Gizmochina’s Best Chinese Smartphones Of 2017

by Michele Ingelido 9

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2017 finally came to an end and we can definitely say that it was a great year for the Chinese smartphones market. With artificial intelligence, bezel-less displays, and face recognition, we finally saw some innovation which has been missing for a while. Chinese phones are getting every day closer to the best brands in terms of displays, performances, camera, and innovation. We think it is time to make a balance of this year and to establish which are the best smartphones launched in 2017. So, we categorised the best smartphones of this year into price ranges: take a look below to know everything about them and, possibly, let us know if you agree with us.

best smartphones

Best flagship smartphones of 2017

Huawei Mate 10 Pro (http://bit.ly/2CxNAaD $899)

  • Display: 6.0 in FHD+ AMOLED
  • Hardware: Kirin 970, 4/6 GB RAM, 64/128 GB ROM
  • Software: Android Oreo, EMUI 8.0
  • Camera: Dual 12 + 20 MP f/1.6
  • Battery: 4000 mAh

huaweimate10pro

We think Huawei Mate 10 Pro is definitely the best Chinese phone launched in 2017. It is perfectly balanced and offers amazing performance under every aspect. Its dual camera made in cooperation with Leica is surely the most impressive thing. It provides incredible detail, good colors, and outstanding photos in low light conditions (our Huawei Mate 10 Pro review here!), and it has been rated as one of the best smartphones cameras ever by DxOMark. The phone sports an impressive SoC, Kirin 970, with a Neural Processing Unit for AI. Artificial intelligence is able to perform many useful tasks on this handset, and this is an additional value over its other top-end features. Huawei Mate 10 Pro is also the 2017 flagship with the biggest battery (4000 mAh) and it is a waterproof device, unlike other Chinese phones.

PRO: Outstanding camera, beastly performances, AI, no bezels, waterproof, huge battery

CONS: Price

 

OnePlus 5T (http://bit.ly/2q1vxYI $529)

  • Display: 6.01 in FHD+ AMOLED
  • Hardware: Snapdragon 835, 6/8 GB RAM, 64/128 GB ROM
  • Software: Android Nougat, OxygenOS 4.7
  • Camera: Dual 16 + 20 MP f/1.7
  • Battery: 3300 mAh

oneplus 5t

Performance is the strongest point of this device, and performances are usually the main concern for people who choose to buy a Chinese handset. Thanks to Snapdragon 835, 8 GB of RAM (in the most powerful variant) and an incredible software optimization, OnePlus 5T is one of the fastest and smoothest Android phone ever. It can handle every app or game that you throw at it with easy and it is also the perfect phone for productivity and multi-tasking.

PRO: Best performances, good camera, nice display, borderless, competitive price

CONS: Anonymous design

 

 

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 (http://bit.ly/2pXYViE $529)

  • Display: 5.99 in FHD+ IPS LCD
  • Hardware: Snapdragon 835, 6/8 GB RAM, 64/128/256 GB ROM
  • Software: Android Nougat, MIUI 9
  • Camera: 12 MP f/2.0
  • Battery: 3400 mAh

mi mix 2 featured

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2, together with Honor View 10, can be considered the best value for money flagships. Even though it can found at an affordable price, it has the best smartphone SoC launched in the market by Qualcomm in 2017: Snapdragon 835. It is paired with 6 or 8 GB of RAM depending on the version, and these components make Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 one of the best smartphones in terms of performance. MIUI 9 is an ever evolving user interface with many additional features. The design is another strong point of this device: with a ceramic back and one of the highest screen-to-body ratio, it is the king of bezel-less flagships that won’t cost you a fortune. The camera could be better, but the price justifies it and keeps everyone surprised.

PRO: Incredible performances, nice software, very narrow bezels, affordable price

CONS: Average camera

 

 

Honor View 10 (http://bit.ly/2CohilM $489)

  • Display: 5.99 in FHD+ LTPS IPS LCD
  • Hardware: Kirin 970, 4/6 GB RAM, 64/128 GB ROM
  • Software: Android Oreo, EMUI 8.0
  • Camera: Dual 16 + 20 MP f/1.8
  • Battery: 3750 mAh

honor v10

Huawei Honor V10 can be defined as a cheap version of the Huawei Mate 10 Pro. Even though its price is much lower, there are not so many differences between Honor V10 and the best Chinese flagship. It has the same SoC: Kirin 970 with AI, a similar borderless FHD+ display and a battery which is a bit smaller but remains huge (4000 mAh vs 3750 mAh). The difference is in the camera: it is good, but not at the same level of Mate 10 Pro. Also, Honor View 10 does not offer any kind of certification for water-resistance.

PRO: Great performance, big battery, affordable price, Android Oreo out of the box, AI

CONS: Nothing special to mention

 

 

 

Best affordable flagship smartphones of 2017

Oppo R11s (http://bit.ly/2CjDcGP $529)

  • Display: 6.01 in FHD+ AMOLED
  • Hardware: Snapdragon 660, 4 GB RAM, 64 GB ROM
  • Software: Android Nougat, ColorOS 3.2
  • Camera: Dual 16 + 20 MP f/1.7
  • Battery: 3200 mAh

OPPO-R11s

Oppo R11s is a perfect phone for Chinese customers, who are not mainly focused on performance, but they care a lot about the camera. This is an outstanding camera phone, and it is hard to find a better camera phone at the same price. The phone has powerful dual cameras on its rear and also an excellent front camera which supports AI to beautify selfies. Even though it is focused on camera, its hardware side is far from being bad: the powerful and efficient Snapdragon 660 SoC can provide very good performance, and the borderless display can provide a good viewing quality with brilliant colors and a low energy consumption.

PRO: Very nice display, Good hardware side, Great camera, borderless

CONS: Limited availability

 

 

Xiaomi Mi Note 3 (http://bit.ly/2Ce6aJ1 $319)

  • Display: 5.5 in FHD IPS LCD
  • Hardware: Snapdragon 660, 6 GB RAM, 64/128 GB ROM
  • Software: Android Nougat, MIUI 9
  • Camera: Dual 16 + 20 MP f/1.8
  • Battery: 3500 mAh

xiaomi mi note 3

Xiaomi Mi Note 3 is the best camera phone by Xiaomi, even though it is not its most powerful flagship by the company. And it is also one of the best camera phones ever made in this price segment. This device supports lossless optical zoom and the amount of details captured by its dual camera setup is impressive. Unfortunately, it has bezels, which is kind of disappointing considering this year’s trend. But this opens up space for a front Home button with a fingerprint reader embedded. Further, the Snapdragon 660 and 6 GB of RAM offer incredible performances in daily use and multi-tasking.

PRO: Super camera, Nice hardware, big battery, affordable price

CONS: Bezels

 

 

Vivo X20 (http://bit.ly/2lrLFhB $539)

  • Display: 6.01 in FHD+ AMOLED
  • Hardware: Snapdragon 660, 4 GB RAM, 64 GB ROM
  • Software: Android Nougat, Funtouch 3.2
  • Camera: Dual 12 + 5 MP f/1.8
  • Battery: 3250 mAh

Vivo-X20-2

Vivo X20 is not so different from Oppo R11s. It is another phone focused on the camera department, and it can be found at an even more affordable price. Both the main dual camera setup and the single selfie camera are amazing if we consider the price of the handset, even though we like the Oppo R11s a bit more. The bezel-less display is another great component of this device with the AMOLED technology providing deep blacks and vivid colors. Another strong point is surely the hardware side: Snapdragon 660 is not the best SoC ever, but if we exclude the Snapdragon 8xx series, it is the best choice in the Android market.

PRO: Nice display, Good hardware side, satisfying camera, good borderless design

CONS: Limited availability

Huawei Nova 2s also deserves a mention in this section: it is an incredibly powerful phone thanks to its Kirin 960 SoC and up to 6 GB RAM, it has a wide bezel-less display and also an amazing dual camera. Yet it is sold at an incredibly aggressive price (around 400 euros/475 dollars).

 

Best midrange smartphones of 2017

Xiaomi Mi A1

  • Display: 5.5 in FHD LTPS IPS LCD
  • Hardware: Snapdragon 625, 4 GB RAM, 64 GB ROM
  • Software: Android Nougat, Android One
  • Camera: Dual 12 MP f/2.2
  • Battery: 3080 mAh

mia1-rosegold

Xiaomi Mi A1 is the first Xiaomi phone which is made for an international audience. It deserves a spot in the ranking of the best smartphones not only for its incredible quality-price ratio but also because it has Android One installed and a very capable camera. Android One is a stock version of Android which is supported directly by Google with constant updates and no bloatware. Its camera department consists of a dual camera setup with a 12 MP resolution which can be defined the best smartphone camera in its price range (under 200 euros). The phone also has an elegant design and large RAM and storage: these things are useful to run many apps at the same time and to store many files.

PRO: Great price, nice and efficient hardware, good camera department, Android One

CONS: Bezels

 

Meizu M6 Note (http://bit.ly/2CsPMkL $149)

  • Display: 5.5 in FHD IPS LCD
  • Hardware: Snapdragon 625, 3/4 GB RAM, 16/32/64 GB ROM
  • Software: Android Nougat, Flyme 6.0
  • Camera: Dual 12 + 5 MP f/1.9
  • Battery: 4000 mAh

m6 note

Meizu managed to be one of the best Chinese companies in the past few years in the mid-range market, but in 2017 it did not have so much success worldwide. This is probably the reason why the company decided to launch its first phone with a Snapdragon SoC in 2017. And it was a very good choice if we look at its performance and efficiency, especially because its price is very competitive. Another big advantage of the M6 Note is the battery: it is very big and well-optimized. Further, even though the phone has bezels, the display is big and comfortable.

PRO: Nice hardware for the price, very affordable price, big battery, interesting camera

CONS: Average display

Honor 7X ( http://bit.ly/2Ekzzyu $239)

  • Display: 5.93 in FHD+ IPS LCD
  • Hardware: Kirin 659, 3/4 GB RAM, 32/64 GB ROM
  • Software: Android Nougat, EMUI 5.1
  • Camera: Dual 16 + 2 MP
  • Battery: 3340 mAh

huawei-honor-7x

In this period, it seems that Honor 7X has become the best choice for people in search of a phone with the best quality-price ratio. Every aspect of this phone is impressive, yet it does not cost much. The device sports a big and bezel-less display which is very hard to find in its price range. It has a great hardware, you can choose between two configurations that are always sufficient for every use. The phone also has a decent camera and a big battery. In our opinion, the phone impresses everyone (except the most advanced ones) with its well-balanced features.

PRO: Borderless display, good hardware, big battery, pretty nice camera, low price

CONS: Nothing specific

 

Best budget smartphones of 2017

Xiaomi Redmi 5 (http://bit.ly/2q0N8jn $139)

  • Display: 5.7 in HD+ IPS LCD
  • Hardware: Snapdragon 450, 2/3 GB RAM, 16/32 GB ROM
  • Software: Android Nougat, MIUI 9
  • Camera: 12 MP f/2.2
  • Battery: 3300 mAh

redmi_5

Xiaomi Redmi 5 is one of the cheapest phones with a borderless display, also making it one of the most interesting ones. It is very compact, but it has a big 18:9 display which is very comfortable. It can be purchased with a price tag which is slightly superior to 100 euros ($120), but it has a more than sufficient hardware configuration and a satisfying camera. The battery is big as well, so the battery life is far from being disappointing. With this phone, you will be able to run heavy apps with an above-average smoothness, a thing which is hard to do with phones in the same price range.

PRO: Amazing Price, bezel-less design, big and comfortable display, big battery

CONS: Below-average camera

 

Xiaomi Redmi 4X ( http://bit.ly/2ltmzOv $124)

  • Display: 5 in HD IPS LCD
  • Hardware: Snapdragon 435, 3 GB RAM, 32 GB ROM
  • Software: Android Marshmallow, MIUI 8
  • Camera: 13 MP f/2.0
  • Battery: 4100 mAh

redmi 4x

Xiaomi Redmi 4X is the best device for people in search of a handset with great performance, an outstanding battery life and a price around 100 dollars. It has a huge 4100 mAh battery and an excellent hardware side if we consider that it can be purchased at such an affordable price. Snapdragon 435, 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB ROM can provide a very nice multi-tasking experience, and its 5-inch display makes it compact and easy to hold.

PRO: Compact design, Great hardware, very affordable price, very big battery

CONS: Still Android Marshmallow out of the box

 

So, these were our best Chinese smartphones for 2017. Do you think any other model should be added or removed from this list?

 

 

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  • Rick Flair

    Where is the Redmi note?

  • Allanitomwesh

    Best affordable flagship smartphones of 2017 category is full of expensive phones. How is the R11S even remotely affordable?

    • That category wasn’t even necessary here. Since they created the category, they had to put something there.

  • Rômulo Sousa

    Android nougat/miui 9 is avaliable on Redmi 4x

  • MaxPower

    I looked at the price of the mate 10 PRO and I thought: “hey, look at that great deal!!!” But then I soon realized that your link is for the non PRO version which can be found for $600 on other sites.

    Please fix the link because people might rush on buying it and find out only once the phone reach their mailbox.

    It’s a Chinese reseller and while I doubt that they accept returns, it’s still going to be expensive because the buyer is responsible of shipping cost and it’s going to be a very long process that might take months.

    Again, please fix the link.

    • Joe

      Hi,

      It’s fixed.

    • Lucien

      Hi MaxPower, I wish you a Happy New Year and very best wishes for 2018! Hope you are well! I am about to finally order the Mi Note 3 on Ibuygou website. They are currently selling (shipping excluded) the 128GB variant at 276€ and the 64GB variant at 268€. I really don’t need 128GB storage but considering the price difference I am thinking getting the higher capacity one. I mean that if the 64GB variant was sold at 250€ I would have ordered it instantly. What would you do if you were me? I have read that higher capacity storage has an impact on battery consumption. Is it really the case?

      If I had more money I would have gone for the OnePlus 5T but the Mi Note 3 will be more than enough for my needs.

      Thanks in advance for your help!

      • MaxPower

        To be honest with you I don’t know if it’s true that higher capacity storage affects battery consumption.
        But let’s say we believe it.

        Now let’s just think about what we usually do with our smartphones during the day.

        Browse the internet, watch videos, call, Snapchat, video call… and take few pictures.

        During these activities(except for taking pictures) we barely use internal storage (read or write) and most of the files are cached into the ram for quick access (that’s what Android does)

        Truth is that most of the battery goes to power your screen, radio activities (LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth,GPS) and few operations of the CPU if you use apps that need high processing like videogames.

        Now, even if it’s proven true that higher storage affects battery more, the result on daily usage is minimal and nobody can see the difference.
        I wouldn’t bother myself if a phone battery lasts 24:00 hours and the other lasts 23:59h.

        • Lucien

          Thanks MaxPower for your answer. I really appreciate it! I already made my decision, I will get the 128GB variant of the Mi Note 3. I mean that for 10$ more compared to the base model, I get an additional 64GB storage. Considering that MIUI takes a couple of GBs (> 10GBs), after installing some apps I will be left with 100GBs which is too much for what I am going to do with my phone.

          A friend of mine has OP5T and he loves it!

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