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Buyer’s Guide: Best Smartphones Under RM1000

Best Smartphones Under RM1000
Image Credit: Dxomark

While flagship smartphones feature bleeding edge technology and features, most people only need a phone for day to day tasks, such as social media, video streaming, light gaming and messaging.

Luckily, you don’t have to spend a month’s salary just to get a pleasant smartphone experience. For under RM1,000, you have plenty of options to satisfy your needs. Do read on to find out which budget smartphone is the right one for you.

The All Rounder: Realme 10 – RM999

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Key Features:

  • Helio G99 Chipset
  • ARM Mali-G57 MC2 GPU
  • 8GB RAM (up to 16GB with Dynamic RAM)
  • 256GB storage
  • 6.4-inch 90Hz Super AMOLED display
  • 50MP Colour AI Triple Camera
  • 5,000mAh battery with 33W SuperVOOC charging

Coming at just under RM1,000, the Realme 10 is a well-rounded smartphone. It features a peppy Helio 99 chipset with 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage and a smooth display. Battery life is excellent too, with up to 2 days of battery life. Charging speed also received an upgrade from its predecessor, now capable of 33W SuperVOOC charging.

The Arm Mali-G57 GPU is decent for gaming as well, capable of playing most mobile games such as PUBG Mobile at medium settings. Although the camera is nothing to brag about, it takes decent photos and videos under good lighting conditions.

Honourable Mention: Honor X9 – RM1099

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Key Features:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 680
  • Adreno 610
  • 8GB RAM + 2GB extension
  • 128GB storage
  • 6.81-inch FHD+ LCD display
  • 64MP Quad rear camera
  • 4,800mAh battery with 66W fast charging

Yes, the Honor X9 retails for above RM1,099, but during sales campaigns, you may be able to find great deals for under RM1,000. Performance-wise, it is a step above the Realme 9 5G, however, you do lose out with only 4G LTE connectivity. There is a 5G option for a bit more as well.

Camera is decent too, with it capable of capturing sharp images under good lighting. It comes with 66W fast-charging, making it the smartphone with fastest charging in this list.

The Gamer’s Choice: Infinix Zero X Neo – RM899

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Key Features:

  • Helio G95 processor
  • ARM Mali-G76 MC4 GPU
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128GB storage (expandable up to 512GB)
  • 6.78-inch FHD+ 90Hz Super Fluid display
  • 48MP Super Night Camera
  • 60X Periscope Moonshot Camera
  • 5,000mAh battery

The Infinix Zero X Neo is a great smartphone for mobile gaming. While the Helio G95 processor does not support 5G, the ARM Mali-G76 MC4 GPU is capable of running most games at modest settings. The screen is large too, offering an immersive gaming experience. If you like to game for long hours, the 5,000mAh battery provides a long screen on time.

Honourable Mention: Infinix Hot 20 – RM599

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Key Features:

  • Mediatek G85 processor
  • ARM Mali G-52 MC2
  • 6GB + 5GB RAM
  • 128GB storage
  • 6.82-inch 1640 x 720 IPS LCD display
  • 50MP main camera
  • Android 12
  • 5,000mAh battery

The Infinix Hot 20 is an entry-level smartphone catered to gamers. While it does not boast powerful hardware, it does have quite a few optimisations via Dar-Link 2.0 to improve your gaming experience. It can run game titles such as Mobile Legends and Arena of Valor on lower settings, and the large battery is a boon for long gaming sessions too.

Do check out our review of the Infinix Hot 20 here.

Best Camera: Redmi Note 11S – RM899

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Key Features:

  • Helio G96 processor
  • ARM Mali G-57 MC2
  • 6GB / 8GB RAM
  • 64GB / 128GB storage
  • 6.43-inch FHD+ 90Hz AMOLED display
  • 108MP AI Quad Camera
  • 5,000mAh battery with 33W fast charging

Despite being a sub-RM1,000 smartphone, the Redmi Note 11S offers mid-range level camera performance, with a 108MP primary, an 8MP ultrawide, and a 2MP macro camera, plus a 2MP depth sensor. The images are sharp, and the secondary cameras are good enough for most applications.

The Helio G96 is decent as well, delivering good performance for a wide variety of apps. If you have a bit more budget, you can spend an additional RM100 for larger RAM and storage.

Best Software Support: Samsung Galaxy A23 – RM899

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Key Features:

  • Qualcomm SM6225 Snapdragon 680 4G
  • Adreno 610 GPU
  • 6GB RAM
  • 128GB storage
  • 6.6-inch FHD+ LCD display
  • 50MP triple camera
  • 5,000mAh with 25W fast charging

Recently, Samsung has built a good reputation when it comes to software support and Android updates for their smartphones. Since launch, the A23 has received the Android 13 update, bringing it up to date with newer devices.

While the specifications do not blow its competition out of the water, but if software matters to you, you can’t go wrong with the Samsung Galaxy A23.

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Final Thoughts

Budget phones have come a long way in terms of performance and value-for-money. You can definitely find some gems in the sub-RM1,000 segment, without too much of a compromised experience.

For more tech news, guides and updates, be sure to stay tuned to The AXO.

Written By

Part-time gamer, writer, & full time weird coffee person.

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