MyPhone Rio: A Cheap Phone That Doesn’t Feel Like One


Fresh from the box.


Choices of smartphones nowadays are overwhelming and the decision to buy one isn’t as easy as it was ten years ago. Back then, anyone just has to have either a Nokia or a Motorola to get a bang for their buck. To own anything less than the two popular brands means to expect a mediocre product ready to die soon.

Such was the case why when my Nokia smartphone started acting up more than a year ago. I had a hard time picking a replacement but the ambitious me was aiming for an iPhone or a Samsung or a Sony. Every now and then as I look at my aging 5800 XpressMusic I would wonder what I would eventually end up buying. But the ever changing smartphone models have made my dream harder to achieve. And then there’s also the aspect of budget.

So when the trusty Nokia finally stopped working early 2013 I made a tough and humble decision. I bought the cheapest I can have, an 800-peso MyPhone. It has a VGA camera, a radio tuner, it doesn’t have snake. It was probably the basic of the basics. Since then I haven’t turned back and surprisingly, I was happy holding and using it around other people. My officemates have joked around that it doesn’t fit my OIC position while my wife said that I should get something more decent. But I never gave in to the pressure. I was contented with it although every now and then I would still wish having a smartphone.

The day came when wifey made that wish come true. On our wedding anniversary, as I proudly handed to her a Tomato swap watch, she retrieved from a secret place somewhere inside our house a nice solid box containing what would become my second smartphone, however, it was neither an iPhone nor a Samsung. It was a MyPhone Agua Rio.

Reading my thoughts she immediately said that it’s only cheap and (stressed) that she saved for it. Yes, I had an idea but not at the level of P5000—she soon confessed. The phone exceeded my expectations though. It actually didn’t feel inferior, it even works just like those Samsung phones Marcus and I have been playing with at an Abenson’s appliance store. Our kid has tested the Agua Rio—if he could write now, he could write a better phone review—and his tiny fingers have checked most the apps. He gives this new phone a thumbs up. I couldn’t agree more. This is a really cheap phone that doesn’t feel and look like one.

Thanks to the ongoing product war among the giant smartphone brands everyone from every market niche reaps the benefits. What most of us now consider a lowly brand—remember that Samsung used to be one—has potentials to compete with rest. And this is where MyPhone seems to be headed if it continues to innovate and respond to consumer feedback. Good luck MyPhone, hope the next one comes with a better earphone.


Mood: 2/10 Honks! (


Author: crisn

I'm Cris Nacionales from the Philippines.

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