Few years ago, you have seen the mobile market dominated by traditional brands such as Sony Ericsson, Nokia and BlackBerry. Later on, tech giants such as Samsung and Apple came to the party and grabbed their position as popular mobile phone brands in the world. But while the well-established brands were battling for supremacy, a small Chinese hurricane, underestimated by its rivals quietly gathered force in the world. At first, Chinese mobile phones appeared to be blatant knock offs, providing extremely cheap and unreliable alternatives to the best-selling phones that were out of the reach of the average consumer. But then came the QMobile explosion and things changed drastically.
Today, mobile phone market is barely recognizable in terms of brand availability as compared to five years ago. While the big brands are still there, many official outlets that sell authentic products have shifted to a new mobile phone shopping mall across the street. Searching for a phone in the popular mobile street today, one would think there has been a technology invasion from China, “Things are different now”, says Faisal, an experienced sales man at a mobile phone shop who has been in the business for the last five years.
Apart from QMobile, other high-end Chinese smartphones are also available in the market, including ThL W11 and UMI X2 Turbo. These smartphones are priced around 300 dollars and claimed to be as powerful as flagship devices from Samsung, HTC and Apple.
One of the most expensive and popular Chinese smartphones seems to be the Xiaomi M2S, which is manufactured by China Telecom. Priced at less than 400 dollars, the phone’s claim to fame is that it can stand toe-to-toe with the Samsung Galaxy S4, which is considered to be one of the best smartphones in the world. In terms of technical specifications, the phone is indeed a powerhouse. It features a 1.7GHz Snapdragon quad-core processor, which matches the speed of the HTC one, while barely trailing the 1.9GHz clock of the Galaxy S4. The phone also sports 2GB memory and a front and rear camera with decent resolutions. On benchmarking software such as AnTuTu, the Chinese smartphone managed to keep pace with the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One, and is available at a lower price when compared to these smartphones. While the Xiaomi M2S performed well in the benchmark test, the catch is that it features lower resolution than the phones it challenges. Also, the camera sensor isn’t as grand. The phone doesn’t feature a long lasting battery, unlike its competitors, which is a problem considering how quickly a frequency used smartphone’s battery drains.
Moreover, some of the numbers on their website were also not functioning, establishing little confidence in their service. Such as dry response would be very frustrating to a customer with a legitimate complaint regarding a manufacturing device.
That being said, the high-end Chinese smartphones in question have earned favorable reviews on the internet, and buyers have termed their purchases as ‘surprisingly high quality’. QMobile users have also praised their high-end devices, though some have complained about the dissatisfactory user experience of the phone.
Anyone who is interested in buying a powerful smartphone without paying the premium price, should look at the warranty situation, and consider the fact that these lesser known high-end devices take a deeper hit on the resale value than the more tried-and-tested brands. These phones may also suffer from longevity issues after the warranty has expired, because their long-term life is still dubious.
However one thing is for sure, these high-end smartphones from China are here to stay, and their product support and acceptance is certain to grow in the years to come. More competition is never a bad thing.