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Unbox 2015 Holiday Gift Guide: Smartphones

Looking for a great smartphone this Christmas?

There’s a big chance that many of you are looking for your next smartphone this Christmas. Many of you may already have an idea of what you want, but a lot of you are still clueless on what to spend your hard-earned money on. Today, we’re going to show you ten smartphones that you can buy for yourself or your loved one for Christmas. All of these phones have displays of 5-inches or less and range from 25K all the way down to sub 5K. Let’s begin!

Alcatel-Flash-2-22

Alcatel OneTouch Flash 2

Alcatel’s OneTouch Flash 2 is technically not the follow-up to the company’s original price-busting Flash Plus, but many people think otherwise. At just Php 6,190, the Flash 2 has a very affordable and attractive price tag, considering how nice it looks.

Alcatel OneTouch Flash 2 specs

  • 1.3GHz Mediatek MT6753 octa-core processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 5.0-inches IPS HD display, Dragon Trail glass protection, 1280 × 720 resolution
  • 16GB internal storage, expandable via microSD
  • 13.0-megapixels Samsung ISOCELL camera with Auto Focus, Dual LED and Dual Tone Flash
  • 5.0-megapixels secondary camera with LED Flash
  • 3G, HSPA+, LTE
  • Dual-SIM, dual LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, aGPS
  • 3,000mAh Li-Ion battery
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • Php 6,190

The Flash 2 sports a better camera than the Flash Plus as well as a better looking body and better battery performance. If you want to see how it fared during its time with us, you can check our full review here.

Cherry-Mobile-Flare-4-10

Cherry Mobile Flare 4

Cherry Mobile’s Flare series of devices is known for busting down price barriers without mercy, and the Flare 4 is no exception. The device sports an awesome set of specs for its Php 4,999 asking price, and is probably the go-to phone for most people on the hunt for an awesome-looking and affordable smartphone.

Cherry Mobile Flare 4

  • 1.3GHz MediaTek MT6753 octa-core processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 5-inch HD IPS display, Dragon Trail glass protection, 1280 x 720 resolution
  • 16GB of storage, expandable via microSD up to 32GB
  • 13-megapixel rear camera, BSI
  • 5-megapixel front camera, BSI
  • Dual-SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
  • 2100mAh battery
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • Php 4,999

The Flare 4 has all the things you want in a budget smartphone – looks, a great camera and awesome value. You can read our full review of the Flare 4 here.

Lenovo-Vibe-Shot-11

Lenovo Vibe Shot

Lenovo’s Vibe Shot is the company’s attempt to make a camera-centric smartphone that won’t break the bank. Shaped much like a point-and-shoot and possesing many attributes of one (including a dedicated hardware shutter) the Vibe Shot is an interesting hybrid though it does have its drawbacks.

Lenovo Vibe Shot specs

  • 1.7Ghz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 5-inch full HD display, Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection, 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 32GB of storage, expandable via microSD up to 128GB
  • 16-megapixel rear camera with OIS, IR laser AF, triple LED flash
  • 8-megapixel front facing camera
  • Dual-SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • 2900mAh battery

Still, for Php 17,999 it’s still a good buy considering the specs and what you get for your money. You can read our full review of the Vibe Shot here.

Starmobile-Knight-Elite-04

Starmobile Knight Elite

The Knight Elite certainly created its fair share of controversy when it was first released a few months ago. While most people are going to complain about the company’s pricing scheme, there’s no denying that the Knight Elite is one of the nicest phones that the company has released under the Knight lineup.

Starmobile Knight Elite specs

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor
  • Adreno 405 GPU
  • 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM
  • 5-inch full HD IPS JDI display, Corning Gorilla Glass protection, 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 16GB of storage, expandable via microSD up to 32GB
  • 13-megapixel rear camera with AF, flash and BSI, re-focus capability
  • 5-megapixel front focus
  • Dual-SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • 2600mAh battery
  • Php 9,990

The Knight Elite sports refocusing tech in its camera, allowing you to change the point of focus of the camera after the image has been shot. The same technology is used in the company’s Knight Spectra smartphone, and considering that the price of Starmobile’s current flagship is Php 14,990, the Knight Elite’s price of Php 9,990 makes it look like a bargain in comparison. You can read our full review of the Knight Elite here.

Meizu-m2

Meizu M2

Meizu’s a Chinese company that managed to get our attention with their excellent M1 and M2 note, so it’s no surprise that their price-busting M2 smartphone makes this list despite the fact that we haven’t reviewed the device as of yet.

Meizu M2 specs

  • 1.3GHz MediaTek quad-core MT6735 processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 5-inch HD display, 1280 x 720 resolution
  • 16GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD
  • 13-megapixel rear camera with f/2.0 aperture
  • 5-megapixel front camera
  • Dual-SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
  • Android 5.0 with Flyme UI
  • 2500mAh battery

Don’t think that’s a big issue though – most of Meizu’s offerings have been pretty solid so far, and the company hasn’t released a dud as of yet. The hardware of the M2 isn’t a big mystery to us as we’ve seen in on many, many other phones before. Meizu’s penchant for affordable plastic-bodied phones means that you’ll be getting a great deal if you do decide to pick up the M2 for Php 5,499. You can read more about the M2 here.

Starmobile-Knight-Luxe-03

Starmobile Knight Luxe

The 5-inch Knight Luxe isn’t aimed at techies, or so Starmobile tells us. It’s not meant to dazzle with its specs or hardware – instead, it’s meant for fashionistas, the people who are more concerned of having a phone that looks good.

Starmobile Knight Luxe specs

  • 1.4GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6592M processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 5-inch HD AMOLED display, scratch resistant glass, 1280 x 720 resolution
  • 16GB of storage, expandable via microSD up to 32GB
  • 13-megapixel rear Samsung ISOCELL sensor
  • 5-megapixel front camera
  • Dual-SIM
  • 3G, HSPA+
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, A-GPS, USB-OTG
  • 2050mAh battery
  • Android 4.4 KitKat

The Knight Luxe certainly fits that bill, and that AMOLED display sure is gorgeous. Though at Php 7,190 it’s certainly a fair amount of cash, but for many people who want a nice looking phone for day-to-day use, that may not matter too much. You can read our full review of the Knight Luxe here.

Huawei-P8-09

Huawei P8

Huawei is fast becoming the name to watch out for in the mobile space. The company has shown us time and time again that they’re completly capable of creating beautiful, metal-bodied smartphones for not much money.

Huawei P8 specs

  • Kirin 930 octa-core processor, 2.0GHz clock speed
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 5.2-inch full HD display, 1920 x 1080
  • 16GB of storage, expandable via microSD
  • 13-megapixel rear camera, OIS, DSLR-level independent signal processor, 4-color RGBW sensor
  • 5-megapixel front camera
  • Dual-SIM, Dual LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • 2,680mAh battery

That’s still true with their P8. This particular phone has almost everything – beautiful body, excellent camera, powerful processor and a price that’s significantly lower than the offerings of its rivals. The P8 also sports a unique camera shooting mode that allows you to paint light trails in photos, giving you another outlet for your creativity. The P8 retails for Php 21,990, and you can read our full review of it here.

Flare-S-Play

Cherry Mobile Flare S Play

While there are a whole host of phones that give you octa-core performance, plenty of RAM and a generous helping of storage, there’s not a lot of phones in the market that allows you to watch free digital TV right in your hands.

Flare S Play specs

  • 1.4GHz octa-core processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 5-inch HD IPS display, 1280 × 720 resolution
  • 16GB of internal storae, expandable via microSD up to 32GB
  • 13-megapixel rear camera with LED Flash
  • 5-megapixel front camera
  • Dual-SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, Digital TV
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop

Cherry Mobile’s Flare S Play is one of the few phones in the land that gives you all of that, and with a great price to boot. While we haven’t reviewed this phone fully as of yet, you can now grab the phone for just Php 4,999. You can read more about the Flare S Play here.

DSC09658

Lenovo Vibe S1

While the concept of smartphones that have dual-cameras isn’t new, Lenovo’s the only manufacturer brave enough to place said cameras on the front of the phone, rather than the back. The interesting dual-selfie cam setup allows users to do unique things with their selfies, which include erasing photobombers and inserting themselves in well-known locales around the world.

Lenovo Vibe S1 specs

  • 1.7GHz MediaTek MT6752 octa-core processor
  • ARM Mali-T760 MP2
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 5-inch full HD display, 1920 x 1080
  • 32GB of storage, expandable via microSD
  • 13-megapixel rear camera with dual LED
  • 8-megpixel dual front cameras
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop, Vibe UI
  • 2500mAh battery

The Vibe S1 is also not a slouch in the hardware department, and has more than enough horsepower to attract power users. We’ve already done our first hands-on of the device here, you can also watch our video hands-on of the Vibe S1 here.

Cherry-Mobile-One-G1-17

Cherry Mobile One G1

The Cherry Mobile One G1 is the second generation Android One device offered by the local company. If you’re not familiar with the Android One program, it’s essentially the poor man’s Nexus initiative, and phones that fall under the program are guaranteed up-to-date Android OS updates at almost the same time as Google’s vaunted (and more expensive) Nexus devices.

Cherry Mobile One G1 specs

  • 1.2GHz Snapdragon 410 processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 5-inch HD display, Dragontrail scratch resistant glass, 1280 x 720 resolution
  • 16GB internal storage, expandable via microSD
  • 13-megapixel rear camera with flash
  • 5-megapixel front camera
  • Dual-SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 2,500mAh battery

As proof of this, the One G1 has already been updated by Google to Marshmallow, which makes it a great choice for people looking for a pure Android experience for cheap. It’s also quite a capable performer, and is pretty dang affordable at just Php 5,999. You can read our full review of the One G1 here.

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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