If you are looking for an affordable phone with high-end specs, Xiaomi might just have what you are looking for. To give you more insight into the phones from this Chinese tech giant, we have created an extensive Xiaomi Buyer’s Guide. It explains why Xiaomi phones are so affordable; details the different Xiaomi series available; provides an overview of the key specs to look for, and finally lists our top picks of the best Xiaomi phones available in the Philippines today. Check it out!

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Top Xiaomi Smartphones Price List 2021

Top 10 products Price Store
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra ₱ 40,969.00 Shopee
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro ₱ 12,590.00 Shopee
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 ₱ 8,190.00 Lazada
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 ₱ 6,999.00 Shopee
Xiaomi Mi 11 ₱ 32,999.00 Shopee
Xiaomi Poco M3 ₱ 6,790.00 Shopee
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 ₱ 7,390.00 Shopee
Xiaomi Poco X3 ₱ 9,780.00 Shopee
Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro 5G ₱ 14,000.00 Shopee
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro ₱ 9,380.00 Lazada
Most Popular
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Cheapest at Shopee ₱ 40,969.00 Go to Shop

What you need to know before buying a Xiaomi phone

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Xiaomi is one of the largest smartphone manufacturers around the world and the leading phone brand in China and India. The brand first originated in Beijing, China in 2010, entering the market with the release of their first smartphone – the Xiaomi Mi 1. By 2018, Xiaomi has become the world’s fourth-largest smartphone manufacturer.

If you’re looking for an affordable smartphone with good specs, Xiaomi may just be the brand for you.

To help you select the right Xiaomi phone, we have created a Buyer’s Guide where we provide answers to the following questions:

  1. <Why are Xiaomi phones so affordable?
  2. What the different Xiaomi phone series?
  3. What are the key specs to compare when selecting a Xiaomi phone?
  4. What are our top picks for the best Xiaomi phones in the Philippines today?

Why are Xiaomi phones so affordable?

One thing that stands out with Xiaomi phones is their affordable price tag. Why are they so cheap?

This is thanks to their low-cost business model. Xiaomi has a philosophy of making technology available to the masses. This s strategy is based on keeping their profit margins at a maximum 5% of their hardware cost. Any profit in excess of 5% is invested into research and development to further their mission of providing high-quality phones at a low cost.

In addition to this pricing/investment strategy, Xiaomi also focuses on producing mid-tier and budget phones. This focus allows them to use older (and less expensive) chipsets in their phones and select lower-cost materials.

The result is affordable phones with good specs.

What are different Xiaomi phone series?

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Throughout the years, Xiaomi has come a long way from producing its first smartphone in 2011. The brand has produced different phone series, catering to different customer segments.

Here is a summary of the Xiaomi phone series:

  • Mi: These are Xiaomi’s of all-around mid-tier smartphones. The series also includes flagship models, such as the latest Mi 11 Ultra. The Mi series has 3 sub-series in the phablet category: Mi Note, Mi Max, and Mi Mix.

  • Black Shark: Black Shark is a Xiaomi subsidiary focusing on high-performance gaming phones. The Black Shark series is equipped with the highest caliber chipsets, high refresh rate screens, big batteries along with modifications such as gaming triggers (extra buttons) and a cooling system.

  • Pocophone: Pocophone is another Xiaomi subsidiary. The Pocophone is a mid-range phone series with high-end specs. Today, Pocophone has a reputation for being a “flagship killer killer”, combining flagship specs at an affordable price.

  • Redmi: Redmi phone series caters to the budget category. Originally launched in 2013, the series became a sub-brand of Xiaomi in 2019 so Xiaomi can focus on the high-end Mi series.

What are the key specs to compare when selecting a Xiaomi phone?

If you’re looking for a Xiaomi phone, it’s important to understand the specs. This below we provide a brief overview of how the phone of the key things to look for when selecting a phone.

Performance

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The Performance of a phone refers to how fast your phone can operate and execute tasks. This is determined by a number of factors. The most important are the phone’s chipset, processor, RAM, and operating system.

  • Chipset – made from semiconductors, the chipset or SoC (System on a Chip) refers to the brain of your phone. The latest chipset – the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, is used on Xiaomi phones like the Mi Ultra 11 and the Black Shark Pro 4.

  • Processor or CPUthis is the part of the chipset that carry out tasks. The CPU divides data into different “cores” where information is processed at the same time. The more cores a processor has, the faster the processor can execute the tasks. Smartphones today, even those in the budget-tier, have octa (8) processors.

  • RAM or Random Access Memory – refers to the amount of temporary data your phone can temporarily hold to be accessed by the processors as it manages your Apps. RAM is measured in gigabytes (GB). Higher RAM often result in faster phone operations (ie less lag) when using or switching between apps. 2GB RAM is adequate for basic smartphone use, 4GB would be more ideal for the typical smartphone user. Gaming and content creation would need at least 8GB RAM.

  • OS or Operating System – this is the main software that manages all your phone’s resources and your primary interface. Xiaomi uses an Android skin – a version of Android. The Android skin Xiaomi uses on most of their phones is called MIUI. It uses an Android Skin called JOY UI on the Black Shark series phones.

Screen

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The quality of the screen on your phone depends on its size, technology, resolution, and refresh rate. Here’s a quick summary of these four factors:

  • Size: A screen’s size is measured in inches (in) or centimeters (cm) diagonally from opposite corners of the screen. Today, smartphone screens are typically around 6 inches (15.2 cm) but range from 5 inches (12.7 cm) and to as large as 6.8 inches (17.2).

  • Technology, A phone’s screen can use different types of technologies, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Today, phones typically use either LCD or OLED screens. Here is a quick guide to each:

Screen Technology

Advantages

Disadvantages

OLED/ AMOLED/ Super AMOLED

  • Each pixel on the screen produces its own color
  • Blacks produced by simply by switching off

  • True to life colors
  • Dark modes saves energy
  • Produces thinner phones
  • Expensive (mostly used on pricey models)
  • Prone to damage and screen burn-in

LCD

  • Colors produced by a backlight shining through a film / mirrors

  • High brightness
  • Bright whites
  • Dynamic viewing angles
  • More affordable
  • Not true blacks
  • Inflexible hardware
  • Thicker smartphones to accommodate backlight

  • Resolution refers to the number of points on the display. It is defined by the count of points along each dimension of the screen. The more points, the more details can be displayed.

Here are resolution standards currently followed:

Resolution

Resolution

High Definition (HD)

1280 x 720

Full HD (FHD)

1920 x 1080

2K, Quad HD, (QHD)

2560 x 1440

4K Ultra HD

3840 x 2160

Smartphones today, even within the budget category typically have High Definition (HD) screens.

Flagships models – optimized for higher definition images used in rich media or mobile gaming -- often boast 2K and 4K displays.

  • Refresh Rate (Hz). The refresh rate – measured in Hertz (or Hz) – this refers to how frequent the screen displays a new image every second. A screen with a 60Hz refresh rate, for example, would refresh 60 times a second. High refresh rate means your screen interface, games, and videos become more fluid.

Typical smartphones today have 60Hz to 90Hz refresh rates. Flagships and gaming phones, on the other hand, can go up as high as 120Hz or even 144Hz. Keep in mind, high refresh rates more quickly drain the battery. This is because the phone can be updating the screen twice as often as a phone in normal operation.

Unless you are gaming or watching a QHD or 4k HD movie, we recommend turning your screen to “auto” mode or setting your refresh rate at 60 or 90Hz.

  • Brightness (nits). Brightness refers to how much light your screen can illuminate in a certain area. It is measured in terms of “nits”, with one nit equivalent to a single candle illuminating a square meter.

Brightness is important for power users to see the best detail possible especially in sunlight conditions. Most smartphones today have at least 300 nits, however, flagships can go as much as 900 nits.

As with refresh rates, switching the phone to a higher brightness setting drains battery. Our recommendation would be to turn down the brightness unless you really need it (ie viewing the phone in bright sunlight).

Camera

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For people who enjoy taking photos and videos, camera performance is an important spec. There are three factors which affect the camera’s performance: the lens used, the camera sensors, and the image processing system of your phone.

The first thing we need to understand is the lens (or lenses given most phones today support multiple lenses). The lens gathers and focus the light from a scene or subject onto the sensor. Many smartphones today are designed with at least two lenses.

Sensors help translate the scene and subject into data which can be processed and stored on your phone (Like the retina in your eye). The quality of the image captured depends on (i) the size of the sensor (which determines its’ sensitivity) and its resolution (measured in megapixel or MP). Typically, phones will pair a sensor with each lens on the camera.

The final item which determines the performance of the camera is the phone’s image processing system / AI. This software performs three tasks:

  1. Analyzes the scene and/or subject to select which lenses to use
  2. Adjust the camera settings
  3. Stitch the captured images together

For example, to capture a portrait photo your phone would activate its depth sensor and main camera. The AI would then use edge-detect and facial recognition technology to differentiate the subject from the background. The images captured from both the depth sensor and main camera are then be combined to create a photo.

Choosing a camera is not just about how large the megapixels count is. It is also dependent on how optimized the camera modules are with the software of your phone. If you are evaluating the phone on a camera, it’s best to get sample shots on different modes to make sure that the quality is acceptable.

Battery

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The fourth and final specs you need to consider when buying a new phone is the battery. In particular, the battery capacity and the battery charging technology.

Battery capacity is measured in milliampere-hour or mAh. It determines how much power your phone’s battery cells can hold in a single charge. Smartphones battery capacity nowadays range between 2,500mAh to 3,500mAh, but we recommend going for 4,000mAh or higher

How much you use your phone is also a factor when it comes to battery life. Power users like gamers and content creators would need high-capacity batteries up to 5,000mAh to last a full day of gaming or taking photos or videos. If you are more conservative and use your phone casually, a 5,000mAh battery can last you up to two days.

Phone manufacturers often provide overly positive battery life estimates on their websites (providing a battery life that does not reflect typical usage patterns). When looking at battery life, therefore, make sure to read reviews and benchmarks. The best tech reviewers like Techradar, GSMArena, and AndroidAuthority.com do thorough ‘stress tests” to determine battery life under real life usage.

When considering the battery, you should also check which charging technologies your phone supports and the typical charging times. Today, many smartphones have fast-charging, wireless charging, and reverse charging:

  • Fast-charging allows you to charge up to 60% in 30 minutes depending on the wattage of the charging brick or power outlet. The typical fast-charge is at 33W but there are also phones that go up to 120W. Keep in mind fast-charging is only available for phones with a type-c port. If you want this feature, avoid phones which have micro-USB phone charging connection.
  • Wireless and reverse charging are newer technologies commonly seen on flagships phones. Both technologies use magnets on your phone to transfer power. Reverse charging allows your phone to become a power bank and transfer your phone’s battery to another phone or an accessory.

What are our top picks for the best Xiaomi phones in the Philippines today?

Now we know what specs to look on a phone, let’s go through our list of recommend Xiaomi phones:

Powerhouse Phone: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Xiaomi

If you need an upgrade, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra might be the phone for you. This model has a large 6.81” AMOLED screen (120hz), ceramic back, and aluminum frame.

The most noteworthy feature of this phone from a design perspective, however, is its’ 10mm camera bump. It houses three large camera modules and a secondary 1.1” display – unique only to the Mi 11 Ultra. You can use the additional screen as a viewfinder (for taking photos with the back camera) and music controls. Since this is a touch-screen panel, it is prone to accidental swipes and can be a nuisance when listening to music.

Whilst provider some innovative features, the camera bump has its drawbacks. Without a phone case, the bump is vulnerable to accidentally snagging or colliding with hard objects. Wireless and reverse charging are also awkward thanks to the bump. When combined with its big screen, it is also difficult to put it into your pocket.

Everything else on the phone -- such as the performance, camera, and battery -- is standard for a flagship phone of this caliber. The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra features the latest Snapdragon 888 plus 12GB of RAM which makes it a great phone for power users such as gamers and content creators. Taking photos in different modes is also a breeze for this phone thanks to the triple-lens 50MP (wide) + 48MP (ultra-wide) + 48MP (periscope) system.

A big phone also needs a big battery. The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra has a 5,000mAh capacity which, with moderate use, can last up to a day and a half. Besides its large battery capacity, it also has a 67W wired and wireless fast charge plus 10W reverse charging capabilities.

Release date

April 2021

Screen

6.81” AMOLED (1440 x 2400) 120hz

Main camera

Triple-lens 50MP (wide) + 48MP (periscope telephoto) + 48MP (ultra wide)

Front camera

20MP

Chipset

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G

Internal storage

256GB / 512GB

RAM

8GB / 12GB

Built-in OS

Android 11, MIUI 12.5

Battery capacity

5,000mAh

Best Gaming Phone: Black Shark 4 Pro

Xiaomi

Xiaomi’s Black Shark 4 Pro is one of the best gaming phones in 2021. So good, it can rival established gaming phones such as ASUS ROG and Razer. The screen features a 6.6” Super AMOLED panel with 144Hz refresh rate, and a pinhole camera. The back also has a frosted glass back and a futuristic interlaced X design which goes well with the gamer aesthetic. Another design plus for the Black Shark 4 Pro is the pop-up gaming triggers, used as extra buttons for an immersive experience.

The reason why we picked the Black Shark 4 Pro over the base model is because of its Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G chipset. This phone also has a 16GB RAM variant. To prevent overheating, the Black Shark 4 Pro has an upgraded “sandwich” cooling system with liquid cooling units in between internal components to decrease the heat generated from the GPU and processors. Although not the largest in capacity, the Black Shark 4 Pro battery is good at 4,500mAh. It also supports super-fast 120W charging.

Like with most gaming phones, camera is not a priority for the Black Shark 4 Pro. The model has a triple-lens 64MP (wide) + 8MP (ultra-wide) + 5MP (macro) system. It performs well but may not be enough if photography is important to you.

Release date

March 2021

Screen

6.67” Super AMOLED (1080 x 2440) 144hz

Main camera

Triple-lens 64MP (wide) + 8MP (ultra-wide) + 5MP (macro)

Front camera

20MP

Chipset

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G

Internal storage

256GB / 512GB

RAM

8GB / 12 GB / 16GB

Built-in OS

Android 11, Joy UI 12.5

Battery capacity

4,500mAh

Best Mid-Range Phone: Redmi Note 10 Pro

Xiaomi

If you want a good phone that ticks all the boxes, including a decent price, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro may be for you.

This mid-tier phone has a modern feel to it thanks to its glass front and back, and a plastic frame. The screen has a small pinhole camera and a 6.67” AMOLED panel with 120Hz refresh rate. The back camera modules are unique with two levels, instead of the usual one. The first level contains flash and other sensors while the upper level houses four lenses.

Where this phone excels is in its camera and battery. The Redmi Note 10 Pro camera has a quad-lens Quad-lens 108MP (wide) + 8MP (ultra-wide) + 5MP (macro) + 2MP (depth) system. It has one of the largest main shooters, producing 4000x3000 images. It also performs well on ultra-wide and macro mode with the depth effect that provides above-average bokeh photos. Where this camera might struggle is in low-light conditions where you will notice graining and some out-of-focus shots.

Battery performance is great on the Redmi Note 10 Pro. It has a 5,020 mAh battery. Even with the screen at 120Hz with casual use this model can still last a day. If used conservatively, it may even reach 2 days. This phone is also equipped with 33W fast-charging capabilities. Unfortunately, it does not support wireless or reverse charging.

Release date

March 2021

Screen

6.67” AMOLED (1080 x 2400) 120hz

Main camera

Quad-lens 108MP (wide) + 8MP (ultra-wide) + 5MP (macro) + 2MP (depth)

Front camera

16MP

Chipset

Snapdragon 732G

Internal storage

64GB / 128GB

RAM

6GB / 8GB

Built-in OS

Android 11, MIUI 12

Battery capacity

5,020 mAh

Best Budget Phone: Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro

Xiaomi

If you want a phone with near-flagship specs and performance, gorgeous display, and long-lasting battery, all at a great price, the Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro is the phone to buy.

The Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro has a big 6.6” IPS LCD display with a 120Hz refresh rate – something you don’t see much on budget-tier phones. In terms of the casing, it has a glass front and plastic back with an aluminum frame. It also supports a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Underneath the hood, the Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 chipset; not the best but it provides good performance. When benchmarked, the Snapdragon 860 is equivalent in performance to the Samsung S20 series which remains relevant in 2021. If you can afford it, we recommend getting the 8GB RAM for that extra processing space.

The Poco X3 Pro’s battery is enormous with 5160mAh capacity. With conservative use, you can go for up to two days with this phone without charging. If you end up losing power, you can always use the 33W fast-charge brick with the phone. Being in the budget-tier, it does not support wireless or reverse charging.

Camera performance is so-so with this phone. It has a Quad-lens 48MP (wide) + 8MP (ultra wide) + 2MP (macro) + 2MP (depth) system. It is decent in good lighting conditions but suffers in low-light and night mode. You can see the grainy texture plus the lack of OIS (optical image stabilization) can make the image blur.

Release date

March 2021

Screen

6.67” IPS LCD (1080 x 2400) 120hz

Main camera

Quad-lens 48MP (wide) + 8MP (ultra wide) + 2MP (macro) + 2MP (depth)

Front camera

20MP

Chipset

Qualcomm Snapdragon 860

Internal storage

128GB / 256GB

RAM

6GB / 8GB

Built-in OS

Android 11, MIUI 12

Battery capacity

5160mAh

Best Deal: Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro 5G

Xiaomi

For people looking at last year’s models hoping for a good deal, the Xiaomi MI 10T Pro 5G is a strong contender. This phone was late 2020’s flagship model, with specs that are still relevant to this day. It has a glass front with a pinhole selfie camera on the side. The glass back is gorgeous but can be a fingerprint-magnet; you will need to wipe it all the time if you do not use a case. The 3.5mm headphone jack is also a plus for this phone.

What is noteworthy about this phone is its performance and camera. It has last year’s Snapdragon 865 5G and 8GB RAM which is on par with the Samsung S20 Ultra. Power users like gamers and content creators who are looking for a deal would love this phone for its performance.

The camera features a triple-lens 108MP (wide) + 13MP (ultra wide) + 5MP (macro) and performs well in good lighting conditions. It has different modes including the Vlog mode (enabling you to shoot mini videos and puts them all together) and Front and Back (shoots both selfie and main camera together.

The battery life on the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro is also decent thanks to the 5,000mAh battery capacity. The phone itself is energy-saving, by using LCD panels instead of OLEDs (LCD uses less power), and an auto-refresh rate so it does not stay at 144Hz. If you do end up using all your battery, the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro has a 33W fast-charging brick; not the fastest but it keeps the phone going. Unfortunately, the phone doesn’t support wireless or reverse charging.

Release date

October 2020

Screen

6.67” IPS LCD (1080 x 2400) 144hz

Main camera

Triple-lens 108MP (wide) + 13MP (ultra wide) + 5MP (macro)

Front camera

20MP

Chipset

Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 5G

Internal storage

128GB / 256GB

RAM

8GB

Built-in OS

Android 10, upgradable to Android 11, MIUI 12

Battery capacity

5,000mAh

In Conclusion

Xiaomi – with their strategy of providing high-performance phones at affordable prices - are a great option. Whilst targeting the mid-range and budget segments, as we’ve explained above, they also provide some very good high-end options at affordable price points.

And once you’ve decided on the model which meets your needs, use our website to compare offers from the different marketplaces to find the best deal!

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Marjorie Mae Mendoza

iPrice Tech Writer

Marjorie (MJ) is iPrice Tech Writer in Residence. Always on the hunt for the inside scope on the newest smartphones, computers, and electronic devices, MJ provides a no-holds-barred analysis on what’s hot (and what’s not) in the latest tech releases. In her free time, MJ enjoys first-person video games and digital illustrations.
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