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(5) Five 20K to 25K Smartphones to Choose From (1H 2023)

The smartphone industry is sprinting forward at breakneck speed, and with half of 2023 already gone, it shows no sign of slowing down.

Phone makers are certainly churning out new models left and right, which leaves you with a ton of choices when it comes to selecting your next daily driver.

To narrow it down, we have covered all the mid-range smartphones officially released in the Philippines in the first half of 2023, priced between PHP 20,000 and PHP 25,000.

POCO F5 43

Starting from the lowest in price point, we have the POCO F5 rocking the 5G-enabled, Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 chipset—which the brand claims consume low energy while still reaching higher performance.

It uses an 6.67-inch AMOLED panel with a high refresh rate at 120Hz and can reach up to 1000 nits of brightness. On top of that is a Gorilla Glass 5 for added layer of protection.

At the back protrudes a triple camera setup with a 64-megapixel primary lens with support for optical image stabilization (OIS). There’s also an 8-megapixel ultrawide and 2-megapixel macro.

And it is packed with a powerful 5000mAh battery, complemented by 67W fast charging.

The POCO F5 starts at PHP 20,999 via Shopee 38 for the 8GB + 256GB config.

Poco F5 Under 25k

POCO F5 specs

6.67-inch FHD+ (2400 x 1080) AMOLED display
120Hz refresh rate, 1000 nits (peak brightness)
Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 (4nm)
8-core, up to 2.91GHz frequency
256GB storage UFS 3.1
Triple-rear cameras:
• 64MP f/1.79 main
• 8MP f/2.2 ultrawide 119° FoV
• 2MP f/2.4 macro
with OIS
16MP f/2.45 front camera
Dual SIM
5G, 4G LTE
Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax
Bluetooth 5.3
GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo, QZSS
USB Type-C
3.5mm audio jack
Side-mounted fingerprint sensor
IP53 splash-proof protection, IR blaster
MIUI 14 for POCO (Android 13)
5000mAh battery
67W charging rate
161.11 x 74.95 x 7.9 mm (dimensions)
181 grams (weight)
White, Blue, Black

Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G 29

One of the key selling points of the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G is its whopping 200-megapixel primary snapper with OIS, along with an 8-megapixel ultrawide, and 2-megapixel macro.

The chipset that can handle all those megapixels is the Dimensity 1080 combined with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage.

The phone features a 6.67-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and Gorilla Glass 5. It also supports Dolby Vision and Atmos, making it an ideal choice for media consumption.

Another interesting feature is a whopping 120W fast charging that is able to charge its 5000mAh battery to 100% in just about 19 minutes.

The Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G is priced at PHP 21,999 through Lazada 78.

Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5g Under 25k

Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G specs

6.67-inch FHD+ (2400 x 1080) OLED display, 395ppi
120Hz refresh rate
MediaTek Dimensity 1080 SoC
ARM Mali-G68 MC4 GPU
256GB UFS 2.2
Triple-rear cameras:
• 200MP f/1.65 Samsung ISOCELL HPX main
• 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide
• 2MP f/2.4 macro
16MP front camera
5G, 4G LTE
WiFi 6
Bluetooth 5.2
IR Blaster
3.5mm audio jack
Stereo speakers
Fingerprint scanner (in-display)
MIUI 13 (Android 12)
IP53 dust and water resistance
5,000mAh battery w/ 120W fast charging
162.9 x 76 x 9 mm (dimensions)
208.4 grams (weight)

vivo V27 5G 22

Moving on to the vivo V27 5G—this model is currently down a thousand pesos from its SRP. For the price, it packs a near flagship grade chip, and great camera system—both on rear and front.

Under the hood is a Dimensity 7200, complemented with a spacious RAM at 12GB, not to mention an extended memory of 8GB, making it 20GB RAM in total. The storage is capped at 256GB.

For the display, it also uses an AMOLED panel spanning 6.78-inch with 120Hz refresh rate.

Now for the cameras, there are three cameras at the rear with a 50-megapixel main that supports OIS, an 8-megapixel ultrawide, and a 2-megapixel macro. This camera system is accompanied by a small ring light, which is vivo’s unique take on the LED flash.

The selfie camera is also worth mentioning, as it boasts a 50-megapixel count and autofocus feature.

The battery however is only a 4600mAh cell, but vivo compromises this with a 66W fast charging capability.

The vivo V27 5G is currently down to PHP 23,999 via Lazada 18.

Vivo V27 5g Under 25k

vivo V27 5G 16 specs

6.78-inch FHD+ (2400×1080) AMOLED display
120 Hz refresh rate
MediaTek Dimensity 7200
12GB RAM (+8GB Extended RAM)
256GB internal storage
Triple-rear camera:
50MP OIS main f/1.88 (Sony IMX766V Sensor)
8MP wide f/2.2
2MP macro f/2.4
Front camera: 50MP selfie f/2.45
5G, 4G LTE
WiFi 6
Bluetooth 5.3
GPS with aGPS
Fingerprint Scanner
Funtouch OS 13 Global (based on Android 12)
4600 mAh battery w/ 66W FlashCharge
164.1 × 74.8 × 7.4 mm (dimensions)
180 grams (weight)
Emerald Green

Samsung Galaxy A54 5G 39

Currently, the next one is down a thousand pesos of its SRP, and that is the Samsung Galaxy A54 5G.

If you want a phone that’s near to what a flagship Samsung phone looks like, then this definitely hits close to taste. Aside from that clean design and build, it also gets the same treatment for software support as the flagship ones: four major OS upgrades and five years security patches.

It also has pretty capable camera system with a 50-megapixel main lens with OIS, 12-megapixel ultrawide, and 5-megapixel macro (they really dropped the depth sensor, which is good). And at the front is a 32-megapixel selfie shooter.

Underneath is Samsung’s own Exynos 1380 which is equivalent to Snapdragon 778G. It comes with 8GB RAM and up to 256GB expandable storage.

There’s also an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance.

The Samsung Galaxy A54 5G is currently discounted to PHP 24,990 via Shopee 27.

Samsung Galaxy A54 5g Under 25k

Samsung Galaxy A54 5G specs

6.4″ FHD+ @ 1080×2340 pixels, Super AMOLED, 120Hz
Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Samsung Exynos 1380 octa-core chip
4x Cortex-A78 2.4GHz + 4x Cortex-A55 2.0GHz
Mali-G68 MP5
128GB, 256GB internal storage
Up to 1TB via microSD
50MP f/1.8 OIS main camera
12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide
5MP f/2.4 macro
4K @ 30fps, 1080p @ 60fps
32MP f/2.2 front camera
4K @ 30fps, 1080p @ 60fps
Dual SIM 5G, 4G/LTE
Bluetooth 5.3
GPS with aGPs support
IP67 dust and water resistance
Dolby Atmos
5000mAh Li-Po battery, 25W Fast Charging
OneUI 5.1 (Android 13)
Dimensions: 76.7 x 158.2 x 8.2 mm
Weight: 202 grams

OPPO Reno8 T 5G 12

Finally, we have the OPPO Reno8 T 5G sporting a 108-megapixel camera, a ‘3D curved screen’, and fast 67W fast charging capability.

Oppo Reno8 T 5g Kv

Going in the details, the display spans at 6.7-inch and is an OLED panel with 120Hz refresh rate. It also has some sort of display protection with an ‘AGC DT-Star2’.

There are triple cameras at the back, with a 108-megapixel main lens along with a depth sensor and microlens both having 2-megpixel count.

The chipset however, the Snapdragon 695, may be a bit underwhelming for the most of you.

Although OPPO promises that the Reno8 T 5G will remain as fast and performant as a brand-new phone even after years of usage, thanks to rigorous lab testing that simulated 48 months of constant use.

The battery is a 4800mAh cell paired with 67W fast charging through SuperVOOC.

The OPPO Reno8 T 5G sets you back at only PHP 23,999 with 8GB RAM and 256GB expandable storage via Shopee 13.

Oppo Reno8 T 5g Under 25k

OPPO Reno8 T 5G specs

6.7-inch FHD+ (2412 x 1080) 3D curved OLED
120Hz refresh rate, 950 nits (peak) brightness
AGC DT-Star2 cover glass
Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 (6nm)
8-cores, up to 2.2GHz frequency
256GB storage UFS2.2
Supports microSD
Triple rear cameras:
• 108MP f/1.7 main
• 2MP f/2.4 depth
• 2MP f/3.3 microlens
32MP f/2.4 front camera
Dual nano-SIM
5G, 4G LTE
Wi-Fi 5 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4GHz ~ 5.8GHz
Bluetooth 5.1
USB Type-C
In-screen fingerprint sensor
ColorOS 13 (Android 13)
4800mAh battery
67W charging rate
162.3 x 74.3 x 7.7mm
171 grams
Midnight Black, Sunrise Gold

Author’s Note: This list comprises the official smartphone releases in the Philippines during the first half of 2023 (from January to June 2023). Prices may change without prior notice.

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Avatar for JM Chavaria

JM's highest stat is probably his curious ardor to anything tech—electronics and gaming in particular. He certainly heeds utmost regard to specsheet, visuals, and rule of thirds. If creativity and wit sometimes leave JM's system, watching films, anime and a good stroll for memes are his approved therapeutic claims.

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