Not everybody needs an expensive phone.
New phones are coming out every month. But that doesn’t mean everybody wants to spend a few thousand Ringgit on a new phone.
What if you only need a phone for your basic needs?
The good news is these days, you can get a pretty decent quality phone for under RM500.
What you need to know about RM500 phones
Camera. Although by now cameras on all phones can shoot decent photos in high resolution, the camera on an under RM500 phone is unlikely going to be comparable with that on any flagship or midrange smartphones.
Display. At this price, you can expect a decent display starting at
Storage. The storage of phones at this range is likely to be quite low, normally at 16GB.
Speed. Phones at this range are unlikely to be powerhouses. While you can definitely use them for everyday use, it is unlikely that you’ll be able to play heavy games on them.
Design. Most of the phones in this price range will not follow the latest trends in mobile phone designs. Instead, you are likely to get a phone with a design from a year or two ago.
Charging speed. You are unlikely to expect speed charging on this device. Phones in this range are most likely to still be using the micro-USB as opposed to the USB-C for charging.
In conclusion, if you are only willing to spend RM500, you have to make do with a lot of compromises in terms of storage, camera, and speed.
But if you only see yourself using your phone for basic stuff like Whatsapp, browsing, the occasional light gaming and you don’t mind a low-tech camera, an under RM500 phone will do just the trick.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the best smartphones under RM500 you can for your particular interest:
Best Overall Value: Redmi 5A
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Overall at just over RM300, the value that the Xiaomi Redmi 5A provides is hard to beat. It has a decent graphic display, a 13MP camera and 16GB storage. Though you won’t be playing high-intensity games on this device, but it is more than enough for basic use.
Get this phone if you are not picky on any particular feature and just want a good phone overall.
[su_button url=”https://www.lazada.com.my/products/xiaomi-redmi-5a-dark-grey-i217775718-s275840328.html?” target=”blank” style=”3d” background=”#ef8b13″ size=”5″ center=”yes” radius=”5″]RM329 from Lazada[/su_button]
[su_button url=”https://shopee.com.my/XIAOMI-REDMI-5A-1-YEAR-XIAOMI-M’SIA-WARRANTY-5.0-INCH-13-MP-2GB-RAM-16GB-ROM-i.33088852.842163268″ target=”blank” style=”3d” background=”#ef8b13″ size=”5″ center=”yes” radius=”5″]RM329 from Shopee[/su_button]
The Redmi 5A is an upgrade of the popular Redmi 4. It has a full HD 5-inch display with a 720×1280 screen resolution.
The back camera is a 13MP shooter whereas the front camera is a 5MP shooter. Although the camera doesn’t do well in indoor lighting, it does fairly well under good lighting.
It comes with either 16GB of storage space which is good enough for the lightweight user.
The device runs on the Snapdragon 425. This is a pretty low-end chipset so you will only be able to play light-weight games on it.
As with any Xiaomi phone, the Redmi 5A comes with a lot of bloatware. Out of the 16GB storage, the bloatware takes up about half of that space, leaving 8GB for the user.
Also, the Redmi 5A does not come with any fingerprint sensor that is common for most devices these days.
Best Display and Design: Honor 7A
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The Honor 7A is a fairly sleek, well-designed, well-built phone that has a great display for its price. But don’t expect it to be a powerhouse you can play heavy games or do any heavy work on. A good starter phone or phone for people with minimal needs beyond streaming videos, texting and calling.
Get this phone if you care a lot about phone design and display.
[su_button url=”https://www.lazada.com.my/products/huawei-honor-7a-16gb2gb-official-huawei-malaysia-warranty-i366038427-s521694818.html?” target=”blank” style=”3d” background=”#ef8b13″ size=”5″ center=”yes” radius=”5″]RM455 from Lazada[/su_button]
[su_button url=”https://shopee.com.my/Honor-7A-i.57745492.1221401671″ target=”blank” style=”3d” background=”#ef8b13″ size=”5″ center=”yes” radius=”5″]RM479 from Shopee[/su_button]
The Honor 7A comes with 5.7-inch, 18:9 ‘FullView’ display with a 720 x 1440 screen resolution. This makes the display on the device comparable with more expensive devices like the Honor 10.
Physically it is a well-built device that even comes with a fingerprint sensor and face unlock. Its front camera is a 13MP shooter and its front one is an 8MP. So you can expect quite decent photos using the Honor 7A.
The Honor 10 also comes with a 3,000mAh battery which allows you to use the phone for quite a while before your next charge.
Powering up the Honor 7A is the Android 8.0 processor. While this is an okay processor, don’t expect to be running heavy games on this device.
Though, at this price, the Honor 7A does not come with NFC. There is no speed-charging with the Honor 7A though because it does not come with a USB-C but instead comes with the more conventional micro-USB.
Fastest: Asus Zenfone 2
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The Zenfone 2 is the fastest phone at this price range with a 4GB RAM. It sports a decent camera and screen display. For the value it provides, the Zenfone 2 is truly a flagship phone for a budget phone price.
Get this phone if you are looking for a powerhouse at a budget and don’t mind the dated design.
[su_button url=”https://www.lazada.com.my/products/asus-zenfone-2-ze551ml-dual-sim-lte16gb-rom4gb-ram-original-imported-set-i119554687-s139870510.html?” target=”blank” style=”3d” background=”#ef8b13″ size=”5″ center=”yes” radius=”5″]RM399 from Lazada[/su_button]
Although the Zenfone 2 is a relatively old phone, released in 2015, it still holds up in 2018 due to its high RAM and
The one thing the Zenfone 2 has going for it is its 4GB RAM, putting it ahead of all the phones in this list which has a 2GB RAM. This phone can handle more heavy duty applications than the other phones in this list.
On top of that, the Zenfone 2 has a decent 1080p display, a 13MP back camera that shoots decent photos.
The thing that most people in 2018 may not like is the Zenfone 2’s very dated design. Even when it was launched in 2015 the Zenfone 2’s bulky exterior has had its critics.
But if the Zenfone 2’s exteriors don’t bother you, you will find this gem well worth the RM399 you pay for it.
Best Selfie: Oppo A37
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The Oppo A37 is for the user who wants a sleek looking device which can take selfies with beauty modes and also low-light. In terms of performance, the Oppo A37 lags behind all other phones in this list.
[su_button url=”https://www.lazada.com.my/products/oppo-a37-beautify-40-gold-i14738685-s18097924.html?” target=”blank” style=”3d” background=”#ef8b13″ size=”5″ center=”yes” radius=”5″]RMRM499 from Lazada[/su_button]
[su_button url=”https://shopee.com.my/OPPO-A37-Beautify-4.0-i.12017474.127355338″ target=”blank” style=”3d” background=”#ef8b13″ size=”5″ center=”yes” radius=”5″]RM499 from Shopee[/su_button]
Oppo phones are known for their selfie front cameras and the Oppo A37 is no different. The Oppo A37 sports beauty modes that will help you create selfies in different modes. It also performs well under low lights. However, in terms of resolution, the Oppo A37 has a rear camera with only 8MP, the lowest in this list while the front camera is a 5MP shooter.
The design of the Oppo A37 is reminiscent of the iPhone 6 series. It is sleek, thin and nice to hold.
With a 2GB RAM on the Snapdragon 410 Quad-core processor, the Oppo A37 is admittedly on the lower-end of the processing power of phones in this price range. You can expect a lag even when you load moderately-intensive apps.
With phones at this price range, it’s really a game of give and take. Even though it is unlikely for any of these phones to excel in one area enough to make it on par with a flagship phone, for this price range, there isn’t really that much more to expect.
The RM500 and under smartphones of 2018 are usually pretty decent in terms of display, camera and performance. Though you won’t be playing graphic-intensive games on most of these devices, they are usually powerful enough for most applications you need on a day to day basis.