UPDATE: Good news! We have updated and published a brand new Best smartphones under RM1,200 guide! It includes the new devices that have launched since this guide was published as well as the new discounted prices thanks to zero-rated GST. You can check it out here.
We’re back! This year, we’ve got another juicy new selection of budget-friendly smartphones under RM1,200. So, what’s new in 2018? Quite a lot, actually. This year’s crop of smartphones may be among the best ones we’ve seen especially if you’re looking at the amount of goodies you can get for your money.
2017 was the year of shrinking bezels, dual cameras and the pursuit of even more selfie goodness in the mid-range market so this year’s compilation was an interesting set of devices. Across the board, you’re getting bigger screens — closer to 6″ than 5.5″ — but in a form factor that isn’t a whole lot bigger.
As usual, there are some rules. The first one is that these have to be relatively new smartphones, having been launched within about six months to a year from the day this list was first compiled. What’s more, none of these phones made an appearance on our previous list so you can still look at that one if you don’t mind picking up older phones.
Unfortunately, this year, Sony’s Xperia XA2 smartphone didn’t make the cut because that device’s RRP is RM1,299, pushing it just out of this list. That said, we will continue to update this list with more phones — like the promising Nokia 6 (2018) — as they launch so be sure to keep an eye out for that.
In any case, let’s get into the meat and potatoes of it all. For those who are new to our smartphone guides, you will find an entry for each smartphone in the following pages. Each entry will contain a brief rundown on some of the specs and some other features we think you should know about that particular smartphone.
In each entry, we will also provide links to where you can buy these phones online. However, keep in mind that we will not be responsible for any purchases you make, so do so at your own discretion. We would generally advise users to make purchases from reputable sellers or official stores. We also advise users to purchase devices with official Malaysian warranties to avoid any complications should problems arise with that particular device. Sure, there may be instances where imported sets are more affordable, but the risks associated with it are also higher.
Then, on the second last page, you’ll find our massive comparison table so you can see how each phone stacks up against each other at a glance. Finally, on the last page we will have an “Editor’s Choice” list where we will pick the best handsets from this list based on a particular category, including an overall “best budget phone” award.
Ready? Let’s get things started.