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10 Best Mid-Range Smartphones of the Year: A Buyer's Guide

10 great mid-range smartphones for the budget-conscious buyer

10 great mid-range smartphones for the budget-conscious buyer

Finding the Best "Mid-Range" Smartphones

When it comes to purchasing a new smartphone, there are a plethora of options available at various price points. If you're looking for a device that offers a great balance of features and value, then a mid-range phone may be the perfect choice for you. In this article, we'll take a look at some of the best mid-range phones currently available on the market and help you make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the right device for you.

First, let's define what we mean by "mid-range" when it comes to smartphones. Typically, a mid-range device will cost between $300 and $700, depending on the specific model and the vendor from whom you're purchasing. This price range is a sweet spot for many consumers, as it allows you to get a device that has a solid set of features and specifications without breaking the bank.

Now, let's take a look at some of the best mid-range phones that are currently available on the market.

The Google Pixel 6a

The Google Pixel 6a

1. Google Pixel 6a: Best Overall

The Google Pixel 6a is a top-performing smartphone with a smaller size, making it easy to handle and use. One of its standout features is the camera, which is outstanding in both quality and performance. In addition, the device comes with guaranteed software updates, ensuring that it stays up-to-date with the latest features and security patches.

However, there are a few cons to consider with the Pixel 6a. The rear plastic scratches easily, which may be a concern for those who want to keep their device in pristine condition. Additionally, the device charges slow and hot, which can be inconvenient. Lastly, the device only has a 60Hz display, which may be a drawback for those who are used to higher refresh rates.

The Google Pixel 6a is a great choice for those looking for a high-performing smartphone with an outstanding camera and guaranteed software updates. However, it is important to keep in mind the potential downsides of the device before making a purchase.

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The OnePlus Nord 2T

The OnePlus Nord 2T

2. OnePlus Nord 2T

The OnePlus Nord 2T is a great mid-range smartphone that offers a lot of value for its price. One of the standout features of this device is its excellent software. OxygenOS, the operating system that runs on the Nord 2T, is known for its smooth and responsive performance, as well as its clean and minimalist design. This makes the phone a joy to use on a daily basis.

Another highlight of the Nord 2T is its strong main camera. It features a triple-lens setup that includes a 48MP main sensor, a wide-angle lens, and a macro lens. This allows you to take high-quality photos in a variety of different lighting conditions. Additionally, the camera is also capable of recording 4K video at 60fps.

The Nord 2T also supports super-fast charging, allowing you to quickly top up your battery when you're on the go. With Warp Charge 65, you can charge the device up to 70% in just 30 minutes.

However, there are a couple of downsides to consider when it comes to the Nord 2T. Firstly, the device only has a 90Hz display, which is not as fast as some other high-end smartphones. Additionally, OnePlus has only committed to providing two Android updates for the device, which means it may not receive the latest features and security updates for as long as some other devices.

The OnePlus Nord 2T is a solid choice for anyone looking for a high-performing and affordable smartphone. It is packed with features and offers great value for money. However, if you are looking for a device with a higher refresh rate display and more long-term software support, you may want to consider other options.

The Poco X4 Pro 5G

The Poco X4 Pro 5G

3. Poco X4 Pro 5G: Best Budget Option

The Poco X4 Pro 5G is a budget-friendly 5G smartphone that offers some impressive features for its price point. One of the standout features is the 120Hz AMOLED display, which provides smooth and responsive visuals. The 108Mp main camera also takes great photos, making this a great choice for photography enthusiasts. The design of the phone is also very attractive, with a sleek and modern look.

However, the Poco X4 Pro 5G does have some downsides as well. One of the main cons is the middling MIUI software. While it is functional, it is not as user-friendly or customizable as some other Android skins. Additionally, the phone has a plastic body, which may not feel as premium as some other smartphones on the market.

Overall, the Poco X4 Pro 5G is a great budget-friendly option for those looking for a 5G-enabled phone with a great display and camera, but with some trade-offs in terms of software and build quality.

The Google Pixel 7

The Google Pixel 7

4. Google Pixel 7: Best Camera

The Google Pixel 7 is a solid smartphone that offers a lot of great features. One of the biggest pros of the device is the software. It runs on the latest version of Android and is consistently updated with new features and security patches. The cameras on the Pixel 7 are also excellent, producing high-quality photos and videos. Additionally, the device has an IP68 rating, making it water- and dust-resistant.

However, there are also some downsides to consider. One of the biggest cons is that the display only has a 90Hz refresh rate. This is lower than some of the other high-end smartphones on the market. Additionally, the design of the device is somewhat divisive, with some people loving it and others not so much. Lastly, the charging speed is on the slower side, which may be an issue for some users.

The Google Pixel 7 is a great option for those who value software and camera performance. But, if you're looking for a high refresh rate display and faster charging speed, this is not for you.

The Realme GT 2

The Realme GT 2

5. Realme GT 2: Best Cheap Flagship

The Realme GT 2 offers a lot of great features. One of the biggest pros of the device is its fast charging capabilities. It comes with a 65W charger that can charge the device from 0 to 100% in just under an hour. Additionally, the device boasts a 120Hz AMOLED display, which is great for gaming and streaming videos. The main camera is also good, producing sharp and detailed photos and videos.

However, there are also some downsides to consider. One of the biggest cons is the basic secondary cameras. They don't perform as well as the main camera and may not be suitable for all types of photography. Additionally, the device has a plastic build that doesn't feel as premium as some of the other high-end smartphones on the market.

The Realme GT 2 is a great option for those who are looking for a budget-friendly smartphone with a fast charging and high refresh rate display. But, if you're looking for a premium build quality and a versatile camera performance, you may want to look at other options.

The Nothing Phone (1)

The Nothing Phone (1)

6. Nothing Phone (1): Best Design

The Nothing phone (1) is a unique smartphone that offers a lot of great features. One of the biggest pros of the device is its design. It has a sleek and minimalist look that is sure to turn heads. Additionally, the device boasts an impressive dual rear camera that can produce high-quality photos and videos. The device also supports wireless charging which makes it more convenient to charge.

However, there are also some downsides to consider. One of the biggest cons is the average performance. The device may struggle to run multiple apps and heavy games smoothly. Additionally, the battery life of the device is below average, which may be an issue for some users. Lastly, the device can be a little buggy at times, which can be frustrating.

The Nothing phone (1) is a great option for those who are looking for a unique and eye-catching design. But it is not a high-performance device with not great battery life.

The Xiaomi Mi 12T

The Xiaomi Mi 12T

7. Xiaomi Mi 12T: Best for Fast Charging

The Xiaomi Mi 12T offers a lot of great features. One of the biggest pros of the device is its solid performance. It runs smoothly, and can handle multiple apps and heavy games without any issues. Additionally, the device boasts great cameras for the price, producing sharp and detailed photos and videos. The device also supports 120W fast charging, which can charge the device from 0 to 100% in under 30 minutes.

There are also some downsides to consider. One of the biggest cons is the underwhelming battery life. Despite the fast charging support, the device may struggle to last a full day with heavy usage. Additionally, the MIUI interface may not be for everyone as it is heavily skinned, and some users may find it cluttered. Lastly, the device doesn't support wireless charging, which may be an issue for some users.

The Xiaomi Mi 12T is a great option for those who are looking for a budget-friendly smartphone with solid performance and great cameras. But, if you're looking for a device with a great battery life and support for wireless charging, you may want to look at other options available.

The Motorola Edge 30

The Motorola Edge 30

8. Motorola Edge 30: Thinnest and Lightest

The Motorola Edge 30 is a 5G smartphone that offers a lot of great features. One of the biggest pros of the device is its lightweight design. It is one of the lightest 5G smartphones on the market, making it comfortable to hold and use for long periods of time. Additionally, the device boasts a gorgeous 6.5-inch 144Hz AMOLED display, which is great for gaming and streaming videos. The device also offers great performance, handling multiple apps and heavy games smoothly.

There are also some things to consider. One of the biggest cons is the all-plastic build. The device doesn't feel as premium as some of the other high-end smartphones on the market. Additionally, the battery life of the device is middling and the fast charging is not as fast as some other devices in the market. Lastly, the device only offers two years of OS updates, which is less than what some other devices offer.

The Motorola Edge 30 is a great option for those who are looking for a lightweight 5G smartphone with a great display and great performance.

The OPPO Reno 8

The OPPO Reno 8

9. Oppo Reno 8: Most Colourful

The OPPO Reno 8 is a stylish smartphone that offers a lot of great features. One of the biggest pros of the device is its stunning color-changing finish. It is sure to turn heads and make a statement. Additionally, the device boasts great battery life, lasting up to two days on a single charge. The device also supports speedy charging, which can charge the device quickly. The device also offers great performance, handling multiple apps and heavy games smoothly.

One of the biggest cons is the mixed camera setup. While the main camera is capable of producing high-quality photos and videos, the secondary cameras may not be as versatile. Additionally, the device only offers two years of guaranteed software updates, which is less than what some other devices offer. Lastly, the device doesn't have variable refresh rate, which may be an issue for some users.

The OPPO Reno 8 is a great option for those who are looking for a stylish smartphone with a great battery life and speedy charging. But, if you're looking for a device with a versatile camera setup, a longer software updates and variable refresh rate, you should go for the high-end options.

The Motorola Edge 30 Fusion

The Motorola Edge 30 Fusion

10. Motorola Edge 30 Fusion: Sleek Design

The Motorola Edge 30 Fusion is a high-end smartphone that offers a lot of great features. One of the biggest pros of the device is its flagship-like design. It has a sleek and premium look that is sure to turn heads. Additionally, the device boasts near-flagship performance, running smoothly and handling multiple apps and heavy games without any issues. The software on the device is also clean and classy, making it easy to use.

The biggest cons is the mediocre battery life. Despite the high-end specs, the device may struggle to last a full day with heavy usage. Additionally, the secondary cameras on the device are average, and may not be suitable for all types of photography. Lastly, the device has an IP52 rating, which means it's only dust-resistant, and not water-resistant.

The Motorola Edge 30 Fusion is a great option for those who are looking for a high-end smartphone with a flagship-like design and near-flagship performance.

Buying Advice for Mid-Range Phones

When buying a midrange smartphone, there are a few things to consider:

  • Determine your needs: Before making a purchase, consider what you need from a smartphone. Are you looking for a device with a great camera, long battery life, or a high refresh rate display? Knowing what you need will help you narrow down your options and find the best device for you.
  • Research the specs: Look at the specifications of the different devices you are considering. Compare the processors, RAM, storage, and other specs to see which one offers the best performance.
  • Check the reviews: Read reviews from reputable sources to get an idea of how the device performs in real-world use. This will give you a better idea of the strengths and weaknesses of the device.
  • Look at the software: Many mid-range devices run on Android, but the software experience can vary greatly between different manufacturers. Some devices have heavy skins that can slow down the device and make it harder to use.
  • Think about the future: Consider the device's software update schedule, as some brands are known for providing only two years of updates, which could make your device outdated over time.

My advice is to take your time, do your research, and choose the device that best meets your needs and budget.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2023 Maina Wilson