Fast Five: Top iPhone SE Alternatives

Feeling a little excited about the new iPhone SE? It ain’t arriving yet, but there are a few other phones that might want your attention. In this Fast Five edition, we take a look at some of the top smartphone worthy of battling the newest smartphone from the Cupertino giant.


Yugatech 728x90 Reno7 Series

Herein listed are some of the alternatives one might want to purchase in lieu of of the new compact iPhone. We used the US SRP of $399 (around 18K) for the 16GB version and matched it with a few devices among that price range, along with other devices who are Davids in the world of the smartphone Goliaths. Listed in no particular order.

Huawei G8


Priced at Php17,990, Huawei’s metal-clad mid-ranger is impressive, as we have mentioned before in our quick review. The interface alone would remind you of the iOS platform mainly because it has no app drawers to boot with the EMUI skin baked on Google’s Android operating system. It’s got a great camera to boot, too. There’s a hybrid tray that can give you the option of a second SIM card or expanded storage, so you won’t have to worry about the space.

Huawei G8 specs:
5.5-inch 2.5D Full-HD Touchscreen display @ 1920×1080 pixels, 400ppi
Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 1.5GHz octa-core processor
Adreno 405 GPU
32GB internal storage
Up to 128GB via microSD
Dual-SIM/dual standby 4G LTE
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0 LE
13MP rear camera with dual-tone flash
5MP front camera
USB On-The-Go Support
3,000mAh battery
Fingerprint ID
Android 5.1 with Emotion UI v3.1
152 x 76.5 x 7.5mm (dimensions)
167 grams (weight)

Xiaomi MI5


The latest flagship from top Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi does not disappoint, too. Despite bearing non-expandable storage like how Cupertino does it, this device is a beast that can be bought for half the price of the device it resembles. It also features USB-C, which may be a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it. While local availability for Xiaomi’s more recent devices can be compared to waiting for that #forever, local resellers have gotten units which you can purchase now starting at Php15 19K. You can check out our full review here.

Xiaomi Mi 5 specs:
5.15-inch full HD display @ 1920 x 1080 pixels, 428ppi
Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor
Adreno 530 GPU
32GB, 64GB / 128GB UFS 2.0 internal storage
4G+ LTE Cat. 12, up to 600Mbps
VoLTE support
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 4.2
IR Blaster
Fingerprint sensor
USB Type-C
16-megapixel Sony IMX298 PDAF rear camera w/ dual-LED flash, 4-axis OIS
4-megapixel front camera
3000mAh battery w/ Quick Charge 3.0
Android 6.0 Marshmallow w/ MIUI 7
144.54 x 69.20 x 7.24 mm
129 g
Black, White, Gold

Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe Special Edition (SE)


ASUS also have some goodies up their sleeves, and one of them is the special edition of the Zenfone 2 (ZE551ML) embodied in your choice of tessellated chrome or carbon fiber ROG-like colors. There’s no doubt that the Taiwanese manufacturer is one of the key pioneers in making 4GB RAM smartphones more affordable through the Zenfone 2 Series, much to the clamor of the masses, but this SE bumps the retail price up a few thousand pesos higher to Php20,995. Our full review is here.

ASUS Zenfone 2 Deluxe Special Edition specs:
5.5-inch Full HD IPS display @ 1920 x 1080 resolution
Corning Gorilla Glass 3
64-bit 2.5GHz Intel Atom Z3590 processor
128GB internal storage
Expandable up to 128GB via microSD
13MP PixelMaster rear camera with f/2.0 aperture and real-tone flash
5MP front camera with 85-degree field of view
Dual-SIM/dual active
Wi-Fi ac
Bluetooth 4.0
3,000mAh battery with ASUS BoostMaster fast charging tech
Android 5.0 Lollipop with ZenUI

Google Nexus 5X

google nexus 5x_10

The lastest flagships from Google’s Nexus line comes in a pair, with LG manufacturing the smaller device aptly called the Nexus 5X. It’s basically a powerful rehash of the Nexus 5. It’s bigger, bolder, and beefier, and should also be considered worthy of the vanilla Android smartphone line. LG may not have brought the newest device in town, but several retailers have stepped up to get it in with prices starting at Php19.2K.

Google Nexus 5X specs:
5.2-inch Full-HD IPS display, 1920 x 1080 @ 424ppi
Corning Gorilla Glass 3
2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor
Adreno 418 GPU
16GB / 32GB On-board Storage
12.3 megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash
4K video recording
5-megapixel front camera
Single SIM (Nano)
Wi-Fi 802.11ac
Bluetooth 4.1
Dual Front-facing speakers
USB Type-C port
Nexus Imprint
2,700mAh battery
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Dimension: 147.0 x 72.6 x 7.9 mm
Weight: 136g

Sony Xperia Z5 Compact


Last but not the least, perhaps the only powerful small smartphone that may go head-to-head with Apple’s newest iPhone is the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact. With minimal hardware tweaks from the flagship Z5, a great build, and one of the best mobile cameras to date, the most powerful 4.6-inch Android from the Japanese tech giant proves that David can still fight against the Goliaths albeit bearing quite a hefty Php29,990 price tag. Here’s our review.

Sony Xperia Z5 Compact specs:
4.6-inch IPS LCD @ 720×1280 pixels, 323ppi
Qualcomm MSM8994 Snapdragon 810
ARM Cortex A53 1.5GHz quad-core, ARM Cortex A57 2.0GHz quad-core
Adreno 430 Graphics
32GB internal storage
Up to 200GB via microSD
LTE Cat. 6
Single SIM, Dual-SIM
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, DLNA
Bluetooth 4.1, A2DP, apt-X
ANT+ support
GPS with aGPS, GLONASS/Beidou
IP68 certified
23MP rear camera, autofocus, LED flash
5.1MP front-facing camera
Fingerprint Sensor
FM Radio Tuner, RDS
microUSB v2.0 (MHL 3 TV-out)
2,700mAh Li-Ion battery
Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
127 x 65 x 8.9mm (dimensions)
138 grams (weight)

Still haven’t made up your mind? Wait until the SE lands in a few months, or maybe purchase one of these if your patience is running out. We know there may be other phones capable of delivering powerful performance with the same price range or size, so do drop them down the comments section below.


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Avatar for Carl Lamiel

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19 Responses

  1. Avatar for Rommel Rommel says:

    if it doesn’t run iOS, can it still be considered an iPhone alternative? all of these phones listed in the article run Android. the user experience one gets from Android is very different from what one gets from iOS.

    • Avatar for Bugok Bugok says:

      Same thoughts here.

      Prang d nanuod ng event tong mga to. Sbi na ng Apple na ang main goal ng SE is to become entry-level iPhone. How come na android products pa rin to?

      I was expecting iphone 5s, 5c, ipad mini 2, ipad mini 4, and ipad air 2 which is definitely at same price range that run iOS.

  2. Avatar for Alpha Tauri Alpha Tauri says:

    Thought this list would only include compact phones i.e. sub 5 inches.

  3. Avatar for Alpha Alpha says:

    Apple just created a 4-inch monster. A truly powerful compact device with an all-time iconic design. At that price range I think more people will buy this product soon.

  4. Avatar for Airo Sandoval Airo Sandoval says:

    The selling point of iPhone SE is its 4-inch form factor. 4 out of 5 mentioned are 5-inchers so how can those be alternative.

  5. Avatar for ab ab says:

    Xiaomi Mi4C 5″ 3GB 32gb dual micro sim

  6. Avatar for gab gab says:

    you forgot the best iphone SE alternative to date:
    apple’s very own iphone 5s. basically the same phone for less price.

  7. Avatar for Kunsel Kunsel says:

    Pakilagay din po price comparison sana sa ibang bansa. Mas mahal siya sa Europe at India. Hindi 389 usd equivalent. Plus logistics at taxes. May nabasa ako 39000 inr. Around 27k php na yun dito.

  8. Avatar for archie archie says:

    Sharp aquos compact with monster 3gb ram and 808 chipset. Too bad sa Japan lang ito narelease.

  9. Avatar for Easy E Easy E says:

    I was expecting to see generously-spec’d 4in alternatives to the iPhone SE. I think you should write a separate article on this and please put a proper title on it.

  10. Avatar for meh meh says:

    z5 compact is 19,500 at shopmore, not 30k

  11. Avatar for John Smith John Smith says:

    All these phones are for ham hands. Jesus Christ Yugatech! get better writers!

  12. Avatar for John Cu John Cu says:

    Nexus 5x 2GHz? Mine got 1.4 quad and 1.8 dual

  13. Avatar for Dennis Espiritu Dennis Espiritu says:

    People want iPhone SE simply because it is in a “compact” form. Most of the phones listed here are not in that category.

    • Avatar for Carl Lamiel Carl Lamiel says:

      We also considered pricing which is 18K directly converted from US SRP. There are not much powerful phones that are that small-sized in the market today except for the Z5 Compact.

  14. Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

    who sells the mi 5 for 15k? can we get a name, email, or phone number?

    • Avatar for Cedie Garcia Cedie Garcia says:

      That is direct conversion from the original Mi 5 1.8 GHz version 1,999 CNY (about US$305)

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