Oct 10, 2017 (updated : Jan 8, 2021)

Best Smartphones in the Philippines in December 2020

We gather the best phones in the country, which made waves during the last month of what was a true milestone year for the mobile industry.

Smartphone manufacturers had truly gone beyond their usual innovative selves in 2020. Not only have we seen the most interesting phones in ages with their flexible panels and 5G connectivity, but we've also witnessed the influx of devices that boast top-of-the-line specs sealed with uber-affordable price tags.

In terms of competition, not much has changed: Samsung is still indefatigable, while HUAWEI and Apple are very much comfortable in their slots, silently delivering some of the most headline-grabbing innovations in the race.

The California-based iPhone-maker, for instance, has finally announced its newest flagship, the iPhone 12 series. On the other hand, Samsung has officially announced online its plans to debut its Galaxy S21 lineup this month.

In the Philippines, however, Samsung and Apple aren't the clearest winners. The omnipresent Xiaomi and its fellow vivo are trudging along with our monthly compilation like there's no other in the race. And then, of course, there's realme, which is now a powerhouse in its own.

The proliferation of smartphone makers in the country can only be beneficial on the consumers' end as it gives them excellent options down the line, and at a massive range of prices.

To help you figure out which smartphones made it before the momentous 2020 ended, here are the best ones that Filipinos were searching for with piqued interest last month.

Best Smartphones in the Philippines in December 2020

10. Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro

November's fourth placer, the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro, drops to the tenth spot. But this shouldn't suggest the waning interest of its fans. If anything, its longevity in the list indicates otherwise.

The reason behind it is no rocket science. The Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro has checked all the right boxes in the affordable flagship segment.

The Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro features a 6.67-inch IPS LCD panel with an ultra-high 144Hz refresh rate and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 right atop. There's also a display cutout that houses a 20MP selfie snapper.

Inside, the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 865 chip, with 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. The phone also gets juiced by a large 5,000mAh battery, with support for 33W fast wired charging.

Other key features of the phone include a 108MP rear main camera, a side-mounted fingerprint reader, and USB Type-C.

Pros

  • Snapdragon 865
  • 144Hz LCD
  • 5,000mAh battery with 33W fast wired charging
  • 108MP camera

Cons

  • No wireless charging
  • Xiaomi could have equipped the phone with an AMOLED panel instead

Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro Key Specifications

Display Size6.67 inches
Display ResolutionFHD+ 1080 x 2340 pixels HDR10 144Hz refresh rate
OS verAndroid 10, MIUI 12
CPUQualcomm SM8250 Snapdragon 865 (7 nm+) Octa-core Kryo 585
CPU Speed1x2.84 GHz Kryo 585 & 3x2.42 GHz Kryo 585 & 4x1.80 GHz Kryo 585
Storage128GB, 256GB
External StorageNo
RAM8GB
Main Camera108MP + 13MP + 5MP
Front Camera20MP
BatteryLi-Po 5,000mAh, non-removable Fast charging 33W Power Delivery 3.0
Dimensions165.1 x 76.4 x 9.3 mm (6.5 x 3.01 x 0.37 in)
Weight218 g (7.69 oz)
ColorCosmic Black, Lunar Silver, Aurora Blue

9. realme narzo 20

One of the best mid-range phone introduced last year is the vanilla variant off the realme narzo 20 series.

Whether it is the realme narzo 20's straightforward design or its no-brainer set of internals, the phone stands out in its class quite easily.

The realme narzo 20 features a 6.5-inch IPS LCD panel with a notch, a 48MP-led triple-camera setup on its rear, MediaTek's Helio G85 chip, and a massive 6,000mAh battery.

Pros

  • 6,000mAh battery
  • Helio G85 SoC

Cons

  • HD+ resolution
  • No high refresh rate

realme narzo 20 Key Specifications

Display Size6.5 inches
Display ResolutionHD+ 720 x 1600 pixels (PH model) FHD+ 2400 x 1080 pixels(Indonesia model)
OS verAndroid 10, realme UI 2.0
CPUMediaTek Helio G85 (12nm) Octa-core Cortex-A75 & Cortex-A55
CPU Speed2x2.0 GHz Cortex-A75 & 6x1.8 GHz Cortex-A55
Storage64GB, 128GB
External StoragemicroSD, up to 256GB
RAM4GB
Main Camera48MP + 8MP + 2MP
Front Camera8MP (PH model) or 16MP (Indonesia model)
BatteryLi-Po 6,000mAh, non-removable Fast charging 18W Reverse charging
Dimensions164.5 x 75.9 x 9.8 mm (6.48 x 2.99 x 0.39 in)
Weight208 g (7.34 oz)
ColorSilver Sword, Blue Blade

8. vivo V20

Last month's chart-topper also descended in our compilation. And like the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro, the vivo V20's charm is one that doesn't require further rummaging.

The vivo V20 has a 6.44-inch AMOLED panel, equipped with a tiny notch that is home to a sizeable 44MP selfie shooter. Around the device's back, the phone also comes with a triple-camera system, headlined by a 64MP wide sensor. Its auxiliary sensors include an 8MP ultrawide unit and a 2MP depth lens.

The vivo V20 is also powered by the efficient Snapdragon 720G chip, with 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of internal storage; the latter can also be expanded via its dedicated microSD card slot.

Sealing the deal is the vivo V20's in-display fingerprint reader and a horde of cool miscellaneous features.

Pros

  • AMOLED panel with in-display fingerprint reader
  • Snapdragon 720G
  • 44MP selfie camera

Cons

  • No high refresh rate
  • Underwhelming battery capacity

vivo V20 Key Specifications

Display Size6.44 inches
Display ResolutionFHD+ 1080 x 2400 pixels, AMOLED HDR10
OS verAndroid 11, Funtouch OS 11
CPUQualcomm SM7125 Snapdragon 720G (8 nm) Octa-core Kryo 465
CPU Speed2x2.3 GHz Kryo 465 Gold & 6x1.8 GHz Kryo 465 Silver
Storage128GB
External StoragemicroSDXC (dedicated slot)
RAM8GB
Main Camera64MP + 8MP + 2MP
Front Camera44MP
BatteryLi-Po 4,000mAh, non-removable Fast charging 33W
Dimensions161.30 x 74.20 x 7.38 mm 161.30 x 74.20 x 7.48 mm (Sunset Melody)
Weight171 g (172 g: Sunset Melody)
ColorMidnight Jazz, Moonlight Sonata, Sunset Melody

7. Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

The cream of the crop off the recently-minted iPhone 12 series, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is our list's seventh placer.

Somewhat a misplaced contender among the other entries in this compilation, the iPhone 12 Pro Max destroys the competition in terms of power, and for some, in the battle of aesthetics.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max is fueled by the industry's most powerful chipset this year, the Apple A14 Bionic chip, a processor based on a 5nm architecture.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max also features a 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED with support for HDR10, True Tone, wide color gamut, and Dolby Vision. It also has scratch-resistant ceramic glass. Meanwhile, the phone's new design is inspired by the latest iPad Pro's flat edges.

Pros

  • Apple A14 Bionic chipset
  • Impeccable design
  • Impressive camera features
  • 5G-capable

Cons

  • Pricey
  • No high refresh rate

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max Key Specifications

Display Size6.7 inches
Display Resolution1284 x 2778 pixels, Super Retina XDR OLED
OS veriOS 14
CPUApple A14 Bionic (5 nm) Hexa-core
Storage128GB, 256GB, 512GB
External StorageNo
Main Camera12MP + 12MP + 12MP + TOF 3D LiDAR scanner (depth)
Front Camera12MP
BatteryLi-Ion, non-removable Fast charging 18W, 50% in 30 min (advertised) USB Power Delivery 2.0 Qi fast wireless charging 15W Stand-by: Up to 20 h (multimedia) Music play: Up to 80 h
Dimensions160.8 x 78.1 x 7.4 mm (6.33 x 3.07 x 0.29 in)
Weight228 g (8.04 oz)
ColorGraphite, Silver, Gold, Pacific Blue

6. realme 7i

A perennial chart dweller, the realme 7i is everyone's favorite in the budget-friendly mid-range competition. The phone has got it all covered, but with some missteps, of course.

We're talking about the realme 7i's 6.5-inch IPS LCD panel with a high 90Hz refresh rate. Somehow, realme has equipped the phone with a shameful HD resolution. Nevertheless, the handset's panel has a cutout that houses a 16MP selfie snapper.

The rest of the realme 7i's specifications didn't hold back. It has a 5,000mAh battery with support for 18W fast wired charging, a 64MP-headlining quadruple-camera setup on its rear, and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 662 chip at the core.

The realme 7i also home to a rear-mounted fingerprint reader, USB Type-C, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Pros

  • 90Hz IPS LCD panel
  • 5,000mAh battery with support for fast charging
  • 64MP-led quadruple-camera setup (rear)

Cons

  • HD resolution
  • Plastic back and frame

realme 7i Key Specifications

Display Size6.5 inches
Display ResolutionHD+ 1600 x 720 pixels 90Hz refresh rate
OS verAndroid 10, realme UI
CPUQualcomm Snapdragon 662 (11nm) Octa-core Kryo 260
CPU Speed4x2.0 GHz Kryo 260 Gold & 4x1.8 GHz Kryo 260 Silve
Storage128GB
External StoragemicroSD
RAM4GB, 8GB
Main Camera64MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front Camera16MP
BatteryLi-Po 5,000mAh, non-removable 18W Quick charge
Dimensions164.1 x 75.5 x 8.5-8.9 mm
Weight188 g (6.63 oz)
ColorAurora Green, Polar Blue

5. OPPO Reno4

Rarely we've seen an all-rounder that still pushes beyond its limit. That's what the OPPO Reno4 has come to accomplish when it finally launched in August 2020.

The OPPO Reno4 features just about everything you've come to imagine in a solid mid-range smartphone. It has a 6.4-inch OLED screen with 430 nits of typical brightness, one that also boasts a pill-shaped cutout in which a 32MP front-facing sensor resides.

The OPPO Reno4 is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 720G SoC, with 8GB of RAM and an expandable 128GB of onboard storage. The phone also works on a 4,015mAh battery, which is a bit dismal by today's standards. But hey, we still get support for 30W fast wired charging.

In the camera department, the OPPO Reno4 also manages to be unique in its offerings. Its quadruple-camera system on its rear, for one, is housed interestingly in a module that we've never seen before.

Other critical features of the OPPO Reno4 include an in-display fingerprint reader, a dedicated FM radio, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and USB Type-C.

Pros

  • Solid all-rounder
  • OLED panel with a pill-shaped punch-hole and in-display fingerprint reader
  • Snapdragon 720G
  • Sophisticated design

Cons

  • No high refresh rate
  • Inflexible RAM and ROM variants
  • Underwhelming battery capacity

OPPO Reno4 Key Specifications

Display Size6.43 inches
Display ResolutionFHD+ 1080 x 2400 pixels, AMOLED
OS verAndroid 10, ColorOS 7.2
CPUQualcomm Snapdragon 720G
CPU Speed2.3 GHz
Storage128GB, 256GB
External StorageNo
RAM8GB
Main Camera48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front Camera32MP
BatteryNon-removable, Li-Po 4,015mAh 30W VOOC 4.0 fast charge
Dimensions159.3 x 74 x 7.8 mm (6.27 x 2.91 x 0.31 in)
Weight183 g (6.46 oz)
ColorBlack, Blue, Purple

4. realme 7 Pro

Despite the polarizing criticisms the realme 7 Pro has received since its launch, the phone is still a choice that does it right.

Let's talk about some of the realme 7 Pro's strongest features. The phone is the first in its series to feature a proper Super AMOLED panel, right with a resolution of 1,080 x 2,400 pixels. Its panel also has an Always On Display and Corning Gorilla Glass.

The realme 7 Pro is also powered by the Snapdragon 720G chipset, which seems to be the rage among its fellows in the mid-range race. The phone also has up to 8GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable UFS 2.1 storage; a 4,500mAh battery with support for 65W fast wired charging is also included.

The realme 7 Pro also packs a 64MP-led quadruple-camera setup, an in-display fingerprint reader, a 3.5mm headphone jack, Bluetooth 5.1, and USB Type-C.

Pros

  • Super AMOLED with in-display fingerprint reader
  • 65W fast wired charging
  • 64MP-led quad-cam system on its rear

Cons

  • The exclusion of a high refresh rate is a miss

realme 7 Pro Key Specifications

Display Size6.4 inches
Display ResolutionFHD+ 1080 x 2400 pixels, Super AMOLED
OS verAndroid 10, realme UI
CPUQualcomm SM7125 Snapdragon 720G (8 nm) Octa-core Kryo 465
CPU Speed2x2.3 GHz Kryo 465 Gold & 6x1.8 GHz Kryo 465 Silver
Storage128GB
External StoragemicroSDXC (dedicated slot)
RAM6GB, 8GB
Main Camera64MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front Camera32MP
BatteryNon-removable, Li-Po 4,500mAh Fast charging 65W, 50% in 12 min, 100% in 34 min (advertised)
Dimensions160.9 x 74.3 x 8.7 mm (6.33 x 2.93 x 0.34 in)
Weight182 g (6.42 oz)
ColorMirror Silver, Sun Kissed Leather, Mirror Blue

3. vivo Y20i

The only smartphone that retained its spot in the compilation is the vivo Y20i.

A clear standout among its peers, the vivo Y20i is all about bringing the goods to the masses. The phone has a large 6.51-inch IPS LCD screen and a notch that features an 8MP wide selfie snapper.

On its rear, the vivo Y20i also sports a modern-looking camera module, which houses triple cameras. These sensors are headlined by a 13MP wide camera with PDAF, with two 2MP macro and depth sensors as its auxiliary units.

The vivo Y20i is then powered by a still-snappy Snapdragon 460 SoC, with 3GB of RAM and an expandable 64GB of internal storage. An equally large 5,000mAh battery with support for 18W fast wired charging is also in the mix.

Pros

  • Decent internals with a massive 5,000mAh battery
  • Modern rear design

Cons

  • HD resolution
  • Micro USB

vivo Y20i Key Specifications

Display Size6.51 inches
Display ResolutionHD+ 720 x 1600 pixels
OS verAndroid 10, Funtouch 10.5
CPUQualcomm SM4250 Snapdragon 460 (11 nm) Octa-core Kryo 240
CPU Speed4x1.8 GHz Kryo 240 & 4x1.6 GHz Kryo 240
Storage64GB
External StoragemicroSD, up to 256GB
RAM3GB, 4GB
Main Camera13MP + 2MP
Front Camera8MP
BatteryLi-Po 5,000mAh, non-removable Fast charging 18W
Dimensions164.4 x 76.3 x 8.4 mm (6.47 x 3.00 x 0.33 in)
Weight192.3 g (6.77 oz)
ColorDawn White, Nebula Blue

2. realme C15

We've all been in awe already of the realme C lineup for introducing the best-value iterations out there. The realme C15 perfectly exemplifies this reputation, and with a bit of a nudge, it could also become the lineup's most popular handset.

The realme C15 has a 6.50-inch IPS LCD panel, with a resolution of 720 x 1,600 pixels and Corning Gorilla Glass right atop. The handset's display also comes with a notch that is home to an 8MP wide selfie shooter that features HDR and an f/2.0 aperture.

Without a doubt, the highlight of the realme C15 is its battery offering that peaks at a 6,000mAh capacity. Thankfully, realme didn't stray and had it equipped with support for 18W fast wired charging.

On its rear is also what makes the realme C15 a fresh and current smartphone. All its quadruple cameras, led by a 13MP wide sensor, are housed in a square-like, almost contemporary module. Its LED flash, meanwhile, sits below it.

Other key specs of the realme C15 are MediaTek's Helio G35 chip, a rear-mounted fingerprint reader, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a dedicated FM radio.

Pros

  • 6,000mAh battery with 18W fast wired charging
  • Modern rear design

Cons

  • HD resolution
  • Micro USB

realme C15 Key Specifications

Display Size6.5 inches
Display ResolutionHD+ 720 x 1600 pixels
OS verAndroid 10, realme UI 1.0
CPUMediaTek Helio G35 (12 nm) Octa-core Cortex-A53
CPU Speed2.3 GHz
Storage64GB
External StoragemicroSD, up to 256GB
RAM3GB, 4GB
Main Camera13MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front Camera8MP
BatteryNon-removable, Li-Po 6,000mAh Fast charging 18W
Dimensions164.5 x 75.9 x 9.8 mm
Weight209 g (including battery)
ColorSeagull Silver, Marine Blue

1. realme C11

The realme C11 shoots at the top of our list, in what appears to be the biggest ascension we've ever seen.

Though the realme C11 strikes a resemblance with our previous contender relative to its design and internals, its pricing essentially allows it to move past its realme C-series sibling.

The placement in our compilation couldn't have been more reflective of our local mobile industry's current state, in which more Filipinos have now become extra cautious when buying smartphones.

The realme C11 easily mirrors these needs with all the might it can give despite some drawbacks like the lack of support for fast charging and HD+ resolution.

Pros

  • 5,000mAh battery
  • Modern rear design

Cons

  • No support for fast charging; Micro USB
  • HD+ resolution

realme C11 Key Specifications

Display Size6.5 inches
Display ResolutionHD+ 720 x 1560 pixels
OS verAndroid 10, realme UI 1.0
CPUMediaTek Helio G35 Octa-core Cortex-A53
CPU Speed2.3 GHz
Storage32GB
External StoragemicroSDXC (dedicated slot)
RAM2GB
Main Camera13MP + 2MP
Front Camera5MP
BatteryNon-removable, Li-Po 5,000mAh Charging 10W
Dimensions164.4 x 75.9 x 9.1 mm (6.47 x 2.99 x 0.36 in)
Weight196 g (6.91 oz)
ColorPepper Grey, Mint Green

Conclusion

Whether it's going after the all-around best bang-for-your-buck smartphones or the most premium off the iPhone 12 series, Filipino consumers have never been ones to shy away from flexibility.

This flexibility makes our local market a hotbed for these established and budding smartphone manufacturers, which will do everything to lure them in their respective bases.

Despite such competition, the result can only be more beneficial to us. And if this trend ever stretches to 2021, expect the market to thrive rather well.

Spec Comparison

Model Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro realme narzo 20 realme narzo 20 vivo V20 vivo V20 Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max realme 7i realme 7i OPPO Reno4 OPPO Reno4 realme 7 Pro realme 7 Pro vivo Y20i vivo Y20i realme C15 realme C15 realme C11 realme C11
Check at
Lowest Price P13,000 P7,490 P2,050 P50,000 P5,399 P17,420 P8,000 P5,289 P2,969.01 P3,068.01
CPU Qualcomm SM8250 Snapdragon 865 (7 nm+)
Octa-core Kryo 585
MediaTek Helio G85 (12nm)
Octa-core Cortex-A75 & Cortex-A55
Qualcomm SM7125 Snapdragon 720G (8 nm)
Octa-core Kryo 465
Apple A14 Bionic (5 nm)
Hexa-core
Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 (11nm)
Octa-core Kryo 260
Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G Qualcomm SM7125 Snapdragon 720G (8 nm)
Octa-core Kryo 465
Qualcomm SM4250 Snapdragon 460 (11 nm)
Octa-core Kryo 240
MediaTek Helio G35 (12 nm)
Octa-core Cortex-A53
MediaTek Helio G35
Octa-core Cortex-A53
Display Size 6.67 inches 6.5 inches 6.44 inches 6.7 inches 6.5 inches 6.43 inches 6.4 inches 6.51 inches 6.5 inches 6.5 inches
RAM 8GB 4GB 8GB - 4GB, 8GB 8GB 6GB, 8GB 3GB, 4GB 3GB, 4GB 2GB
Main Camera 108MP + 13MP + 5MP 48MP + 8MP + 2MP 64MP + 8MP + 2MP 12MP + 12MP + 12MP + TOF 3D LiDAR scanner (depth) 64MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP 48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP 64MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP 13MP + 2MP 13MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP 13MP + 2MP
Battery Li-Po 5,000mAh, non-removable
Fast charging 33W
Power Delivery 3.0
Li-Po 6,000mAh, non-removable
Fast charging 18W
Reverse charging
Li-Po 4,000mAh, non-removable
Fast charging 33W
Li-Ion, non-removable
Fast charging 18W, 50% in 30 min (advertised)
USB Power Delivery 2.0
Qi fast wireless charging 15W
Stand-by: Up to 20 h (multimedia)
Music play: Up to 80 h
Li-Po 5,000mAh, non-removable
18W Quick charge
Non-removable, Li-Po 4,015mAh
30W VOOC 4.0 fast charge
Non-removable, Li-Po 4,500mAh
Fast charging 65W, 50% in 12 min, 100% in 34 min (advertised)
Li-Po 5,000mAh, non-removable
Fast charging 18W
Non-removable, Li-Po 6,000mAh
Fast charging 18W
Non-removable, Li-Po 5,000mAh
Charging 10W
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