Christmas Gift Guide 2016: Best Smartphones Under Php30K

Christmas Gift Guide 2016: Best Smartphones Under Php30K

Another day, another smartphone guide. But this time, we raise the price limit from Php5K, Php10K, Php15K, and now to Php30K. For those who have raised quite a saving to buy a powerful handset, here’s our guide to some of the best selections available in the Philippine market.




Headlining this list is Apple‘s iPhone SE that was launched early this year. It is a re-hashed phone with a four-year-old design (derived from the iPhone 5) with an upgraded hardware inside. It sports a 64-bit A9 processor with M9 coprocessor, Touch ID, Apple Pay, and a 12-megapixel iSight camera with Truetone flash. You can get it for Php23,590 for its 16GB storage or Php29,590 for the larger 64GB option.



Taiwanese company ASUS also has its presence here with its ASUS Zenfone 3 Deluxe. At Php22,995, you get a Full HD Super IPS+ display that’s reinforced with Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3. Inside, it has a Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor clocked at 2.0GHz and 4GB of LPDDR3 RAM. Storage is at 64GB and is expandable up to 2TB. Imaging is handled by a 16-megapixel camera with laser autofocus and a 3-axis EIS for less blurry shots. The handset also boasts 5-magnet speakers w/ a dedicated amp to produce quality audio.



For those that value security above all else, the BlackBerry DTEK60 is your option with the company’s programs that protect your data. It sports a 5.5-inch QHD AMOLED display and a Snapdragon 820 CPU with 4GB of RAM. It, too, supports up to 2TB of expandable storage on top of its local 32GB. It shoots 4K videos, has LTE, and uses Android’s Marshmallow OS. It can be had for Php25,500.



Love taking photos? The Huawei P9 is sure to satisfy your imaging needs as its camera is co-engineered with Leica — the German company known for its quality sensors. Apart from that, its internals are not to be scoffed at, either, thanks to the company’s Kirin 955 processor and 3GB/4GB RAM options. The handset has a slim and light form factor and a premium design so you can confidently flaunt it while using it. It is priced at Php24,990 for the 3GB/32GB option and Php26,990 for the beefier 4GB/64GB model. If you prefer its bigger sibling, the Huawei P9 Plus, you’ll enjoy its Super AMOLED display, bigger battery capacity, and an IR blaster for Php29,990.




Those who love big screens will enjoy the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro. It’s got a 6.4-inch QHD IPS display so you could enjoy watching and even sharing content with your friends. Plus, it has also been equipped with Dolby Atmos audio so it promises immersive sound even from a mobile phone. The smartphone has an octa-core CPU from Snapdragon, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, LTE, fingerprint sensor, and a 16-megapixel camera with phase detection autofocus. These are all powered by its 4050mAh Li-Po battery. Retail price is at Php24,999.

Another option is the Lenovo Vibe X3 which sports slightly modest specs. This one has a hexacore processor but is still made by Snapdragon with 3GB of RAM and 32GB internal storage. Users can expand this up to 128GB if they feel the need to do so. The main camera is rated at 21 megapixels that feature a Sony IMX230 sensor and dual-tone LED flash. Watching videos and playing games are also pretty immersive thanks to its dual front-facing speakers with Dolby’s Atmos technology. For Php22,099, you get a well-saturated display, impressive build quality, and great performance. You may read our review to know more about it.



Announced early this year, the LG G5 tried to be unique with its modular design. Although it didn’t fully take off, we were impressed with its great display quality and the interesting camera setup it’s got. From its  Php34,990 price, the company has lowered it down to Php20,990. If you want, you can also opt to go for the bundle at Php29,990 that comes with the LG 360 CAM.



The South Korean giant has a couple of handsets that fit right in this guide. The Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro is one with its 6-inch Full HD display that uses the company’s Super AMOLED technology to deliver deep blacks and vibrant hues. It is priced at Php25,500 and comes with a Snapdragon 653 processor, Adreno 510 GPU, a whopping 6GB of RAM, 64GB internal storage, and a 16-megapixel shooter with an F1.9 aperture for low light shots. On the other hand, you can also opt for its indirect sibling, the Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro, for Php25,990 that carries a Snapdragon 653 CPU, 4GB RAM, 32GB storage, and 16-megapixel rear shooter that already has OIS for smoother videos. It is also blessed with NFC, LTE, and fingerprint scanner for added security.

A more affordable option is the Samsung Galaxy C5 which only asks for Php17,990 for the 32GB variant and Php19,990 for the 64GB option. Other specs include an octa-core CPU from Snapdragon, memory expansion up to 128GB, fingerprint scanner, and LTE. During our review, we liked its decent build quality as well as its great AMOLED display.



Moving on, the Sony Xperia X Compact is a handy device which has the positive characteristics of its more expensive cousin, only smaller. It packs a 4.6-inch HD Triluminos display with a hexacore processor and 3GB RAM. Its main camera is a 23-megapixel shooter with a 1/2.3-inch Exmor RS sensor and triple image sensing technology to deliver detailed shots. For the audiophiles out there, you’d be glad to know that it fully supports hi-res audio so you hear all the details of your favorite tunes on the go. It is currently priced at Php22,000 although if this isn’t your cup of tea, you might want to consider the Sony Xperia XA Ultra which is similarly-priced at Php21,290. It has a good performance, beautiful design, great display and a pretty good selfie camera.

Maxing out the budget limit and rounding up our list is the Sony Xperia X Performance at Php29,990. It’s not so big at 5 inches but still has the Triluminous technology on a Ful HD panel. Processing is handled by a Snapdragon 820 processor and 3GB of RAM and is supported by a 64GB storage. We reviewed this handset and was impressed by its beautiful design and front-facing stereo speakers. The performance was also top-notch while delivering detailed photos. Finally, it continues the Xperia tradition of being able to be submerged in water with its IP68 certification.

Those are our hand-picked phones for this list. Do you have anything else to add? Share them with everyone in the comments section below.

Kevin Bruce Francisco is the Senior Editor and Video Producer for YugaTech. He's a Digital Filmmaking graduate who's always either daydreaming of traveling or actually going places on his bike. Follow him on Twitter for more tech updates @kevincofrancis.

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1 Response

  1. Jerwin says:

    No love for Xiaomi’s flagships?

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