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FTA Recommended Smartphone Awards 2018: The List of Winners

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As we draw near to end 2018, we have reviewed so many smartphones this year. There were that stood up among the large bunch so we would like to give recognition to the best smartphone we’ve review for the year.

Apart from winning a recognition, these phones we are about to mention are also our most recommended smartphones you can buy this holiday season. So here are the FTA Recommended winners for 2018!

Huawei Mate 20 Pro review

Huawei Mate 20 Pro – Best Flagship Smartphone

Huawei did another great job bringing the best camera tech on their smartphones. Though most tech bloggers gave recognition to Google’s Pixel 3 XL but sadly, that phone is not available in the Philippines. The Huawei Mate 20 Pro nailed it for its excellent triple camera system, large AMOLED display and that unique reverse wireless charging tech.

Huawei P20 Pro – Best Camera on a Flagship

Before the arrival of Huawei Mate 20 Pro, the Huawei P20 Pro made great impressions because of its design and camera. It is still be best camera we’ve seen on a phone next to the Mate 20 Pro. Both phones will also get Android 9.0 Pie very soon and we are very excited with that.

OPPO-F9

OPPO F9 and Nokia 7 Plus – Best Midrange Smartphone

We have a tie in this category. We picked the OPPO F9 for its amazing camera, that waterdrop display and its powerful Mediatek Helio P60 chipset To our surprise, this phone is also good for gaming. The Nokia 7 Plus has an equally poweful Snapdragon 660 chipset. The camera nd build quality is also superb but what make it to the awards is the phone’s Android One program. Nokia 7 Plus owners are now enjoying Android 9.0 Pie and its latest features. The phone will also support Android Q next year. This is the phone for Android purists!

ASUS Zenfone 5 – Best in Smartphone Gaming

ASUS has been always focused on gaming. The even released a dedicated gaming smartphone called the ROG Phone. Well, that’s pricey but ASUS made sure your thirst for mobile gaming is satisfied with the ASUS Zenfone 5. This phone got praises from various tech blogs because of its design, improved camera, surprisingly good video capabilities and of course, gaming. For only P19,995 you get well crafted phone.

ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1 – Best Battery Life on a Smartphone

ASUS started the tradition of putting insanely huge batteries on their phones way back in 2015 with the ASUS Zenfone Max. That large 5,000 mAh battery is also found on the ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1. Getting about 7 hours of screen on time is just amazing! Watching Netflix, playing games all day long is just achievable! The ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 is coming very soon and we are excited to review that. Its a good way to start 2019 with that phone in hand.

Apple iPhone Xs – Best Selfie on a Flagship

Many may react to this decision but we really have to give this award to the new Apple iPhone Xs. with regards to overall build, OS, and rear camera, they are really impressive but we prefer overall performance, rear camera and of course Android software from the HUawei Mate 20 Pro. But while using the Apple iPhone Xs in Hong Kong, we just fell in love with the cameras especially the selfie one. Even video and audio capture is excellent. The biggest pain here is its so expensive. Look for another phone instead.

Vivo V11 Review

Vivo V11 – Best Selfie on a Midrange

This part was the hardest for us because we are choosing between the OPPO F9 and the Vivo V11. After taking time to think and reassess our photos, we decided to give the award to Vivo V11. Selfies appeared to be more natural and not beautified. Aside from the selfie cam, the Vivo has nice features that we like – the under screen fingerprint scanner, the waterdrop notch and those radiant color options at the back. Definitely worth the look!

Honor 8x – Best Midrange Smartphone (10k to 15k)

Now this price segment is flooded with so many smartphones. For us, two stand out, the Huawei Y9 (2019) and its cousin, the Honor 8x. We prefer the Honor 8X for its slightly better camera performance but basically they are pretty much the same. The Honor *x is very capable for everyday use including  gaming. We recommend both phones especially for this budget.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro- Best Gaming ona Midrange Smartphone (10 to 15k)

If you are a mobile gamer and your budget is around 12k, the we recommend the Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro. It has the same chipset as the ASUS Zenfone 5 only cheaper. You will get the same gaming experience here. Xiaomi also made an effort to improve their camera tech with its AI (artificial intelligence) capabilities. Definitely worth the look!

Pocophone F1 – Breakthrough Smartphone of the Year

Xiaomi has surprised us so much in 2018 and one of its recent announcement, the Pocophone F1, really did astonished us. Specs are indeed great because it is flagship level but the shocking part is the price – only $300 and Php 17,999 in the Philippines. The phone broke the record of being the most affordable flagship to date.

Realme – Breakthrough Smartphone Brand

Just in time for Christmas! That’s our reaction when Realme officially entered the Philippine smartphone market. Realme is facing some tough competition with Xiaomi and Honor as it engage more on online shopping via Lazada. For those who are not aware, Realme is a sub-brand of OPPO just like Huawei with Honor. We are now excited to see more of Realme phone in the Philippines this 2019.

Cherry Mobile Flare S7 Plus review

Cherry Mobile Flare S7 Plus – Best Local Smartphone

It is not doing very well for local smartphone brands this year. But Cherry Mobile is still in fighting mode and announced several smartphones for this year. Cherry Mobile also partnered with Google for the Android One program of their phones! The Cherry Mobile Flare S7 Plus is one of the most underrated phones this year. It has a good build, great display, and an awesome camera system! We recommend you take a look at it and its definitely worth your hard earned cash.

Huawei – Best Smartphone Brand

Well, what can we say? Huawei truly is the best brand for the year. Simply check out their phones from the lowest end to the highest. They offer great phones at very competitive prices. Great cameras, reliable software and awesome build. Huawei truly deserves to be called the Best Smartphone Brand of the Year!

We will be handing over the awards to the recipients later this year. We hope this could help you with your decision on which smartphone to get based on your budget. Happy shopping!

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