Stuff Malaysia Readers' Choice Awards 2015 - meet the Budget Smartphone of the Year finalists

It’s the survival of the fittest. Cast your vote for the affordable alpha male of the smartphone pack

These days, affordable doesn’t mean low quality anymore.

In fact, budget smartphones have risen in popularity by offering premium specs at crazy affordable prices.

We’ve separated the wheat from the chaff in this who’s who of budget smartphones, but it’s still up to you to choose the phone that’s worth the world’s while in this digital democracy.

Asus ZenFone 2 Laser

How sharp is the 13MP shooter on this? Well, the fact that it has laser-guided autofocus should tell you a lot. It’s a good thing that its 16GB storage can be expanded to a hefty 128GB to accommodate all the photos you’ll be hoarding on this phone. Throw in a 720p screen and a 3000mAh battery and you’ve got yourself a pretty intelligent smartphone.

HTC Desire 626

Underneath the Desire 626’s 5in 720p screen lies a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 410 processor and a 2000mAh battery to help it go the extra mile. A 13MP camera aims to help you capture all of life’s Instagrammable moments while a 5MP front facing camera is where it’s at for your selfies. Plus, its colour combinations help it stick out of the bland metallic crowd.

LG Magna LTE

Don’t be too distracted by its beautiful 5in screen, the Magna LTE has other hot features to offer. We’re talking about a blazing 1.5GHz quad-core processor, LG’s signature knock code, rear key, and a 2540mAh battery to help it all last. To top that all off, a gently curved design helps it feel right at home in any-sized hand.

Sony Xperia M4 Aqua

Running on a 64-bit Snapdragon 615 octo-core processor, this phone is a multitasking marvel. Sony's 13MP snapper pedigree ensures you get great shots from it every time plus its 5MP front facing camera comes wide angled so you can go crazy on the group shots. And guess what, it’s all waterproof meaning you can take selfies in the shower - or not.

Xiaomi Mi 4i

Don’t knock its plastic exterior, the Xiaomi Mi 4i is hiding quite a formidable spec package underneath. Running on a Snapdragon 64-bit octo-core processor, it’s got an all-seeing 13MP snapper and a big phat 3120mAh battery. Its 5in 1080p screen is easy on the eyes too all thanks to clever Sunlight Display wizardry.