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Not everybody needs a high-end Smartphone. The best budget Smartphones in 2021 Malaysia may be just what you’re looking for!

We have listed the cheapest Smartphones under RM1,000 that serve functionality and style!

However, if you can afford to save up for one, go for these best Smartphones below RM2,000 instead. For higher performance and reliability!

11 Best Budget Smartphone Malaysia 2021

  • Best For Gaming – Huawei Nova 7i Smartphone (Under RM1,000), Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC (RM1,000)
  • Best For Recording 4K Videos – Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC
  • Best For Taking Photos – Samsung Galaxy A32 LTE
  • Best For Movies – Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC
  • Largest Screen – Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC
  • Best Battery Life – Xiaomi Redmi 9T
  • Best Overall Performance (Under RM600) – Xiaomi Redmi 9T
  • Best Overall Performance (Under RM1,000) – Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC
  • Best Screen – Samsung Galaxy A32 LTE

1. VIVO Y12S

If you’re looking for a budget, entry-level option:

The VIVO Y12s delivers plenty of bang for your buck, offering a decent range of specs at a very affordable price.

vivo Y12s - Front

It boasts a side fingerprint sensor, a dual-lens rear camera, and a 5000mAh battery.

It does also come with a 3.5mm audio jack, which is somewhat of a rarity in more top-of-the-line smartphones.

Over VIVO’s previous budget model, the Y12:

The Y12S offers a larger screen size, an improved CPU and GPU, improved charging speeds, is reversing charging capable and is only half a gram heavier.

However, the Y12S does come with the caveat of having a much poorer rear camera, given that the Y12 was Tri-Lens with HDR and ultrawide support, while the Y12S only offers a Dual-Lens without ultrawide support.

Verdict: Best Entry Level Budget Smartphone

All-in-all, the Y12s is a serviceable option if you’re on a tight budget,

So long as you’re not using it for anything too extensive, it can serve you quite well until you gather the funds for a better model.

vivo Y12s - Back
  • Display: 6.51″ IPS LCD (720 x 1,600), 400 nits
  • Weight: 191g
  • Dimensions: 164.4 x 76.3 x 8.4 mm
  • OS: Funtouch OS 11 / Android 10
  • CPU: Mediatek MT6765 Helio P35, 8-Core
  • GPU: PowerVR GE8320
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Storage: 32GB (Expandable via microSD)
  • Battery Life: 5,000 mAh
  • Rear Camera: 13MP (f/2.2) + 2MP (f/2.4)
  • Front Camera: 8MP (f/1.8)
  • IP Rating: n/a
  • SIM Card: Dual Nano SIM
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Price: ~RM499

Pros:

  • Dual-Sim
  • Entry-Level Price
  • Has 3.5mm audio jack
  • Power buttons doubles as fingerprint scanner
  • Sleek, stylish design

Cons:

  • Lack of NFC (Near-Field Communication)
  • Low Screen Brightness (Only 400 Nits)
  • Charging limited to only 10W
  • Poor choice for gaming
  • Poor integrated speakers
  • Camera is just okay

2. Xiaomi Redmi 9C

No budget Smartphone list is complete without mentioning this brand!

Released in the later end of 2020, together with the new version of the compatible Smartwatch (Mi Band 5):

Xiaomi Redmi 9C is the upgraded version of the 9A. It may have the same display and expandable memory.

But there is now a fingerprint sensor. Plus, it’s powered by the MediaTek Helio G35 chip.

If you have the Redmi 9A and want to know how it compares to the Redmi 9C, there are 2 things you can look forward to in the newer model. The first is a better overall performance, and the second is the addition of 2 more lens for the rear camera!

Other comparable budget smartphones that are in the same price bracket include the Realme C11. And the Honor 9A!

In fact, the Xiaomi Redmi 9C actually runs on the same CPU and GPU present in the Realme C11.

Now you may be wondering if you should get the Realme C11 then:

On the contrary, the Xiaomi Redmi 9C is more worth your money (even if it costs a little more)! Because this model has a fingerprint scanner and more internal storage. Don’t forget that improved rear camera!

Xiaomi Redmi 9C Smartphone
  • Display: 6.53″ IPS LCD (720 x 1,600)
  • Weight: 196g
  • Dimensions: 164.9 x 77 x 9 mm
  • OS: MIUI 12 / Android 10
  • CPU: MediaTek Helio G35 Octa-Core
  • GPU: PowerVR GE8320
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Storage: 64GB (Expandable Up to 256 GB via microSD)
  • Battery Life: 5,000 mAh
  • Rear Camera: 13MP (f/2.2) + 2MP (f/2.4) + 2MP (f/2.4)
  • Front Camera: 5MP (f/2.2)
  • IP Rating: n/a
  • SIM Card: Dual Nano SIM
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Price: ~RM479

Pros:

Cons:

3. Samsung Galaxy A12

Alright, now this is one of the newest budget phones under Samsung:

The impressive thing about it is hefty internal storage (128GB)! Paired with a RAM of 6GB.

Unfortunately, this is undermined by the eMMC 5.1 storage interface. A UFS 2.1 would have been preferable at this price range!

So this budget phone is not the best but still offers better camera performance compared to cheaper models.

Plus the back of the phone makes it very comfortable to hold. And it doesn’t pick up fingerprints or scratches so easily either!

Looking back at the previous model Galaxy A11:

The thicker (by 1mm) Galaxy A12 has noticeable improvements in its processing performance, battery life (a bump up from 4000 to 5000mAh), and 2 additional lens at the back.

Samsung Galaxy A12
  • Display: 6.5″ IPS LCD (720 x 1600)
  • Weight: 205g
  • Dimensions: 164 x 75.8 x 8.9 mm
  • OS: One UI 3.1 / Android 10
  • CPU: Exynos 850, Octa-Core
  • GPU: PowerVR GE8320
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB (Expandable Up To 512GB via microSD)
  • Battery Life: 5,000 mAh
  • Rear Camera: 48MP (f/2.0) + 5MP (f/2.2) + 2MP (f/2.4) + 2MP (f/2.4)
  • Front Camera: 8MP (f/2.2)
  • IP Rating: n/a
  • SIM Card: Dual SIM (Nano SIM)
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Price: ~RM699

Pros:

Cons:

4. OPPO A16

Running on Android 11, the Oppo A16 is a budget smartphone with similar specs to the Redmi 12C and VIVO Y12s.

If you enjoy taking photos, you’ll also be happy to know that the A16’s have a Tri-Lens rear camera and an 8MP forward-facing camera.

OPPO A16 - Pearl Blue

In comparison to the OPPO A15 released the year before, the A16 boasts both an improved CPU and GPU, a higher capacity battery (5,000mAh vs 4,230mAh), and higher RAM offerings (3/4GB vs 2/3GB).

It is, however, thicker and heavier than its predecessor, weighing 15g more, and has an additional 0.5mm of thickness.

The A16 also has the same camera system and display screen found on the A15, and the lack of any upgrades to that aspect is disappointing.

Verdict:

While the A16 isn’t going to turn any heads, it’s still a great budget phone running on the latest Android OS, with fairly decent specifications.

That being said, if you already own an A15, the A16 isn’t a significant enough jump in terms of specs and features to be worth investing your money in.

OPPO A16 Budget Smartphone
  • Display: 6.52″ IPS LCD (720 x 1600)
  • Weight: 190g
  • Dimensions: 163.8 x 75.6 x 8.4 mm
  • OS: ColorOS 11.1 / Android 11
  • CPU: MediaTek MT6765G Helio G35, Octa-Core
  • GPU: PowerVR GE8320
  • RAM: 3GB / 4GB
  • Storage: 32GB / 64GB (Expandable via microSD), eMMC 5.1
  • Battery Life: 5,000 mAh
  • Rear Camera: 13MP (f/2.2) + 2MP (f/2.4) + 2MP (f/2.4)
  • Front Camera: 8MP (f/2.0)
  • IP Rating: n/a
  • SIM Card: Dual SIM (Nano SIM)
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Price: ~RM549 – 649

Pros:

  • Runs on the latest Android 11
  • Comes in 3 Distinct Colors
  • Large screen with auto-adjustable brightness
  • Great forward and rear-facing camera

Cons:

  • Price is relatively high for its specifications
  • Not a significant upgrade over the Oppo A15

5. Xiaomi Redmi 9T

Best Battery Life & Best Overall Performance (Under RM600)

The most affordable 5G phone:

Xiaomi’s Redmi 9T has an all-plastic exterior but packs a big battery. And this is also a budget Smartphone with 1080p screen resolution! Better than the OPPO A53 (same price)!

It’s suitable for you if you prefer to take high resolution photos with the main camera rather than the front camera (just 8MP):

Other notable features of this phone is the fingerprint scanner – which is quick and reliable. It runs a UFS 2.2 (exclusive to the 128GB model). This has a direct impact on the start up times for apps!

Xiaomi Redmi 9T
  • Display: 6.53″ IPS LCD (1080 x 2340)
  • Weight: 198g
  • Dimensions: 162.3 x 77.3 x 9.6 mm
  • OS: MIUI 12 / Android 10
  • CPU: Qualcomm SM6115 Snapdragon 662, Octa-Core
  • GPU: Adreno 610
  • RAM: 4GB / 6GB
  • Storage: 64GB / 128GB (Expandable Up To 512GB via microSD)
  • Battery Life: 6,000 mAh
  • Rear Camera: 48MP (f/1.8) + 8MP (f/2.2) + 2MP (f/2.4) + 2MP (f/2.4)
  • Front Camera: 8MP (f/2.1)
  • IP Rating: n/a
  • SIM Card: Dual SIM (Nano SIM)
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Price: ~RM599-699

Pros:

Cons:

6. Huawei Nova 7i Smartphone

Huawei Nova 7i Smartphone misses out on the Google Play store.

But the good news is you that you still have access to popular apps (Facebook, Twitter, Grab, Lazada, Shopee, WhatsApp, etc) from the HUAWEI AppGalery.

For the apps that you can’t find, you can use a third-party APK downloading website like APKMonk or APKPure.

Best For Gaming (Under RM1,000)

That aside, this budget Smartphone can take on games and high res photos with its top performance chipset (Kirin 810 & Mali-G52 MP6)! Which is a sweet deal for its price!

Speaking of the cameras, the front camera is 16MP, while the main camera is 48MP. There’s 128GB of internal storage and a pleasant 8GB RAM. And let’s not forget that 1080p screen!

But for all its better-than-average specifications. However, the battery capacity of this smartphone is a mere 4,200mAh.

Huawei Nova 7i Smartphone
  • Display: 6.4″ IPS LCD (1,080 x 2,310)
  • Weight: 183g
  • Dimensions: 159.2 x 76.3 x 8.7 mm
  • OS: EMUI 10 / Android 10
  • CPU: Kirin 810 Octa-Core
  • GPU: Mali-G52 MP6
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB (Expandable Up To 256GB via Nano Memory)
  • Battery Life: 4,200 mAh
  • Rear Camera: 48MP (f/1.8) + 8MP (f/2.4) + 2MP (f/2.4) + 2MP (f/2.4)
  • Front Camera: 16MP (f/2.0)
  • IP Rating: n/a
  • SIM Card: Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano SIM)
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Price: ~RM850

Pros:

Cons:

7. Realme Narzo 20 Pro

Except for its lower chipset performance, the RealMe Narzo 20 Pro is almost an equal to the Huawei Nova7i. In price, screen resolution, and camera performance! The latter works for low light as well!

And while this phone looks snazzy with its glossy mirror-like back, it attracts fingerprints like crazy! You may drop it too!

You might think this phone lacks a fingerprint scanner. But the location of the snappy and accurate fingerprint scanner is actually at the side of the phone.

One other advantage of this phone is its superb fast charging capability!

Realme Narzo 20 Pro
  • Display: 6.5″ IPS LCD, 90Hz (1,080 x 2,400)
  • Weight: 191g
  • Dimensions: 162.3 x 75.4 x 9.4 mm
  • OS: Realme UI / Android 10
  • CPU: Mediatek Helio G95 Octa-Core
  • GPU: Mali-G76 MC4
  • RAM: 6GB / 8GB
  • Storage: 64GB / 128GB (Expandable Up To 512GB via microSD)
  • Battery Life: 4,500 mAh
  • Rear Camera: 48MP (f/1.8) + 8MP (f/2.3) + 2MP (f/2.4) + 2MP (f/2.4)
  • Front Camera: 16MP (f/2.1)
  • IP Rating: n/a
  • SIM Card: Dual SIM (Nano SIM)
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Price: ~RM849

Pros:

Cons:

8. Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC

Best For Largest Screen

Maybe you don’t need even a Smart TV when you have the Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC and its huge screen!

Best Overall Performance (Under RM1,000)

This solidly built phone has very high overall score. It’s our personal pick for the best smartphone under RM1000!

Best For Gaming (RM1,000)

It’s powerful enough to handle games like Fortnite! Thanks to the Qualcomm SM7150-AC Snapdragon 732G chipset. Together with the super sensitive 240Hz touch sensor!

For Movies

You’ll be watching your videos on a crispy 1080p resolution screen (with 120Hz refresh rate) too!

Best For Recording 4K Videos

And it doesn’t stop there! The cameras themselves are better than all others on this list. There’s ample battery for substantial gameplay. If not, then you can just fast charge the phone at 33W!

The phone’s IP53 rating is a wonder because you don’t often see this on a budget Smartphone!

It’s almost perfect, if not for the 6GB RAM that is also on the 128GB model of this phone.

Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC Smartphone
  • Display: 6.67″ IPS LCD (1,080 x 2,400)
  • Weight: 215g
  • Dimensions: 165.3 x 76.8 x 9.4 mm
  • OS: MIUI 12 / Android 10
  • CPU: Qualcomm SM7150-AC Snapdragon 732G Octa-Core
  • GPU: Adreno 618
  • RAM: 6GB / 8GB
  • Storage: 64GB (Expandable Up to 256 GB via microSD)
  • Battery Life: 5,160 mAh
  • Rear Camera: 64MP (f/1.9) + 13MP (f/2.2) + 2MP (f/2.4) + 2MP (f/2.4)
  • Front Camera: 20MP (f/2.2)
  • IP Rating: IP53
  • SIM Card: Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano SIM)
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Price: ~RM899

Pros:

Cons:

9. OPPO A93 Smartphone

From first impressions:

The OPPO A93 Smartphone will surprise you with its sleek build (7.48mm) and light weight (164g). And there are 4 cameras at the back. And 2 front cameras. Photo and video performance is very good!

Surprisingly for a phone under RM1,000, the OPPO A93 has a Super AMOLED 1080p display!

This phone will serve you well if you love to take photos and be active on social media. And if you are not much of a gamer!

Because the battery capacity is just 4000mAh. For light use, that can still last you the whole day!

OPPO A93 Smartphone
  • Display: 6.4″ Super AMOLED 60Hz (1,080 x 2,400)
  • Weight: 164g
  • Dimensions: 160.1 x 73.8 x 7.5 mm
  • OS: ColorOS 7.2 / Android 10
  • CPU: Mediatek MT6779V Helio P95 Octa-Core
  • GPU: PowerVR GM9446
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB (Expandable via microSD)
  • Battery Life: 4,000 mAh
  • Rear Camera: 48MP (f/1.7) + 8MP (f/2.2) + 2MP (f/2.4) + 2MP (f/2.4)
  • Front Camera: 16MP (f/2.4) + 2MP (f/2.4)
  • IP Rating: n/a
  • SIM Card: Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano SIM)
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Price: ~RM999

Pros:

Cons:

10. Samsung Galaxy A32 LTE

While double the price of our cheapest options, the Samsung Galaxy A32 LTE is a sleekly designed budget smartphone, offering great specs whilst still being below RM1,000.

Samsung Galaxy A32 LTE

In comparison to its predecessor the Galaxy A31, the A32 has a better chipset, larger battery life (at 5,000mAh), a better screen with a high refresh rate (90Hz AMOLED), as well as superior cameras (64MP rear, 20MP front).

It also brings forward plenty of great features from the last version, such as 15W fast charging and an on-screen fingerprint sensor.

But given that the A32 is ultimately a budget, there are some cut corners, with common criticisms levied at the slow fingerprint sensor response and performance lag in more intensive games.

Verdict: Best For Taking Photos & Best Screen

The standout features of the A32 are its high-quality cameras and 90Hz AMOLED Display, with its large RAM and internal storage (8GB and 128GB respectively) being the cherry on top.

It is of course, very pricy for a budget phone, but if you have the funds but can’t afford anything higher tier, the A32 is a choice pick that will last you a few years.

Samsung Galaxy A32 LTE - Violet
  • Display: 6.4″ Super AMOLED 90Hz (1,080 x 2,400)
  • Weight: 184g
  • Dimensions: 158.9 x 73.6 x 8.4 mm
  • OS: One UI 3.1 / Android 11
  • CPU: Mediatek Helio G80; Octa-Core
  • GPU: Mali-G52 MC2
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB (Expandable via microSD)
  • Battery Life: 5,000 mAh
  • Rear Camera: 64MP (f/1.8) + 8MP (f/2.2) + 5MP (f/2.4) + 5MP (f/2.4)
  • Front Camera: 20MP (f/2.2)
  • IP Rating: n/a
  • SIM Card: Dual Nano SIM
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Price: ~RM999

Pros:

  • Relatively large storage and RAM size
  • 90Hz AMOLED Display
  • High-Quality Quad Camera (Wide and Ultrawide Angles)
  • Great RAM and Storage Capacity
  • 15W adaptive fast charging
  • On-screen fingerprint sensor
  • Runs on the latest Android 11
  • NFC-Compatible

Cons:

  • Expensive for a budget phone
  • May experience lag in more intensive games
  • Fingerprint/Face unlock detection may be slow
  • Forward-facing camera is only average
  • Rear-facing camera lenses do protrude slightly
  • No 5G

11. OPPO A74 5G

One of Oppo’s foray into a higher-end budget smartphone:

The A74 is a 5G smartphone with comparable specifications to the Samsung Galaxy A32 previously on the list.

OPPO A74 5G - Space Silver

In comparison to the Galaxy A32:

The Oppo A74 5G boasts a higher-performing chipset (Snapdragon 480 CPU and Adreno 619 GPU), better fast charging capabilities (18W vs 15W), and 128GB of storage with the latest UFS2.1.

The biggest one-up it has over the A32 is the fact that the Oppo A74 is 5G, giving the user up to 245Mbps of upload speed, and 21gbps download speed based on your network coverage.

That being said, the Galaxy A32 does offer a better screen (the A74 5G only offers an IPS LCD, VS the A32s AMOLED), higher RAM, and significantly better cameras.

Now in comparison to the previous model, the A73 5G,

The A74 5G offers significantly improved cameras and a larger battery, along with an improved chipset and Android OS.

Verdict: Best Budget 5G Smartphone

While A74 5G is all-in-all a great budget phone, it’s pricy, with its arguably better specifications over the Samsung’s Galaxy A32 marred by having a worse display and cameras.

Still, this does mean that the A74 5G has a much longer-lasting battery. Add on the 5G capabilities, and is a competitive counterpart to the Galaxy A32.

OPPO A74 5G
  • Display: 6.5″ IPS LCD 90Hz (1,080 x 2,400), 480 nits
  • Weight: 190g
  • Dimensions: 162.9 x 74.7 x 8.4 mm
  • OS: ColorOS 11.1 / Android 11
  • CPU: Qualcomm SM4350 Snapdragon 480; 8-Core
  • GPU: Adreno 619
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB (Expandable via microSD); UFS 2.1
  • Battery Life: 5,000 mAh
  • Rear Camera: 48MP (f/1.7) + 8MP (f/2.2) + 2MP (f/2.4) + 2MP (f/2.4)
  • Front Camera: 16MP (f/2.0)
  • IP Rating: –
  • SIM Card: Dual Nano SIM
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Price: ~RM1,099

Pros:

  • 5G Capable
  • Runs On The Latest Android 11
  • 18W Fast Charging
  • Decent quality camera
  • Fingerprint unlock capable
  • 5,000mAh battery
  • Relatively lightweight

Cons:

  • Somewhat overpriced for a budget smartphone
  • Display quality is somewhat lacking
  • Video recording quality is subpar
  • Processor could be better for the price
  • Bluetooth does not work simultaneously with Wi-Fi Hotspot

Conclusion

When it comes to watching movies and gaming, the best smartphone under RM1000 in Malaysia 2021 is none other than the Xiaomi POCO X3 NFC!

However, if you require better screen, add another RM100+, and you can get the Samsung Galaxy A32 LTE Smartphone!

Introducing The New Xiaomi POCO X4 Pro 5G (2022)

Guan Hong

Guan Hong is the tech writer for BestBuyGet.com. He grew up loving stories so much he did a degree in English. Currently works as a content writer and has written far more listicles than he’d like to admit. His interests include tech, music, video games, and animation.