“Made in China”. Finding that phrase on the back of the box used to be the kiss of death when it came to tech.
The bad rep Chinese products get for being imitations, fakes or just sub-par isn't always warranted, though - and certainly doesn't apply to the smartphone arena. China has been rapidly taking the phone world by storm, seriously undermining their Western, Korean and Japanese rivals with powerful but affordable flagships.
OnePlus, ZTE and Xiaomi have been pumping out hero handsets at ridiculously low prices for years, but there's a new wave of smaller brands that are also worth taking a look at. Nubia, LeEco and Coolpad might not be household names yet, but they're all beginning to make their mark on the industry.
Almost everything on this list has the CPU and RAM to compete with big-brand phones like the Samsung. A lot of them have loads more storage, too. Camera performance is a bit more variable, but they’ve all got something else in common: a rock bottom price. And that makes them all seriously desirable.
Thought that a OnePlus 3T was the only Chinese smartphone worth your cash? Think again.
Additional words: Zayne Seah, Kaizad Billimoria, Yatish Suvarna, Vaibhav Sharma and Khumail Thakur