Over the last few years we’ve not only seen the number of Chinese OEMs increase dramatically, but their global presence has also been expanding. The explosion in Chinese OEMs comes down to a few things, but largely it’s because these brands offer many of the same specs and features as more expensive flagships, but at more aggressive price points.

So what are some of the best Chinese Android handsets you can buy in 2017? Let’s jump in and take a closer look.

Editor’s note – We will be updating this list as more devices hit the market.

OnePlus 5

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The OnePlus 5 is the latest flagship smartphone from the maverick company OnePlus, and it’s also the successor to the older OnePlus 3T. The new phone combines high-end hardware specs with solid performance and excellent software, and is our pick for the best smartphone from a China-based company you can get at the moment.

The OnePlus 5 includes the fastest processor you can currently get inside a phone, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835. You can purchase it with either 6 GB or 8 GB of RAM, along with either 64 GB or 128 GB of onboard storage. Unfortunately, OnePlus decided not to offer a microSD card slot with the OnePlus 5, which is perhaps the biggest issue we have with the phone.

People who buy the OnePlus 5 should get a solid photography experience. It has dual 16 and 20 MP rear cameras, along with a 16 MP front-facing camera. The 3,300 mAh battery should last up to a day on a single charge, and OnePlus’ proprietary Dash Charge technology lets the OnePlus 5 take only 30 minutes to get a 60% charge, and about 1 hour and 20 minutes to fully charge up.

The OnePlus 5 uses the company’s own OxygenOS, based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat, and OnePlus has been getting better about offering regular software updates. Finally, you can get this phone for the very reasonable starting price of $479. While we could quibble about its lack of a microSD card slot, the truth is that the OnePlus 5 is an excellent high-end phone for a down-to-earth price.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch Optic AMOLED display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 401 ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 mobile platform
  • 6/8 GB of RAM
  • 64/128 GB of on-board storage, no microSD expansion
  • Dual 16 and 20 MP rear cameras, 16 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,300 mAh battery
  • Android 7.1.1 Nougat
  • 154.2 x 74.1 x 7.25 mm, 153 g

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Huawei P10 and P10 Plus

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If you love Huawei’s Mate 9 but need something a bit smaller, look no further. Huawei’s new P10 and P10 Plus feature improved software, a new-and-improved dual camera setup, and top-tier specs.

The P10 and P10 Plus are the first devices to launch with Huawei’s EMUI 5.1 interface on top of Android 7.0 Nougat. Compared to EMUI 5 on the Mate 9, Huawei says the improved interface brings some notable performance improvements, as well as a smarter theming engine that will adapt to the color of your phone.

Under the hood, these devices sport the Kirin 960 processor, 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage and microSD expansion. Plus, both phones come with dual 12 and 20 MP rear-facing camera setups (co-developed with Leica, of course), with optical image stabilization. Both devices also have Leica-branded 8 MP front cameras.

Unfortunately you’re going to have a hard time getting your hands on one of these bad boys if you live in the United States. Huawei currently has plans to bring the P10 lineup to around 30 different countries, but the U.S. isn’t on that list. You can probably import one from another country if you’d like, but be prepared to pay a little extra if you’re going that route.

Specs

Huawei P10

  • 5.1-inch IPS LCD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 431 ppi
  • Octa-core Hisilicon Kirin 960 processor
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 64 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256 GB
  • Dual 20 and 12 MP rear cameras, 8 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,200 mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 145.3 x 69.3 x 6.98 mm, 145 g

Huawei P10 Plus

  • 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 534 ppi
  • Octa-core Hisilicon Kirin 960 processor
  • 4/6 GB of RAM
  • 64/128 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256 GB
  • Dual 20 and 12 MP rear cameras, 8 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,750 mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 153.5 x 74.2 x 6.98 mm, 165 g

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Huawei Mate 9

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Huawei has done a great job at making its way to the mainstream over the past few years – first with the Huawei P9, and now with the Mate 9.

With a big 5.9-inch display, powerful Kirin 960 processor, dual-SIM capabilities, and an impressive camera setup, the Mate 9 may be one of the best big phones of the year. While its display is ‘only’ 1080p and its software is a bit odd sometimes, we still think the high price tag is worth it. If you’re after a smartphone that offers exceptional battery life and incredible performance, the standard Mate 9 delivers in spades. If money is no object and you want a smartphone that is unattainable to most customers, the Porsche Design Mate 9 might be worth your while.

Specs

  • 5.9-inch IPS LCD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 373 ppi
  • Octa-core Hisilicon Kirin 960 processor
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 64 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256 GB
  • Dual 20 and 12 MP rear cameras, 8 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 4,000 mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 156.9 x 78.9 x 7.9 mm, 190 g

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Honor 9

The Honor 9 is the successor to the affordable flagship phone, the Honor 8. This newest model in Huawei’s Honor brand has a dual glass panel design, and contains a Full HD 5.15-inch display, with a 1,920 × 1,080 resolution. Inside, it has the same in-house Kirin 960 processor used in the Huawei Mate 9 and the Huawei P10.
The Honor 9 is available with either 4 GB or 6 GB of RAM, along with either 64 GB or 128 GB of onboard storage, which are improvements compared to the Honor 8. The 3,200 mAh battery in the Honor 9 is also larger compared to the Honor 8, and should last up to a full day on a single charge. It also supports 2A fast charging. which will allow it to be fully charged inside of two hours.
In the camera department, the Honor 9 comes with a 20 MP monochrome lens and a 12 MP RGB lens. The idea behind this setup is to give the phone’s sensors better light sensitivity support. There’s also a 8 MP front-facing selfie camera. Finally, the Honor 9 comes with Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box, along with Huawei’s own EMUI 5.1 interface. The starting price for the Honor 9 officially begins at €449 in Europe, but some retailers are already selling the phone for as low as £379.

Specs

  • 5.15-inch display with 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, 428 ppi
  • HiSilicon Kirin 960 processor
  • 4/6 GB of RAM
  • 64/128 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256 GB
  • 20 MP and 12 MP rear camera, 8 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,200 mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat, EMUI 5.1
  • 147.3 mm x 70.9 mm x 7.45 mm, 155 g

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Xiaomi Mi 6

The Mi 6, the successor to the affordable Mi 5 flagship phone from Xiaomi, packs in a ton of high-end features inside a device that’s priced at just over $400. The bad news for US residents is that it is not slated to be sold officially in the West.

That’s too bad, because the specs on the Mi 6 are very good indeed. The 5.15-inch phone has the latest, and fastest, Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, and it comes with either 4 GB or 6 GB of RAM, along with either 64 GB or 128 GB of onboard storage. You also get two 12 MP rear camera sensors, along with an 8 MP front-facing camera. It also has a pretty large 3,350 mAh battery.

You can purchase the Xiaomi Mi 6 in Asia for as low as $419, if you get the standard version. However. there’s also a model in a ceramic material, and it even includes 18K gold accents for those folks that care about such details. However, that model is only available in limited quantities and is a bit heavier than the standard model. It may never be sold in the US officially, but the Mi 6 is still an impressive flagship phone that has a mid-range price tag.

Specs

  • 5.15-inch display with 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, 428 ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor
  • 4/6 GB of RAM
  • 64/128 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256 GB
  • Dual 12 MP rear cameras, 8 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,350 mAh battery
  • Android 7.1.1 Nougat, MIUI 8
  • 145.2 x 70.5 x 7.5 mm, 168 g (standard model), 182 g (ceramic model)

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So, there you have it for this roundup of some of the best Chinese Android smartphones! Of course, there are numerous other Chinese OEMs with great devices out there, and we will be sure to keep this list updated. One thing worth keeping in mind is that if you do consider picking up any of these smartphones, don’t forget to first check about network compatibility, as you may have trouble getting access to 4G LTE networks with these devices depending on your home market. If that isn’t an issue, all of the smartphones listed above are fantastic options from OEMs that have been flying under the radar, and are definitely good choices to make.

Next: Best cheap Android phones

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