5 Proudly Filipino Mobile Brands to Check Out
Due for your next smartphone upgrade? Take a look at what these brands have to offer
With tailor-fit mobile plans and devices within arm’s reach 24/7, it’s no wonder many of us opt only for the newest, best-equipped phones on the market.
Let’s face it: there’s an undeniable thrill that comes with unboxing a snazzy new phone and waiting for the latest annual Apple or Samsung release. All the buzz makes us forget that even outside the realm of large-scale brands, we have a whole spectrum of proudly Filipino, bang-for-your-buck options.
With only three smartphone models and 15 dealers to its name when it started in 2007, MyPhone is one of the brands that sparked the boom of locally-made mobile phones. MyPhone stands out among its competitors thanks to its wide range of apps, the novelty of being the first Filipino brand to introduce dual SIM features and a wide range of products which includes tablets, digital televisions and emergency-ready specialty phones. Among MyPhone’s newest models are the MyX8 and myA11, which runs on Anroid’s new Oreo Go edition operating system.
Maynard Ngu of Cosmic Techonologies envisioned a brand that has “everything for everyone” when he launched Cherry Mobile in 2008. Since then, the company has leapt over and beyond this vision. With the first Android tablet, the Philippines’ first LTE-powered smartphone, shock-proof and power bank-equipped devices and tri-SIM phones, Cherry Mobile has continuously changed the game. To this day, the brand breaks geographical borders by offering its products to countries like Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Tunisia, and nations in Africa. Cherry Mobile’s most recent releases include the Flare, Cosmos and Desire—three feature-packed models available at affordable price points.
Quality isn’t the only thing Cellprime CEO, Eric Yu, pays attention to. Affordability is another element he factored in when he ventured into the tech business with Cloudfone in 2011. While the company started off with the Ice and QWERTY Touch at a budget-friendly 7,000 pesos, their product roster has only grown since with releases like Android phones, mobile TV-equipped tablets, 4000mAh battery-powered devices, transparent LED displays and dual boot techology, which is a first for a Filipino brand. Collaborations with partners like MediaTek, Microsoft, Intel, Spotify, NBA and Disney have also helped Cloudfone level up the tech game on the local scene.
A brand 15 years in the making, Starmobile was built with the goal of creating a local mobile phone that could level with international brands. In 2012, this goal came to fruition with the launch of a mobile device coupled with a Bluetooth headset. Since then, the company has brought forth multiple firsts, like TV-capable tablets for digital, analog and streaming, frontal cameras with flash and wide-angle lenses, wireless charging, dual-lens rear cameras for smartphones and 5000mAh battery capacity.
Dual SIM Starmobile smartphones retail for as low as P1,000, while tablets range from P3,000 to 4,000.
A newcomer compared to the rest of the brands on this list, Chico Mobile launched just two years ago. A sister company of ZH&K Mobile, Chico aims to address the need of Filipino mobile users who look for a balance between budget and a full-on techie experience. The brand’s initials offerings include three smartphones: te Strom 87 and Strom 86, both of which are digital TV-capable, as well as the STEM, an entry-level model. Chico Mobile’s prices range from an affordable P2,000 to P4,000.
Before your next smartphone upgrade, take a look at what the local tech scene has to offer. You may end up with much more than you bargained for in the best of ways.