Best Smartphones

His AND Hers: Picking the right Samsung foldable for you

Is it the Z Fold 3 or the Z Flip 3 that’s right for you?



My husband and I have long been at odds with each other when it came to phones. As an iPhone user who’s chest-deep into the Apple ecosystem, getting an Android phone feels rather blasphemous to me. Meanwhile, as someone who enjoys using the Android interface, my husband Alvin has been quite the Samsung loyalist ever since he got one of the earlier versions of the Note. 

But there was something about this year’s Samsung releases that got even my usually-Apple-focused-interest piqued. Let’s face it: Both of the third iterations of the Z Fold and Z Flip are good looking phones. When both models landed at home, all my former biases against foldables went out the window. Gimmicky? No, not anymore. You get a lot of function with form and it was hard not to get excited – even for me.

Her choice

My first instinct was to gravitate towards the Z Flip 3 right away because of its aesthetic. Yes, I used that word. How millennial of me. The phone is just absolutely chic, especially in the cream color way. However, I tried the Z Fold 3 first for the sake of getting a feel of it. You know what they say, don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. Also, a friend from Samsung told me that I seem to be more of a Fold girl because of the kind of work that I do on the go.

And she’s right.

The Fold for a content creator

The Fold 3 gave me so much freedom in getting work done while outdoors or sitting in a car on the way to my appointments. Not gonna lie, having the option of a tablet-sized screen really makes a world of difference even when watching Netflix or reading an e-book in the middle of a traffic jam. 

Typing up and editing articles while at a coffee shop is also easier with the Fold 3. I open it halfway to activate Flex Mode, using one side as a keyboard. If you have an S-Pen, you can even watch videos as you take notes on the lower half of the screen. 

It’s truly a powerful phone and I love how you can really feel that as you use it. But with great power comes a bit more weight – I found it to be a little too heavy. Typing on the Fold 3 is a tad cumbersome for my tiny hands. Sure, there’s the front display but somehow, it’s too narrow and the keyboard feels a little cramped. I prefer using my messaging apps on the main screen with the phone resting on top of a table. The keyboard that’s split into each half of the screen works well for me and I’m fine typing longer messages on it as long as I don’t have to hold the phone upright too. 

The Flip and nostalgia

The Fold can do so much for me and I love it. But truth be told, I do find myself leaning towards the Flip 3. Again, because of its looks, sure. Though there’s really something rather exciting about a phone that’s a lot more compact. A phone that gives you some nostalgia for that time when ending a call meant snapping a phone shut. I miss it. There was much more flair back then when it came to something as simple as ending a call. 

I love how the Flip 3 helps me take photos in a more convenient way. Folding it at a 90-degree angle, I can let it stand on its own. No more lugging around a phone tripod. I also enjoy using the split-screen mode. Sure, I can also do this with the Fold where I can even have 4 apps on the screen at the same time but I find that splitting a screen into two is more than enough for me. I am, after all, easily distracted. Let’s not make it worse. I love browsing Instagram and opening up Google Chrome to search for places or clothing featured in some of my favorite influencers’ posts.

The size is also a huge plus. I do love big purses but with the latest trend being micro bags, it makes a lot of sense to have a phone that can fit in most of them – in women’s pockets too. Let’s face it, they’re always made to be much smaller with the Fold 3 hardly fitting in any of mine. 

Using the Flip’s cover display to take selfies is also rather fun. It’s a good size to be able to frame shots better. The same cover display also helps me get to my notifications and read a bit of the messages I got without having to open up the phone’s main display.

His choice

As for Alvin, he was also a little torn between the two phones at first. But of course, we always have favorites. For him, a phone is also something that he needs a lot for his demanding job. He goes from managing one of the biggest teams in their department to going through thick and often times tedious paperwork.

He also needs to be in a lot of meetings, some via Zoom and some in person – with masks on, of course. Work even seeps through the weekend, even while we’re on our dates. So he really enjoys gadgets that allow him to quickly tend to work emergencies. Thankfully, I’m quite the understanding wife who’s also probably trying to squeeze in a few work emergencies of my own while he’s tending to his.

The Flip for the weekends

One thing my husband enjoyed with the Flip is its size when it’s folded. Sure, the Fold also fits in his pockets but the Flip is rather comfortable there. Also reminiscent of the days when everyone had a Motorola Razr – his was silver and I had the gold, Dolce and Gabanna limited edition – he admits that the phone really does bring you back to the early 2000s. 

As someone who’s not that into selfies, the flex mode camera function is lost on him. However, he did note that Zoom calls on the Flip are great. It’s the perfect phone for people who use a lot of social media. He doesn’t really spend much time on such apps but loves to browse photos of dogs, nature, and buildings on Instagram to destress. He says the app fits perfectly on the screen which makes browsing even more pleasurable, unlike in the Fold which leaves a bit of dead space on either side of the main screen. 

It’s a great smartphone to take with you on weekend errands simply because of the size. There’s no denying its convenience while being able to do a lot of things for the owner.

The Fold for the office guy

The Fold is not short of nostalgia either. “I remember when I had the Nokia Communicator,” he said, rather fondly while typing on Flex Mode. “Everyone wanted one and it really made you feel like a professional. This gives off a similar vibe – but much much better and advanced.” See? We do have our biases and unique personalities to tend to. 

From multitasking on the main screen which doesn’t really feel too big in his massive hands, Alvin notes that the Fold also has a better battery life than the Flip. It’s something that he is truly particular with when it comes to phones as he also uses them for reading the news throughout the day. Weirdly enough, he also texts well in the narrow cover display.

Since his work requires him to go through a lot of documents – sometimes on the go – it also pays to have the big, main screen. It makes it harder to miss something. The under-display camera also works well on Zoom calls and the big screen has more space for you to see the people you’re in a meeting with.

Before, Alvin would have to bring his computer and later on his tablet with him whenever he needed to go out. Just in case work needs him and he needs to tend to things outside the office. Nowadays, it’s just him and the Fold 3 and it’s like giving him the best of both worlds.

Best Smartphones

2022 GadgetMatch Approved Smartphones

Smartphones that deserve the GadgetMatch Seal of Approval



GadgetMatch Approved

Admittedly, we haven’t reviewed all of the greatest and latest smartphones this 2022. That said, fifteen (15) of those smartphones were able to make the cut — particularly those with GadgetMatch’s Seal of Approval.

Reviewed by different members of the team with varying preferences and personalities, smartphones in this list weren’t limited to the premium line as it also tackles the budget and midrange segment.

This list is in descending order from most recently published.

iQOO 11

iQOO 11 5G

“The iQOO 11 5G is one of those phones that’s easy to recommend to just about anyone. It’s a borderline flagship smartphone. It looks sleek, it performs like a champ, and it captures photos you can be proud of sharing. Personally, I’m ready to crown this as the upper midrange king, usurping the OnePlus 10T for that title.” — Rodneil

READ MORE: iQOO 11 5G review: Better where it matters

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4

“The Galaxy Z Flip4 is a pure refinement of what was already a great piece of hardware. Being able to pack a lot of punch in such a compact and precisely-crafted piece of engineering marvel makes this phone stand out from the crowd.” — Vincenz

READ MORE: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 Review: 3 months of love and commitment

HONOR Magic4 Pro

“No doubt, the HONOR Magic4 Pro is one among 2022’s best all-rounder smartphones around. It offers the quintessential triple set of rear cameras that other “flagships” fail to deliver.” — Vincenz

“The HONOR Magic4 Pro and its accompanying devices are just tiny steps forward in what is an early phase to complete independence. As they are now, these are devices worthy of your attention.” — Rodneil


HONOR Magic4 Pro: My Best Concert Companion

GadgetSnaps: HONOR Magic4 Pro in Boracay

Bringing Back HONOR with Magic

realme 10

realme 10

“The realme 10 is solid. It’s certainly a 10 given the price to performance ratio. You’re getting a package that may not be stacked, but is undeniably solid. The realme 10 is a head turner, a good performer, and a decent moment capturer. It’ll take care of your needs with no problems whatsoever.”

READ MORE: realme 10 review: It’s a 10!


“For its price point, the new smartphone is a worthy purchase if you’re looking to game on a budget. And that’s without the additional frills you’re enjoying.” — Luigi

READ MORE: POCO M5 review: No need to break the bank


“The iQOO 9T provided more than what was expected in this price range: a flagship-grade mobile processor, fast and vibrant display, loud-enough stereo speakers, modest battery, fast AF charging, and even a decent set of cameras that other phone brands refuse to supply in their gaming smartphones.” — Vincenz

READ MORE: iQOO 9T review: The ultimate gaming phone killer?


“MVP voting will continue to be contentious, especially in the world of mid-range smartphones. At the end of the day, you just need a candidate you won’t regret voting for. The POCO X4 GT is that kind of candidate, a smartphone you’d be very happy to be choose as your GadgetMatch from day one.” — Karlo

READ MORE: POCO X4 GT Review: Midrange MVP?!

OnePlus 10T

Starting at $649 it’s in a unique position because it offers top notch specs and backs it up with a well thought out design and great features. The OnePlus 10T is very competitive.” — Michael Josh

WATCH HERE: OnePlus 10T Review: Lots to love, nothing to hate

READ MORE: OnePlus 10T 5G: 5 Best Things

Google Pixel 6a

Just like the phones that came before it the Pixel 6a still remains one of the best devices for folks who want an affordable Android smartphone. And it’s especially true this time around thanks to its high-end Tensor Chip from Google and more premium-looking design. Apart from that you’re also getting Pixel exclusive Android features, 3 years of guaranteed Android updates and 5 years of security updates.” — Michael Josh

WATCH HERE: Google Pixel 6a Review: Best Android for Less?

vivo X80 Pro

“The updates on the X80 Pro aren’t flashy or gimmicky, but solid improvements across the board. And alongside the likes of Samsung and Google, I can confidently say that vivo is another major player in the Android space. And the X80 Pro deserves even more attention.” — Michael Josh

WATCH HERE: vivo X80 Pro Unboxing and Review: Totally Underrated

Samsung Galaxy S22+

“The Galaxy S22+ is a smooth amalgamation of many other standout phones. It has the breathtaking display of Samsung phones, an overall footprint that feels like an iPhone 12/13 Pro Max, cameras that rival those that partner with notable camera brands, and much, much more. All of that comes in this package that looks and feels well-built on a phone that is easily an all-rounder performer.” — Rodneil

READ MORE: Samsung Galaxy S22+ review: Love at first touch

realme 9 Pro+

“The creative options brought by the Street Mode, the detail the Sony IMX766 sensor captures and stellar night shots it can produce, the realme 9 Pro+ proves that you don’t need fancy equipment to take good photos. For the most part, this phone is a decent daily driver. But when talking about photography, the realme 9 Pro+ can surely unleash the photographer in you.” — Andre

READ MORE: realme 9 Pro+: Your next street photography buddy

realme 9 Pro

realme 9 pro

“If it still isn’t obvious, the realme 9 Pro is a great catch. It brings some flagship-level features in the midranger segment.

It also has outstanding cameras along with photography modes that lets you create visual content that you can straight up use on your social media feed. You can’t go wrong with its ultra smooth display, highly competent processor with 5G connectivity and sufficient battery life. Even more-so if you’re into photography or content creation.” — Apple

READ MORE: realme 9 Pro: A midrange camera powerhouse  

Redmi Note 11

Redmi Note 11

“The Redmi Note 11 is a champ. At its price range, you’d be hard pressed to find anything better. It performs a tier higher than what it’s pricing suggests. It might just be the best under PhP 10,000 (around US$ 200) phone you can buy today.” — Rodneil

READ MORE: Redmi Note 11 review: Budget king at its best

Huawei P50 Pro

“If you’re that eager to own a smartphone with a superior set of cameras, astounding display and speakers, slim and lightweight design, flagship-grade performance with an efficient battery life, the P50 Pro is no doubt the best option for you. For now, the Huawei P50 Pro has one of (if not the) best cameras in a smartphone today.” — Vincenz

READ MORE: Huawei P50 Pro review: 5 topnotch cameras, 5 drawbacks

SEE ALSO: 2022 GadgetMatch Approved Devices

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Best Smartphones

Best budget smartphones of 2022

Bare minimum at its finest



Flagships may have ruled the smartphone chain this year but these budget smartphones stole the limelight one way or another. 

So we have this set of the best budget smartphones at GadgetMatch priced PhP 12,999 and below this year. We’ve raised the price range a bit higher due to inflation but we still guarantee that these are phones that won’t hurt your pocket and can still give you what you want and need. 

Here’s the new price guide:

  • Budget — around US$230/PhP 12,999 and lower
  • Lower Midrange — around US$450/PhP 24,999 and lower
  • Upper Midrange — around US$ 720/PhP 39,999 and lower
  • Premium — around US$ 750/PhP 40,000 and higher

Without further ado, sharing here the best budget smartphones in no particular order. 

Infinix Hot 20S

Known for offering great phones below PhP 10,000, Infinix does it again and this time with the Infinix Hot 20S (PhP 7,999/ US$ 139). This budget phone is a knockout for being one of the most affordable phones to offer a 120Hz display combined with powerful hardware that makes it a choice that’s solid for budget gaming. 

realme 10 

realme 10

The realme 10’s name is apt as it deserves a 10 given the price to performance ratio (PhP 12,999/ around US$ 235). Its design, especially the Clash White variant, is a definite head turner. You can even add that it’s a good performer sporting one of the top budget gaming chipsets and its 50MP camera captures great photos. This phone can really provide what you need and more. 

READ: realme 10 review: It’s a 10!

Redmi Note 11 

Redmi Note 11

It’s still surprising how much value for your money the Redmi Note 11 (PhP 9,999/ around US$ 180) has to offer. A very well rounded phone with a decent chipset, 90Hz AMOLED display, stereo speakers, 33W fast charging and even an ultrawide camera. It’s a budget phone which does more than just the basics.

READ: Redmi Note 11 review: Budget at its best

Wiko 10 

Wiko takes a spot with one of the biggest phones in this list with the Wiko 10 (PhP 7,399/ around US$ 135). This phone is set to take media consumption to greater heights with its big screen. There’s also plenty of room to store your downloaded series with its large storage capacity. Add its great battery performance to its strengths and this phone becomes a serious candidate for people on a budget or those looking for a secondary phone.

READ: WIKO 10 review: A competent new challenger

Narzo 50 5G 

Another competing phone at the top-end of this budget range is the Narzo 50 5G (PhP 12,999/ around US$ 235) . A phone that will make you think twice if you even need to spend more on a more expensive smartphone. This has everything you’re probably gonna need including and most especially, 5G connectivity. Enjoy movies with dual speakers, take decent photos or get your game on with a high refresh rate display, this phone will get you through it all.

vivo Y16 

vivo Y16

Just when you thought a budget smartphone couldn’t look premium, the vivo Y16 (PhP 8,999/ around US$ 163) came along. You’ll surely be dazzled by its Drizzling Gold variant that shines and changes its hues when hit by light perfectly. It also has a decent battery, hardware that can get the essentials done and large storage to store games and snapshots for the memories. 

READ: vivo Y16 review: The basics turned classy

Tecno Camon 19 

Most budget smartphones don’t really offer much when it comes to camera capabilities. The Tecno CAMON 19 (PhP 9,890/ around US$ 179) is one of the few camera focused phones in this price bracket. It’s not the most powerful in this segment, but admittedly, 64MP on a budget is pretty enticing. If getting the best snaps on a budget is your main concern, this might just be what you’re looking for.

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Best Smartphones

Best premium smartphones of 2022

A lot of familiar faces



Another year has come and gone. As with every year, the smartphone world has birthed a wide palette of winners. Naturally, every brand put their best foot forward in the flagship department. While this year’s releases features a lot of familiar faces, all the updates make for an impressive lineup that kept teasing valuable money from our pockets all year round. Now, as the year finally comes to a screeching halt, let’s go through the best premium smartphones released in 2022.

Also, to reflect the less than favorable state of the economy today, we’ve adjusted the best smartphones list according to the pricing and performance of smartphones today:

  • Budget — around US$230/PhP 12,999 and lower
  • Lower Midrange — around US$450/PhP 24,999 and lower
  • Upper Midrange — around US$ 720/PhP 39,999 and lower
  • Premium — around US$ 750/PhP 40,000 and higher

Honorable Mention: Xiaomi MIX Fold 2

But first, let’s see who just missed making the list. 

While the foldable segment is slowly building up beyond the usual suspects, it is still a notch away from becoming completely competitive. Still, more alternatives is always a good thing. Outside of Samsung, Xiaomi created the worthiest competitor for the foldable market. 

Simply put, the Xiaomi MIX Fold 2 is a powerhouse packed with the best specs of the year, while sporting one of thinnest form factors for its category. Unfortunately, the difficulty of getting the device outside of China keeps the MIX Fold 2 from completely upending Samsung’s dominance in the arena.

Honorable Mention: Huawei Mate 50 Pro

Mate 50 Pro Singapore

As for the slab phone market, one brand to look out for is Huawei. Coming off a rough couple of years, the Chinese smartphone brand is on a redemption arc to build itself back to the top of the food chain. While the P50 Pro has already turned our heads from last year to this year, the Mate 50 Pro is even more impressive.

Right off the bat, the new flagship has the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, already a huge plus for Huawei users. Armed with Ultra Aperture XMAGE camera and a remarkable design, there’s a lot to love from this phone.

WATCH: Get Google Apps on your Huawei Mate 50 Pro

vivo X80 Pro

Though vivo’s flagship won’t exactly turn heads, the X80 is a well-rounded package that most users can sink their teeth into. Waving the banner for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, the smartphone features a capable quad rear camera setup and a sizable 4700mAh battery.

In terms of price, the vivo X80 Pro hovers around the starting echelons of the flagship range. It will set you back by PhP 59,999, but it’s a decent price for a flagship these days.

WATCH: vivo X80 Pro Unboxing and Review

Xiaomi 12 Pro

Xiaomi 12 Pro

Technically, the Xiaomi 12 Pro debuted in the final days of 2021. However, everyone got their hands on it at the beginning of this year. Plus, given its slate of hardware, Xiaomi’s new flagship is a truly 2022 smartphone. 

Besides the design, there isn’t a lot to differentiate the Xiaomi 12 Pro from the vivo X80 Pro. One difference, though, is trading a periscope lens for a triple 50-megapixel rear camera. The former also features Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, a must-have for today’s smartphones. 

Additionally, the Xiaomi 12 Pro carries a much cheaper price tag, selling for PhP 48,999. The price puts it closer to upper midrange and, more importantly, below the vivo X80 Pro.

READ: Xiaomi 12 Pro review: Flagship in almost every aspect

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

The Galaxy Note series is dead. After a storied history, Samsung finally put the nail on the coffin of the famous (or infamous) phablet lineup. However, it will continue to live on through the Galaxy S22 Ultra, armed especially with the S Pen.

Together with a boxy frame and a stylus, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is a reincarnation. As its own device, the flagship is just packed. On display, it sports up to 240Hz sampling rate for games. On memory and storage, it goes up to 12GB of RAM and 1TB of internal storage. Finally, its rear camera setup features a 108-megapixel shooter. It has everything.

WATCH: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Hands-on: Note reborn!

Google Pixel 7 Pro

Make no mistake: The Google Pixel 7 Pro is just an upgrade of last year’s acclaimed Pixel 6 series. It’s quite an upgrade, though. The flagship features the sequel to Google’s Tensor chipset, an in-house processor designed to give the Pixel series its oomph. 

Off the bat, the premium flagship features a more premium design. It’s both classy and unique. With the processor’s machine learning capabilities, the Pixel 7 Pro puts cameras to the forefront. It has a wave of AI-supported software features to create stunning photos. 

Starting off at US$ 899, the Pixel 7 Pro once again proves itself as the Android flagship. Even if you already have the Pixel 6 series, the Pixel 7 series is just as tempting.

WATCH: Google Pixel 7 Pro Unboxing and First 24 Hours

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4

Besides Xiaomi’s honorable mention, Samsung is the only brand with two entries on the list. Given how the brand has two different ecosystems right now, the Galaxy Z Flip4 deserves it. Once again, the South Korean brand boasts its dominance in the foldable realm with an impressive outing.

Despite the thinner frame, the foldable phone still crams in the new Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, 8GB of RAM, and 512 GB of internal storage. While the Galaxy Z Fold4 might grant you more power, the Galaxy Z Flip4 is now an icon, thanks to its numerous appearances in pop culture. 

It starts at US$ 999.99.

READ: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 Review: 3 months of love and commitment

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max

We can’t say we’re surprised. Apple hit the ball out of the park with the iPhone 14 series. Finally shedding off the controversial camera notch design, the new flagship series introduced a new pill-shaped camera island, tucking away notifications in a dynamic style.

As for specs, the iPhone 14 Pro Max features the A16 Bionic chipset, an in-house processor that’s reportedly 40 percent faster than its competitors. Once again focusing on content creation, the premium flagship has a quad pixel camera capable of shooting brilliant photos and videos, overtaking its other siblings in the series. Plus, the entire series has a satellite-supported SOS feature, shooting off emergency messages even without coverage.

Of course, the iPhone 14 Pro Max costs quite a pretty penny, starting off at PhP 77,990. However, it’s the best flagship package you can get this year. 

WATCH: iPhone 14 Pro Max vs 13 Pro Max vs S22 Ultra: Camera Shootout

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