Another year is about to end and 2016 has been a whirlwind for the local smartphone industry. There were ups and lows but that’s the beauty of it. Buyers get to choose what Android has to offer depending on the budget. If you are still out looking for the right one, this the article to read. We will categorize our favorites according to budget and special features. So here’s our favorite smartphones for 2016!
FLAGSHIP SMARTPHONES P30,000 AND UP
Let’s take a moment of silence as we remember the early passing of a great smartphone….. (silence). Without the exploding battery issue, we consider the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is the best smartphone of the year. The Note 7 is fast, compact despite its big 5.7-inch display, great camera and lastly good battery life.
Both phones filled in the shoes of those who used to own a Note 7 because had it replaced because of its persistent battery issues. The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge is the only phone now that can stand up and compete against smartphones with two cameras like the Huawei P9 and P9 Plus and the Apple iPhone 7 Plus. The camera is just amazing! Our Samsung Galaxy S7 has aged very well. It is still fast and responsive plus both cameras are working very well still. Oh we are excited for the Samsung Galaxy S8 which will be announced sometime in March 2017.
The LG V20 was supposed to a Note 7 challenger. Now, it is the best Note 7 alternative in the market. It has the same 5.7-inch display. No S Pen though the V20 has a few tricks up on its sleeve. It has a quad DAC audio (DAC means Digital to Analogue converter) which is found on audio centric devices. It is the first smartphone to have that feature. Expect audio experience to be a blast!
SMARTPHONES UNDER P30,000
It is our first choice as our best smartphone between P20,000 to P30,000 bracket. This smartphone is one of Motorola’s best this year. It met what is lacking on its high end Moto Z and lower end Moto G4 Play. Camera is decent but not greatm battery is above average. But that’s not the reason why it is on of our favorite smartphone. The use of Moto Mods was just genius. Magnetic pins are holding the mods and the phone together and the device transforms into something else. It is also future proof meaning you can use the mods on upcoming Moto models next year.
When it comes to smartphone photography, the Huawei P9 have already made its mark this year. The proof – 6 Millions Huawei P9’s sold three months after its release. The camera in which Leica and Huawei had collaborated produces excellent photos with good color contrast, sharpness and some few tricks like bokeh effects that make a perfect shot. Huawei also promises a software update to Android 7.0 Nougat on the Huawei P9 soon.
SMARTPHONES UNDER P20,000
Smartphone under this price bracket are becoming popular to millenials and young professionals. Since these people are working, they can splurge a bit to reward themselves for their hardwork. And if your budget is around this area, the first phone comes to mind is the ASUS Zenfone 3.
ASUS took the risk and when back to the drawing board and made a complete overhaul of their next smartphone. When we for the first time the ASUS Zenfone 3, we instantly fell in love with its metal and glass construction. Camera has improved a lot as well as the battery life.
Vivo has just entered our heavily competitive smartphone market this year. It has successfully made its mark. One of their initial offering, the Vivo V3 Max, is one good smartphone. It is one of the few phones out there that has a dedicated audio chip. Audio experience is just great. Camera is good too. With 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory, you will never ran out of space for your apps and games.
We commend Cloudfone for releasing a flagship-worthy smartphone for only P9,999. We know how expensive the Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 chipset is and yet they managed to keep the price down. It has 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage plus a gorgeous 5.2-inch display. Cameras are also great for its price tag.
Starmobile has been targeting the ultra budget friendly category this year. It has released smartphones under 5k. One of their best so far is the Starmobile UP Sense. It has a fingerprint scanner and an iPhone-like design. For its price, it has a very capable 8 megapixel rear camera. You will love the price too – P4,290.
OPPO has indeed marked the selfie category with the OPPO F1s. The company made a direct hit in the hearts of selfie loving Filipino crowd when it released a 16 megapixel front camera with beauty software enhancements. Teenage girls to young women, whenever they hear Oppo F1s its like they’ve seen a matinee idol and started screaming “I Want! I Want!” It is currently selling like hotcakes in stores.
Vivo wanted to steal the limelight from OPPO with the Vivo V5. Just like the Oppo F1s, the Vivo V5 has a pretty good selfie camera – a 20 megapixel Sony sensor. On paper it has more RAM and ROM storage than the F1s. Since Vivo is also promoting good audio experience, the V5 has a dedicated audio chip just like its brother, the V3 Max. It also has the same price as the F1s, P12,990.
Yes, Kata has a selfie smartphone too! The company has taken selfie on a different level with the Kata Selfie. If the V5 and F1s have similar camera set up, the Selfie has only one camera at the back – and it works as a selfie cam. How? It swivels 180 degrees to the front. It retails for P11,999.
Infinix is a newcomer in the local smartphone industry and it suddenly made waves when it introduced the Infinix Note 2. A few months after that, the company brought the Infinix Hot S Pro. Specs are really good and overall performance is very decent. Camera quality is also top notch and we love its rectangular, Xperia-like design.
Well, technically, Flash Mobile is not new but rather a spin off. It broke away and serves as a separate entity from Alcatel though both are still under one company – TCL. The Flash Plus 2 is one of the most popular smartphones this year. Why? Its affordable – P6,190 for the 2GB RAM/16GB ROM model and P7,990 for the 3GB RAM/32GB ROM model. Great performance, good camera, metal build, nice display – what more can you ask for?
Kata when silent most of the time in 2016 and it lost significant number of market share. Good thing the company went back to life and offered four new smartphones. The Kata M4 is the successor of the two year old Kata M3 of early 2015. It is miles away from the older model – sexy body, metal case, great screen and good camera.
Though HTC has not returned officially in the Philippines, its flagship smartphone, the HTC 10 was considered HTC’s return to the limelight. Specs are very flagship plus a very improved camera. It is also the first 2016 flagship to receive Android 7.0 Nougat update.
Though with a smaller battery as compared with the previous model. the ASUS Zenfone 3 Max has made power users go excited. The Zenfone 3 Max is now encased in metal in a sleek body. Improvements such as the camera and toned down UI. It as a generous 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage at a very afforadable price of P10,990.
If you wish a big phone with big batteries in a small price, we have the right phone for you. The Infinix Note 3 Pro has a good camera, a nice and refreshing UI and a big 6-inch display in Full HD. You get this for only P8,490 exclusively online at Lazada.
We are looking forward to another exciting year for tech this 2017. Happy New Year fellow techies!