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Samsung Galaxy S8 Too Expensive? Buy These Phones Instead!

Almost same power, not as expensive.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Too Expensive? Buy These Phones Instead!
It’s here, finally! The Samsung Galaxy S8 opened for pre-orders in Malaysia on 11 April, but all the units were snapped up barely half a day later.

If you’re convinced on why you should get the S8 but not too convinced on the price tag (starting at RM3,299 for the S8 and RM3,699 for the S8+), let’s take a quick look at other Android powerhouses in the flagship league.

In this article, we will be comparing different flagships from different brands with the Samsung Galaxy S8 on a few key specifications and their retail prices, to determine which phone will give you more bang for your buck.

Google Pixel/XL

Google Pixel/XL
Scoring a cool 89 points at DxOMark, the Pixel had THE BEST smartphone camera in 2016, making it the biggest reason to buy the phone. Like most flagships these days, the Pixel sports an AMOLED display with a 5.5-inch size display and also with a dense 534 ppi pixel density. Released in 2016, the Pixel is only powered by the Snapdragon 821 (dual cores). In comparison, the new Samsung S8 is powered by the next generation Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (four cores). On the battery, the Pixel houses an average 2,770 mAh battery and the Pixel XL with 3,450mAh.

What really sells for Google’s Pixel is the rich stock Android experience for the user. Like previous phones in the Nexus series, expect years of software support and updates directly from Google. Many think of this as a good investment, as periodical and occasional software updates will still make your device relevant even 2 to 3 years later.

The Google Pixel goes for RM2,699 in Malaysia for the base model. A must-buy for Android purists out there.

Huawei Mate 9

Huawei Mate 9
Like Samsung, Huawei’s Mate 9 isn’t powered by a Snapdragon chip. Running on a proprietary Kirin 960 processor made by Hisilicon, a company fully owned by Huawei themselves, it has EIGHT cores giving the phone a steroid boost in performance. With a huge 5.9-inch display, this is a perfect phone to multitask at work, and you can also get your hopes high for HD gaming and videos. For what it’s worth, the phone only has an IPS LCD screen with a pitiful pixel density of only 373 ppi (Samsung Galaxy S8 with 567 ppi).

On the ‘bright’ side, Mate 9’s camera is simply amazing. On the rear of the phone, it has a 20MP monochrome sensor AND a 12MP colour sensor camera. The addition of a monochrome sensor reduces noise in images in low-light conditions, giving it a smoother and crisper image in the resulting shot. With a phablet like this, an energy reservoir of 4,000 mAh should keep your phone powered through the day with moderate use. 

The Mate 9 has also an infrared port, making it one of the rare phones to be able to control your TV or air-conditioner.

Retailing at RM 2,329, it’s a steal for users emphasising on productivity at work.


Of the phones mentioned above, the LG G6 is evidently built to butt heads with the Samsung Galaxy flagship series. As the first flagship of 2017, the G6 has great built with trimmed and thin bezels, Snapdragon 821 and an impressive 5.7-inch IPS LCD display paves the way for flagship smartphones this year.

The G6 has dual 13-megapixel shooters; a wide-angle camera with an f/2.4 lens and another standard angle f/1.8. The downgrade in megapixels is traded off with a better 1.12µm camera sensor but still smaller than the Google Pixel’s and Samsung Galaxy’s S8.

For audiophiles, it’s a no-brainer to get the G6. With Quad DAC only available in Asian markets, users can enjoy a 32-bit Hi-Fi audio with this device. Also, many users’ favourite feature is the LG-exclusive  2-in-1 power button and fingerprint sensor on the rear of the phone. It is also IP68 water and dust resistant.

The LG G6 retails for RM2,939 on Lazada. If you’re all for wide-angle photography on your smartphone and a fervent audiophile, look no further and get this phone.

OnePlus 3T

OnePlus 3T
From their first phone in 2014, the company’s mission has always been to produce affordable and high quality phones. Their latest phone in 2016 last year, the One Plus 3T, did not disappoint. Flagship specifications include a 5.5-inch AMOLED display, 16MP camera with a huge f/2.0 aperture, Snapdragon 821 and an above-average 6GB RAM. The 3,400 mAh battery would be able to give the extra juice needed for heavy media consumption. Apart from the highly marketed specification sheet, what MUST be highlighted is the feel in the user’s hand.

Besides the premium feel of the phone from its full metal body, the volume and power buttons are very tactile and responsive instead of mushy buttons from many phones these days. Not forgetting the Alert Slider too (similar to the iPhone’s hardware silent switch), giving it a competitive edge amongst other Android flagships.

What is also amazing is the improved fingerprint sensor; you’ll be able to unlock the device with only a light brush of the finger.

However, what stands out from other flagships in this list is the pure Android experience Oxygen OS has to offer. A minimally skinned UI, performance experience is unparalleled and gives the user a fluid experience. 

What closes the deal, is really the affordability of this underrated premium device. With its monster specs, it has a retail price of only RM1,729.


Oppo R9s 

Oppo R9s 
Famous in the Asian market, it’s no wonder there are many people opting for this China made smartphone. Let’s look at the specs; AMOLED 5.5-inch bright display, and driven by a Snapdragon 625 engine, the phone is already a beast before the MASSIVE f/1.7 aperture with 16MP.

Right out of the box, the R9s looks like an iPhone clone. However, this phone sells because of its speedy VOOC charging ability; said to provide up to 75% charge within 30 minutes. If you’re a power user, you’ll find that the phone’s 3,010 mAh battery to be more than adequate.

On the downside, the R9s runs on their own sloppy ColorOS. Like the derivative hardware design, the company’s iOS inspired skin on top of an ageing (2015) Android Marshmallow 6.0 really slams the brakes on the phone’s overall performance, as ColorOS emphasises on form more than functionality, according to key reviewers.

The Oppo R9s retails at RM1,828. For what it’s worth, the R9s packs flagship league specifications in its sleek 0.26mm thin body.

So, will you still be getting the new Samsung Galaxy S8? Or will you consider these flagships for your next daily driver? Let us know in the comments!