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March 2018 Smartphone Roundup!

Jullian Robin Sibi 1

March just ended. I actually forgot to do one for February! This only means one thing: I can put the phones that came out of Mobile World Congress 2018 here! There were honestly A LOT of smartphones that came out during MWC and after! I won’t keep you waiting longer. Here’s my March 2018 smartphone roundup!

Disclaimer: All affiliate links are Lazada affiliate links. 🙂

March 2018 Smartphone Roundup

Huawei P20 Series

If there’s one company I like the most besides Apple, it’s Huawei. They are really upping their smartphone game. Huawei knows full well that they have an edge when it comes to their smartphone cameras. (Even though the P10 was kind of underwhelming, I think they knew that this was in the cards.) With the P20 series (particularly with the P20 Pro), they aim to run away with it. The P20 and P20 Pro come in various colors. One color stands out a lot though. That color is Twilight.

Doesn’t this look so pretty? For the color and the three cameras ALONE, I want the P20 Pro!

Huawei P20 Lite

Notable Features and Specs:

  • 5.84-inch LCD display
  • Kirin 659 chip
  • 4GB RAM, 64/128 GB internal storage
  • Rear camera: 16MP + 2MP sensors with f/2.2 aperture
  • Front camera: 16MP

Released: March 2018 (Europe, China), April 28, 2018 (Philippines)

Price: €369 (Europe), P15,990 (Philippines)

Huawei P20

Notable Features and Specs

  • Rear camera: 12MP RGB sensor with f/1.8 aperture + 20MP monochrome sensor with f/1.6 aperture, 720p 960fps Super Slow-Mo Video
  • Front camera: 24MP camera
  • 5.8-inch LCD display with 2240×1080 resolution
  • Kirin 970 chip
  • 4GB RAM, 128GB internal storage
  • IP53 splash resistance
  • 3400 mAh battery
  • Front-facing fingerprint sensor
  • Android 8.1 with EMUI 8.1

Release: 3/27 (Europe), April 28, 2018 (Philippines)

Price: €649 (Europe), P34,990 (Philippines)

Huawei P20 Pro

Notable Features and Specs:

  • Rear camera: 40MP RGB sensor with f/1.8 aperture + 20MP monochrome sensor with f/1.6 aperture + 8MP telephoto sensor with f/2.4 aperture, 720p 960fps Super Slow-Mo Video
  • Front camera: 24MP camera
  • 6.1-inch OLED display with 2240×1080 resolution
  • Kirin 970 chip
  • 6GB RAM, 128GB internal storage
  • IP67 water resistance
  • 4000 mAh battery (said to last about the same as the Mate 10 Pro)
  • Front-facing fingerprint sensor
  • Android 8.1 with EMUI 8.1

Release: 4/6 (Europe), April 28, 2018 (Philippines)

Price: €899 (Europe), P44,990 (Philippines)

 

Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS

Thinking that the P20 and P20 Pro aren’t enough to make a splash, Huawei went over the top with the Mate RS. In another collaboration with Porsche Design, Huawei pulled out all the stops in delivering the best of the best specs you can get!

Notable Features and Specs:

  • Rear camera: 40MP RGB sensor with f/1.8 aperture + 20MP monochrome sensor with f/1.6 aperture + 8MP telephoto sensor with f/2.4 aperture, 720p 960fps Super Slow-Mo Video
  • Front camera: 24MP camera
  • 6-inch 18:9 OLED display with 2880×1440 resolution
  • Kirin 970 chip
  • 6GB RAM, 256/512 GB internal storage
  • IP67 water resistance
  • Android 8.1 with EMUI 8.1
  • 4000 mAh battery (said to last about the same as the Mate 10 Pro)
  • Comes in Black (global) and Red (China only)

Release: TBD

Price: €1695 (256GB), €2095 (512GB) (Europe), TBD for Philippines

 

Galaxy S9 / Galaxy S9+

Does that look like a Galaxy S8 to you? If you said yes, I don’t blame you. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ look almost identical to last year’s S8 and S8+. Besides the usual spec upgrades, the main difference with Samsung’s latest flagships lie in the camera.

The 12MP main camera on both the S9 and S9+ can adjust the aperture depending on the lighting conditions. If under daylight, the S9 will use the f/2.4 aperture. If the scene is in low light, it will switch to the f/1.5 aperture. The S9’s camera provides better photos regardless of the scene involved.

By the way, the S9 and S9+ do NOT have a notch.

Notable Features and Specs

Galaxy S9

  • 5.8-inch Super AMOLED display with 2960×1440 resolution
  • Rear camera: 12MP main sensor with dual aperture (f/1.5 and f/2.4)
  • Front camera: 8MP wide-angle sensor
  • 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage
  • 3000 mAh battery
  • Snapdragon 845 chip (US) / Exynos 9810 chip (Global)
  • Intelligent Scan (Face Unlock + Iris Scanning)

Galaxy S9+

  • 5.8-inch Super AMOLED display with 2960×1440 resolution
  • Rear camera: 12MP main sensor with dual aperture (f/1.5 and f/2.4) + 12MP telephoto sensor with f/2.4 aperture
  • Front camera: 8MP wide-angle sensor
  • 6GB RAM, 64/128/256 GB internal storage
  • 3500 mAh battery
  • Snapdragon 845 chip (US) / Exynos 9810 chip (Global)
  • Intelligent Scan (Face Unlock + Iris Scanning)

Released: 3/16/2018

Price: $720 (S9) / $830 (S9+) (US), P45,990 (S9) / P52,990 (S9+)

 

ASUS ZenFone 5 Series

Like other phone makers at MWC 2018, ASUS launched their ZenFone 5 series of smartphones. This includes the ZenFone 5Q (5 Lite or 5 Selfie depending on where you live), the ZenFone 5, and ZenFone 5Z. The latter two carry the notch, a thing that ASUS never shied away from in their presentation. This looks to be a bang for your buck as the ZenFone 5 and 5Z bring top-tier specs at lower-than-expected prices!

ZenFone 5Q

Notable Features and Specs:

  • Snapdragon 430/630 processor
  • 3/4 GB RAM, 32/64 GB internal storage
  • 6-inch LCD display with 2160×1080 resolution
  • Rear camera: 16MP sensor with f/2.2 aperture + unknown 120° wide-angle sensor
  • Front camera: 20MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture + unknown 120° wide-angle sensor
  • 3300 mAh battery

Released: April 14, 2018 (Philippines)

Price: P16,995

ZenFone 5

Notable Features and Specs:

  • Snapdragon 636 processor
  • 4/6 GB RAM, 64GB internal storage
  • 6.2-inch LCD display with 2246×1080 resolution
  • Rear camera: 12MP main sensor with f/1.8 aperture + 8MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture
  • Front camera: 8MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture
  • 3300 mAh battery

Release: April 14, 2018 (Philippines)

Price: P19,995

ZenFone 5Z

Notable Features and Specs:

  • Snapdragon 845 processor
  • 4/6/8 GB RAM, 64/128/256 GB internal storage
  • 6.2-inch LCD display with 2246×1080 resolution
  • Rear camera: 12MP main sensor with f/1.8 aperture + 8MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture
  • Front camera: 8MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture
  • 3300 mAh battery

Release: June 2018

Price: P29,995

 

Xiaomi Mi MIX 2s

The original Mi MIX was a breakthrough. It introduced one of the more extreme ways a bezel-less phone can work. Fast forward to today where Xiaomi introduced the new Mi MIX 2s. Banking on the success of the Mi MIX 2, the Mi MIX 2s brings a dual-camera setup and the latest high-end specs to grace a Xiaomi device. It’s also one of the rare phones to NOT have a notch.

Notable Features and Specs:

  • Snapdragon 845 processor
  • 4/6 GB RAM, 64/128/256 GB internal storage
  • 5.99-inch LCD display with 2160×1080 resolution
  • Rear camera: 12MP main sensor with f/1.8 aperture + 12MP telephoto sensor with f/2.4 aperture
  • Front camera: 5MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture
  • 3400 mAh battery

Release: April 2018

Price: ~$400

Nokia 8 Sirocco

After Nokia made their comeback last year with their line of Android smartphones (Nokia 3, 5, 7), they doubled down on Android with their recent releases. The biggest release is the Nokia 8 Sirocco. This is essentially Nokia’s flagship phone for 2018. If there’s one standout feature, it’s the fact that this is the first Android One phone with flagship specs. I’m kind of happy that the Nokia brand is back and uses Android. 

Notable Features and Specs:

  • Snapdragon 835 processor
  • 6GB RAM, 128GB internal storage
  • 5.5-inch pOLED display with 2560×1440 resolution
  • Rear camera: 12MP main sensor with f/1.75 aperture + 12MP telephoto sensor with f/2.6 aperture
  • Front camera: 5MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture
  • IP67 water resistance
  • 3260 mAh battery

Release: April 2018

Price: €749 (Europe), TBD in other countries

LG V30S ThinQ

LG hasn’t had a big success lately. After the tame response to the G6 and V30, LG needs a new strategy in order to regain market share from the big phone makers. I didn’t expect them to do a rehash though. The V30S ThinQ? Definitely a rehash. The only changes they made are the colors and the AI camera. The latter will come as a software update to the V30.

Notable Features and Specs:

  • Snapdragon 835 processor
  • 6GB RAM, 128GB internal storage
  • 5.5-inch pOLED display with 2560×1440 resolution
  • Rear camera: 12MP main sensor with f/1.75 aperture + 12MP telephoto sensor with f/2.6 aperture
  • Front camera: 5MP sensor with f/2.2 aperture
  • IP67 water resistance
  • 3260 mAh battery

Release: April 2018

Price: €749 (Europe), TBD in other countries

OPPO A71 (2018)

OPPO is on a roll! After releasing the A83 last January, they’re back with the A71 (2018). There are two differences between this model and last year’s. This year sees the use of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 450 processor compared to the MediaTek MT6750 in last year’s model. The other difference? A step down in RAM (from 3GB to 2GB). Besides those two, the A71 (2018) is pretty much the same as last year’s.

Notable Features and Specs:

  • Snapdragon 450 processor
  • 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage
  • 5.2-inch 720p LCD display
  • Rear camera: 13MP sensor with f/2.2 aperture
  • Front camera: 5MP sensor with f/2.4 aperture
  • 3000 mAh battery

Released: March 2018

Price: P7,990 (Philippines)

Vivo V9

It seems that OPPO’s and Vivo’s growths are somewhat synonymous. Nevertheless, Vivo is jumping on the notch bandwagon with their latest smartphone. The V9 has a 6.3-inch display with a 19:9 aspect ratio. Besides the screen, it has the usual dual camera setup and an AI-focused feature that prioritizes processing and storage for better performance.

Notable Features and Specs:

  • Snapdragon 626 processor
  • 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage
  • 6.3-inch 2280×1080 LCD display (19:9 aspect ratio)
  • Rear camera: Dual camera (16MP + 5MP) with f/2.0 aperture
  • Front camera: 24MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture
  • Android 8.1 (with FunTouch OS 4.0)
  • 3000 mAh battery

Release: April 2018

Price: P17,990 (Philippines)

Xiaomi Redmi 5A / 5 / 5 Plus

Xiaomi doesn’t really know how to stop making smartphones. They are regaining lost ground in their hometown. They’re also reentering markets that they left like the Philippines. I’m so glad that they finally put up two new Mi Stores (and plan to put up more)! Some of the phones that are there were the new line of Redmi 5 smartphones, including the insanely popular Redmi 5A. Lazada and Xiaomi did THREE flash sales of the entry-level phone and they sold A LOT!

Redmi 5A

Notable Features and Specs:

  • Snapdragon 425 processor
  • 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage
  • 5-inch 720p LCD display
  • Rear camera: 13MP sensor with f/2.2 aperture
  • Front camera: 5MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture
  • Android 7.1.2 (Nougat)
  • 3000 mAh battery

Released: March 2018 (Philippines)

Price: P4,590 (P4,390 in Lazada) (Philippines)

Redmi 5

Notable Features and Specs:

  • Snapdragon 450 processor
  • 3GB RAM, 32GB internal storage
  • 5.7-inch 1440×720 LCD display (18:9 aspect ratio)
  • Rear camera: 12MP sensor with f/2.2 aperture
  • Front camera: 5MP sensor
  • Android 7.1.2 (Nougat)
  • 3300 mAh battery

Released: March 2018 (Philippines)

Price: P7,790 (P7,490 in Lazada) (Philippines)

Redmi 5 Plus

Notable Features and Specs:

  • Snapdragon 625 processor
  • 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage
  • 5.99-inch 2160×1080 LCD display (19:9 aspect ratio)
  • Rear camera: 12MP sensor with f/2.2 aperture
  • Front camera: 5MP sensor
  • Android 7.1.2 (Nougat)
  • 4000 mAh battery

Release: March 2018 (Philippines)

Price: P9,990 (Philippines)

Huawei Nova 2 Lite

While waiting for the awesome P20 series, Huawei launched this phone in the Philippines! The Nova 2 Lite is just a step down from the Nova 2i released last year. Sporting the same 18:9 display and decent specs isn’t a bad thing for a sub-10K peso smartphone though.

Notable Features and Specs:

  • Snapdragon 430 processor
  • 3GB RAM, 32GB internal storage
  • 5.99-inch 1440×720 LCD display (18:9 aspect ratio)
  • Rear camera: Dual camera (13MP + 2MP) system
  • Front camera: 8MP sensor
  • Android 8.0 Oreo (with EMUI 8.0)
  • 3000 mAh battery

Released: March 2018 (Philippines)

Price: P9,990

And that’s my March 2018 smartphone roundup! Did I miss a phone (or a lot of phones)? Leave your thoughts and your favorite of the bunch in the comments below! I may just give away one of these!

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