Smartphones have become essential in our daily lives. We use our smartphones to stay connected with our family and friends, most especially during the pandemic. Did you know that you can purchase various affordable smartphones without the guilt of spending too much?
Phone manufacturers have increased, and now, there are many smartphones to choose from, which can be overwhelming especially if you are not a techy person. Purchasing a brand new smartphone can hurt your pockets—but worry no further, as we are here to guide you in selecting the best budget smartphone with our top 10 list and buying guide fact-checked by IT Specialist JC Rogelio.
JC Rogelio is first and foremost a fan of upgrading and modifying computers. Due to his passion, he earned a degree in Information Technology from a university specializing in the field. He is tech-savvy and likes to research computer trends. He was a former employee of a Fortune 500 company in the Philippines and now has over 3 years of experience in the IT/Engineering field in Dubai.
Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.
The expert oversees the Buying Guide only, and does not determine the products and services featured.
Table of Contents
Let's be honest, when it comes to technology, a higher price tag usually means better performance and specs. However, this might not stand true in this day and age of smartphones.
Obviously, the main selling point of affordable smartphones is their price, but since more and more companies nowadays are coming out with flagship-level smartphones at a much lower price point, you can now get high-quality smartphones without sacrificing the quality.
Below are some links to brand-specific smartphones that may also fit your budget.
Here are some key points to consider:
The screen size highly depends on the purpose of your smartphone. If you are using the phone for just texting and calling, you can purchase a smartphone with a smaller screen size. However, if you are using this phone to watch videos, play games, and/or utilize multiwindow mode, it might be better to buy a phone with a bigger display.
The screen size of the smartphone is measured diagonally. So, if a phone is 5.5 inches, that pertains to its diagonal measurement. The most common smartphone screen size is 5.5 inches, and this measurement is decent enough for sending messages, making phone calls, watching videos, browsing the internet, and playing games.
Just like TV screens, smartphone screens have continuously evolved and have become more high-definition. Low-resolution screens make videos and games appear blurry and grainy. That is why it is essential to check the resolution if it distorts the images or not.
The lowest screen resolution you should settle for is 1280 x 720. Anything below that is considered low-definition. Some high-end smartphones come with QHD screens and have resolutions as high as 2560 x 1440.
Another thing to consider is pixels per inch or PPI. PPI refers to how sharp the image is when it is zoomed. Even though you have HD screens, some pictures or texts appear blurry if you have a low PPI. Take note that PPi is not as important when you are just using your phone for emails and texts.
The storage determines how many applications you can install on your smartphone and the amount of media you can save. Again, this highly depends on the use of your smartphone. If your phone is entirely for just messages, emails, and calls, you can settle for phones with a low storage capacity.
You can choose the 16GB storage if you are not keen on downloading multiple applications and taking lots of pictures and videos. But if you wish to download more applications, 64GB or more is much better. Most budget phones come with a microSD card slot, which you can utilize to expand your storage.
The performance highly depends on your phone’s Random Access Memory (RAM) and processor. Basically, the processor is in charge of the functions of your smartphone. A good processor ensures that your smartphone performs smoothly.
Of course, budget smartphones have different processors than high-end ones. It is essential to do your research on various processors each phone offers. As for RAM, it is responsible for the phone’s memory, which holds data for applications.
Not to be confused with storage, RAM enables the phone to run multiple apps at once. Smartphones solely for texting and calling, you can settle for 3 to 4 gigabytes of RAM. Other than that, you can select phones with at least 6 to 8 gigabytes of RAM.
You bring your smartphone with you wherever you go, so the battery life must be capable of lasting for at least 6 hours, while other phones can last at least 8 to 10 hours on a full charge. If you are always on-the-go, it is better to purchase a phone that can last the whole day.
It is essential to check battery tests online to ensure that the battery life is sufficient for your day-to-day activities. Also, check if your phone has a power-saving mode so that you can optimize your battery life in case of emergencies.
The quality of the camera is measured by megapixels (MP), which refers to the resolution. Some users do not pay attention to camera quality, especially if they do not like taking pictures. Fortunately, some budget smartphones offer good quality camera resolution for those who like taking pictures.
Remember that the front and back cameras have different resolutions. The front camera used for selfies and video calls has a lower resolution compared to the back. Take note that the higher the MP, the better the camera resolution.
Also, higher MP takes up more space for each photo or video. Manufacturers also sometimes use various software to make the images or videos more vivid or more bright. Since you cannot test the camera before purchasing, you can check out reviews on the camera resolution online.
Click to purchase
An All-Around Device for Everyone
Built for Powerful Gaming
Reno6 Z 5G
Take Amazing Selfies With One Click
Make the Most Out of Your Phone With Longer Battery Life
Redmi Note 11
Faster and More Efficient Charging
Better Display With AMOLED Screen
Multitask Multiple Apps With Ease
Enjoy a Faster Response and Smoother Graphics
Say Goodbye to Blurry Photos and Videos
A Budget-Friendly Phone That Is Built to Last
If display size and quality, graphics, storage capacity, RAM, and camera quality matter to you, then this phone will not let you down! Huawei Nova 8i has a 6.67-inch screen which offers a wide view ideal for streaming, gaming, or simply browsing social media. With its crystal clear resolution of 2376 by 1080p, enjoy bright and vibrant visuals in full HD.
In terms of its strengths, the product's design is also definitely worth mentioning. The device has an impressive screen-to-body ratio of almost 90%, which creates a sleek edgeless display. It comes in three colors: starry black, moonlight silver, and starry blue.
Another advantage of this device is its 66W supercharge feature, which can juice up your device up to 60% in under 17 minutes and fully charge it in 38 minutes! With its above-average features, Huawei's Nova 8i is one of the best budget phones out there!
Realme's Narzo 50A comes with a lot of features that make it an ideal device for mobile gamers. To start, it's equipped with Helio G96, a powerful gaming processor that is able to deliver smoother gameplay and ensure sustained performance even with heavy and intensive games such as Call of Duty, PUBG, and Fortnite.
Speaking of smooth gameplay, this device has a refresh rate of up to 120Hz, which means that each second contains 120 frames for a visually pleasing and overall satisfying gaming experience. Additionally, aside from the built-in 128GB storage capacity, this device also has three card slots to give you the option of expanding your storage to up to 1TB!
A common concern among gamers is battery life. Luckily, the Narzo 50A is capable of 33W dart charging, so you can get back into the action ASAP. With all that being said, this device is designed for the hardcore gamer looking for a mobile phone that can also double as a powerful gaming device.
The strongest feature of Oppo devices, particularly the Oppo Reno 6 Z model, is the quality of their front cameras. For instance, this model is equipped with a 32MP front camera, almost three times better than that of the latest iPhone! If you're looking for the best phone for taking selfies, then this is something that you should definitely consider.
The Oppo Reno Z 6 features an AMOLED display, which can provide a full HD 2400 by 1080p resolution on a 6.43" screen. It is also capable of 30W fast charging for speedy and efficient charging. There are two color designs to choose from: aurora and stellar black.
Though the price may be a little steep, it's certainly worth spending a little extra cash on, especially if a superior camera quality and screen display are what you're looking for.
The Nokia G21 is one of the best budget phones when it comes to battery and camera quality. With a 50MP main camera, you can now capture breathtaking shots on your mobile device. The battery on this thing can run for 3 days, thanks to its 5050mAh battery capacity. Given both of these features, this device is perfect for those who like to document and share their memories online.
In terms of its operating system, the Nokia G21 uses the latest Android 11, which has a more intuitive layout that allows you to easily control and navigate your phone. If you're worried about getting left behind once the next version comes out, fret not, as this device guarantees two years of Android OS upgrades and three years of monthly security updates as well!
Waiting a couple of hours just to fully charge your phone can be excruciating especially if you're in a hurry. Though many smartphones now have an 18W quick charge function, the Redmi Note 11 takes it to the next level by allowing a 33W dart charge function for faster charge time. With this, you can expect 100% battery in only 78 minutes!
Aside from speedy charging, the advantages of this device include its bright and vibrant AMOLED display, 2400 by 1080p resolution, 6GB RAM, 13MP front camera, 90Hz refresh rate, and expandable storage. Overall, this is a great option if you want an all-around phone that does not take too long to juice up.
Frequently strain your eyes from staring at your phone for too long? We've all been guilty of this but thankfully, this Samsung phone is the upgrade that best addresses that concern. The Galaxy A32 boasts a full HD AMOLED display that can light up your phone by up to 800 nits. This means that you're guaranteed a sharp, smooth, and vibrant viewing experience even in broad daylight.
Moreover, this device also features Eye Comfort Shield which lowers the blue light on your phone. Plus, it has a zippy 90Hz refresh rate for smoother viewing whether you're gaming or scrolling through social media. These features alone make it one of the most eye-friendly phones sold at a reasonable price.
If you're a student or an employee working from home, it's important that your phone can handle multiple tasks at once especially if you have to meet important deadlines. This next product can do that exceptionally well thanks to its Snapdragon processor and Multi-Turbo5.0 feature which can keep your device cool and efficient even while it's running multiple apps simultaneously.
Vivo's Y21T comes with a very generous 128GB storage space so you can download a hefty amount of apps and games on your device from the Play Store. The unit comes in two different colors namely midnight blue and pearl white and you'll receive a free SIM card and a Bluetooth wireless headband as freebies for every purchase of this unit on Shopee or Lazada.
Looking to upgrade your laggy, unresponsive smartphone? If yes, then the Realme 9 Pro is something to consider. It comes equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 processor that enables seamless productivity and entertainment. It is also capable of 5G internet and has a 120Hz refresh rate, so expect to experience smoother graphics and a more stable internet connection.
Aside from the smooth display, the Realme Pro 9 also has a nightscape camera, so you can take amazing shots even in poor lighting. Aside from the 64MP primary camera, the device also comes with an 8MP ultra wide-angle lens and a 2MP macro lens. Plus, it has a 16MP front camera perfect for taking selfies and video calling friends and family.
The Oppo A55 is an all-around mobile device with all the important features you expect from a smartphone. It is capable of 46 LTE internet, Bluetooth 5.0 compatible, 60Hz refresh rate, 5000mAh battery, and an 18W fast charging feature. All these specs are packed in a slim and sleek design that prioritizes portability as well as aesthetic quality.
However, the spec that gives you the most bang for your buck is definitely its camera. You'll have a 50MP primary camera that supports 5 times digital zoom for more precise camera angles. You can also use its bokeh filter, which adds a soft, out-of-focus effect to your portraits. With these advanced features, you can now take studio-quality shots using only your mobile device!
With most budget phones starting at Php 10,000, it's becoming extremely difficult to find a phone priced lower than that but still with decent specs. Xiaomi's Redmi 9A is an exception as it offers a solid 6.53-inch screen and Helio G25 processor for lower than Php 5,000. Though the camera quality and RAM capacity are limited, it's still reasonable given its fair price.
While the battery is the standard 5000mAh—common with most budget phones— Redmi 9A has a charge cycle count as high as 1000, which means that it can be used daily for more than 2.5 years without any significant degradation to the battery. Overall, though this phone may not promise above-average specs, it does guarantee durability in terms of battery longevity.
Below are some of the most asked questions on the web answered by the mybest team.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro has the best camera among mid-range budget phones. This model has a quad camera with a 108MP wide-angle main camera, an 8MP ultrawide lens, a 5MP macro lens, and a 2MP depth sensor. With these specs plus a 16MP front camera, the Redmi Note 10 Pro is one of the best camera phones under Php 15,000.
Aside from this particular model, there are other Redmi smartphones that also have great camera quality. The Redmi Note 11, for instance, has a 50MP rear camera and a 13MP front camera. Another brand that is widely popular for its camera is Oppo. If you like taking selfies, then Oppo might be a better fit for you considering most of their phones have front cameras with at least 13MP.
While the battery health of any phone is bound to degenerate over time, there are still practices that you can do to minimize its negative effects. This includes allowing the setting wherein the phone will automatically shut down after inactivity for 3 minutes or less, changing the phone's brightness setting to automatic, and turning off the Wi-Fi when not in use.
Other than those, you can also make it a habit to close apps that are not in use, especially those that require lots of power to run. Moreover, always keeping your phone's battery between 30 to 80 percent can help promote its longevity. Finally, you can also turn on "power-saving mode" in case you really need to conserve your remaining battery life.
Make the most out of your phone with these phone accessories. If you want to enjoy listening to music or even watch movies on a bigger screen, these products are just what you need.
Author: Khrisanta Rea
Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors, in collaboration with the expert featured in this article. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more.
When you purchase products mentioned in the article, part of the sales may be returned to mybest.
The descriptions of each product is referenced from the content available from the manufacturer, e-commerce sites etc.
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