There was a time when Chinese flagship telephones were a rarity. Who would pay top dollar for models made by low-priced iPhone clones?
How things have changed. Huawei, China & # 39; s best phone manufacturer, has overtaken Apple as the number two in the world and focuses on Samsung.
Other Chinese manufacturers also anticipate with a number of innovative designs that bring the best of the old leaders from South Korea and the United States.
Unfortunately, many of these models from China still betray a follow-up mentality, by imitating the controversial iPhone notch at the top of the screen. That said, they also offer many firsts.
From a pop-up camera that saves precious space on the front panel to highly praised camera functions, Chinese phone manufacturers are also starting to set the pace.
Here are five flagships to check out:
1. Huawei P20 Pro
Huawei's collaboration with Leica in Germany in 2016 was initially mocked as a branding exercise, with photography snaps rejecting the tie as a Chinese company that bought goodwill from its famous camera partner.
Two years later, no one disputes that the quality of Huawei's flagship telephones is among the best you can get on the road. For many doubters, seeing is believing.
The latest P20 Pro, for example, comes with a handheld night mode that brightens up a scene while keeping things in focus. It is something that rivals have tried to offer. Read our review.
2. Oppo Search X
Perhaps the best looking phone on the market today, the Oppo Find X has bevelled edges for a sleek finish (like Samsung), plus its own unique innovation – a motorized camera that pops up when you need it.
This may seem like a gimmick at first, but it is a function that really works. The screen at the front makes a camera and therefore the ugly notch unnecessary.
The amazing thing is how well Oppo has integrated the camera into the slim chassis. It is not noticeable until it pops up. Of course, the question is whether, over time, mechanical wear can occur that affects its durability.
Yet the top points for Oppo are even for daring to try this extravagant function, something that in the past you would have ventured into a Japanese company like Sony. Read our practical impression.
3. Vivo X21
Vivo is another Chinese company with a first – a fingerprint sensor on the screen that eliminates the physical unit that is usually located at the back or the front panel. This makes it easier to access while providing a slimmer design.
The X21 is its latest model aimed at the global market with this technology. It is something that Apple and Samsung are excited about, but Vivo has come on the market before.
Does a fancy fingerprint sensor make the phone a must-buy? Probably not, but it is noteworthy that a Chinese telephone manufacturer has come up with such an important upgrade for a function that is used so often every day. Read review.
4. Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorers edition
If you are tired of the shiny metal and glass finish that is common today, you would be happy to see the Mi 8 Explorers edition of Xiaomi. With a transparent cover on the back of the phone, the users peep to the inside of the phone.
Okay, it turned out that the "chips" that were shown were not really the real chips – they were fun to show the Qualcomm processor. The Mi 8, however, still has a striking design that distinguishes it.
Of course, not everyone can own a sports car with a transparent engine compartment to show off a twin-turbo V10 engine. Maybe they can own the look with their phone instead.
5. OnePlus 6
The Shenzhen company has certainly not helped itself by its previous phones & # 39; flagship killers & # 39; and then miss some important features such as fast loading. Yet the five-year-old company has now returned with a more attractive model.
The OnePlus 6 looks like a part with extremely thin edges that offer an edge-to-edge screen. And it uses AMOLED technology, so the display is also lively.
The red version of the fire engine in Singapore is tight and yes, despite the slim dimensions, it still has a headphone jack for people with an expensive pair of earphones.
Improvements still needed
It is clear that many of these phones are not perfect. The notch is a constant reminder that Chinese manufacturers still adopt design elements from Apple, a much admired company in the country.
Yet in many ways they are working on new technologies, many of which are world firsts. This is good news for users, even if they do not buy Chinese phones, for fear of the connections of companies with the politics of the country.
That means that other manufacturers such as Samsung and Apple, who have been leading for so many years, have to come up with something new at a time when people are tired of upgrading for a few small jobs. Do not do this and there are hungry new rivals ready to eat their lunch.