It’s easy to recommend the best smartphone if money is no object, but what if you’re on a budget?
There are smartphones costing less than $100 these days, but these are bottom-of-the-barrel products that offer a mediocre user experience. However, if you widen your budget slightly, you can potentially land yourself a gem. Let’s take a look at some of the options out there as of March 2017 (this article will be refreshed regularly, so be sure to check back!):
1. Xiaomi Redmi 4A – from $129
The Redmi 4A is a rather elegant looking phone, available in both Gold and Rose Gold variants. It’s encased in a metallic-looking plastic shell, but for the price, we can’t complain much.
It is equipped with a HD (720p) 5″ screen, which is not top-of-the-line by today’s standards but still reasonable nonetheless. It runs atop the latest MIUI 8 user interface, but is unfortunately stuck on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. Judging from Xiaomi’s track record, it is unlikely that it will ever receive an update to Nougat and beyond. Still, judging from the sluggishness of Android updates, it’s likely that a phone running Marshmallow will still be serviceable for at least another two years.
The Redmi 4A is also equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor with 2GB of RAM. It’s not a beast of a performer by any means with only 4 Cortex A53 cores, but it should still be serviceable for day-to-day usage. According to reviews, the 3,030mAh battery should last for four to five hours of screen-on time. It has a decent 13MP battery and storage is expandable via microSD card.
If you’re currently stuck on a phone that’s more than 3 years old and is looking for something newer to switch to, the Redmi 4A is a no-brainer. It can also serve you well as a backup phone, or a phone for less frequent users who are forced to switch away from their 2G phones.
Where to buy?
The NEWSTAR Electronic shop on Qoo10 is currently selling the Redmi 4A for just $129 (U.P. $169). It is an export set, however, so don’t expect any official warranty support. The handsets sold by NEWSTAR are flashed to global ROM so you get Google Play Store support (something which China units don’t possess out-of-the-box).
Click here to buy from Qoo10.
2. Official Retailers
Buying from official retailers assure you that you get official 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
If buying online, consider buying from Xiaomi’s official store on Lazada at just $149. Click here to buy.
Otherwise, you can head over to Xiaomi’s Suntec City store (#02-337 to 340) to buy it right away, or to selected Challenger stores which may stock them.