Compare and Recycle
05/03/2024

Best Mid-range Smartphones: Top 5 Picks for 2024

a collage of smartphones with Galaxy S23, iPhone SE Gen 3 and Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 Pro Plus

Finding the perfect balance between affordability and functionality is key when picking a mobile phone. Over the years, the market for mid-range smartphones has matured, offering consumers a wide variety of options. In this guide, we share our top picks for the best mid-range mobile phones of 2024 that offer a blend of value and performance, allowing people to enjoy the latest tech without breaking the bank.

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE - Mid-range phone with the best performance

Our first mid-range phone is by far one of our top picks within the mid-range smartphone category because it offers so many contemporary features including the powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for a respectable price of around £599.

ProsCons
👍 Flagship design👎 No charger in box
👍 Great battery life👎 Gorilla Glass 5 protection
👍 Stunning 6.4-inch display with 120Hz

One of the main features that attracted our attention was the mighty 4500mAh battery, paired with exceptional battery life that is sure to last you a full day without needing to charge it. The flat 6.4 inch screen displays vibrant colours offering a great viewing experience. The 120Hz refresh rate is an impressive touch, although the screen resolution is locked at 1080p but still includes a super AMOLED screen.

Of course there are some downsides to this device. It does not come with a charger which unfortunately is becoming more and more common with new phones in a bid to tackle e-waste. Another reason this phone dropped points from us is down to the fact that it is only supported for 4 years when it comes to software and security updates. For such a new phone, we definitely expected much more especially when the latest S24 lineup offers 7 years of support. However, it does support wireless charging but you should note that it does not charge as fast as wired charging. The Galaxy S23 FE includes Gorilla Glass 5 which is another disappointing discovery, mainly due to the fact that this was introduced way back in 2016; we think Samsung could have incorporated the newer Gorilla Glass Victus 2020 version.

Overall, the Galaxy S23 FE is a decent phone and packs a bunch of high-end features including IP68, ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor and is genuinely just a pleasure to look at and use on a daily basis, especially with a price tag from £599.

OnePlus Nord CE 3 - Mid-range phone with the best battery

OnePlus phones have made a name for themselves for their flagship performance and overall appearance, and the OnePlus Nord CE 3 is no exception, with an impressively large battery as well as affordability together. So let’s dive into what caught our attention with this mid-range mobile phone and what features may have you second guessing whether you should purchase this device.

ProsCons
👍 4500mAh battery, supports 80W fast charging👎 Has a plastic frame/back
👍 Superb display with 120Hz refresh rate👎 No official IP rating
👍 6.7-inch AMOLED screen👎 Only has 2 official Android OS updates
👍 Capable of 4K filming

What caught our attention with this mid-range mobile phone is that it’s packed with quite a few good features. The OnePlus Nord CE 3’s bright AMOLED screen will ensure that it’s super smooth especially with a 120Hz refresh rate, making everything look high quality. Plus, with 5G connectivity, you're all set for speedy browsing but this wasn’t one of the main reasons it made our top 5 mid-range phone list.

The OnePlus Nord CE 3 caught our eye due to its powerful battery capabilities, it can hold its battery for one and a half days from normal phone usage and for us this was enough to crown it best battery for mid-range smartphones. This device supports 80W fast charging meaning you won’t need to wait ages for it to charge when in a rush and on the go which is a must for most people. In comparison to other more expensive mid-range smartphones, it is safe to say that this battery will not disappoint and simply sets it apart from most phones in its category. Your memories will also be captured clearly and smoothly with the 4K filming capability of which some mid-range mobile phones lack.

When moving away from the functionality of this smartphone, it’s worth highlighting the fact that the glass rear panel gives it a high-end feel without the hefty price tag. With mid-range phones, it is always very easy to neglect the overall look and feel of the device, so it was great to see that the OnePlus wasn’t lacking in the design department. Plus, unlocking your phone is quick with help from the in-screen fingerprint reader. Moreover, with a large screen size of 6.7 inches, this device is a great option for those who enjoy streaming and gaming. The OnePlus Nord CE 3, offers a flagship experience without spending a fortune especially with it being priced at around £200.

However, the OnePlus Nord CE 3 does have a few downsides to consider. First off, its software support falls a bit short with only two major Android OS updates and three years of security updates, which might not keep it up-to-date for as long as some users would like. Additionally, it lacks an official IP rating for water and dust resistance, a common feature in many smartphones. The absence of this rating is nothing new when it comes to the OnePlus devices and in our opinion, it should be something that is a standard for all smartphones, especially in 2024! Another drawback is that it doesn't bring many new features to the table compared to its predecessor, so if you're looking for significant upgrades, you might be disappointed. These factors are worth considering if you're currently on the hunt for a new mid-range smartphone.

Apple iPhone SE 3 (2022) - The only mid-range iPhone

The Apple iPhone SE 3 (2022) offers several features that makes it a standout choice for people looking for a cheaper iPhone. It has been an incredibly popular smartphone over the years, so much so that Apple has continued to roll out updated versions of this iPhone model.

ProsCons
👍 Apple’s great performing A13 Bionic under the hood👎 Old school design
👍 Lengthy software support👎 Does not support 4K filming
👍 Sufficient cameras
👍 Good value for money

First things first, we think that the iPhone SE 3 (2022) is a complete power house and although Apple does not do mid-range smartphones in general, this is a great option for iPhone lovers on a budget. It is also worth looking into whether or not you can snatch a good deal on a refurbished iPhone from our retail partners.

Powered by the A15 processor, the same chip found in the iPhone 14, it delivers impressive performance and responsiveness for everyday tasks. Many people have appreciated the fact that Apple has kept a fingerprint sensor in the physical home button for unlocking the device.

Despite its single-lens rear camera setup, the iPhone SE 3's (2022) imaging capabilities are enhanced by the A15 processor, resulting in improved image processing and quality. Furthermore, with support for the current iOS 17 and a commitment to software updates until 2029, you can rest assured that your iPhone SE 3 will remain up-to-date and secure for years to come.

Although the iPhone SE 3 (2022) is a compact phone with a 4.7-inch screen, it still makes it an ideal choice for those who prefer a pocket-sized smartphone without compromising on functionality or performance. Overall, we think that the Apple iPhone SE 3 (2022) is an excellent balance between power,compactness, and longevity, making it a great option for those looking to purchase a quality mid-range iPhone on a budget as it starts from £429. Your only other option to get an iPhone on a budget is look for newer models from refurbished mobile phones.

While the Apple iPhone SE 3 (2022) has its perks, it also comes with a few drawbacks to consider. Firstly, one of the main things is that it lacks Face ID, a feature Apple, perhaps, is intentionally keeping for their flagship iPhone models only. This essentially means that you would be relying solely on the fingerprint sensor for unlocking the phone and other apps needing authentication. Additionally, the design is definitely outdated.

When compared to other smartphones on the market, whether it be mid-range or flagship, the iPhone SE 3 resembles the designs that were popular over 5 years ago. Another limitation to consider is its inability to record in 4K, which may disappoint users looking for higher-quality capabilities when it comes to the camera. This is continued through to the absence of Night Mode for low-light photography, which impacts the device's versatility when it comes to shooting in different lighting conditions. The iPhone SE 3 does offer water resistance with an IP67 rating, allowing it to withstand submersion in water up to 1 metre for 30 minutes. If you were to be extra picky, then it may bother you that this falls short of the newer iPhone 14, which can withstand deeper water immersion for longer durations. But in our opinion this is not something that would drop points for us in terms of being a good mid-range smartphone.

Relevant reading:

Google Pixel 7a - The best mid-range smartphone all around

Next up we have the Google Pixel 7a and it offers some fantastic features at a respectable price starting from £449.

ProsCons
👍 Support wireless charging👎 Fingerprint scanner is a bit slow
👍 Runs on the Android 13 OS👎 Battery life can be disappointing
👍 90Hz refresh rate for smooth scrolling
👍 Affordable

The Google Pixel 7a offers a blend of impressive features and of course some drawbacks that shape its appeal within the mid-range smartphone category. With a smooth 90Hz refresh rate and a respectable 6.1-inch OLED screen, it provides a decent viewing experience, maybe not for streaming but day-to-day activities like scrolling social media or replying to emails. Running on the Android 13 operating system ensures longevity and support, while its 5G connectivity ensures fast internet use.

Moreover, its water-resistant design and five years of security updates offer peace of mind and long-term usability. It also includes wireless charging which in our opinion sets it apart from other mid-range smartphones. However, the Pixel 7a does have its downsides. It may be worth considering the lack of optical zoom and macro photo mode if you enjoy using your mobile phone for taking pictures. Additionally, its battery life falls short compared to some flagship devices, and the slow charging may be frustrating for users on the go. Despite these drawbacks, the Pixel 7a remains a compelling option for those seeking a reliable smartphone experience with Google's software and support.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 Pro Plus - Mid-range phone with the best camera

Last but not least we have the Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 Pro Plus on our list. It is a fantastic device that includes a superb design and camera with affordability in mind.

ProsCons
👍 Fast charging supports 120W👎 2MP macro camera
👍 Large battery 5000mAh👎 Okay software and security support
👍 120Hz AMOLED screen
👍 Front screen made of Gorilla Glass Victus

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 Pro Plus has a lot of things going for it for a smartphone priced at under £500. With fast charging capabilities of up to 120W, you’ll be able to enjoy quick charging and won’t need to worry about whether it will stay powered up, especially with a large 5000mAh battery which will further enhance longevity.

Moreover, the smartphone comes with a vibrant 120Hz AMOLED display, which will provide smooth and immersive visuals whether you use it for gaming, streaming, or browsing the web. Overall, with its combination of fast charging, long-lasting battery life, a good quality display, and affordable price point, the Redmi Note 13 Pro Plus delivers excellent value for money in the mid-range smartphone market. The inclusion of the latest Gorilla Glass Victus as well as eco leather shows off just how contemporary this smartphone is and makes this device feel close to a flagship phone.

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 Pro Plus offers a lot for what it’s worth, but of course has a few features missing. For starters, its software and security support is extremely limited with only four years or security and software updates. As we mentioned above, this is disappointing considering other companies are offering close to 10 years of support. Another thing to consider is the 2MP macro camera which naturally falls short in terms of quality, delivering anticlimactic results and other smartphones in its price range. These limitations may put you off but it’s important to consider all the other great features that this smartphone offers too.

Key Takeaway

So there you have it! Those are our top mid-range smartphones for 2024, all offering something different whether it be software and security longevity or a large display to match your expectations when it comes to watching your favourite shows. Whatever it is you are looking for in a mid-range mobile phone, we can guarantee you’ll find one of these smartphones worth considering as your next purchase. Don’t forget to check out offers to sell your phone to ensure you save as much cash as possible when buying your next smartphone.

Antonia

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