We’re halfway into 2023 now and gone are the days when we simply had three price points – entry, mid, and flagship. We’re now in the age where the mid-range and flagship have their own subcategories. The most competitive of which is the former just for the sheer variety of options to choose from.
Specifically, we’re here to look at the market that stands at around the PHP 15,000 price range. Even narrowing it down to this price range, there are still quite a lot of options for consumers. One of which was launched locally by the Transsion company, Infinix – specifically the Infinix NOTE 30 VIP.
The device, in particular, really piqued our interest not only because of its price but also because of its features. After seeing this, one question came to mind, did Infinix set the new standard for mid-range smartphones?
A Peek at the PHP 15,000 Price Range Market
Before we take a look at what the NOTE 30 VIP brings to the plate, I think we’re better off seeing what is the current norm in its price range.
The devices I chose to highlight are priced either below, above, or even slightly above the SRP of the latest device from Infinix that are available in the Philippines and announced this year.
More Affordable Options at PHP 12,999
The Redmi Note 12S, TECNO CAMON 20 Pro 5G, and the HONOR X8 4G are among the devices that find themselves slightly more affordable than the NOTE 30 VIP. The former two are priced at PHP 12,999. They both offer an AMOLED panel, 5000mAh battery, 8GB RAM, and 256GB storage.
The Redmi Note 12S offers a 108MP main camera, 8MP ultrawide lens, Snapdragon 732G chipset, and 67W turbocharging. However, it only has a 90Hz refresh rate panel.
Meanwhile, the CAMON 20 Pro 5G brings a 64MP main rear camera, MediaTek Dimensity 8050 SoC, and 33W fast charging.
The HONOR X8 4G comes at a slightly lower price at PHP 12,990 but also only offers a 90Hz LCD panel, 6GB RAM, 128GB storage, and a smaller 4000mAh battery. However, it does come with a 64MP+5MP+2MP+2MP quad rear setup.
Even More Options at PHP 14,990/14,999
The next tier has devices that are priced above the Infinix NOTE 30 VIP at PHP 14,990 and 14,999. I decided to group these together because we’re talking about a PHP 9 difference.
The options in this price range offer roughly the same as those in the lower ‘tier’. However, some standouts include the Galaxy A24 4G with a Super AMOLED panel and the Nord CE 3 Lite 5G and Redmi Note 12 Pro 4G with 108MP sensors around the back.
Above the Limit but Just Barely
Lastly, are those that are offered slightly higher. This includes the POCO X5 5G with an SRP of PHP 14,999 for 6GB+128GB and PHP 15,999 for 8GB+256GB, its Pro sibling the X5 Pro 5G (6GB+128GB) priced at PHP 16,999, the HONOR X9a 5G at PHP 16,990, and the realme 10 Pro 5G at PHP 16,999.
Both the POCO X5 5G series members offer a 120Hz AMOLED panel and a 5000mAh battery. The Pro offers 67W turbo charging, a 108MP main rear camera, and a Snapdragon 778G under the hood. Meanwhile, its vanilla sibling has a 33W fast charging, a 48MP main rear camera, and a Snapdragon 695.
The HONOR X9a 5G, on the other hand, has a curved 120Hz OLED panel, a Snapdragon 695 chipset, a 64MP main rear shooter, a 5100mAh battery, and support for 40W fast charging.
Infinix NOTE 30 VIP
Now that we saw what the Infinix NOTE 30 VIP is up against, we take a look at its specs sheet. The NOTE 30 VIP slots itself between most of the devices mentioned above at PHP 13,999 for its lone 12GB+256GB memory configuration.
The memory configuration in itself is enough to set it above and beyond its competitors with most devices going as low as 6GB RAM and as low as 8GB RAM. Let’s not forget that it features Extended RAM, a feature that at this point is expected, that offers up to an additional 9GB RAM. That’s a total of up to 21GB RAM.
If you’re worried about the 9GB that it takes from your storage to reach the 21GB Extended RAM, the device has a microSD card so you can expand your storage.
Other specs of the device also include a 6.67-inch AMOLED 120Hz display, a MediaTek Dimensity 8050 5G, a 32MP front snapper, and a 108MP+2MP+2MP triple rear camera. These are some specs that we’ve already seen above and seem pretty similar.
However, Infinix opted to offer 50W wireless charging along with 68W wired fast charging with the NOTE 30 VIP. The former is pretty surprising since even in the premium mid-range market, some devices offer just a pretty generic 18W wireless charging and yet, we’re here at sub-PHP 15K with 50W.
So Did Infinix Just Set the Standard for Mid-range Smartphones?
Transsion, the parent company of Infinix, TECNO Mobile, itel, was reported by the IDC to be the top smartphone manufacturer in Q1 of 2023 in the Philippines. The company overtook realme, who has held it for quite a while.
With the release of a device like the Infinix NOTE 30 VIP, I think I see why. The mid-range market is quite saturated right now and despite this, the company saw this and instead of going for the norm, it offered a couple of features that we can usually expect more premium mid-range or even flagship devices.
It’s hard to tell if Infinix and its sister companies under Transsion can hold their spot on top. But if they will continue to offer devices that go above and beyond their price range, I can see them staying on top for a while.
On the other hand, hardware really isn’t what everyone looks for when buying a device, especially in a market where you have so many options to choose from. There are other factors like brand familiarity, software updates, and even camera quality that sometimes play into the decisions made by consumers.
We’re also purely basing things on the stats on paper, which may not necessarily offer the same performance in the real world. Especially when it comes to things like camera software and optimizations.
However, that said, we go back to the question, did Infinix just set the standard for mid-range smartphones? I think so. However, I also think that in order to truly be the standard in this price range, it will have to continue to offer a product that pushes the boundaries of what it takes to be a mid-range smartphone and back that up with sales.
Ram found his love and appreciation for writing in 2015 having started in the gaming and esports sphere for GG Network. He would then transition to focus more on the world of tech which has also began his journey into learning more about this world. That said though, he still has the mentality of "as long as it works" for his personal gadgets.