As you’re probably aware, the majority of the mobile phones that we are familiar with today are manufactured by countries in Asia, particularly in china, South Korea and Japan.
With well-known makes such as Samsung, Sony and HTC deriving from Asia, here we look into the lesser known mobiles that are popular within the various countries within the continent.
Firstly we will start in China, where hundreds of thousands of our most used and best loved products derive from. Although the iPhone remains the biggest selling mobile phone in the country, contributing to almost 30 per cent of Apple’s total revenue this year, China is the home of many lesser known handsets that rival the iPhone in today’s market.
The Xiaomi M2 is an updated and improved model succeeding from the M1, and has a spec that could rival any of the world’s leading mobile phone brands. The fun-looking handset is thin and sleek, and features a 1.5GHz processor (higher than that of the Samsung Galaxy S3 or iPhone 5), a 4.3 inch touch screen, and is available in a vibrant yellow, pink, blue or black.
The model includes an 8 MP camera and a 2 MP front camera, demonstrating its ability over any of the current most popular phones in the UK. Its up-to-date Android Jelly Bean OS also means that you are not missing out on any features, apps or processor speeds, making this phone a popular alternative if you want a phone that could begin to set a trend.
In fact, Xiaomi became the biggest rival to Apple with sales of the Xiaomi M1 last year, selling out of its 100,000 inventory in just three hours! It was calculated that this actually beat the iPhone’s rate of sales of units sold in a single day.
Another well-kept secret from China is the Meizu MX Dual Core, which has a very smooth and stylish design. It has an 8 MP camera, and features burst photography, allowing you to take multiple phones in a number of seconds. The phone’s audio quality is also very impressive, adding to its appeal, especially as Meizu has approximately 40,000 English-speaking fans.
Although the phone is an Android, its OS is a custom designed system based on Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich, called Flyme. As a result of this, users are able to access Meizu’s very own app store, which is a feature that really makes this model stand out as unique.
The handset is also available in six soft baby shades, including blue, pink, light green, light purple, black and white, and it is this which makes the Meizu MX 4 stand out to me, as no other smartphone on the market offers a handset in colours that aren’t bright or garish.
Available for just over £250.
Huawei is a more well-known make of mobile phones, and this latest model, the Ascend G500, was released globally last month. However, its features do not quite compete as well as the Xiaomi or the Meizu in that the camera built into the handset is only 5 MP, which is somewhat a lesser quality than most smartphones in today’s market. Furthermore, the phone is powered by Android Ice Cream Sandwich, which again is slightly behind the Jelly Bean technology adopted by many new releases.
That said, the Huawei Ascend is a good sized 4.3” touchscreen and uses dual SIM, allowing you to switch between two SIM cards without the need for two separate phones, which is great for those of you who operate a work phone in addition to their personal device.
Japan is another country that has always been associated with producing the latest hi-tech advances, and companies such as Panasonic, Sony and Toshiba reign successful in all fields of technology throughout the world.
Like China, the iPhone now also dominates the Japanese mobile phone market. However, companies such as Fujitsu-Toshiba and Sharp both follow closely behind.
Here I have looked at the Fujitsu Toshiba Arrows Z, which though being a slightly older model than the ones mentioned above, offers to a small extent what the Japanese mobile phone market is famed for which is its slightly wacky and out there designs…
First to mention, is the fact that the phone is waterproof. Many have scoffed at the idea of a mobile phone needing to be waterproof, but how many people have you heard of dropping their handset down the toilet, for example?
Its ability to resist water aside, the Arrows Z is the main contributor to Fujitsu Toshiba’s success in Japan, mainly because of the phone’s great features. It has a processor of 1.2GHz which isn’t bad compared to other models with 4.3” screens. What is great about the Arrows Z is its massive 13 MP camera which is better quality than some digital cameras themselves.
The only downside of this model, however, is that because of its age in comparison with latest models, it uses an older version of Android, Gingerbread, so does not feature the most up-to-date Android features and apps that are now available.
You will all probably be aware that the best things to come out of South Korea in terms of mobile phone technology are the vast variety of Samsung models which currently dominate the market. Although Samsung phones still rank highly with regards to popularity in Asian countries, the South Korean LG is often forgotten about. However, is that soon to change?
The impressive looking Nexus 4 smartphone was only released last month, and has already received a respectable review. The handset has been designed in a style that moves away from its rather boxy shape, and you can really appreciate at first glance the impact that the HD screen makes.
Its 8 MP camera is comparable to most other smartphones of its size, and the fact that it uses the latest Android Jelly Bean system is a real bonus.
Although the LG Nexus is already a familiar make of mobile phone in the UK, unlike the Xiaomi and Meizu models, reviews nowadays tend to focus solely on the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy handsets. It is nice, therefore, to hear the praise of the lesser known handsets that come out of Asia, which, when comparing the specs, definitely pose some meaty competition.
So if you want a new smartphone that is as good as all the rest, but don’t want to follow the crowds, why not consider one of these alternative options? Diversity is the spice of life after all, isn’t it?
Written by Charlotte Kertrestel