As 2014 rolls on, we are beginning to see a number of Chinese smartphone manufacturers working their way into the global spotlight, and we couldn’t be more pleased. The last week alone has seen the official announcement of the OnePlus One ‘flagship killer’ and big news from Xiaomi – three new products and an expansion of device sales to 10 new countries.
Xiaomi started out building Android powered smartphones back in 2011. Despite stellar sales in China, Xiaomi’s official global sales have really only managed to expand to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. In a recent announcement, Xiaomi shared their plans to expand to ten new countries by the end of the year, including new markets like Brazil, India, the Philippines and Russia, Xiaomi puts themselves in front of millions of new users.
Xiaomi’s new devices announced this past week do not include smartphones or tablets. With a new WiFi router, Chromecast-competitor media unit and a full blown media server with 1TB of storage, Xiaomi works to expand the ecosystem in your home around your Xiaomi Android powered devices.
Another Chinese smartphone manufacturer that we see making waves on a global scale is a company called OPPO. OPPO has been selling their Find 5 smartphone for a while, added the N1 a while back, announced the updated Find 7 in March and just announced an NFC lense-style camera.
Should the ‘big’ Android phone manufacturers be scared?
Simply put, OnePlus, OPPO and Xiaomi are hungry companies, looking to stir the pot and compete on the international level. They are continuing a trend that Google has been pushing of late with their Nexus line of devices, making top-notch devices and selling them for affordable prices. Let’s take a look at what these three are bringing to the table:
OnePlus One – starting at $299.00
With the mantra of “never settle,” the OnePlus One is one of the most powerful device on the market right now. With the 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, a 5.5-inch 1080p screen and a slew of other specs that make us swoon, we very much enjoyed reviewing this unit at the official launch this past week. There is some debate that OnePlus failed to deliver on all of their promises for the Cyanogen powered One. Even with a few shortcomings, there is no question that this is one of the best phones for its price, and possibly one of the most sought after devices of the year.
OPPO Find 7 – starting at $499.00
OPPO offers two variants of their new Find 7 Android powered smartphone. With many similar specs, the higher end of the two sports the 2.5 GHZ Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM and a 5.5-inch display. Sounds pretty familiar so far. OPPO has gone ahead and rocked the boat by using that 5.5-inch display to throw Quad HD at you. That’s 2560 x 1440 resolution, for 538 ppi. Checkout our hands-on to get all the details, but rest assured, the OPPO Find 7 is an impressive device.
Xiaomi – Mi 3 and Redmi Note – starting at $327 and $129
Xiaomi may not be in the race for the most powerful devices around, but with a starting point of just $129 for the Redmi Note, it is no wonder that the company has two phones on top 10 sales lists. The 5-inch, Snapdragon 800, 2GB RAM Xiaomi Mi 3 first launched last year. Sales expanded to Singapore in early 2014, marking the first stage in their global expansion led by ex-Googler Hugo Barra.
Xiaomi is looking to expand its Hongmi line, which was renamed Redmi for sales outside of China. In addition to Redmi, Xiaomi is releasing the Redmi Note, which will be available for sale next month in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, with 10 new markets anticipated later this year. The Redmi Note will come with 2GB of RAM on a 1.7GHz processor for $159, or drop down to 1GB of RAM and a 1.4GHz processor for $129.
There are plenty of other smartphone manufacturers around the globe that have been positioning themselves to put phones in pockets. We hope to see big things from Alcatel, Blu and ASUS soon. Lenovo is another name we should keep eyes on, with their recent acquisition of Motorola, the two combined stand to make a significant dent in the global smartphone market. So far, it may be hype more than sales numbers, but 2014 is proving to be a big year for Chinese smartphone Manufacturers.
When you go shopping for a new Android phone, do you consider where it was manufactured before purchasing? If you had to choose from OnePlus, OPPO and Xiaomi, which brand would you most like to see become a household name?