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 / 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.
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.
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.
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.
[irp posts=”9969″ name=”Best Budget Smartphones (February 2017 Edition)”]
Huawei unveils largest Health Lab facility
Customer health monitoring a key focus
Huawei’s Consumer Business Group unveiled through a virtual tour its new Huawei Health Lab facility based in Songshan Lake, Dongguan, China.
The lab is a SG$ 42.5 million research and development investment that supports more than 80 types of simulation tests targeted to improve Huawei’s smart wearable products in years to come.
These tests support and provide data for the R&D department that covers extensive research on human health and fitness, incubation and testing of Huawei’s smart wearable products.
Huawei currently runs multiple Health Labs to study health-related technology, including its lab in Xi’an, China which focuses on innovative applications for health and fitness.
The latest HUAWEI Health Lab in Dongguan, China aims to become a world class health and fitness technology institute dedicated to product R&D, standards R&D, certification, exhibitions, and industry incubation activities.
Customer health monitoring a key focus
Huawei’s smart wearable and health business has brought many innovative, science-based health and fitness products and services to consumers in recent years.
The new state-of-the-art facility includes a SG$ 638,000 plateau blood oxygen simulation laboratory which replicates high-altitude environments up to 6,000 meters above sea level to test how oxygen saturation affects the human body.
The lab contains the facilities necessary for researchers to measure the changes in the human body under different altitudes and climate conditions and obtain more accurate data for analysis.
The lab also has a professional optical motion capture system which records a wide range of subjects including moving bullets with millimetre-level accuracy.
By studying the movement of the human body along with attitude data, Huawei hopes to develop new and innovative features it can add to its smart wearable products.
Exercise lab for accuracy
The exercise physiology research area of the lab also comes equipped with cardiopulmonary function and metabolism meters, heart rate belts, and high-performance treadmills that researchers can use to monitor as VO2 max, calorie consumption, and workout heart rate.
This will be ideal in coming up with features for customers who use Huawei’s wearables primarily for fitness functions.
Thanks in large part to these labs, Huawei’s smart wearable products support more than 100 workout modes which include even rock-climbing, swimming, golf, and more.
Scenario-based health experiences
The new HUAWEI Health Lab also serves as an incubator for scenario-based experiences and service packages that consumers can directly enjoy, including micro-physical examination, home fitness, and digital sports.
In the lab’s micro-physical examination area, users can use Huawei wearable products to measure physical indicators such as blood pressure and SpO2 monitoring.
In the indoor fitness area, users can start tracking their exercise by connecting a Huawei smartwatch, a HUAWEI Vision TV, and other third-party equipment.
Meanwhile, the digital sports area enables users to compete with friends while using rowing machines and spinning bikes.
The HUAWEI Health App now also offers 11 types of training courses including running, cycling, yoga, fitness, skipping, and more.
Huawei Watch GT 3
The new Huawei Watch GT 3 will offer higher accuracy in monitoring their health and fitness performance backed by scientific data.
Customers in Singapore can look forward to experience the smartwatch in December 2021.
In the Philippines, the Huawei Watch GT Series is already available for pre-order now until December 9, 2021.
- HUAWEI WATCH GT 3 46mm – PHP 12,999 with freebies worth PhP 3,998
- HUAWEI WATCH GT 3 42mm – Starts at PhP 8999 online exclusive with freebies worth PhP 2,490 during pre-order phase. The normal price starts at PhP 11,999.
- HUAWEI WATCH GT Runner – PhP 13,999 with freebies worth PhP 4,388
- HUAWEI FreeBuds Lipstick – PhP 9,999 from its original price of PhP 11,999
Lenovo’s classroom management software now in PH
It’s called LanSchool Air
Lenovo’s LanSchool recently announced that its cloud-based classroom management software, LanSchool Air, is now available for schools in the Philippines.
LanSchool Air has provided a leading classroom management software in the education technology platform for over 30 years, serving over 12 million customers in 75 markets.
It includes features to help monitor and protect student devices, enabling communication and screen sharing, and providing device management to help guide learning, promote collaboration, and maximize teaching time.
Top features include screen monitoring, limit web, blank screen, messaging, and push website.
Best for teachers and schools
LanSchool Air will benefit teachers most specially, allowing them to connect with students within a digital space to create a more meaningful online experience both in the classroom setting and remotely.
With LanSchool Air, educators can help improve student engagement, teach digital citizenship, and provide an immersive learning environment.
Schools across The Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific have already adopted the self-hosted version of the software, LanSchool Classic, which is available in over 15 languages.
The addition of the new cloud-based LanSchool Air, which is fully hosted and managed by LanSchool, gives schools a quick and easy path to classroom management software adoption, fit for distance learning in the Philippines.
Additionally, the cloud-based software provides flexibility for schools to accelerate the adoption of new technology and continue to incorporate online schooling into their teaching models.
The solution is compatible with Windows, Chromebook, and Mac devices and can be cloud or locally hosted. A free, 30-day trial of LanSchool Air is available for schools that may be interested in learning more.
11th generation Honda Civic now in the Philippines
New look, more features
Honda Cars’s 11th generation All-New Honda Civic is now available in the Philippine market, as announced by the company virtually via livestream last November 23.
The iconic sedan features a new clean-cut look along with a range of high-tech features, along with a standard VTEC turbo engine for a powerful driving experience.
For the 11th generation, Honda focused on Design, Dynamics, and Human Machine Interface (HMI) to achieve an “Exhilarating Civic” grand concept.
The All-New Civic had a full-model change, taking into consideration design elegance and sportiness. The compact sedan is longer compared to the previous design.
In front are newly-shaped headlights that can house full LEDS or projector halogens. Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) are made standard across the range.
LED fog lights are also available for the V Turbo CVT Honda SENSING and the RS Turbo CVT Honda SENSING.
The sides also get an aesthetic upgrade, as well as improved driver visibility with the design changes in the door mirrors.
The entire rear end has also been redone, having a new pair of LED taillights. Other RS-exclusive details include black-painted side mirrors, door handles, sharkfin antenna and trunk spoiler, along with chrome-finished dual-exhaust pipes.
The 11th generation All–New Civic’s interior also gets an overhaul towards a minimalist design.
Depending on the trim level, the All–New Civic could either come with fabric seats, or a fine combo of suede and leather upholstery exclusive on the RS.
The latest model sports cabin space than most sedans in the segment. Additional space was used to improve the ease of getting in and out of the car.
The new dimensions also make rear seat comfort better, while compartments are located all around the cabin for personal items.
For in–car entertainment, all variants of the All–New Civic come with touchscreen display audio that either measures from 7 to 9 inches.
Both screens are Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capable, while the larger screen has Wireless Apple CarPlay.
The infotainment systems are powered starting with 4 speakers for the S and up to 12 for the RS variant on a Bose sound system.
Other RS-exclusive convenience features include automatic climate control, dual zone, and a 10.2-inch full-digital cluster display supported with steering wheel mounted controls.
Engine and transmission
One of the main highlights of the 11th generation All–New Civic is the 1.5-liter 4-Cylinder DOHC VTEC Turbo engine found in all grades.
The latest model now has an all-Turbo variant range with the engine producing more torque than before.
The Civic’s new powertrain also has an additional 37 PS and 66Nm, versus its predecessor’s 1.8L Naturally-Aspirated.
All trims of the Civic are paired with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).
The compact sedan also has distinct driving modes including Econ, Normal, and lastly, Sport, that is particularly found in the RS variant.
To make driving the latest Civic safe for everyone, Honda SENSING is now standard in all variants of the 11th generation model.
The following features are included:
- Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS)
- Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow (LSF)
- Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS)
- Road Departure Mitigation System with Lane Departure Warning (RDM with LDW)
- Auto High-Beam (AHB)
- Lead Car Departure Notification System (LCDN) – New
The new Honda SENSING system uses a single monocular camera with a wider field of view combined with improved software.
This will make the recognition of vehicle, motorcycle, bicycle, pedestrian and road markings better.
The Honda’s G-force Control (G-CON) Collision Safety Body that enhances impact absorption for the added protection of passengers in the event a collision occurs.
In addition, the latest Civic has advanced safety features that are now available across all variants like Speed Sensing Door Locks, Multi-View Reverse Camera, and Keyless Entry System.
The Side Curtain Airbags, Honda LaneWatch Camera, and the Walk Away Auto Door Lock function, meanwhile, are exclusive on the RS variant.
Furthermore, other features such as the Driver and Front Passenger Airbags, Side Airbags, Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), Hill Start Assist (HSA), Emergency Stop Signal (ESS), Child Lock, ISOFIX Child Seat Anchor, Security Alarm, and immobilizer are all included across all variants.
Pricing, availability, colors
The 11th generation All-New Civic is now available at all 37 Honda Cars dealerships nationwide and comes in five colors:
- Morning Mist Blue Metallic (new color; V Turbo CVT Honda SENSING and S Turbo CVT Honda SENSING)
- Meteoroid Grey Metallic (new color; RS Turbo CVT Honda SENSING, V Turbo CVT Honda SENSING, and S Turbo CVT Honda SENSING)
- Ignite Red Metallic (exclusively for RS Turbo CVT Honda SENSING)
- Platinum White Pearl (RS Turbo CVT Honda SENSING and V Turbo CVT Honda SENSING only) – for an additional PhP 20,000
- Lunar Silver Metallic (exclusively for S Turbo CVT Honda SENSING)
Notably, Honda is offering the chance to choose Platinum White Pearl for all variants at no additional cost until November 30, 2021.
Customers who will reserve the All-New Civic V Turbo CVT Honda SENSING variant until December 31, 2021 are likewise entitled to a free Modulo Trunk Tray and Modulo Exhaust Pipe Finisher on top of all other promotions offered for the month of the vehicle release until January 31, 2022.
Below are all the available variants of the All–New Honda Civic with their corresponding Suggested Retail Prices:
- S Turbo CVT Honda SENSING – PhP 1,290,000
- V Turbo CVT Honda SENSING – PhP 1,498,000
- RS Turbo CVT Honda SENSING – PhP 1,690,000
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