Philippines

Best Premium Smartphones in the Philippines above P30,000

January 2021 Edition

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If you’re looking for the very best high-end smartphones available, you’ve come to the right place! Every month, GadgetMatch updates this list with the finest devices money can buy, no matter how much they cost.

Updated monthly, this list takes every newly launched flagship costing more than PhP 30,000 into consideration, but doesn’t discount the smartphones that continue to make an impact since their launch last year.

Here they are in no particular order:

Mate 40 Pro

Huawei Mate 40 Pro (PhP 55,999)

The Huawei Mate 40 Pro is everything you’ve come to expect from Huawei’s flagship Mate line — fantastic hardware and smart AI. Of course, there is the lingering issue of zero access to Google Mobile Services, but Huawei has done all it can to mitigate this. A change in leadership in the US provides hope but it’s not something we would hang our hats on.

WATCH: Huawei Mate 40 Pro Unboxing and Review

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (PhP 35,990)

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is meant to be a sub-flagship smartphone but its pricing still lands it on our premium category — something we probably need to revisit sooner than later. That said, this is a GadgetMatch favorite. It has all the “necessities” of a flagship smartphone in a plastic, easy-t0-grip build and is just an easy recommendation for people who can’t spend north of PhP 40,000 on a smartphone.

REVIEW: Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 (PhP 109,990)

This is about as premium and as cutting edge as it gets. Samsung followed up its Galaxy Z Fold with a much more refined and polished Galaxy Z Fold2. It smoothens the rough edges of the first generation device and the result is what probably is the best foldable on the market right now.

WATCH: Galaxy Z Fold2 Review

iPhone 12 series (starts at PhP 43,990)

Design-wise not much has changed for the iPhones, but that’s not where you should be looking. Not only does the A14 chip deliver the usual performance bump, the cameras are also reportedly better and all these iPhones can now access 5G. It also helps that there’s four of them to choose from so there’s likely an iPhone just for you.

WATCH:
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Buyer’s Guide
Unboxing iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max

ASUS ROG Phone 3 (PhP 54,995)

ASUS  doubled down on everything that made the previous generations of the ROG Phone great and gave us yet another spec-monster. Maxed-out specs, maxed-out mobile gaming. It has more competition in the mobile gaming smartphone space this year, but it’s still firmly ahead of everyone else in the pack.

REVIEW: ASUS ROG Phone 3

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (PhP 67,990)

The Snapdragon 865 Plus vs Exynos 990 hullabaloo notwithstanding, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra continues to represent the best that the Galaxy Note line has to offer. The S Pen’s latency has improved and the cameras are a refined version of the S20 Ultra. Galaxy Note loyalists will find that everything they love are still here — improved and refined.

WATCH: Galaxy Note 20 Ultra Review

Huawei P40 Pro+ (PhP 69,990)

The term “feels premium” gets thrown around too much needlessly. This phone has a legitimate claim to that. One touch and you’ll feel right away that you’re holding something luxurious. You can’t say that about every phone. Oh and, definitely go for the white one.

REVIEW: Huawei P40 Pro+

 

OnePlus 8 Pro (PhP 45,990)

OnePlus is now firmly in the premium flagship category. OnePlus phones have traditionally been pretty darn great with a lot of the focus being on just how fast it feels. On the OnePlus 8 series, it addresses a few things that were missing — the addition of wireless charging and an improvement to its long-time “weakpoint”, its cameras.

REVIEW: OnePlus 8 Pro

Huawei P40 Pro (PhP 50,990)

Huawei still has US government and Google problems, but they have come a long way since the ban last year. The company has found ways to bring or at least give you a way to download frequently used apps over to the AppGallery. That, along with their usual top-tier hardware, earns it a spot on this list. You’ll just have to make do with browser versions of certain Google apps for the time being.

REVIEW: Huawei P40 Pro

vivo X50 Pro (PhP 39,999)

A gimbal system on a smartphone camera? Now that sounds new! Not only did vivo make a flagship-grade smartphone with an innovative camera system, they also made sure all the rear cameras are actually useable. Elsewhere on the phone, it performs day-to-day tasks with ease and also supports 5G connectivity.

REVIEW: vivo X50 Pro

News

ASUS Zenfone 8 Series: Price and availability in the Philippines

Pre-orders come with a freebie!

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Zenfone 8 Flip

Yes, they’re back for real! After skipping a couple of generations, ASUS is bringing back the Zenfone to the Philippines. They’re bringing over both Zenfone 8 Series phones — the Zenfone 8 and Zenfone 8 Flip!

Both phones are flagship level being powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor. But they’re pretty different. Here’s a quick look at their specs side by side.

Zenfone 8

Zenfone Flip 8

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
Display 5.9” Samsung AMOLED, 120Hz 6.67” Samsung AMOLED, 90Hz
OS Android 11, Zen UI 8 Android 11, Zen UI 8
Configuration 6GB + 128GB

8GB +128GB

8GB + 256GB

16GB + 256GB

*No storage expansion

8GB +256GB

*Up to 2TB storage expansion via MicroSD

Battery 4,000mAh 5,000mAh
Cameras 64MP Sony IMX686

12MP Ultra-wide

12MP front-facing

64MP Sony IMX686

12MP Ultra-wide

8MP telephoto

*Flip camera module

The Zenfone 8 is unique in that it offers flagship capabilities in a compact body. The phone has a 5.9″ display Samsung AMOLED display. For comparison, the closest thing to it overall is the iPhone 12 mini which has a 5.4″ display.

Watch our Zenfone 8 review

 

Meanwhile, the Zenfone 8 Flip is ASUS sticking to their guns and offering something unique in the flagship segment. As the name suggests, this has the Flip camera module. So when taking selfies, you’re essentially using the best cameras on the phone that’s typically only on the rear for every other flagship.

Read our Zenfone 8 Flip Unboxing and First Impressions

Zenfone 8 Flip

Price and availability

The ASUS Zenfone 8 Series is available for pre-order starting May 14, 2021 at official ASUS Concept Stores,
accredited online and offline shops. Successful pre-orders will get a free Rhinoshield Solidsuit Hardcase and a JBL Go 3.

Pricing are as follows:

  • ASUS Zenfone 8 Flip, 8GB + 256GB, Galactic Black and Glacier Silver — PhP 39,995
  • Zenfone 8, 16GB + 256GB, Obsidian Black — PhP 39,995
  • Zenfone 8, 8GB +128GB, Obsidian Black and Horizon Silver — PhP 34,995
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Deals

MSI laptops up for huge discounts in May

You get a free gaming bag on some models too

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MSI is starting May with a big bang thanks to an exclusive sale and promo for select laptops. From May 1 to June 13, customers can get big savings of up to PhP 17,005 and even score a free gaming backpack on purchase of select MSI laptops.

Participating in the promo are MSI’s selection of gaming laptops: GL75, GF63, and GF65 Thin. MSI is also including the Modern 14, a laptop geared for professionals and creatives.

Save up on MSI’s gaming laptops

Customers can save up to PhP 17,005 and get a free gaming bag on every purchase of the GL75. The gaming laptop is one of the best value out there, coming with respectable specs to get gamers going. Inside, there is a 10th-generation Intel Core i7 processor coupled with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650Ti. It also comes with a 17.3 FHD IPS display with 144Hz refresh rate. Of course, this won’t be an MSI laptop without the cooler boost 5 and red backlit SteelSeries keyboard.

Meanwhile, the ever dependable GF63 series can be had with up to PhP 14,005 off their prices. The savings stack up from the cheap to expensive models:

  • 868PH (15.6-inch 144Hz FHD IPS display; Intel Core i7-10750H + NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti; 8 GB RAM; 256 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD) — from PhP 69,995 to PhP 59,250 with free gaming backpack
  • 869PH / 1269LA (15.6-inch 144Hz FHD IPS display; Intel Core i7-10750H + NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650Ti; 8 GB RAM; 512 GB SSD) — from PhP 69,995 to PhP 58,250 with free gaming backpack
  • 843PH / 1099LA (15.6-inch 144Hz FHD display; Intel Core i5-10300H + NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650Ti; 8 GB RAM; 512 GB SSD) — from PhP 61,995 to PhP 47,990 with free gaming backpack
  • 896PH (15.6-inch 144Hz FHD display; Intel Core i5-10300H + NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650Ti; 8 GB RAM; 256 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD) — from PhP 61,995 to PhP 48,990 with free gaming backpack
  • 1083PH (15.6-inch 144Hz FHD display; Intel Core i5-10300H + NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650Ti; 8 GB RAM; 1 TB HDD) — from PhP 48,995 to PhP 43,995

Free MSI gaming bags are also up for grabs with every purchase of the GF65 Thin, the award-winning gaming laptop that packs the latest NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 series graphics card.

MSI Modern 14: laptop for the professionals

Finally, professionals can take home a dependable laptop for their daily tasks at lower price thanks to the new low price of PhP 35,995 with the MSI Modern 14. This laptop is an all AMD laptop, featuring the latest Ryzen 5 4500U with Radeon integrated graphics. It also comes with a 14-inch FHD display and a respectable 8 GB of RAM topped by 512 GB of SSD storage.

To know more about MSI’s latest promo, visit their website today.

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News

realme 8, realme 8 Pro: Price and availability in the Philippines

Dare to buy

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realme 8 pro

The latest in realme’s number series — the realme 8 and the realme 8 pro — have now arrived in the Philippines and like usual, they come with discounts at launch.

Before we dive into the pricing details, let’s first take a quick look at the two phones.

Both phones have a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with Full HD+ resolution and an in-display fingerprint scanner. The refresh rate is still 60Hz, but there’s support for always-on display. They run on realme UI 2.o based on Android 11 out-of-the-box.

realme 8 pro

The pair has a super slim body and an infinite bold design with the AG-Crystal process. Essentially, the back is made of plastic. The rear of the phone has realme’s slogan “dare to leap” engraved and it’s massive.

The realme 8 Pro is powered by a Snapdragon 720G processor with up to 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. On the rear is a quad-camera setup consisting of a 108-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 2-megapixel macro sensor, and a 2-megapixel portrait lens.

Backing these internals is a 4500mAh battery with 50W fast charging. realme claims it can charge the full battery in 47 minutes.

On the other hand, the realme 8 sports a MediaTek Helio G95 processor with up to 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. The rear gets a 64-megapixel primary camera, while the other three sensors are the same as the Pro variant. Both the phones have a 16-megapixel front camera for selfies. Backing these internals is a 5000mAh battery that supports 30W fast charging.

realme 8

Price and availability

The realme 8 Pro retails for PhP 16,990. | Buy from Lazada

Meanwhile, the realme 8 will set you back by PhP 13,990.| Buy from Lazada

There’s a PhP 1,000 worth of discount on Lazada starting May 12 at 12 midnight for both phones.

 

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