13 Best Smartphones In Malaysia 2020: How To Choose (Plus Budget Options)

Plan to upgrade your phone to one of the best Smartphones in Malaysia 2020?

Smartphones have come a long way in terms of multi-tasking capabilities, screen resolution, cameras, etc. Even some of the best budget Smartphones in Malaysia are worth looking into!

So whether you want a premium, mid-range or budget Smartphone, you’ll find a selection of solid options here!

How To Choose The Best Smartphone

1. Operating System: Android Or Iphone

A phone’s operating system is the built-in software that drives and manages the functions of the phone.

There are 2 main operating systems that dominate the market, iPhone and Android.

What is the difference between these 2 operating systems?

iPhone (aka iOS):

  • Arguably more intuitive and thus, easier to use
  • Better security
  • Work well with other Apple devices
  • Regular software updates

Android:

  • Can be much cheaper than an iPhone
  • Customize-able
  • Meant to integrate with Google services

So if you already have many Apple devices, it makes sense to go with an iPhone.

While an Android would be best if you frequently use Google services and Microsoft Office.

And if you have wireless earphones, you should check which operating system works better with them!

2. App Support

Don’t forget to list down the apps you use often! Chances are, there will be a similar version available regardless if you choose iPhone or Android!

Take a peek at the respective app stores to see if they have the apps you use!

  • Android – playstore
  • iPhone – appstore

3. Screen Size

Firstly, screen size is measured from corner to corner. Rather than from top to bottom.

If you’d like to carry your phone around in your pocket, a smaller screen size (<5.5 inches) will do. And you will be able to use it comfortably with one hand.

4K resolution is overrated:

And you can always connect to a Smart TV or use a TV box if you want a bigger screen than what’s available in the Smartphone market!

4. Built-In Storage Space

Go for a Smartphone that has a minimum of 32GB of storage. To keep apps, music, photos and videos.

Something to note:

With iPhone, there’s no option to increase the built-in memory (i.e. they don’t have microSD slots). Models with bigger memory storage cost more.

5. Cameras

There is a saying that the best camera is the one that you have in your hand! And Smartphones are definitely more portable than conventional cameras.

Look for wide aperture for better low light performance, night mode, noise reduction and optical image stabilization.

iPhones have particularly great cameras compared to other Smartphones!

6. Battery Life

Apps (especially games), phone calls, etc can use up battery fast!

As a rule of thumb, do not accept a Smartphone that only lasts for less than 10 hours on full charge.

The average battery life of Smartphones is between 8 to 18 hours. Which is plenty to use anywhere! Including on the best treadmill or when you’re outside!

Quick charge is a handy feature to have! So you don’t have to wait long to use your phone again!

7. Budget

Everyone knows that iPhones are the most expensive! Followed by Samsung!

And at the other end of the spectrum, there is Huawei, Realme and Xiaomi with their more affordable phones. Although Huawei has high range phones too!

8. Other Features To Consider

  • Fingerprint or face scanning (for security)
  • Personal assistant
  • Cloud support (external memory backup)
  • Availability of third-party apps
  • NFC (Near Field Communication) –  New technology where compatible devices can exchange data, photos, etc just by being next to each other

Best Premium Smartphone Malaysia 2020

1. Apple iPhone 11

While not an incredible leap from the previous and already impressive, iPhone XR:

Apple’s iPhone 11 firmly secures Apple on the top of best Smartphone lists around. Its price makes it undeniably tempting to anyone considering the more costly iPhone 11 Pro!

Apple iPhone 11
Photo Credits: Apple
  • Display: 6.1″ IPS LCD (828 x 1,792)
  • Weight: 194g
  • Dimensions: 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm
  • OS: iOS 13
  • CPU & RAM: Apple A13 Bionic; 4GB
  • Storage: 64 / 128 / 256GB (Not Expandable)
  • Battery: 3,110 mAh
  • Rear Camera: 12MP (ƒ/2.4) + 12MP (ƒ/1.8)
  • Front Camera: 12MP (ƒ/2.2)
  • IP Rating: IP68
  • SIM Card: Dual SIM (nano-SIM and eSIM)
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Price: RM3,399 RM2,899

Pros:

Cons:

2. OnePlus 8 Pro

It may not surprise you that the best android phone 2020 Malaysia is OnePlus 8 Pro! Since the former OnePlus models have all proved themselves to be worthy.

But this time, at a much steeper price! As the OnePlus steps into the premium Android Smartphone scene!

While still being cheaper than Samsung’s S20+!

OnePlus 8 Pro (Ultramarine Blue)
  • Display: 6.78″ AMOLED (1,440 x 3,168)
  • Weight: 199g
  • Dimensions: 165.3 x 74.4 x 8.5 mm
  • OS: OxygenOS 10.5 / Android 10
  • CPU & RAM: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865; 8GB / 12GB
  • Storage: 128GB / 256GB (Not Expandable)
  • Battery: 4,510mAh
  • Rear Camera: 48MP (f/1.78) + 48MP (f/2.2) + 8MP (f/2.44) + 5MP (f/2.4)
  • Front Camera: 16MP (f/2.45)
  • IP Rating: IP68
  • SIM Card: Dual Nano SIMs
  • Warranty: 2 Years
  • Price: RM3,699

Pros:

Cons:

Want a smaller storage (128GB)? – Check Price

Want a smaller version? Check out OnePlus 8.

3. Samsung Galaxy S20

Samsung still reigns as one of the top Smartphone brands in Malaysia!

And the Samsung Galaxy S20 does not disappoint! With noticeable improvements over the S10 when it comes to its versatile camera!

Samsung Galaxy S20 (Cloud Blue)
  • Display: 6.2″ Dynamic AMOLED 2X (3,200 x 1,440 )
  • Weight: 163g
  • Dimensions: 151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9 mm
  • OS: One UI 2 / Android 10
  • CPU & RAM: Octa-Core Exynos 990; 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB (Expandable via MicroSD Up to 1TB)
  • Battery: 4,000 mAh
  • Rear Camera: 12MP (f/1.8) + 64MP (f/2.0) + 12MP (f/2.2)
  • Front Camera: 10MP (f/2.2)
    IP Rating: IP68
  • SIM Card: Nano-SIM 1 + Hybrid (SIM or MicroSD)
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Price: RM3,299

Pros:

Cons:

Want bigger screen? And even better camera specs? Check out the S20 Plus (Samsung Galaxy S20+) – Check Price

Best Smartphone Malaysia Below RM2,000

4. Apple iPhone SE (2020)

Apple iPhone SE is a great deal considering it’s an iPhone with a decent camera and power. But for less than RM2,000 (64GB)!

With just a few things to compromise on!

Apple iPhone SE (2020)
Photo Credits: Apple
  • Display: 4.7″ IPS LCD (750 x 1,334)
  • Weight: 148g
  • Dimensions: 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm
  • OS: iOS 13
  • CPU & RAM: Apple A13 Bionic; 3GB
  • Storage: 64 / 128 / 256GB (Not Expandable)
  • Battery: 1,821 mAh
  • Rear Camera: 12MP (ƒ/1.8)
  • Front Camera: 7 MP (f/2.2)
  • IP Rating: IP67
  • SIM Card: Dual SIM (nano-SIM and eSIM)
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Price: From RM1,999

Pros:

Cons:

5. Huawei P30

For the same price, you can get Huawei’s P30. 

It still has access to Google services and apps (e.g. YouTube, Google Maps, Google Assistant, etc) . 

Which the newer P40 Series will not have! An unfortunate result of a US trade ban!

Huawei P30 (Breathing Crystal)
  • Display: 6.1″ OLED (1,080 x 2,340)
  • Weight: 165g
  • Dimensions: 149.1 x 71.36 x 7.57 mm
  • OS: EMUI 9.1 / Android 9.0
  • CPU & RAM: HUAWEI Kirin 980 Octa-Core; 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB (Expandable via Nano Memory Card)
  • Battery: 3,450mAh
  • Rear Camera: 40MP (f/1.8) + 16MP (f/2.2) + 8MP (f/2.4)
  • Front Camera: 32MP (f/2.0)
  • IP Rating: IP53
  • SIM Card: Dual Nano SIMs
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Price: RM1,999

Pros:

Cons:

Need a bigger screen, better cam? Check out Huawei P30 Pro – Check Price

6. Samsung Galaxy A71

It doesn’t look its price (i.e. looks cheap) but the Samsung Galaxy A71 has an adaptable camera, a vibrant OLED display (and a large one, at that) and long battery life!

Samsung Galaxy A71 (Prism Crush Silver)
  • Display: 6.7″ Super AMOLED Plus (1,080 x 2,400)
  • Weight: 179g
  • Dimensions: 163.6 x 76 x 7.7 mm
  • OS: One UI 2 / Android 10
  • CPU & RAM: Qualcomm SDM730 Snapdragon 730 Octa-Core; 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB (Expandable via MicroSD up to 512GB)
  • Battery: 4,500 mAh
  • Rear Camera: 64MP (f/1.8) + 12MP (f/2.2) + 5MP (f/2.2) + 5MP (f/2.4)
  • Front Camera: 32MP (f/2.2)
  • IP Rating: n/a
  • SIM Card: Dual Nano SIMs
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Price: RM1,599

Pros:

Cons:

Best Smartphone Malaysia Below RM1,500

7. Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro

Stylish and functional, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro meets basic expectations at an attractive price tag!

Having great battery life does not hurt either!

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro (Tropical Green)
  • Display: 6.67″ IPS LCD (2,400 x 1,080)
  • Weight: 209g
  • Dimensions: 165.8 x 76.7 x 8.8 mm
  • OS: MIUI 11 / Android 10
  • CPU & RAM: Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G Octa-Core; 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB (Expandable via MicroSD up to 512GB)
  • Battery: 5,020 mAh
  • Rear Camera: 64MP (f/1.89) + 8MP (f/2.2) + 5MP (f/2.4) + 2MP (f/2.4)
  • Front Camera: 16MP (f/2.48)
  • IP Rating: n/a
  • SIM Card: Dual Nano SIMs
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Price: RM1,099

Pros:

Cons:

8. Samsung Galaxy M31

At the RM1,000 price point, you get a brilliant AMOLED display with the Samsung Galaxy M31.

It can record videos in 4K. And the battery life is remarkable!

Samsung Galaxy M31 (Blue)
  • Display: 6.4″ Super AMOLED (2,340 x 1,080)
  • Weight: 191g
  • Dimensions: 159.2 x 75.1 x 8.9 mm
  • OS: One UI 2.0 / Android 10
  • CPU & RAM: Exynos 9611 Octa-Core; 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB (Expandable via MicroSD up to 512GB)
  • Battery: 6,000 mAh
  • Rear Camera: 64MP (f/1.8) + 8MP (f/2.2) + 5MP (f/2.2) + 5MP (f/2.4)
  • Front Camera: 32MP (f/2.0)
  • IP Rating: n/a
  • SIM Card: Dual Nano SIMs
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Price: RM1,099

Pros:

Cons:

9. Huawei Nova 5T

Besides the P30 Series, Huawei Nova 5T is another of Huawei’s phones that can still benefit from partnership with Google.

All that use of glass gives it a premium feel!  And its performance is sound in many aspects!

Huawei Nova 5T (Black)
  • Display: 6.26″ IPS LCD (2,340 x 1,080)
  • Weight: 174g
  • Dimensions: 154.3 x 74 x 7.8 mm
  • OS: EMUI 9.1 / Android 9.0
  • CPU & RAM: HUAWEI Kirin 980 Octa-Core; 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB (Not Expandable)
  • Battery: 3,750 mAh
  • Rear Camera: 48MP (f/1.8) + 16MP (f/2.2) + 2MP (f/2.4) + 2MP (f/2.4)
  • Front Camera: 32MP (f/2.0)
  • IP Rating: n/a
  • SIM Card: Dual Nano SIMs
  • Warranty: 2 Years
  • Price: RM1,199

Pros:

Cons:

Best Budget Smartphone Malaysia Below RM1,000

10. Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S

Hard to ignore the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S with its appealing price! It doesn’t look cheap either!

Performance is fine enough for gaming as long as you don’t have too many apps open (i.e. multi-tasking)!

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S (Glacier White)
  • Display: 6.67″ IPS LCD (2,400 x 1,080)
  • Weight: 209g
  • Dimensions: 165.8 x 76.7 x 8.8 mm
  • OS: MIUI 11 / Android 10
  • CPU & RAM: Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G Octa-Core; 6GB / 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB / 128GB (Expandable via microSD up to 512GB)
  • Battery: 5,020 mAh
  • Rear Camera: 48MP (f/1.79) + 8MP (f/2.2) + 5MP (f/2.4) + 2MP (f/2.4)
  • Front Camera: 16MP (f/2.48)
  • IP Rating: n/a
  • SIM Card: Dual Nano SIMs
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Price: RM749

Pros:

Cons:

11. Realme 6 (4GB + 128GB)

It’s a wonder that the Realme 6 can cost less than a RM1,000 when it offers a 90Hz display, 4 rear cameras and battery that lasts!

Realme 6 (Blue)
  • Display: 6.5″ IPS LCD (2,400 x 1,080)
  • Weight: 191g
  • Dimensions: 162.1 x 74.8 x 8.9 mm
  • OS: Realme UI / Android 10
  • CPU & RAM: MediaTek Helio G90T Octa-Core; 4GB / 6GB / 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB (Expandable via microSD up to 512GB)
  • Battery: 4,300 mAh
  • Rear Camera: 64MP (f/1.8) + 8MP (f/2.3) + 2MP (f/2.4) + 2MP (f/2.4)
  • Front Camera: 16MP (f/2.0)
  • IP Rating: n/a
  • SIM Card: Dual Nano SIMs
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Price: RM999

Pros:

Cons:

Need more RAM? Check the price for Realme 6 (8GB + 128GB)

12. Samsung Galaxy A30s (4GB + 128GB)

You can do a lot better than the entry-level Samsung Galaxy A30s (4GB + 128GB) but its price is definitely budget-friendly!

And it has a color-accurate AMOLED display!

Samsung Galaxy A30s (Black)
  • Display: 6.4″ Super AMOLED (720 x 1,560)
  • Weight: 169g
  • Dimensions: 158.5 x 74.7 x 7.8 mm
  • OS: One UI 2.0 / Android 9.0
  • CPU & RAM: Exynos 7904 Octa-Core; 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB / 128GB (Expandable via microSD up to 512GB)
  • Battery: 4,000 mAh
  • Rear Camera: 25MP (f/1.7) + 5MP (f/2.2) + 8MP (f/2.2)
  • Front Camera: 16MP (f/2.0)
  • IP Rating: n/a
  • SIM Card: Dual Nano SIMs
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Price: RM728

Pros:

Cons:

13. Honor 9X Lite

Sporting a clean design, the Honor 9X Lite has ample memory space (4GB RAM and 128GB internal storage).

And a borderless LCD display of maximum 1080p!

Honor 9X Lite (Emerald Green)
  • Display: 6.5″ IPS LCD (1,080 x 2,340)
  • Weight: 188g
  • Dimensions: 160.4 x 76.6 x 7.8 mm
  • OS: EMUI 9.1 / Android 9.0
  • CPU & RAM: Kirin 710F Octa-Core; 4GB
  • Storage: 128GB (Expandable via microSD up to 512GB)
  • Battery: 3,750 mAh
  • Rear Camera: 48MP (f/1.8) + 2MP (f/2.4)
  • Front Camera: 8MP (f/2.0)
  • IP Rating: n/a
  • SIM Card: Dual Nano SIMs
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Price: RM699

Pros:

Cons:

Conclusion

On a premium level (>RM3,000), the best Smartphones in Malaysia are by Apple, OnePlus and Samsung! You can even buy an iPhone for ~RM2,000 now!

While Xiaomi and Realme are great budget alternatives (~RM1,000 or less)! And some of Huawei’s older models still have a place on this list!