Philippines

Best Budget Smartphones below P15,000 (May 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 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

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

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

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Apple iPhone XS, XS Max, XR: Prices and availability in the Philippines

Pricier than ever

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There was no doubt that Apple’s newest iPhone lineup was going to arrive in other regions at different costs. In this case, the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR have come to the Philippines along with higher-than-expected prices.

Starting with the iPhone XS, it’ll retail for PhP 67,990 for the 64GB storage variant, PhP 77,490 for the 256GB version, and PhP 90,490 for the largest 512GB model.

For the iPhone XS Max, it’ll go for PhP 74,990 for the 64GB version, PhP 84,490 for 256GB, and PhP 97,490 for 512GB — which is undoubtedly the most expensive iPhone yet.

Fortunately, we also have pricing for the more affordable iPhone XR. Its price starts at PhP 50,990 for the 64GB variant, then goes up to PhP 53,990 for 128GB of storage and PhP 60,490 for 256GB.

These prices apply to all colors, so you can choose whichever one you like and pay the same amount.

Official availability begins on October 26, with postpaid plans from Globe and Smart to follow at a later date.

Before you consider purchasing one, be sure to watch our unboxing and review videos:

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Samsung Galaxy J6+ and J4+: Price and availability in the Philippines

Staying competitive at the entry level

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Samsung had a quiet launch for the Galaxy J6+ and J4+, and they’re now following that up with an equally discreet announcement that the two budget-friendly phones are already available in the Philippines.

Beginning today, October 13, you can purchase the Galaxy J6+ for PhP 10,990 and the Galaxy J4+ for PhP 6,990 at authorized Samsung stores nationwide.

Along with a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, the Galaxy J6+ comes with a 6-inch 720p display, quad-core Exynos processor, up to 4GB of memory and 64GB of storage, a pair of 13- and 5-megapixel shooters on the back and 8-megapixel selfie camera, and a 3300mAh battery.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy J4+ has nearly the same specs, except there’s only one 13-megapixel rear camera, the front shooter has only 5 megapixels, and the memory and storage configuration reaches just 3GB and 32GB, respectively.

With Samsung’s strong push for its latest Galaxy A series phones, we wonder what the company has in store for the Galaxy J lineup’s future.

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Apple iPhone XS gets pre-order and selling dates in the Philippines

Globe and Smart are ready to take on the orders

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The latest iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max will soon be in your hands. Globe and Smart have announced the definite dates when subscribers can pre-order and avail of the new iPhones from Apple.

Starting October 19, both major telcos in the Philippines will start accepting pre-orders for iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. Although, Globe is the first one to commit to delivering the orders by October 26.

The new iPhones were just announced last month, making this year’s release the fastest to officially reach the Philippine shores.

Neither Globe nor Smart has pricing and postpaid plan details as of writing. There are also no details about the cheaper iPhone XR as well, which will definitely come later.

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