A dozen companies produce TVs on any large scale. One and a half to two dozen companies all over the world are engaged in the creation of refrigerators. Cooking stoves are manufactured by 25-30 companies. But this number certainly does not compare with how many enterprises are engaged in the development and release of smartphones. According to the most conservative estimates, there are more than fifty of them. In this regard, many buyers would like to know which brands are worth paying attention to. That is why we decided to compile a rating of smartphone manufacturers – the products of the companies mentioned in this article are more likely to please than disappoint. But don’t forget that even the giants of this industry have missed the mark.
How to choose a smartphone?
When choosing a mobile device, many consumers first of all pay their attention to the brand. At least this applies to those cases when a person goes to buy goods in a regular store. If the purchase is made in an online store, and even in a Chinese one, then a certain level of risk is acceptable here – it is quite possible to try to buy a product from a little-known company. However, we recommend that you only purchase smartphones from the companies listed below. And remember:
- Samsung endows almost all of its smartphones with AMOLED – a display that can show the date and time in a constant mode. The only exceptions to the rule are the cheapest models. And it is also one of the few companies that, as of January 2019, does not produce a single device with a notch at the top of the display (the so-called ‘monobrow’).
- Huawei is doing its best to squeeze the South Korean competitor in the smartphone market. For this, every effort is being made, including this company does not shy away from significantly lowering the price tag for some models.
- Apple releases devices controlled by iOS. If before that you used exclusively smartphones operating under control Android, then switching to another operating system will cause certain difficulties. Also, this company has a completely wrong pricing policy – its devices are too expensive.
- Xiaomi does not assemble devices on its own. This company simply does not have its own factories. It is because of this that one model from another can differ markedly in terms of build quality and some other properties. But on the other hand, it is Xiaomi that manages to maintain a low price tag at a time when the average cost of a smartphone is still growing.
- BBK Electronics owns three brands at once – OnePlus , Oppo and Vivo. Only flagships are distributed under the first – the release of a new model is carried out approximately every six months. At the same time, they are cheaper than products of competitors of similar characteristics. And the price tag of Oppo smartphones and Vivo is usually overstated, especially in Russia.
Of course, choosing a smartphone isn’t just about getting to know a brand. You need to pay attention to the processor used, the amount of internal memory, the possibility of its expansion, the built-in display (which also has a lot of characteristics), the approximate battery life and much more. We believe that it makes no sense to write about all aspects of the choice right here. After all, this article is dedicated exclusively to smartphone manufacturers, and not about the scrupulous selection of their products. Maybe someday we will write a separate material. Especially if you ask for it in the comments!
Rating of the best smartphone manufacturers
|The best smartphone firms in terms of price-quality ratio||1||Samsung||5.0|
|The best low-cost smartphone firms||1||Alcatel||4.7|
The best smartphone firms in terms of price-quality ratio
In South Korea, the so-called chaebols are very common – a group of companies engaged in the production of a wide variety of products. Samsung Group is one such chaebol. She builds houses, produces ships, creates spare parts for aircraft, and some of the group’s companies work in the chemical industry. But the most famous is, of course, Samsung Electronics. This company makes TVs, refrigerators, small appliances like vacuum cleaners, as well as smartphones and wearable electronics. The first experiments with cell phones were carried out by Samsung back in 1991. But her devices were best known towards the end of 2000, when a model with MP3 support was released. However, for several years after that, models with polyphony remained much more popular, since they were very affordable (while they had a color display).
Now the South Koreans are concentrating on the production of smartphones operating under control Android. They use a proprietary shell that changes its appearance every few years, and at the same time the name. Smartphones will go on sale in 2019, which will be simplified by the fact that the main controls will be in the lower half of the display – engineers hope that no longer need to shift the device in hand.
Samsung has two flagship lines. The most popular is the Galaxy S – the smartphones in this series can still be considered small, and they also don’t offer any frills. As for the Galaxy Note, the devices in this series are distinguished by the presence of a smart stylus. We can definitely say that this is the most versatile pen on the market!
Of course, South Koreans are not only producing flagship smartphones. However, other rulers are now less pronounced. Only about the Galaxy J series, we can still say that it includes only the cheapest devices – often they even AMOLED – do not have a screen. Smartphones from the Galaxy A series are also very popular, but it is difficult to say something specific about them, since models with different screen sizes can differ significantly from each other, not to mention devices of different years of release. In particular, in 2018, the South Korean manufacturer decided to abandon moisture protection. But he began to experiment, endowing his mid-budget smartphones with rear cameras with three or even four lenses.
Now it is Samsung that is the largest manufacturer AMOLED – of displays and some other mobile components. Of course, all this is supplied to other companies as well. The proceeds are spent on R&D – the development of completely new technologies. It is possible that this will help the company release an unusual smartphone with a foldable screen in 2019 – the device will fold in half. Its concept has already been demonstrated, but the appearance of the device and its specifications are still in question. So far, we only know that the unique gadget will be sold for at least $ 1,500 – it will be a toy for rich people.
Every company has its ups and downs. If we talk about Apple, then the Californian giant is now in a protracted peak. Steve Jobs, who invented and in the strictest secrecy released the first iPhone, led to the next takeoff. This device was waiting for success, even with its extremely high price tag! But it was not even a smartphone in our modern sense of the word (as opposed to its continuation). At some point, iPhones became incredibly popular. But after the death of Steve Jobs, something went wrong.
The company Apple decided to expand its product line, which the former president desperately opposed. As a result, two or even three new smartphones began to appear every year. This alone has begun to scare off some buyers. Then devices began to rise in price, and they were already expensive. Another problem is related to iOS – for some reason, new versions of this operating system began to receive a large number of bugs, and therefore Android became more stable (at the dawn of the existence of these operating systems, everything was vice versa). And also any iPhone is inferior to the flagships on the ‘green robot’ in terms of component power. Except for the processor – as of the beginning of 2019, it is the chipset iPhone Xs that is the most productive. But this device also costs much more than any competitor!
If you are already in the ecosystem Apple, then buying one or another iPhone is quite justified. For example, iCloud is not available on a competing platform, but Apple Music works perfectly on iOS. But if you’ve only used ‘androids’ so far, there isn’t much point in buying iPhone. Chances are good that you will find the platform very limited, which is why the smartphone will only cause chagrin.
The Chinese company Huawei was founded in 1987. At first, she was only engaged in the creation of telecommunications equipment that telecom operators need – cell towers and other things. Later, the company’s management decided to carry out an experiment by releasing several mobile devices. These devices should popularize the brand while also showing what wireless technologies are currently available. The situation has changed dramatically since then. Now the mobile business has a huge turnover. The company Huawei may soon become the largest smartphone manufacturer!
It’s hard to say what exactly led to the success. It is possible that the company did not in vain decided to enter the world market as quickly as possible, without limiting itself to relatives (and at one time he could feed a dozen of these Huawei). It is possible that wireless modules played a role – in most smartphones they belonged to the latest generations, while competitors saved on this. Or the popularity of such devices was influenced by their availability – the company Huawei invested in several factories, in connection with which it is now possible to release almost any number of smartphones (some competitors cannot afford this, ordering the creation of devices on the side). For sure, there is no doubt only that the correct price policy played a significant role in the popularization of products Huawei.
Unlike smaller manufacturers, the Chinese giant most often equips its smartphones with its own processor. Also, it is often possible to find AMOLED – a display as part of its devices, although inexpensive and mid-budget models still do without it. The greatest attention in the production of flagships is paid to the camera. Now if you want to get the best quality shooting, then you should look exactly towards the product Huawei.
Many people think that the brand Xiaomi has existed since the invention of the smartphone. But actually it is not. Moreover, even the first versions Android existed at a time when the company was only a few years away. Only in 2010, a Chinese company was born with the letters ‘mi’ on its logo.
The head of the company made a bet on the low cost of the manufactured devices. Very low! This is why smartphones have become so popular. They even began to be ordered by foreign buyers, with the emergence of Chinese online stores, this ceased to cause any problems. To achieve a low price tag, the management had to abandon the construction of their own factories – the production of smartphones is carried out exclusively at independent factories. This has a serious disadvantage. Xiaomi cannot fully control all stages of production. Also, the company is very dependent on the prices of components – it has to purchase relatively small batches, the prices for which can vary greatly. In short, do not be surprised that some models turn out to be very successful, while others suffer from certain ailments – this happens when a smartphone receives low-quality components.
Like most of the companies reviewed in this rating, Xiaomi installs an operating system Android on their smartphones. Usually – not the most recent version. The fact is that the Chinese additionally use their own proprietary shell, the development of which takes quite a long time. It also needs to be adapted for Europe – in the Chinese version there is not a hint of Google, in the Celestial Empire its services are simply not needed. If you want to get a fast working device with a more recent version Android, devices from the series Xiaomi Mi A were created for you. They differ in the absence of a proprietary shell. This plays a plus in performance – we must not forget that MiUI consumes a significant amount of RAM.
Please note that the company Xiaomi is mainly targeting its home market. Something is not easy with the exception of smartphones rarely appears on the official sale outside of China. That is why do not be confused by the presence of items on the hieroglyphs in the menu – they are found even in the most recent firmware. Also, the software may have bugs – for Xiaomi this is already a tradition. Apparently, the company is simply saving on serious firmware testing. However, let’s not scare you. Smartphones Xiaomi still deserve the money spent on them – it’s no accident that there are so many positive reviews online.
Another South Korean chaebol. The LG Group also includes a huge number of companies. Some of them make toothpaste and other chemicals, and LG Electronics has long been famous for its televisions. Oddly enough, it is they who still bring the main profit to this company. Unfortunately, the mobile business has been unprofitable for LG for many years. This is sad, because at one time, clamshell mobile phones LG were incredibly popular. Even during the development period Android smartphones LG were quite successful. However, now they do not catch buyers at all. Why? It is rather difficult to answer this question.
The South Korean company is trying to invest a lot of money in a marketing campaign, but its main competitors are capable of boasting even larger amounts. As a result, the consumer simply forgets about products LG when he thinks about flagships. Namely, top models bring LG at least some income. And they are the ones that have balanced specifications. Alas, this cannot be said about mid-budget devices. Such smartphones are much inferior to products from many other companies – both in terms of the rear camera, and in terms of battery life, and processor power, and in many other parameters.
As for the devices belonging to the LG V and LG G lines, it is due to their existence that the company got into our rating. Of course, such devices are too expensive, and now not every consumer will agree to overpay. But it should be noted that these devices have some kind of zest. They usually sound very good as the manufacturer tries to implement a separate DAC. They include a front camera with wide-angle optics so that you can take a picture of yourself with all your friends. And LG V10 and LG V20 at one time could boast of an additional screen!
Someone finds it hard to believe, but Oppo Electronics is confidently among the four largest smartphone manufacturers. In China, the products of this company are in great demand! This manufacturer regularly releases interesting new items that are somewhat different from competing devices. For example, back in 2012, the company made a splash with the world’s thinnest smartphone. And now she has begun to release devices with a retractable front camera.
The Oppo brand was registered by BBK Electronics in 2004. It all started with the release of MP3 players and DVD players. Only four years later, the first mobile phone was released. And only a few more years later, Oppo smartphones began to be sold outside of China.
Oppo products have one problem. The manufacturer is used to making a substantial mark-up. In China, even quite expensive smartphones are swept off the shelves, but outside this country you have to compete with other brands. Alas, more often than not, there is still no point in overpaying for the Oppo logo. Although some Russians still embark on experiments. Well, why not buy the world’s first smartphone with an on-screen fingerprint scanner? Or buy the already mentioned device with a retractable front-end? Competitors will offer something like this only in six months or a year.
The most controversial representative of our rating. Literally one and a half to two years ago, this company had a chance to get into the top three largest smartphone manufacturers. At least, it could come out on the second or third place in sales of such devices in our country. However, the company was unable to increase production capacity, and something strange began to happen with the lines of gadgets. Well, later the train left. Now smartphones Lenovo are generally quite difficult to find on store shelves.
The Chinese company was founded in 1984. Its history began with the production of computer components intended for its home market. Later, the company began to expand significantly. It got to the point that the Chinese had enough money to buy a computer unit IBM! So notebooks Lenovo began to appear, invariably pleasing with their quality. Gradually, the company decided to enter the smartphone market. Here, relative success awaited her. To improve the situation, it was decided to buy the company Motorola, then owned by Google. And it was after this that the leapfrog began.
Unfortunately, the managers Lenovo were still undecided on what to do with their purchase. At one time, relatively inexpensive smartphones were sold under the Chinese brand, and flagships and models close to the top segment were sold under the Moto brand. But when one brand was doing well, the other suffered terribly from low sales and losses. The Chinese did not dare to send Moto to rest. On the contrary, they took a new path. From now on, they generally stopped producing smartphones under their own brand – so only Moto devices remained on the market. It is impossible to call such a solution adequate. The strength of the brand does not help the sales of ‘motorballs’ in any way – they are several times lower than the number of smartphones who found buyers in due time Lenovo. However, the management almost does not turn off this path – new devices under the brand Lenovo are produced extremely rarely, and it is almost impossible to find them outside of China.
Will Lenovo ever return to active production of smartphones under its own brand? Everything is possible. However, it will be extremely difficult to restore ties with global retailers. Therefore, we would not expect such devices to appear soon in Russian stores.
There are a huge number of smartphone manufacturers in China. Some specialize in creating inexpensive devices – you will read about them below. Others are experiencing serious financial difficulties and are close to closing. Still others are engaged in the production of secure smartphones. And there is such a unique one as Meizu.
This company was founded in 2003. Only the first few years it produced very cheap equipment. Later, the founder decided that if smartphones were created under his brand, it would certainly not be the cheapest. The fact is that it is pointless to compete with Xiaomi – you can go bankrupt very quickly. But there is no need to build from oneself Huawei – the state helps the competitor, and he also makes a lot of money on equipment for operators. In a word, under the brand Meizu mid-budget smartphones began to be produced. When designing them, you do not need to save by all means, so many devices began to receive good characteristics. This made it possible to quickly enter foreign markets. It was impossible to do without this, since it is extremely difficult to compete with Oppo and Vivo in China.
The company began its history with players used for playing MP3 music and smartphones based on Windows CE. Now, of course, the manufacturer exclusively uses Android. At the moment the company has some problems with the naming of its devices. For example, in the fall of 2018, several new smartphones were born at once. Among them, the Meizu 16 and 16 Plus stand out, which received a fingerprint scanner built into the screen. Also among the models released then are Meizu 16th and 16th Plus. Agree, very strange names.
Unfortunately, the manufacturer is currently experiencing some problems. A couple of years ago, he received a financial boost from the Alibaba Group. However, the money ran out, and the market share stopped growing. It is possible that the company will soon face losses. If someone does not help her again, then the production of smartphones may be closed at the end of 2019 or the beginning of next year.
As you know, BBK Electronics literally captured the Chinese smartphone market. Whatever store you go to, there will definitely be a lot of smartphones Vivo and Oppo. But this was not enough for the IT giant. I wanted to conquer the rest of the world too. For this, in December 2013, another company was created – OnePlus. It was decided that only flagships would be produced under this brand (initially about once a year). At the same time, the Chinese tried to ensure that the cost of the devices was noticeably lower than that of competitors.
The first OnePlus weren’t sent to regular stores. They could only be purchased through an online store – first branded, and then well-known AliExpress. Only later did the situation change. By that time, it had already become clear that everyone outside of China liked OnePlus flagships.
It’s nice that this representative of our rating has a good department R&D. This allows the manufacturer to implement special solutions in new devices. For example, the OnePlus 6T has a waterdrop notch. Unlike a monobrow, it has a modest size, since only the front camera lens needed to be placed inside it. Also, many consumers believe that OnePlus smartphones shoot better than others. This statement, of course, can be argued with. However, the quality of the shooting really inspires respect. And it doesn’t matter how many lenses the rear camera is equipped with – there is an excellent study of the algorithms used by the corresponding application.
Now OnePlus smartphones have a lower price tag than earlier models. Firstly, the parent company has stopped investing its own money; now it seeks to earn money. Secondly, now components for smartphones have become quite expensive, so it is almost impossible to dump. However, even the aforementioned OnePlus 6T costs less than flagships from Sony and Samsung, not to mention its predecessor model.
Formally, this is the oldest representative of the ranking of smartphone manufacturers. The Finnish company was born in 1865, when there were still many years before the invention of the cell phone. But modern Nokia smartphones are not involved in this company. The fact is that the rights to their production were transferred to HMD Global. This business has some Finnish roots, but it is better to consider it entirely Chinese. In this regard, the devices themselves are almost indistinguishable from competitors produced by various Chinese companies. It uses the same case, almost devoid of any zest. There is often not the most powerful processor installed inside. A relatively simple camera is used for photography. Well, as an operating system Android is involved, without any proprietary shell.
Perhaps, only the build quality can be noted separately. Whatever one may say, but Nokia smartphones look reliable. But they do have some brand markup that makes the purchase feel inadequate.
It is not yet clear what the future holds for Nokia smartphones. After the brand returned to the market for such devices, there was a certain surge of interest. But now sales are gradually decreasing. And HMD Global will definitely not work at a loss. If products under the Nokia brand cease to be in demand at all, then its creation will definitely be discontinued. Of course, it is possible that someday the manufacturer will come up with some kind of ‘trick’, introducing it into their creations. But with such savings, this is unlikely to happen – the same in-screen fingerprint scanner will appear in Nokia smartphones only after most competitors receive it.
The best low-cost smartphone firms
Once upon a time mobile phones Alcatel were produced by the French company of the same name. However, now this is being done by the ubiquitous Chinese who have received the rights to the brand. As you might guess, they relied on budget models. It is interesting that they continue to produce ‘buttons’ – in stores you can easily find mobile phones Alcatel costing from 800 to 3000 rubles. But smartphones are still in greatest demand now. They have a familiar appearance, and on their front panel there is most often an HD-resolution display. Such devices almost never have a good camera. However, there are exceptions to the rule – they are smartphones, for which they ask for more than eight thousand rubles.
The brand Alcatel was included in our rating for a reason. To be honest, the devices sold under it are quite worthy of the money they ask for. Of course, such devices will definitely not suit the so-called geeks. They will not find anything new in them. And products Alcatel definitely do not need to be bought in order to play on them. Most often, such smartphones are equipped with rather weak processors that lack processing power. As a result, if modern games are launched, then only with a reduced level of graphics.
Smartphones Alcatel have one advantage over Chinese creations sold through their respective online stores. The purchaser of such a device will receive a warranty. If something happens to the phone through no fault of its owner, you can return it to the store. If the marriage is found in a smartphone purchased on AliExpress, you will have to put up with it.
The Chinese company Doogee has existed since 2013. One might get the impression that it is impossible to organize the production of quality products in such a short time. However, in fact, you can safely buy smartphones Doogee since 2016. But, of course, with some caution.
The assortment of the company Doogee consists of several lines. The series Doogee BL stands out among them. It includes devices with a capacious battery. Even, I must say, incredibly capacious! The fact is that some models are equipped with a battery with a capacity of as much as 10,000 mAh! Such a phone turns out to be very plump and heavy. But some buyers, as practice shows, are not frightened at all.
The line Doogee S also stands out. It includes devices with a shockproof and waterproof case. These smartphones are ideal for hikers. It is almost impossible to damage a device in a forest or mountain. Although if the device falls on the stones with the display down, then there is still a chance of getting fatal damage.
Previously, almost all smartphones Doogee had a very low price tag, the only exceptions were the aforementioned models with a protected case. However, there are now quite expensive devices. They usually have a bezel-less display. Also, such smartphones can have a high-quality dual camera, offering the user a 2x optical zoom.
Whatever one may say, but the products Doogee are quite capable of appealing to the average consumer. However, it should be remembered that such devices usually have unpleasant firmware features. It can include two or three ‘viruses’ that track user actions. If you think about it, their effect does not affect the smartphone experience in any way. But we must admit that the work of such hidden firmware capabilities negatively affects the battery life. That is why even a 10,000 mAh battery is not a guarantee of four to five days of operation.
Another representative of our rating, going through hard times. This company was founded in 2002 when mobile phones were as simple as possible. This manufacturer quickly opened offices not only in his native UK, but also in many other countries. The company noticed in time that buyers began to take interest in smartphones based on Android. It is partly because of this that Fly products still exist today.
Unlike many competitors, Fly produces exclusively budget smartphones. The company’s management believes that consumers are unlikely to spend more than 10 thousand rubles on a device with the Fly logo, no matter how good it is. It also cannot be said that this manufacturer has at least some opportunities to increase circulation. Because of this, the components are quite expensive for the company, and they have to save. Because of this, in terms of specifications, Fly smartphones are inferior, for example, to the same devices from Xiaomi. But Fly has one advantage – these smartphones can be found in the nearest store selling similar products. That is why they are in great demand in small towns.
Of course, these are still not all companies worthy of mention in our article. But these are the ones whose products should be considered first. For example, the Chinese company ZTE was not included in our selection. This is due to the fact that in connection with the penalties from the United States, she completely stopped the production of smartphones. If you buy a device under this brand, you will definitely not get a software update – not even the simplest ‘security patches’. There is also HTC missing here – the products of the Taiwanese company are simply too expensive for their characteristics. One feels that the manufacturer is investing in design, while competitors are trying to offer more functional solutions. Finally, we didn’t mention Sony smartphones. Japanese devices are good, but they cost a lot. At the same time, the flagships are released by this company every six months, which is also not pleasant to many potential buyers (it’s unpleasant when a model to replace your device comes so quickly).
As for the manufacturers of budget smartphones, then one could also mention BQ, Micromax and Vertex. The latter trade mark may become very popular in the future – there are all the prerequisites for this. As for BQ, the Russian owners of this brand are releasing motley devices – some make a good impression, while others are completely unsuitable for purchase. Well, the Indian company Micromax, apparently, was slowly ‘blown away’ – its product is in less demand in our country, and the percentage of rejects is becoming higher.