Of course, the PH isn’t the only one experiencing inflation, but right now, we’re experiencing our peso at its lowest, so what does this mean for the smartphone market?
We have seen it all and yet, the worst is just around the corner. With rising prices and the government in shambles with our leader casually chilling watching dragsters burning rubbers in large track, we should tighten our belts and prepare for even more hardships in the following months.
Of course, this isn’t exclusive to the Philippines. The worldwide inflation took a hit to the smartphone industry lately, with major highlights such as the POCO M5 Series, despite being the latest model, a weaker charging speed, mediocre camera setup, the grueling waterdrop notch and an overall fall from grace were seen during its launch.
Currently at a saddening ₱58.59 exchange rate for a one single dollar, the Philippine peso isn’t recovering anytime soon (except if we finally unleash our gold bar reserve somewhere outside the realms of Valhalla).
But fear not (yet), as smartphone companies such as Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi, Realme, and others are assessing the situations. More and more recent models are currently having older, yet reliable options when it comes to processors: such as the brand-favorite Helio series from MediaTek are widely found in most budget offerings right now. As for the battery, there’s no current updates to that, it seems that the now standard 5,000mAh battery will be a mainstay, with features such as the camera, and processors taking a hit.
What about brands such as Apple, Motorola, ASUS, Samsung, and others? Samsung, Motorola, and ASUS are offering much more cheaper options with decent specs — but you’ll get what you pay for. As for Apple, they will not budge anytime soon as their marketing can easily sort them out the cutout fiasco.
Newcomers such as TCL, Hisense, WIKO, and Hyundai among others are also releasing affordable alternatives but there’s always a catch: you’ll either get only one major software update and a year or two of security updates and then you’re off to the wasteland of forgotten phones.
Infinix, Tecno, and POCO — brands that were known for their value are also slowly doing two things at the same time: either increasing their prices, or rehashing their same models with numerous spinoffs with weaker specification for a price now that you can buy a decent daily driver smartphone from two or three years ago. Local brands such as Cherry Mobile and myPhone can’t handle the increasing demands for competitive smartphones below ₱10,000.
But what you can do about it? The flagships are getting more expensive, the mid-rangers are threading into lower-flagship territory with its rising prices, and the budget ones are getting more dreadful that you’re better off into buying a feature phone.
Maybe the probable solution now is to buy old-stock models, like underrated flagships from the 2018-2019 era from brands such as Sony, Sharp, and LG. Not only that their phones are stupendously cheap right now, you’ll get the flagship treatment because in fact, they were the flagships during their supposed releases.
Models such as the whole Sony XZ lineup (XZ1, XZ1 Compact, XZ2, XZ2 Compact, XZ2 Premium, XZ3) are readily available in shops found all over in Manila and in the provinces for around ₱3,999 to 6,999 pesos depending on the usage or the inclusions. Mostly running with a still superb Snapdragon 845 chipset, all-glass/durable plastic build with flagship level camera modules and achieving full graphic/frame rate support in most games, if you ignore the bezels, you’ll be in for a treat. The Triluminos display integration on most XZ models will make the typical LCD phone look like an OLED one.
Under the LG radar, the V Series (LG V30, LG V40, LG V50, LG V50s, LG V60), G Series (G7, G8, G8X) and their LG Velvet and LG Wing are now available for an incredible low price, all are flagships from past years and you can get that for a ridiculously low price of around ₱3,500 to ₱15,000 tops, depending on the model. Most models under the V and G Series are also IP68 rated and has MIL-STD 810G which means they are rugged as they can be (and most models of LG are still receiving updates up to this day up to Android 13).
The incredibly underrated Sharp smartphones are also dirt cheap, with favorites such as the Aquos R3 (with the odd dual bezel placement) and the Zero Sense 5G is a competitive smartphone with flagship killing specifications. The Aquos R3 has the highest maximum typical brightness for an IPS LCD of around 800, thanks to its rare IGZO LCD technology, you’ll get the best worlds: brightness and superb viewing angles from any OLED/AMOLED display and the durability of LCD. You can get one online for around ₱5,500 to ₱9,500.
If you will take care of your phone and recognize the difficulty of getting it repaired when damaged (not virtually non-existent, just difficult), or ended up getting a bad one, try joining some Facebook groups and forums about your phone models and you’ll see tons of support regarding this. But if you want the trendiest and the latest, prepare to cash-out some more for a smartphone.