Top 5 Android Phones Under RM1000 of 2016 (EDITOR’S CHOICE)
We all live in an age where everything is rising – petrol, food prices, sea levels. It’s undeniable that everyone is feeling the pinch, even when it comes to purchasing a smartphone.
With the market so dense, many associate quality to that of Samsung and Apple’s iPhones. Albeit true to their word on their qualities, the phones costs more than the minimum monthly wage of a fresh graduate.
However, there are some phones that provides the quality of a RM2,000 phone, at half the price! Not to mention the fact that mid-range phones are pushing to be on par with high-end phones in terms of usability and quality.
In this article, we pay homage to 5 unsung heroes who are going to stop you from burning a hole in your wallet. Remember though, all the phones reviewed in this article are purely based off our own research and opinions.
The Lenovo K4 Note is the company’s latest mid range smartphone that bundled with a handful of great features on board.
This smartphone offers a 5.5 inch 1080p screen with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection atop. It is featured with a fingerprint scanner on the back and a 1.5W stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos technology.
The device is equipped with a Mediatek MT6753 1.3GHz octa core SoC, GPU Mali T720 MP3, 3GB RAM and 16GB of expandable storage.
The K4 Note comes with a 13MP f/2.2 rear shooter with PDAF technology and LED flash. Its selfie camera is a 5MP snapper.
It also embodies a 3,300mAh size battery, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, 4G LTE on both SIM slots and Wi-Fi 802.11 ac too. Basically, the K4 Note is considered a value buy for its great features package provided.
#4 Asus Zenfone Max (RM 899)
Tidy, sturdy. Two words to describe the Zenfone Max. Just like the phones of its range, it provides an LCD display of up to 16M colors, ensuring a sharp finish to anything the user views, albeit its 720×1280 resolution. At 202g, it’s one of the heaviest phones reviewed in this article. Some could see this as a sense of security, knowing the weight as its presence. Another reason to its weight is due to the Gorilla glass that the Zenfone Max is equipped with, saving the phone from an early demise.
The Zenfone Max uses the Android Lollipop 5.0 OS, which ensures users the up-to-date firmware that they sought after. Apart from that, the Asus ZenUI allows the users the ease of access to almost every part of the phone, even when it is unlocked.
The phone runs on a quad core based Snapdragon 410, which means the phone processes at a decent rate, suitable for those who use phones for a general purpose. With up to 16GB memory, users can enjoy a little bit extra with a dedicated MicroSD slot, which can take up to 64GB. Zenfone Max users will also be treated to 5 years-worth of Asus Web storage. It’s mid-range qualities show with a 2GB RAM, but to please the users, it’s on par with Samsung in that race.
With a 13MP back camera and a 5MP front camera, it allows the users to shoot high quality images. An added bonus is it’s quick focusing and the ability to shoot in low light conditions with the camera’s f/2.0 aperture. The Zenfone camera works quickly thanks to its laser focus, suitable for those on the go.
For those on the go and constantly in need of multiple contacts, the phone comes with a dual-sim feature as well.
Topping its features list, the Zenfone Max is offering an ultra-sized battery of 5,000 mAh capacity. This is among the largest battery capacity for the featured devices in this article which can allow the phone to stay connected for days. Furthermore, it is also has the capability to charge up another device, acting as a powerbank on the go.
For starters, the Zenfone Max is a great phone to use, putting itself on the list.
#3 Wiko Fever 4G (RRP: RM 799)
Originating from France the phone packs a punch for a mid-range phone. Coming in 3 colorways, Black/Grey, White/Gold, and Black Gold, all colors come with a leather-back finish, bringing elegance and extra grip. The phone has a 5.2″ IPS LCD with 424 ppi pixel density, the highest in the phones reviewed in this article. Equipped with Corning Gorilla Glass 3, it means that the phone has an extra layer of protection for it’s slim figure. Another interesting feature about the phone is that it glows in the dark, the first of it’s kind in the market.
The phone runs with the Android v5.1 Lollipop OS and a stock Android UI. What makes different is the drawerless feature that comes with the stock Android UI. Running on an Octa-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A53 CPU, the phone performs efficiently without having to worry about overworking it. This is an added bonus to the 3GB RAM that the phone houses.
Although it runs with at 2900 mAh battery, the phone has a long battery life, being able to last a whole day even with heavy usage.
The Wiko Fever 4G has a 13 MP rear camera and a 5MP front camera. The front camera may be nothing to shout about, being level with most of the phones reviewed in this article, but the rear camera could be a deciding factor in users purchasing the phone. The phone has a “Professional Mode” that allows the users to change settings on the camera, just like a DSLR. This ensures crisp pictures with a personal touch.
The phone comes with a dual-sim feature, as well as a Micro-SD slot that can house up to a 64GB card. In addition to it’s 16GB internal memory, the phone ensures the user enough memory for their content.
A good phone with an added feature that only high-range phone’s have, for a very good price.
#2 Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (RRP: RM 849)
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 is the newest brainchild from Xiaomi, with a sleek, classy design that comes in 3 different colors, gray, silver, and gold – colors of luxury that would bring out the inner kiasu in you when you whip it out in front of your gawking friends during a session at the mamak. At just 164g, the phone is a lightweight albeit its big size. True to its “Note” nature, the phone has a 5.5” screen, that provides a full HD experience with an approximate 403ppi screen resolution, which assures the user clear viewing of any picture or video stored in the device.
The phone’s software is equipped with a basic Android 5.0.2 (Lollipop) OS, but stands out with Xiaomi’s very own MIUI 7.0, which provides the user 30% faster response rate, saves 10% battery, and the ability to personalize the layout of the phone to the user’s liking. Running on a Quad-Core 1.8 GHz Cortex A72 CPU, the phone is capable of providing a faster processing speed, minus the power consumption. The phone also has a capacity of up to 32GB of memory, and with a 3GB RAM, the user is sure to be able to enjoy multitasking without having the hassle of the phone slowing down or suffering from major lags. With a 4000mAh battery, it allows the user longer usage, with fast charging capabilities.
The camera of the Redmi Note 3 is also something to marvel at, with a 16MP back camera, with the capability of shooting up to 1080p and has an aperture of f/2.0, it produces high quality pictures, even in low light locations. Talk about that money shot that will get you up there in the Instagram tags. For the selfie addicts the front camera retains the properties of the back camera, at 5MP. In addition to that, the Redmi Note 3 shoots videos at 1080p with 30fps, so you can experience a great slow-mo shot (should you choose to shoot one).
With more side features such as dual-sim slots (for those who are constantly on 2 numbers, even if one of the numbers is for the sidechicks), a fingerprint scanner, noise cancellation mic, as well as the fact that it has a built-in photo and video editor, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 is a decent phone for the person who is on-the-go, appreciates watching a video or viewing a picture in pristine quality, as well as those who crave luxury and class, without having to spend more than they should.
#1 Huawei Honor 5X (RM 899)
The Huawei Honor 5X, something that looks like what you’d expect when you take the Samsung Galaxy Note and a Xiaomi Note and they have a lovechild. Coming in white, black and gold colorways, it gives off a premium finish to a mid-ranged phone. With a 5.5” screen that is equipped with the IPS LCD, the user is bound for a crystal clear experience with the phone. Did I forget to mention that the LCD is capable of displaying 16M colors? Weighing just 158g, it’s the lightest phone on the list.
The Honor 5X is equipped with an Android 5.1.1 Lollipop OS, which ensures that the user gets up-to-date experience with the software, as well as not having to worry about getting the latest Android model, which costs twice as much (considering the Nexus is already carrying the Marshmallow OS, but beggars can’t be choosers now, can they?). Huawei’s EMUI 3.1 that comes with the Honor 5X may not be the best in the market, but it provides a simple and personalized layout for the users.
Coming with just a 16GB internal memory with 2GB RAM, it compensates itself with a MicroSD slot that allows up to 128GB worth of memory, so there should be no need to complain that there is not enough space to bring along a season of your favorite K-Drama when you’re on the road. Running on a Snapdragon 615 processor, which means the user can expect high performance from the Honor 5X, without having to worry about high battery consumption, from a phone that is equipped with a 3,000mAh battery. Fret not, however, as the phone also comes with a fast charging feature.
The Honor 5X is equipped with a 13MP back camera and a 5MP front camera, which means images of high quality, added with the ability to shoot decent pictures in low light. The Honor 5X captures videos at 30fps, which is an added value for a phone in the mid-range class.
Apart from its dual sim and fast charging side features, the Honor 5X shares the same feature that Xiaomi has with the RedMi Note 3 – FM radio, which has been seen as unnecessary by a number of phone developers today, but will be appreciated by old souls who still feel that the FM radio should still be everywhere they go, not only in their rides home. It comes with a fingerprint scanner as well, somewhat identical to the Red Note 3. The Honor 5X also comes with a photo/video editor, which means space can be saved from downloading third party apps with the same function. An active noise-cancellation mic ensures that the Honor 5X becomes an all-rounder phone, and priced at RM899, it has the quality of a phone that is twice the price.
SPECIAL MENTION – Wiko Highway Pure (RM 999)
The Wiko Highway Pure is a special mention here, as it brings in class to the mid-range phones. One of the slimmest phones in the category (5.1mm), the phone brings luxury with 16 pieces of Swarovski Zirconia encrusted on the power and volume buttons. Put that into perspective, luxury for the price of less. At 4.8″, the smallest phone in this review, it comes with an AMOLED diplay that can give the user a clear view of the phone’s content. Everything in the hardware, however, screams mid-range, but that doesn’t mean that the Wiko Highway Pure doesn’t pack a punch.
Fitted with Corning Gorilla Glass 3, the screen is also multitouch, allowing up 10 fingers to activate its functions.
For a phone that is running on an Android 4.4.4 KitKat OS, the phone also runs on a Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A53, which means the phone can perform at an efficient level as well, judging that is accompanied by a 2GB RAM. The phone, however, is only equipped with 16GB internal memory, with no Micro-SD card slot.
The camera packs a decent quality, with a 8MP rear camera and a 5MP front camera. It’s quick autofocus will be a selling point for the camera as well.
Overall, the phone is a decent starter kit for those who are also looking for a touch of class.