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The Inbox: What Affordable 5-inch Smartphone to Get Mom

For today’s The Inbox we go a little more non-technical and answer a question from one of our loyal readers, Kiel. This is a pretty interesting question and we really put a lot of thought into this because Kiel is actually looking for a gift for his mom. The budget is 7k and the priorities include having a 5-inch display, a good camera, and a fast processor that can handle multi-tasking. Check out Kiel’s complete message below:

Good evening po Unbox PH, hingi po ako sana ng advice regarding sa smartphone na bibilhin ko po para po pangregalo sa nanay ko. Hanap niya po kasi ay: 5″ screen; good camera for outdoor trips and indoor low light shots; good battery that can last throughout the day; and a fast processor for multitasking. Ang budget ko po ay nasa 7k. Isa po ako sa mambabasa ng iyong website. Maraming salamat po -Kiel D.

Here’s our answer:

Kiel, bitin yung 7k for the best option we can recommend you. Ultimately our main recommendation will cost Php1,500 more which is the Meizu M1 Note. That’s the only device that can deliver EVERYTHING in your list. It also comes in the favorite color of your mom (blue or red).

Meizu M1 Note

Our top reco for Kiel? The M1 Note
Our top reco for Kiel? The M1 Note

The Meizu M1 Note puts check marks on all of your main asks. It has a powerful processor that can deliver great performance and multi-tasking. It has a big screen for watching videos and gaming. It has a pretty decent camera, especially if you think of the price range it’s at. Lastly it comes in a variety of colors including pink and blue. There are only two potential issues: it’s above your budget at Php8,500 and we’re not sure if Novo 7 Tech, the local distributor, still has a lot of stock available.

You can read our full review of the Meizu M1 Note here.

Now let’s say you can’t really go beyond Php7,000 for your budget, you can opt to go for the Xiaomi Redmi 2. However you can’t have everything that you were asking for in your requirements.

Xiaomi Redmi 2

Redmi 2
Redmi 2

The Redmi 2 is definitely within your budget as it retails for just Php5,990 (Php1,000 less than your 7k). It has a pretty good camera and battery life. However it only has a 4.7-inch screen and while it’s powerful for single app usage, it can’t deliver super buttery smooth multi-tasking.

Click here to read our full review of the Redmi 2.

Other than these two phones, you might also want to check out the following:

Lenovo A7000
Huawei Honor 4X
Alcatel Flash Plus
ASUS Zenfone 2 CL

Hope we were able to help you out Kiel! Good luck with your purchase and please do send your Mom our warm regards and a belated Mother’s Day greeting!

-Team Unbox

PS: To our other readers, please fill free to give Kiel advice as well on what device he should get his mom by sharing your recommendation on the comments section below.

Carlo Ople

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

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24 Comments

  1. The cheapest Xiaomi is not known for its camera prowess. SKK Lynx has the same camera as a Lenovo priced 10 k higher but it only has 1 GB RAM. The most ideal would be Zenfone 5 but it gets hotter than a nuclear reactor.

  2. My advice for Kiel is to try and consider the Lenovo A7000. It has a good processor, large RAM for multitasking, decent battery capacity, although it’s .5″ larger than what he intends.

    Konti lang idadagdag niya sa budget niya para mabili ang device.

    1. This! Available na naman siya ngayon ayon sa isang post dito sa Unbox. I’m surprised na 5.5″ agad yung sinuggest nilang phone at out of the price range pa when the message said they were looking for a 5″ screen for around 7k when there’s a perfectly good candidate with the specs listed. Sa ergonomics pa lang ng mga phone below 10k, mas malaki ang difference ng 5″ sa 5.5″.

  3. Alcatel Flash swak sa budget. The M1 note sana kaso lagpas na sa budget. Wag ka na mag local brand. Sasama lang loob ng mother mo later on ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. for good camera and low light photography at this price point <7k, nothing beats the zenfone5, and and has 2gig ram for multitasking.. haven't tried alcatel flash plus' camera performance though on low light photo shots..

    1. the zenfone 5’s camera is not really recommmended. it has the worst camera in the market tho that is the only downside. alcatel flash plus is really a good choice and the best specced smartphone under 7k. notable specs includes 13mp camera, HD IPS OGS display, LTE, 3000Mah battery, 2GB RAM, and an octacore peocessor for just 6,495. plus its also a trusted brand. ngayon kolang din narealize na ang ganda pala ng specs ng phone na yan. good luck bro.

  5. i feel you guys are missing an important point (for many moms out there) mothers DON’T NEED monstrous specs. what they need are PHONES WITH SIMPLE AND USER-FRIENDLY UI’s. they’ll have trouble reading small text, so get her a xiaomi redmi 1s or 2 or any zenfone. those phones have easy modes with big texts and icons.

      1. most moms i’ve met have trouble operating their phones. its why most prefer iphones, they’re straightforward which is what spec-crunchers will never understand.

  6. Sa halagang P6,988 may Alcatel Flash Plus na ako along with a 10400 Romoss power bank. Di na masama sa 7k ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Novotech 7? I’ve had a very bad experience with this store. When the lcd of my thl t100s broke, i brought it to their store, since they brought this brand here. i was given an estimate of 4,000-5,000 for the lcd (excluding the labor fee) i agreed and left the phone with them.

    They said the repair team is in the ermita, manila area, after 2 weeks with them, they texted me and said they couldn’t fix it and i could get the unit from the store i left it. So novotech 7 you brought this brand (thl) in the philippines, overpriced the unit (sold for 13k) after getting rid of your stocks, you just left the customers in the air regarding repairs?? Is this right? And guess what? they don’t carry the Thl brand anymore. Great. Also when I bought this thl, they had another brand called Zopo, and guess what? no more Zopo as well.

    Now they have Meizu. Be careful when buying from this store/distributor. Very unscrupulous, shady business these people who run this store.

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