Best mid-range phones in 2022


(Pocket Ribbon) – Choosing a new smartphone is not as easy as it used to be. They come in many different sizes, with many different features and, most importantly, at many different price points.

For some, the camera is important, but others may prioritize battery life, size, or biometric identification. Today, however, it is not just the very best flagship smartphones that offer these features. There is another kind of smartphone – the mid-range models – that offer great specs at a lower price.

Here we’ve rounded up the best devices we’ve reviewed that come in between $200-$400- or £200-£400 for those in the UK. Want something even cheaper? Then view the best budget phones.

What is the best mid-range smartphone right now? Currently our top recommendation is the Redmi Note 10 Pro. However, we also recommend to Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, OnePlus North 2, Moto Edge 20 and Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G.

Our top pick: the best mid-range phone

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Redmi Note 10 Pro

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For

Best-in-class screen resolution Great battery life High specs for its price

In return for

Night mode isn’t great due to lack of OIS Pronounced camera bump

The Redmi Note 10 Pro offers an absolute bootload for your money. It has the highest screen resolution of the bunch and that’s paired with a high refresh rate to keep everything looking smooth. The battery life is very strong, we last almost two full days at a time, and it is perfectly capable of gaming too.

Normally we are not fans of MIUI, but in the case of the Note 10 Pro we found it very stable and easy to live with. The only real downsides are the lack of optical image stabilization and the large camera bump – minor niggles for a great phone at an excellent price.

Mid-range phones we also recommend

While the Redmi Note 10 Pro tops our list, we know it won’t be the right phone for everyone. We all look for different things in a smartphone. Maybe you need the longest battery life, or maybe your top priority is a bright, sharp screen. With that in mind, we’ve also selected the following devices for you to consider.

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Samsung Galaxy A52 5G

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For

Beautiful screen IP67 dust and waterproof A headphone jack and expandable storage

In return for

The screen does not support HDR Macro and depth sensor cameras are not very useful

The Galaxy A52 5G ticks a lot of boxes, including 5G, something you don’t often see on phones in this price range. It also has a great screen, long battery life, a 3.5mm headphone jack and expandable storage.

The IP67 dust and water resistance is a standout feature, and combined with Samsung’s track record of reliability, this makes for a very robust and reliable device. All for less than half the cost of a Samsung flagship – can’t be fairer than that.

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OnePlus North 2

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For

Fast performance Really fast charging Clear and smooth display

In return for

Pretty thick The ultra-wide camera isn’t great

The Nord 2 offers a very flagship-like experience without the flagship price tag. In terms of performance, it is snappy and can play games without any problems. The battery life is fantastic and with support for 65W fast charging, you’ll never have to wait long for it to be topped up.

The only area that lets it down slightly is the cameras, we found the primary 50MP camera to be quite good, but the 8MP ultra wide angle lens is far from impressive. But unless you’re constantly shooting ultra-wide shots, we think you’ll be in love with the Nord 2.

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Moto Edge 20

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For

Impressive 144Hz display Attractive and slim design Good software experience

In return for

Large camera bump Poor low light performance on cameras

The Moto Edge 20 is a unique proposition, instead of showing off a bulky design with a giant battery, it keeps things simple with a beautifully slim design. There aren’t many gimmicks, just an excellent display and a streamlined user experience.

You won’t find any unnecessary apps clogging up your brand new phone here, it’s quite a vanilla Android experience, which is really refreshing. If you’re after excellent cameras or gaming performance you might want to look elsewhere, but for a simple, solid all-round smartphone you can’t go wrong with the Moto Edge 20.

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Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G

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For

Well designed and slim Very good battery life 5G connectivity

In return for

No OIS on the main camera The wide-angle camera isn’t great

The Mi 11 Lite 5G is one of the thinnest 5G handsets we’ve ever tested. Despite the streamlined design, it still has impressive battery life and there’s plenty of power under the hood too. As the name suggests, you also get 5G support here, making it particularly good value for money.

If you’re looking for an affordable 5G phone, you can’t fault the Mi 11 Lite. However, if you don’t need 5G connectivity, you can get a little more for your money or spend less elsewhere.

Other products we considered:

When trying to figure out what we think are the best mid-range handsets currently available, we spent hours testing real-world performance, battery life, and gaming; but also to go out into the real world and take pictures. We consider a range of factors when it comes to recommending devices – as well as when a new device makes it into our top five picks. This isn’t just our own testing, which also takes into account consumer reviews, brand quality and value.

In all our roundups, there are also many products that we test that do not make the final cut. Since they may be suitable for some people, we have listed them below.

How do you choose a mid-range phone?

Buying a phone is a delicate matter, with many different elements to consider, but there are some important questions to ask yourself.

What is your budget for a mid-range phone?

While the phones we’ve included in the list you’ve just looked at should all come in under $400 / £400, that doesn’t mean it’s an amount you should spend. As you will have seen, there are plenty of price points to be found.

That’s why it’s definitely a helpful first step to figure out your budget so you can see what your exact price could get you.

Mid-range phone cameras

A lot of variability between different phones at the moment comes down to the approach to photography. If you want it, you can easily find quad camera arrays at this price, giving you tons of options for shooting in different ways.

Still, if you’re happy with fewer, higher-quality lenses, that’s something to keep an eye out for. We both like a standard shooter and an ultra-wide-angle lens, but are not always won over by macro or telephoto lenses at this price.

Operating system for mid-range phones

You may have noticed that we only have Android phones on this list – that’s because you still can’t find a new iPhone at a really budget price that we think is good enough for this list.

Sure, you can buy second-hand if you want iOS instead of an alternative, but you’ll have it easier if you like using Android.

Mid-range phone screen size

Another big variable is the size of the phone you want – it’s getting harder and harder to find really small phones, but there’s still variation in how big they are.

Check out the photos in our reviews to see how big a phone is if you’re interested and compare their measurements to make sure you don’t accidentally get something too big for your hands!

More about this story

Each product in this list has been tested in real-life situations, just as you would use it in your everyday life.

A phone is something you use all day, every day, so we took all the options on this list extensively to see how they hold up in the real world. We tested battery life, game performance, connectivity, camera performance, and everything else you might need to know. Then we’ve provided you with all the information you need to help you with your purchasing decisions.

As with any collection, it’s not possible to provide a list that will work for every type of user, but we draw on the experiences and opinions of the wider Pocket-lint team – as well as a thorough assessment of the areas above – to help our best in this regard.

What we always avoid when putting together these picks are unnecessary spec comparisons and marketing rules; we just want to provide an easy to understand summary that will give you an idea of ​​what each product is like to use. Our statements are concise, but this is purely for the sake of brevity. Rest assured, all the things on this list are fully tested.

Written by Luke Baker. Editing by Conor Allison.

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