The competition is fierce when it comes to Chinese smartphone market, but the OnePlus 5T manages to come out on top.
WINNER: OnePlus 5T
The OnePlus 5T is at the very top of the food chain when it comes to the Chinese smartphone category, at least in our opinion. The company actually introduced two flagship handsets this year, the OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T, and even though the two phones are somewhat similar in terms of specs, the OnePlus 5T sports a more modern look, a larger display, and a more compelling dual camera setup on the back, at least according to some people. The OnePlus 5T comes with a 6.01-inch fullHD+ (2160 x 1080) Optic AMOLED display, which is not only larger than the panel the company used in the OnePlus 5, but it also comes with a different aspect ratio, we're looking at an 18:9 aspect ratio here, which is OnePlus' very first smartphone to sport such a display aspect ratio.
The OnePlus 5T comes with the same SoC, and same RAM and storage counts as the OnePlus 5, it is fueled by the Snapdragon 835 64-bit octa-core processor, while it comes in 6GB and 8GB RAM variants. Those two variants of the phone feature 64GB and 128GB of native storage, respectively. The OnePlus 5T actually utilizes LPDDR4X RAM and UFS 2.0 flash storage, which, in addition to the rest of its specs, and highly-optimized OxygenOS, makes for a blazing fast performance. On the back of the OnePlus 5T, you'll find a fingerprint scanner, which can unlock the phone in 0.2 seconds, while the device also comes with facial recognition technology, for which it uses the front-facing camera, though, no dedicated sensors have been installed. Having said that, the phone can unlock really fast after scanning your face, this unlocking method is blazing fast presuming there's enough light hitting your face, and you don't have glasses or something of the sort covering your face.
A 3,300mAh non-removable battery is included as part of the OnePlus 5T package, and it's the very same battery that you can find in the OnePlus 5. Having said that, some people thought that it won't be enough, as the OnePlus 5T features a larger display than its predecessor, but based on initial reviews, including our own, the battery is more than good enough, and you're also getting OnePlus' Dash Charge here, which is one of the fastest charging methods out there (in the mobile world), so you're well-covered either way. Combine everything we've said thus far with the fact that this phone's pricing starts at $499 (US) / €499 (EU), and you get a really well-rounded flagship package which does not break the bank and that makes it our Best Android Chinese Smartphone of 2017.
Runner-Up: Huawei Mate 10 Pro
The Huawei Mate 10 Pro launched alongside the Huawei Mate 10 and PORSCHE DESIGN Mate 10 smartphones and it's definitely a close second on our Best Android Chinese Smartphone list. The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is rather similar to the Huawei Mate 10, but it looks somewhat different, as it comes with a rear-facing fingerprint scanner, and a slightly different spec sheet. All in all, the phone looks a bit sleeker than the Huawei Mate 10, which is why it got the edge over its sibling. Now, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro is made out of metal and glass, it sports really thin bezels all around, and on its back, you'll notice a dual camera setup with Leica's lenses on top of them. The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is one of the best camera smartphones out there, but that's not its only selling point, as the phone also offers great battery life.
This Chinese smartphone comes with a built-in battery management tool, which lets you stop apps from running altogether, and you can basically tweak the phone any way you want. Even if you allow all the apps to run in the background, the Mate 10 Pro is capable of delivering great battery life, which is always nice to hear, of course. This smartphone also packs in Huawei's latest and greatest processor, the Kirin 970, which utilizes AI to deliver the best performance possible. The Huawei Mate 10 Pro sports a 6-inch fullHD+ (2160 x 1080) AMOLED display on the front, and the phone is IP67 certified for water and dust resistance. The phone's display is HDR10 compliant, and it's also worth noting that Android 8.0 Oreo comes on this phone out of the box, along with Huawei's Emotion UI (EMUI) 8.0 skin.
Honorable Mention: Xiaomi Mi MIX 2
The Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 is Xiaomi's second-gen 'Mi MIX' Chinese smartphone. This is the company's flagship handset which sports really thin bezels, and a 'chin' below its display, though its chin is considerably smaller compared to the first-gen model. The Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 is made out of metal and ceramic, well, at least its regular variant it, as the phone also comes in a special ceramic unibody variant. Having said that, the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 also sports a rear-facing fingerprint scanner, and a single camera on its back side. The first thing you'll notice on the Mi MIX 2 is its display, this phone comes with a 5.99-inch fullHD+ (2160 x 1080) panel, and even though this is not an OLED panel, it's really good, a well-tuned display.
Much like the OnePlus 5T, the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 is fueled by the Snapdragon 835 64-bit octa-core, Qualcomm's flagship SoC for 2017. This processor, in combination with other internals, and the company's MIUI 9 OS, make the phone blaze through every task. The regular Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 comes with 6GB of RAM and 64GB, 128GB or 256GB of native storage, while the ceramic edition offers 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage.The Xiaomi Mi MIX was a 'concept phone' (that's what Xiaomi referred to it), it was available, but it was more of a test than anything else, well, the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 is a considerable improvement over its predecessor, a significant step forward in pretty much every way.