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Affordable Smartphone Recomendations

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NanLaew started what I think is a nice topic called Mid-range smartphone recommendations.  
 
I started a topic called High End Mobile Recommendations; so here is a place for affordable (not necessarily cheap) smartphone recommendations.  I'll start with the Cubot J3 Pro.  I have an order at Aliexpress for it's little brother, the Cubot J3, but have not yet received it. I paid 2,139 baht for the Cubot J3 which really had me thinking, "what is the minimum specs a phone needs to work well?'  I think the Cubot J3 will meet the minimum specs, while providing a nice small and light phone to carry sometimes when I go out and about.  With a body size of 66.3 x 141.4 x 8.8 mm and a weight (as listed on the spec site Kimovil) of 140 grams, the phone will be very easy to carry.  It has a 2,000 mAh battery, 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of ROM.  It has a Quad-Core CPU running at 1.3 GHz, and runs on the latest Android 8.1 Oreo Go Edition. 
 
From Android Authority here is a description of the OS.  
 
Android Go, also known as Android Oreo (Go edition), is a stripped-down version of Android designed to run on entry-level smartphones. It’s comprised of three optimized areas — the operating system, Google Play Store, and Google apps — which have been reimagined to provide a better experience on lesser hardware.  The operating system is optimized to run on smartphones with 512 MB to 1 GB of RAM. It takes up roughly half the space of Android Nougat, giving smartphones with low storage the breathing room to hold more media and apps out of the box  most Android Go smartphones come with 8 or 16 GB of storage.  

Like the OS, Google has also developed apps to make better use of the device’s memory. These require up to 50 percent less space and perform better on low-end hardware. Android Go smartphones come with only nine pre-installed apps, listed below:

 

No bloatware or weather widget, great, sign me up.  The Display is 5 inch TFT with 480 x 960 pixels, 215 ppi, with a 2:1 aspect ratio.  I would have certainly preferred to spend a bit more and get an IPS TFT screen, and I prefer the old 16:9 aspect ratio, but the 2:1 aspect ratio is appearing more and more on new phones.  Devicespecifications lists the display area as 69.04%.  According to the Cubot site the screen has 1000:1 contrast, brightness of 430 cd/m and is 2.5 d with a blue notification light; which are pretty good specs as TFT screens go.
 
The Cubot J3 does not support 4G.  The battery is said to have a 10 hour 3G talk time and a 7.1 days stand-by time.
 
The Cubot J3 Pro does support 4G.  It has a larger 5.5 inch screen and the screen is IPS.  With the same 480 x 960 pixel resolution as the J3, the J3 Pro has a reduced pixel density of 195 ppi and a display area of 71.09%.  It has a Quad-core 1.5 mHz CPU and a 2,800 mAh battery. 
 
Here are three phones which run Oreo 8.1 Go compared on devicespecifications.
 
 
The Cubot J3 is currently priced at about 1,975 baht at GearBest and Aliexpress, the Cubot J3 Pro is 2,952 baht at GearBest and Aliexpress and the Alcatel 1X is 3,291 baht at the Amazon USA site and on the European sites so I would expect it to list shortly on the International sites at a similar price, as the dual SIM version has 2 GB of RAM (vs 1 GB RAM for the single SIM version) but only a 8 MP rear camera (vs a 13 MP rear camera on the single SIM version).
 
So the Cubot J3 has a 5 inch TFT screen, the Alcatel 1X a 5.34 inch IPS screen and the Cubot J3 Pro a 5.5 inch IPS screen.  The Cubot J3 has a 1.3 mHz Quad-core CPU, the Alcatel 1X a stronger CPU but also Quad-core 1.3 mHz, and the Cubot J3 Pro the same Quad-core CPU as the Alcatel 1X but the J3 Pro is running it at 1.5 mHz.  The Cubot J3 has a 8 MP rear camera and a 5 MP selfie.  The Alcatel dual SIM version a 8 MP rear camera and 5 MP selfie, and the Cubot J3 Pro a 13 MP and 2 MP dual rear camera and a 5 MP selfie camera.  The battery on the Cubot J3 is 2,000 mAh, and 2,460 mAh on the Alcatel X1, and 2,800 mAh on the Cubot J3 Pro.  The J3 has a 69.04% display area, the Alcatel 1X a 69.84% display area, and the J3 Pro a 71.09% display area.  The small Cubot J3, per Kimovil website, has a weight of 140 grams; the Alcatel X1 is 151 grams, and the J3 Pro, with the biggest battery and screen has a weight per Kimovil of 154 grams. Good, better, best; I would say.
 
The Cubot J3 Pro is an actual, full featured phone, with an adequate CPU, screen, battery, and camera.  My main concern with all three of the phones is quality and volume of the speaker.  Gsmarena, which will list the measured sound output of the speakers for voice and ring tone in dB does not review Cubot, and other review sites tend to only rehash the specs, so speaker output is unknown on the newly released phones I have listed.  Neither the Cubot website nor the Alcatel Website say anything about speaker output when they praise the features of their phones.  Since I will be receiving the Cubot J3, hopefully, within weeks; I can comment on speaker volume after I have used it.
 
At 2,952 baht, with a compact 150.3 x 72 x 8.8 mm body; the Cubot J3 Pro would seem to be a great deal.  Except........for just one thing.......Xiaomi.
 
The Xiaomi Redmi 6, and the Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro, that is, which is to be released on June 25, 2018.  Here is the Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro, the Xiaomi Redmi 6, and the Cubot J3 pro as compared on devicespecifications.
 
 
Here is the Xiaomi 6 Pro, the Xiaomi 6, and the Alcatel 1x as compared on gsmarena.
 
 
The Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro is set to have a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip with a 14 nm process technology running at 2.0 gHz.  It has a RAM of 2, 3, or 4 GB, and a ROM of 16 GB, or 32 GB, or 64 GB, so it can comfortable run Oreo 8.1. The display area of the Xiaomi 6 Pro is listed at 79.8% with a 5.84 inch screen, and it has a resolution of 1080 x 2280 pixels for a 432 ppi density.  It has a dual 12 MP and 5 MP front camera, a 4000 mAh battery, and a weight of 178 grams
 
The Xiaomi Redmi 6 has a RAM of 3 GB or 4 GB, a ROM of 32 GB or 64 GB,  and sports a MediaTek CPU with 12 nm process technology running at 2.0 gHz.   It has a 5.45 inch IPS screen with a resolution of 720 x 1440 pixels (295 ppi), with a 72.92% display area. A dual 12 MP and 5 MP front camera, a 3,000 mAh battery, and weights 145 grams.
 
So look at some of the specs of the Xiaomi Redmi 6 vs the Cubot J3 Pro.  The Xiaomi runs Oreo 8.1, the Cubot 8.1 Go, the Xiami has a Quad-core CPU at 2.0 gHz vs the Cubot at 1.5 gHz, with the Xiaomi running a 12 nm process technology vs the Cubot 24 nm process technology; the Xiaomi has a faster RAM and GPU frequency with a better GPU chip.  The Xiaomi Redmi 6 has a better camera than the Cubot J3 Pro, the same battery power, is 8 grams lighter in weight, and has a body which is thinner, shorter, and more narrow vs the Cubot J3 Pro, with a better % usable display area.
 
The Xiaomi Redmi 6 beats the Cubot J3 Pro in every single relevant spec.  The Xiaomi Redmi 6 is not available for sale or pre-sale yet, but should be shortly, expected at about 4,607 baht vs the Cubot J3 Pro which is available now on GearBest for 2,952 baht.
 
The Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro is just in a different category because of it's large screen and battery.  At maybe 5.758 baht it should probably be bumped to NanLaew's Mid-range smartphone recommendations topic.  And that topic is so much fun because there are so many choices at around that price.
 
So, staying with the affordable topic; consider the four phones, the Cubot J3, the Cubot J3 Pro, the Alcatel 1X, and the Xiaomi Redmi 6.  I have voted with my debit card for the Cubot J3.  In my opinion the Xiaomi Redmi 6 beats the Cubot J3 Pro in value, because I think that for an extra, maybe, 655 baht, maybe 1000 baht, you are likely to get a better Phone with the Xiaomi Redmi 6.  Xiaomi has a good track record with speaker output, for example the Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus has a 71 dB max in call voice volume and a 87 dB max ring volume; which is just excellent for a phone selling at 5,690 baht at Lazada.  I just have no knowledge of the track record of Cubot with respect to speaker output.  
 
Why didn't I list the Redmi 5 Plus here as a recommendation?  Android 7.1.1 Nougat OS; ugg, 77.68% display area; nope, 75.45 mm body width, it's out of here! 
 
The specs on the Cubot J3 Pro are good, my guess is that it is also a very nice phone.
 
Please post your vote concerning these phones, or nominate some other candidates. 
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Xiaomi is the biggest selling phone in China and with good reason.
However it's very important to buy with local customer support. Thailand post will NOT allow smartphone to be posted airmail due to lithium battery

Sent from my Redmi Note 3 using Thailand Forum - Thaivisa mobile app

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Tonight I will update and correct my first post, respond to three posts, and offer my new pick for the best affordable smartphone available now.  
 
InMyShadow here, and grkt and TallGuyJohninBKK in the Mid-range recommendations topic expressed basically the same opinion that it is best to buy a phone with local customer support.  It's an opinion I respect, but do not agree with.  I made the choice to buy my current phone, a Meizu 15, from Aliexpress, in the Chinese version, because that is the phone I wanted and I did not want to wait until it might, or might not, come to Pattaya where I could get local support.  So far I haven't needed local customer support for the phone.  Yes, I am taking the calculated risk that I won't need local customer support in the future either.
 
Since my post last night the international sellers have listed the Xiaomi Redmi 6 for sale, in the Chinese version. Geekbuying seems to have the phone and is selling the 3 GB RAM 32 GB ROM version for 5,580.40 Baht.  Banggood is accepting pre-orders on the phone for 5,023.29 baht.  Last night when comparing the Xiaomi Redmi 6 to the Cubot J3 Pro I guessed that the Xiaomi Redmi 6 would be about 4,607 baht; so I underestimated it's price, and then I concluded that for an additional 665 -1,000 baht it was worth it over the Cubot J3 Pro.  Which shows I should use a calculator when doing subtraction as 2,952 baht for the Cubot J3 Pro is clearly not 1,000 baht less expensive than the Xiaomi Redmi 6.  Tonight, with the actual price of the the Xiaomi Redmi 6 available, and with the use of a calculator, I think I can accurately say that the Xiaomi Redmi 6 is 2,071.29 baht more expensive than the Cubot J3 Pro. And the Cubot J3 Pro is being sold in a Global version with multi-language support and google apps installed.  
 
Nice phones, but wait, don't order now, what would you say if I told you that for 4,500 baht you could get a 5.8 inch (notched) screen phone with 720 x 1512 pixel resolution, an 81.79% display area, an Octa-core processor, 4 GB Ram, a 3,300 mAh battery, nice cameras, and running Oreo 8.1?  Well I say that is my current affordable smartphone recommendation.  The Leagoo S9.
 
I listed the Leagoo S9 and eight other phones in the Mid-range smartphone recommendations topic a couple of nights ago, and I guess I was touting the Meizu 15 Plus (17,230 baht on Aliexpress, so not up for discussion in this topic) in that post so I didn't go further and make a choice among the more affordable phones.  Having had smartphones on my mind the past few days (at my age it's good to have a hobby), tonight I will make the claim that the Leagoo S9 is a very good value affordable smartphone.
 
Here is the Leagoo S9, the Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro, the Xiaomi Redmi 6, and the Cubot J3 Pro as compared on devicespecifications.
 
 
Here is the Cubot J3 Pro, the Leagoo S9, and the Xiaomi Redmi 6 as compared on Kimovil.
 
 
Kimovil will list Antutu score, and I would note that the impressive score for the Xiaomi Redmi 6 is for the 4 GB RAM 64 GB ROM version of the phone which is 6,360.52 baht, pre-order, at Banggood.  Also the 35,000 Antutu score of the Cubot J3 Pro seems pretty good, and the 41,500 score for the Leagoo S9, to me, is more than adequate.
 
Kimovil lists it's opinion of some features of each phone on a 1-10 scale, and they seem to like the Leagoo S9.  If you do a google search for Leagoo S9 review you will find many reviews, and all the reviews I read were positive about the phone.  Interestingly, it has dual speaker grills at the bottom of the phone, yet not one reviewer has mentioned whether it actually has two bottom firing speakers, or if one of the speaker grills is a dummy.  I like to know about the quality and loudness of the speaker output of a phone, but I can offer no information about this on the Leagoo S9
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Here's 2 great value phones firstly the android equilent in power to apples top iphone at 75% less money is the Oukitel K10 4g Phablet 6GB RAM 64GB ROM 11000mAh Battery quad Cameras Fingerprint Recogntion around $269 from Alexpress. This phone is super powerful with an incredible battery life...

 

and a cheaper great phone HOMTOM S99 4G Phablet 4GB Ram 64GB ROM 21MP+2MP Dual rear Cameras $156

 

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I do not know much about phones and do not have much opinion about it but i will follow this because i will be in the market for a new phone soon.

I have a Samsung j5 2016 and so far it has been a good phone but i

want one with less apps installed and with a better camera.

 

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Does somebody have experience with Timi T16 จอ 5.5 HD RAM 2GB (16 Gb storage capacity) now for sale at Lazada for 2.590 Baht?

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, InMyShadow said:

Xiaomi is the biggest selling phone in China and with good reason.
However it's very important to buy with local customer support. Thailand post will NOT allow smartphone to be posted airmail due to lithium battery

Sent from my Redmi Note 3 using Thailand Forum - Thaivisa mobile app
 

But you can buy Xiaomi cheaper on Lazada as on Aliexpress now. So, no importing!!!

 

Edited by snowgard

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Thank you Paulbuick1 for your post listing two nice affordable big battery phones.  I stayed with that concept but fine tuned it a bit, looking for phones with a usable display of 76% or above, a weight of 220 grams or below, and a battery of 6,000 mAh or more.
 
I came up with four phones, the Cubot Power, the Vernee X and the Vernee X1, and the Ulefone Power 3S.  Here they are as compared on DeviceSpecifications and Kimovil.
 
 
 
 
I have quickly read reviews on each of these phones and I don't have a clear pick based on performance.  Based on price, staying with Aliexpress on the four models, the Ulefone Power 3S (5,156 baht), and the Vernee X (5,606 baht), stand out as being the most affordable; while the Vernee X1 is 6,356.50 baht and the Cubot Power is 9,892 baht.
 
The Ulefone Power 3S has the biggest battery, is one of the two phones with Corning Gorilla Glass, is selling for the best price on Aliexpress from a store with a 98.2% positive feedback which offers 13-20 day delivery time to Thailand.  That sounds like a winner.
 

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jvs: I think your last phone the Samsung J5 (2016) was an excellent phone in it's day.  But yes, Samsung (and Huawei) tend to arrive with too many unwanted apps.  The J5 was fairly thin and light, with a reasonable battery and a Super AMOLED screen.
 
Here are three phones with Super AMOLED screens as compared at gsmarena, DeviceSpecifications, and kimovil.
 
 
 
 
I am on record as saying that I think the Xiaomi Mi8 SE is the best value for a mid-range smartphone. I guess I would say that it's a good value for an affordable phone, given that it's fairly expensive right now.  I offered the Meizu Pro 7 for consideration also in the Mid-range topic.  Looking for other phones with a Super AMOLED screen which might be considered as affordable I couldn't find many to choose from, so I picked the Samsung Galaxy J6 (2018) to have a third phone for comparisons.
 
Kimovil rates the Xiaomi Mi8 SE as 9.9 in terms of being cost-effective; the highest such rating I have ever seen on kimovil for this category.  It's hard for me to rate a phone with a single down firing speaker that highly, but in every other category the Xiaomi Mi8 SE touches all the bases extremely well.  Maybe some day the retailers will start selling it at the list price which Xiaomi set for it, 9,298 baht, but not right now. The lowest price I could find for it was 11,672 baht on Aliexpress.
 
The Meizu Pro 7 is the oldest model of the three phones and is a weird phone in that it has a second display on the back of the phone.  The CPU, camera, and build quality are all nice.  Although the front display is only 5.2 inches (the Samsung J6 has a 5.6 inch screen the Xiaomi Mi8 SE a 5.88 inch screen), the Meizu Pro 7 has very thin side bezels, so the display is wide, which for me is the aspect of the display which you most often use.  The body of the Meizu Pro 7 is 70.72 mm wide, and the depth of the body is only 7.3 mm; so it is the easiest of the three phones to hold in one hand.  The Width of the screen on the Meizu is 64.75 mm, almost exactly the same as the 64.77 screen width of the Xiaomi Mi8 SE which has a body width of 73.09 mm, and larger than the width of the screen on the Samsung J6 which is 62.23 mm. The Meizu Pro 7 is selling for 7,085 baht on Aliexpress.
 
The Samsung Galaxy J6 (2018) has a reasonable body size, okay cameras, a not so 2018-ish 76.18% display area, and only 294 ppi; the weakest of the three models.  It can be had at Lazada for 5,950 baht.
 
The Antutu scores range widely on these models, 46,000 for the Samsung, 67,500 for the Meizu, and 174,000 for the Xiaomi. So it helps if you have an idea what Antutu score you want (do you play action games, multi-task a lot, etc).
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fvw53; I couldn't find out much about the Timi T 16.  A major point in my first two posts here was that if you are going to buy a phone with low end CPU and memory specs that it would be good to get that phone with Oreo Go edition. The Timi T 16 runs on Marshmallow 6.0, so I recommend staying away from that phone.

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I’m thinking of buying a Huawei Nova with the double’camera. I’ve been told it’s very good. Around 10 000B  . I have an iPhone at the’ moment , find the whole Apple ID system and passwords complicated and most generally fed up’with It.  Any   views? I’ll use it more as a camera for my travelling than as a telephone. And I like uncomplicated !

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Geisha; there are a number of Huawei Nova models with a dual camera.  I'll guess you are thinking about the nova 2s or the nova 3e; correct me if I am wrong.  I'll add a third phone to do some comparisons, the phone which I own, the Meizu 15.  For many people these three phones might not be called "affordable", but hey, let's pretend we are wealthy and have some fun!
 
Here are the three phones compared on my usual three sites; gsmarena, devicespecifications, and kimovil.
 
 
 
 
Gsmarena has a complete review of the Nova 3e (aka p20 lite) and in their review they didn't rate the rear camera very highly.  Since you say that the camera is a major feature in the phone you would like I would think that would give you pause about the nova 3e.  The nova 3e sells for 9,770 baht on Lazada and 9.367 baht on Aliexpress.
 
The Huawei Nova 2s, the oldest model of the three phones, was released in December 2017.  It has a better camera than the 3e and has a higher list price as set by Huawei.  Lazada sells it for 16,399 baht and Aliexpress for 8,509 baht (wow, that's a big difference).  If you were thinking of buying from Aliexpress, then the nova 2s clearly is the winner among the nova's.  If you are determined to buy from Lazada then choosing between the two nova's might depend on how wealthy you actually are.
 
The Meizu 15 is not available online from a Thai seller.  Aliexpress is selling it for 13,318 baht in black and 13,615 baht in white (go for the white....worth the premium IMHO).
 
Kimovil offers a subjective rating (based on a scale of 1-10) of the nova 3e camera as 7.7, the nova 2s camera as 8.5, and the Meizu 15 camera as 9.9.  The nova 3e has a dual 16 MP and 2 MP camera.  The nova 2s has a dual 16 MP and 20 MP camera,  The Meizu 15 has a dual 12 MP and 20 MP camera.
 
The Meizu 15 has a 4-axis OIS, 2x optical zoom, dual pixel phase and laser detection autofocus, and a six-LED dual-tone flash which the nova's do not have.  Concerning the lack of OIS (optical stabilization) on the nova 3e gsmarena was dripping with sarcasm when they wrote, i quote:
 
For starters, it requires about 20s instead of just 4s. And your phone should be on a tripod the whole time - handheld is not an option unless really messy is what you are after. And if you comply with everything, you will still end up with one quite dark picture.

So, if you have a tripod lying around, or something to keep the phone stable, just use the Manual mode with long shutter setting or the Light Painting mode (though it's not that good, either).

 

Compare that to gizmochina's comments on the camera of the Meizu 15:
 

We spent a few hours with the Meizu 15’s camera and so far, it has managed to impress us. The saturation levels are good and hence the colors pop out well, daylight pictures have good clarity and details, and the camera app manages to focus on the objects pretty quickly.

 
Low light photos are also good. The multi-frame synthesis technology kicks in as soon as the lighting conditions become dull and the resulting images are bright, with good saturation levels. We did find a bit of noise when the light was really low, for example, in the image above, it was nearly midnight and the only light available was via the lanterns (it was cloudy with no moonlight) that were lit up. Still, the colors and the overall photo came out quite decent. It does look a bit unclear, but that’s probably because we were still in Wuzen and were in a bit of a hurry to get a few quick samples. But things are much clearer when you take your time and shoot an image patiently, like in the image down below.... The Meizu 15’s camera managed to capture this image above pretty well.
 
From a review in the South China Morning Post:
 
I’m most impressed with the phone’s camera, which is surprisingly good for a mid-range phone. The main Sony IMX 380 sensor has responsive shutter speeds, fast autofocus and optical image stabilisation; while the secondary telephoto camera produces very clean 3X zoom images. It’s a level of detail I expect from Samsung and Huawei phones that cost more than twice the price.
 
And from a Forbes magazine review:
 
In fact, the Meizu 15’s camera has been a pleasant surprise. It’s obviously not on the Pixel 2/Huawei P20 Pro/Galaxy S9 levels, but it might be the best sub-$400 phone camera out there. The bokeh mode offers pre- and post-shot tweaks and in general, the depth-of-field effect looks natural.
 
Geisha; I invite you to visit the topic "High End Mobile Recommendations" to see my full review of the Meizu 15.  Actually, that's where this POST should probably be.  But to paraphrase Forbes, the Meizu 15 has an affordable high quality camera.
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16 hours ago, daocat555 said:

fvw53; I couldn't find out much about the Timi T 16.  A major point in my first two posts here was that if you are going to buy a phone with low end CPU and memory specs that it would be good to get that phone with Oreo Go edition. The Timi T 16 runs on Marshmallow 6.0, so I recommend staying away from that phone.

Thank you for this very advise ...I will go for Xiaomi Redmi 5A 

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fvw53: you are very welcome. My personal opinion (which happens to be shared by millions of people) is that the Xiaomi Redmi Note models offer the absolute best value in affordable phones.  I would like to suggest that you consider the Xiaomi Redmi Note 6a, which has been just recently launched.  Here are the Redmi Note 5a, the Redmi Note 6a, and the Redmi note 6, as compared.
 
 
 
 
I think that there are some big advantages of the 6A vs the 5A.  The body size of the 6A is much smaller, with a better usable display%.  The operating system of the 6A is 8.1 Orea vs 7.1.1 Nougat for the 5A.  With the combination of a more efficient OS and a faster clock speed the Antutu score of the 6A is 55,277 vs 32,000 for the 5A; that's with the exact same 2 GB RAM and 16 GB ROM, and with the similar battery size the 6A would project to get more battery time due to the more efficient OS and process technology.
 
The 6A has a 5.45 inch screen with a better resolution vs the 5A's 5 inch screen.  Well I'm guessing you are considering the 5A with the 5 inch screen which is currently 2,990 baht at Lazada in black or gold color (there is also a 5A version with a 5.5 inch screen).  The 5A and 6A seem to have the same camera.  If you pay more for the Redmi 6 you get 3 GB RAM, 32 GB ROM, a better rear camera, and a notification light if that is important to you (the 6A reportedly does not have one).
 
Kimovil subjectively rates the 5A as 8.2 in terms of cost effectiveness, the 6A as 8.4 and the Redmi 6 as 9.2 and I strongly disagree with kimovil's opinion on this.  To me the Redmi 6A is clearly the most cost effective of the three phones.  The 6A is about the same price as the 5A (list price wise it's lower, but you get the deeper discount on an older model), while the Redmi 6 is 22% higher in price right now on Aliexpress.
 
As many people have pointed out Xiaomi has a huge presence in Thailand, so if you can wait just a bit longer I would expect to see the 6A be available soon in the Thai shops and the Thai online stores.  If you are willing to buy from Aliexpress (some people are, some people aren't) then you can pre-order it today from a store on Aliexpress with a 98.8 positive feedback rating, which has already pre-sold 16 units in the past 10 days since they started the pre-sale.  It's least expensive in gold, but I like the baby blue of Xiaomi so in blue it's 4,059 baht.  That's for the Chinese version as the Global version is not yet available even for pre-sale.  The Aliexpress seller will open the box, test the phone, and install multi language and google apps for you.  My current phone is a Chinese model which the Aliexpress seller did this for me, and although they do not guarantee over the air (OTA upgrades), on my phone google maps and the one google game I play have updated successfully.  Here is the link for Aliexpress.
 
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BANGKOK 22 August 2018 00:35
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