Oct 10, 2017 (updated : Oct 9, 2018)

Best Smartphones of September 2018 in the Philippines

The month of September has ushered in a slew of interesting smartphone entrants in the Philippine market. And as diverse as they are, will that be enough to change the way of things in our exclusive list?

Research giant IDC has recently revealed the top five smartphone brands in the Philippines. Market leaders as they are, these brands have gained a strong following, each of them catapulting robust markets shares respectively.

In this compilation, we will look into how the recent finding from the research firm is able to reflect the vein of Filipino consumers in terms of these brands' model variants. We'll see if the September's list of the best smartphones in the country will be able to mirror what the IDC has come up with. Also, the exclusive list will reveal if the Philippine market is still enamored by the trend of smartphones with top-of-the-line selfie cameras and attractive prices.

Will the list be as varied as it was? Or will it now bring in a manifold of entries? Let's find out.

10. Vivo V9

Pros

  • Large 6.3-inch FullView Display
  • Massive 24MP selfie snapper
  • Latest OS out-of-the-box

Cons

  • Micro USB connectivity
  • No NFC

The Vivo V9 still remains as one of the brand's most promising releases this year. And if you were a previous Vivo V7 and Vivo V7+ users, then you would really know.

Infinitely more beefed up than its predecessors, the Vivo V9 features premium mid-end offerings such as a large 6.3-inch FullView display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 chipset, a dual-camera setup, a huge 24MP front-facing camera, and an Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box. With this set of features, one's more than sure that everything is met.

Completing the package is a 3.5mm audio jack, a microSD card slot, a Corning Gorilla Glass 3, and a notch, of course. The only feature that seems dated is the inclusion of a Micro USB connectivity.

Vivo V9

Vivo V9

Lowest Price in the Philippines P14,100

Display Size6.3 inches
ResolutionFHD+ 2280 x 1080 pixels IPS Capacitive Touch Screen /incell
OS verAndroid 8.1 Oreo with FunTouch OS 4.0
CPUQualcomm Snapdragon 626 Octa-core
CPU Speed2.2 GHz
Storage64GB
External StorageMicroSD up to 256GB
RAM4GB
Main Camera16 MP + 5 MP, (f/2.0), LED Flash
Front Camera24 MP, (f/2.0)
BatteryLi-lon 3260mAh
Dimensions154.81 x 75.03 x 7.89 mm
Weight150 g
ColorPearl Black, Velvet Red, Gold, Blue

9.) HUAWEI nova 2 lite

Pros

  • Efficient rear dual-camera setup
  • Nice large HD+ Display
  • Budget-friendly price

Cons

  • Micro USB connectivity
  • No NFC

HUAWEI may not have placed on IDC's top five, but the HUAWEI nova 2 lite's inclusion in our list is a testament as to how the brand is easily infiltrating the market.

Right when it was launched, the HUAWEI nova 2 lite has remained to be one of the top favorites of the practical and the budget-conscious. One of the very best in the mid-range segment, the device's main defining feature is its rear dual-camera setup, which at the time of its launch, made the device as one of the most sought-after. The 13MP + 2MP dual camera comes with a wide aperture mode that allows it to capture more vivid details and depth that only HUAWEI knows how to deliver.

The HUAWEI nova 2 lite is also noted for its tall 18:9 aspect ratio, which may have unofficially brought about a strong following among many smartphone manufacturers months after. And to-date, this feature is now virtually everyone's must-have display style.

HUAWEI nova 2 lite

HUAWEI nova 2 lite

Lowest Price in the Philippines P8,499

Display Size5.99 inches
ResolutionHD+ 1440 x 720 pixels
OS verEMUI 8.0 (Android 8.0 Oreo)
CPUQualcomm MSM8937 Snapdragon 430 Octa Core Cortex-A53
CPU Speed1.4 GHz
Storage32GB
External Storageup to 256GB via microSD
RAM3GB
Main Camera13 MP + 2 MP
Front Camera8 MP
Battery3000mAh
Dimensions158.3 x 76.7 x 7.8mm
Weight155 g
ColorBlack, Gold, Blue

8. ASUS ROG phone ZS600KL

Pros

  • Best over-all gaming specs available
  • Plenty of accessory options

Cons

  • No expandable storage support
  • No IP certification
  • Officially announced in June 2018, but hasn't officially arrived in the Philippines as of September 2018

Perhaps the most surprising entry on the compilation is the inclusion of the almighty ASUS ROG Phone ZS600KL. The ultimate gaming smartphone from ASUS' placement in the list speaks about the consumers' great gaming need. And while the device doesn't exactly come with the most attractive price, the smartphone's efficient blending of top-of-the-line gaming features and on-trend specifications is nothing short of an amazement.

The ASUS ROG Phone ZS600KL packs a 6-inch FHD+ AMOLED display with 18:9 aspect ratio. Gaming enthusiasts would also delight on the device's 90Hz refresh rate, alongside its 1ms response time, and HDR. And obvious display wonder, the device only gets better: it comes two front-facing speakers with a top-grade audio quality, no less.

Easily its most attractive feature is the placement of a special port right in the middle of its left side, alongside the USB Type-C port in which users can attach an accessory. The port also acts as the main connector for most of its accessories.

ASUS ROG Phone ZS600KL

ASUS ROG Phone ZS600KL

Lowest Price in the Philippines P73,217.86

Display Size6.0 inches
Resolution1080 x 2160 pixels, 18:9 ratio
OS verROG Gaming UI (Android 8.1 Oreo)
CPUQualcomm SDM845 Snapdragon 845 Adreno 630
CPU Speed2.96GHz & 1.7GHz
Storage128GB, 256GB, 512GB
External StorageNo
RAM8GB
Main Camera12MP + 8MP
Front Camera8MP
Battery4000mAh
ColorBlack

7. OPPO F7

The OPPO F7's only gripes are the lack of a LED notification light and the inclusion of the rather dated Micro USB connectivity.

Pros

  • Nice beautiful design and display
  • Great selfie camera for the price
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection

Cons

  • No LED notification light
  • Micro USB connectivity

The OPPO F7 is easily the epitome of everything that is trendy in the mobile world at the moment. And in a familiar OPPO fashion, the device rings what is just about the most sought from both the millennials, down to those who just simply want to be in the loop. Foremost of these features is the now-omnipresent notch design. But if you look into it with more depth, OPPO's latest certainly has more to offer.

The massive 6.23-inch impeccable display aside, the device's notch also houses one of its most defining features, the game-changing 25MP selfie camera. On top of that, the display also comes with the top-grade Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and a cool pre-installed screen protector.

OPPO F7

OPPO F7

Lowest Price in the Philippines P13,400

Display Size6.23 inches
Resolution1080 x 2280 pixels
OS verColorOS 5.0, based on Android 8.1 Oreo
CPUMediaTek Helio P60 Octa-core 4 x Cortex-A73 & 4 x Cortex-A53, Mali-G72 MP3 GPU
CPU Speed2.0GHz + 2.0GHz
Storage64GB, 128GB
External StoragemicroSD, up to 256 GB (dedicated slot)
RAM6GB, 4GB
Main Camera16 MP, f/1.8
Front Camera25 MP, f/2.0
Battery3400 mAh (typical) 3300 mAh (min)
Dimensions156 x 75.3 x 7.8 mm (hwt)
Weight158 g with battery
ColorDiamond Black, Moonlight Silver, Solar Red

6. HUAWEI Y6 (2018)

Pros

  • Solid, slim, and light form factor
  • Comes with facial recognition
  • Cons

    • Mediocre specs
    • No NFC
    • Micro USB connectivity

    After three years of incessant prodding, HUAWEI has finally released the reboot of 2015's popular HUAWEI Y6. And as it appears, it's definitely worth the wait. One of the company's finest entry-level smartphones this year, the HUAWEI Y6 (2018) is all you could ever ask for in this age of advanced smartphone breakthroughs. And with a price tag that is nothing short of unbelievable, its features are most often compared to a steal.

    One of its most notable inclusions is the face unlock feature, a luxury that you can rarely find in its segment. The notchless device also comes with a large 5.7-inch screen that also happen to be elevated with lesser bezels. Another perk that is also rare in this segment is the dual-nano SIM card slots, alongside a dedicated slot for the microSD card.

    Finally, the HUAWEI Y6 (2018) is also noted for its solid yet light and slim structure that should delight those who seek durability and mobility all at the same time.

    HUAWEI Y6 (2018)

    HUAWEI Y6 (2018)

    Lowest Price in the Philippines P5,500

    Display Size5.7 inches
    ResolutionHD+ 720 x 1440 pixels, 18:9 ratio (~282 ppi density)
    OS verEMUI 8.0 (Android 8.0 Oreo)
    CPUQualcomm MSM8917 Snapdragon 425 Quad-core Cortex-A53
    CPU Speed1.4GHz
    Storage16GB
    External StoragemicroSD, up to 256GB (dedicated slot)
    RAM2GB
    Main Camera13MP
    Front Camera5MP
    Battery3000mAh
    Dimensions152.4 x 73 x 7.8mm
    Weight150g
    ColorBlack, Gold, Blue

    5. Vivo Y71

    Pros

    • Attractive price tag
    • Beautiful large display with eye protection feature

    Cons

    • Single rear camera
    • Micro USB connectivity
    • Mediocre specs

    Since its release last March, the Vivo Y71 has remained to be consistently charting our compilation in the modest high. One of its attributes that ultimately places it among the most consistent favorites is its incredibly budget-friendly price tag.

    The Vivo Y71 comes with fairly slim bezels which surround the large 6-inch screen. Enhancing its display is an HD+ resolution and the favorited 18:9 aspect ratio. The screen comes with a distinctive "Eye Protection" feature that is specially developed for those who are constantly staring at their smartphones.

    For its price, the Vivo Y71 is also a wonder in the UI and OS departments. It runs the latest Android 8.1 Oreo, conveniently skinned with the brand's proprietary FunTouch OS 4.0. The device also serves up a slew of pre-installed apps that could come in handy in this market. These include Lazada, noted Google apps, WPS, and the vivoCloud, of course.

    Vivo Y71

    Vivo Y71

    Lowest Price in the Philippines P6,699

    Display Size6.0 inches
    Resolution720 x 1440 pixels, 18:9 ratio (~268 ppi density)
    OS verFunTouch OS based on Android 8.1 (Oreo)
    CPUQualcomm MSM8917 Snapdragon 425 Quad-core Cortex-A53
    CPU Speed1.4 GHz
    Storage16GB, 32GB
    External StoragemicroSD up to 256 GB (dedicated slot)
    RAM2GB, 3GB
    Main Camera13 MP
    Front Camera5 MP
    BatteryNon-removable Li-Ion 3360 mAh
    Dimensions149.3 x 72.8 x 7.9mm
    Weight139 g
    ColorMatte Black, Gold

    4. HUAWEI nova 3i

    Pros

    • AI-assisted quadruple cameras
    • Beautiful large FHD+ display
    • Fast processor

    Cons

    • Micro USB connectivity
    • No NFC
    • Hybrid SIM type
    • Typical notch design

    If there's a smartphone in the Philippine market now that screams "millennial" and "modern," the HUAWEI nova 3i easily captures those adjectives.

    The mid-ranger HUAWEI nova 3i's most attractive feature is its overall design that just beckons the millennials and the young at heart. It comes with the perfect mix of premium feel and carefree aesthetics, two features that culminate its popularity among the youngsters. Alongside the design, the device also comes with on-trend features such as the notch display, a large 6.3-inch FHD+ with a resolution of 2340 x 1080, the Android 8.1 Oreo, and a large 128GB internal storage option.

    Finally, the HUAWEI nova 3i is noted to have introduced the beauty of equipping a handset with quadruples cameras, two on its rear and the rest on the front.

    HUAWEI nova 3i

    HUAWEI nova 3i

    Lowest Price in the Philippines P13,850

    Display Size6.3 inches
    ResolutionFHD+ 1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio
    OS verEMUI 8.1 (Android 8.1)
    CPUKirin 710 Mali-G51 MP4
    CPU Speed4x2.2 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4x1.7 GHz Cortex-A53
    Storage64GB, 128GB
    External Storageup to 256GB via microSD (hybrid)
    RAM6GB, 4GB
    Main Camera16 MP + 2 MP
    Front Camera24 MP + 2 MP
    Battery3340mAh
    Dimensions157.6 x 75.2 x 7.6 mm
    Weight169 g
    ColorBlack, Pearl White, Iris Purple

    3. OPPO A83

    Pros

    • AI-assisted cameras
    • Budget-friendly price tage

    Cons

    • Mediocre display
    • Outdated OS

    The perennial chart-topper OPPO A83 is certainly banking on the brand's most noted feature, the selfie camera. Dubbed as the "smart camera," the luxury of which is based on a global image database of human faces. As such, it can recognize the user's age, gender, skin tone and type, consequently refining 200-plus facial feature sports, resulting to a more genuine you.

    Both the OPPO A83's rear 13MP and 8MP front cameras are powered by an artificial intelligence technology and OPPO-based beautify algorithm. The rear camera is also noted for its "Ultra-HD" mode which can easily take multiple images, creating a 50MP photo instantaneously.

    OPPO A83

    OPPO A83

    Lowest Price in the Philippines P6,599

    Display Size5.7 inches
    Resolution1440 x 720
    OS verAndroid 7.1 Nougat with ColorOS 3.2
    CPUMediaTek MT6763T Helio P23 Octa-core Cortex-A53
    CPU Speed2.5 GHz
    Storage16GB, 32GB, 64GB
    External StoragemicroSD up to 256 GB
    RAM2GB, 3GB, 4GB
    Main Camera13 MP,f/2.2, autofocus, LED flash
    Front Camera8 MP,f/2.2
    BatteryNon-removable Li-Ion 3180 mAh
    Dimensions150.5 x 73.1 x 7.7 mm
    Weight143 g
    ColorBlack, Red, Champagne Gold, Blue

    2. OPPO F9

    Pros

    • Distinctive design
    • VOOC Flash Charge technology

    Cons

    • Not much has change internally from its predecessor
    • Micro USB connectivity
    • No NFC

    The OPPO F9's main takeaway is evidently its VOOC Flash Charge Technology which the company claims to last a two-hour talk with just a five-minute charge. That goes without saying that the device should cater to consumers who are always on-the-go and whose time is rather limited. The premium smartphone is also known for its long-lasting battery life, courtesy of the huge 3,500mAh battery that uses a smart battery management which veers the device away from battery drain.

    Next to its battery offerings, the OPPO F9 is also elevated by its design language, specifically the Starry Purple Edition with its undeniable charm, courtesy of OPPO's spraying technology that only attract those with a heightened taste.

    The OPPO F9 also comes in Twilight Blue and Sunrise Red.

    OPPO F9

    OPPO F9

    Lowest Price in the Philippines P17,450

    Display Size6.3 inches
    ResolutionLTPS TFT 2340 x 1080 pixels
    OS verAndroid 8.1 Oreo (ColorOS 5.2 UI)
    CPUMediatek MTK P60 ARM Mali-G72 MP3 800MHz
    CPU Speed4x2.0 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4x2.0 GHz Cortex-A53
    Storage64GB
    External Storageup to 256GB
    RAM6GB, 4GB
    Main Camera16MP + 2MP
    Front Camera25 MP
    Battery3500mAh (VOOC Flash Charge)
    Dimensions156.7 x 74 x 8 mm
    Weight169 g
    ColorSunrise Red, Twilight Blue, Starry Purple

    1. OPPO A3s

    Pros

    • Huge 4,230mAh battery
    • Snapdragon processor

    Cons

  • HD resolution
  • Micro USB connectivity

Still banking on OPPO's selfie expertise is the OPPO A3s. The Philippine market is still enamored by the smartphone that only gives the best camera output. Case in point is this device which packs a dual rear camera setup that houses the brand's AI Beauty 2.0, making your regular shots transformed into the extraordinary.

Akin to the previous entry, the OPPO A3s is also the ultimate choice among those who want to get juiced for days. With its colossal 4,230mAh battery, you're going to last first before this device does. Other notable inclusions are the improved facial unlock technology, the snappy Snapdragon octa-core CPU 14nm, and its fashion-forward color options.

OPPO A3s

OPPO A3s

Lowest Price in the Philippines P6,800

Display Size6.2 inches
OS verCorlor OS 5.1, based on Android 8.1
CPUQualcomm Snapdragon 450 adreno506 GPU
Storage16GB, 32GB
RAM2GB, 3GB
Main Camera13MP + 2MP
Front Camera8 MP
Battery4230mAh
Dimensions156.2 x 75.6 x 8.2 mm
Weight168 g
ColorRed, Dark Purple

Conclusion

With the exception of Cherry Mobile and Samsung, IDC's recent finding on the top smartphone brands in the Philippines is on-point, with OPPO, Vivo, ASUS placing comfortably on each of their spots.

The lack of Cherry Mobile smartphones in this compilation can perhaps be attributed to its wide reach via its kiosks and official outlets nationwide, that buying them online is almost nonessential. Meanwhile, the same could not be said on Samsung's absence in this month's list. Note that the South Korean company has had its entries on our list before so its lack at the moment could just be a blip on the radar.

Best Smartphones of September 2018 in the Philippines

  1. OPPO A3s
  2. OPPO F9
  3. OPPO A83
  4. HUAWEI nova 3i
  5. Vivo Y71
  6. HUAWEI Y6 (2018)
  7. OPPO F7
  8. ASUS ROG Phone ZS600KL
  9. HUAWEI nova 2 lite
  10. Vivo V9