14 Best Budget Smartphone in Malaysia (2020) Under RM1000

Don’t want to spend thousands of ringgit on a smartphone? Lucky for you, there are plenty of budget smartphones that cost under RM1000. Popular brands include Xiaomi, Samsung, Honor, Huawei, ASUS and many more. Budget smartphones can help you save money and at the same time, provide you with excellent specs and performances.

To help you to choose the right budget smartphone, we have done our research to shortlist the best. Here are the best budget smartphones in Malaysia that cost under RM1000!

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro
  • Beautiful flagship-level design
  • Upgraded chipset for ultra-smooth performance
  • Superb battery life with 5020mAh

Specifications: Processor – Snapdragon 720G | GPU – Adreno 618 | RAM – 6GB | Storage – 128GB | Display – 6.67-inch IPS LCD | Camera – Quad Camera 48+8+2+2MP, Front camera 16MP | Operating System – Android 10; MIUI 11 | Battery – 5020mAh

We have always loved the Redmi Note range of phones. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro is no exception because it brings the same balance of flagship-level performance for an affordable price. At under RM1000, you get a smartphone that would cost more than RM2000 if it was from other brands. So you are definitely getting a great deal.

So what is new with this Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro? Firstly, its processor has been upgraded to the Snapdragon 720G. This gives it buttery smooth performance for day-to-day tasks. Additionally, it is equipped with the Adreno 618 GPU, which enables you to game competitively without lag. The display is very large at 6.67 inches with sharp image quality.

Another standout point is its large 5020mAh battery which is way above the average of 4000mAh. It will definitely last you the entire day without charging even if you are a heavy user. In fact for most users, you will only need to charge it once every 2 days. However, the larger battery also means that charging time is slighter longer as it only charges at 18W. It’ll take you around 2 hours for a full charge from 0%.

Overall the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro is our current favourite for a smartphone under RM1000. The updated specifications make its performance even smoother, so you’ll definitely love it too!

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro

Best budget gaming smartphone

  • Extremely powerful processor & RAM
  • Full HD 6.53-inch display
  • Flagship quality quad camera

Specifications: Processor – Mediatek Helio G90T | GPU – Mali-G76 MC4 | RAM – 6GB | Storage – 128GB | Display – 6.53 inches IPS LCD | Camera – Quad Camera 64+8+2+2MP, Front camera 20MP | Operating System – Android 9.0 (Pie); MIUI 10 | Battery – 4500mAh

In the range of RM800 to RM1000, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro takes the cake. It is truly a flagship smartphone with the price of a budget smartphone. Just take a look at its specs and features. When you compare it to the latest flagship smartphones, you will find that this Redmi Note 8 Pro holds its own.

If you’re a gamer, you’ll appreciate its ultra-fast quad-core processor, efficient Mali-G76 GPU and its 6GB RAM. With these specs, you can smoothly run any game available in the Google Play Store. This includes games like PUBG, Mobile Legends, Free Fire, Call of Duty and many others.

The cameras on the Note 8 Pro are high-quality. On the back, there is a quad-camera setup of 64MP, 8MP, and two 2MP cameras. Photos taken are crisp, clear and need no editing at all. For video, you can record in 4K at 30 frames per second. The front camera is equally impressive, offering 20MP quality. Looking at reviews on photo and video quality, we say that this Note 8 Pro easily rivals smartphones that cost more than RM2000.

If you need a budget smartphone for gaming or just want great performance, you need to get the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro!

Xiaomi Redmi 8
  • Impeccable and bright display
  • Excellent design with solid build
  • Huge 5000mAh battery with Fast Charge

Specifications: Processor – Qualcomm SDM439 Snapdragon 439 | GPU – Adreno 505 | RAM – 4GB | Storage – 64GB | Display – 6.21 inches IPS LCD | Camera – Dual Camera 12MP+2MP, Front camera 8MP | Operating System – Android 9.0 (Pie); MIUI 9 | Battery – 5000mAh

Looking purely at the design of the Xiaomi Redmi 8, you’ll definitely won’t think that it costs less than RM1000. It has a premium build that feels more like a flagship smartphone rather than a budget option. Priced at around RM500, this Xiaomi Redmi 8 offers great value-for-money in terms of its design and performance.

There is no lag when you launch any popular apps such as Instagram, Facebook and Whatsapp thanks to its processor and 4GB RAM. Display-wise, it has a large 6.21-inch display that is clear, bright and perfect for consuming video content. We are also highly impressed by its 5000mAh battery. With that, you can go without charging the phone for around 2-days in our experience. For charging, it has a USB-C port that supports Fast Charging at 18W that makes the entire process very speedy.

For its specs and features, the Xiaomi Redmi 8’s price tag of RM500+ is super worth the money. If you’re looking for a budget smartphone around this price range, this model is our top recommendation!

Xiaomi Redmi 7A

Cheapest smartphone

  • Comfortable to use on one-hand
  • Splash-resistant exterior
  • Wireless FM radio

Specifications: Processor – Qualcomm SDM439 Snapdragon 439 | GPU – Adreno 505 | RAM – 3GB | Storage – 32GB | Display – 5.45 inches IPS LCD | Camera – 12MP, Front camera 5MP | Operating System – Android 9.0 (Pie); MIUI 9 | Battery – 4000mAh

Not everyone likes a large and cumbersome 6-inch or larger screen. If you fit in that group, the Xiaomi Redmi 7A is the budget smartphone for you. Instead of an oversized screen, it offers a good balance between screen space and usability with its 5.45-inch display. Because there are only very thin bezels around the screen, it looks much larger. If you like typing and using your phone with one hand, this phone size is perfect.

For its specifications, it is pretty similar in most aspects to the Xiaomi 8. The main difference is that the Xiaomi Redmi 7A has slighter lower RAM and storage. However, for daily use, you won’t really notice much difference, especially if you don’t plan to play RAM-intensive games. Battery life as with most Xiaomi phones is excellent and you can go for a full day of heavy usage without needing to look for a charger.

At about RM300, the Xiaomi Redmi 7A is one of the cheapest smartphones around. If this is your budget range, you should definitely consider this model.

Samsung Galaxy A21s
  • One of the cheapest mid-range Samsung options
  • Very good battery life with 5000mAh
  • Average performance to price ratio

Specifications: Processor – Exynos 850 Octa-core | GPU – Mali-G52 | RAM – 6GB | Storage – 64GB | Display – 6.5 inches PLS TFT | Camera – Quad Camera 48+8+2+2MP, Front camera 13MP | Operating System – Android 10, One UI 2.0 | Battery – 5000mAh

The Samsung Galaxy A21s is one of the more affordable Samsung phones. It straddles between the flagship Samsung models and the RM500 options. As such, you can expect mid-tier performance for this phone, and it is a good choice for those who prefer Samsung. This phone is equipped with a large battery of 5000mAh which will give you an abundance of battery life.

In terms of specifications, it isn’t comparable with flagship models. To be honest, there is a premium attached to the Samsung brand with its success with top-of-the-line models. As such, this premium is cascaded down to their mid-range smartphones as well. This means that when you compare it to a similarly priced Xiaomi model, it is going to lose out in terms of specifications and performance. For day-to-day use, it is competent enough but you may encounter a few occasions of sluggishness and lag. As such, if you require high performance, this smartphone may not be the right fit. This phone is aimed more towards Samsung brand loyalists who want a mid-range option.

That being said, there is nothing fundamentally wrong with this phone. It just isn’t as value-for-money as the other options out there. But if you love Samsung phones, then it is still going to be a good fit for you.

Samsung Galaxy A10s
  • 25% improved battery capacity
  • Speedy octa-core processor for gaming
  • Large and immersive display

Specifications: Processor – Octa-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53 | GPU – PowerVR GE8320 | RAM – 2GB | Storage – 32GB | Display – 6.2 inches PLS TFT capacitive touchscreen | Camera – Dual Camera 13P+2MP, Front camera 8MP | Operating System – Android 9.0 (Pie) | Battery – 4000mAh

The Samsung Galaxy A10s is the improved version of the older A10 model. First up, it has a 25% higher battery capacity of 4000mAh compared to 3200mAh. We find the battery is now able to sustain about 1 to 1.5 full days of use before running out – which is excellent. This smartphone also has a faster Octa-core processor. If you’re looking to play games or run more processor-intensive apps, this budget smartphone can rival other phones with higher price tags.

Display-wise, it has a 6.2-inch screen that has 1520 by 720 resolution. This large screen provides an immersive experience as you game or watch videos. For taking photos and videos, the rear dual-camera of 13MP and 2MP works together for good depth perception. You can take outstanding photos with this setup.

Most Samsung smartphones are priced very high, especially their flagship Galaxy S series models. The Samsung Galaxy A10s is the budget option that is under RM500 that gives you decent performance without a premium price tag. If you like Samsung phones, this is the best budget smartphone for you!

Honor 7A
  • Dual sim for two numbers
  • Face unlock security feature
  • Lightweight at just 150g

Specifications: Processor – Qualcomm MSM8937 Snapdragon 430 | GPU – Adreno 505 | RAM – 2GB | Storage – 16GB | Display – 5.7 inches IPS LCD | Camera – Dual Camera 13MP+2MP, Front camera 8MP | Operating System – Android 8.0 (Oreo); EMUI 8 | Battery – 3000mAh

Honor is a sub-brand of Huawei. Honor phones are meant to be more budget-friendly and cheaper than Huawei models. A good example of this is the Honor 7A. Right now, you can get it for under RM400 online which is much cheaper than any Huawei phones out there. At the same time, Honor phones are still very competent smartphones that keep up with the latest technology and specs.

An example of this is the face unlock feature on the Honor 7A. Usually, you’ll only find this security feature on high-end and expensive smartphones. But Honor manages to provide you with this high-tech feature at a very reasonable price point. Another thing we really like is the dual-sim slots. If you need to have two phone numbers, this is an extremely convenient feature. Carrying around the Honor 7A is effortless because it is one of the lightest smartphones, weighing just 150g.

Get some of Huawei best features in the budget-friendly Honor 7A. You can enjoy flagship features at a cheap price with it!

Huawei Honor 9i

Best budget smartphone under RM500

  • Smooth buttery performance
  • Excellent front & rear cameras
  • Premium quality build and finishing

Specifications: Processor – HiSilicon Kirin 659 | GPU – Mali-T830 MP2 | RAM – 4GB | Storage – 64GB | Display – 5.84 inches inches IPS LCD | Camera – Dual Camera 13MP+2MP, Front camera 16MP | Operating System – Android 9.0; EMUI 9.1 | Battery – 3000mAh

If you love to take photos and videos, the Huawei Honor 9i impressive cameras will be perfect. On the front, it has the 13MP and 2MP dual cameras which are great for taking portrait photos on its auto AI settings. The front camera has a very high megapixel count of 16MP, which is one of the highest amongst budget smartphones. If you use your phone for video calls or taking selfies, this front camera will come in very handy.

With its Kirin 659 processor and 4GB of RAM, this smartphone can handle anything you throw at it. From daily-use apps like Whatsapp to intensive mobile games like PUBG, it can do it all. Its display offers 1080P Full HD performance that is vibrant and colour accurate. This smartphone has a slighter smaller screen at 5.84 inches which in our opinion, can be a plus point as it makes the phone more compact.

You’ll also find premium features and new technologies on this Huawei smartphone. You can unlock this phone with your fingerprint or through face recognition. Running on the Android 9 system with the EMUI 9.1, the software helps to optimize the hardware so that performance is always at the optimal level.

For under RM500, the Huawei Honor 9i offers superb value for your money. Its impressive camera, hardware and software make it one of the best budget options in Malaysia.

OPPO A5s
  • Well-optimized battery that lasts 2 days
  • Good-sized 6.2-inch IPS display
  • Beautiful teardrop front design

Specifications: Processor – Mediatek MT6765 Helio P35 | GPU – PowerVR GE8320 | RAM – 3GB | Storage – 32GB | Display – 6.2 inches S-IPS LCD | Camera – Dual Camera 13MP+2MP, Front camera 8MP | Operating System – Android 8.1 (Oreo); ColorOS 5.2 | Battery – 4230mAh

The OPPO A5s looks great. We love the teardrop front design which smartly integrates the front camera. The back of the phone is made with glossy plastic which exudes a more premium look than its price suggests. Inside the package, you’ll find a transparent phone case which helps to showcase the beautiful design of this phone.

In terms of specifications, to be honest, the OPPO A5s doesn’t really stand out. And that is not a bad thing. Its processor, GPU, RAM are benchmarked to phones at its price level, so while it doesn’t stand out, it matches most of its competitors. One thing that Oppo does well is with its battery optimization. The 4230mAh battery can last you around 2 full-days for the average user.

Overall, there is a lot to love about this OPPO A5s. Its low price, decent specs and good battery life makes it an attractive smartphone for a price point that is below RM500.

ASUS ZenFone 3
  • Good processor for its price
  • Sleek & modern all-black design
  • Thin, slim and lightweight

Specifications: Processor – Qualcomm MSM8953 Snapdragon 625 | GPU – Adreno 506 | RAM – 4GB | Storage – 64GB | Display – 5.5 inches Super IPS | Camera – 16MP, Front camera 8MP | Operating System – Android 6.0.1 (Marshmallow), upgradable to 7.0 (Nougat); ZenUI 3 | Battery – 3000mAh

The ASUS ZenFone 3 is a very popular budget smartphone in Malaysia. On Lazada, it has garnered more than 200 positive ratings and reviews from its buyers. This smartphone is a slightly older model which explains why it is priced under RM400. However, it is still an excellent option because its specs and hardware still perform well.

Its Snapdragon 625 processor and 4GB of RAM places it within the ranks of top budget smartphones, even ones which have been launched more recently. There are a couple of drawbacks such as its single rear camera compared to newer models which often have a dual-camera setup. Its battery size is also smaller at 3000mAh, but it can still last you a full day.

Overall, if you don’t mind its minor drawbacks, the ASUS ZenFone 3 is still a great option among budget smartphones, especially with its low price point. Check it out on Lazada today!

Realme 6
  • More than 3000 positive ratings on Lazada
  • High refresh rate 90Hz display
  • Beautiful design with a standout glossy back

Specifications: Processor – Helio G90T | GPU – Mali G76 | RAM – 4GB | Storage – 128GB | Display – 6.5-inches IPS LCD 90Hz Smooth Display | Camera – Quad Camera 64+8+2+2MP, Front camera 16MP | Operating System – Android 10; realme UI | Battery – 4300mAh

Since its launch in Malaysia, Realme has emerged as a strong competitor to brands like Xiaomi, especially within the budget smartphone category. The newest Realme 6 has garnered very positive reviews, earning more than 3000 positive ratings on Lazada alone. So what makes this phone stand out? Firstly, it is slighter cheaper than its competitors with comparable specs. Another stand out factor is the high refresh rate of 90Hz for its screen. It makes the viewing experience much better, especially when watching fast-action scenes.

Its camera also produces very high-quality pictures and videos. The quad lens setup for the back camera each has its strengths from super high resolution, ultra-wide angles, low-light capabilities and video stabilization. If you love to capture memories through photos and videos, this smartphone would be perfect.

Want a flagship-level camera below RM1000? Then you have got to check out the impressive Realme 6 today!

Realme 5
  • Large, bright and colourful display
  • Battery that lasts for 2 days or more
  • Unique holographic back design

Specifications: Processor – Qualcomm SDM665 Snapdragon 665 | GPU – Adreno 610 | RAM – 3GB | Storage – 64GB | Display – 6.5 inches IPS LCD | Camera – Quad Camera 12+8+2+2MP, Front camera 13MP | Operating System – Android 9.0 (Pie); ColorOS 6 | Battery – 5000mAh

Realme is a brand which is under Oppo. Realme phones are aimed at more budget-conscious users. As such, the Realme 5 has the perfect combination of a low price point together with quality hardware. While Realme is a relatively new brand, it is quickly challenging more established budget phone manufacturers like Xiaomi.

There are 3 main things which we like on the Realme 5. First, its super large 6.5-inch screen makes it an entertainment powerhouse. You can watch YouTube videos and Korean dramas on it and feel totally immersed in it. Additionally, the screen has thin bezels which further increases the captivating factor. Secondly, its battery life is excellent. It is powered by a 5000mAh battery that gives you more than 2 days of usage on a single full charge. Third but not least, its quad-camera will help you take those Instagrammable shots that your followers will love. For a phone under RM500, its camera is impeccable.

The Realme 5 is a true contender for the best budget smartphone under RM500. You should definitely consider it!

Sony Xperia L2
  • Unique boxy design
  • Dual-sim card & microSD slot
  • Decent battery life for its capacity

Specifications: Processor – Mediatek MT6737T | GPU – Mali-T720MP2 | RAM – 3GB | Storage – 32GB | Display – 5.5 inches IPS LCD | Camera – Dual Camera 13MP, Front camera 8MP | Operating System – Android 7.1.1 (Nougat) | Battery – 3300mAh

To summarize a long story into a short story, the Sony Xperia L2 is a pretty average smartphone. From its processor, GPU, RAM, storage and even camera, there are other smartphones which offers much more. That being said, it is not a bad smartphone especially when it costs under RM400. However, if you have the additional budget, we would recommend adding another RM100 and going for a better and more updated phone.

Meizu M8

Best budget smartphone under RM400

  • Cheapest 4GB RAM smartphone
  • Octa-core processor for speedy operation
  • Dual rear camera for good picture quality

Specifications: Processor – MT6762 processor | GPU – IMG GE8320 | RAM – 4GB | Storage – 64GB | Display – 5.7 inches IPS LCD | Camera – Dual Camera 12MP+5MP, Front camera 5MP | Operating System – Android 8.0 (Orea) | Battery – 3100mAh

Looking at the specs of the Meizu M8, we think it is the cheapest smartphone with an octa-core processor and 4GB of RAM. This smartphone is priced under RM350 which is usually the price point where smartphones only have 2 or 3 GB of RAM. To find one with 4GB is a rarity and goes to show that the Meizu M8 offers great value for its price. With its good specs, this phone performs smoothly in almost any task.

Its camera set up is also worth a mention. It has dual cameras at the rear of 12MP and 5MP. Together, it gives you great options on different angled shots for photos and videos. This smartphone has 64GB of storage which is more than enough for the average user. If you need more space, you can expand its memory up to 128GB with a microSD card.

For under RM350, the Meizu M8 is one of the best options especially when you consider its above-average specs. Check it out today!