Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas 2012 High-End Smartphone Buyers Guide (over 20K)

Having completed our entry level and mid-level smartphone buyers guides, we move on to the best locally available handsets money can buy. So, for the phones on this list, you should expect to shell out more than Php20,000.

In order mid-level guide we already have a quad-core handset with a 720p display (720 x 1280). So, nothing in this list will fall short of that mark. All the phones on this list feature a 720p display and a quad-core processor.

Prices indicates are for phone with a manufacturers warranty.

7. HTC One X 16 GB (Php21,590)

The HTC One X has been playing second fiddle to the Samsung Galaxy S III since the latter was released. Last month we saw the release of the 16 GB version of the HTC One X. It is the same as the HTC One X that has been on sale in the Philippines for the past six months, except that internal storage has been dropped from 32 GB to 16 GB.

This allows the unit to be offered at lower price points, as low as Php21,590 which puts some breathing room between it and the Samsung Galaxy S III. It is now the best bang for the buck high end phone in the market if you can live with the lower internal storage. This phone does not have a MicroSD card slot.

As compared to the cheaper Lenovo K860, the main advantage of this phone is a better camera. As compared to the Samsung Galaxy S III, it is a few thousand pesos cheaper.

This phone ships with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update is now rolling out now.

8. Samsung Galaxy S III (Php27,850)

Thirty million of these things were sold in 100 days, making the top Android phone of 2012, if not the top smartphone of 2012. It has no weak points. It has a nice display, a powered processor and a larger battery. It has a MicroSD slot. The battery is user replaceable. There last two features are missing in many phones these days.

While it shares the same internals as the lower price Lenovo K860, it has a better camera, with Samsung proprietary software, is slimmer and much lighter. Also, it has the vaunted SuperAMOLED display. In my book, that is enough to justify the much higher price (especially the lighter part).

This 4.8-inch quad core smartphone, is still the smartphone by which all others are judged... but I am getting the Sense that it is starting to feel a bit expensive.

10. The HTC One X+ (Php27,900)

The HTC One X+ is a good alternative to the Samsung Galaxy S III. It is basically an HTC One X with a larger battery (2100 mAh instead of 1800 mAh), faster processor (1.7 GHz instead of 1.5 GHz) and more internal storage (64 GB instead of 32 or 16 GB). The increase in battery size does a lot for battery life.

HTC One X+ versus HTC One X battery life tests

The HTC One X+ is not necessarily a better choice than the Galaxy SIII. The Galaxy S III has a batter camera, the ability to expand internal storage to 80 GB and a user replaceable battery. Personally, I would pick the HTC One X+, but those are for subjective reasons.

11. Samsung Galaxy Note II (Php31,000 to Php33,900)

Basically, the Samsung Galaxy Note is a more powerful 5.5-inch version of the Galaxy S III, with a stylus and stylus optimized software. If the Galaxy S III was not powerful enough for you, this one has double the RAM of the Galaxy S III and it was given a modest speed increase in processor speeds. The 3100 mAh battery will keep it running for a long time.

Basically, it is the biggest baddest device that we can still call a smartphone. In its first month in the market, 3 million have been sold.

I suspect I will have to update this post before Christmas, with the Windows Phones and the vaunted Apple iPhone coming out soon.


  1. Hi! Nice blog, i will be adding your blog to my bookmarks bar. I think you're the only Philippines-based blogger who does product comparison this extensively. Keep it up.

    -from a tech lover


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