Old but still Gold: 5 former flagships in Malaysia that you should still consider buying

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In Malaysia's dynamic smartphone market, staying ahead of the curve often means keeping up with the latest releases. However, some older flagship smartphones continue to shine, offering Malaysian consumers a blend of reliability, performance, and value. If you are looking for a new but "old" flagship phone, then you have come to the right place.

Without further ado, this is our list of five older flagship smartphones that remain excellent choices in Malaysia in 2024 at least for myself, and for you TechNavers as well.


Apple iPhone XS (2018) - The Wildcard

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Apple's iPhone XS might have arrived way back in 2018. But it remains a solid contender in Malaysia's smartphone landscape. With its decent A12 Bionic chip, excellent camera performance, and seamless integration with the iOS ecosystem, the iPhone XS continues to be a popular choice among Malaysian consumers. Its sleek design and regular software updates from Apple ensure that it remains a reliable and up-to-date option in 2024.

However, there is one major con to this phone. Since Apple discontinued models 5 years and older, you won't be able to purchase them from the official website. So, you might have to buy it from local retailers. Plus, there is no guarantee of its availability. After all, we are talking about a 6-year-old phone here. It's unconventional, it's exotic, but also definitely reliable.

As for its current price, you can expect it to be around RM1500-RM2200. If you are up for an adventure or are an avid iPhone collector, this phone should be on your list.


Samsung Galaxy S22 (2022) - Always reliable and comes with Galaxy AI

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The Samsung Galaxy S22 made waves when it launched in 2022, and its appeal has endured in the Malaysian market. The phone features a solid display, versatile camera setup, and robust performance. Overall, it offers a premium smartphone experience that appeals to Malaysian users. It's also available at more affordable prices than newer flagships, which further enhances its attractiveness to Malaysian consumers.

Specs-wise, the phone runs a Qualcomm SM8450 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (4 nm) CPU processor with 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage. It also has a 6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X (1080 x 2340 pixels, 425 ppi) display. Camera-wise, it features a triple 50MP primary camera with a 10MP snapper. Samsung has always been a reliable manufacturer in the smartphone market. So for RM1999, it's quite a bargain.

In addition, it should also be receiving Galaxy AI features that will come with the Samsung OneUI 6.1 update. So, if you've been interested in trying out Galaxy AI, this could be your lowest price entry point device.


Huawei P30 Pro (2020) - A solid choice for photography

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Despite recent challenges, Huawei's P30 Pro remains a standout device in Malaysia. Renowned for its solid camera capabilities, including its impressive zoom capabilities, the P30 Pro remains a popular pick among Malaysian photographers and smartphone enthusiasts. Its sleek design, vibrant display, and long-lasting battery life make it a compelling choice for Malaysians looking for a feature-rich smartphone experience.

Specs-wise, it runs the Kirin 980 (7 nm) CPU processor with 256GB of UFS 3.0 storage and 8GB RAM. The device also has a 6.47-inch OLED capacitive touchscreen (1080 x 2340 pixels, 398 ppi). It also features a Quad 40MP camera with a 32MP front camera. Additionally, it offers a 4200mAh battery with 40W Fast Charging. That's pretty good for a 4-year-old phone.

Just like the iPhone XS, it can be quite difficult to find one of these. After all, the official HUAWEI website no longer lists it for purchase. So, its availability can be an issue. Price-wise, you can expect it to be around RM1999-RM2499. If you don't mind the lack of Google support and Google Play Store, this could be the phone for you.


Apple iPhone 13 (2021) - Tried and Tested

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While the Apple iPhone 13 might be 3 years old, it offers Malaysian consumers flagship-level features at a more affordable price point. Thanks to its Apple A15 Bionic (5 nm) CPU processor with 128GB and 4GB RAM NVMe, you will get good value for money for this Apple device. Plus, its popularity in Malaysia is further bolstered by Apple's strong presence in the local market and its reputation for high-quality smartphones.

Specs-wise, it starts at 4GB RAM with 128GB storage and runs a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED (1170 x 2532 pixels, 460 ppi) display with iOS 15. Camera-wise, it sports a dual 12MP primary camera paired with a 12MP snapper. It also houses a 3240 mAh battery with 20W Fast Charging. While its RM3299 price tag does make it the most expensive device on this list, the Apple iPhone 13 should be good value for money, especially considering the price of current iPhones.


OnePlus 11 5G (2023) - Futureproof

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OnePlus has gained a loyal following in Malaysia for its flagship-killing smartphones, and the OnePlus 11 is no exception. With its smooth display, powerful performance, and clean OxygenOS software, the OnePlus 11 should offer you a premium smartphone experience with more room for budget and 5G connectivity. Its popularity in Malaysia is a testament to the appeal of its blend of performance, design, and affordability.

Specs-wise, this phone runs a Qualcomm SM8550-AB Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (4 nm) chipset with 128GB of storage and 8GB RAM. It also features a 6.7-inch LTPO3 Fluid AMOLED (1440 x 3216 pixels, 525 ppi) display. When it comes to cameras, the phone runs a triple 50MP primary camera with a 16MP front camera. It also offers a 5000mAh battery with 100W wired charging.

Interested? You can get the OnePlus 11 5G for only RM2499. Given its specs and price, we feel this phone is an excellent choice if you are going for a new "old" flagship phone. After all, it's more or less future-proofed. If nothing else, that should provide reassurance about the phone's usability and reliability.


Conclusion ~ There's something for everyone, even if you're on a budget

These older flagship smartphones may not have the latest hardware. However, they continue to offer excellent performance, features, and value in 2024. Whether you're looking for a reliable device from a trusted brand or a more affordable alternative to newer flagships, any of these smartphones would make great choices for Malaysian users.

Personally, we would go for the OnePlus11 5G. Not only does it offer you the best value for money, but it's also one of the more recent smartphones on the list. That means you should be covered when it comes to the upcoming security supports and updates.


What are your thoughts about this article? Is there a former flagship device which you think should be on this list? Share your thoughts in the comments below and who knows, we may just make more such "Old but still Gold" articles. As always, stay tuned for more articles like this at TechNave!