Great Budget Smartphones For Under P15,000

You don’t have to commit to expensive plans or shell out a lot of money to enjoy the latest in smartphone techonology. Don’t want to spend P30,000 and up on the fanciest iPhone or Samsung unit? We’ve rounded up the five best budget smartphones you can get for less than half that price. Level up your mobile phone for less with one of these budget-friendly smartphones that still pack a punch:

1. Motorola Moto G

motorola moto g

The popular tech site The Verge picks this as the best cheap smartphone for 2015. “It has everything that matters for a good smartphone: great display, fast performance, easy software, and an attractive design.” Not only does it look sleek and well-designed, with a 5-inch 720p display, it also sports a lean and mean build of Android 4.4.4, meaning that there are very few extra apps included that will slow down your phone. It’s also got a pretty good battery, with some tests pegging it at 13 hours of active use.

Of course, a budget smartphone will have its flaws, and for the Moto G it’s mostly the bad 8-megapixel camera. It also won’t work with LTE, so if that’s a dealbreaker for you, check out some of the other options on our list.

But if all you need is a smartphone that can do some basic web surfing, play a few games, hail a GrabTaxi or Uber, oh, and call and text, then you can’t go wrong with the Moto G.

And it’s all yours for just a shade over P13,000, available online. Not a bad price for “one of the best budget smartphones you can buy today,” according to Engadget.

Pros Cons
Huge, clear 720p display No LTE
Fast Camera is just OK
Good battery life Non-removable battery

2. Microsoft Lumia 640 XL

microsoft lumia 640 xl

If you like to take pictures, this phone sports one of the best cameras you can get from a smartphone at this price range — a Carl Zeiss lens with a 13-megapixel sensor.

This phone isn’t a slouch in other departments either. Its big display makes using apps like Microsoft Office easier, as you can read documents and edit spreadsheets on the go. It runs Windows Phone 8.1, with a free upgrade to Windows Phone 10 once it’s out. Its battery life is impressive, with a TechRadar test showing drops of only 15% per hour during intense gaming — and it’s removable, unlike a lot of smartphones out there, meaning you can keep a spare one on you and swap it out if you don’t have a charger handy.

With this phone, you’ll also get a one-year subscription to Microsoft Office 365 for free, so you can work on the go, and 30GB of free OneDrive space for backing up your photos and documents. Unfortunately, its greatest weakness is the Windows Phone app store, which doesn’t have the same number of apps available for iPhone and Android units. But if you can look beyond that, then this phone is a great option.

The Lumia 640 XL is available for P11,990 at your nearest electronics retailer.

Pros Cons
Great camera Limited app selection for Windows Phone
Includes free one-year subscription to Office 365 (worth over P3,000) Only 8GB internal storage
Works with LTE
Removable battery

3. Asus Zenfone 2 (ZE551ML)

asus zenfone 2

There’s actually a whole range of phones under the “Zenfone 2” moniker, from the entry-level ZE500CL to the higher-end ZE551ML, but we’re going to focus on the latter, “a balanced mid-range offering easy on your wallet,” according to GSM Arena.

The ZE551ML is a nice upgrade to the whole Zenfone lineup. The display is “phenomenal,” according to Android Headlines. It’s got a fast processor coupled with 4GB of RAM that can handle anything you throw at it without lagging. The camera sensor is just average, but when combined with the very good camera software, produces impressive photos.

It also comes with dual-SIM slots and you can expand the memory with microSD cards, if you need more flexibility with your phone. Note that the second SIM slot only supports up to 2G, while the first one goes all the way up to LTE.

YugaTech, the local tech blog, says: “Asus has once again proven that you can get a really good, solid smartphone at a very reasonable price without any compromise. The Zenfone 2 is a testament to that.”

You can get this phone from P12,495 and up.

Pros Cons
Huge 5.5-inch 1080p display Below-average battery life
Fast processor Can be large and unwieldy
Works with LTE

4. OnePlus One

OnePlus One

The first impression of the OnePlus One is that it looks more expensive than it has any right to. It’s “elegant, feels solid and performs smoothly, and it doesn’t show any signs that it’s a first-generation product from an unknown company,” according to a CNET review.

The phone’s elegant looks and polycarbonate material give it a classy feel. OnePlus One is also an exclusive partner with CyanogenMod, a build of Android that gives you more freedom and customization options. It sports the fastest processor out there, the 2.45GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 — and you literally cannot get any faster than that, until Snapdragon 805 comes out.

If you want to stand out from the sea of lookalike smartphones, this could be the phone for you. “If you want a high-end phone on a budget, look no further,” says a review on Engadget.

You can get the OnePlus One starting from P14,999.

Pros Cons
Huge 5.5-inch 1080p display Non-removable battery
Fast processor No external storage
Lean and mean operating system

5. Xiaomi Mi 3

mi 3

No budget smartphone list would be complete without a Xiaomi unit. The Chinese phonemakers are known for creating good quality phones for Android, with an interface that looks like a marriage of Android and iOS called the MIUI, showing it off in a crisp 1080p display.

The phone also comes with a 13-megapixel camera with a performance that’s not bad for a budget smartphone. Processor-wise, it outperforms phones like the Nexus 5 and the Huawei Ascend P7 in benchmark tests, and has an impressive battery life.

Unfortunately, the Mi 3 doesn’t have LTE capabilities. But if you’re willing to sacrifice a little internet speed, you can gain a lot in features.

You can get the Mi 3 from P10,599 online.

Pros Cons
Great 1080p display No LTE
Clean UI Untranslated Chinese text can show up in menus

With these budget choices, you no longer need to shell out the big bucks to enjoy the benefits of a smartphone. Whatever your mobile needs or wants, you’re sure to find the phone that fits the bill.

Want to keep your smartphone ownership costs down? Read our list of 5 ways to hack your smartphone bill.

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