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SoyaCincau’s best smartphones under RM1,200 (2018 edition)

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5

For two years in a row, Xiaomi’s Redmi Note devices have been the reigning champions on our list and it isn’t hard to see why. Despite the fact that a lot of its competition has raised its prices, Xiaomi’s managed to keep their Redmi Note smartphones priced under RM1,000 while also offering better specs.

This year’s Redmi Note 5 danced dangerously close to the edge of RM1,000, with the most capable variant being priced at RM999, but it is also the best Redmi Note smartphone they’ve made yet.

In the past, the camera experience has definitely been the weakest link in the otherwise rock solid package this handset offers. This year, they’ve taken their camera to the next level with a dual-camera setup that features a 12MP main sensor with an f/1.9 aperture lens and a secondary 5MP camera for depth effects. The best part about this camera is the fact that it has Dual Pixel autofocus — yes, the same kind you’d find in some of Samsung’s best flagship handsets.

From what we’ve gotten to test, the Redmi Note 5’s camera is certainly promising. It’s snappy, can take good photos, and thanks to its secondary 5MP camera, it can also capture portrait mode photos with smooth blurred out backgrounds.

Couple that with the excellent value-for-money hardware that includes a Snapdragon 636 processor, up to 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, a 4,000 mAh battery, fingerprint scanner, large 5.99-inch Full HD+ 18:9 aspect ratio display plus a premium metal body, and you’ve got one killer smartphone on your hands. Also, a nice little bonus feature is that the Redmi Note 5 actually supports dual 4G standby.

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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.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 — 3GB RAM, 32GB storage — RM799
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 — 4GB RAM, 64GB storage — RM999

Where to buy (pre-order starts 25th April 2018):
Online: Shopee, Lazada
Store: Authorised Mi retailers