How to know if your phone is an all-rounder smartphone?


Tired of looking for your perfect entry-level smartphone? Too many choices? How about getting an all-rounder? An all-rounder smartphone is one that does everything well if not better than the average device. Most entry-level Android smartphones in Malaysia don’t exactly fit the bill of all-rounder as there is often one or two fatal flaws or pain points that stop it from becoming the near perfect device for your entry-level needs. Here’s the questions to ask on how to find an all-rounder smartphone for the entry-level Malaysian market which tops out at RM1200 and below.

1. Does it have good build quality?

  • Currently, there are quite a few entry-level smartphones that boast premium metal bodies but there are also just as many that have a metal frames and plastic backsides. Even some completely metal body smartphones may have sharp edges (Ouch! My phone just cut me!) and parts that don’t connect well. Devices like these have poor build quality, instead, your all-rounder device should not only fit comfortably in the palm of your hand but also feel solid with well matching components.

bad build.jpg 

Metal body yes but mismatching metal top and body panel stops this phone from being an all-rounder

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Instead, your all-rounder has a seamless and well-done build quality

2. Can its cameras perform better than usual?

  • Having a high megapixel count and lots of functions is not always a good indicator that the camera for your device is good as we’ve seen some that tout 13MP front cameras and 20.7MP rear cameras but take terrible pictures (Why is the colour so blue?). The easiest indicator here is to take a photo quickly either as a selfie or with the rear camera in various situations. If the photo turns out well with sharp details then it usually qualifies as a good all-rounder.

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Poor light exposure and washed-out colours make this a rather bad 13MP + 5MP camera combo


A good all-rounder should be able to deliver great shots well above its price range

3. Does it have much “bloatware”?

  • Quite a lot of these entry-level Android smartphones come with many extra apps or software (Why got 2 Internet browsers leh?). These are called “bloatware” and instead of offering more value due to more functionality, they often slow down or “bloat” your possible entry-level Android all-rounder. A good all-rounder device will keep your Android experience as close to the stock Android experience as possible but will also allow you to remove these bloatware if you want to.


No useless bloatware means that your all-rounder works faster and smoother 

4. Is it fast and accurately secure?

  • Many entry-level Android smartphones today offer fingerprint sensors or other biometrics like face recognition to help unlock and secure your device. Quite a few of them don’t always work well, resulting in “no match” errors (Grrr... have to wait 29 seconds again) or work very slowly. In the case of some face recognition features, these don’t work accurately, unlocking for just a picture on another phone. A good fingerprint sensor enabled all-rounder device works fast with next to no “no match” errors as possible.


The fingerprint sensor for your all-rounder should be fast and accurate 

5. Does it support external memory?

  • With the growing size of files and media content, the internal memory or storage of smartphones can get filled very quickly (Only 5% storage left!?) and there are quite a few smartphones, not only entry-level devices, that don’t offer support for external memory or microSD cards. A good all-rounder device will not only offer support for external memory but support more than the usual 32GB microSD card (like an 128GB microSD for example) as this would help keep your smartphone working well without having to delete any apps, media or content.


A good all-rounder should support a big microSD or a lot of external memory

6. How do your games, movies or music look or sound on it?

  • If your games, movies or music don’t sound or look good on your device you’re definitely going to be rather dissatisfied (Aiyah! The screen is so laggy!). A good all-rounder not only offers clear display with full HD pixel resolutions but also completes the package by including audio technologies as well. Also, if your games take 5 minutes to load or aren’t stable enough to run, then it probably points to a device with low amounts of RAM. The higher the RAM, the more likely your all-rounder device is more stable and able to load apps or games faster.


Your all-rounder device should be able to play full HD movies smoothly with all the details clear

7. How long before you need to charge it?

  • A good all-rounder entry-level Android smartphone should be able to last more than 1 day on a single charge but most don't (sigh, must remember to bring powerbank next time). Even better if it can last 2 or 3 days without having to charge, but this depends a lot on how well the manufacturer has balanced the battery with the power management of the device.


A good all-rounder lasts more than a day, while a better all-rounder lasts 2 - 3 days 

8. Is it a well known brand?

  • Quite often this is the least paid attention to factor when buying entry-level smartphones, but it is often the most important, especially if you’re looking for an all-rounder entry-level Android smartphone. A well known brand is more likely to have better support and after sales services for if there are problems with the device. Many cheaper but lesser known brand entry-level smartphones don’t offer these services or take a long time (about 3 to 6 months) to fix your device due to having their service stations outside of the country. 

So there you have it, if you follow these tips, you can easily navigate the sea of Android smartphone slates here in Malaysia and find that ideal all-rounder device. However, while you’re free to search all you want using our phone tool, one all-rounder device that fits the bill for all of the above is the Moto M.

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Why is the Moto M an all-rounder smartphone?

Featuring a comfortable design and solid build quality, the full metal bodied Moto M features 4GB of RAM, cameras that shoot well above the entry-level, a 2-3 day battery life and support for up to 128GB microSD, the Moto M ticks all of the boxes in our guide above. In addition, it is one of the few entry-level smartphones to not only offer a pure stock Android experience, but also include a well-known audio technology like Dolby Atmos while a 5.5-inch full HD display ensures a crystal clear viewing experience.


Moto or the company formerly known as Motorola is one of the most well-known phone brands in the world (do you know that they made the first mobile phone?). While nearly everyone has heard of after sales horror stories about other brands, Moto users are largely a very satisfied bunch with no complaints asides from when Moto will be bringing in more smartphone models faster. That being said, don’t you want to be a satisfied Moto user too with the affordable all-rounder Moto M? Get it now for just RM1199 but for more details about the Moto M, check it out at or you can see our Moto M review as well.

Did you know that Motorola is one of the biggest phone makers in the world? That they made the first mobile phone ever?


Motorola Moto M Specs & Price >