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It’s safe to say that we can’t leave the house without at least one smartphone in our pockets. Smartphones today can cost an arm and leg, but there are also affordable options available in the market that can cater to your needs. Check out this list to help you find your ideal smartphone!

How to choose a smartphone?

You think you know what you want in a smartphone, but lifestyle and usage patterns may change that entirely. Long gone are phones that just pick up calls and send messages. Today, they become your entertainment, news, social and emergency tool. Before you fork out money to buy the next flagship model, consider these quick pointers:

What do you usually do on your phone?

We tend to buy phones for a specific feature, only to not use it as often. Phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note series are expensive because you're paying partially for the S pen! So, understand what you are paying for and if it's worth the money, If you'd love to experience vivid visuals, find a phone with AMOLED screen. Game a lot? Make sure the phone's processor and RAM can handle it.

If you don't do much in particular and just want a simple, reliable phone for general purposes, you'll find that your options become more budget-friendly.

how to choose a smartphone apps

Design

Quite an odd thing to recommend, but we mean it! More often than not, our phone actually becomes part of our daily accessory. Love the comfortable, innovative design? You'll find yourself proud of the money you invested in it. Uncomfortable and unfriendly to use? It will inevitably push you into changing phones sooner.

Other things to look at are the body's durability and accessories that suit the phone.

how to choose a smartphone

Brands

Let's skip the "Android vs iOS" talk. Brands are equally important as the hard-and-software of a phone. The last thing we'd want is a phone to die so quickly. For a quick review, we recommend researching through forums and testimonies on a brand's specific prowess and well-known bugs. For example, Samsung is well-loved for its beautiful screen whereas iPhones are touted for their smooth and seamless performance. Xiaomi is known as the budget brand and Huawei just makes headlines for its camera innovation.

By knowing a brand's prowess and also its history, you can pinpoint the exact phone that's right for you.

Xiaomi
1. Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
Best overall budget smartphone
Buy Now RM659.00
add_circle Sharp display
add_circle Decent camera
remove_circle Need to buy fast-charger separately

Specs | Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Octa-core | GPU: Adreno 512 GPU | Memory: 3GB+32GB / 4GB+64GB / 6GB+64GB / 4GB+128GB | Display: 6.3-inch IPS LCD touchscreen | Operating System: Android 9.0 (Pie); MIUI 10

If you are tight on budget and need a decent phone that'll power you through casual gaming, photography and other cellular needs, give the Redmi Note 7 a try. Aside from its good built quality which is supported by Corning Gorilla Glass, the phone is powered by Snapdragon 660 with up to 6GB of RAM upgrade depending on the model you choose.

The phone also hosts a 48MP + 5MP dual-sensor rear camera that can take decent low-light photos, as well as a nice 4,000 mAh battery for all-day use. Not forgetting, its 6.3-inch display screen is quite a nice feature to have for visual media consumption!

8.0
Our Review

The Redmi Note 7 is a fine piece for those who want a budget smartphone that still offers great quality. With a camera that suffices in quality, durable battery and body as well as a fast processor, you’ll be stoked for getting such a steal priced under a grand.

Read Full Review

More: Be Tech Savvy with These 10 Best Smartphones

Honor
2. HONOR 20 Lite
Best affordable smartphone for photography
Buy Now RM779.00

Specs | Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Octa-core | GPU: Adreno 512 GPU | Memory: 3GB+32GB / 4GB+64GB / 6GB+64GB / 4GB+128GB | Display: 6.3-inch IPS LCD touchscreen | Operating System: Android 9.0 (Pie); MIUI 10

As the most popular feature to have desirable quality in it, smartphones today are racing to improve greatly on their camera setup while staying within budget. The HONOR 20 Lite is a result of such a trend, providing photography enthusiasts the chance to save some pennies while enjoying a quality that's just as good.

Its triple camera setup includes a 24MP main lens with f/1.8 in aperture, an 8MP ultra-wide lens, and a 2MP depth camera lens. For the front, you get a 32MP front-facing selfie shooter with a good wide aperture of f/2.0. Having photography modes such as ultra-wide and even Pro makes this phone a worthy option for the budget-conscious.

More: We Attempted the Ugly Background Challenge Using Budget Phone HONOR 20 Lite

Best Huawei phone for PUBG gaming
Honor
3. Honor Play
Best budget smartphone for gaming
Buy Now RM799.00

Specs | Processor: Hisilicon Kirin 970 | GPU: Mali-G72 MP12 | Memory: 4GB+64GB / 6GB+64GB | Display: 6.3-inch LCD touchscreen | Operating System: Android 8.1 (Oreo), upgradable to Android 9.0 (Pie); EMUI 9.1

This phone doesn't just make a good gaming phone thanks to its GPU Turbo tech feature but is actually a nice all-rounder. For starters, it has a nice Kirin 970 CPU and a 4GB RAM. The phone also utilises a dual rear camera as well as a 64GB RAM storage. Moreover, it has a 7.1 Histen audio support and 6.3-inch FHD large display which makes this phone a media powerhouse - on budget!

More: Play Mobile Games Anywhere with These Top 7 Gaming Smartphones

Xiaomi
4. Xiaomi Mi A3
Best budget phone for photography - also has the best battery
Buy Now RM849.00

Specs | Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 665, Octa-core | GPU: Adreno 610 | Memory: 4GB+64GB / 6GB+128GB / 6GB+128GB | Display: 6-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen | Operating System: Android 9.0 (Pie); Android One

The Xiaomi Mi A3 makes it possible to let you own a budget Android phone that doesn't skimp on the things that matter. Although the Xiaomi Mi A3 is decently equipped with a 4GB RAM, it comes with an impressive 48MP tri-lens set up and a whopping 4,030mAh battery life.

Its low-light sensor makes it possible to get nice shots in the evening without your photos looking too grainy. Not forgetting to mention, the Mi A3 is an Android Go phone, so you can experience a pure-stock Android device!

7.0
Our Review

For those looking to get a stock Android experience without breaking the bank can give the MI A3 a try. While it’s not the strongest in terms of performance, users can expect good battery life and camera; things that matter to most light and moderate users.

Read Full Review

More: Power-Up with These 7 Smartphones Which Will Last All Day

Best budget Android phone
Nokia
5. Nokia 5.1
Best budget (stock) Android phone
search Search on Lazada Malaysia

Specs | Processor: MediaTek Helio P18, Octa-core | GPU: Mali-T860MP2 | Memory: 2GB+16GB / 3GB+32GB | Display: 5.5-inch IPS LCD touchscreen | Operating System: Android 8.0 (Oreo), upgradable to Android 9.0 (Pie); Android One

Love the pure Android experience but don't have the budget for it? Thanks to the initiation of Android One and Android Go project by Google, you can now enjoy one of the best budget, all-rounder phones that gives you all Android without the bloatware. 

This phone not only gives you a clean Android experience, but it also hosts a pretty amazing screen and sturdy body! Although not the fastest in terms of performance or the best for photography, the phone offers a premium metal build (designed by Nokia!) as well as a nice fingerprint scanner. 

Xiaomi
6. Xiaomi Redmi 7
The best cheapest/most affordable smartphone
Buy Now RM479.00
add_circle Good battery life
add_circle Great value for performance
remove_circle MIUI has many ads

Specs | Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 632, Octa-core | GPU: Adreno 506 GPU | Memory: 2GB+16GB / 3GB+32GB / 3GB + 64GB | Display: 6.26-inch IPS LCD touchscreen | Operating System: Android 9.0 (Pie); MIUI 9

If you really can't squeeze anymore for a new phone, Redmi 7 is your best bet. With a ridiculously low price, the phone boasts performance that outdoes its competitors in the same budget field. With features like a 6.26′′ HD+ Dot Drop screen, 4,000mAh battery and an Octa-core Snapdragon 632, you'd be baffled at why this fine piece is so affordable.

The starting price sets you with a 2GB RAM +16GB internal storage model. But, you can have the 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage at a very low price too. 

Best budget smartphone with headphone jack - has SIM card
Huawei
7. Huawei Y9 Prime
Best budget smartphone with headphone jack - has dual SIM card
Buy Now RM709.00

Specs | Processor: Hisilicon Kirin 710F, Octa-core | GPU: Mali-G51 MP4 | Memory: 4GB+64GB | Display: 6.59-inch IPS LCD touchscreen | Operating System: Android 9.0 (Pie); EMUI 9.1

As we see a dwindling number of phones debuting with a headphone jack, it becomes more apparent for many to switch to USB-C or wireless audio equipment. But what happens when you can't part with your beloved earphones?

Enter Huawei Y9 Prime. It not only offers a headphone jack but also an octa-core Kirin 710 alongside a decent 4GB RAM to power you through casual gaming. The phone also offers a stunning 6.59-inch full-view display for uninterrupted viewing. Meanwhile, it houses a sweet tri-lens rear camera setup comprising of 16MP + 8MP + 2MP lenses whereas the pop-up front camera sports a 16MP lens.

Additionally, you also get a USB-C type port for faster-charging purposes. With all of that paired with a low price, makes the Huawei Y9 Prime a great all-rounder budget mid-range option.

More: Enjoy Your Own Music With These 7 Best Smartphones That Has Headphone Jacks!

Best fastest budget smartphone
Honor
8. HONOR 8X
Best performing/fastest budget smartphone
search Search on Lazada Malaysia

Specs | Processor: Hisilicon Kirin 710F, Octa-core | GPU: Mali-G51 MP4 | Memory: 4GB+64GB / 4GB+128GB / 6GB+64GB / 6GB+128GB | Display: 6.5-inch IPS LCD touchscreen | Operating System: Android 8.1 (Oreo), upgradable to Android 9.0 (Pie); EMUI 9.0

Although costing under a grand, the HONOR 8X sure performs better than expected. Given that it has a fast and powerful octa-core Kirin 710, GPU Turbo technology together with 4GB of RAM, users will be able to enjoy some smooth performance and play some games if they want. Although not as powerful as the HONOR Play, you can still run PUBG but with lower settings.

With this price point, the phone also houses a 6.5-inch display, dual-lens setup consisting of 20MP + 2MP and a nice 3,070mAh battery that'll last you throughout the day with moderate usage.

More: 7 Best Smartphones That Are Equipped With The Powerful Snapdragon 855 Processor

Disclaimer: The pricing shown is just a good indication of how much these products are worth. The prices could change based on the e-commerce promotions that are going on. If some of the products are not available, do email us at [email protected] Thanks!

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