10 Best Smartphones to Buy on AliExpress in 2023

AliExpress is home to many products and smartphones are not left out. Being one of the top global stores, it is definitely a good place to shop for your next smartphone. But we know how stressful it can be choosing a phone in the vast marketplace of AliExpress. That is why we have taken the time to select the best in the market for you. So, if you are looking for the “best phones to buy on AliExpress” this year or searching for “AliExpress phones“, you have come to the right place.

This post will focus on Android phones on AliExpress. Because as you may already know, apart from iOS, Android is the next option and Android phones is what you will find mostly on AliExpress. That’s not to say you can buy Apple phone on AliExpress, but Apple phones on AliExpress mostly second refurbished phones.

Despite the success of Apple’s products, Google’s Android platform still remains the most popular operating system for mobile devices.
It’s no surprise that Android is still popular due to the wide variety of different companies that produce devices using it.

In the global market, Samsung is by far the biggest manufacturer of Android devices. In America, buyers can choose from various brands such as Sony, Motorola, and Huawei. There is also more competition from Chinese companies such as Oppo, Huawei, and Xiaomi.

Android users have plenty of options, as compared to the handful of iPhones that are released each year. There are also various new form factors that are making their way into the market, such as the emergence of foldable phones made by Samsung.

Since Android is open-source, it’s easy to switch between different brands. Just because you’re currently using a Samsung device doesn’t mean you can’t switch to another brand.

We have reviewed the best AliExpress phones and have selected the best among them for you.

So, without wasting further time, let’s dive into it.

Best AliExpress Phones to Buy in 2023

1. Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

The Galaxy S22 Ultra is a full-blown successor to the Note 21 Ultra, and it’s the best overall phone that you can buy right now. It’s incredible performance and balance of features make it an ideal choice.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra is not like the S22 at all. It’s a covert attempt by Samsung to revive its former Note brand. This device features a unique design and a built-in S-Pen.

The camera of the Galaxy S22 Ultra is regarded as one of the best in its class. It features a 108Mp main shooter and two ultrawide and telephoto lenses, which improve the performance of the previous generation models.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra features a 6.8in LTPO AMOLED display with Super High WQHD+ resolution and an Adaptive refresh rate of up to 120Hz. It fills the productivity niche of former Note phones with its S-Pen support.

2. Vivo X80 Pro

Vivo X80 Pro on AliExpress

The brand Vivo might not be too familiar to you but it is definitely worth your attention because it is one of the top phones you can get on AliExpress.

China is a huge market for smartphones, and the company is growing its international presence. It has been known for making some of the best cameras in the industry.

The X80 Pro has four cameras, and it is one of the best cameras you will get on a smartphone. Its main lens is 50Mp, which is exceptional, but its 48Mp ultrawide and 2x zoom are also great. The tech is very good in low light, and it features a dedicated night mode.

The X80 Pro is a great phone, and it features a top-class display and fast charging. Its main complaint is that its Android skin is a little awkward, especially if you care about the camera.

The Vivo X80 Pro feature a massive 6.78 inches scree and a 120Hz LTPO and QHD+ resolution and comes with Stereo speakers for top quality audio.

The X80 Pro is powered by the most powerful chip in mobile devices right now, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. Although the faster 8+ Gen 1 has just been announced, it is not yet available in phones. The powerful processor is paired with 12GB RAM and internal storage of 256GB which is not expandable. Not to mention that the Vivo X80 pro is excellent when it comes to battery performance with its 4700 mAh battery which is an upgrade from the previous flagship.

3. Oppo Find X5 Pro

Oppo Find X5 Pro

The Oppo Find X5 Pro is a great phone by any standard you want to use to measure it. Its 6.7in QHD+ display is one of the best in its class, and it comes with a 5000mah battery, 80W wireless charging, and a top-tier camera that features 50Mp sensors.

The display feature AMOLED display like other phones that have been mentioned here, with a 1-120Hz variable refresh rate.

The Oppo Find X5 Pro features a trio of rear cameras that are capable of capturing amazing images. The cameras are built into the phone’s ceramic body, which is unique. Its design also features a seamlessly sloped camera module.

The Oppo Find X5 Pro comes in one variant, and it only has 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. It doesn’t support microSD, and this means that you won’t be able to expand its storage.

The Find X5 Pro supports 5G, and its dual-SIM slot allows you to use both eSIM and 5G cards at the same time. It also comes with Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, and Wi-Fi.

The Oppo Find X5 Pro is a great all-around device, and it comes with a powerful processor and a huge amount of storage. However, it’s not cheap. But you can get some similar experience with the regular Find X5 for less.

4. Asus Zenfone 9

Asus Zen Phone 9 on AliExpress

The ASUS ZenFone 9 feature a very sleek design. Its small 5.9in display and slim body make it an ideal small phone. It also comes in at 169g, making it incredibly lightweight. Although it’s not the most compact phone around, it’s not too thick. Measuring 9.1mm thick, you wouldn’t call it a thick phone. Its overall compactness makes its slight extra thickness irrelevant.

The design of the new Asus ZenFone 9 is unusual in many respects. One of the most notable features is its new polymer finish, which the company claims is more scratch-resistant than traditional plastic casings. It’s available in four different colors, and it has a textured and grippy finish.

The biggest advantage of the new Asus ZenFone 9 is its 5.9in display. It’s significantly smaller than most flagships, and it’s also more compact than the likes of the iPhone 13, Galaxy S22, and even the Mi 12. Despite its size, the new Asus ZenFone 9 still has plenty of features. Its 5.9in display features a Full HD+ resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. It also supports HDR10+ content and is designed to be comfortable to use in bright sunlight.

The new Asus ZenFone 9 is the best small screen around. It doesn’t have any real compromises. Unfortunately, the company didn’t include support for LTPO scaling.

One of the most notable features of the new Asus ZenFone 9 is its 3.5mm headphone jack. This is an incredibly important feature, especially since it’s a small device and is waterproof.

The new Asus ZenFone 9 is a serious performer thanks to its powerful Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor and up to 16GB of RAM. Its cooling problems aside, the 8+ Gen 1’s long battery life is also a major plus.

The main camera of the new Asus ZenFone 9 is very impressive, especially at night. Unfortunately, it has a few issues that may be related to its software tuning. Some may also miss out on the variety of options offered by its competitors.

It’s disappointing that the company only offers two years of support for the new Asus ZenFone 9, as it’s a great device and it should be supported regularly. The software and the headphone jack are also very welcome additions.

5. OnePlus Nord 2T

OnePlus Nord 2T on AliExpress

The new version of the Nord 2T is very similar to the 2021 model, but it still manages to be one of the best mid-range phones around. The new Nord 2T features a faster 80W charging and a more powerful processor at a lower price. It’s a great phone that should be bought by anyone looking for a top smartphone at an affordable price.

Despite its large display, the Nord 2T is still a svelte and thin device. It features a flat display unlike most premium devices that use curved edges. Its back also has a large camera unit that houses two black discs. As for the camera, it is equipped with a 50 MP main camera and it features 80W fast charging.

The Nord 2T features a 6.43in AMOLED display with a 1080 x 2400 resolution and an aspect ratio of 20:9, with a 90Hz refresh rate. This makes it more responsive and smoother than the 60Hz standard. You can also set it to display at a slower rate to conserve battery life.

The Auto-brightness settings of the Nord 2T are very good, and they allow you to adjust the brightness level automatically.

Even though some phones with 120Hz displays offer better results, the Nord 2T’s 90Hz display is still decent. Its panel gets plenty of brightness and the text looks clear and crisp even through its plastic screen protector.

The Nord 2T’s downward-firing speaker pairs with an earpiece to create a stereo pair. Unfortunately, these aren’t very good. When used with the earpiece, the music produced by the speakers sounds muddy and tinny. Although it’s a good enough device for podcasts, this isn’t a good idea if you use a lot of phones.

The Nord 2T is the first phone to ship with the Dimenity 1300 chipset, which is from MediaTek. Although it’s not a huge deal, this is good news for those who use Android and other high-end devices. Many phones, including the ones made by the likes of the OnePlus, use the company’s own chipsets, such as the Snapdragon. The Nord 2T performs very well and feels very similar to an £800 phone.

The company’s OxygenOS is a major highlight of its software, as it brings a clean and responsive interface to the table, which adds a powerful and premium feel to the device. Unfortunately, the company only offers two Android updates and a third year of security fixes.

6. OnePlus 10 Pro

OnePlus 10 Pro

This year, the OnePlus focused on developing a legitimate flagship device that would challenge the likes of Google and Samsung. The result is a sleek and sophisticated device that’s not just cheaper, but it also has an identity that’s its own and the device is OnePlus 10 Pro.

The 10 Pro is the latest flagship from the company, and it’s very fast. It features a 6.7-inch LTPO2 AMOLED display with a QuadHD resolution, and it comes with a quad-camera system that includes a 50MP ultra-wide camera and 48MP main shooter.

The 10 Pro has a 5,000-mah battery that’s designed to provide you with up to a day of battery life. It also comes with fast wireless charging.

The OnePlus device comes with a price that might seem a bit high for some people, considering the company used to brag about making affordable flagships. However, you can always go for the cheaper model, the cheaper OnePlus 9 or 9 Pro.

The 10 Pro comes with an aluminum frame, and it features Gorilla Glass 5 on the back and Victus on the front. Like Samsung, the company took a page out of their book and blended the camera bump housing into the device’s side rails. It’s a good look, and while they may be plagiarizing somebody else’s work, they’re still smart enough to do it.

Under the hood, the OnePlus 10 Pro uses the top-of-the-line chipset from this year, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. It’s available in North America only in 128GB and 8GB of RAM variants. The company also says that it will be releasing a 256GB and 12GB version in the US later this month. These are both very capable of handling various tasks, and I noticed some stutters when playing games such as Genshin Impact. Despite these issues, the device is still very fast.

Like other flagships in 2022, the 10 Pro supports 5G connectivity. However, it doesn’t support super-fast millimeter wave technology. This isn’t a major issue for most people.

7. Huawei Honor 70

Huawei Honor 70

The Honor 70 is a mid-range phone that offers a good impression of an upscale flagship. Its sleek and curvaceous design makes it look like a phone that’s selling for double the price.

On the spec front, the Honor 70 is a good choice for those who are looking for a budget-friendly phone with a good camera. Its new camera system is the first of its kind to use a 54MP Sony IMX800 sensor.

The Honor 70 comes with a 6.67in FHD+ display, a solid Snapdragon 778G Plus processor, and fast charging. It’s a compelling choice for under £500. Despite the increasing number of manufacturers shifting toward flat and sharper displays, the Honor 70 sticks with its dual-curved display design.

The Huawei Honor 70 is a lovely phone that comes with a slim 7.91mm body and a flat bottom and top edge. Its screen-to-body ratio of 90.8% makes it ideal for people who are looking for a budget-friendly device.

The Honor 70 doesn’t have a 3.5mm headphone jack, which is hardly an unusual feature these days. Its lack of stereo speakers can be a bit challenging to defend. The single bottom-mounted speaker provides a loud and clear sound, but it also produces limited audio output.

Despite being on top of Android 12, the Honor 70’s Magic UI still manages to evoke the company’s EMUI roots. Still, the Honor 70’s software is fast and usable, which places it in the middle of the pack when it comes to custom Android apps.

The Honor 70 comes with a 4,800mah battery, which is a significant increase from the 4,300mah cell found in the Honor 50. Its stamina is also one of its strengths, as it can handle a full day of use with a screen-on-time of 120Hz.

In a standard looping video test, the Honor 70 managed to stay on for 21 hours and 37 minutes. It’s right up there with the Pixel 6a and the Nothing Phone, and it’s almost matching the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G.

8. Xiaomi 12

Xiaomi 12

Without the Mi branding, the 12 series have gained a global launch. The regular model has also become more aligned with Samsung’s Galaxy S range.

Just like the Galaxy S22, the Xiaomi 12 is a more compact version of the series, but it comes with more powerful components. For those who want a bigger device, the Xiaomi 12 Pro is the choice.

Compared to other modern devices, the Xiaomi 12 is tiny. Even though I’m used to the large size of the Pixel 6, this feels like a time machine to the release of the Galaxy S8.

Although they’re not exactly the same, the two phones have a lot in common. The Xiaomi 12 features a metal frame that’s designed to accommodate a curved display.
It’s 2022 of course, so the screen-to-body ratio has improved. Also, having a triple rear camera array makes the device heavier.

The Xiaomi 12 features a high-end chipset (the Sanpdragon 8 Gen 1), paired with a 6.28 AMOLED screen, and it comes with a 120Hz refresh rate and a 67W fast charging technology. It also has a solid main camera, though most buyers won’t be excited by its telemacro lens.

The performance and specs of the Xiaomi 12 are similar to that of a flagship. Its Full HD+ display and support for various features such as Dolby Vision, blue light certification and HDR10+ make it an ideal device for those who want a high-end experience.

According to the company, the device can achieve a peak brightness of 1100 nits during the 120Hz refresh rate. It also has a 480Hz touch sampling rate.

On the aspect of audio, the device features stereo speakers on both ends of its chassis, which are both tuned by Harman Kardon. It also supports Dolby Atmos.

The speakers are good, though the bass isn’t great. Dolby Atmos adds some unpleasantness to the experience when listening to music, especially when setting an EQ setting. The device doesn’t have a 3.5mm headphone jack, and doesn’t come with a USB-C adapter out of the box either.

The Xiaomi 12 comes with a 4500aAh battery which is pretty decent considering its compact size. It is even more impressive considering that the 12 Pro which is much bigger in size only has 100mAh battery more at 4600mAh. You can expect it to be just enough for regular daily use.

9. Nubia Red Magic 7 Pro

Nubia Red Magic 7 Pro

When it comes to gaming devices, the Red Magic series is one of the top devices that comes to mind.

The Red Magic 7 Pro is premium built with a metal plate on the back. Unlike other Pro phones, the Red Magic 7 Pro has a clear visible difference when compared to the regular variant.

Nubia opted to hide the front-facing camera by embedding it under the display, instead of placing it in a top-mounted or notch. It’s not visible when using most apps, though you might notice it once the screen is off.

A smartphone without a great display is like a bread without engine. The Red Magic 7 Pro offer a very decent display. It features a 6.8-inch AMOLED display and a 1080×2400 resolution, and while it doesn’t have a 1440p resolution, it’s still a good enough display. Increasing the resolution would have been an obvious upgrade, but it isn’t a dealbreaker.

The Red Magic 7 Pro’s biggest change is its decreased refresh rate, from 165 to 120Hz. This is a strange move for a device that’s a Pro-branded device, but it should still bring the 7 Pro in line with other flagships.

To compensate for this, Nubia has increased the Red Magic 7 Pro’s touch sampling rate. It now has a maximum of 960Hz, which is the highest on any device. This means that it can register touch input up until 960 times per second, which is very useful while gaming.

The main point to draw from all these is that the Red Magic 7 Pro’s display is still very impressive. Its vibrant colors and rich details are still enough to keep most people entertained. Its brightness also increased to 459 nits during testing, and you will have no issues using it outside.

Red Magic phones are known for their impressive performance. However, with the increasing number of mid-range devices that feature the latest Qualcomm’s flagship chipsets, the 7 Pro doesn’t quite stand out from the crowd.

The Red Magic 7 Pro’s global version is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip which is the same chipset that most devices reviewed here has. It comes with 16GB of RAM and an 18GB option, which is a bit too much for most users.

The Red Magic 7 Pro’s global version also comes with a custom gaming chip from Nubia (the Red Core 1), which is designed to improve the device’s performance.

Like its regular sibling, the Red Magic 7 Pro features a triple rear camera system. It includes a 64Mp main camera, 8Mp ultrawide, and 2Mp macro. The device also comes equipped with 5000mAh battery which strangely falls below 5050mAh of 6S Pro of last year but it still offers a very good performance for a gaming device. The 5000mAh battery is coupled with 65W fast charging.

10. Realme GT 2 Pro

Realme GT 2 Pro

The Realme GT 2 Pro is a powerful and environmentally conscious device that offers an aggressive price/performance proposition and a better software support experience.

After the release of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor was unveiled at the end of 2021, Realme was among the first companies to confirm that it would be featuring the latest generation of the processor in its next flagship.

Sure enough, this came to be the case when the Realme GT 2 Pro was announced later in the new year.

While the Realme 2022 flagship is equipped with the standard upgrades, the GT 2 Pro is said to be more powerful than its predecessors due to its display technology. This is according to the company, which has coined the term Super Reality Display.

The GT 2 Pro features a 6.7in display, which is the largest display that Realme has yet to provide. Although it’s technically the biggest screen on a Realme device, this isn’t the main reason why it’s considered to be the best. It is worth mentioning that the display is protected by the latest Gorilla Glass Victus.

Like its predecessor, the GT 2 Pro features a vibrant and smooth 120Hz AMOLED display. However, it’s upgraded with a new LTPO 2.0 process that enables variable refresh rate support. This feature, which is only available on a few other devices, helps improve the device’s power efficiency.

The Realme GT 2 Pro’s display is the first device from Realme to break through the Full HD+ resolution mark. It’s also the first phone from the company to feature a WQHD+ panel, which is considered to be the sharpest on a Realme device. The collective effect of this feature and the expansive and detailed panel makes the device an ideal media player.

The GT 2 Pro’s massive display and the promise of an enhanced gaming experience are some of the reasons why Realme decided to include a 5000mah battery inside the device. This is a good move by the company coupled with fact that the GT 2 Pro also gets 65W “SuperDart” fast charging which charges the device to up to 59% in 15 minutes and 100% in just 35 minutes.

Other notable features of the Realme GT 2 Pro include the 50MP main camera and the 50MP ultrawide sensor, coupled with the 32MP front camera for selfie. Under the hood, the Realme GT 2 Pro also comes with up to 12GB RAM and up to 256GB ROM.

Conclusion

Which AliExpress phone is best to buy in 2023?

There are definitely a lot of options. Even outside the ones we listed here. But putting price and function into consideration, our best recommendation will be the OnePlus 10 Pro. It found the sweet spot between being reasonable priced and having all the features you would want in a smartphone of 2022.

So now you have it! The top 10 AliExpress phones to buy in 2023. Which of one of them stands out for you or is there anyone you feel we may have missed? Let us have your thought in the comment below.

Frequently Asked Questions about AliExpress Phones

Here are some frequently asked questions about AliExpress phones:

What is AliExpress and how does it work?

AliExpress is an online retail service based in China that allows individuals and businesses to purchase a wide variety of products at wholesale prices. It operates as an online marketplace, connecting buyers with sellers around the world.

Are AliExpress phones original or fake?

There are both original and fake phones available on AliExpress. It is important to do your research and purchase from a reputable seller to ensure that you are getting a genuine product. You can check the ratings and reviews of a seller and the product to get an idea of the quality of the phone.

Are AliExpress phones new or refurbished?

Both new and refurbished phones are available on AliExpress. It is important to read the product description carefully to determine the condition of the phone before buying.

What is the return policy for AliExpress phones?

The return policy for AliExpress phones varies depending on the seller. Some sellers may offer a full refund or exchange if you receive a defective or damaged phone, while others may only offer a partial refund or no refund at all. It is important to check the return policy before making a purchase. However, if there is a problem and the seller is not cooperating, you can always open a dispute and AliExpress will step in.

What is the shipping time for AliExpress phones?

The shipping time for AliExpress phones varies depending on the seller and the shipping method. Some sellers offer expedited shipping options that can deliver your phone within a few days, while others may take several weeks. It is important to check the shipping time before making a purchase. The most common method most sellers use is the AliExpress Standard Shipping which can take anywhere from 7 days to 45 days.

Are AliExpress phones compatible with my carrier?

Many AliExpress phones are compatible with various carriers around the world, but it is important to check the specific model of the phone and its compatibility with your carrier before making a purchase. Most AliExpress phones are unlocked and compatible with any carrier, but it is important to confirm this in the product description before buying.

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