We all want more for our money, and that includes when we’re looking for our next smartphone purchase. If you don’t want to pay for the name, know that 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.

Best Budget Chinese Phone reviews

1. Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T

2. Oppo A9 2020

Oppo A9 2020

3. Xiaomi Redmi Note 7

Xiaomi Redmi Note 7

4. Oppo A5 2020

Oppo A5 2020

5. Honor 9X

Honor 9X

6. Elephone U2

Elephone U2

7. Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite

Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite

8. Honor 20 Lite

Honor 20 Lite

9. Honor 8X

Honor 8X

10. UMIDIGI S2 Pro

UMIDIGI S2 Pro

Your buying guide to the best budget Chinese phones in 2020

Many Chinese phones are now officially available in the UK (in fact all those in our current chart are), but you may still find cheaper prices in China through the likes of GearBest. If you’re buying from China rather than the UK you’ll need to factor import duty into any budgeting decision, which is calculated at 20 percent of the value printed on the shipping paperwork plus an admin fee of around £11.

You’ll also have to accept slightly longer delivery times (though free international delivery is offered), and accept that should something go wrong it’s going to be more difficult to get your money back.

A big one to watch out for is the cellular bands supported by the phone: many Chinese phones don’t support 800MHz 4G LTE. That doesn’t mean they won’t work at all in the UK, but if your network relies on that frequency alone for 4G then the most you’ll get is 3G. This will affect you if you subscribe to an O2, GiffGaff or Sky Mobile tariff.

Talking of contracts, you won’t get one for a Chinese phone if you buy it from China. Instead you’ll need to buy the phone up front and then subscribe to a SIM-only deal, but if you’ve got the funds to do so it’s a much better option and can save you a lot of cash in the long run.

Particularly with regard to Xiaomi phones, your smartphone may not come with Google services preinstalled (opt for a Global model or buy within the UK to avoid this). We explain how to install Google Play on a Xiaomi phone here.

We’ve rounded up some of these things you should consider in our guide to buying Chinese tech.

If you can live with all these things, buying your next smartphone China is the best way to get an extraordinary deal on a new phone. We’ve rounded up some of the best cheap Chinese phones below – smartphones for which you’d pay two or three times the price in the UK, US or Europe. If you’re happy to pay a little more and get even more for your money, also see our guide to the Best Chinese phones.

If you decide you want a budget phone but don’t want one from China, also check out our guide to the best budget phones available in the UK.





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