These are the phones you need to buy
2018 has proven to be one of the best years in the history of mobiles and for the consumer. This year has seen the official re-entry of two sub-brands that has provided a catalyst for a more ruthless marketplace, and ultimately better pricing for consumers. It’s also seen the rise of new champions in the industry and the slow fade of previous darlings into obscurity.
We’ve been inundated with hundreds of smartphones to touch and hold this year, but we’ve compiled the very best phones that we think you should spend your money on.
Php 5,000 and below / Best budget phone of the year
Cherry Mobile Omega HD Duo – Php 4,999
Nokia 1 – Php 3,990
Starmobile UP Xtreme – Php 3,990
MyPhone MyX8 – Php 3,999
Winner: Xiaomi Redmi 5A – Php 4,590
There hasn’t been as many phones to watch out for in the entry-level market like in previous years. A lot more Filipino consumers have jumped to the Php 5K to 10K and 10K to 15K price bracket because of the sheer number of available options this year.
Of all the slim pickings in the budget phone segment, Xiaomi’s Redmi 5A is undoubtedly the winner. Packing a relatively powerful quad-core processor, decent camera, big screen, and a friendly price point, it’s not surprising that the phone racked up quite a number of purchases in the first quarter of this year.
Php 5,000 to Php 9,999
ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (3GB/32GB) – Php 8,995
ASUS ZenFone Max M1 – Php 7,995
Honor 9 Lite – Php 7,990
Motorola Moto E5 Plus – Php 9,999
Winner: Xiaomi Redmi 6– Php 7,490
We’re not surprised at all that another Xiaomi smartphone managed to win in this particular price band. Let’s face it: Xiaomi is one of the best brands when it comes to budget phones, and the company’s Redmi 6 is the one you should be looking at in this price segment.
It’s relatively fast, has great battery life and produces good photos from its dual camera setup. More importantly, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg – it’s priced at just Php 7,490 for the 3GB/32GB version.
Php 10,000 to Php 14,999
Nokia 5.1 Plus – Php 12,990
Cherry Mobile Flare S7 Plus – Php 11,999
Huawei Y9 2018 – Php 12,999
Xiaomi Mi A2 – Php 13,490
Winner: Honor 8X – Php 12,999
Honor officially returned to the Philippines this year and the brand wasted no time in making a dent in the highly competitive mid-range marketplace. The Honor 8X is an attractive option for people who don’t have a lot of cash to splurge on a mid-range phone, sporting a premium body, excellent internals as well as excellent battery endurance.
Php 15,000 to Php 19,999
Honor Play – Php 15,999
Huawei Nova 3i – Php 15,999
ASUS ZenFone 5 – Php 19,990
vivo V11 – Php 19,999
Winner: Xiaomi Pocophone F1 – Php 17,990
The battle for mid-range supremacy has produced some truly remarkable smartphones, but none as surprising or as welcome as the Pocophone F1, the first device from Xiaomi’s sub-brand. The F1 is truly a game-changing phone, as it delivers all the things people want in a smartphone with none of the frills.
The result is a flagship phone for just Php 17,990, which is more than half of what other companies charge for theirs. Sure, there’s plenty of compromises, including a plastic body and less than stellar camera, but when it comes to value, nothing, and we mean nothing, can beat the Pocophone F1.
Php 20,000 to Php 24,999
Galaxy A8 – Php 22,290
Xperia XA2 Plus – Php 22,990
Nokia 7 Plus – Php 21,990
Vivo X21 – Php 24,999
Winner: Honor 10 – Php 23,990
Honor kicked off their return to the Philippines with a bang, offering their top-tier Honor 10 flagship at a considerably lower price compared to similarly spec’d phones. While there’s a lot of compelling smartphones in the upper mid-range category, Honor’s flagship has the right mix of price and performance in a handsome body that you won’t be ashamed of carrying.
With a powerful Kirin 970 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable storage and an excellent camera that’s capable of taking great photos, the Honor 10 is the best phone you can get in this particular price segment, given the circumstances.
Php 25,000 to Php 29,999
Samsung Galaxy A8+ – Php 29,990
Huawei Nova 3 – Php 25,990
Xiaomi Mi 8 (4GB/64GB) – 25,990
ASUS ZenFone 5Z – Php 29,995
Winner: Mi MIX 2S (6GB/128GB) – Php 29,990
Many of Xiaomi’s fans expect the brand to win in almost every category they’re in, thanks to Xiaomi’s excellent price-to-spec ratio. But as the company has plowed forward with their new offerings, their competitors hasn’t been sitting around doing anything – they’ve stepped up their game too.
One of the companies that have managed to step up their game is ASUS with their ZenFone 5Z, and the company has managed to go toe-to-toe with a brand known for offering rock-bottom prices. The ZenFone 5Z manages to keep up with the Mi Mix 2S in most respects, and with the recent camera update, it manages to move ahead in terms of camera performance compared to the Mi Mix 2s.
But alas, Xiaomi is still the undisputed king when it comes to value, and it’s hard to NOT recommend the Mi Mix 2S in its 8GB/128GB configuration that’s available with some official re-sellers. We wish we could award both the prize, but as it stands, Xiaomi’s offering still has the upper hand when it comes to pure value.
Php 30,000 to Php 39,999
LG V30s ThinQ – Php 32,990
Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro – 32,990
Samsung Galaxy A9 – Php 32,990
OPPO R17 Pro – Php 38,990
Winner: OnePlus 6T – Php 32,990
There’s been quite a lot of questions regarding OnePlus’ relevance as a flagship killer. Because of devices like the Pocophone F1, the Honor 10 and even ASUS’ ZenFone 5Z, OnePlus’ hold on the flagship killer moniker has become more and more tenous.
But that doesn’t take away from the fact that the OnePlus 6T is the best phone out of the two devices that the company produces each year, and yes, it’s better than Xiaomi’s Mi 8 Pro, at least in our opinion.
Php 40,000 and Above / Flagship of the year
ASUS ROG Phone – Php 49,990
Galaxy Note 9 – Php 55,990
OPPO Find X – Php 49,990
Apple iPhone XS Max – Php 76,990
Winner: Mate 20 Pro – Php 49,990
Huawei’s Mate 20 Pro should be your top choice if you’re looking for a flagship this year. The Chinese company’s efforts into R&D and their strategic partnerships with premium brands like German camera brand Leica has finally produced a flagship like no other.
While their competitors were busy refining flagships from last year, Huawei took a leap and created a smartphone that has everything you want in a modern flagship. It’s the best phone to get if you have deep pockets – not that you’d need one, considering the price of the phone compared to its rivals.