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Best Budget Smartphones below P15,000 (June 2017 Edition)

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Welcome to GadgetMatch’s list of the best smartphones priced below PhP 15,000! Each month, we update our selection with the budget-friendly phones we believe are most deserving of your hard-earned savings.

Even though the spotlight has been on high-end smartphones since Mobile World Congress 2017 (MWC), there have been a few surprisingly good entry-level handsets coming out lately, as well. So good, in fact, that we had to knock out some of our favorites in our May list.

Here they are in no particular order:

Honor 6X / Huawei GR5 2017 / Huawei Mate 9 Lite (PhP 11,990)

No matter what name it goes by in your region, Huawei’s borderline-midrange smartphone ticks all the right boxes in our ever-evolving criteria for what makes a handset great. We fell in love with its premium build and fun dual-camera mode, which are two features previously unheard of at this price point.

REVIEW: Honor 6X (aka Huawei GR5 2017 or Huawei Mate 9 Lite)

OPPO F1s (Updated Variant – PhP 13,990)

While the F3 hasn’t rolled out yet and we’ve yet to review it, the updated F1s with 4GB of memory (up from 3GB) and 64GB of expandable storage (up from 32GB) is our top pick from OPPO. This selfie-centric midranger offers a sleek metal design, one of the fastest fingerprint sensors in the market, and a user interface anyone — even iPhone users — can appreciate.

REVIEW: OPPO F1s

ASUS ZenFone 3 Max 5.5 (PhP 9,995)

ASUS has been releasing ZenFone 3 variants like there’s no tomorrow, but the one offering the most value for the price is the 5.5-inch ZenFone 3 Max. It’s the larger version of the original ZenFone 3 Max, and borrows the faster camera of the ZenFone 3 Laser.

REVIEW: ASUS ZenFone 3 Max 5.5

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X (PhP 9,800)

We finally had to take out Xiaomi’s Redmi 4 Prime on this list to make way for the Redmi Note 4X. It’s bigger and more fun to play with; plus, it has all the same features we loved from its smaller sibling, including the large battery, efficient processor, and solid build quality.

REVIEW: Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X

Vivo Y53 (PhP 6,990)

When you talk about great value, you must include Vivo’s Y53. Despite having no fingerprint scanner, its processor and build quality are among the things you used to find on phones twice the price of this handset — truly a serious consideration when you can’t spend more than PhP 7,000.

REVIEW: Vivo Y53

Deals

Comparison: Unlimited home broadband plans in the Philippines

Say no to data caps!

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As much as possible, home broadband shouldn’t be limited to data allowances. While consumable plans are cheaper, they are not enough for binge-watching and large file downloads like game updates.

If you’re still subscribed to a consumable broadband plan, it’s time to make the switch! Unlimited broadband plans are the way to go. Four of the major internet service providers (ISP) in the Philippines namely Converge, Globe, PLDT, and Sky offer various unlimited internet plans.

Here are the speed options and monthly service fees:

Converge FiberX
Globe At Home
PLDT Home
OneSky Broadband
3Mbps
 –
 –
1,299
 –
5Mbps
 –
1,699
1,699
1,299
10Mbps
 –
1,899
 –
15Mbps
 –
1,899
 –
20Mbps
 –
1,899
1,899
 –
25Mbps
1,500
 –
 –
1,899
50Mbps
2,500
2,499
2,899
2,899
100Mbps
3,500
2,899
 –
3,899

Note: Globe’s Plan 1899 has three speed options depending on availability.

These broadband plans are either connected by copper (DSL) or fiber optic cables. All the plans are subject to availability in the area, especially plans 20Mbps and above since they require a fiber connection.

Which plan offers the best value?

After checking all the broadband plans from the four major ISPs, we can say that Converge’s FiberX 1500 offers the best value all around — that is if your area is serviceable. A 25Mbps connection is already enough for daily needs even if a number of people will be using the network.

If you want to get the fastest speed, Globe’s Go Unli Plan 2899 is the best on the list. For just PhP 2,899, you get 100Mbps speed which is already powered by fiber connectivity. The catch is, like with Converge, fiber-connected places are still pretty limited especially if you live in certain condominiums or a remote village.

What are the freebies and add-ons?

When it comes to freebies, Globe has the biggest offering while Converge has the barest offer to keep their price down.

Converge FiberX
Globe At Home
PLDT Home
OneSky Broadband

– Landline with unlimited Globe to Globe calls
– 6 months premium subscription to Netflix and Disney apps
– 2 months subscription to HOOQ
– Double speed for Plan 2899 for 6 months – Free Sky On Demand access

How much are the initial fees?

Monthly fees are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to broadband plans. Since this type of service requires a wired connection to your place, they have installation fees. These fees vary per ISP and, sometimes, there are certain promotions available.

  • Converge — PhP 2,500
  • Globe — PhP 2,500 (DSL) or P4,500 (vDSL/Fiber) for No-Lockup / PhP 1,000 with contract
  • PLDT — PhP 2,300 (DSL) or P3,600 (Fiber)
  • Sky Broadband — PhP 999 to PhP 3,898

Please check out their respective websites for the latest promotions and more details about the offerings: Converge FiberX, Globe At Home, PLDT Home, Sky Broadband.

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Samsung Galaxy A8 and A8+ (2018) officially launch in the Philippines

They don’t come cheap

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Samsung’s latest midrange phones are slowly making their way to regional markets. For Southeast Asia, the South Korean company officially announced the Galaxy A8 and A8+ (2018) in the Philippines.

The Samsung Galaxy A8 and Galaxy A8+ (2018) are the newest additions to the premium midrange Galaxy A family. With these new phones, Samsung pushed its midrange offerings to become near-flagship.

Both devices have Infinity Displays with an 18.5:9 display ratio and Full HD+ resolution. The Galaxy A8 (2018)’s display measures at 5.6 inches with a 3000mAh battery while the Galaxy A8+ (2018) has a larger 6-inch panel and 3500mAh battery. Both support Adaptive Fast Charging through USB-C.

Another special feature is the dual front cameras: 16- and 8-megapixel sensors with a bright f/1.9 aperture. This setup brings the Live Focus feature from the Galaxy Note 8 for selfies with bokeh. A single 16-megapixel f/1.7 rear shooter with phase-detection autofocus and electronic image stabilization handles low-light photography. The phones are also IP68-certified against water and dust.

Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018) Ambassador Yassi Pressman

They are powered by an unspecified octa-core processor (most likely an Exynos chip), with up to 6GB of memory for the A8+ and up to 64GB of expandable storage. Out of the box, they run Android 7.1.1 Nougat with the Samsung Experience skin on top.

The Galaxy A8 (2018) and A8+ (2018) will be available in the Philippine market starting January 27 for PhP 26,990 and PhP 32,990, respectively. Color options include gold and black.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy A8 and A8+ (2018) Review: Premium midrange features come at a price

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Deals

Cherry Prepaid launches KACHER70, their first tri-net data combo offer

New promo for the new year

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A new year means a new promo for Cherry Prepaid subscribers. A new tri-net offer is coming your way that’s good for web browsing, calling, and texting.

The new KACHER70 is Cherry Prepaid’s first tri-net data combo promo which includes 1GB of data and 60 minutes of calls and unlimited texts to fellow Cherry Prepaid subscribers, as well as their sister network Globe and TM.

The tri-net data offer is valid for five days for just PhP 70. To register, simply text KACHER70 to 2138.

Promo is valid until March 31, 2018.

If you want to try out Cherry Prepaid, you may purchase their prepaid LTE SIM card which is available at Cherry Mobile stores, SM Store outlets, and Puregold stores in the Philippines for only PhP 29. Cherry Prepaid is a virtual network by Cherry Mobile in partnership with Globe Telecom.

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