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For my entire tenure of owning a smartphone before I got my Pixel 2 I was using and would swear by mid range phones from these eastern companies. ZTE, Huawei, LeEco, Alcatel. It was some combination of tendency to break phones, not wanting to support Apple due to their draconian policies, and just being straight up too broke to drop 700 dollars on a phone. These phones would ship without a ton of bloatware (with the exception of LeEco) for around 200 dollars and have decent hardware and alright cameras (outside of low light). For a very long time American phone manufacturers' offerings in this price range would be pretty lacking when compared. These days that's not the case, but in my opinion the inroads they were allowed to make onto the western markets (and subsequently the data they may or may not be collecting and sending to the Chinese Government) is entirely due to the refusal of western companies to ship quality phones at the mid range price.

LG is pretty good too, not expensive, and it is from South Korea.

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