Best Upper-Midrange Smartphones in the Philippines from P20,000 to P30,000

May 2018 Edition



When premium phones are out of financial reach and entry-level handsets just don’t make your cut, something in between is the next best thing. This is our updated list of the best upper-midrange smartphones retailing from PhP 20,000 to PhP 30,000.

Formulating this category was tricky, since you can’t set an exact price and some of these devices are, in fact, the flagship phones of their respective brands. To simplify things, we chose a price range that simply sits between our other lists for best budget, midrange, and premium smartphones.

Here they are in no particular order:

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S (PhP 27,500)

We’re still amazed by the fact that the Mi Mix 2S is able to match the Huawei Mate 10 Pro and Apple iPhone X in imaging quality — well, at least based on DxOMark scores. The new Xiaomi flagship is what the original Mi Mix 2 should have been, with its excellent dual-camera system and wireless charging.

REVIEW: Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S

Nokia 7 Plus (PhP 21,990)

If you find the Nokia 6 too low-end and the Nokia 8 (or its more premium Sirocco sibling) beyond your budget, then there’s nothing better than the Nokia 7 Plus for fans of great value. Not only does it have dual main cameras with Zeiss optics, it also carries Android One on board, making it pure and free of bloatware.

REVIEW: Nokia 7 Plus

OnePlus 5T (PhP 26,990)

The OnePlus 5 was already a front-runner for our best smartphone awards in 2017, but the updated model takes it up another notch with an even better 6-inch AMOLED display, improved camera system, and a price we’d still call perfectly fair. This will keep us happy until OnePlus’ next major release.

REVIEW: OnePlus 5T

OPPO R15 Pro (PhP 24,500)

Whether you like it or not, the screen notch is here to stay — at least for 2018 flagship phones. The R15 Pro is a great example of how OPPO can take an increasingly common feature and still make the device look gorgeous. AI integration in the cameras is back, and so are the stellar color options.


Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018) (PhP 26,990)

Sure, the prices may have gone up since this time last year, but Samsung’s Galaxy A series certainly knows how to pack as many features as it can into an upper-midrange handset. The Galaxy A8 (2018) in particular comes with an Infinity Display, dust and water resistance, and a powerful processor to operate all its advanced software functions.

REVIEW: Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018)

Updates as of May 2018:

  • Replaced OPPO R11s with R15 Pro

Updates as of April 2018:

  • Replaced Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 with Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S
  • Replaced Huawei P10 with Nokia 7 Plus

Updates as of February 2018:

  • Replaced LG G6 with Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018)


Xiaomi Redmi S2 makes surprise landing in the Philippines

Xiaomi’s most affordable dual-camera phone



Surprise, surprise! After making a successful debut in China last week, Xiaomi’s affordable Redmi S2 smartphone is finding its way to the Philippines, making the archipelago the first country outside of China to receive it.

We already have the Redmi 5A and Redmi Note 5 to drool over, so what makes the Redmi S2 special? Let’s say it’s somewhere in between the two aforementioned bestsellers — both in price and features.

For starters, it comes with a 5.99-inch 720p display with a reliable Snapdragon 625 chipset and 3GB of memory to push pixels. For capacities, you get 32GB of expandable storage and a 3080mAh battery.

But the real star here is the camera setup. There are two on the back: one has a 12-megapixel image sensor while the other has 5 megapixels. Put them together, and you get crisper photos and access to fun features like portrait and HDR modes. Just as cool is the AI-assisted 16-megapixel front camera, which even has its own LED flash.

And in case you’re wondering, there’s a fingerprint sensor on the back panel and Android 8.0 Oreo as its operating system (skinned with Xiaomi’s MIUI 9 interface), unlike some phones in the price range.

The best part: All these come with a price of only PhP 7,990 (US$ 153). That’s a superb deal in this segment, and puts a lot of competitors to shame.

Availability begins once the Redmi S2 hits Lazada Philippines’ online store on June 4.

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Globe GoWatch and Play adds 2GB of data to your favorite promos

For streaming and gaming!



With the increasing demand for streaming services and mobile games, Globe is treating their prepaid subscribers to a new promo bundle that’ll let them play or watch on the go. If you’re a subscriber of GoSurf or GoSakto promos, you’ll get to enjoy additional mobile data.

With the GoWatch and Play promo bundle, select existing Globe promos will get extra 2GB of mobile data for video streaming and mobile gaming. The additional data can be used for streaming services, namely Netflix, HOOQ, YouTube, NBA, Cartoon Network, and Disney, while the supported games are Arena of Valor, Mobile Legends, Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, and Pokémon Go.

The free 2GB video and game access on mobile is available for the following promos:

  • GoSURF50
  • GoSURF299
  • GoSURF599
  • GoSURF999
  • GOSAKTO120
  • GOSAKTO140

To register, simply dial *143# or use the Globe Switch app that’s available on the Google Play Store. For more info about the promo bundle, you may read the FAQs listed on Globe’s website here.

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Honor 10 is coming to Southeast Asia

Launching later this month!



Fresh from its global launch in London, the new Honor 10 is going to be available in several Southeast Asian markets including Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

It sports the same features as the pricier Huawei P20: Kirin 970 with neural processing chip enabled, the latest EMUI 8.1 software based on Android 8.1 Oreo, a fingerprint sensor in front, and dual cameras. Two of the biggest differences are the lack of Leica branding and inclusion of a headphone jack.

Launch events have been scheduled in Singapore on May 21, Malaysia on May 22, and Thailand on May 23. In Vietnam, an intimate event for 20-30 fans to experience the new phone is scheduled on May 20. Pricing and availability in the respective countries have yet to be announced.

In Europe, the Honor 10 retails for EUR 399 (US$ 473) for the 64GB variant and EUR 449 (US$ 532) for the 128GB version.

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