Let’s be honest here: Flagship smartphones are not all that. They come with hefty price tags, and most certainly can be overkill to the basic needs of some consumers. Not everyone needs the latest Galaxy or iPhone. What’s the next best thing? Midrange smartphones. Better yet, this list of midrangers might be tailored just for you with a MYR 1,500 cap, so you’ll get bang for your buck.
Do be warned though, some of these smartphones are truly no-brainers for their respective price tags.
Huawei Nova 3i (MYR 1,249)
This smartphone could very well be the most attractive one on this list. Fresh off the shelf earlier last month, the Huawei Nova 3i takes design cues from the company’s flagship twilight-colored P20 Pro. Not to forget, this sharp-shooting quad-cam beast screams premium with its glass design.
ASUS ZenFone 5 (MYR 1,299)
ASUS is looking well oiled now with its latest ZenFone series. The ZenFone 5 has proven to be a worthy contender among midrange smartphones in 2018. This time, the company has even opted to keep bloatware to themselves, with only core Android apps pre-installed. Coupled with a solid set of cameras and more natural-looking selfies, this phone is worth your attention.
OPPO F7 (MYR 1,299)
OPPO has had a long history of promoting its selfie-centric devices. If selfies are your thing, the OPPO F7 is most likely your best bet for a midrange smartphone. The AI-equipped front-facing camera is excellent for the crisp selfies you need. The F7 is quite the endurance champ too with its 3400mAh battery, so if you take a ton of selfies yourself, you’ll know what to do.
VIVO V9 (MYR 1,199)
This is the other selfie warrior on this list. The VIVO V9 has only contributed to the company’s rise to fame in recent months with what it offers. Stutters and lag are the least of your worries with the solid Snapdragon 626 processor and the ample 4GB of RAM. The V9’s dual rear cameras and 24-megapixel selfie camera among everything else, make it a strong option in this spectrum.
Nokia 7 Plus (MYR 1,499)
Like stock Android? Look no further. All the nostalgia surrounding Nokia and its great comeback makes the Nokia 7 Plus all the more attractive to have in your hand. The dual rear cameras’ optical zoom capabilities, powerful Snapdragon 660 processor, and whopping 3800mAh battery all make it hard to turn your back on this one.
Samsung Galaxy A6+ (MYR 1,299)
If Samsung can produce the great Galaxy S9 series, you wouldn’t be expecting less from their midrange offerings. Enter the Galaxy A6+. Packed with Samsung’s signature Super AMOLED display at 6 inches, media consumption will be a more common activity. The main 16-megapixel shooter of the two rear cameras has a bright aperture of f/1.7, and the 24-megapixel selfie cam packs a punch, too.
Xiaomi Mi A2 (MYR 999)
Xiaomi’s second-ever stock Android handset shouldn’t be overlooked. Yet another budget smartphone running stock Android, the Mi A2 has been promised two years of software updates by the company. The dual rear camera setup has been upgraded from its predecessor, and the front facing 20-megapixel camera coupled with an LED flash provides much-needed assistance under low light.
Razer Game Store hits Malaysia and the Philippines this weekend
In time for Singles’ Day
Remember that partnership between Lazada and Razer to bring a new region-centric digital game store to Southeast Asia? Well, it’s finally making its way to Malaysia and the Philippines.
We first reported about this back in April when the Razer Game Store arrived in Singapore. An expansion for the rest of the region was promised then, but we’re only seeing it come to fruition now.
Beginning November 11, which happens to be Singles’ Day and the start of Lazada’s major 11.11 sale, anyone with access to the online store in Malaysia and the Philippines can purchase from a wide selection of PC games.
This adds to the aforementioned Singapore store, as well as the one offered for Thailand, bringing the total in the region to four. Teaming up with Lazada means there are multiple ways to purchase the titles, minus the hassle of exchange rates and uncertainty with authenticity.
Apple iPhone XR available for pre-order on October 19
We’re finally on the cusp of getting a more affordable iPhone. All six colors of the iPhone XR will be available for pre-order starting October 19, 12:01 am (GMT+8) on apple.com/sg and the Apple Store app.
The iPhone XR was launched alongside the iPhone XS and XS Max last month, offering the same flagship features as its high-end brothers have but with a few differences here and there.
The same A12 Bionic chip with next-generation Neural Engine — one of the most powerful chipsets found in a smartphone today — powers the iPhone XR. It allows for better gaming and camera performance, a more immersive AR experience, and more efficient processing resulting in longer battery life compared to previous generations.
Instead of OLED, the iPhone XR’s display will be LCD — a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina display — the most advanced of its kind according to Apple. It’s also an all-glass phone that supports wireless charging, and is wrapped with aluminum around the edges instead of stainless steel. The body is water-resistant with a rating of IP67, and is safe from everyday spills including coffee, tea, and beer. Liquid damage is not covered under Apple’s warranty, however.
In the camera department, the iPhone XR sports the same wide-angle lens found on the iPhone XS and XS Max, but doesn’t come with the 2x telephoto zoom lens. You can still achieve that bokeh effect through Portrait Mode, thanks to internal improvements to the ISP, Neural Engine, and software algorithms. In front, the notch that houses the latest TrueDepth camera system also enables Portrait Mode and Portrait Lighting, plus Face ID for security and authentication.
In Singapore, the iPhone XR will be available in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB storage models in black, white, blue, yellow, coral, and (PRODUCT)RED starting at SG$ 1,229 (US$ 892) beginning Friday, October 26 at 8:00 am.
It will also be available in more than 50 countries and territories on the same date, including Malaysia, India, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Other countries in Southeast Asia like Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam will get the iPhone XR starting November 2.
Through Apple GiveBack, customers can trade in their eligible device for an Apple Store Gift Card or a refund of up to SG$ 850 on their purchase. Trade-in values will vary based on the condition and model of your smartphone.
Vivo Y81i arrives as affordable full-screen smartphone
Notch and all
Vivo may be becoming more aggressive in the midrange and premium segments, but that doesn’t mean they’re letting go of the budget range just yet.
The Y81i is a testament to that, and it just unveiled itself in Malaysia. It’ll retail for MYR 599, which converts to around US$ 144.
It’s similar to the recently launched Y81 in a lot of ways, including the notched 6.22-inch 720p display, 13- and 5-megapixel rear and front cameras, and 3260mAh battery.
The main differences — and reason why this model is cheaper — is the lower-end MediaTek MT6761 processor, 2GB of memory, and 16GB of storage for the Y81i.
There’s no fingerprint scanner on board, but it does come with face recognition for quick unlocking.
The available colors are black and red. No word yet when this will reach other countries.
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