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Unbox 2015 Holiday Buyer’s Guide: Flagships

Here come the flagships for you to buy!

We hope you saved some cash for yourself this Christmas, because we are giving you our picks for flagships to buy this year. 2015 saw some great releases from both local and international brands, and today we’re going to give you our take on the flagship smartphones that’s worth picking up this Christmas.


Sony Xperia Z5 Premium

While QHD displays are becoming more and more common on flagship smartphones nowadays, there’s only one that has a 4K display to date: Sony’s Xperia Z5. The chromed, full metal smartphone has a 4K display, a first for the industry.

Sony Xperia Z5 Premium specs

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 V2 octa-core processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 5.5-inch 4K display, 3,840 x 2,160 resolution
  • 32GB of expandable storage
  • 23-megapixel rear camera, 1/2.3-inch Exmor RS sensor, f/2.0 aperture, phase detection AF
  • 5-megapixel front camera with Exmor R sensor
  • Dual-SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS,
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • 3430mAh battery

It’s also quite unlike what Sony has made before, possessing a chromed, full metal body, and a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor and 3GB of RAM on board. It’s one of the few smartphones currently out right now that has managed to tame the overheating problems of Qualcomm’s 810 processor, and looks damn good doing it.

The Xperia Z5 Premium is priced at Php 40,990. You can read our hands-on of the Xperia Z5 Premium here, or if you want to skip the chrome body and the 4K display, you can opt to buy its (relatively) cheaper brother the Z5, which we reviewed here.


Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Edge represented a shift in design for the Korean company when it was released a few months ago. More than anything, it heralded a new way of thinking for the company, and lays the ground work for their newer flagship devices like the Galaxy Note 5 and the S6 Edge Plus.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge specs:

  • Exynos 7420 octa-core processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 5.1-inch QHD Super AMOLED dual-edge display, 2560 x 1440 resolution
  • 32 of storage
  • 16-megapixel rear camera with OIS
  • 5-megapixel front camera
  • 3G, LTE Cat. 6
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, NFC
  • 2600mAh battery
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop, TouchWiz UI
  • 142.1 x 70.1 x 7.0mm

Aside from being a milestone for the company, the S6 Edge is an awesome device by itself. It has the best camera we’ve ever seen on a smartphone, performance that’s hard to beat and an innovative, dual-edge design that’s just being used by other manufacturers. Even better, the price of the S6 Edge has gone down in the past few months, and it can be had for as little as 25K in the Philippines. You can read our full review of the Galaxy S6 Edge here.


ASUS Zenfone 2 Deluxe

ASUS’ Zenfone series has always been top of mind for many people, for a lot of reasons. But the company managed to exceed everybody’s expectations with their top-of-the-line Zenfone 2 Deluxe. Aside from having a monstrous 4GB of RAM at a price point that’s hard to beat, the Zenfone 2 Deluxe also packs in a massive 128GB of internal storage and a top-tier Intel Atom processor.

ASUS Zenfone Deluxe specs

  • 64-bit Intel Atom 2.3GHz Z3580 quad-core processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 5.5-inch full HD IPS display with Gorilla Glass 3, 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 128GB of storage, expandable via microSD up to 64GB
  • 13-megapixel rear camera, f/2.0-aperture, 5-element, autofocus with dual-color Real Tone flash
  • 5-megapixel front camera, f/2.0-aperture, wide-angle 85-degree lens with Selfie Panorama
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, NFC
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop with ZenUI
  • 3000mAh battery

The best part is that you get all of that at a price of just Php 17,995, a price that many brands consider at mid-range. For that, the Zenfone 2 Deluxe is a great bargain for people looking for a solid smartphone with plenty of storage for their needs. You can read our full review of the top-tier Zenfone 2 if you’re thinking of getting the Zenfone 2 Deluxe, as it’s essentially identical in terms of specs aside from the storage and the premium back cover.


Apple iPhone 6s

Another year, another new iPhone. And since we had a brand-new, redesigned iPhone last year, it only makes sense that we’re getting a slightly improved model this year. The iPhone 6s may be identical on the outside compared to the previous model (though it does have a new rose gold color), but inside, it’s a new beast.

The iPhone 6s sport a new, 3rd generation, 64-bit A9 processor, along with 2GB of RAM and a new, touch sensitive “force-touch” display. The camera on the iPhone 6s is also improved, and now sports 12-megapixels, which makes it better than the original.

If you’re interested in buying one, you can grab one from Smart at Plan 2000 a month with no cash-out.


Huawei Mate S

While we were a little disappointed that Huawei’s newest smartphone entry in their Mate lineup wasn’t a phablet, we quickly got over that when we finally reviewed their Mate S flagship. The Mate S shows off the Chinese company’s mastery of metal, and is probably the nicest looking smartphone you can buy from any manufacturer today.

Huawei Mate S specs

  • 2.2GHz Kirin 935 octa-core processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 5.5-inch full HD display with Gorilla Glass 4 protection, Force touch display, 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 32GB/64GB of storage, expandable via microSD
  • 13-megapixel rear camera, OIS, dual LED flash
  • 8-megapixel front camera
  • Dual-SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop, EMUI 3.1
  • 2700mAh battery

We just can’t fawn over the design and overall build quality of the Mate S enough, but that’s not all what you’re getting with the package. The Mate S also comes with a powerful processor, plenty of storage and a fingerprint scanner that’s faster than the competition. It’s one of the best flagship phones you can buy today, though it is a little expensive at Php 31,995. You can read our full review of the Mate S here.


Google Nexus 6P

Each year Google announces a new version of their Android operating system, and each year the company offers Google-branded flagship devices that sport the latest version of said OS to the public. This year Google has teamed up with Huawei to offer the best smartphone in their Nexus lineup, the 6P.

Google Nexus 6P

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 v2.1 octa-core processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 5.7-inch AMOLED QHD display, Gorilla Glass 4 protection, 2560 x 1440 resolution
  • 64GB
  • 12.3-megapixel rear camera, 1.55 ?m pixel sensor, f/2.0 aperture, laser AF system
  • 8-megapixel front camera
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, USB Type C port, fingerprint sensor
  • 3450mAh battery
  • Android 6 Marshmallow

The Nexus 6P is the Nexus flagship that Google has always wanted – a beautiful smartphone sporting the best hardware and software that the Nexus program has to offer. We’ve recently published the full review of the Nexus 6P in our site, which you can read here. In the Philippines, the Nexus 6P is being sold by Huawei for Php 29,990.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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    1. Kayang kayang talunin ng nexus 6p ko yang iphone mo sa bilis, multitasking, customization at battery life. Para lang sa mga bobong social climber at mayamang walang magawa sa pera ang apple. Kung function ang paguusapan andaming limitations at panget ang battery life ng iphone. Hindi dahil pangmasa e talo na sa quality.

      1. Very childish ng comment mo. I used to be an Android user then made the switch to iPhone 6. Mabilis naman yung phone and I have no problems with multitasking. Take note kahit 1gb lang yung RAM ng iP6, yung mga apps kasing bilis if not better than those running in Android dahil magkaiba ang architecture ng iOS at Android. Mas efficient nga iPhone so bs talaga comment mo. Sure walang customization and shit talaga yung battery life ng iP6, hindi naman yun yung selling points ng iPhones. As for Android, maganda din naman siya and since may mga rumors floating na tatanggalin na raw yung headphone jack starting sa IPhone 7, baka bumalik na ulit ako sa Android after ng contract ko with Globe. Would I recommend Android and/or iOS to anyone who asks? Absolutely. Depende sa needs mo. Want a smartphone that works, go with iPhone. Want a smartphone that you can customize and want a variety of apps and games to use, go with Android.

        1. Facts are facts and real life usage don’t lie. Ang selling point ng iphones ay aesthetics porma at pampagwapo. Ang selling point ng android ay function. Wag kang bolero at defensive nagamit ko na ang iphone 6s at same problem with iphone 6, problematic pag maraming nakabukas na apps at di pa rin umaalpas sa one day ang battery life with moderate use. Even the force touch is a big gimmick dahil parang long press lang yun na pinabilis. Obviously, apple is banking on people who’s real aim is to look good on public with nothing but status symbol on their mind. 48k phone with lots of problems and mediocre camera? No thanks nexus 6p will eat iphone in every aspect on daily use.

  1. I find it weird that the author didn’t list the complete specs and retail price of the iPhone 6s as he did to the other phones on the list. His choice of words gives the false impression that it’s a better buy than the rest by using Smart as an excuse, and fails to mention that the 16GB version costs 37990 pesos via the local Apple website.

  2. They should have included the LG G4 which is probably the best bang for your buck flagship phone of 2015. One of the best camera and great qHD screen for only 18k+ in the gray market.

  3. Suggest ko lang lumabas din sana yung Buyers Guide: Local Flagships. Worth mentioning yung CM Flare X/4/S4, Myphone my35/36, etc…

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