The best mid-range phones to buy – updated February 2022

Soon after the smartphone revolution began with the original iPhone, a wide range of similar devices appeared. This range only grew with time, creating a bunch of different price categories in the smartphone world. Mid-range phones are one of those categories. These devices try to bring the flagship experience at a lower price point, and these days they often succeed. There are plenty of excellent mid-range phones in the $400 to $700 price range, and you will find the best of them on this list.

Motorola G100 — a true performance champ at a decent price

Google Pixel 5a

Google’s affordable phone has an OLED, 6.2-inch display with an FHD+ resolution. Its refresh rate is only 60Hz, but this isn’t very concerning, as its clean Android software is fluid enough. This fact is helped by its fast and efficient Snapdragon 765G processor, coupled with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.

Like every Pixel phone, this one performs exceptionally well in the camera department too. It has a dual-camera system consisting of a 12.2MP main shooter and a 16MP ultrawide one. The front camera is an 8MP punch-hole unit. The Pixel 5a has a good battery life, thanks to its 4680mAh battery unit. Its fingerprint scanner is located on the back though, which might’ve been acceptable in 2018 mid-range phones, but not anymore. At least you can count on receiving upcoming Android software first and for years to come.

Read more:  Google Pixel 5a review

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G

Samsung’s A series has been really successful in the last couple of years, and this success speaks volumes when it comes to how good these phones are. The fresh Samsung Galaxy A52 5G is no exception to this rule. This phone has a modern design, a great 6.5-inch 120Hz AMOLED display with an FHD+ resolution, and an efficient Snapdragon 750G processor with 5G connectivity. The Galaxy A52 5G comes with either 6 or 8GB of RAM and 128 or 256GB of storage. We know the widget above mentions different specs, but these are for the non-5G version.

Camera-wise this phone doesn’t disappoint, with its great quad-camera system with a 64MP main camera and a 12MP ultrawide shooter. The front camera is a 32MP punch-hole unit that takes great selfies with lots of detail. No need to worry about battery life with this one, as its 4,500mAh battery with 25W fast wired charging will easily get you through the day.

Read more:  Samsung Galaxy A52 review

OnePlus Nord 2 

This phone was just released recently, and our review is praising it for addressing the small weaknesses of its predecessor. OnePlus is serious about taking the mid-range market by storm. The new Nord 2 has a good 6.43-inch 90Hz AMOLED display with an FHD+ resolution. The camera setup is also improved, with the phone having a new 50MP main camera sensor. You might be concerned about this phone being powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 1200 processor… Rest assured, we think this chip suits the OnePlus Nord 2 quite well. The new phone comes with 5G connectivity and a 4,500mAh battery with flagship-class 65W fast wired charging. Other specs include a 32MP front camera and 8 or 12GB of RAM. The OnePlus Nord 2 might be one of the best phones Android enthusiasts can buy in 2021, making it a wise choice.

Read more:  OnePlus Nord 2 review

Apple iPhone 12

Yes, you might be surprised to see an iPhone in a mid-range phones list, but hear me out. Even though this phone was never really in the mid-range segment,  Apple started offering it as one since the iPhone 13 release, and it sells like hotcakes. Wonder why? Well, this phone is a great iOS device to have, especially considering its price has dropped to $699.

The iPhone 12 has an excellent 6.1-inch OLED screen with relatively tiny bezels. The A14 processor which powers the phone is still plenty fast, and with Apple’s software optimization, it will stay that way for years. The iPhone 12 is still competitive in the camera segment as well, being capable of taking very nice pictures and videos. So what’s not to like about the iPhone 12? After all, it is what a mid-range phone should be – a device with flagship-grade features and quality at an affordable price.

Of course, if you wanna save some more, you can also go for the iPhone 12 mini. This phone is $100 cheaper, but there’s a catch. The 12 mini doesn’t impress in terms of battery life. If you’re a light user you should be fine, with this phone getting you trough the day no problem, but if you spend four or five hours on your phone daily, we don’t think it’s your best choice. Read more: Apple iPhone 12 review

Google Pixel 6 

The Google Pixel 6 is one of the best affordable flagships you can currently buy. It has a great 6.4-inch 90Hz AMOLED display and a smart and efficient Google Tensor processor. It also comes with stock Android 12 and guaranteed updates for many years. It isn’t the prettiest, but its design is charming to many. Especially with its camera module reminiscent of the Nexus 6P.

Speaking of cameras, the Pixel 6 features a dual-camera system which is capable of producing one of the best photos and videos in the industry. It has stereo speakers and a 4,614mAh battery that’s going to last you at least a day. 

Read more: Google Pixel 6 Review

Motorola Edge (2021)

The OG Motorola Edge was a great almost-flagship phone, and this year its successor brings even more value to the table. The Edge (2021) rocks a big 144Hz LCD display which is very good for gaming enthusiasts. This phone also has a large battery, which means it can last up to two days on a single charge. The main camera is a 108MP sensor capable of taking some great photos. 

Unfortunately, to make it affordable, Motorola had to cut some corners. The second camera is an 8MP ultrawide shooter, and the third is a 2MP depth sensor. Motorola also saved on the fingerprint sensor, which is side-mounted instead of an in-display one. The Motorola Edge (2021) is powered by a Snapdragon 778G processor coupled with more than enough RAM and storage.Read more:  Motorola Edge (2021) is official

OnePlus 9 

The OnePlus 9 is almost a year old, which means it often sees discounts. Currently, the beast of a phone retails for $729. It is powered by a fast Snapdragon 888 processor, which makes it one of the best phones in terms of performance on this list. The OnePlus 9 has a very good 120Hz AMOLED display, blazing fast wired charging, and a good camera system. 

We definitely recommend this phone for Android enthusiasts. It has a clean and simple user interface which lacks unnecessary bloatware. Its battery is large too, and it provides a better than average battery life. It is also a good-looking phone, and all of that makes it very easy to recommend. 

Read more:  OnePlus 9 review

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

The Galaxy S21 FE, just like its predecessor, is very popular across the Android community. The ‘FE’ itself stands for ‘Fan Edition’. The reason for that is simple, this phone offers flagship performance and quality at a more affordable price. 

Samsung’s Galaxy S21 FE has an excellent 6.4-inch 120Hz AMOLED display with tiny bezels and a very capable triple-camera system. This phone’s Snapdragon 888 processor is still a beast of a performer, and it also comes with 5G connectivity. The battery is a 4,500mAh one, which means the S21 FE will get you trough the day easily. 

TCL 20 Pro 5G

TCL recently released its new 20 series smartphone, and the high-end model is the 20 Pro 5G. The company has done a great job with this phone. It has a pretty design that stands out from the crowd and a nice 6.67-inch AMOLED display with an FHD+ resolution. It surprisingly also has a headphone jack and a MicroSD card slot. Yes, the screen is only 60Hz, but if you don’t care about refresh rates this is a pretty good mid-range phone. The TCL 20 Pro 5G is powerful too, with its Snapdragon 750G processor coupled with 6GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. This device has 5G connectivity and a 4,500mAh battery. The cameras aren’t bad either, with the 20 Pro 5G having a 48MP main camera and a 16MP ultrawide shooter. Like every TCL phone, this one’s price is pretty appealing, so you should definitely consider it.

Read more:  TCL 20 series released in the US

Motorola Moto G100

This Motorola device is pretty much everything one should expect from a good mid-range phone. The Moto G100 checks all the boxes, with its 6.7-inch 90Hz LCD display with FHD+ resolution, fast Snapdragon 870 processor, and a beefy 5,000mAh battery. Design-wise it isn’t bad either. This phone comes with 8 or 12GB of RAM and 128 or 256GB of storage.

As for the camera department, the Moto G100 has a 64MP main camera and a 12MP ultrawide shooter. It can shoot a video not only in 4K but also in 6K. It has two punch-hole-style front cameras, with one being a 16MP wide shooter and the other an 8MP ultrawide sensor. The Motorola Moto G100 is another excellent choice for your average Android enthusiast with its performance and clean software experience.

Read more:  Motorola Moto G100 review

In conclusion

The day has come when there is no need to spend all that extra money on a flagship phone. Mid-range phones have become more than enough for almost everyone’s needs. The slowing innovation in smartphones has enabled affordable phones to catch up to their premium cousins, and that’s great news for any buyer. Of course, if you wanna have the best of the best, you can always go for a flagship device, but at least now you know the truth – you don’t really need to.

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