Nov 13, 2019 (updated : Jul 29, 2020)

Best Smartphones Under PHP 15,000 in the Philippines 2020

In a pandemic-stricken economy at the moment, there's nothing more worthwhile than owning an affordable mid-range smartphone. Here are the top entries under PHP 15,000 in the country.

In 2020, the resurgence of inexpensive, top-tier mid-range smartphones is easily the highlight in the mobile industry to date. With the new iPhone SE (2020)'s announcement, alongside the OnePlus Nord, and the upcoming Google Pixel 4a, this niche is gaining more traction than ever.

And with good reason.

For example, in the Philippines, the local smartphone segment is also afflicted by the current repercussions brought about by the pandemic. And so, consumers are more conscientious of their purchases, ensuring that earnings don't go to waste.

As it is, the competition in the mid-range department is getting the attention it deserves. However, in terms of the reigning smartphone brands, Xiaomi and Realme are still unstoppable, despite the recent infiltration of the Samsung Galaxy M series and the HUAWEI nova series of the world.

But which smartphone is king in this very segment is even a mystery to us. Well, not until we've begun determining which entries are catching our local consumers' attention as of late.

Like the team behind this compilation, you sure would be surprised as well.

Without further ado, here are the best smartphones under PHP 15,000 in the Philippines.

Best Smartphones Under PHP 15K in the Philippines

8. HUAWEI P30 lite

There is a potent reason why the HUAWEI P30 lite isn't light at all when it comes to attracting buyers in the country.

The phone is just about the right product to be had if you feel like owning the vanilla P30 and the Pro edition of the lineup, but are riddled with budgetary concerns.

The HUAWEI P30 lite has the other P30 variants' impressive looks, right with all the bells and whistles down the line. These include the curves, glossy frame, and gradient-laden back panel.

Talking about the back of the device, the lite version of the HUAWEI P30 series also boasts a triple-camera setup, which can snap regular and ultra-wide photos and the option for Night Mode.

The HUAWEI P30 lite is powered by the Kirin 710 chipset, coupled with 4GB/6GB of RAM tiers and 128GB of internal storage.

Pros

  • Modern design, large display
  • Gaming-friendly hardware
  • Excellent camera offerings
  • Google Play Services

Cons

  • Battery capacity is a bit underwhelming
Display Size6.15 inches
Display ResolutionFHD+ 2312 x 1080 pixels
OS verEMUI 9.0.1 (Android 9.0 Pie)
CPUHUAWEI Kirin 710 Octa core
CPU Speed4× Cortex-A73 2.2GHz+ 4× Cortex-A53 1.7GHz
Storage128GB
External StoragemicroSD up to 512GB
RAM4GB, 6GB
Main Camera24MP + 8MP + 2MP
Front Camera32MP
Battery3,340 mAh
Dimensions152.9 x 72.7 x 7.4 mm
Weight159 g (including the battery)
ColorMidnight Black, Pearl White, Peacock Blue

7. Vivo S1 Pro

The Vivo S1 Pro is a standout, through and through. And for a list that is predicted to be mostly comprised of entries from Realme and Redmi, its placement is already a massive performance in itself.

The reason behind the Vivo S1 Pro's placement couldn't be more obvious. Right off the bat, the smartphone features a distinct-looking design, one that is rarely afforded in the otherwise diverse Android community.

Its Fancy Sky edition, for one, is an edition that is meant to attract. It has a this glass back panel, which features a diamond-like camera module that houses quadruple cameras. The sensors are headlined by a 48MP wide camera and are coupled with 8MP ultrawide and two 2MP macro and depth lenses. Additionally, the phone has a massive 32MP selfie snapper in front.

Right on the front is also an immersive 6.39-inch Super AMOLED screen, with a resolution of 1,080 x 2,340 pixels. A fingerprint scanner is also embedded underneath its display.

The Vivo S1 Pro has solid mid-range internals, front-lined by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 675 chip and 8GB of RAM.

Pros

  • Standout design
  • Rear quad cameras
  • Super AMOLED screen
  • 8GB RAM

Cons

  • Slightly dated OS
Display Size6.39 inches
Display ResolutionFHD+ 2340 x 1080 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~403 ppi density)
OS verFuntouch OS 9 based on Android 9 Pie
CPUQualcomm SDM675 Snapdragon 675AIE (11 nm) Octa core
CPU Speed2x2.0 GHz Kryo 460 Gold & 6x1.7 GHz Kryo 460 Silver
Storage128GB, 256GB
External StoragemicroSD, up to 256 GB
RAM6GB, 8GB
Main Camera48MP + 8MP + 5MP
Front Camera32MP
BatteryNon-removable Li-Po 3,700 mAh battery
Dimensions157.25 x 74.71 x 8.21 mm
Weight185 g
ColorKnight Black, Midsummer dream, Fancy Sky, Red, Blue

6. OPPO A52

OPPO has truly revived the A series with steps that are both necessary and reflective of today's standards. One of the revival results is the release of the OPPO A52 – a mid-range smartphone with killer design attributes and internals that are varied and ultimately advantageous.

The OPPO A52 features a 6.5-inch LTPS IPS LCD screen, with a resolution of 1,080 x 2,400 pixels and 480 nits of typical brightness. A display cutout was placed on the upper left section, housing the device's single 16MP front-facing snapper.

On its rear, the OPPO A52 has one of the most clean-looking panels. The Stream White variant, for instance, has an immaculate back which is only interrupted by a modern, rectangular camera module. The module is home to a quadruple-camera setup, headlined by a 12MP wide camera. Its auxiliary sensors include 8MP ultrawide and two 2MP macro and depth lenses.

Other key features of the device are the Snapdragon 665 chip, 5,000mAh battery, side-mounted fingerprint reader, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Pros

  • 5,000mAh battery
  • Modern and clean design
  • Rear quad cameras

Cons

  • Panel should've been AMOLED
Display Size6.5 inches
Display ResolutionFHD+ 1080 x 2400 pixels
OS verAndroid 10.0; ColorOS 7.1
CPUQualcomm SM6125 Snapdragon 665 (11 nm) Octa-core
CPU Speed4x2.0 GHz Kryo 260 Gold & 4x1.8 GHz Kryo 260 Silver
Storage128GB
External StoragemicroSDXC
RAM4GB, 6GB, 8GB
Main Camera12MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front Camera16MP (China ROM: 8MP)
BatteryNon-removable, Li-Po 5,000mAh Fast charging 18W
Dimensions162 x 75.5 x 8.9 mm
WeightAbout 192 g
ColorTwilight Black, Stream White

5. Samsung Galaxy M31

Rarely does a mid-range smartphone receive this much praise as the Galaxy M31, one of Samsung's newest iterations in its now-established M series.

Since the release of the Redmi Note 7 in 2019, consumers have all been anticipating to see a formidable counterpart. Thankfully, the Galaxy M31 managed to break the phone's monopoly in the bang-for-your-buck segment.

The Samsung Galaxy M31 boasts a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED screen, with a resolution of 1,080 x 2,340 pixels and Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The display also employs a notch which houses a 32MP selfie shooter.

On its rear, the phone manages to flatten the competition with a quadruple-camera system. This is headlined by an enormous 64MP wide camera coupled with an 8MP ultrawide sensor, and two 5MP macro and depth lenses.

Powering the device is Samsung's Exynos 9611 chipset, with 6GB of RAM and 64GB/128GB of UFS 2.1 storage.

Easily the most attractive feature of the phone is its 6,000mAh battery capacity - a perk this lineup has been known for that it is now mulling over releasing a new refresh, the Galaxy M31s.

Pros

  • 6,000mAh battery
  • Super AMOLED screen
  • Android 10, One UI 2.0
  • Capable rear quad cameras

Cons

  • Plastic build
  • Underwhelming support for fast charging
Display Size6.4 inches
Display ResolutionFHD+ 2340 x 1080 pixels, Super AMOLED
OS verAndroid 10 (One UI 2.0)
CPUSamsung Exynos 9611 Octa-core
CPU Speed4x2.3 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4x1.7 GHz Cortex-A53
Storage64GB, 128GB
External StoragemicroSDXC
RAM6GB
Main Camera64MP + 8MP + 5MP + 5MP
Front Camera16MP
BatteryLi-Po 6,000mAh
Dimensions159.2 x 75.1 x 8.9 mm
Weight191 g
ColorSpace Black, Red, Ocean Blue

4. Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S

Placing the Redmi Note 9S this high in our compilation is a no-brainer.

Continuing the tried and tested bang-for-your-buck formula of the Redmi Note series, the Note 9S is also one of the cheapest gaming-oriented smartphones in the competition – another hallmark for the noted lineup.

The Redmi Note 9S is fueled by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 720G chipset and is coupled with 4GB/6GB of RAM tiers and 64GB/128GB of UFS 2.1 internal storage options. The phone is also listed with a chunky 5,020mAh battery, with support for 18W fast wired charging.

The Redmi Note 9S is also commended for employing a large 6.67-inch IPS LCD screen, with a resolution of 1,080 x 2,400 pixels and 450 nits of typical brightness. It also offers an HDR10-capable display, protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5.

In terms of design, there is no doubt that the phone is a looker. The handset features a centered, rectangular camera module that is home to a quadruple-camera setup on its rear. The system comprises 48MP wide, 8MP ultrawide, 5MP macro, and 2MP depth sensors. Inside the phone's display cutout is a 16MP selfie snapper.

Other key features of the device include a side-mounted fingerprint reader, Bluetooth 5.0, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and USB Type-C.

Pros

  • Large battery
  • Distinctive design
  • Snapdragon 720G
  • Rear quad cameras
  • Top-notch performance

Cons

  • No high refresh rate
  • No NFC
Display Size6.67 inches
Display ResolutionFHD+ 1080 x 2400 pixels
OS verAndroid 10.0; MIUI 11
CPUQualcomm SM7125 Snapdragon 720G (8 nm) Octa-core
CPU Speed2x2.3 GHz Kryo 465 Gold & 6x1.8 GHz Kryo 465 Silver
Storage64GB, 128GB
External StoragemicroSDXC
RAM4GB, 6GB
Main Camera48MP + 8MP + 5MP + 2MP
Front Camera16MP
BatteryNon-removable, Li-Po 5,020mAh Fast charging 18W
Dimensions165.75 x 76.68 x 8.8 mm
Weight209 g
ColorInterstellar Black, Glacier White, Aurora Blue

3. Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro

Xiaomi had definitely checked all the right boxes when it released the Redmi Note 9 Pro as a solid mid-ranger. And for users of the Redmi Note 8 Pro, this one is a definitive incremental upgrade as well.

The phone features a sublime 6.67-inch IPS LCD screen with a cutout at the top center. A resolution of 1,080 x 2,400 pixels and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 is also in the mix. The device is even more attractive around its back, with a familiar camera module that houses quadruple sensors.

These sensors are front-lined by a large 64MP wide camera. The primary camera is then accompanied by 8MP ultrawide, 5MP macro, and 2MP depth sensors. Inside the phone's punch-hole is a capable 16MP front-facing snapper.

Like the Note 9S, the Note 9 series' Pro variant is powered by the Snapdragon 720G chipset, coupled with 6GB of RAM and 64GB/128GB of internal storage options.

The Redmi Note 9 Pro is also home to a side-mounted fingerprint reader, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, USB Type-C, 5,020mAh battery with support for 33W fast wired charging, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Pros

  • 5,020mAh battery with 33W fast wired charging
  • Fresh design
  • Quadruple cameras on its rear
  • NFC
  • Overall impressive performance

Cons

  • No high refresh rate
Display Size6.67 inches
Display ResolutionFHD+ 1080 x 2400 pixels
OS verAndroid 10.0; MIUI 11
CPUQualcomm SM7125 Snapdragon 720G (8 nm) Octa-core
CPU Speed2x2.3 GHz Kryo 465 Gold & 6x1.8 GHz Kryo 465 Silver
Storage64GB, 128GB
External StoragemicroSD, up to 512GB
RAM6GB, 8GB
Main Camera64MP + 8MP + 5MP + 2MP
Front Camera16MP
BatteryNon-removable, Li-Po 5,020mAh Fast charging 33W, 50% in 30 min (advertised)
Dimensions165.75 x 76.68 x 8.8 mm
Weight209 g
ColorInterstellar Grey, Glacier White, Tropical Green

2. Realme 6

Realme had truly upped the ante in the affordable smartphone game when it released the Realme 6 to the wild.

Correcting some of its missteps in previous generations, the new charting smartphone manufacturer is more confident than ever with the announcement of the Realme 6.

The phone has a 6.5-inch IPS LCD screen with an FHD+ resolution and support for a 90Hz refresh rate. Complementing these upgrades is the latest Android 10, which is enhanced with the brand new realme UI.

The Realme 6, without going for the obvious, is also geared for modern gamers with a tight budget. It is powered by MediaTek's Helio G90T chipset, a system on a chip that is specially developed for gaming.

The phone also has one of the more flexible RAM and ROM configurations, allowing consumers to choose whichever is more conducive to their needs. There is also a massive 4,300mAh battery, with support for 30W fast wired charging.

The Realme 6 is also noted for being one of the pioneers of cramming in multiples camera sensors on the rear panel, right within the budget-friendly mid-range segment.

Pros

  • Helio G90T chip
  • realme UI
  • 90Hz display refresh rate
  • Impressive camera offerings

Cons

  • Use of AMOLED would've been better
Display Size6.5 inches
Display ResolutionFHD+ 2340 x 1080 pixels
OS verRealme UI based on Android 10
CPUMediaTek Helio G90T Octa-core
CPU Speed2x2.05 GHz Cortex-A76 & 6x2.0 GHz Cortex-A55
Storage64GB, 128GB
External StoragemicroSDXC
RAM4GB, 6GB, 8GB
Main Camera64MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front Camera16MP
BatteryNon-removable, Li-Po 4,300mAh 30W Flash Charge
Dimensions162.1 x 74.8 x 8.9 mm
Weight191 g
ColorComet White, Comet Blue

1. HUAWEI nova 7i

Despite the HUAWEI nova 7i being one of the casualties of the U.S.-imposed ban on HUAWEI, rendering it without Google Play Services, the phone is probably the loudest update HUAWEI has ever done in its budget-oriented mid-range segment. Its announcement made rounds online that even the preceding mishaps are forgotten in the process.

The HUAWEI nova 7i has a 6.4-inch LTPS IPS LCD screen, with a resolution of 1,080 x 2,310 pixels and a cutout, which is home to a 16MP selfie snapper.

Probably the most headline-grabbing feature of the phone, barring its overall excellent performance, is its rear design. It features an almost minuscule camera module that houses an unbelievable quadruple-camera setup. The setup comprises a large 48MP wide sensor, an 8MP ultrawide lens, and two 2MP macro and depth cameras.

Of course, the placement of the HUAWEI nova 7i at the helm of the list is due to its class-leading performance, heralded by HUAWEI's HiSilicon Kirin 810 chipset, coupled with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.1 internal storage. The phone is also listed with a 4,200mAh battery capacity, with 40W fast charging support.

The HUAWEI nova 7i launches with EMUI 10 based on the latest Android 10.

Pros

  • Top-tier performance
  • Excellent camera offerings
  • Neat yet modern design
  • Battery life is outstanding
  • 40W fast wired charging support

Cons

  • No Google Play Services
  • No splash resistance
Display Size6.4 inches
Display ResolutionFHD+ 2310 x 1080 Pixels
OS verEMUI 10.0.1 (based on Android 10)
CPUHisilicon Kirin 810 Octa-core
CPU Speed2x2.27 GHz Cortex-A76 & 6x1.88 GHz Cortex-A55
Storage128GB
External StorageNM SD Card, up to 256GB
RAM6GB, 8GB
Main Camera48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front Camera16MP
BatteryNon-removable, 4,200mAh HUAWEI SuperCharge (Max 40 W)
Dimensions159.2 x 76.3 x 8.7 mm
WeightApprox. 183 g (including the battery)
ColorMidnight Black, Sakura Pink, Crush Green

Conclusion

The search for the more affordable, best mid-range smartphones doesn't end here, despite the list's impossibly impressive compiling.

With the arrival of the Google Pixel 4a, the mid-range segment's competition is sure headed to another shakeup. But with the phone's pricing intended to give the new iPhone SE a run for its money, our just-compiled number of entries should be safe for now. Unless, of course, the heavy giants Samsung, Google, or Apple finally join the crowd with legitimate entries in tow.

Either way, the winners of this current mid-range war are the consumers, especially those who are understandably besieged by the pandemic's hurdles.

Ultimately, we couldn't be more grateful that the mobile industry is evolving just right. And what could be more important?

Spec Comparison

HUAWEI P30 lite (nova 4e) HUAWEI P30 lite (nova 4e) Vivo S1 Pro Vivo S1 Pro OPPO A52 OPPO A52 Samsung Galaxy M31 Samsung Galaxy M31 Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro (Redmi Note 9 Pro Max) Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro (Redmi Note 9 Pro Max) Realme 6 Realme 6 HUAWEI nova 7i (nova 6 SE / P40 lite) HUAWEI nova 7i (nova 6 SE / P40 lite)
Lowest Price P9,999 P12,424 P11,900 P7,800 P9,000 P9,500 P6,000 P11,850
Release date Mar 2019 - Jul 2020 Mar 2020 Mar 2020 May 2020 Mar 2020 Mar 2020
CPU HUAWEI Kirin 710
Octa core
Qualcomm SDM675 Snapdragon 675AIE (11 nm)
Octa core
Qualcomm SM6125 Snapdragon 665 (11 nm)
Octa-core
Samsung Exynos 9611
Octa-core
Qualcomm SM7125 Snapdragon 720G (8 nm)
Octa-core
Qualcomm SM7125 Snapdragon 720G (8 nm)
Octa-core
MediaTek Helio G90T
Octa-core
Hisilicon Kirin 810
Octa-core
OS ver EMUI 9.0.1 (Android 9.0 Pie) Funtouch OS 9 based on Android 9 Pie Android 10.0; ColorOS 7.1 Android 10 (One UI 2.0) Android 10.0; MIUI 11 Android 10.0; MIUI 11 Realme UI based on Android 10 EMUI 10.0.1 (based on Android 10)
Display Size 6.15 inches 6.39 inches 6.5 inches 6.4 inches 6.67 inches 6.67 inches 6.5 inches 6.4 inches
Display Resolution FHD+ 2312 x 1080 pixels FHD+ 2340 x 1080 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~403 ppi density) FHD+ 1080 x 2400 pixels FHD+ 2340 x 1080 pixels, Super AMOLED FHD+ 1080 x 2400 pixels FHD+ 1080 x 2400 pixels FHD+ 2340 x 1080 pixels FHD+ 2310 x 1080 Pixels
RAM 4GB, 6GB 6GB, 8GB 4GB, 6GB, 8GB 6GB 4GB, 6GB 6GB, 8GB 4GB, 6GB, 8GB 6GB, 8GB
Storage 128GB 128GB, 256GB 128GB 64GB, 128GB 64GB, 128GB 64GB, 128GB 64GB, 128GB 128GB
External Storage microSD up to 512GB microSD, up to 256 GB microSDXC microSDXC microSDXC microSD, up to 512GB microSDXC NM SD Card, up to 256GB
Main Camera 24MP + 8MP + 2MP 48MP + 8MP + 5MP 12MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP 64MP + 8MP + 5MP + 5MP 48MP + 8MP + 5MP + 2MP 64MP + 8MP + 5MP + 2MP 64MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP 48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front Camera 32MP 32MP 16MP (China ROM: 8MP) 16MP 16MP 16MP 16MP 16MP
Battery 3,340 mAh Non-removable Li-Po 3,700 mAh battery Non-removable, Li-Po 5,000mAh
Fast charging 18W
Li-Po 6,000mAh Non-removable, Li-Po 5,020mAh
Fast charging 18W
Non-removable, Li-Po 5,020mAh
Fast charging 33W, 50% in 30 min (advertised)
Non-removable, Li-Po 4,300mAh
30W Flash Charge
Non-removable, 4,200mAh
HUAWEI SuperCharge (Max 40 W)