Smartphones

All the foldable phones and how much you have to flex to get each one

A lot of $$$, basically

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We’re entering another technological era: The time of foldable smartphones. And no, I’m not talking about flip phones, no matter how cool those sound.

If you’re as confused as I am, this is all you need to know: For years, tech folks have been obsessed with foldable phones — with Samsung showing off a concept as early as 2014 — but it’s never really happened until this year.

All the bendy innovation comes at a price, though, that brings the famously expensive iPhone XS Max to shame. But, since price has never stopped anyone from liking weird stuff, I’ve rounded up all the foldable phones and added how much you’ll have to shell out to get one.

Royole FlexPai 

Talk about beating the big tech companies to the punch, Royole launched the first-ever commercially available folding smartphone in China.

At this year’s CES, Royole showcased a folding phone that features a bendable display. The FlexPai wasn’t the only interesting flexible screen display application we saw from Royole.

Not really surprised, though. This is the same company marketing a screen-fitted top hat for US$ 900 — which, TBH, is sort of worth it. 😂

Cost: US$ 1,200 or just US$ 250 shy of that iPhone XS Max. If you think that’s expensive, oh, you have no idea. 

Samsung Galaxy Fold

When Samsung finally unveiled its foldable phone at this year’s MWC, it was a 7.3-inch tablet that turns into a 4.3-inch phone by folding inward.

It has a total of six cameras on three different areas (there are so many phone sides now 😅).

Cost: US$ 1,980 or just about two reasonably priced 2018 smartphone flagships, because why get one phone when you can get yourself one that bends. 🤯

READ MORE: The Samsung Galaxy Fold is official!

Huawei Mate X

Huawei’s entry into the foldable phone race folds outward and utilizes a bar on the back side for triple-camera Leica shooters.

It’s an 8-inch tablet that turns into a phone with a 6.6-inch front screen and a 6.38-inch back screen.

Cost: EUR 2,299 or around US$ 2,600 which is exactly the amount of money I do not have for a smartphone. Fun fact, the same price tag will get you two and a half Louis Vuitton Speedy Monogram bags or around 24 bottles of Moet.

READ MORE: Huawei Mate X launches as world’s fastest foldable 5G phone

OPPO foldable prototype 

Not to be outdone and in true “if you can do it, we can do it, too!” fashion, OPPO also showed off a foldable device which looks a whole lot like Huawei’s Mate X.

Cost: Not coming to market… yet. OPPO admits that the cost of this phone is way too much for such a small market — finally, real talk from a multi-billion yuan company. 😅

READ MORE: OPPO showcases own foldable phone, but won’t sell it yet

TCL’s DragonHinge phones

Not to be outdone, TCL showcased a folding phone, well, sort of.

TCL unveiled the DragonHinge, which is a mechanism that will allow for even more foldable phones.

Cost: Phones with DragonHinge come with a 2020 shipping date so you can at least hold on to your cash until then.

READ MORE: TCL’s DragonHinge enables mobile devices to go foldable

LG V50 ThinQ with a case which is also technically something that folds 

LG hasn’t jumped on the foldable screen bandwagon but instead offers a foldable phone option with their Dual Screen case. It’s literally an accessory that turns your single-screened V50 into a foldable phone with double screens — perfect for those who can’t commit to these flexy phones.

Cost: No pricing yet, but surely a phone and a phone case would cost less than 24 bottles of Moet?

READ MORE: V50 ThinQ is LG’s first 5G smartphone, still a multimedia powerhouse

ZTE Nubia Alpha Wearable, basically a phone bent around your wrist

So sure, these phones fold, but what if your flex is more of a bend than a fold? Worry not, dear reader, 2019 tech has you covered.

ZTE’s Nubia Alpha wearable is sort of a smartwatch but is also almost a smartphone. It can house a 4G eSIM which means you can use it to call and text without pairing it to a phone!

Cost: EUR 549 for the basic 4G eSIM version, but there’s a luxxe 18-karat gold-coated version that retails for EUR 649.

READ MORE: ZTE Nubia’s Alpha wearable is basically a phone on your wrist

Philippines

Best Premium Smartphones in the Philippines above P30,000

March 2020 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:

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra (PhP 69,990)

All of Samsung’s new Galaxy S20 series belong in this price range. If you’re going to spend north of $600, might as well get the one with maxed-out specs, right? That’s exactly what the Galaxy S20 Ultra — the absolute best that Samsung has to offer right now in this form-factor. The numbers on the hardware are there but Samsung made sure to add key software features to appropriately take advantage of everything it has to offer.

WATCH HANDS-ON: Samsung Galaxy S20 series

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ (PhP 60,990)

The Samsung Galaxy Note series continues to set itself apart by being the premier smartphone that comes with a stylus. It doesn’t hurt that the smartphone is also pretty darn good at pretty much any other thing you might think of doing on a smartphone. While it’s not necessarily elite at one thing, it’s pretty darn good at everything.

REVIEW: Samsung Galaxy Note 10+

ASUS ROG Phone 2 (PhP 49,995)

Nobody asked but ASUS followed up their gaming smartphone. The ROG Phone 2 maxes out every imaginable spec all while maintaining the design language of its predecessor. While the older accessories work, ASUS still introduced a few new ones. Most notably the Kunai gamepad that makes the gaming phone look almost like a Nintendo Switch.

REVIEW: ASUS ROG Phone 2

Photo from @oneplus on Twitter

OnePlus 7T Pro (PhP 35,940)

The OnePlust 7T Pro didn’t get hyped as much because it was — in the words of many reviewers — only an incremental update from its predecessor. Make no mistake though, this is still a powerhouse of an Android phone is the owner of perhaps the smoothest, fastest Android UI today.

REVIEW: OnePlus 7T Pro

Huawei P30 Pro (PhP 45,990)

Yes, we are well aware that the Huawei Mate 30 Pro has been released. But one thing that the P30 Pro has over the Mate 30 Pro is Google Mobile Services that’s ready out-of-the-box. The Mate 30 Pro has superior hardware so far, but the hardware can only take you so far. The Mate 30 Pro is a fantastic smartphone, but if the software we expect aren’t readily available, it’s a tough sell.

REVIEW: Huawei P30 Pro

iPhone 11 Pro (PhP 67,990) & 11 Pro Max (PhP 73,990)

The iPhone 11 Pro made no leaps in design which is why it somewhat feels underwhelming. It does, however, make up for it with yet another faster than ever processor, and a much-improved camera system. No, Apple didn’t exactly “innovate” but the iPhone is still what you expect it to be — a smartphone who’s hardware and software just works.

UNBOXING: iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip (PhP 79,990)

The Galaxy Z Flip compares directly to the Motorola razr because of the way they fold. But on paper, the Galaxy Z Flip blows the Moto razr out of the water. There have also been plenty of reports that the Galaxy Z Flip has sold out in many markets (but lacking any actual figures). Regardless, this is easily the foldable smartphone that might actually serve well as your main phone.

WATCH: Galaxy Z Flip vs Moto razr

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Philippines

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

March 2020 Edition

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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:

Samsung Galaxy A71 (PhP 22,990)

Awesome screen, awesome camera, long-lasting battery life — that’s the LSS-inducing theme of the Galaxy A71 as it was being teased. Lo and behold, Samsung wasn’t lying. The phone certainly lives up to the hype and while specs-wise there may be cheaper options out there, the package that Samsung has put together is quite enticing.

REVIEW: Samsung Galaxy A71

Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro [6GB/128GB] (PhP 20,490)

The Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro is easily the best bang-for-your-back phone since it came out and continues to be so until today. The Snapdragon 855 chip is flagship level and its cameras also perform better than expected.

REVIEW: Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro

OPPO Reno 2 (PhP 28,990)

OPPO isn’t the first brand you think of when it comes to mobile videography, which is why the Reno2 is such a pleasant surprise. For people who want to test their mettle in creating videos, this is the next best option especially since most video-centric

REVIEW: OPPO Reno 2

OnePlus 6T (PhP 25,990)

Nearly two years old and still going strong. The OnePlus 6T remains one of the better options in this price point. We’d argue it has the cleanest, fastest, and smoothest implementation of Android and has always had top-of-the-line specs.

REVIEW: OnePlus 6T

Xiaomi Mi Note 10 (PhP 25,990)

Want to own the phone with the world’s first-ever 108MP camera in a penta-camera setup? That’s the main selling point of this phone. Xiaomi’s been making a strong push in mobile photography and this is the crème de la crème when it comes to smartphone cameras.

REVIEW: Xiaomi Mi Note 10

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite (PhP 29,990)

Finally. A Galaxy Note sans the gimmicks. The Galaxy Note line has always been a premium offering. And while this isn’t exactly budget, it’s still a lot more affordable than the usual stylus-paired smartphone from Samsung.

WATCH HANDS-ON: Samsung Galaxy Note 10

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Philippines

Best Midrange Smartphones in the Philippines from P10,000 to P20,000

March 2020 Edition

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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 midrange smartphones retailing from PhP 10,000 to PhP 20,000.

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, upper-midrange, and premium smartphones.

Here they are in no particular order:

Samsung Galaxy A50s (PhP 16,990)

If you’re a Samsung loyalist and the flagship Galaxies feel like they’re far, far away, this is the next best thing. The Samsung Galaxy A50s brings a lot of what you expect from a Samsung Galaxy but at a friendlier price.

REVIEW: Samsung Galaxy A50s

Nokia 7.2 (PhP 15,990)

Nokia’s hold on its fans is amazing. But best bet that despite HMD Global now handling the brand, the products have maintained what Nokia has been known for. Tough, quality handsets. The Nokia 7.2 is no different. It’s also a good option if you want a pure Android experience.

REVIEW: Nokia 7.2

Realme XT (PhP 16,990)

The Realme XT is our choice for best smartphone with a 64MP camera. It produces flagship-level photos, looks gorgeous, and provides great value overall. We’re glad this didn’t come out with a black variant because the XT feels like a special device, especially at this price point.

REVIEW: Realme XT

Redmi Note 8 Pro (PhP 12,990)

This is the most affordable smartphone with a 64MP camera. It’s insane that it’s available at this price point. What’s also quite unbelievable is that while the phone’s focus is mobile photography, it doesn’t compromise on performance and gaming.

REVIEW: Redmi Note 8 Pro

Realme 5 Pro (PhP 11,990/PhP 13,990)

This is another smartphone that’s easy to recommend. Both variants offer 128GB of storage and are equipped with quad-cameras. The main camera is also a 48MP shooter – on par with most flagships today. Now that’s fantastic value.

REVIEW: Realme 5 Pro

Honor 9X (PhP 12,490)

If you absolutely abhor notches then this might be the best option in this bunch. You get that full-screen goodness thanks to a pop-camera module and you also get a 48MP main camera. Just make sure you get the Sapphire Blue variant with the “Dynamic X” design. It has more… personality.

READ: Honor 9X

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