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Best Budget Chinese Phones For 2022

Best Budget Chinese Phones For 2022 - Your Choice Way

Get mid-range phones at budget prices. We round up the best budget Chinese phones you can buy in the UK today.

We all want more for our money, and that includes when we're looking for our next smartphone purchase. You can get a lot more bang for your buck with a Chinese phone than if you buy from Samsung or Sony's entry-level range.

We've rounded up some of the best budget options for getting a cheap Chinese phone that looks and feels anything but.

1. Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro

1. Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro
Pros
  • Stunning 120Hz AMOLED display
  • Long battery life
  • Excellent cameras
Cons
  • No 5G
  • No OIS
  • Huge camera bump
  • MIUI not for everyone
$379

The Redmi Note 10 Pro is one of the best budget phones you can buy, with Xiaomi delivering exceptional value for money.

Highlights here start with the stunning screen offering AMOLED technology and a 120Hz refresh rate, and continue with an excellent set of cameras. The headline is a 108Mp whopper which is backed up by a reasonable ultra-wide and a surprisingly decent telemacro.

There are smaller delights too such as the inclusion of a headphone jack, Arc fingerprint scanner, stereo speakers and even an IR blaster. Battery life is also strong (Xiaomi includes a 33W charger in the box), and core specs are decent with a Snapdragon 732G ensuring smooth performance.

Our only real gripe is a lack of support for 5G.


2. Xiaomi Poco F3

2. Xiaomi Poco F3
Pros
  • Superb performance
  • Excellent OLED display
  • Impressive cameras
Cons
  • Underwhelming battery life
  • MIUI not for everyone
From £329 (around $460)

The Poco F3 is a cracking mid-range phone. Stellar hardware is led by Qualcomm’s 5G-enabled Snapdragon 870 chipset, which delivers excellent performance across the board.

That extends to gaming, where the 120Hz OLED display comes into its own. However, that high refresh rate does hit battery life, especially when you’re working with a smaller capacity than the Poco X3 Pro. The software is also still an acquired taste, despite big steps forward for MIUI in recent years.

A premium design and solid set of cameras make for an excellent smartphone experience, but the strength of the competition makes it more difficult to recommend.

Read our full Xiaomi Poco F3 review

3. OnePlus Nord 2

3. OnePlus Nord 2
Pros
  • Excellent software
  • Great design
  • Strong all-rounder
Cons
  • Only 90Hz display
  • Slightly thick
Unavailable in the US

An outstanding follow-up to 2020's best mid-range phone, with great performance, 5G, OnePlus's signature Oxygen OS user experience, and a near-flagship main camera. What's not to love?

What the OnePlus Nord 2 really demonstrates is the company's ability to prioritise the features that users are looking for right now and wrapping them up in an attractive package with a compelling price point.

The Nord 2 misses out on flagship niceties like wireless charging and waterproofing, but those are really the only compromises made here.

Read our full OnePlus Nord 2 review

4. Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G

4. Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G
Pros
  • Respectable peformance
  • Impressively thin and light
  • Feature-packed
Cons
  • MIUI can be unintuitive
  • Better value elsewhere
  • No water resistance
£399

While the standard 4G-only Mi 11 Lite is already an impressive feat of engineering, thanks to its slim profile, the fact that this 5G equivalent isn't really any thicker, larger or heavier, despite delivering even more power, is an impressive achievement in and of itself. It packs in more than just faster cellular connectivity, too, with a superior chipset and a few other extras that collectively render it a more powerful and competitive mid-range entry.

Mi 11 Lite 5G offers up a pleasingly well-rounded experience and heaps of performance for the price. However, it does occupy a crowded mid-range space, where devices are vying for interest based on standout features, without demanding flagship prices.

As such, if you're looking for the thinnest phone worth buying right now, this is it. If that waistline isn't one of the biggest driving forces behind your purchasing decision, though, there are a number of competitors for around the same money that will also fit the bill.


5. Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC

5. Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC
Pros
  • 120Hz display
  • 2-day battery life
  • Excellent camera
  • Powerful
Cons
  • Thick and heavy
  • MIUI can be clunky
  • Unreliable fingerprint scanner
From £199 (around $250)

The Poco X3 isn’t perfect. The big battery makes it bulky, we don’t love the aesthetic, and not everyone will find MIUI 12 immediately intuitive. For the most part these are small complaints though, especially when stacked up against the X3’s myriad strengths: strong specs, an excellent camera, a beautiful display, and absolutely fantastic battery life.

The fact that you can get all of that for under £200 is almost unbelievable, and makes the Poco X3 a shoo-in for the best budget phone of the year.


6. OnePlus Nord CE 2

6. OnePlus Nord CE 2
Pros
  • Attractive design
  • AMOLED display
  • Strong main camera
  • Headphone jack
Cons
  • Average performance
  • Ships with Android 11
Unavailable in the US

The OnePlus Nord CE 2 is an impressive affordable mid-ranger, with only a few flaws. In fact, perhaps its biggest challenge is simply that spending only a little more would net you the even better Nord 2.

Performance, battery, and charging all impress for the price, and the design is slick enough to outgrow its humble plasticky origins.

The camera has its flaws, but is typical for the price, with a main camera that’s good during the day, and other lenses that are at least serviceable.

The biggest down side is really OnePlus’s lacklustre commitment to software updates, which will likely see the phone out of updates by the end of next year.

7. OnePlus Nord CE 5G

7. OnePlus Nord CE 5G
Pros
  • Beautiful display
  • Thin and light
  • Great software
  • 5G
Cons
  • Plastic body
  • Average camera
  • No Alert Slider
Unavailable in the US

The original Nord was a category defining device, and the Nord CE doesn’t quite pull off the same trick. Compromises on the camera and build quality - as well as odd choices like ditching the Alert Slider - make the Nord CE stand out less. This feels typical of the price range, and much closer to the competition.

Still, a solid mid-range chipset, a slim build, and excellent battery life and charging chops are enough to ensure that the Nord CE is still a strong option for budget buyers. It’s also one the cheaper phones around with 5G support included, and OxygenOS alone is enough to give it an edge over the competition.

While the Nord excelled, the Nord CE is instead a capable all-rounder. Other phones out there will trump it on specific specs, but few at this price can deliver such a strong overall package.


8. Xiaomi Poco M3 Pro

8. Xiaomi Poco M3 Pro
Pros
  • 90Hz display
  • Great battery life
  • 5G connectivity
Cons
  • Bloated MIUI software
  • Average cameras
  • Awkward for one-handed use
Unavailable in the US

The Xiaomi Poco M3 Pro 5G is, on paper, an exceptionally well-rounded budget smartphone. It offers a big 1080p screen with a 90Hz refresh rate, a 48Mp camera, a big battery and more for a price that won’t break the bank.

It is unfortunate then that its software is something of a let down. While some may be able to live with MIUI, the bloated interface and feature overload need significant work before becoming something worth of recommendation.

But if you can put up with the software, this is a device that will likely meet all of your needs and then some, if never quite trumping the competition in any significant way.


9. Realme 9 Pro+

9. Realme 9 Pro+
Pros
  • Unique rear design
  • Two-day battery life
  • Strong main camera
Cons
  • Other lenses are unimpressive
  • No IP rating
  • Inconsistent charging speeds
Not available in the US

The Realme 9 Pro+ has some notable features for a mid-ranger, with an impressive main camera lens, an aesthetically pleasing design, a decent battery life, and user-friendly software.

The inconsistent charging and underwhelming secondary cameras make it clear that this isn't quite the flagship killer that Realme is promising, but at this price it was never going to be.

For sub-£350 there is still a lot to enjoy – it all depends on what you’re willing to compromise on.


10. Xiaomi Redmi Note 11

10. Xiaomi Redmi Note 11
Pros
  • Excellent 90Hz display
  • Tidy design
  • Strong battery life
Cons
  • Camera no great shakes
  • No 5G
  • MIUI is an acquired taste
From $179

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 offers a compelling combination of specifications and a pleasant design at an affordable price.

Noteworthy is the Note 11’s level of stamina, which will get most people through two days of usage on a single charge. Redmi impresses by throwing in a speedy 33W charger, too.

Performance and camera quality are merely adequate, which is where scaling up to the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G might be worth considering. But if you’re on a strict budget, this is a phone with few glaring weaknesses.


11. Xiaomi Redmi Note 10S

11. Xiaomi Redmi Note 10S
Pros
  • Excellent Battery Life
  • Decent performance
  • Nice colour options
Cons
  • Average cameras
  • MIUI is loaded with bloat
  • Lacking high refresh rate
$278

This is the first Redmi Note phone that is just good enough. At times one needs to question the reason for its existence since there are other great Redmi Note 10 models that can provide everything this phone can in a more capable package.

That being said it comes with its own set of strengths - its battery life is definitely superior to its other Redmi Note 10 cousins and its new blue colour is very attractive.

But at a budget price, it just about makes the cut, as spending slightly more will get you a better screen and camera combination in a knockout package that too from the house Xiaomi.


12. Realme 8 Pro

12. Realme 8 Pro
Pros
  • Thin, lightweight design
  • Outstanding battery life
  • Rapid charging
Cons
  • Unreliable fingerprint sensor
  • Middling performance
  • Plastic build
Unavailable in the US

The Realme 8 Pro is a device seemingly centred around raising the profile of the company's camera credentials. Based on the rest of the spec sheet, it's a reworking of last year's Realme 7 Pro with a thinner, more lightweight build, slower charging and the same underlying components - save for that all-important camera.

In practice, it achieves its intended purpose and happens to be a well-balanced affordable mid-ranger in the process, with a killer feature that sets itself apart from the rest of Realme's line-up. Just as Xiaomi is a keen rival of Oppo in the wider mobile market, however, so too is the company's Redmi line against Realme in the mid-range and affordable spaces.

The price/camera performance proposition of the Realme 8 Pro is undeniably strong but Xiaomi's Redmi Note 10 Pro just pipped it to the post, hitting the market only a few weeks earlier. It totes a superior processor, higher refresh rate AMOLED display and the same Samsung-supplied 108Mp camera sensor, all for the same price as the Realme.

Read our full Realme 8 Pro review

13. Realme 8

13. Realme 8
Pros
  • Thin & light
  • Solid specs
  • Reliable main camera
Cons
  • No 5G
  • Only 60Hz refresh rate
  • Giant slogan on the back
Not available in the US

The Realme 8 is a solid, if unremarkable, budget buy.

For the price you’re getting a dependable main camera, strong battery life, and OLED screen, all backed up by a smooth software experience that prioritises ease-of-use.

Similarly priced rivals might beat the Realme 8 on one or two specs, and particularly you may feel that it’s worth investing in a 5G model at this point.

But you’ll find a welcome balance of features here that should suit most users more or less, making the Realme 8 a jack-of-all-trades.

Read our full Realme 8 review

14. Xiaomi Redmi 10

14. Xiaomi Redmi 10
Pros
  • Impressively priced
  • Great battery life
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • 90Hz with AdaptiveSync
Cons
  • LCD display lacks vibrancy
  • Basic camera setup
  • Slow 18W charging
From $249.99

The Xiaomi Redmi 10 is a dependable phone that won’t blow your mind, but it won’t hit the wallet too hard, either.

Its camera and display tech are fairly basic, but it does offer a sizeable screen with an adaptive refresh rate of up to 90Hz, solid battery life, and it looks great, too.

Understandably for the price, there's no 5G and performance is limited, charging is slow and there's no waterproofing. Still, this is one of the best options at under £200 right now if you don't need a phone to be all singing and all dancing.


15. Oppo A54

15. Oppo A54
Pros
  • Great longevity
  • Sharp 90Hz display
  • Affordable 5G
Cons
  • Middling performance
  • Inconsistent fingerprint reader
  • Slow charging
£219

The Oppo A54 5G is a budget handset the manages to excel in multiple areas – with an attractive design, 5G, a 48Mp quad-camera and a massive 5000mAh battery that outshines even some of the most expensive phones on the market. 

It's not without faults, of course. Though the battery life is excellent, 10W charging is glacial in this day and age. Though the night mode on the camera is stellar, the user-experience of taking photos really needs refining to be simpler and cleaner.

For the price point, however, you're getting a solid camera phone that feels high-end and a device that won't die on you quickly. For these reasons we'd definitely say that the A54 5G is a budget contender.

Read our full Oppo A54 5G review
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Best Budget Chinese Phones For 2022 Best Budget Chinese Phones For 2022 Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Friday, April 01, 2022 Rating: 5

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