Trends & Guides

The Best Smartphones in the Philippines at Every Price Point

27 September 2018 | Reymart Jan Sarigumba

We’ve listed down the top smartphones in the Philippines today, categorized in three price points. Whether you’re after a budget handset, you need to buy a decent phone for a friend or loved one, or you just want a phone that offers great specs, here are the best smartphones for every budget segment right now.

Flagship Phones (₱30,000 and above)

These are the latest and the best devices that manufacturers offer to consumers. They are equipped with high-end specs and features, resulting in their expensive price points.

iPhone XR and XS Series

Image: GameSpot

Selling points: new color schemes, faster processor, more advanced cameras, stunning display, improved battery life

The iPhone XR, XS, XS Max are Apple’s latest phones that sport stunning displays with the same iconic notch as last year's flagship, iPhone X, impressive cameras, and the all-new and faster A12 Bionic Chip. With a slew of new and improved features including the iOS 12, a faster and more secure Face ID performance, and new color schemes, Apple's new iPhones are truly their most innovative devices yet. Their sky-high price points may not be for everyone, but if you can afford any of them, then go for it. Their impressive specs and sleek designs, apart from the Apple branding, will definitely turn heads.

Specs iPhone XR iPhone XS iPhone XS Max
Price US$749 (~₱ 40,465) - 64GB US$999 (~₱ 53,991) - 64GB US$1099 (~₱ 59,401) - 64GB
Display 6.1-inch (1792 x 828p) 5.8-inch (1125 x 2436p) 6.5-inch (1242 x 2688p)
Processor 2x Vortex + 4x Tempest, Hexa 2x Vortex + 4x Tempest, Hexa 2x Vortex + 4x Tempest, Hexa
Operating System iOS 12 iOS 12 iOS 12
RAM and Storage 3GB | 64GB, 128GB, 256GB 4GB | 64GB, 256GB, 512GB 4GB | 64GB, 256GB, 512GB
Primary Camera 12MP dual 12MP+12MP dual 12MP+12MP
Front Camera 7 MP 7MP 7MP
Battery 2,942mAh 2,658mAh 3,174mAh
Chipset Apple A12 Bionic Apple A12 Bionic Apple A12 Bionic
Headphone Jack None None None
Special Features IP67 water/dust-resistant, dual-SIM capability Face ID, animojis IP68 water/dust-resistant, dual-SIM capability Face ID, animojis IP68 water/dust-resistant, dual-SIM capability Face ID, animojis
Colors Black, Blue, Coral, Red, Yellow Silver, Gold, Space Gray Silver, Gold, Space Gray

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and S9 Series

Image: The Indian Wire

Selling points: dual-aperture cameras, remarkable camera performance in low light, IP68 water resistance, Bluetooth-enabled S-Pen (for Samsung Note 9)

When deciding to buy a high-end handset, these Samsung phones should be at the top of your list. This is because they are among the best smartphones on the market right now! If you’re after a big handset with a stylus, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 would be a great option. The Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are awesome choices too, as they are packed with remarkable features including a much-improved processor, IP68 water resistance, iris scanning, and super slow-mo video recording mode.

Specs Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Samsung Galaxy S9 Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
Price ~₱55,990 - 128GB ~₱45,990 - 64GB ~₱52,990 - 64GB
Display 6.4-inch (2960 x 1440p) 5.8-inch (2960 x 1440p) 6.2-inch (2960 x 1440p)
Processor 4x2.7GHz & 4x1.8GHz, Octa 4x2.7GHz & 4x1.8GHz, Octa 4x2.7GHz & 4x1.8GHz, Octa
Operating System Android 8.1 Oreo Android 8.0 Oreo Android 8.0 Oreo
RAM and Storage 8GB or 6GB | 512GB or 128GB 4GB | 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB 6GB | 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB
Primary Camera dual 12MP+12MP 12MP dual 12MP+12MP
Front Camera 8MP 8MP 8MP
Battery 4000 mAh 3000mAh 3500mAh
Chipset Exynos 9810 or Snapdragon 845 (USA, China) Exynos 9810 or Snapdragon 845 (USA, China) Exynos 9810 or Snapdragon 845 (USA, China)
Headphone Jack Yes Yes Yes
Special Features IP68 water-resistant, Bluetooth-enabled S-Pen, facial and iris scanning, wireless charging IP68 water-resistant, iris scanning, wireless charging IP68 water-resistant, iris scanning, wireless charging
Colors Lavender Purple, Metallic Copper, Midnight Black, Ocean Blue Burgundy Red, Coral Blue, Lilac Purple, Midnight Black, Sunrise Gold, Titanium Gray Burgundy Red, Coral Blue, Lilac Purple, Midnight Black, Sunrise Gold, Titanium Gray

Huawei P20 Series

Image: Factsherald

Selling points: big battery life, triple-lens camera (for Huawei P20 Pro), stunning display

The Huawei P20 and the P20 Pro may have been on the market since early 2018, but they still remain sought-after devices despite the influx of newer flagships. This is because they offer a great performance-price ratio compared to their rivals. Go pick up any of these phones if you want more bang for your buck!

Specs Huawei P20 Huawei P20 Pro
Price ~₱34,990 ~₱44,990
Display 5.8-inch (1080 x 2240p) 6.1-inch (1080 x 2240p)
Processor 4x2.4GHz & 4x1.8GHz, Octa 4x2.4GHz & 4x1.8GHz, Octa
Operating System Android 8.1 Oreo Android 8.1 Oreo
RAM and Storage 4GB | 128GB 6GB or 8GB | 128GB or 256GB
Primary Camera dual 12MP+20MP triple 40MP+20MP+8MP
Front Camera 24MP 24MP
Battery 3,400mAh 4,000mAh
Chipset Kirin 970 Kirin 970
Headphone Jack None None
Special Features IP53 water-resistant, Leica optics, EMUI 8.1 IP67 water/dust-resistant, Leica optics, EMUI 8.1
Colors Black, Midnight Blue, Pink Gold, Twilight Black, Midnight Blue, Pink Gold, Twilight

Mid-Range Phones (₱10,000 to ₱30,000)

Generally, these phones can do almost any task you throw at them, but they are not as powerful as flagship handsets. The likes of Xiaomi Pocophone F1 are exceptions to this, however, since they have mid-range price points yet house powerful processors.

Xiaomi Pocophone F1

Image: GadgetFrame

Selling points: top-of-the-line chipset, good low-light performance, bright display, all-day battery life

The Xiaomi Pocophone F1 is designed for those who want slick performance and all-day battery life. Despite its affordable price, it houses the top-of-the-line Snapdragon 845 processor that is also found in top-tier handsets like the Samsung Note 9!

Specs Xiaomi Pocophone F1
Price ~₱17,990
Display 6.18-inch (2246 x 1080p)
Processor 4x2.8GHz and 4x1.8GHz, Octa
Operating System Android 8.1 Oreo
RAM and Storage 8GB or 6GB | 256GB or 64/128GB
Primary Camera 12MP+5MP
Front Camera 20MP
Battery 4000mAh
Chipset Snapdragon 845
Headphone Jack Yes
Colors Armored Edition with Kevlar, Graphite Black, Rosso Red, Steel Blue

Asus Zenfone 5

Image: YouTube

Selling points: large and sharp display, all-day battery life, fast-charging capability

This is one of the best mid-range phones that Asus has ever made. Although its performance is lacking in the camera department, the Asus Zenfone 5 ticks most of the right boxes that consumers would like to see in a mid-range handset.

Specs Asus Zenfone 5
Price ~₱19,995
Display 6.2-inch (2246 x 1080p)
Processor Kryo 260, Octa
Operating System Android 8.0 Oreo
RAM and Storage 6GB or 4GB | 64GB
Primary Camera 12MP+8MP
Front Camera 8MP
Battery 3300mAh
Chipset Snapdragon 636
Headphone Jack Yes
Colors Meteor Silver, Midnight Blue

Oppo F9

Image: HindiMeInfo

Selling points: small yet elegant notch, VOCC fast-charging, great color options

If you want an affordable phone with modern features, you may want to consider the Oppo F9. It has slim bezels and sports a full HD+ display with a subtle notch at the top. All in all, this phone won't disappoint when it comes to aesthetics, build quality, and battery life.

Specs Oppo F9
Price ~₱17,990
Display 6.3-inch (2340 x 1080p)
Processor Octa-core CPU
Operating System Android 8.1 Oreo
RAM and Storage 6GB | 64GB
Primary Camera 16MP+2MP
Front Camera 25MP
Battery 3500mAh w/ VOCC flash charge
Chipset Mediatek MTK P60
Headphone Jack Yes
Colors Twilight Blue and Sunrise Red

Entry-level Phones (Below ₱10,000)

Typically, these handsets come at a low price point and have low to mid-end specs and features. They are designed for those who do a lot of calling and texting but don’t use many apps. However, there are a few entry-level models on the market that have surprisingly good specs which we’re featuring below.

Oppo A83

Image: GadgetMatch

Selling points: long battery life, AI-powered selfie camera, good image quality for the price

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly handset that is most deserving of your hard-earned savings, the Oppo A83 is a great option. The Oppo A83 offers an impressive selfie camera that comes with AI beauty technology for customized beautification. Other marquee features include the 3180-mAh battery that can last all day and the Face Unlock feature - all these provide an incredibly good value for money.

Specs Oppo A83
Price ~₱9,990
Display 5.7-inch (1440 x 720p)
Processor 2.5GHz, Octa
Operating System Android 7.1.1 Nougat
RAM and Storage 3GB | 32GB
Primary Camera 13MP
Front Camera 8MP
Battery 3180mAh
Chipset Mediatek MT6763T
Headphone Jack Yes
Colors Black, Blue, Gold, Red

Xiaomi Redmi 5A

Image: ManilaShaker

Selling points: decent performance and battery life, excellent display for the price

Sporting an excellent display and decent battery life, this smartphone doesn’t feel like an entry-level device. It also boasts a neat and feature-packed interface, as it offers a wide range of gestures and shortcuts.

Specs Xiaomi Redmi 5A
Price ~₱4,590
Display 5.0-inch (1280 x 720p)
Processor 1.4GHz, Quad-core
Operating System Android 7.1.2 Nougat
RAM and Storage 2GB or 3GB | 16GB or 32GB
Primary Camera 13MP
Front Camera 5MP
Battery 3000mAh
Chipset Snapdragon 425
Headphone Jack Yes
Colors Blue, Dark Gray, Gold, Rose Gold

Huawei Nova 2 Lite

Image: ManilaShaker

Selling points: dual-lens rear camera, good build quality and design, impressive battery life

If you’re looking for a good phone that is packed with great features under the 10K price range, you may want to consider the Huawei Nova 2 Lite. It runs on the entry-level Snapdragon 430 octa-core chip that provides a satisfactory performance, considering its price.

Specs Huawei Nova 2 Lite
Price ~₱9,990
Display 5.99-inch (1440 x 720p)
Processor 1.4GHz, octa-core
Operating System Android 8.0 Oreo
RAM and Storage 3GB | 32GB
Primary Camera 13MP+2MP
Front Camera 8MP
Battery 3000mAh
Chipset Snapdragon 430
Headphone Jack Yes
Colors Blue, Black, Gold

Vivo Y81

Image: YouTube

Selling points: AI-enabled selfie camera, large and vibrant display, great battery life

As an entry-level device, you can expect the Vivo Y81 to just give you basic smartphone functions but surprisingly this phone comes with a Portrait Mode and AI Face Beauty, making it great for shooting selfies. It also has a 3260 mAh battery that can get through a whole day on moderate use and a large notched display that offers decent viewing angles and good sunlight legibility.

Specs Vivo Y81
Price ~₱9,999
Display 6.22-inch (1520 x 720p)
Processor 2.0GHz, octa-core
Operating System Android 8.1 Oreo
RAM and Storage 3GB | 32GB
Primary Camera 13MP
Front Camera 5MP
Battery 3260mAh
Chipset Mediatek MT6762
Headphone Jack Yes
Colors Black

Best Smartphones of 2018 in the Philippines

  1. iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max
  2. Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Samsung Galaxy S9, Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
  3. Huawei P20 and Huawei P20 Pro
  4. Xiaomi Pocophone F1
  5. Asus Zenfone 5
  6. Oppo F9
  7. Oppo A83
  8. Xiaomi Redmi 5A
  9. Huawei Nova 2 Lite
  10. Vivo Y81

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