It has been almost a month since my last blog update. I have been extremely busy with work that when I get home in the evening to do a review or update my blog, I fell asleep on my bed still wearing my working attire. Yeah, I was that busy. Now I finally have some free time to update my blog and do a little review.
This time I have an interesting top 5 for you all. I know that we Malaysians love cheap stuffs, but wanting to squeeze the best out of our purchases. These items are not actually cheap, nor they are expensive either. So this time around I’m providing my readers the top 5 mid-range “phablets” at an affordable price. When I say phablets, I meant smartphones that are 6″ and above in terms of screen size. That is pretty much the standard size of a phablet screen nowadays anyway.
Here goes my personal list of Top 5 Mid-Range Phablets in Malaysia – March 2014.
#5 – Lenovo S930
I have always loved Lenovo smartphones. They’re cheap and reliable. I have tried a few and loved a few. The only setback I have with the phone is that the space is very limited despite the technology for gigaspace is getting cheap and better. To me, the basic space that we can have in a low-end phones is 8GB, no longer 4GB. Same goes with phablets. And now Lenovo have came out with their new 6″ mid-range phablet, the Lenovo S930. It comes with 8GB of space with 1GB of RAM and up to 32GB of microSD space. The is using the IPS LCD display at 720 x 1280 resolution that carries about 245 ppi pixel density. Similar to the other Lenovo’s low and mid range smartphones, the S930 is powered by a Quad-core 1.3GHz Cortex-A7 CPU and Mali-400MP2 GPU. Usually a Lenovo phone would use a PowerVR based GPU but this time around they opt for a Mali chipset GPU instead, which in my opinion is better. We probably can see a jump in graphic performance in this one. For imaging capabilities, the S930 is using an 8MP camera at the back and 1.6MP camera at the front. This phablet is powered by Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and an upgrade to KitKat is on the way. Price: RM679 (cheapest in the list).
#4 – Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
I have tried and reviewed this phone a few months back. While I was using it, I don’t seem to find any problems or lack in performance. This “giant” performed well and very responsive. I do have some qualms with a smartphone having 1GB of RAM. To me, the standard nowadays should at least have a 1.5GB of RAM. Believe me, that 0.5GB difference really makes a huge…well…difference. To me, the more RAMs we have in our smartphones/phablets, the better it is. And this Galaxy Mega has that extra edge over its competitors. This Mega comes with either 8GB or 16GB space variants with up to 64GB of MicroSD space. The display resolution of the same with the Lenovo S930 but it is not protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass. That is why I have this phablet at #4 in my list here. Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 dual-core 1.7GHz is in the heart of this beast. I have used this phone so I know whether the dual-core works well or not. Trust me, it does. If you want to own something that is similar to a Galaxy Note at a cheaper price, get this one. Price: RM1,299.
#3 – Asus Fonepad Note 6
This Intel powered Atom dual core at 2GHz phablet looks very promising. Comes with a 6″ display with 1920 x 1080 resolution with full HD and 367 ppi pixel density. The Asus Fonepad Note 6 is a very attractive looking phablet aimed for the younger generations who can’t afford the big players such as the Note 3. This device will definitely appeal to the young ones who loves gaming, thanks to the newer version of the PowerVR GPU that comes with this baby. It comes with an option to have either 16GB or 32GB of storage plus an additional 64GB external storage via MicroSD and 2GB of RAM. As for the camera, the main camera is an 8MP auto-focus shooter and a 1.2MP front shooter. I only have one problem with the imaging capability of this phablet…it has no LED flash. So shooting in the dark or getting that extra light is a no go. This phablet is priced between RM1,299 to RM1,399. I came across some dealers who sells them below RM1k, but may have to double check on that again.
#2 – Alcatel Hero
Alcatel Hero is a beautiful looking phablet. Released sometime in October 2013 without much hype in Malaysia, this phablet is actually an awesome device to have if you’re looking for a good performer. Powered by Mediatek quad core 1.5GHz Cortex-A7 CPU with PowerVR GPU as well as 2GB of RAM, this phablet promises some good performance even under long use. You can choose between 8GB of space for the single SIM spec or 16GB of space for the dual SIM spec. But unfortunately the 32GB MicroSD external storage is only available with the single SIM version. I wonder why they do it this way. Seems weird. At least it comes with a 13MP camera with an LED flash as the main shooter while having a 2MP camera at the front for the selfie freaks. The 6″ IPS LCD display has about 1920 x 1080 resolution with 367 ppi pixel density and instead of using Gorilla Glass, Alcatel opt this to use an Oleophobic coating instead. Price: RM1,219.
#1 – Nokia Lumia 1320
And my top choice for a budget friendly mid-range phablets is, the Nokia Lumia 1320. Of all the phabets that I like, I really do like this one the most. And it’s the only non Android phablet in this list. How this Lumia 1320 reached the top of my list? I’ll give a simple answer. LTE!
Yes, this is the only budget phablet in this list to have and LTE bandwidth for fast internet browsing. In terms of hardware specifications, the Lumia 1320 is using the old Snapdragon S4 processor with a dual core 1.7GHz CPU and Adreno 305 GPU. But looking back at the Snapdragon S4 performance, it can still outperforms the quad-core Mediatek processor in some areas. And this being a Windows Phone 8 platform, it is very gentle on the RAM usage and everything runs smoothly without any glitch. I will always have high praises for a WP8 platform simply because it doesn’t use much RAM. This Lumia 1320 has a 1GB of RAM in it and everything seems to work flawlessly. Screen size is 6″ with 1280 x 720 resolution but thanks to the Nokia’s popular ClearBlack Display and protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3, everything looks very sharp and vibrant. Although it only has about 8GB of storage space, it can be expanded with the MicroSD card up to 64GB. Price: RM1,199 (RRP). Lowest price: RM1,039.
I love Android devices. They are very easy to use and customize. There’s never a time when I have an Android phone that I didn’t root or flash a different ROM in it. But in this case, I am trying to help some of you to make up your mind in case if you want to buy a budget mid-range phablets. I always look at the specifications, functionality and user-friendliness. And I feel that the Lumia 1320 will be a good buy. It’s a tough and solid phablet. Windows Phone devices are getting more popular. The amount of apps in their Marketplace is increasing rapidly. Not only that, anyone can simply learn to use a WP8 device easily. I would just give about 5 hours, I guarantee that you can understand the functionality of the phablet within that period of time.
If you’re afraid to make that shift from Android, I would then choose either the Asus or the Alcatel. The Asus Fonepad Note 6 should be better than the Alcatel Hero but it does not have a flash for its camera and it’s only an 8MP shooter. Not that it’s important or anything but it will be a plus point.
This is just my personal list of which phablet I think is worth buying. I am not associated with any of the device manufacturers nor I am getting paid in any way. I love gadgets, therefore I would usually have my own favourites list when it comes to this. So there you have it, my list of Top 5 Mid-Range Phablets in Malaysia.
Thank you for reading.