Best mid-range phone 2023 - Top picks for performance and value

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best mid-range phone

What's the best mid-range phone you can grab right now? Well, of course, 'best' is quite a subjective term, so let's take a look at what makes a good mid-ranger and why they're worth buying.

The first real benefit is, of course, the price. Mid-range phones tend to be less expensive than their flagship counterparts but offer more features than the best cheap phones, so they're a good middle-ground option to invest in.

In essence, a good mid-range phone should combine some flagship-level features with more pocket-friendly pricing.

They may still have great cameras to offer good photography and a speedy processor but cost less than major players such as last year's iPhone 14 or the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.

They may even include features that flagships don't tend to, such as a headphone jack or the powers of Touch ID, which some people find more convenient, so there's a possible argument that you get much better value for money with a mid-range handset than a premium one.

Of course, some sacrifices will have to be made and for a mid-ranger, you may have to compromise a little bit on build quality. This is, however, a small price to pay when considering how much you can get for between £350/$450 and £600/$850 in 2022.

Though these phones aren't priced too dearly, it's worth keeping them safe, so you might want to consider getting the best rugged phone case for them as well.

With all that in mind, we've selected these phones based on specs, general reviews, and features that we think make them worth considering.

We’ve also answered some of your most frequently asked questions, plus, we’ve highlighted some of the best upcoming mid-range phones that you’ll definitely want to keep your eye out for.

So, let's get to it - here are some of the best mid-range phones you can buy today.

Best mid-range phone

Best mid-range Apple phone - iPhone SE (2022)

best mid-range phone iPhone
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Image Credit: Apple
Brand: Apple | Processor: Apple A15 Bionic | Screen Size: 4.7 inches | Screen Resolution: 1334x750 | Camera: 12MP | Storage Options: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB | Battery Capacity: 2018mAh

For fans of Apple, we'd say the best mid-range iPhone you can buy today is the iPhone SE (2022).

Inside it, you'll find the same A15 Bionic chip that powers the iPhone 13 Pro, which is quick enough to perform day-to-day tasks, and represents a major performance boost over the last gen's A13 chip.

A15 Chips have 6 cores, 2 of which are designed for performance, and the remaining 4 are designed for power efficiency, so your phone should get the best of both worlds.

It can also run the latest version of iOS, namely the recent iOS 16, which is handy so you can take advantage of new functions, such as Spatial Audio within FaceTime calls, as well as added privacy features and the convenience of redesigned notifications.

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You'll also find the iPhone SE (2022) features an uprated 12MP camera, which, while it remains a single unit, now features cinematic video stabilisation, as well as clever software features thanks to the new chipset.

Its 4.7-inch screen should also mean if you're a fan of more compact phones, you'll definitely find something to like here, and the fact it offers the same chassis as the previous model, as well as one that looks especially similar to the old iPhone 7 is also a reminder of previous iPhone generations.

There are also some decent storage options available with you having the choice of either 64GB, 128GB or 256GB capacities, dependent upon what you need.

Conveniently, you'll also find support for Qi wireless charging here, meaning one of the best wireless chargers would work a treat, as well as a larger capacity battery so your phone will last for longer.

In short, the iPhone SE (2022) looks like a great choice, that is until the iPhone SE 4 releases, although that may be a while away yet.

Best mid-range OnePlus phone - OnePlus Nord 2 5G

best mid-range phone oneplus
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Image Credit: OnePlus
Brand: OnePlus | Processor: Media Tek Density 1200 AI | Screen Size: 6.4 inches | Screen Resolution: 1040x2400 | Camera: 50MP, 8MP, 2MP | Storage Options: 128GB, 256GB | Battery Capacity: 4500mAh

The OnePlus Nord 2 5G is certainly one of the best mid-range Android smartphones around today. 


First off, you're getting something that looks to be solidly built and is also available in a couple of nice colours, be it grey or bright blue. 

Its 6.4-inch display is nice and big, and also features a 90Hz refresh rate for smooth, fluid output. A 4500mAh battery should also allow for good battery life and 65W Warp Charging also means you'll be back up to 100% in no time.

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Inside, it is packed with a Media Tek Dimensity 1200 AI processor which should allow for snappy processing speeds, and the options of 6,8, or 12GB of LPDDR4X RAM also give you plenty of headroom to run some intense apps. 

It's especially on the camera where the OnePlus Nord 2 5G is great with a triple setup that includes a 50MP main snapper, as well as an 8MP ultrawide and 2MP mono lens.  

You also get the ability to shoot video at 4K, 30fps, which is handy, and the inclusion of handy optical image stabilization should mean shots are nice and smooth.

If you're a fan of OnePlus phones, then you'll want to keep an eye on the upcoming OnePlus Ace, which looks like quite a formidable customer.

Best mid-range Google phone - Google Pixel 6

best mid-range phone google
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Credit: Google
Brand: Google | Processor: Google Tensor | Screen Size: 6.4 inches | Screen Resolution: 1040x2400 | Camera: 50MP, 12MP | Storage Options: 128GB, 256GB | Battery Capacity: 4614mAh

The Google Pixel 6 may have only been released last year, but it definitely looks to be an immense mid-range choice.

Inside, you'll find their all-new Google Tensor chip and 8GB of RAM, which should be snappy enough for both day-to-day tasks and any more intense tasks you want to put the phone through. A choice of either 128GB or 256GB of storage also gives you loads of capacity to store any apps or photos, or videos you take.

The Pixel 6 also features a vibrant 6.4 inch AMOLED panel, complete with a 1040x2400 resolution, and 90Hz refresh rate. This should mean output should be rather smooth, and colours look especially great.

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AMOLED stands for Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode, which means that touch sensitivity is built into the screen itself, rather than having a separate layer on top, as other screen types do.

You'll also be getting a beefy 4614mAh battery to offer you some good battery life, and a dual 50MP and 12MP camera that should be able to get you some rater detailed shots indeed.

Of course, there are more rumoured Google Pixel phones on the way, and for that, you'll want to check out the latest about a potential Google Pixel 7 right here.

Best mid-range Samsung phone - Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G

best mid-range phone samsung
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Image Credit: Samsung
Brand: Samsung | Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G/Exynos 2100 | Screen Size: 6.4 inches | Screen Resolution: 1040x2400 | Camera: 12MP, 8MP, 12MP | Storage Options: 128GB, 256GB | Battery Capacity: 4500mAh

Samsung makes some of the best phones out there today, and the same also goes for their mid-range offerings, the principal among which is the Galaxy S21 FE 5G.

It features a 6.4 inch Dynamic AMOLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate so colours should be nice and vibrant with great contrast and it should also be silky smooth to the touch. 

You also get a lovely triple camera setup round back with a 12MP wide, a 12MP ultrawide and an 8MP telephoto to provide some great shots, and as for the selfie camera, images should be detailed and crisp thanks to a 32MP sensor. 

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Moreover, expect to find a decent 4500mAh battery that should allow for a good battery life of around 17 hours or so which should mean the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G will last you a day or so comfortably. When you do need to charge it though, there's 25W fast charging supported so you can be back up and running in no time. 

There's also a good selection of colours available if you're interested, so you can get this phone in everything from silver to black and purple, and more besides. 

If you're thinking ahead for the future and you're a fan of Samsung smartphones, then you may also want to check out our Samsung Galaxy S23 release date article for all the latest news and leaks.

Best mid-range Xiaomi phone - Xiaomi Poco F3

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Image Credit: Xiaomi
Brand: Xiaomi | Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G | Screen Size: 6.6 inches | Screen Resolution: 1040x2400 | Camera: 48MP, 8MP, 5MP | Storage Options: 128GB, 256GB | Battery Capacity: 4520mAh

Xiaomi has become a handy manufacturer of mid-range handsets and their Poco F3 is a marvellous example of such.  

Inside, you're getting a Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G processor which will be nice and quick, alongside either 6 or 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM so you can run a load of applications without the phone breaking a sweat. 

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Moreover, options of 128 or 256GB of storage mean you can install a nice amount of apps or load music and photos onto the phone without worrying too much about whether you need to delete any items, which is useful for peace of mind. 

The Xiaomi Poco F3's display looks to be excellent with a 6.67-inch panel that boasts a 120Hz refresh rate and 360Hz touch sampling for rather smooth inputs, and also means this could be quite a handy gaming phone, too.

It features a convenient triple camera setup that's comprised of a 48MP wide, 8MP ultrawide and 5MP macro lens for any closeup photography, giving you quite the versatile all-rounder. 

Xiaomi says the 4520mAh battery inside the Poco F3 is good for 14 hours of video watching, which means for day-to-day usage, it'll comfortably last a day, or even longer.

Best mid-range Motorola phone - Motorola Moto G200

best mid-range phone motorola
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Image Credit: Motorola
Brand: Motorola | Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888+ 5G | Screen Size: 6.8 inches | Screen Resolution: 1040x2460 | Camera: 108MP, 13MP, 2MP | Storage Options: 128GB, 256GB | Battery Capacity: 5000mAh

The Motorola Moto G200 is a marvellous mid-range option also.

This comes thanks to its immense 6.8-inch display with a 144Hz refresh rate and a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 888+ 5G chipset that makes it quite the beast in the mid-range category.

In addition, it features a gorgeous triple camera array with a 108MP main sensor that gives some great flagships a run for their money, alongside a 13MP ultrawide and 2MP depth sensor. This should allow for crisp and sharp photos, whatever the lighting. 

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A 5000mAh battery will also allow for some great battery life, and 33W fast charging will have the Moto G200 back up to full in a jiffy.

The storage options of 128GB and 256GB are definitely handy, and both configurations also allow for 8GB of RAM, providing you with both good storage capacities and decent headroom for any intense tasks the phone should be able to handle.

Frequently asked questions

There are always a few questions that pop up time and time again when it comes to mid-range phones, so here are our two cents to help you make an informed decision.

Are mid-range phones worth it?

In our humble opinion, we'd say that mid-range phones are worth a pickup.

This is just because you won't be missing out on too many features, especially with the power that mid-range phones can offer these days alongside triple cameras and good-sized batteries.

Should I buy a mid-range or flagship phone?

In short, this depends on your needs from a phone and of course, what budget you have. If you can afford to, we'd say to get a flagship phone simply due to the increasing amount of features they offer over mid-range phones such as arguably more powerful cameras and more storage.


However, if you want to save a bit of money, it's worth looking at mid-range options due to their lower costs than flagships, like the ones we've got above.

What does mid-range mean in phones?

In essence, mid-range refers to a phone that sits in between cheaper options and flagships to offer a halfway house between them.

This can be done by combining flagship features with some more affordable build quality, for instance, and you get a good blend of power and affordability.

How much should I spend on a mid-range phone?

We'd say that spending up to $650 is likely to get you a capable mid-range phone with good internals, a powerful triple camera, a vibrant display and a decent capacity battery.

What should I look for in a mid-range phone?

Principally, we'd say to look for things such as a good display with a high refresh rate for smooth output - you're likely to find between 90 and 120Hz here, as well as a high-capacity battery.

You'll also want a phone with a reasonable amount of power from a multi-core processor and a good quantity of RAM for multitasking. At this price, between 8GB and 10GB seems about right.

In addition, if you're a keen photographer, you may want to keep an eye out for a clever triple or even quad camera setup with a high-quality sensor and array of modes.

Do more expensive phones last longer?

This all depends on how you use your phone, but generally speaking, more expensive phones, even mid-range ones, will be made of higher quality materials than their cheaper counterparts and would be expected to last longer.

As we mentioned earlier, you can keep your phone in good shape through the use of a rugged phone case, which is designed to absorb shock and reduce damage.