Best mid-range phone: Top mobile phones that balance features and value

Smartphones come in a large variety of sizes, and price points although they more often than rarely kinda look similar on the outside. Sometimes, manufacturers purposely enhance a particular feature of the phone, such as the screen, primary or selfie camera, supported storage, battery capacity, and even overclock the CPU to make their handsets stand out.

Picking the right smartphone is not easy. Manufacturers know that everyone appreciates high-resolution photography and video recording capabilities on their mobile handset, and because of that, they increase the megapixel number on their camera sensors. Now, more megapixels isn’t always better, and specifically for mobile phones, it is a very poor way to judge photographic performance on a mobile phone. The size of the image sensor is quite important, the larger the sensor, the larger the pixels will be, and the larger pixels are, the more light is captured by the lens and the better the resolution of photographs are. Find out more about why more isn’t better about phone camera Megapixels on the roundup that lists the smartphones with the best cameras.

Similarly to the way phone manufacturers exaggerate photography performance on their phone products they also overestimate their battery performance by adding more milliamperes on their overall capacity without releasing information on how efficiently the fuel is used, or by comparing their devices only to their older products and not to direct competitors.

There are unlimited ways that specs sheets can trick you into making an ill-judged purchase. Here we will be rating the best mobile phones that keep feature supports and cost at an equilibrium. The so-called mid-range phones not necessarily have limits on their features that are bordered by high-end and budget phones. For instance, some China-based phone manufacturers equip their handsets with the same processors found on some of the best flagship phones but their pricing isn’t set as high as them.

Here are the best cell phones that aren’t exactly a steal bargain but won’t break the bank either. We’ll try to keep the listing with top handsets that range by price from $300 to under $400, although, some may cost a little more than 400 bucks and be just too good to be left aside, and they’ll still not be even close in price to some high-end phones that exceed $1000.

Keep in mind that this listing will not include previous generations that were years ago released as flagships and now cost less than half of their original price. There are no guarantees that such old phones will receive regular maintenance or for how long it will be provided, such insecurities may pose a risk at your privacy, and also, they weren’t even intended of being a budget alternative to other top-end competitor phones.

Xiaomi Pocophone F1

Xiaomi Pocophone F1

Xiaomi’s Pocophone F1 is not a not-so-fast feature-limited handset that ranks somewhere in between top-end and entry-level phones, it instead is a high-end powerhouse of a smartphone that will just not cost you a liver.

The latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset is what highlights the overall feature supports of this Xiaomi-made phone. The powerful mobile processor backing it up rates the Poco phone as one of the top Android phones money can buy and one of the best smartphones to play games with.

The Poco F1 phone boasts a large 6.18-inch LCD screen with 1080p resolution and the primary reason, besides the affordable budget that makes it rank as the best midrange phone is its 12MP and 5MP primary camera setup. In terms of image quality, the Poco F1 has the best cameras of any other phone that made their way up to this roundup. The unit on the front is an excellent 20MP unit capable to snap awesome selfies.

The design is at the top notch. Xiaomi removed the physical Home button at the front and moved the fingerprint sensor to the rear. The screen has a notch. A 4,000 mAh battery powers it up and there are versions with 8GB RAM and 256GB of expandable flash storage, and the Poco is one of those top phones with a headphone jack.

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Huawei Honor Play

Huawei Honor Play

Huawei didn’t hold back when developing the Honor Play alternative smartphone by loading it with company’s best mobile chipset for the utmost performance, the Kirin 970. It is the same SoC that powers up company’s top-end P20 and P20 Pro, but unlike them, the Honor Play does have a headphone jack.

Huawei Honor Play has a massive all-touchscreen display of 6.3-inches with FHD resolution and a notch where the 16MP selfie camera and the infrared sensor are placed. On the back, Honor Play sports a 16MP PDAF and a 2MP depth sensor that when combined record 4K videos.

On the handset’s back is located a fingerprint sensor, a 3,750 mAh battery powers this mammoth phone, it has NFC support and fast charging. However, the Kirin 970 does make this phone stand out because this chipset is dubbed of being the fastest mobile processor and it offers the best gaming performance on mobile phones.

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Asus ZenFone 5Z

Asus ZenFone 5Z

Asus decided to upgrade the ZenFone 5 line of devices from 2014 with new handsets that top themselves with the latest tech trends in mobile technology. The best of the new ZenFone 5 phones is the 5Z, it runs on Snapdragon 845 and it preserves the cost efficiency. There are even versions of this Asus phone that include 8GB of RAM and 256GB of memory, a massive flash storage capacity that can be expanded even further by up to 512GB by inserting a microSD card into the second SIM card slot.

The 2018-edition Asus ZenFone 5Z skites a 6.2-inch FHD LCD display with a notch at the top and protected by an unspecified version of the Corning Gorilla glass panel. It packs a duo of a 12MP wide-view PDAF camera and another 8MP sensor on the rear that record videos at up to quad HD resolution and a full high-definition 8MP snapper at the front.

The ZenFone 5Z is one of the very few top-end phones that sell for under $500. It gets powered by a 3,300 mAh battery to keep it going for an entire day and does have the headphone jack socket.

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Huawei Honor 10

Huawei Honor 10

The Honor 10 is another price-balanced Android smartphone by Huawei that runs on company’s new generation of mobile processors, Hisilicon Kirin 970. The Honor 10 is a compact phone that sports a 5.84-inch FullView touchscreen display and a front-mounted fingerprint sensor. However, the display of this phone has a notch, in case you like phones without the screen notch, Huawei offers the Honor View 10 edition that doesn’t have it.

The display panel on the Honor 10 boasts a resolution of 2280 x 180 pixels and the handset sports a 16MP and a 24MP dual-camera setup on the rear to record 4K videos and another 24MP selfie snapper at the front. There are versions of Honor 10 with 4GB, 6GB, and 8GB of RAM while the available non-expandable flash memory varies between 64GB and 128GB.

A 3,400 mAh battery that should be sufficient to keep the handset going for an entire day that powers this phone up, It is one of the very few new-generation Huawei-made phones with a headphone jack socket.

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Vivo X21

Vivo X21 smartphone hands on review

Vivo X21 is an excellent large alternative smartphone. It boasts a huge OLED display of 6.28-inches with FHD resolution and runs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 backed by 6gigs of RAM and 128GB of flash memory. The available storage can be further stretched by up to 256GB via a microSD.

A duo of a 12MP and 5MP camera sensors on the back enable to this Vivo smartphone to record videos at a full high-definition resolution and another 12MP unit with the same photography-snapping capabilities sits at the front. This phone can snap decent selfies but its rear camera fails to record 2160p videos.

There’s a back-mounted fingerprint, a 3,200 mAh battery, and a headphone jack that this phone houses amongst many other things.

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Huawei P20 Lite

Huawei P20 Lite smartphone hands on review

The Huawei Lite are the less-expensive versions the company releases for its top-end P and Mate lines of flagship phones. The P20 Lite is an excellent phone choice for the price, it packs a 5.83-inch all-touchscreen display with a notch and instead of Kirin 970 SoC, houses the less-powerful Kirin 659. This handset has 4GB of RAM and versions with extendable memory support varying by 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB.

The P20 Lite packs a 12MP camera and a 2MP depth sensor to record 1080p videos on the back and a 16MP selfie shooter. The photography features on this phone are generally good and the handset does sport an elite design that includes an edge-to-edge touchscreen panel that’s interfered only by the front camera and an infrared sensor to create a notch.

There’s a back-mounted fingerprint, a 3,000 mAh battery to power it up, and unlike the pricey P20 and P20 Pro, the Huawei P20 Lite has a headphone jack.

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Nokia 7.1 (Nokia 7 2018)

Nokia 7.1 (Nokia 7 2018) hands on review

Nokia 7 and 7 Plus have been upgraded with the Nokia 7.1 and 7.1 Plus. Nokia has made them bigger and equipped them with the all-touchscreen displays. The new Nokia 7 2018 edition now packs a 5.84-inch edge-to-edge LCD screen panel with the notch, HDR, and an FHD 1080p resolution.

Nokia 7.1 runs the Snapdragon 636 chipset and it has versions with 3GB of RAM and 32GB memory and 4GB of RAM and 64GB of flash storage. This Nokia Android phone uses the second SIM card slot as a microSD reader and its internal memory capacity can be expanded by an addition of 512gigs.

There’s a back-mounted fingerprint for easy locking and access to the phone, a non-removable 3,060 mAh battery to keep it going and a headphone jack to listen to music via wired headphones.

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Umidigi Z2 Pro

Umidigi Z2 Pro hands on

Umidigi, a Chinese phone manufacturer that’s not actually the first brand choice when looking for a new phone but it does make some excellent cheap Android phones. Umidigi’s Z2 Pro is a great bargain for the price, the large phone packs an FHD FullView screen panel that measures 6.2-inches diagonally with the notch where the two 16MP and 8MP selfie cameras and the infrared sensor are located.

This relatively inexpensive Umidigi phone has another dual camera setup on the rear where again a 16MP and an 8MP sensor are placed. The cameras on the back are Samsung sensors while those on the front are made by Sony, the handset records clear 1080p videos with both cameras.

The Z2 Pro runs on MediaTek Helio P60, an equivalent to Snapdragon 636 processor, and has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable flash memory with the stock Android 8.1 on top. This solid phone from Umidigi has a rear-mounted fingerprint, a premium design that makes it look similar to any high-end handset, a 3,550 mAh battery to power it for an entire day with wireless charging support, and it supports NFC for contactless payments.

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Samsung Galaxy A8+ (2018)

Samsung Galaxy A8 Plus 2018

Samsung’s mid-tier phones are some of the best phones that have a balanced list of feature supports and the overall sales price. However, most of the Samsung phones belonging to this line are currently awaiting to be released or introduced, the best of ready-to-buy Samsung-made midrangers at this time is the Galaxy A8+ 2018 edition.

The Galaxy A8 Plus packs a decent neat design with a 6-inch FHD AMOLED screen without the notch. The handset runs on Exynos 7885 backed by 4GB of RAM with 32GB memory and a whopping 6GB of RAM with 64GB of flash memory. The phone does have support for expandable memory where it comes with a dedicated microSD card slot that supports microSDs of up to 256GB.

There’s a single and solid 16MP camera on the back but a dual-sensor camera setup at the front consisting of a 16MP and an 8MP sensor. This mid-range Samsung phone records 1080p videos with both of its cameras, but as you might expect, the quality of photo shots through this phone will be superior to that of other phones that rank higher on this list.

Some features worth highlighting of the Galaxy A8+ consists on the support of NFC, the 3.5mm headphone jack, and a 3.500 mAh battery to keep it all powered.

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Motorola Moto G6 Plus

Motorola Moto G6 Plus

Motorola’s Moto G line of devices have been standing firm as the top-choice midrange and budget smartphone alternatives. The Moto G phones by Lenovo’s Motorola have always sported a different outlook from other phones while always providing all the necessary functionalities and features you’d expect to be receiving with the purchase of a smartphone.

The new Moto G6 Plus, the slightly-larger sibling of the 5.7-inch Moto G6, sports a 5.9-inch FHD LCD screen that’s protected by the durable Corning Gorilla glass and does not have a notch. Motorola maintains the front-mounted fingerprint for anyone that doesn’t want to give up on phones with a front-based Home button and fingerprint reader.

The set of two cameras on the back consisting of a 12MP and a 5MP sensor feature the same unusual pattern as that found on the Moto G5S Plus, where the two cameras and the dual-tone LED flash positioned under them look like a face. Despite Motorola designing the rear cameras to appear like a face emoji, they consist of two solid camera sensors that can record 4K videos at 30 frames per second. Regarding selfie-snapping, the Moto G6 Plus houses an 8MP FHD camera at the front.

Snapdragon 630 with up to 6gigs of RAM and 128gigs of flash memory backed by Android 9.0 Pie version of Android OS guarantee that the phone is up to date and compatible with the latest applications and games. It even supports memory expansion via a microSD of up to 256gigs if memory is never sufficient for you.

Moto G6 Plus gets its power from a 3,200 mAh battery, has a physical Home button that also serves as a fingerprint reader, has NFC support, and it is enabled for wired headphones as there’s a headphone jack socket on the body of this handset.

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