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[Editorial] Our Phones Do Not Represent Our Net Worth

So we ditched our Samsungs, Lenovos, LGs, Nokias, and iPhones for a week.
So we ditched our Samsungs, Lenovos, LGs, Nokias, and iPhones for a week.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with using local branded smartphones. They’re more affordable and they offer unbelievable value for money.

A few weeks ago we decided to do a short experiment. We ditched our international flagship smartphones — the iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S4 Active, and the Sony Xperia Z Ultra. In lieu of these devices we armed ourselves with the different local flagship smartphones (used them alternatively just transferring back-up via Google) which included the MyPhone Iceberg, the Starmobile Knight, the Cherry Mobile Omega HD 2.0, and the Cloudfone Thrill 450Q. These devices were all priced in the Php8,000-12,000 range which means their almost a third of the SRP of the global brands.

After a week here’s the summary of our findings:

What we missed

  • LTE
  • Really good camera

What we didn’t miss

  • Everything else

Almost everything we usually did with our previous handsets we could do with the local brands. Be it social networking, gaming, reading, watching movies, listening to music, and taking photos. For gaming all of our usual fixes, which included Minion Rush, Zombie Wood, and Dead Trigger, could be played with no problem on the the local phones. Our favorite gaming device turned out to be a toss up between the MyPhone Iceberg and the Cherry Mobile Omega HD 2.0.

Basic and core functions like telephony were all smooth and flawless. Call reception and quality were also great! In short the internals of local brands have leveled up tremendously to a point where they can almost match whatever the high-end Androids of international brands can offer. Sure in the Antutu Benchmark they’re at 20,000 and the locals are at 13,000 but here’s a really good question we want to throw to you guys:

What difference does the 7,000 really make?

Until we see relevant apps that will take advantage of all that processing power the answer is… none.

We will concede though that when it comes to optics the international smartphones, most noticeably the iPhone 5 and the Lenovo K900, are still very much ahead of local alternatives. The Starmobile Knight though is really competitive when it comes to picture quality.

One of our fave local smartphones
One of our fave local smartphones

If there’s one thing REALLY missing with local brands it’s LTE connectivity. Smart has successfully hooked us on the ridiculous speeds of LTE. It’s like a drug that we just can’t stop using, hahaha! However there are workarounds to not having LTE. There’s always WiFi at home, at the office, or in a lot of business establishments already. When the day comes though that local brands manage to get LTE connectivity and maybe level up the quality of their optics (maybe a few more notches up from the SM Knight) and KEEP THEIR PRICES LOW, they will dominate on a completely different level.

To summarize…

Folks, there is nothing wrong with using local brands — if you research well and keep the warranty card. Always wait for techies, bloggers, and others to try them out first to make sure what you will buy will have the lasting power that you deserve. There’s no shame in pulling out a MyPhone, Starmobile, Cloudfone, Cherry Mobile, Arc Mobile, Torque, SK Mobile, etc. handset out when you’re with friends all using international brands. Heck you should even feel good because you saved money (and money is hard to come by).

Note that we’re not trying to paint international brands in a bad way. We just want to debunk and break the mentality of a lot of people we’ve come across that feel that using local brands is a sign of being “cheap”. To that we say this:

What phone we use does not represent our net worth or value.

Some of the richest people we know still use a clunky Nokia with the alphanumerical keypad.

Be practical friends. If you can’t afford an iPhone, don’t get one. There’s nothing wrong with the local alternatives. Be wise with your money!

Carlo Ople

Carlo is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Unbox.ph. During daytime he’s the Managing Director and Partner of a Digital Marketing Agency in the Philippines and by nighttime he’s living out his passion as a gadget enthusiast and story teller through Unbox.

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One Comment

  1. Local brands are good naman..they are enough to satisfy most of the needs of everyday users..it is really not ur phone that will determine how you fair as an individual, and lets all be honest, the brand is made outside the country din naman where the high end phones came from so lets not make the people who prefer high end brands or international look bad, its ur prefence whether to go with local brands or high end. Some had bad experience with local brands and some just want to bet their money on something that’s already proven..its a matter of choice and the availability of funds..but whatever you choose, one thing that you have to consider is how ur going to use it, and is it the phone that can make u happy for some time..kasi if ur going to buy something then sell it after a week kasi di ka satisfied, then there’s no sense in trying to save money, mas mapapamahal ka pa pag ganun

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