Not everyone can afford a flagship phone like the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra or the iPhone 14 Pro Max, but many cheaper devices still deliver a great experience.
Mid-range phones usually offer the best balance of price and performance, include high-end features and powerful cameras, but sometimes still cost half the price of high-end flagships or even less, usually with cheaper materials or without fancy features like wireless. to load. and waterproofing.
We define a mid-range phone as one that costs $ 350 / £ 250 (also the highest end of our cheapest budget phones) and $ 850 / £ 600 without a SIM card, perfect for pairing with a SIM-only plan.
You’ll find something more expensive in our overall ranking of the best smartphones, which primarily focuses on flagship pricing and our selection of the best Android phones.
Phones from OnePlus, Motorola, and Google are all great buys, and if you live outside of North America you may have even more options from brands like Realme, Xiaomi, and Poco. All phones on this list are available in the US or the UK, but not all models are available in both. Read our previous review for more tips on buying mid-range phones.
Google Pixel 6a: overall the best
The Pixel 6a is a great mid-range phone with a flagship processor, a truly great main camera, 5G connectivity, the latest version of Android, five years of security support, and a pocket-sized design.
The main drawbacks are the slow charging speeds of the hot-charge phone, the easily scratched plastic material on the back, and the 60Hz display, which lags behind similarly priced phones.
However, this is a Pixel, which means it has a superior Android experience and a camera with a software brilliance and premium hardware feel that you won’t find with other brands in this price range.
OnePlus Nord 2T: the second closest
An excellent successor to the best mid-range phone of 2021, with 80W fast charging, 5G, OnePlus Oxygen OS experience, and a near-flagship main camera. What’s not to love?
What the OnePlus Nord 2T really shows is the company’s ability to prioritize the features users are looking for and pack them into an attractive package at an attractive price.
The Nord 2T lacks flagship features like wireless charging and water resistance, but these are really the only compromises made here. There’s also OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G, which offers a scaled-down version for a slightly lower price.
Poco X4 Pro 5G – the best budget option
The Poco X4 Pro 5G is expensive enough to be considered mid-range in our books, but that just means it offers pretty great value.
The 6.67-inch, 120Hz AMOLED display is essentially the flagship level, with a sleek and elegant design elsewhere. The camera also impresses, with a surprisingly robust 108MP sensor for the main photographer, although the included ultra wide-angle and macro cameras are less impressive.
It’s all made of plastic so it doesn’t feel too premium and we don’t like the MIUI software running here (on all Xiaomi, Poco and Redmi phones). But overall this is a great package for the price.
Google Pixel 7 – The best camera
Perhaps the toughest competition for the Pixel 6a is that you don’t have to spend much more to get the Pixel 6, which is cheap enough to sneak into our mid-range list, even if it’s really a flagship phone. and soon the Pixel 7 will be replaced.
For that extra cost, you get one of the best cameras at this price point, with a great main lens backed up by an equally powerful ultra wide-angle camera. They both benefit from some clever AI tricks provided by Google’s internal Tensor chip and can take some photos that no other phone can.
You also get a 90Hz screen hopping, though that’s still not below the 120Hz common on other phones, as well as relatively slow charging at 30W, even with no charger in the box.
The Pixel 6 is also quite large and heavy, so it’s not for everyone who wants a small phone.
Realme GT 2 – The best budget flagship
A soft follow-up to last year’s GT, the Realme GT 2 doesn’t tweak the specs too much, but honestly, that’s not a bad thing.
Last year’s Snapdragon 888 returns as a chipset, but it’s still powerful enough. A 120Hz AMOLED display, large battery and excellent 65W fast charging round out the powerful specs.
It’s built with plastic, which some don’t mind but others think it doesn’t look like a flagship, but the main drawback is that the sturdy main camera isn’t well supported by the secondary lenses.
Nothing phone (1) – Best design
The Phone (1) is the debut phone from London-based startup Nothing, although the company has a serious pedigree, as its founder Carl Pei ran OnePlus.
Before launch, the phone (1) was much touted as a revolutionary smartphone, but the boldest thing is its design: a semi-transparent back cut from strips of LED lights that can flash for notifications, light up while charging, and even when the fill light for the camera.
Put the lights aside and the Nothing Phone (1) is really just a mid-range device, albeit one of the best. Battery life is a little underwhelming, but the downside is that you get a decent screen, some decent rear cameras, and both wireless charging and an IP53 rating.
Red Magic 7 – Best for games
The Nubian Red Magic 7 manages to deliver the high-end specs a gaming phone demands without stepping out of the mid-range price range.
The 165Hz refresh rate is the fastest right now, beating even the most expensive gaming phones, and you also get a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset paired with up to 18GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. You also get 65W fast charging for the 4,500mAh battery, though with all that power it runs out a little faster than we’d like.
Like most gaming phones, the camera is a bit dim and the design is … specific. But if that’s what you’re looking for, the Red Magic 7’s value is currently hard to beat.