artificial intelligence units of the Hisilicon Kirin 980 and the 5x optical zoom (10x hybrid and 50x digital!), Creative and exciting shots are possible like no other smartphone can offer.
The Chinese brand has done a great job, not only in terms of build quality and technical specifications, but also in terms of software optimization, characterized here by Android 9.0 Pie and EMUI . The user experience offered is excellent: the smartphone responds quickly to all tasks and the 4,200 mAh battery guarantees intense use for two days. Officially officialized in Europe at a price of 999 EUR, it is already possible to find it online in the United States for $ 888 . This price is likely to continue to fall, with Huawei being at taken with a trade dispute between the United States and China.
OPPO Reno 10x Zoom: incomparable style
OPPO launched the new Reno smartphone series at an event dedicated to the city of Zurich. The 10x Reno zoom, featuring 5x optical zoom (which magically becomes 6x with the company’s software), surpasses Huawei’s already incredible record with 60x digital zoom. On board we find respectable hardware thanks to the presence of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chip and 8 GB of RAM.
A special feature of the smartphone is the presence of a retractable “fin” which hides the selfie camera and the LED flash. It’s also worth noting that the camera doesn’t protrude, but rather the so-called O-Dot, a tiny ceramic bump that protrudes from the body and protects the main camera from scratches.
Honor View 20: it has everything
The Honor View 20 is a smartphone designed for the youngest, digital natives. Characterized by a glass and aluminum casing, the Honor View 20 sports an elegant look, resulting in an ergonomic smartphone thanks to the curved edges and the diagonal of the 6.4-inch screen which is practically bezel-less.
The strong point of the smartphone, in addition to the software which works without problem, is the performance offered by the Kirin 980 and the 48MPmain camera equipped with artificial intelligence. The SoC, which supports 6GB or 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of internal memory, allows for quick switching between apps and multitasking. The selfie camera, hidden in a punched hole in the screen, won’t disappoint. It’s a complete and relatively inexpensive package that you shouldn’t miss.
Xiaomi Mi 9: best value for money
Xiaomi is renowned for offering high-end devices well below the prices offered by the competition. The Xiaomi Mi 9 is currently the most interesting device from the manufacturer. You’ll find it online for around $ 479 (6GB RAM / 64GB storage model). A reduced price for a flagship product almost without compromise!
This Mi 9 is equipped with a 6.39 inch screen with a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels and a small drop-shaped notch. If the Mi 8 did not convince you with its design, things have improved with this new model. In terms of performance, we find the Snapdragon 855 with 6 GB of RAM and 64/128 GB of internal storage. The triple camera features a 48-megapixel main sensor, telephoto and wide-angle lens, all assisted by AI.
Realme 3 Pro: the cheapest of the lot
OPPO’s Realme 3 Pro takes home the title of Best Mid-Range Buyer with Redmi Note 7, and it’s clear that it’s targeting the low-end segment of the market. Although the brand has been available in Europe for a while, it has yet to land in the United States. You can pick up this device for around 170 EUR (as of June 5, 2019), which equates to $ 190.
This Realme 3 Pro has some great specs for the price it’s offered: a Snapdragon 710, 6GB of RAM, and 64GB of internal storage. The 4,045 mAh battery guarantees excellent battery life and recharges in a flash thanks to the VOOC 3.0 charging stand. The screen measures 6.3 inches and is overrun with a tiny drop-shaped notch that certainly won’t annoy most users. With FullHD + resolution, it is also ideal for viewing multimedia content.
Have you imported a Chinese smartphone? Let us know what you think in the comments!