2018 was an interesting year for smartphones. In the pursuit of slimming down the bezels around the display, manufacturers came up with a number of different ideas. Last year, a number of manufacturers became bolder in releasing experimental products and consumers were more accepting in trying out first generation models. As a result, we saw some revolutionary smartphones make it to the market, many of them from Chinese manufacturers.
Here’s what we think were the 7 Most Revolutionary Chinese Smartphones of 2018
1. Huawei P20 Pro
You can’t really start this list without the Huawei P20 Pro. The phone was the first triple camera smartphone in the world and justified the existence of three lenses at the back with its amazing camera performance. It’s no surprise that the phone turned out to be one of the best camera smartphones of 2018 (our review here)! Even today, it’s the best-ranked flagship in the DxOMark rating for smartphone cameras.
That’s not it though! The phone also kicked off the trend for gradient back design. The Morpho Aurora P20 Pro (our hands on reivew here!) was a refreshing smartphone design and soon, it caught on among other manufacturers as well!
2. Vivo Nex S / OPPO Find X
Vivo was relentless in the pursuit of getting maximum real estate on its smartphones. This led to the birth of the Vivo APEX concept and eventually, the Vivo Nex S model for the commercial market. Featuring a motorized camera setup for selfies, the phone took the full-screen design to the next level.
Vivo was soon joined by OPPO with its Find X model launch in June (they had their reasons to not call it the Find 9). The Find series always had a special place among smartphone enthusiasts and seeing the lineup come back to life in the form the Find X was a sight to behold. Featuring SuperVOOC (limited to Lamborghini edition), a full-screen design, a motorized slider, and an impressive body design, the Find X was a glimpse of smartphone’s future. Definitely revolutionary!
3. POCO F1
Ever since OnePlus smartphones started to climb up the pricing ladder, they no longer deserved the ‘Flagship Killer’ title. But in 2018, we found something that did deserve this tagline — the POCO F1. Featuring the flagship Snapdragon 845 chipset at a price under $300, this particular model is as close as any phone can get to this title.
Not just that, you didn’t have to wait for an invite code or try out your luck in 10 flash sales to get hold of a unit. In fact, the POCO F1 was truly an international model which went on sale in over 50 markets worldwide.
4. Lenovo Z5 Pro GT
Lenovo was the last company we would have thought that would get the bragging rights to the first mass-produced Snapdragon 855 smartphone. But with the Lenovo Z5 Pro GT, it deserves much more than that. The phone is also the first one to feature up to 12GB of RAM on board! It’s definitely overkill considering our current entertainment and gaming needs, but still impressive. The phone starts at an affordable $391 and will be up for pre-orders in China from January 15. The first sale is slated for January 24.
5. Huawei Mate 20 X
The Mate 20 X with its humongous 7.2-inch display borders near the tablet category. But for all purposes, it’s a smartphone and acts like one despite its huge display. Our reviewers loved this phone for its huge display, powerful internals, and an amazing camera. You should definitely check out our review from here!
If you think a 7.2-inch display is an overkill, think again. People who consume a lot of videos and games on their smartphones would love such a large screen in their hands. What makes the phone revolutionary is the fact that it’s smaller in size as compared to other phablets like the Xiaomi Mi Max 3 (176.2 x 87.4 x 8 mm) or older ones like Lenovo Phab2 Pro (179.8 x 88.6 x 10.7 mm) or Zenfone 3 Ultra (186.4 x 93.9 x 6.8 mm)! Basically, you get more screen in a form factor that’s considered manageable in the phablet segment.
6. Nubia X
Nubia is a driven company and we’ve been impressed with their Z series models featuring bezel-less design. However, in the pursuit of a higher screen to body ratio, the company decided to go for a second screen at the back. While we have seen smartphone companies try out a secondary screen (like the LG V20) on their regular models, this one’s a full-fledged 5.1-inch OLED display at the back. This second screen basically eliminates the need for a selfie camera, allowing the company to use a clean front design. Ingenious or stupid, that’s for you to decide. But it’s definitely an innovative way to get rid of the bezel on top of the display without having to resort for ugly notches or moving parts like a slider. It’s no surprise that Vivo decided to release its own dual screen flagship a couple of months later called the Vivo Nex Dual.
7. Huawei Nova 4 / Honor View 20.
Punch hole cameras are the next big experiment in smartphone display design and Huawei has kicked off this trend with its Nova 4 and Honor V20 smartphones. Samsung also joins the party with its Galaxy A8S model, but overall, with two mainstream models in the market so early, the Chinese tech giant seems to be all in for this particular design.
Another highlight of the Honor View 20 is its unique back design. Huawei and Honor have consistently managed to churn out unique designs for its smartphones and the trend continues with the new model as well.
To sum up, 2018 was an exciting year for Chinese smartphone enthusiasts! But this year is going to be even better with foldables hitting the market. So we are definitely looking forward to seeing what they have in store for us!
Do you think we missed out on any other revolutionary Chinese phones in this list from 2018? Let us know in the comments below!