Top 5 Best Entry Level Smartphones in Malaysia – January 2014

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Everyone wants to own a smartphone nowadays. It has become an essential to many of us. Being “offline” is not a cool thing. If you want to be in with the rest, you have to own a smartphone. But what can you get if you’re on a budget? I have been testing and reviewing some of the entry level smartphones available in the market out there and now I have come up with my own version of top 5 list and most of these smartphones are below RM800.

Check out my list of “Top 5 Best Entry Level Smartphones in Malaysia for January 2014”. All prices are based on the cheapest price that I found around the web.

#5 – Ninetology U9 R1


I reviewed about this phone last month. It is a very chic and slim entry level smartphone made by a Malaysian company, Ninetology. Why would I recommend this phone? Because it’s slim and small, plus the quality of photos that snapped out by the camera is excellent. Most of the entry level smartphones are using a Mediatek chipset for the processing power. But surprisingly the R1 is using a Snapdragon 200 1.2GHz quad core processor with 1GB of RAM. Keyword, Snapdragon. To me, a Snapdragon processor performs great on any condition, even on the lower end devices. Plus, this entry level smartphone comes with 1GB of RAM, which is more than sufficient for daily use. Price: RM799 by Ninetology Malaysia.

#4 – Huawei Ascend G525


The Huawei Ascend G525 is a quiet entry level smartphone. “Quiet” here means, not many people know about this particular phone. But quiet doesn’t mean tame. The specifications for this smartphone is almost identical to the Ninetology R1, with the same Snapdragon 200 1.2GHz quad core and 1GB RAM but comes with higher resolution display. Almost all other bells and whistles in this phone is similar to the R1, except that it’s much thicker. Why I put this in the list and in number 4? Because it’s cheap! Price: RM459.

#3 – Nokia Lumia 625


The only odd one in this list. The Lumia 625 is a Windows Phone 8 based smartphone with a nice 4.7″ screen and powered by a dual core 1.2GHz Krait Snapdragon processor. The only qualm that I have with this phone is the 512MB of RAM. It’s just too little. 1GB of RAM is the standard nowadays. Fortunately, Windows Phone based smartphone doesn’t take up much of RAM space. So with only 512MB of RAM, the Lumia 625 performs well and there’s visually no lag at all. With some of the older Android phone that comes with 512MB RAM, we can actually see the lag when we open an app or scroll down on a webpage in the browser. But with the Lumia 625, none of these happened. So I applaud Microsoft for making a really good OS this time around. And this device comes with LTE network. Cool! If you want something different, this will be a good deal for you. Price: RM759.

#2 – Lenovo S650


Lenovo just acquired Motorola from Google. So what does that tell you? Lenovo is about to become the main contender to go against Samsung, Apple and all other “big brothers” out there. So before they hike up the price for their smartphones, this is a good time to buy one of their entry level or mid range smartphones. One of their latest and in my opinion, their best entry level smartphone, is the Lenovo S650. At the heart of the processing power is the new Mediatek quad core 1.3GHz CPU with 1GB of RAM. It also comes with 8GB of space, unlike the Ninetology R1 and the Ascend G525 which comes with only 4GB of space. Screen size is bigger too with 4.7″ display. So if you’re looking for a nice entry level smartphone, I would recommend the Lenovo S650. Price: RM599.

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Edit (14 April 2014): Lenovo has also released a few new smartphones recently with a price tag below RM800. The new Lenovo smartphones are Lenovo S939 octa-core (RM729), Lenovo P780 with 4000mAh battery (RM699), Lenovo S660 (RM599) and Lenovo A859 (RM649). Those are some of the ones that I know of. Others like the dual-cores ones are selling at a much lower price.

#1 – Moto G


Motorola has been acquired by Lenovo. But that doesn’t mean they will go down. Google still has a share in Motorola so what ever that comes out from Motorola or Lenovo, Google will still have a big role in the game. Moto G is at the top of my list for the best entry level smartphone for January 2014. The big brother of Moto G, the Moto X, already won the hearts of the pure Android users and developers. Moto G is about to do the same thing. Released in December 2013, this younger sibling to the X is cheap and surprisingly very quick with its processing power. Snapdragon 400 1.2GHz quad core is the heart of this baby. Comes with 1GB of RAM and with an option of 16 or 32 GB of space. And being a Google developed phone, it is also upgradable to Android 4.4 KitKat. I fell in love with the Moto G when it was first announced because it’s a phone developed by Google and it’s cheap but I was skeptical about the processing power. But after reading more about it on the net and watching the reviews on YouTube, I know by then that this phone is going to be a big hit. Looking at the specification, it is not that great. But Google has made some special modification in the processor and the base kernel that it became much snappier. And now, it landed on my list as the best entry level smartphone. Price: RM688.

There you have it. My list of the best entry level smartphone for January 2014. Some of you may heard about these phones, but some may not. But I’m sure that the unsung silent heroes such as the Ninetology R1 and the Huawei Ascend G525 is almost unheard of. But the performance for those two are really commendable. Then we have the Lumia 625, the only Windows Phone OS in the list and the only one with LTE network.

Lenovo and Motorola are about to become one giant smartphone maker. The Lenovo S650 is Lenovo’s latest addition to the family. Good quality build and bigger ROM space. And finally the Moto G is the best performing of all. It’s my current favourite entry level smartphone and I will highly recommend the Moto G to whoever who wants to buy a cheap Android device.

I hope this list will help you with your dilemma if you can’t decide which cheap smartphone to buy. Thanks for reading.

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This Post Has 37 Comments

  1. Luqman

    what different between dual core and quad core ? which one is better ?

    1. K. Azwan

      Technically a dual core has 2 processors and quad core has 4 processors. Obviously quad core is better for handling multiple processes. Ibarat tayar keta yg pakai 2-wheel drive vs tayar keta 4-wheel drive la.

  2. omarba

    My opinion A880 is the best, big screen, quad core 1gb ram, the most important, CHEAP.

    1. K. Azwan

      Yes. I saw some places selling the A880 for RM489 only. Not bad for an entry level phone. Lenovo is really picking up the paces.

  3. I’m interested in buying Nokia 625 or Huawei. Which do you think the most cost-effective one when it comes to durability?

    1. K. Azwan

      See what kind of OS do you want to use? WP8 or Android? People buy Android phones because there are so many apps out there built for Android phones. I can say that it is the safest phone you can buy if you’re looking for simplicity.

      WP8 however has less apps. But total new users are currently growing rapidly…so are the apps. I would look at the Lumia 625 for something different, and it has LTE. Remember those days when Nokia phones can last very long? Lumia is still like that. I still have my Lumia 800 from 2 years ago and still using it.

      But the final choice is yours.

  4. babypooh98


    Between Ninetology R1 and Lenovo A880, which would you recommend for me to buy?

    1. K. Azwan

      Hi. Sorry for the late reply. In my opinion, get the Lenovo A880 because the technology is newer than the Ninetology R1, plus it has more space for keeping and installing apps.

      1. babypooh98


        Thanks for a reply nevertheless as well as the answer.
        I think I’ll follow up on your idea!

        Thank you.

  5. Hazim

    what do you think between lumia 525 and 625,
    can you recommend me one phone that new released for low budget?

    1. K. Azwan

      Some of the new phones by Lenovo are good. You may want to do some research on some of their new ones and I’ve looked at some of them and I like it. A680 or S650 and many others are cheap and good. Make sure u get the one with 8GB of space.

      I like any or the Lumia. 525 is entry level and 625 comes with LTE. I’d go for 625 becoz of the LTE.

  6. aim

    LENOVO S939 Octa Core,6.0″ Screen ,720P Resolution, 1GB RAM = RM 675.00

    1. What about the PERFORMANCE & POPULARITY of this SP? Is it among the best
    of Smart Phone & Lenovos?

    2. For sure its BETTER than Quad Core right?

    3. What about the price of this shop? An idea Other shops with better price & relibility – please suggest a few?

    4. What is current Top 5 Best Entry Level Smartphones in Malaysia – May 2014???

    5. What is the best & most popular of Lenovo price below RM1100??

    TQ Sir

    1. K. Azwan

      Thank you for your questions.

      1. My friend just bought the S939 octa core and so far the phone is doing well in terms of stability. But on the performance wise, the result on the benchmark is not that high. But I can see that this phone will be very popular because it is very cheap and it has a large screen. But it’s not among the best of Lenovo. (Best is K910 a.k.a Vibe Z).

      2. It should be performing better than quad core but unfortunately its not. If the RAM is 2GB, then yes. The octa core still need some improvements, wait for their upcoming octa core with LTE capability (coming in Q3 2014). That would be better.

      3. The price is about the same. The one in SS15 Subang Jaya (I always buy from this shop) is selling for RM689 and some other shops are selling it cheaper.

      4. I’m currently working/compiling the current best entry level phone, maybe for June 2014.

      5. If you have a high budget (above RM1k) for a smartphone and you prefer Lenovo, then get the Vibe X. If other than Lenovo then get the Moto X or Nexus 5.

      Hope this helps.

  7. IR aie (@aie_sah)


    Between asus zenfone 6 and motorola g, which want is the best in your opinion.

    1. K. Azwan


      I can’t really compare Moto G with Zenfone 6 because it’s like comparing an apple with an orange. Moto G is the best so far for an entry level phone. Zenfone 6 sits between mid range and high range. So in this case, I would say the Zenfone 6 is a better choice.

  8. lukman

    Hi, most of the phones you listed are still on 4.2? Any idea which low cost smartphone offers 4.4? tx.

    1. K. Azwan

      Hello Lukman,

      I will be listing the next batch of top-5 best entry level smartphones soon. Some of them do offer the new KitKat 4.4 update. Stay tuned.

  9. Bee Lee

    Hi, I wish to have some opinion on lenovo vibe X, s820 and s850, which one will be better? Thanks. 🙂

    1. K. Azwan

      I was using the S820 and it was good. But only 4GB of space is not enough for me. S850 is an upgrade with more space but not enough memory. VibeX is a better choice because it got a big space and 2GB of RAM. Screen is beautiful.

  10. Bala

    Huawei is really coming up with such good Smartphones. I like Huawei Ascend G525 Other Smartphones include Ascend P6 & the new hero is Huawei Honor 6.

    Did you see Huawei Honor MY Malaysia is giving out 4 units of Honor 6?

    Check this out:

  11. ihsan

    lenovo is my choice
    lenovo is the best

  12. Iklan

    Mengapa telefon bimbit ini murah termasuk jenama tempatan? Adakah ia disebabkan oleh produk yang dihasilkan di China?

  13. Leehut

    Nowadays almost everything is wireless. Wireless can bring convenience to people.
    I just realize there is wireless charging for smartphone, you all heard about this before?
    But I just wondering how wireless charging works if I put inside my bag.

    1. K. Azwan

      Yes. Wireless charging has been around since Nokia Lumia 920 (2013). But I don’t know how it can work if you place your phone in your bag. The back part of your phone need to constantly be in touch with the wireless charger. So putting your devices in your bag won’t help with the charging.

  14. JamesKun

    Don’t just look on Samsung S6 can support wireless charging, it will be problem for those always hangout because don’t have any electric to connect. So far I know S6 is non-removeable battery and no SD card can be insert into the phone. If compare with S5 and S6 I prefer S5 because S6 no water proof.

  15. gookuantan

    S6 just took away its feature removable battery and Micro SD card slot but I think it’s still not an issue. Take a look on iPhone feature similar to S6 but there are still many iPhone users.S6 really change a lots in its feature mostly its camera. Both S6 have 16MP camera on back, 5MP camera on front, quick launch, tracking AF (autofocus) and f1.9 lens.

  16. Carl11

    In order to become lighter and slimmer design, S6 became non-removable battery. I love S6 curved design because it can makes me easily to hold and slide the phone. With the key features such as octa-core processor which allows user core to work on two tasks at the same time for smooth multitasking. For more details how wireless charging works on S6 check out this link.

  17. Leehut

    I realized that S6 had much improvement after I read a lot of reviews about S6. I found out that a certain place like McDonald could be find wireless pad.

  18. JamesKun

    There’s no wireless pad exists in our country .Can you tell me how to charge my phone if there’s no wireless pad? If my phone battery is low, I can use USB portable charger to charge on it.

  19. gookuantan

    I think S6 smartphone manufacturers has fully considered the issues. They have upgraded both S6 support wireless and portable charging. The S6 edge parts I can pick five colors representing five different group in my contacts. The screen will light color when someone calls. Both Samsung S6 and Samsung Edge also come in a fourth color option, with the S6 coming in bright blue and the S6 EDGE coming in a deep green.

  20. Carl11

    S6 is not the same compare with S6 edge because S6 EDGE is designed by dual-sided curved display. With fingerprint scanner I can unlock my phone instead of swipe. don’t forget to check out this link

  21. gookuantan

    I know that Samsung S6 come with DDR4 3GB RAM , its performance is the fastest
    As usual we need 4 hrs to fully charge the phone but S6 has a fast-charge mode. You only need to spend 10 mins to charge the phone. No need worry no enough battery to use anymore.

  22. Leehut

    Wow ,i feel glad that Samsung S6 features getting more contains fingerprint sensor and Samsung Pay. Really got huge improvement compare to previous one. I really like it . I now cannot wait for Samsung S6 to launch

  23. dinagaran

    bro,im about to buy a rm 800 smartphone, which phone would u prefer for me? with front n rear camera,n long lasting battery, n dual sim?

    1. K. Azwan

      You have Lenovo Vibe X2, Asus Zenfone 5, Xiaomi Mi3 and Huawei Honor 6 to choose from.

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