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Top Smartphones Under Php5K (Mid-2017)

Our 2017 Mid-year series of devices continues! We won’t call this a list without everyone’s favorite price segment: phones of different shapes and sizes priced just under five thousand.

Given that most of the brands have already unleashed their new budget devices this past Christmas and the weakening peso-dollar conversion surely affected a lot of devices’ prices coming into the country, there are only very few smartphones that made it on our list, unlike last year.

As with the other lists that we’ve published previously, those listed here are released in the Philippines on January 1, 2017, to June 30, 2017. Phones are arranged in no particular order.

For starters on a budget

For those who want to get a taste of Android but does not have that much to shell out, these are some of the top smartphone picks you can get for cheaps. First, the Cloudfone One is the most affordable smartphone released this past summer, bearing very basic specs with a good build for Php1,199. It’s not that powerful, but this phone does suffice for ‘lite’ app use.

Cloudfone One specs:
3.5-inch WVGA display
1.0GHz Single Core Processor
256MB RAM
512MB internal storage
expandable via microSD up to 32GB
2MP rear camera with LED flash
VGA front camera
Dual SIM, Dual Standby
WiFi
Bluetooth
GPS
Android 4.4 Kitkat

Cloudfone also has the Go Connect which aims to have a better connection with a bigger battery capacity at its Php2,199 price point.

Cloudfone Go Connect  specs:
4-inch WVGA TFT display @ 480 x 800 px, 233 PPI
1.2GHz Spreadtrum SC7731G
Mali 400MP
512MB RAM
8GB internal storage
expandable via microSD
2MP rear camera with LED Flash
VGA front camera
3G HSPA+ 21MBps
Dual SIM, Dual Standby
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth
GPS, A-GPS
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
2500mAh Li-Ion battery
128.3 x 66.3 x 13.2 mm (dimensions)
149 g (weight)

Cherry Mobile, on the other hand, has the Flare J2 Mini packed with 8GB of internal storage for Php1,999.

Cherry Mobile Flare J2 Mini:
4.5-inch display
1.2GHz quad-core CPU
? RAM
8GB storage
microSD up to 32GB
5MP rear camera
2MP front camera
Dual-SIM
3G
WiFi
Bluetooth
GPS
Android 6.0 Marshmallow

The Starmobile Play Dash also touts modest hardware for Php2,499.

Starmobile PLAY Dash specs:
4.5-inch TFT display @ 480 x 854 pixels, 220ppi
1.2GHz Spreadtrum 7731C quad-core CPU
Mali-400 MP1
1GB RAM
8GB internal storage
Expandable via microSD, up to 32GB
8MP fixed-focus rear camera w/ LED flash
2MP front-facing camera
Dual SIM
3G HSPA+
Wi-Fi
Bluetooth
FM Radio
GPS w/ a-GPS
1700mAh Li-Ion battery
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
132.9 x 67 x 10.5 mm
130 g

For those who want something unique

Budget smartphones released these past few months have some niche features in tow, given that the price point only offer modest entry-level hardware. For instance, Cherry Mobile released a slew of smartphones this past summer that have some neat perks such as the Flare J1 2017 that is said to have a very tough front glass.

Cherry Mobile Flare J1 (2017) specs:
5-inch TFT LCD @ 854 x 480 pixels, 196ppi
1.2GHz Spreadtrum SC7731 quad-core CPU
Mali-400 MP2 GPU
1GB RAM
8GB internal storage
Expandable via microSD, up to 32GB
8MP rear fixed camera w/ dual LED flash
5MP front-facing camera
Dual SIM (Micro)
3G HSPA+
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0
GPS w/ a-GPS
2300mAh removable battery
Android 6.0 Marshmallow

They also have the Omega Icon 2 possessing a Full HD display, something not seen on its price range.

Cherry Mobile Omega Icon 2 key specs:
5-inch Full HD IPS display
1.3GHz Quad-Core chip
1GB RAM
8GB internal storage
expandable via microSD up to 32GB
8MP rear camera w/ Flash
5MP front camera
3G
Dual SIM, Dual Standby
WiFi
Bluetooth
GPS
Android 7 Nougat

Cherry Mobile also has the Flare P1 which targets those who want to take unique photos on a budget, as it is the most affordable dual-camera smartphone offered by a local brand to date at Php3,999.

Cherry Mobile Flare P1 specs:
5-inch IPS LCD display @ 1280 x 720 pixels, 294ppi
1.3GHz MediaTek MT6580 quad-core CPU
Mali T720 GPU
1GB RAM
16GB internal storage
Expandable via microSD, up to 32GB
13MP + 2MP Dual BSI rear autofocus cameras w/ LED flash
5MP front camera w/ LED light
3G HSPA+
Dual SIM (Micro)
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.1
GPS w/ a-GPS
2350mah non-removable battery
Android 7.0 Nougat

Firefly Mobile also released their affordable dual-camera smartphone called the AURII Fusion, and it also packs a punch for Php4,299.

Firefly Mobile AURII Fusion specs:
5-inch HD IPS display
2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 3
1.3GHz Quad Core
Mediatek MT6580 quad-core CPU
Mali-400MP2 GPU
1GB RAM
16GB storage
microSD up to 128GB
13MP Sony sensor + 5MP AF dual-rear cameras w/ LED Flash
5MP BSI front camera
Dual-SIM
3G HSPA+
WiFi
Bluetooth 4.0
GPS, A-GPS
Fingerprint scanner
Android 7.0 Nougat
2,500mAh Battery

Firefly Mobile also has the AURII Virtuoso, a smartphone with a gyroscopic sensor that enables you to view virtual reality spaces or play augmented reality-based games such as Pokemon Go with ease for Php4,399.

Firefly Mobile AURII Virtuoso specs:
5.0-inch HD IPS OGS display
Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Quad-core CPU
2GB RAM
16GB storage
up to 128GB via microSD
13MP Sony IMX149 rear camera w/ dual-LED flash
8MP front camera
Dual-SIM
3G HSPA+
WiFi
Bluetooth 4.0
GPS, A-GPS
Smart audio power amplifier
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
2,200mAh battery

Starmobile, on the other hand, has the UP Prime that has 700MHz LTE, bigger internal storage, and the latest Android software right out of the box for Php3,990.

Starmobile UP Prime specs:
5-inch TFT display @ 1280 x 720 pixels, 293ppi
2.5D Curved Glass
1.25GHz MediaTek MT6737 quad-core CPU
Mali-T720MP
1GB RAM
16GB internal storage
Expandable via microSD, up to 32GB
8MP BSI rear autofocus camera w/ LED flash
5MP BSI front-facing camera
Dual SIM
4G LTE (700MHz support)
Wi-Fi
Bluetooth
FM Radio
GPS w/ a-GPS
3000mAh Li-Po battery
143.4 x 72.7 x 10.15 mm
160 g

Speaking of Nougat, Motorola’s Moto C has the best deal from a global brand with non-compromised, plain version of Google’s latest mobile operating system for only Php3,699. Quite a good deal from Moto, if you ask me.

Motorola Moto C specs:
5-inch TFT LCD @ 854 x 480 pixels, 196ppi
1.3GHz MediaTek MT6580 quad-core CPU
1GB RAM
8GB internal storage
Expandable via microSD, up to 32GB
5MP rear fixed-focus camera w/ LED flash
2MP front-facing camera w/ LED flash
Dual SIM
3G
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.2
GPS w/ A-GPS
FM Radio
2350mAh removable Li-Po battery
Android 7.0 Nougat
145.5 x 73.6 x 9 mm
154 g
Starry Black, Fine Gold, Metallic Cherry

For those who want a bit ‘premium’

A trend that’s going on with budget smartphones these days is how ‘premium’ it could be — we’re not talking about the hardware inside, but rather the way they are enclosed in metals and glass as opposed to polycarbonate chassis that budget phones oftentimes have.

The Mini version of the Cherry Mobile Desire R7 may look like an iPhone SE from afar, but do not mistake its premium build for the price it bears for Php2.299.

Speaking of build, Firefly Mobile’s Aurii F8 also offers a similar premium build for Php3,999.

Firefly Mobile AURII F8 Premium specs:
5.5-inch HD IPS display @ 1280 x 720 px
Corning Gorilla Glass 3, 2.5D curved edge
1.3GHz Quad-core Mediatek MT6580
Mali-400MP GPU
1GB DDR3 RAM
16GB internal storage
expandable via microSD up to 128GB
13MP Sony rear camera with Dual Tone LED Flash
5MP front camera
3G HSPA+
Dual SIM, Dual Standby
WiFi
Bluetooth
GPS
Android 7.0 Nougat
2850mAh Li-Po battery (non-removable) with Fast Charging Tech

The Blackview A9 Pro, on the other hand, touts good a spec sheet for Php4,990.

Blackview A9 Pro specs:
5-inch HD IPS display @ 1280 x 720px
1.3GHz Quad-core MediaTek MT6737
Mali-T720
2GB RAM
16GB internal storage expandable via microSD up to 32GB
8MP+0.3MP rear cameras
2MP front camera
4G LTE Dual SIM, Dual Standby
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g Bluetooth 4.0
GPS, A-GPS Fingerprint scanner
USB Type C 2.0
Android 7.0 Nougat
3000mAh battery

Lastly, Cherry Mobile’s Desire R7 also touts a good build for its Php4,999 asking price.

Cherry Mobile Desire R7 specs:
5-inch HD IPS display @ 1280 x 720px
1.3GHz Quad-Core Mediatek MT6737
Mali T720 GPU
2GB RAM
16GB internal storage
expandable via microSD card up to 64GB
13MP rear camera with LED Flash
8MP front camera
4G LTE with 700MHz support
Dual-SIM (micro+nano), Dual Standby
Wi-Fi b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0
GPS, AGPS
Android 7 Nougat
2200mAh Non-removable battery

And there you have it — our top smartphones under five thousand grand this mid-year. Let us know in the comments section if you missed anything, and don’t forget to check our other mid-year guides for more.


Carl spots the newest devices and best deals in town as a Senior Correspondent and creates lists of everything and anything tech with Fast Five. Feel free to drop him a line at @lamielcarl!

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19 Responses

  1. Mr. Roboto says:

    A grand already means a thousand so five thousand grand…

  2. Mr. Roboto says:

    A grand already means a thousand so saying five thousand grand is redundant.

  3. Don Lim says:

    This is definitely the year of 1GB RAM phones and downgraded processors (octacore to quad core). How come 2016 phones still have better specs with lower prices?!

    • Carl Lamiel says:

      There are many factors on why we’re seeing not the usual cycle of budget phones this past six months, and these are some that I can think of as of this time:

      1. Most of the brands have exhausted their resources and presented their budget lineups this past Q4 2017, and most of them are still on sale to date. If they follow their own cycles last year, we’ll see more budget phones arriving with Android Marshmallow and Nougat in the second half of the year.
      2. Weakening peso-dollar exchange rate also comes into play. With a weakening exchange rate, newer phones are generally more expensive as they cost more to be imported into the country.
      3. Most budget quad-core chips have evolved and now offer almost the same, if not equal, performance versus octa-core chips seen before in this price range.

      These are just some. I hope these help!

  4. reader1 says:

    Hi Carl, five grand is already five thousand.

  5. Nick says:

    Another great list! Can we have a list of top tablets below Php20K?

  6. Jude says:

    I like the specs of CM Desire R7 except for the battery. It’s really a deal breaker. Ang baba na, non-removal pa.

  7. We says:

    Cherry mobile flare 5
    For 4k.
    Its the best deal among the list.

  8. Den says:

    Hi! Which would you recommend: buying one from this list or buying one from your list last year? Since I think someone mentioned specs were better last year…

    • Carl Lamiel says:

      Tough one. Hehe. Each has its own pros and cons: Last year’s phones, generally, will be stuck in whatever OS they’re in, but they’re more affordable now since depreciation applies. With this year’s list, on the other hand, you’d get a more recent OS with some of the devices, but is a bit pricier.

  9. ramg says:

    why isnt the xiaomi redmi 4x not included? this is probably the best phone under 5k!

  10. Carlo Gepullano says:

    Carl.. need your help.. what phone can you recommend for gps purposes only waze or google map.? Especially for a motorcycle rider. Thanks for your answer. God Bless

  11. catherine cabrera says:

    my son wants 2gb ram and 3000mah battery phone..our budget is 5,000-6,000.. any suggestions poh? yung worth it po sa price..thank you…

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