Everyone loves to find value and make sure that you’re getting exactly what you paid for. That is especially true for smartphones these days, as everyone in Malaysia surely needs one these days. But not everyone can afford the most expensive devices out there. As such, we here at Channel-E have come up with our shortlist of the best budget smartphones that you can buy in Malaysia in 2021.
Best budget smartphone in Malaysia in 2021?
Xiaomi’s Poco sub-brand is synonymous with raw power at a great price, and the Poco X3 Pro launched in March is no exception. Packing a 6.67-inch FHD+ LCD display capable of a 120Hz refresh rate, the real star here is the almost flagship level Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 system-on-chip under the hood. Essentially a beefed up Snapdragon 855, it should edge out flagship devices from two years ago and most mid rangers today still. Configured in either 6GB RAM + 128GB storage or 8GB RAM + 256GB storage variants, it’s phenomenal value for the processor you’re getting.
Camera-wise, there’s a quad-camera setup on the rear of the Poco X3 Pro with a main 48MP f/1.79 shooter. It gets flanked by an 8MP f/2.2 ultrawide angle camera, a 2MP f/2.4 macro camera and another 2MP f/2.4 depth sensor. Meanwhile, on the front of the device you’ll find a punch-hole cutout that houses a 20MP camera for all your selfie needs.
Other features of note include a nice 5,160mAh battery with 33W fast charging via USB-C, a 3.5mm audio jack, expandable storage, stereo speakers and a side-mounted fingerprint sensor. However, it’s limited to WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0 however, and you also won’t find 5G connectivity on it.
Technically speaking, only the lower spec 6GB + 128GB model is under RM1,000, but if you have RM300 to spare you can get the 8GB + 256GB variant too.
Poco X3 Pro—6GB RAM, 128GB storage—RM999
Poco X3 Pro—8GB RAM, 256GB storage—RM1,299
Best value budget 5G smartphone in Malaysia in 2021?
The Poco M3 Pro 5G is not only the cheapest offering on our list, but it also has, as its name suggests, 5G connectivity. This is thanks to the lower mid-range MediaTek Dimensity 700 SoC under the hood, which comes with either 4GB or 8GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB of storage, with more storage possible via expandable storage.
It has a 6.5-inch, FHD+ LCD display capable of a 90Hz refresh rate. In the camera department, you’ll find a 48MP main camera flanked by a 2MP macro lens and a 2MP depth sensor. Selfies meanwhile get taken care of with an 8MP front camera.
Keeping the lights on is a 5,000mAh battery with 18W fast charging via USB-C, while there’s a 3.5mm audio jack in case you aren’t a fan of the mono speaker on it. There’s a side-mounted fingerprint sensor too as well as NFC, WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.1.
As mentioned earlier, it’s the cheapest device on our list, starting at just RM699, though if you top up an extra RM100 you will be getting double the storage and some extra memory too.
Poco M3 Pro 5G—4GB RAM, 64GB storage—RM699
Poco M3 Pro 5G—6GB RAM, 128GB storage—RM799
Best smartphone for Malaysians to watch content in 2021?
Xiaomi’s domination of our RM1,000-and-less list continues, but this time in the form of their other sub-brand Redmi. The Redmi Note 10 Pro’s most notable upgrade over the previous two entries is its screen. It has a 6.67-inch, FHD+ AMOLED display capable of a 120Hz refresh rate. An AMOLED display coupled with the high refresh rate on offer should provide a better user experience than your typical LCD display, as it is often brighter and offers more vibrant colours and deeper blacks. The back of the device has a nice glass back too.
Meanwhile, under the hood is a still capable Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G SoC that is either paired with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, or 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. You’ll also get a quad-camera setup on the rear, with a 108MP main shooter, an 8MP ultrawide camera, a 5MP macro lens and a 2MP depth sensor. This makes it a solid choice for those who love to take photos with their smartphone. On the front of the Redmi Note 10 Pro is a 16MP camera for selfies too.
It has a solid 5,020mAh battery with 33W fast charging via USB-C too. Other specs of note include a stereo speaker setup, expandable storage, a side-mounted fingerprint sensor and a 3.5mm audio jack.
Just like the Poco X3 Pro though, it just barely scrapes by to make this list via its base model, though again you could add an extra RM100 to your budget and get more memory, which could be good if you’re a heavy user or mobile gamer.
Redmi Note 10 Pro—6GB RAM, 128GB storage—RM999
Redmi Note 10 Pro—8GB RAM, 128GB storage—RM1,099