Now, it’s time for the Editor’s Choice. Here are our favourite picks from this list.
The ultimate all-rounder — Xiaomi Redmi Note 4
Two years in a row, Xiaomi’s Redmi Note series has claimed the top spot in our budget smartphone list. This year’s Redmi Note 4 pairs solid performance with exceptional battery life and a good build for a great budget handset experience overall.
What’s more, its camera is also an improvement over last year’s Redmi Note 3 especially when it comes to low light photos. Pair that with the sub RM1,000 price tag (even for the 4GB RAM/64GB storage variant) and you just have a value package that nobody can beat right now.
Best software experience — Nokia 6
It’s pretty rare for a budget smartphone to get Android version updates but HMD Global has committed to upgrading the brand new Nokia smartphones (including this Nokia 6) to Android O when it comes out. And that’s really great.
Currently, the handset is running on a really stock version of Android 7.1.1 Nougat with some nice added features. You get the Google Pixel’s nifty swipe app drawer app which is great.
The fact that the Nokia 6 is probably one of the most durable phones on this list is also a really nice addition. Still, we don’t recommend dropping this device for the fun of it and we will not be responsible for any damage to your beloved Nokia.
Best build and great for content consumption — Moto M
The Moto M is really an impressive device. I personally am a big fan of it because of its exceptional build quality and near-stock operating system. I think that it’s easily the best-built smartphone on this list — it feels like a mini HTC 10 which is absolutely awesome.
The only thing that bums me out about it is that the OS is still on Marshmallow despite the fact that it’s so close to stock.
However, it is a great smartphone for content consumption on the go. That’s in part due to the fact that the Moto M has a nice 5.5-inch Full HD display that’s crisp and has good viewing angles, but, the really special bit is its speaker.
Although it’s a single speaker setup, Dolby and Moto must have worked their magic on it because it is a really nice-sounding single speaker. It’s loud without much distortion and it does a good job in filling the room so you won’t really have to cup it like you would on most single-speaker phones.