Stuff Singapore Readers' Choice Awards: Affordable Smartphone of the Year 2016 finalists

Featuring the best phones that won’t break the bank

“Low-cost smartphone” used to be a warning, but these days, it’s become a tempting proposition.

In fact, with the amazing features from flagship phones slowly making their way into the mid-rangers, it’s just a matter of time before these budget-friendly mobiles steal the limelight altogether. These are the phones under S$500 that made the biggest impression on us in 2016 for their great design, competitive specs and unbeatable value.

The question is, which one did best?


Xiaomi Mi Max

With a 6.44in Full HD IPS display rivalling other phones three times more expensive, the Mi Max deserves props for managing to fit such a massive screen onto a phone without compromising on other specs and keeping the price low. If you think bigger is better, look no further.


With an insane 16MP, f/2.0 snapper on the front, the F1s sports the one selfie cam to rule them all. We’re talking sharper, clearer and more well-balanced shots of your mug compared to a vast number of other front-facing cameras. The F1s’ pretty design, decent performance and speedy fingerprint sensor also contribute to its amazing value.

Asus ZenFone 3

The ZenFone 3 boasts a bright and vibrant 5.5in full-HD display plus a snappy Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor that holds up well while multitasking. All contained within an elegant curved Corning Gorilla Glass front and rear package that feels premium but won’t burn a hole in your pocket.

Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime

The J7 Prime’s octa-core Samsung Exynos 7870 processor and 3GB of RAM smoothly handles almost anything you throw at it. Its 13MP rear autofocus camera performs well even in low light conditions, and the 480ppi pixel density display means everything on the screen is vibrant and sharp — making this an extremely well-rounded mid-ranger that’s bang for your buck.

Motorola Moto X Play

A colossal 3630mAh battery combined with middling specs make the Moto X Play an endurance beast that can easily go almost two days before needing a charge — even with video streaming, photo editing and gaming. While it might not have the flashiest design around, core specs and battery life make this one well worth the price.

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