Spend less on Android phones with Chinese brands

Chinese Android

Yes; a lot of people not only in Nigeria but also worldwide are so much fascinated about the high-end Android devices that come from manufacturers like Samsung, HTC and LG, to name but a few. But the question remains if these phones are really worth the price.

I understand that some of Mobility readers must have been thrown off by the mere mention of Chinese in the title of this post. Believe me; it is not unusual to be uncomfortable with the word ‘Chinese’ because we all know what China can offer – the very good and the useless. I remember a few years back before the advent of Tecno phones how the phrase ‘Chinese phone’ was (and still is) a synonym for a salvage value scrap phones. Are we sure that things are ready to turn the other way round?

In February 2013, I bought a Samsung Galaxy Y Pro for N28,000. Its specs include: OS 2.3,3.2MP Camera, 270MB RAM, 170MB internal, 3.5” screen, and a host of other features you would expect from a low-end device. 3 Months later, I bought another Android phone, a Chinese one – Tecno N7 for N29,000 with the following specs: OS 4.0, 5MP back camera, 0.3MP front camera, 512 RAM, 4GB internal with free 8GB SD, 5.0” screen and a host of other higher end features. In terms of hardware, software and battery, my Tecno N7 is far better than the Samsung Galaxy Y of similar price. So I ask the question again: Why pay more for Android phones when Chinese models offer you more for less?

A look at the high-end Android phones

Let’s talk about the expensive Androids from Samsung to LG and see what makes them this expensive. Many times, these gadgets are this expensive because they have extra innovative technologies that are not found in some Chinese Android phones. These technologies include:

  • Super-powerful display and resolution
  • Sleeker User Interface
  • Better camera editing features and sometimes with 3D technology
  • Better sensors, eye-tracking facility, blah blah blah…
  • And others like durability of screen, design, software, etc.
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But wait, some Chinese Android phones like the ones from Huawei, iMax, Gionee, Tecno, Gionee, Infinx, etc have just many of these extra techie features that hike the price of these so-called ‘powerful’ phones. But assuming Chinese Androids don’t have these features at all, I ask how important are some of these new inventions?

Here are a few questions for you to ponder:

  • How often do you notice or appreciate that your phone’s display isn’t LCD but SUPER AMOLED?
  • How many times do you use extra camera features like smile detection, etc, before you take a shot with your powerful phone camera?
  • How often do you use your special sensors to watch your pictures or remotely play songs from your media player? I had to turn mine off because it was carrying out commands at every little gesture I made, which was confusing!
  • How often do you realise for sure the difference between a 12MP, 8MP and 5MP camera images?

Yes; I know that the Geeks will really point out all these differences but the same geeks make up very little percentage of mobile phone users. We have also seen that some Chinese mobile Androids pack more specs at lower prices than the so-called powerful devices.

Apart from the reasons I have already highlighted, the other major reason is because of the brand value. Yes; this is true. The name of the manufacturer of a phone carries value that reflects in the cost of their products. People valued my “nonsense” Samsung Galaxy Y Pro very high simply because it is a Samsung device. When I got my Tecno N7, people praised the phone at first sight, thinking it is worth N100, 000 or so and many others mistook it for a certain Samsung Galaxy phone. But you need to see the disappointment on their faces when they found out that it bore the Tecno brand!

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But at the end of the day, you must decide what you really need your smartphone to do for you and what you can afford. Check your purse and know if it is wise to purchase a device that will render less service (at the huge price) to you but will only catapult you into the first-class phone owners. Should you be interested, I have reviewed some really good Chinese Android phones here.

27 thoughts on “Spend less on Android phones with Chinese brands

  • April 28, 2013 at 12:35 am
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    Another vital thing is the issue of Customer Care and Support.
    The big companies like Nokia and Samsung offer good warranties and local support in Nigeria (I don’t know about LG, HTC, et al).

    When I bricked my N8 in 2011, Nokia Nigeria freely repaired it for me. I would be very wary to spend big money on a ‘chinese’ device that has/had no official support close to my location.

  • April 28, 2013 at 3:53 am
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    Good write up..This what i’m saying to a friend the first day i play with techno N3 and N7..
    for warranty and local support techno has a customer care app pre-installed in most of their android smartphone.
    I have been waiting for galaxy note 8.0, its released but over price.. will go for the Asus fonepad instead…
    When buying a device two important question to ask yourself is…
    Why do i need this device?
    does it worth it?

  • April 28, 2013 at 6:50 am
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    You seem to forget about QUALITY??
    My bro bought the Infinix race bolt 2 weeks ago and the charger is already bad!
    The fact is any wholly Chinese product is most likely going to experience one quality issue or the other. Chinese manufacturers are well known to skimp on quality for that few extra dollars at the expense of consumers.

  • April 28, 2013 at 6:57 am
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    I have learnt my lesson about buying unpopular products, so I would always go for known brands, because I want the assurance that my phone would get updates, if I have issues with my phone I can just perform a Google search to get a fix, and the fact that I could alwaysvfiz my phone with limited hassles.

  • April 28, 2013 at 7:05 am
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    don’t forget d ability to play hd games.. do diz chinks have gpu, chipset n wat hav u? nice article tho.

  • April 28, 2013 at 11:42 am
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    Its worth it to buy brand phones o. They have beta processors, better camera, sound quality, build quality, sure of future updates the list is endlessm if u don’t have money for the high end phones then settle for the chinese phones

  • April 28, 2013 at 6:57 pm
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    i am very much aware that tecno has active customer care/support in Nigeria. All tecno phones come with a 2year warranty. Talking of build quality, i use a low end lg dual sim android phone and 3 people i know have had to change the motherboard, while i ended up changing my screen (all under warranty). the point is no matter the manufacturer all brands will have phones with issues. the most important thing is local service and warranty.
    i recently played with a tecno N3 and i can tell you that it beats my lg phone in all ramifications. hardware, software, price etc.

  • April 28, 2013 at 11:06 pm
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    @Burabari The Race Bolt shouldn’t break down after only 2 weeks. It isn’t normal so you should also check if the fault was from your Bro..

  • April 28, 2013 at 11:12 pm
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    Anyway am not trying to promote any Chinese thing. I used to hate China phones until I came to accept the reality which is the point that I made in the post.

    My friend got one stupid LG Android at N49K and battled with memory and poor UI So it’s all about choice if you got the cash… if not, you should choose wisely.

  • April 29, 2013 at 1:29 pm
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    I used to be “Chinko? Ungh” but not so much these days. i wouldn’t log Huawei with Gionee et al. though, Huawei is several step ahead. Sure some Chinko phones skimp on quality but surely brands like Tecno and Infinix are upping their game.

    i recently wanted to get a dual sim android device to cut back on the number of hardware i have to log around and my choice was the Galaxy Grand duos till i read consumer reviews and “it hangs and restarts all the time” was all over the place. i decided to look at Tecno N7 and the 512mb RAM may be an issue. so for now, i am sticking with my plenty plenty hardware.

    nice write-up

  • May 2, 2013 at 9:25 pm
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    I’m really dissapointed to see this kind of advice here. I’ll pardon the writer and just assume he doesn’t know what he’s saying. If you think choosing one device over another is all about specs alone, you’re wrong, bro. I can see you’re obviously not a child so by now you should know that in life, nothing good comes cheap. This applies even to gadgets as well.
    Did you take some time to consider the quality of these devices? both hardware and software. You buy some cheap android device and everything looks great, then you start to notice little things like poor screen sensitivity , poor durability, overheating and all sorts. These cheap devices you are advising us to buy never get any support from the manufacturer and even other users. Why don’t you try searching for any of these Chinese brands on any popular android forum when you have any problem with it and then come back and tell me what you find. Much more, doing something a bit extreme like installing a custom recovery. This particular example is more or less impossible because because they are made specifically for each device.
    These cheap brands also take advantage of the fact that that android is free and they just slap it on to their devices without doing the necessary optimizations or following the set out standards. The kinds of problems that this leads to are too many for me to even write here, from incompatibility of apps, connectivity issues to memory problems. sometimes you just notice some things don’t work the way a normal android device is meant to work.
    Have you considered software updates and bug-fixes?
    Have you considered things like pc suite software that should help you get more from your device?
    Have you considered accessories and battery replacements?
    My opinion is inspired by an experience with my neighbours infinix joypad. you can google the life of this piece of crap and you won’t find any references to it on any reputable tech site in order to solve any of its numerous problems. She has learnt from it. I just dont want other people to be misled and then start saying android is bad.

  • June 27, 2013 at 10:18 pm
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    I think the Gionee dream d1 is cool, thinking of getting it. I think Chinese companies are doing better devices now. I currently use a Tecno N3 and I love the phone. Apart from d not too smart camera and the old android OS, the N3 is good. It’s beats my sister’s galaxy pocket in almost all aspects but camera

  • July 23, 2013 at 9:45 am
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    This is a nice post. I am presently using infinix android phone fot a while now without any issues. Many are ashamed to identify with these Chinese phones no tanx to d chinese themselves who discard respect for quality. With the likes of Techno,Infinix stepping up,the consumers will be better for it. After all a couple of yrs ago who would have thought the likes of Samsung n LG could give Nokia,Motorola,Sony Ericsson etc who were big players in the industry b4 them a run for their money? Seriously,we pay more for the brand name than quality.

  • July 29, 2013 at 11:45 am
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    well well well all of us re just talking abt tecno,samsung and LG. what abt the durability of HTC hw is it?

  • August 17, 2013 at 9:54 am
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    I would lyk to say dat no phone is beyond getting spoiled,even a samsung galaxy s4 can get spoiled xo u dat is talkin abt ur neighbour’s infinix joypad should knw dat all phones can spoil at any time.

  • August 18, 2013 at 8:17 am
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    All fingers are not equal,what I need my smartphone to do for me is all that matters,then followed by my pocket,so if you can afford a galaxy s4,go for it.

  • September 7, 2013 at 11:15 pm
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    very nice article.
    Pls let us be guileless with ourselves, Tecno and Infinix android phones are not substandard phones, truelly they might not meet up with other high-end android phones from Samsung; HTC and Sony but they are transmitting more than their worth.
    You should ruminate on your pocket and the specifactions which you can’t live without in your phone before purchase.
    My brother too bought an infinix mobile and the charger went bad just after 3 days; but to be frank; it was his fault because he connected it to a generator that isn’t engendering a consistent current.
    I think its nice having all these phones in town because they have created rooms for volitions; moreso they have helped to control price of phones.

  • January 9, 2014 at 3:29 pm
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    Evry fone is an electronic devices nd cnt escape faults…buy any brands dt intrest u most ..samsng,lg nd tecno ar al hand-made nd none is 100% good…tecno z stil wondaful no mata d nem of d maker.

  • February 19, 2014 at 2:06 pm
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    I tink these china phones r ok..Imagine wat U cn get wit just small amt of money,compared 2 these other brands..I believe in time Android phones and Smartphones can be accessd by everyone…

  • December 17, 2014 at 1:57 am
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    Does anybody have any info on d Xiaomi Mi 3 phone, can I order d phone 4rm their website while incuring only shipping costs?

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