Home Laptops Best Chinese Phone 2020: Top Chinese Phone Reviews & Buying Advice

Best Chinese Phone 2020: Top Chinese Phone Reviews & Buying Advice

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best chinese phones


Buying from China often gets a bad rap: we’ve all got stories of times we’ve bought something online and received something entirely different in its place or, worse, the item doesn’t arrive at all. But don’t tar Chinese tech with the same brush: Chinese phones now top all our major smartphone charts.

While Huawei without Google services is no longer the attractive proposition it once was in the UK, many other Chinese brands have stepped up to fill its place. From Xiaomi to OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Vivo and others, these phones typically offer incredible value for money, with the premium build quality and feature set you’d expect from the top Android phones, but at a price point much lower.

Below we’ve assembled some of the best Chinese phones you can buy in the UK today. If these prices are above your budget, also check out some of the best budget Chinese phones.

Best Chinese phones 2020

2. Oppo Find X2 Pro – Best Performance

Oppo Find X2 Pro

3. Realme X50 Pro – Best Value

Realme X50 Pro

4. OnePlus Nord – Best Mid-range Phone

OnePlus Nord

5. Vivo X50 Pro+ – Best Camera

Vivo X50 Pro+

6. Realme 6 – Best Budget Phone

Realme 6

7. Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S – Best Battery Life

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S

8. Nubia Red Magic 5S – Best Gaming Phone

Nubia Red Magic 5S

9. Oppo Find X2 – Best Combination of Performance and Value

Oppo Find X2

10. Oppo Find X2 Lite – Best Budget 5G Phone

Oppo Find X2 Lite

Today it’s easier than ever to get hold of Chinese phones in the UK, with many of the big names now officially retailing here. This means you no longer need to rely on Chinese stockists such as GearBest and Geekbuying to import Chinese phones – though you will very often still find cheaper prices when you do. (Do keep in mind that when importing phones from China to the UK you are liable for import duty at 20% of the value on the shipping paperwork.)

Oppo is listed at Carphone Warehouse, while Xiaomi and OnePlus phones are often offered on contract by the UK’s major mobile operators, but often when buying a Chinese phone you will need to get a SIM-free model and then pair it with a SIM-only plan. This is more cost-effective in the long run, but does mean you have to pay the full price of the phone up front.

Lower down the smartphone food chain there are countless other Chinese brands you’ll likely not have heard of, for example UMIDIGI and Bluboo, Ulefone and Elefone, Oukitel and Meizu. On paper the specifications of their phones impress, but you’ll often find corners are cut in the specifications to keep down prices – they might swap in lower-power MediaTek processors and large but lower-resolution displays, for example, while NFC, wireless charging and waterproofing are rare.

On the plus side, Chinese phones pretty much always support dual-SIM (dual-standby), and often will provide this in addition to expandable storage. As they strive to mimic the market leaders, design and build quality of Chinese phones tend to be very high.

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