8 best smartphones under P20,000 in 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The world of smartphones today is very different from what it was, say, a decade back. Today, capable smartphones that come with some useful features don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. 

The competition in the budget and mid-range segment of the market has in recent years become more and more competitive. So if you’re looking for a new smartphone or considering an upgrade but don’t want to break the bank, you’re in luck. 

We’ve rounded up a list of the best smartphones in the sub-P20,000 category below.

OPPO Reno2 F

Price at launch: P19,990

The OPPO Reno2 F is essentially the more affordable alternative of the Reno2. While there are some hardware compromises, the Reno2 F is still a capable phone that comes with a quad-camera setup, a Helio P70 chipset, and electronic image stabilization under the hood. It also follows the same eye-catching design language of its big sibling. 

Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro

Price at launch: starts at P18,990

The Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro is a very attractive package, considering it’s one of the cheapest handsets to be powered by the chart-topping Snapdragon 855 chipset. Just in case that’s not impressive enough, you also get a 6.39-inch notch-less AMOLED display that supports HDR, up to 8GB of RAM, a triple rear camera setup, and a 4,000mAh battery with fast charging.

Samsung Galaxy A50s

Price at launch: P18,990

If you can’t quite commit to the hefty price tags of the Samsung Galaxy S and Note series devices, the Galaxy A50s is a solid mid-range alternative. It touts a bright 6.4-inch AMOLED display, an Exynos 9611 processor, up to 6GB of RAM, and triple rear cameras. 

Realme XT

Price at launch: P16,990

The Realme XT packs everything you could possibly ask for from a smartphone in this price segment: versatile cameras, good performance, long battery life, and a great design. You also get a 64MP main shooter, which at this point is the cherry on top.

Huawei Nova 5T 

Price at launch:  P18,990

Xiaomi is usually hailed as the best smartphone brand when it comes to bang-for-your-buck value, but, with the Nova 5T, it seems Huawei is giving them a run for their money. It packs a Kirin 980 processor, a quad-camera setup, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. As with any Huawei purchase you may make, just be aware that the conflict between the brand and the US is still ongoing and may have effects on your usage experience. 

Nokia 7.2

Price at launch: P15,990

Those who are looking for a pure Android smartphone may want to keep their eyes peeled for the Nokia 7.2. It’s an affordable mid-range smartphone that combines great build quality with serviceable performance. 

Vivo S1 Pro

Price: P15,990

The Vivo S1 Pro boasts a sleek and elegant design, which is highlighted by its diamond-shaped camera module. It comes with all the hardware you expect from a mid-range smartphone, including an AMOLED panel, a Snapdragon 665 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 4,500mAh battery, as well as a quad-camera setup with a 48MP main shooter. 

TOP CHOICE: Xiaomi Mi 9 SE

Price at launch:  starts at P15,990

Image by Jeff Digma/Rappler

The Xiaomi Mi 9 SE is a mid-range phone that looks and feels like a flagship. It's got an excellent design that combines metal and glass materials, above average performance with a Snapdragon 712 processor, a stellar triple-rear camera setup, and battery life that can last you close to a day. – Rappler.com

Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.