On the search for the best mid-range smartphone below $500/£500? You’re in the right place
There was a time when any smartphone short of a pricey top-tier flagship would serve up a disappointing experience. Bland designs, poor build quality, and a slow, stuttery experience all featured frequently in mid-range smartphone bingo. But those days are over – here’s our guide to the best mid-range smartphones in the $450/£450 to $650/£650 range.
Today, you can buy cracking handsets that are nigh-on inseparable from smartphones that cost twice as much, covering almost all of your needs without bleeding your wallet dry. From premium builds to nippy performance, all-day battery life, and even decent cameras, there are plenty of handsets out there that more than nail the basics, while capable of serving you well for years to come.
What is the best mid-range smartphone?
We think the Google Pixel 7 (check price) is the best mid-range smartphone you can buy. While part of Google’s 2022 flagship line-up, is technically a mid-range handset by our priced-based definition. You’ll love its impeccable camera skills, punchy performance, minimalist Pixel design and pure Android experience.
Other mid-range smartphone recommendations
Best mid-range iPhone
While the iPhone SE (2022) (check price) doesn’t have the most modern design, it more than makes up for it on the inside, with the same powerful A15 Bionic processor as the iPhone 13.
Best mid-range gaming phone
With the Red Magic 8 Pro (check price) you get Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 2 power and 256GB storage, along with a seriously geeky, fit-for-purpose UI that’s perfect for gamers.
Best cheap mid-range phone
The Google Pixel 7a (check price) is a more affordable version of the Pixel 7, but still delivers some of the best camera image processing you can get from a phone without dropping serious cash on a flagship.
Best designed mid-range phone
The Nothing Phone 2 (check price) is a genuinely refreshing take on the mid-range phone formula, Phone 2 is a step up from Nothing’s debut effort in almost every area. We still love the distinctive styling and clever lighting, only now it comes with more power, longer battery life and a bigger screen.
The best mid-range phone you can buy today:
1. Google Pixel 7
|Google Pixel 7 specs|
|Screen||6.3in, 2400×1080 AMOLED w/ 90Hz refresh rate, HDR10+|
|CPU||Google Tensor G2 octa-core|
|Cameras||50MP, f/1.9 w/ PDAF, OIS + 12MP, f/2.2 ultrawide rear.|
10.8MP, f/2.2 front
|Operating system||Android 13|
|Battery||4355mAh, 30W wired charging, 20W wireless charging|
That’s right — the Pixel 7, while part of Google’s 2022 flagship line-up, is technically a mid-range handset by our priced-based definition, which, depending on how you look at it, makes it a superb bang-for-buck option. And there’s lots to love here.
From its impeccable camera skills and punchy performance to a minimalist Pixel design and pure Android experience, this could be the ultimate choice for Google fans. Sure, it has a few specs that are lagging behind some of the competition (including a 90Hz display and slower charging), but on the whole, there’s little else as well-rounded as the Pixel 7 for the money, making it a very tempting option indeed…