Philippines

Best Budget Smartphones (Philippine 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 this entire year, there have been a few surprisingly good entry-level handsets coming out lately, as well. So good, in fact, that we had to reassess our entire list.

Here they are in no particular order:

Huawei Nova 2i / Honor 9i / Mate 10 Lite (PhP 14,999)

Huawei once again confuses us with their elaborate naming scheme, but one thing is for certain: The Nova 2i is easily one of the best smartphones you can find in this price range. A total of four cameras (two in front and two at the back) and a near-borderless display are standout features at this level.

REVIEW: Huawei Nova 2i

LG Q6 (PhP 12,990)

How often do we see a near-borderless display on a budget-friendly smartphone? As of now, it’s still uncommon. Thanks to LG, we’re seeing FullVision on the Q6, and it’s stunning at this price point. Along with it comes a power-efficient processor, high-grade aluminum frame, and triple-card slots.

REVIEW: LG Q6

ASUS ZenFone 4 Max (PhP 9,995)

It doesn’t get much more complete than this below PhP 15,000. The ZenFone 4 Max has everything you’d hope for in a PhP 9,995 phone, including a dual-camera setup and large 5000mAh battery in a body that’s surprisingly compact. Once its cleaner version of ZenUI arrives, this will be one tough entry to kick out.

REVIEW: ASUS ZenFone 4 Max

Xiaomi Mi A1 (PhP 12,000)

Putting stock Android on a Xiaomi handset is a match made in heaven. Being the first of its kind, the Mi A1 offers consistent software updates, a surprisingly good dual-camera setup, and the great battery life you’d expect from this brand. This is the phone for Xiaomi fans and Android purists alike!

REVIEW: Xiaomi Mi A1

OPPO A71 (PhP 8,990)

If you’re on a tight budget and simply want a smartphone that’s fast enough to get everyday tasks done, it doesn’t get much better than the OPPO A71. It gives up OPPO’s signature selfie branding in exchange for a sleek, no-frills design and space for two SIM cards and a microSD card at the same time.

REVIEW: OPPO A71

Updates as of November:

  • Replaced Huawei GR3 2017 with Nova 2i
  • Replaced Xiaomi Mi Max 2 with Mi A1

Updates as of October:

  • Replaced Vivo Y53 with OPPO A71

Updates as of September:

  • Replaced Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X with Mi Max 2
  • Replaced OPPO A57 with the LG Q6
  • Replaced ASUS ZenFone 3 Max 5.5 with ZenFone 4 Max

[irp posts=”19162″ name=”Best Budget Smartphones below $300″]

News

Smart rollouts 5G service in key Visayas, Mindanao areas

Look out for Smart’s 5G in Boracay, Cebu, Iloilo and Davao

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Telcos in the Philippines like Smart and Globe are preparing for the next big thing in cellular network — 5G. As a matter of fact, Smart’s 5G network is live now in select areas in the Philippines. Now, the telco is pushing ahead with a wider country rollout by expanding to select areas in Visayas and Mindanao.

Key areas where Smart is expanding its next-gen network include select vicinities of Boracay, Cebu, Iloilo, and Davao. The telco now has more 5G coverage than ever, building on the areas where the network is now live. Up until the expansion to Visayas and Mindanao, Smart’s 5G network is mainly limited to Luzon. These Luzon areas include:

  • Makati Central Business District (CBD)
  • Bonifacio Global City CBD
  • Araneta City
  • Mall of Asia Bay Area
  • North Avenue in Quezon City
  • Taft Avenue in Manila
  • Ortigas CBD
  • Select areas along EDSA
  • New Clark City in Pampanga

Strategic locations in these provinces and cities also have Smart’s 5G coverage:

  • Cavite
  • Laguna
  • Rizal
  • Manila City
  • Quezon City
  • Makati
  • Taguig
  • Pasig
  • Mandaluyong
  • Marikina
  • Parañaque
  • Valenzuela
  • Caloocan
  • Navotas
  • San Juan
  • Pasay
Smart 5G signal marker in their own Makati headquarters

Smart 5G signal marker in their own Makati headquarters

Faster upgrade to 5G

To encourage more people to switch to 5G, Smart is now making the network available to all Prepaid subscribers. Back in July, only Smart Postpaid subscribers can take advantage of the network. Willing subscribers now only need a 5G-enabled SIM card and device to use Smart’s next-generation network.

Luckily, the telco partnered with big brands to bring more 5G devices in the country. Smart’s online store now has a selection of 5G-ready devices from Huawei, Samsung, realme, and vivo. These devices can also be had on Smart’s selection of postpaid plans.

And for the unconvinced, 5G-ready handsets are available for use on select Smart Stores in Metro Manila. Here, subscribers can take advantage of super-fast speeds and low latency upon leveraging Smart’s 5G networks.

It won’t be long again before Smart expands its 5G network to more areas in the country. The telco has been preparing for the arrival of 5G all along, beginning with speeds tests in 2016. Over the last two years, it had set up 5G base stations, launched lifestyle hubs, and enabled next-gen connectivity in critical places across Metro Manila.

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Accessories

realme Buds Q ‘for Gen Z’ now official

Budget TWS earphones that do not look like AirPods

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realme Buds Q

It’s always refreshing to see a pair of TWS earbuds that looking nothing like Apple AirPods. That’s exactly what the realme Buds Q is.

The realme Buds Q was designed by José Lévy — the cooperated designer of Hermès and the art director of the realme Design Studio. Like their entire product range, this is primarily targeted at the youth (Gen Zs).

realme says Lévy took inspiration from the round cobblestones found along the shores of Normandy beach where he spent most of his youth. He and the realme team iterated the design over 200 times. They fine-tuned the curvature of the G3 curve just to give users a cobblestone-like design that is mellow and comfortable.

On the specs end, the realme Buds Q has a 10mm Large Driver and Dynamic Bass Boost. With the charging case, you should get up to 20 hours of music playback. The buds could also go on for three hours of single continuous calling time, four and a half hours of single continuous music listening time, five hours of single continuous gaming time, and six hours of single continuous video streaming time.

Pricing and availability

The realme Buds Q will be available starting September 30 and retails for PhP 1,490. It comes as a freebie for the first 10 buyers of the realme 7 Pro and is discounted by PhP 500 on Lazada only on September 30.

SEE ALSO: realme 7 Pro review | realme 7 review | realme Buds Q hands-on


BUY THE REALME BUDS Q HERE

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News

realme 7 series launches in the Philippines

Another pair of noteworthy midrangers

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Well, that was fast. After launching the realme 7 series in India, the brand is now bringing its latest devices to other markets. Now, realme is bringing the realme 7 and realme 7 Pro to the Philippines.

The launch of the realme 7 series towards the end of September puts it almost within six months of launching the popular realme 6 series into the country. By all aspects, the realme 7 seriesis a marginal improvement over the realme 6 series. However, this upcoming smartphone is a likely contender for the best value midranger again, thanks to its specs and competitive pricing.

realme 7 Pro

Upfront, the 90Hz refresh rate has been retained on the 6.4-inch FHD+ AMOLED display. A Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G is now powering the device. Also new for the realme 7 Pro is faster wired charging thanks to 65W SuperDart charge that can charge the smartphone from 0 to 100% percent in just 34 minutes.

The quad cameras also got some upgrades. The newer and bigger IMX682 64MP imaging sensor replaces the one on the realme 6 Pro. The rest of the setup practically remains the same. However, the quad-camera setup now resides on a refined camera bump design that looks in line with other midrangers released recently.

The secondary ultra-wide selfie camera is gone now. In place, realme bumped the primary selfie camera to 32MP, which is double the resolution of the realme 6 Pro.

realme is also touting the 7 Pro as the first smartphone in the world to receive a TÜV Rheinland Smartphone Reliability Verification. We don’t exactly know what this certification does to a smartphone, but the brand is touting a much reliable device for everyday use.

realme 7

The realme 7 has a 6.5-inch LCD display with a 90Hz refresh rate and Gorilla Glass 3 protection. Powering the phone is a MediaTek Helio G95 processor with up to 8GB RAM and 128GB storage.

It includes the same camera setup that’s found on the elder sibling. However, it gets a bigger 5000mAh battery with 30W fast charging. realme claims it can fully charge the phone within 65 minutes. For authentication, a side-mounted fingerprint scanner is provided.

Pricing and availability

The realme 7 series will be available nationwide starting September 30. Pricing and special offers are as follows:

realme 7 pro (8GB+128GB) — PhP 17,990
realme 7 (8GB+128GB) — PhP 14,990

Purchase the realme 7 Pro in stores nationwide from September 30 to October 4, 2020 to get an automatic umbrella and a realme Band worth PhP 2,390.

Home Credit

  • Starting September 30
  • realme 7 8+128 and realme 7 Pro 8+128 are available via 0% interest installment plans of 6 and 9 months.
  • Special Offer: First 10 purchasers of the realme 7 Pro will be getting free realme Buds Q worth PhP 1,490, while the first 10 purchasers of a realme 7 will get free Buds Classic worth PhP 590.

E-Commerce Partner: Lazada

  • September 30, 1PM
  • First 200 purchasers of realme 7 Pro via the dedicated product page will get free realme Buds Q worth Php1,490
  • realme 7 is PhP 500 off on September 30
  • realme Buds Q is PhP 500 off on September 30

Credit Card Installment

  • 6 and 12 mos 0% interest via all major credit cards in participating stores nationwide

SEE ALSO: realme 7 Pro review | realme 7 review | realme Buds Q hands-on


BUY THE REALME 7 PRO HERE
BUY THE REALME 7 HERE

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