Smartphones are almost a necessity in today's digital world, but while we would all be happy with the newest flagship phone, many people need to work around a budget. If you are looking for something better than entry-level but don't quite have the resources to go into the upper end, you'll want to choose the best mid-level phone. Here, we take a look at the best options for a mid-range smartphone under PHP 15,000.
The Best Overall Phone
Huawei Honor 6X
If you are looking for something that does everything well and looks great to boot, the one phone that should be on your shortlist is the Huawei Honor 6X. It has all modern amenities that we've come to expect from flagships of previous years, such as a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, and even has dual cameras. The generous 5.5-inch Full HD 1080p screen with options for 3GB or 4GB of RAM and 32GB or 64GB storage and metal chassis round out the package. If you aren't looking for anything specific, the Honor 6X is one of your best picks.
Motorola Moto G4 Plus
Another good choice for an all-rounder is Motorola's Moto G4 Plus. It feels more like a flagship model than a mid-ranger, with a smooth performance from the Qualcomm Snapdragon 617, a 5.5-inch 1080p Full HD screen, a great 16-megapixel camera and 2GB of RAM. While it's plastic construction still reminds you of its actual budget roots, the G4 Plus performs really well at all smartphone tasks and has a clean stock installation of Android Nougat, making it a great choice for minimalists and those who like to customize their phone.
Sony Xperia XA
While Sony has not been doing well in the mobile space of late, the Xperia XA is still a chic, sleek smartphone with a great design aesthetic. Even though it's of plastic construction, you'd be forgiven for thinking it looks like a premium handset. It also performs suitably well with a MediaTek MT6755 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and a 5-inch HD 720p screen. It's one of the best-looking phones you can get at this price point, so if style is your thing, the Xperia XA has it in spades.
The Vivo V5 is a great smartphone in its price range, and while it does everything well with a 5.5-inch HD 720p display, 4GB of RAM, 32GB internal storage, and a fingerprint scanner, what sets this phone apart is its selfie potential. While it has a 13-megapixel camera at the back, the front shooter is a 20-megapixel affair with flash and a Sony IMX376 sensor, making it exceptionally good for selfies. If you want something that performs well but takes selfies even better, the V5 is your phone.
The Best Camera
OPPO's F1s is also a selfie-expert, with a 5.5-inch 720p HD display, a MediaTek MT6750 processor and 3GB of RAM, along with 32GB storage. The rear camera is 13-megapixel while the front one is a more generous 16-megapixels, although it's lacking in flash. The superfast fingerprint scanner also unlocks the phone in a flash, and while the phone is using an old processor the performance is surprisingly snappy. Back it up with the metal design and you have a very attractive package.
Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
The current Galaxy J7 (2016) has a 5.5-inch 720p HD screen and offers good day-to-day performance, but the largest of Samsung's J Series offers a 13-megapixel camera that on paper is the same as its smaller sibling the J5's, but its camera performance is definitely a notch higher. Samsung's made great strides in the smartphone camera field in recent years and the J7 takes advantage of that with a surprisingly good camera.
Cherry mobile Flare P1 Plus
Cherry Mobile offers a good camera on its Flare P1 Plus, something that mates well with its 5.5-inch Full HD 1080p screen. What makes The Flare P1 Plus special is its dual camera feature, which is all but unheard of at the Flare P1 Plus' price range, which is closer to an entry-level than midrange. Cherry Mobile still manages to cram in modern amenities like a fingerprint scanner, and while its 2GB RAM, MediaTek processor, and 16GB storage won't be breaking any records, if you want an affordable dual camera phone this is it.
ASUS ZenFone 3 Max zc553kl
The ASUS ZenFone 3 Max is renowned for one thing: its amazing battery. Not only does it have a huge 4,130mAh battery, it outputs enough current that you can actually charge USB devices with this phone. It serves as a power bank in a pinch! Coupled with a 5.5-inch HD 720p screen, a MediaTek processor and 2GB/3GB of RAM, Asus has a phone that performs well but has stellar battery life for days.
Xiaomi Mi Max
Xiaomi's Mi Max might not have the charging trick of the Asus' ZenFone, but it has an awesome 4,850mAh battery inside. While a lot of that is going to power the Mi Max's 6.44-inch Full HD 1080p display, it has a relatively power-saving Snapdragon 650 which is known to be very energy-efficient. With 3GB of RAM and a beautifully chic design, the Mi Max has great battery life and an amazing, large screen that will be sure to please.
Cherry mobile Flare S5 Power
The Flare S5 Power ups the ante even more with a whopping 6,050mAh battery. While battery capacity isn't everything, there's no doubt that this oversized battery will keep you going all day and beyond. The rest of the phone is a 5.5-inch 1080p Full HD display with a MediaTek MT6753 processor and 3GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage and a fingerprint sensor. It'll do what you need and do it all day and well into the next day to boot.
Depending on whether you are looking for a great performing phone all around, one with a great camera, or one that lasts all day long, all of the options here are worthy and won't break the bank. If you are looking for that extra special phone at a great price, consider looking at these and other phones in our listings.