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China vs the World: Smartphone giants face a low-cost threat

Daniel Howley
Technology Editor
The Huawei P9.

When it comes to smartphones, most American consumers either look to Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone or Samsung’s Galaxy handsets. But the next time you decide to upgrade your phone, you might want to check out some of the impressive offerings coming out of China.

Companies ranging from OnePlus to Xiaomi to Huawei and more are producing handsets powered by Google’s (GOOG, GOOGL) Android that are every bit as attractive, powerful and feature-rich as their more mainstream competitors for far lower prices.

There is one catch, though. The majority of these devices only work on AT&T (T) or T-Mobile’s (TMUS) networks. So if you’re a Sprint (S) or Verizon (VZ) user, you’re largely out of luck.

Many of China’s smartphones have their own gimmicks that help them stand out from the crowd. The OnePlus 3T, for example, is a high-powered device with a ridiculous 6GB of RAM and a gorgeous 5.5-inch AMOLED screen.

The Huawei P9, meanwhile, has a dual-camera setup with both monochrome and color sensors designed to capture a greater amount of light in poor lighting conditions.

Meanwhile, the LeEco Pro 3 is a flat-out beautiful smartphone thanks to its clean lines and metal design.

Then there’s the Motorola G5 Plus. That’s right, the company that brought you the Razr is now owned by China’s Lenovo and has some seriously impressive handsets. The G5 Plus is just $229 and features a 5.2-inch display, an 8-core processor and 12-MP camera.

So, if you’re in the market for a smartphone and don’t want to stick with Apple or Samsung, there are more than enough options available from Chinese handset makers at seriously low prices.

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Email Daniel at dhowley@yahoo-inc.com; follow him on Twitter at @DanielHowley.