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



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 February list.

Here they are in no particular order:

Honor 6x

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.


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

Redmi 4 Prime

Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime (PhP 8,700)

Xiaomi’s best-ever entry-level smartphone first came to mind when forming this list. The Redmi 4 Prime has everything: a responsive fingerprint scanner, sturdy metal body, a battery that lasts days, and surprisingly good camera, making it so complete for such a low price.

REVIEW: Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime

Vivo Y53

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


Flagship Mi Store opens in the Philippines with Redmi 5 Plus in tow

Bigger and better than the first one



Last month, Xiaomi officially came back to the Philippines with the opening of its first authorized store in TriNoma, Quezon City. That store was not the most spacious site, so there’s a need for a bigger store to accommodate all the Xiaomi fans.

A bigger and better Authorized Mi Store opened today in SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City. Xiaomi labels the newly opened store as its Philippine flagship. The opening was even attended by Xiaomi representatives, marking how truly official this new flagship is.

Spotted in the new Mi Store is the Redmi 5 Plus (or the Redmi Note 5 in India) priced at just PhP 9,990. The locally available variant has 4GB of memory and 64GB storage, the same one we recently reviewed.

Here are some pictures from inside the store:

From small gadgets to huge smart TVs, there are a lot of Xiaomi items available at the flagship Mi Store. It’s located at the fourth floor of SM Megamall, near Cyberzone.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus (Redmi 5 Note) Review

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Vivo V9 will launch on March 22 in the Philippines

Sooner than expected



The Vivo V9 has been subjected to multiple leaks — from both independent outlets and the company itself. But as fun as early previews are, there’s nothing like watching an actual launch. For the Philippines, it’s happening sooner than expected.

Vivo Philippines has sent out invites for the March 22 unveiling of the upcoming V9. This is several days earlier than what was previously rumored.

The V9 is the successor to the V7 series that came out last year. Different this time is the higher screen-to-body ratio with a noticeable notch on top, as well as an impressive 24-megapixel selfie shooter and a pair of cameras on the back.

While this isn’t an innovative as the concept phone we saw at MWC 2018, it does ride on the full-screen trend we’ve been seeing a lot of lately. How the V9 will take advantage of the larger real estate is the question we want answered during the official unveiling.

With OPPO getting ready to release the F7 and Huawei prepping for a grand launch, Vivo will have some tough competition ahead.

Here’s an advertisement from Vivo Indonesia to get you excited:

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Cebu billboard hints that Amazon is coming to the Philippines

Hello, Amazon



The online marketplace in the Philippines thrives with popular companies like Lazada, Zalora, OLX, and Shopee steering the ship. However, an elusive website might soon crash the waves of the populated market — Amazon.

For years, rumor mills have already speculated on the shopping giant’s entrance into the Philippine market. Sadly, no such talk materialized into an actual opening.

Today, a confirmed billboard in Cebu points to the possibility that Amazon hasn’t closed its doors to a Philippine launch.

Taken and posted by Redditor u/Jones_tm in the subreddit r/Philippines, the billboard advertises that Amazon is hiring in the region.

Image source: Reddit

Further delving into their job listing site, Amazon is specifically looking for Customer Service Associates who have experience in the call center industry. While not alluding directly to a country launch, the listings indicate that Amazon is still interested in expansion in some capacity.

Previously, the global company set up shop in the Philippines for its Amazon Web Services branch. AWS is the company’s subsidiary for cloud computing services. Without any confirmation, the current job listing could very well be for AWS, rather than the marketplace itself.

With the popularity of Lazada in the country, an Amazon Philippines office remains a tempting (and welcome) opportunity for business partners and shoppers alike. However, Lazada’s popularity is a double-edged sword. It will take a while for Amazon to chip away at the ASEAN giant’s market share.

Currently, Amazon busies itself with Echo launches, launching of cashless brick-and-mortar stores, and developing their own debit cards. For the Philippines, Amazon still ships directly (albeit after weeks of waiting) or through third-party courier services like Shipping Cart.

SEE ALSO: Amazon introduces Echo Spot: Your next bedside smart clock

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