Top Smartphones Under Php20K (Mid-2016)

As part of our mid-year guide for those bang-for-the-buck smartphone seekers, here are our top smartphones under Php20K (Php10,000 and above).

Do take note that the list consists of smartphones that were made available in the Philippines this year and has a local price to go along with it. They are arranged in terms of price from the most expensive to the least expensive.

Vivo V3 Max 

The new PH player is off to a good start since the Vivo V3 Max is well-made with premium characteristics, very capable internal specs, and not-so-demanding price tag.

vivo v3 max_4

With it, you get a smartphone with a 5.5-inch Full HD display, capable Snapdragon 652 octa-core CPU, large 4GB RAM, a starting storage of 32GB which is also expandable via microSD, 4G LTE, and fingerprint scanner. What’s left to do now is for Vivo to upgrade it to Marshmallow. Other than that, it’s all good.

Vivo V3 Max specs:
5.5-inch IPS Full HD display, 401ppi
1.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 octa-core CPU
Adreno 510 GPU
32GB internal storage
WiFi 802.11n/ac
Bluetooth 4.1
GPS with aGPS support, GLONASS
AK4375 HiFi Chip
13-megapixel rear camera, PDAF, LED flash
8-megapixel front-facing camera
3,000mAh Li-Ion battery
Fingerprint Sensor
FunTouch OS 2.5 (Android 5.1.1 Lollipop)
153.9 x 77.1 x 7.6 mm
168 g
Price: Php16,990

Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)

The 2016 edition J7 features Samsung’s own Exynos octa-core chipset and a 5.5-inch AMOLED display. Just like many in this category, it has LTE connectivity and NFC for wireless pairing.


This newer version gets an upgrade mostly in the choice of material used as it now has an aluminum frame surrounding the handset.

Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) specs:
5.5-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display, 401ppi
1.6GHz octa-core CPU
16GB internal storage
MicroSD card up to 128GB
13MP rear camera, f/1.9 aperture, LED flash
5MP front camera, f/1.9 aperture, LED flash
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.1
Android 5.1 Lollipop
3,300mAh battery
151.7 x 76 x 7.8mm
Price: Php14,990

Sony Xperia XA

Sony’s Xperia XA is the budget-friendly smartphone that the company announced early this year. The handset touts a 5-inch HD display, a MediaTek octa-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage with Andorid Marshmallow running the show.


Although the specs have been toned down to keep costs to a minimum, Sony somehow makes up for it by implementing an edge-to-edge display that makes the device more attractive to look at.

Sony Xperia XA specs:
5-inch HD IPS LCD display @ 1280 x 720 resolution, 294ppi
2.9GHz MediaTek MT6755 octa-core processor
Mali T860 MP2 GPU
16GB internal storage
Expandable via microSD
13MP rear camera with Phase Detection AF
8MP front camera
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.1
2,300mAh battery
Android Marshmallow 6.0
Price: Php13,990

Xiaomi Mi Max

The Xiaomi Mi Max combines the best features of a flagship phone with a generous display size. It has a choice of Snapdragon 650 and 652 CPU for speedy processing and is partnered with either a 3GB or 4GB RAM. Internal storage could go as high as 128GB and has a 16-megapixel shooter as its main camera.


Aside from its sheer size, we could not find anything polarizing with the device — either you’ll love it or find it too uncomfortable/unwieldy as a daily driver.

Xiaomi Mi Max specs:
6.44-inch IPS full HD display @ 1920×1080 pixels, 342 ppi
Gorilla Glass 4
Qualcomm Snapdragon 650/652 CPU
4 x 1.4GHz Cortex-A53 + 2 x 1.8GHz Cortex-A72
Adreno 510 GPU
32GB, 64GB, 128GB internal storage
microSD up to 128GB
16MP PDAF rear camera w/ LED flash
5MP front camera (85-degree wide-angle)
Dual-SIM hybrid
4G+, 3G HSPA+
WiFi 802.11ac
Bluetooth 4.2
Rear fingerprint sensor
Infrared port (Mi Remote app)
4,850mAh Li-Ion battery
173.1 x 88.3 x 7.5mm (dimensions)
203 grams (weight)
Gold, Silver, Gray
Price: Php13,990 (Widget City)

Cherry Mobile M1

Cherry Mobile launched its specs-heavy smartphone for the market and it’s the first to sport the latest MediaTek Helio X20 in the country. They are also the first local brand to put in USB Type-C and 4GB of RAM.


While all the clamor for 4K video, fast USB port, ample RAM, and capable chipset are exciting, its asking price of below Php12K makes it a really attractive option and is one the most affordable powerhouse smartphones you can buy.

realme philippines

Cherry Mobile M1 specs:
5.5-inch Full HD display
MediaTek Helio X20 (MT6797) deca-core CPU
Mali-T880 MP4 GPU
32GB internal storage
21MP Sony IMX230 PDAF rear camera w/ LED flash, 4K video recording
8MP front camera w/ LED flash
Dual-SIM (nano)
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 4.1
USB Type-C
Fingerprint scanner
3,600mAh battery w/ Fast Charging
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
152.5mm x 76.35mm x 9.8mm
Price: Php11,999

Huawei GR5

For those looking at the mid-range space, Huawei is offering the Huawei GR5 with its 5.5-inch Full HD display, a Snapdragon octa-core CPU, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage.

huawei gr5_7

The Huawei GR5 is a decent phablet for the company’s mid-range category. It has a premium look and feel, good display, dual-SIM with dedicated microSD card slot, Fingerprint scanner, capable rear camera, and good battery life.

Huawei GR5 specs:
5.5-inch TFT Full HD display @ 1920 x 1080 resolution
Snapdragon 615 MSM8939 octa-core processor
16GB storage
13MP rear camera
5MP front camera
Bluetooth 4.0
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n
LTE Cat. 4
Fingerprint sensor
Android 5.1 with EMUI 3.1
3000mAh battery
Price: Php11,990


The OPPO F1 is the company’s selfie-centric smartphone. It boasts a 5-inch display, Snapdragon 616 octa-core processor, 3GB RAM, 8MP front camera, Android Lollipop, and a price tag under Php12K.

oppo f1_10

This phone proved to be a good imaging device with a premium build and design, good performance, and a reasonable price tag. If you’re looking for a phone with the said strengths, the OPPO F1 is definitely worth considering.

OPPO F1 specifications:
5-inch IPS LCD (720 x 1280 pixels), 294ppi
2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 4
1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 octa-core CPU
Adreno 405
16GB internal storage
Expandable via microSD (up to 128GB)
13MP rear PDAF rear camera w/ LED flash
8MP front camera
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0, A2DP
Android 5.1 Lollipop w/ Color OS 2.1
2,500mAh battery (non-removable)
143.5 x 71 x 7.3 mm
Price: Php11,990

Vivo V3

The Vivo V3 just had its local price revealed this month. It sports a 5-inch HD display which has a 2.5D Gorilla Glass that makes for livelier images. Inside, a Snapdragon octa-core processor with 3GB of RAM is making sure that operations are smooth, transitions are fluid, and tasks are done efficiently.


Vivo V3 specs:
5-inch IPS HD display
Corning Gorilla Glass 2.5D
Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 1.7GHz octa-core processor
Adreno 405 Graphics
3GB of RAM
16GB/32GB internal storage
Up to 128GB via microSD card
WiFi 802.11n/ac
Bluetooth 4.0
AK4375 HiFi Chip
13-megapixel rear camera, PDAF, LED flash
8-megapixel front-facing camera
Fingerprint Sensor
Funtouch OS 2.5
2,550 Li-Ion battery
Price: Php11,990

Elephone P9000

Elephone’s local presence is now official thanks to their partnership with Lazada in initially bringing three devices to the Philippine market. Leading the pack is the Elephone P9000 which sports a Helio P10 chipset, 4GB RAM, USB Type-C, and wireless charging.


Its design gives it a sophisticated impression, the power it has is a feat for its price, and it has good optics which what most users want. For its price, the handset gives you more compared to other manufacturers in the market.

Elephone P9000 specs:
5.5-inch LG LTPS OGS Full HD display
2.0GHz MediaTek MT6755 Helio P10 octa-core CPU
Mali-T860 GPU
32GB internal storage
up to 256GB via microSD
13MP Sony IMX258 F/2.0 rear camera w/ Laser AF, dual-tone flash
8MP OV8858 84-degree wide-angle front camera
4G LTE, 3G
Dual-SIM (micro)
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
Fingerprint scanner
USB Type-C
3,000mAh battery w/ Quick Charge
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
148.4 x 73.2 x 7.3mm
Price: Php11,499

Lenovo K4 Note

The Lenovo K4 Note, apart from its Full HD display, octa-core CPU, and 3GB RAM, it also has more features up its sleeve like Dolby’s virtual surround sound, dual 1.5W speakers, and a special audio codec for an improved listening experience.


Lenovo is doing great in the smartphone game. With devices for different markets, they sure know how to play. Coming from the success of the K3 Note or the A7000 Plus when it arrived locally, the successor aims to prove itself as an entertainment phone.

Lenovo K4 Note specs:
5.5-inch Full HD IPS display, 403ppi
Corning Gorilla Glass 3
64-bit MediaTek MT6753 1.3GHz octa-core CPU
Mali T720-MP3 GPU
16GB internal storage
up to 128GB via microSD
13MP PDAF rear camera w/ LED flash
5MP FF front camera
Dual-SIM (micro)
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 4.0 LE
FM Radio
Fingerprint scanner
Dolby Atmos virtual surround sound
Front ported 2X1.5W stereo speakers
WM8281 audio codec
3,300mAh battery
Android 5.1 Lollipop
153.7 x 78.74 x 9.14mm
Price: Php10,699

And that concludes our guide for the best smartphones you can buy in PH in the range of Php10k and Php20k. Do you have anything to add to the list? Hit the comments section below and share it among other readers.

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.

7 Responses

  1. Kenzo says:

    Xperia XA got 2.9ghz of cpu speed? But i searched it in the net and it said 2.0 + 1.0 ghz. What does that mean?

  2. KittVincent says:

    Where’s Vivo V5?

  3. TopherV1 says:

    Would have been nice to see Nexus 5X in the list if only LG had the balls to release the phone here…

  4. John Doe says:

    Wow! The Sony XA processor clock speed is awesome, It’s my 1st time seeing a Helio P10 with 2.9GHz clock speed XD.Hehe, does other Helio P10 powered smartphone had the same clockspeed too, hakhak!

  5. Twomsgs says:

    Redmi note 3 pro?

  6. Rabbitkun says:

    XA definitely wins on the looks department :)

  7. Win Casquero says:

    How about the Huawei P9 Lite? ????

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