Top 10 Chinese Phones from the Best Brands for the Year 2014
The Indian market has, of late, turned into a breeding ground for all sorts of manufacturers. Taiwanese, Chinese, Korean, Japanese — the market has given a warm welcome to markers from each one of those countries. This sudden change in scenario can be attributed to the exponential growth in smartphone penetration the Indian market has seen. As it stands, India is second only to the massive Chinese market, pointing at a relationship that is directly proportional to the number of people. But there’s more to it than simple numbers.
Anyway, the focus in this article will be towards phones that originate from China. You might argue that almost every phone that’s seling on the planet comes from China, but here we’ll talk about those that come from companies that call China their home.
Here are top 10 Chinese phones that you need to look out for this year!
Xiaomi Mi 4
This one needs no introduction. The Xiaomi Mi 4 was launched on the very day when the Chinese company first put its Mi 3 on sale in India — July 22nd. Since then, the Mi 4 has seen a huge demand, in China and elsewhere. We did manage to get our hands on one as well, and as you shall read here, the device is worth due consideration if you’re looking for a flagship.
It comes with your usual 2014-flagship specs (3GB RAM, Snapdragon 801, 13 mega-pixel camera, etc)… but with a 5-inch screen. There are tonnes of old skool folks like me who still prefer a phone that’s easily pocketable, and one that allows one-handed operation without hassles.
The Meizu MX4. If you have been following the Chinese market, you’ll know that this looker of a phone succeeds the very popular Meizu MX3. The Chinese company is known for making some of the best looking devices, and powering them with powerful Exynos processors. This time though, Meizu threw in some mix by employing the all-new MT6595 chipset from MediaTek, and becoming the first OEM to adopt the chipset in the process. The MT6595, if you aren’t aware, comes with 4x Cortex A17 high-performance cores and 4x Cortex A7 low-power cores, built using the big.LITTLE architecture.
The phone is currently on international pre-order, starting US$449 but sells for a princely sum of 1799 Yuan, about US$290. The MX4 also happens to be Meizu’s first international device.
OPPO Find 7
Thanks to OPPO’s interest in the Indian market, you’ll probably already be aware of the OPPO Find 7. Without doubt, the phone is one of the best looking, best built devices out there. With a 2560 x 1440 pixel 5.5-inch screen and a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 CPU, the device is also one of the most powerful phones around, competing head to head with the LG G3.
After the Find 5 that was launched about a year and a half back, OPPO has taken the international market by storm with its high-quality and often affordable products. The Find 7 is available for purchase in multiple markets including, India, China, Europe, Australia, etc.
Gionee Elife E7
Mainly for the Indian consumers, the E7 from Gionee can still be a great choice because the Snapdragon 800 doesn’t do a bad job at all, and the 32GB variant has 3GB RAM for the multitasking. There is no better camera in these phones than the 16MP rear camera of the Elife E7, one of the reasons why the device deserves to be in the list. The successor to this still has some time to come into the scene, thus the Elife E7 is a great choice for this year.
Vivo Xplay 3S
Vivo claims the Xplay 3S to be the world’s first Quad HD phone, and we think they’ve gotten in right. If you haven’t heard of this one before, you’ll be surprised to know that the Xplay 3S launched way back in December last year, a good 6 months before any other maker could catch up on the Quad HD fun.
It comes with a 6-inch display, and a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 SoC to make it the company’s flagship. It also has a couple other interesting things on the specs sheet, that includes a fingerprint scanner, a dedicated audio chip and a 13 mega-pixel f/1.8 camera.
This one’s perhaps the newest device on the list, along with the Meizu MX4. If super-high resolutions are your thing, then you might like the IUNI U3 the most. Wondering why? Because, unlike the Vivo Xplay 3S, the IUNI U3 comes with a 5.5-inch Quad HD display. And, unlike the OPPO Find 7, the IUNI U3 is… cheap! It goes for just 1999 Yuan in China (US$325), making it the most affordable Quad HD phone in the market right now. Of course, it’s only the Chinese that get to purchase the phone at that price.
Here’s another interesting piece of trivia for you: IUNI is actually a sub-brand by Gionee!
ZTE Nubia Z7
ZTE, after making a lot of networking peripheral, stepped in to smartphone manufacture a few years back. The Chinese company hasn’t bothered to look back ever since, and instead has taken to challenging the big guns. The Nubia Z7 is a perfect example of that; the device comes with a very interesting feature in LTE as well as dual SIM!
It also comes with a 5.5-inch Quad HD display besides 3GB of RAM, and a Snapdragon 801 (which is going to feature multiple times in this article) to make it a true flagship. There are two other, knocked down versions of the phone in the ZTE Nubia Z7 Max and the Nubia Z7 mini.
This phenomenon of a phone needs no introduction. Announced in April this year, the OnePlus One is by far the most affordable Snapdragon 801 phone, despite being in the market for a few months. The phone was announced with a ‘flagship killer’ tagline; while it has proved to be a very efficient phone, it doesn’t really come to par with specs on other flagships we just discussed.
USP of the OnePlus One is the starting price of US$299. Although not a lot of buyers were able to purchase the device at that price, OnePlus has been able to ramp up the production of this 5.5-inch 1080p phone in the recent months. By the way, we’ve reviewed the phone here on PhoneRadar!
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Another phablet, the Vibe Z2 Pro is probably Lenovo’s most popular phone this year. Like a lot of other flagships, this one too comes with a 2560 x 1440 pixel Quad HD display, with the screen measuring 6 inches diagonally. Styling on the device is largely inspired by other Lenovo phones, which have been appreciated by the crowds.
3GB of RAM, 32GB of ROM and a 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 CPU top it off, and make the Vibe Z2 Pro one phone to look out for!
If large screens aren’t your thing, you might find a perfect suitor in the Vivo Xshot. This comes from the makers of the Xplay 3S that we earlier talked about; some say that the Xshot is a knocked down version of the Xplay 3S. Thankfully, that does not apply to the internals of the device.
It comes with a 5.2-inch screen that makes it much more pocketable than the 6-inch Xplay 3S. The insides of the phone house a 2.5GHz q Snapdragon 801 SoC, 3GB of RAM and a 13 mega-pixel f/1.8 camera that is regarded as one of the best.
It’s only been a little over a week since the Lenovo X2 was showcased at the IFA in Berlin. Very easily, the X2 is the best looking Lenovo yet, with it’s layered design and interesting cases that also add functionality.
The phone is also quite powerful with the MediaTek MT6595m processor on board, a variant of the MT6595 that you see on the Meizu MX4. The Vibe X2 will sell for US$399 in the coming weeks.
What do you think?
This was for 10 out of a gazillion interesting handsets that China has produced. We’re certain there are other phones that you like more, and we’d love to know which ones! Do drop a comment below and share your thoughts on this list, and also mention other phones that you think are fit to be noticed.