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Capable Smartphones Under 1K, Is This The New Trend?

Several months ago, MyPhone in partnership with Smart Communitations launched the My28 at a game changing price of just 888 Pesos. This we think shook the entry level mobile phone industry wherein before we were only the option of basic phones as supposed to smartphones. If you were looking for a smartphone at that price point what you'll get is a single core device.
799 Flare Bundle and MyPhone My28s
799 Flare Bundle and MyPhone My28s, two of the best value phones under 1K

The collaboration resulted the creation of a handset with a 4 inch screen, a quad core processor, 512 MB RAM, a 8 GB expandable ROM, 1,450 mAh battery, 5 MP cam w/ flash at the back, 2 MP cam w/ flash in front, 3G connectivity and runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop. This is terrific and game changing because usually, phones of that caliber are in the 2,500 - 3,000 Pesos price range.

That's something that's already great enough for doing casual social media, browsing, gaming and basic phone usage.

The effect

Due to that price, they were flocked by people left and right and the phone goes out of stock every-time they replenish it. The effect of that is a creation of another variant, this time it has less ROM at 4 GB expandable called the My28s. While some people were a bit disappointed in that decrease of storage, there's still no question that the My28 is the king of sub-1K phones.

They're also our two top article for 2 months straight now. The reception to those offerings were simply that good.

How did the competition react?

In two weeks, Cherry Mobile, one of the major players in the local smartphone scene in partnership with Globe launched an answer MyPhone and Smart's partnership. They released the more affordable Cherry Prepaid's Flare 799 Bundle with near identical configuration.
Solid build on both devices for something so affordable
Solid build on both devices for something so affordable

Originally called Flare Lite 2, the 799 Flare bundle features a 4 inch screen, quad core processor, Mali 400 GPU, 512 MB RAM, 4 GB expandable ROM, 1,400 mAh battery, 5 MP rear camera, VGA front and runs on Android 4.4.2 Kitkat.
View of the devices in front
View of the devices in front

CloudFone also did a quick sale of the most capable phone on paper in the sub 1K range, but it was only a 3 day sale.

In the end it all boils down to MyPhone My28s and 799 Flare Bundle as they're the only ones with great data plans and stocks.

MyPhone My28s vs Cherry Prepaid's 799 Flare Bundle Specs

Specs MyPhone My28s 799 Flare Bundle
Display: 4 Inch WVGA 800 x 480 resolution 4 Inch WVGA 800 x 480 resolution
CPU: 1.2 GHz Spreadtrum SC7731 quad core processor 1.2 GHz Spreadtrum SC7731 quad core processor
GPU: Mali 400 Mali 400
RAM: 512 MB 512 MB
ROM: 4 GB expandable via micro SD card 4 GB expandable via micro SD card
Rear Camera: 5 MP w/ LED flash 5 MP w/ LED flash
Selfie Camera: 2 MP w/ flash VGA
Battery: 1,450 mAh 1,400 mAh
OS: Android 5.1 Lollipop Android 4.4.2 Kitkat
Connectivity: WiFi, 3G, HSPA+, Bluetooth, dual SIM WiFi, 3G, HSPA+, Bluetooth, dual SIM
Others: FREE Sports Watch, 100 MB Data / month and etc. FREE 120 MB Data / month and etc.
Price: 888 Pesos (Smart lock) 799 Pesos

The freebies included

MyPhone My28s
1. FREE Smart SIM
2. FREE FB, Twitter and Viber for 7 days
3. FREE 100 MB data per month for 1 year
4. FREE Sports Watch
5. 30 Pesos load rebate 100 Pesos top up

Cherry Prepaid 799 Flare Bundle
1. There's a Cherry Prepaid SIM Card bundled inside the phone (SIM 1)
2. You get 120 MB of data per month valid for 1 year (Once per month 10 Pesos of load top up is required)
3. FREE monthly load of 10 Pesos per month for 3 months (no top up requirement)
4. FREE Unli Facebook and 50 SMS to all networks for 2 days

Advantages of MyPhone My28s and 799 Flare Bundle against each other?

MyPhone My28s - Better cameras, flash in front, slightly larger battery, Android 5.1 Lollipop, FREE sports watch
Cherry Prepaid 799 Flare Bundle - Cheaper price, more telco freebies, SIM 2 slot is openline

The future?

In India, they already released the Freedom 251, with 4 inch screen, quad core SoC, 1 GB RAM, 1,450 mAh battery, 3.2 MP rear cam, VGA rear cam and runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop at less that 200 Pesos. Now a 200 Pesos smartphone may sound ridiculous, but if India can produce such a device, why not here?

If not, we're expecting better value smartphones from the local and international competition that could enter the basic phone market.

Ending thoughts

What Smart and MyPhone did really changed the game in the sub 1K scene. It is great to see better value and better prices on smartphones, but this could result in the loss of players in opting out in this category. In the long term, this could possibly be the trigger for the masses to make the switch into using smartphones as opposed to basic phones. In the end that matters is this is a win for the consumers.

What do you think guys? Please share your thoughts below.
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