Not everyone can afford a flagship phone like the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra or iPhone 13 Pro, yet fortunately, a lot of cheaper devices offer a great experience all the same.
Best Mid Range Phone will generally offer the best balance of price and performance, packing high-end features you won’t find in the cheapest phones on the market while still sometimes costing half the price of top flagships, or even less.
We define a mid-range phone as one that costs between $350/£250 (the higher limit of our much cheaper budget phones chart) and $850/£600 on a sans SIM basis – wonderful to pair with a SIM-only plan.
You’ll find anything more expensive than that in our general best smartphone ranking, which tends to focus on flagship fare, along with our pick of the best Android phones.
Phones from the likes of Realme, Xiaomi, and Poco are prime choices, yet note that many of these don’t release in the US and Canada, where OnePlus, Motorola and Google are better buys.
Each phone in this list is available in either the US or UK however (or both). Read past our overview for more Best Mid Range Phone buying advice.
Best Mid-Range Phone 2022
- Google Pixel 6a – Best overall
The Pixel 6a is a superb mid-range phone with a flagship-level processor, really outstanding main camera, 5G connectivity, the latest version of Android, five years of security support, and a pocket-friendly design.
The big downsides are the slow charging speeds on a phone that charges hot, the easily scratched rear plastic material, and the 60Hz display lagging behind similarly priced phones.
However, this is a Pixel, which means it has a superlative Android experience and camera with a software polish and premium hardware feel you won’t find on other brands in this price range.
- Top performance
- Smaller size
- Outstanding camera
- Guaranteed software updates
- Rear plastic scratches easily
- Charges slow and hot
- Only 60Hz display
- Oneplus Nord 2T – The Close Second
An outstanding development to 2021’s Best Mid Range Phone, with 80W fast charging, 5G, OnePlus’ signature Oxygen OS user experience, and a near-flagship main camera. What’s not to cherish?
What the OnePlus Nord 2T demonstrates is the company’s ability to prioritize the features that users are looking for right now and wrap them up in an attractive package with a compelling price point.
The Nord 2T misses out on flagship niceties like wireless charging and waterproofing, however, those are the only compromises made here.
There’s also the OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G available, which delivers a stripped-back version for a slightly lower price.
- Phenomenal software
- Strong main camera
- Super-fast charging
- Only 90Hz display
- Only 2 Android updates
- Poco X4 Pro 5G – Best Budget Option
The Poco X4 Pro 5G is only just expensive enough to include as a Best Mid Range Phone in our books, however that just means it offers pretty exceptional value.
The 6.67in, 120Hz AMOLED display is essentially flagship-level and it’s matched by a slick, elegant design elsewhere. Indeed, even the camera impresses, with a surprisingly solid 108Mp sensor for the main shooter – however the accompanying ultrawide and macro cameras aren’t as impressive.
It’s all made of plastic, so doesn’t feel too premium, and we don’t cherish the MIUI software running on here (shared by all Xiaomi, Poco, and Redmi phones).
However, overall this is a great package for the price.
- 120Hz AMOLED display
- 108Mp main camera
- Attractive design
- Middling MIUI software
- Plastic body
- Google Pixel 6 – Best Camera
Arguably the toughest competition for the Pixel 6a is the fact that you don’t have to spend significantly more to get the Pixel 6, which is just cheap enough to sneak into our mid-range chart, despite really being a flagship phone.
That extra expenditure gets you one of the best cameras around at this price, with an exceptional main lens backed up by an equally strong ultra-wide.
Both benefit from a couple of sharp AI tricks delivered by Google’s in-house Tensor chip and can take a couple of shots that no other phone can.
You also get a display leap to 90Hz, however, this is still behind the 120Hz common in other phones this price, as is the relatively slow 30W charging – with no charger included in the crate either.
The Pixel 6 is pretty big and heavy too, so won’t suit anyone hoping for a small phone.
- Great software
- Great cameras
- IP68 rating
- Only 90Hz display
- Divisive design
- Slow charging
- Realme GT 2 – Best Cheap Flagship
The Realme GT 2 is a delicate development to last year’s GT, and doesn’t tweak the specs too much – yet, to be honest, that’s no bad thing.
Last year’s Snapdragon 888 makes a return as the chipset, yet all the same, it’s still bounty strong. A 120Hz AMOLED display, big battery, and great 65W fast charging balance the strong spec sheet.
It’s built out of plastic, which some don’t mind yet others might find holds it back from feeling like a flagship, yet the biggest downside is that the strong main camera isn’t very much supported by the secondary lenses.
- 65W charging
- 120Hz AMOLED display
- Great main camera
- Basic secondary cameras
- Plastic build
- Nothing Phone (1) – Best design
The Phone (1) is the awarding Best Mid Range Phone from London-based start-up Nothing – however, the company has serious pedigree, as its organizer Carl Pei previously headed up OnePlus.
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Ahead of launch much was made to publicity up the Phone (1) as a smartphone revolution, yet the boldest thing about it is the design: a semi-transparent rear intersected by LED light strips that can flash for notifications, illuminate while charging, and even serve as a fill light for the camera.
Set aside the lights, and the Nothing Phone (1) is just a regular mid-range device, albeit one of the better ones around.
Battery life is a bit disappointing, yet the trade-off is you get a respectable display, a pair of good rear cameras, and both wireless charging and an IP53 rating.
- Unique, eye-catching design
- Impressive dual rear camera
- Wireless charging
- Average performance
- Below-average battery life
- A little buggy