We are drawing near to the second half of the year and we must say there are a lot of good smartphones out there. Most smartphones that stood out this year are from the mid range section.
So how do we choose our #FTARecommended smartphones? It is how a smartphone balances a good camera, hardware, user experience, battery, long term use and the price.
So what phones stood up for us this first half of 2018? Check it out!
- Huawei P20/P20 Pro (Php 34,990/Php 44,990)
Both the Huawei P20 and the P20 Pro are the perfect example of all the things we’ve mentioned. It has indeed great cameras and gorgeous hardware. The P20 Pro did stood out more because of its triple camera system especially that 40MP shooter at the rear. In the long term it will be a good investment too since Huawei has already committed to the Android P Beta program. So expect timely updates when the next Android OS comes out. For the price, yes, it is not cheap but it is not as pricey as Samsung’s Galaxy S9/S9+ or Apple’s iPhone x and iPhone 8.
- OPPO F7 (Php 17,990)
We think OPPO nailed it this year. The OPPO F7 by far has the best camera among mid range smartphones today, hands down. We were impressed by the photos and selfies we’ve taken from the F7 no matter the lighting condition may be. OPPO’s AI tech really works well and produces natural looking selfies being true to their slogan “Capture The Real You”. It got plastic build, so what? It is a nice choice and we find plastic more durable than glass. ColorOS is one of our favorite Android skin because of its mere fluidity. All OPPO smartphones we’ve tested never had any stutter. Good news is that OPPO joined the Android P Beta program. But based on their tract record, they were not really into Android updates but with OPPO joining the beta program, we surely expect updates on the OPPO F7. Can’t afford it? Check out the OPPO F7 Youth which is only Php 13,990.
- ASUS Zenfone 5 (Php 19,995)
ASUS made waves as it announced the new Zenfone 5 series especially prices. The company had a disappointing year because of the prices of the Zenfone 4 series being too high. The Zenfone 5 for us is the most good looking hardware among its price range. They’ve used metal and glass and patterned sunburst effect at the back which we really like and made it surprisingly light given their choice of materials for the phone We must say the camera is also great and we are satisfied with the photos we’ve taken from it. ASUS has been diligent with software updates but not really timely. Expect Android P coming to this device maybe next year. Just keep that in mind.
- Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 (Php 11,990)
Xiaomi always surprises us with their jaw-dropping prices for their smartphones. And indeed they did it again with the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5. The phone is marketed as the “camere beast” as they try to get the sattention of the Xiaomi fanboys who are mobile gamers and new fans for the cameras. We’ve seen some photos and we were quite impressed with their cameras. Backing up those cameras are Snapdragon 636 chipset with 4GB RAM, 6-inch 18:9 display, a large 4,000 mAh battery and Android 8.1 Oreo with MIUI on top. Xiaomi is making efforts to have a wider presence in the Philippines as it opens two stores – SM Megamall and Trinoma. More stores are coming very soon.
- Nokia 7 Plus (Php 21,990)
For the Android purists like ourselves, we really appreciate Nokia’s efforts to stay pure Android. That means no bloatware and nice clean Android experience. We fell in love with Nokia again as it returns to the Philippines embracing stock Android in tow. Now all Nokia phones, including the Nokia 7 Plus, are on Google’s Android One program which guarantees 2 years of software updates and security patches. What we love about the Nokia 7 Plus, besides the software, is the display and hardware. We got Snapdragon 660 powering the device and a 6-inch 18:9 display. We managed to talk to some of the good people at Nokia’s sole reseller, MemoXpress and the Nokia 7 Plus is selling well next to Nokia 6.1.
Of course there are special mentions because they are really good phones too – Vivo V9, Huawei P20 Lite, Huawei Nova 2 Lite, OPPO A83, ASUS Zenfone Max Plus M1, Nokia 6.1, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2s and the Nokia 8.
How about you? Do you have a phone in mind? Let us know your thoughts below!
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