Are you thinking of purchasing a new smartphone? Think twice before spending a lot of money on an expensive flagship device from Apple or Samsung. For less than half the cost, you can have a robust smartphone with a gorgeous OLED screen, top-notch cameras, and considerable processing power. In addition, the mid-range market offers a wide choice of options if 5G capabilities are what you’re after. Without further ado, here are the top 15 midrange smartphones available in 2023.
1. Google Pixel 6A
Now, one of the most impressive all-round mid-range phones is Google’s Pixel 6A. It has the added bonus of being pleasantly dinky at just 6.1 inches. This means I can use it one-handed and slip it into my jeans with relative comfort and pleasure.
Packed inside that dinky plastic frame is Google’s very first 10 search chipset, which also happens to power the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro flagship phones. On the Pixel 6, this handles everything, including a bit of light gaming without a grumble. However, more intensive titles do cause it to stumble quite a bit.
The OLED screen is a stunner, pretty standard for a mid-range mobile, although you don’t get the nippy 90 Hertz refresh of many rivals. Like most phones at this price point, there’s no headphone jack, so it is Bluetooth all the way, baby!
You do have pretty much the same age and camera tech as the Pixel 5A. Thanks to that tensor chipset’s clever clogs image processor and Google’s usual software smarts, you can capture great-looking photos at any time of day and even at night. The clarity and color detail with night mode active is just kind of nuts. Battery life is also solid.
Because this is a Google branded blower, of course, you’ve got that glorious stock Android experience with the guaranteed three years of OS updates and five years of security updates. So overall, if you want yourself a compact phone that can pretty much do it all except for more hardcore gaming, the Pixel 6 here is well worthy of that special place in your pants or bag if you carry your phone in a bag.
However, just to complicate matters a smidge, we’re not actually that far off the impending launch of the Pixel 7A. It is said to upgrade the Pixel 6 here in a couple of key areas, including boosting the performance with the tensor G2 and finally scrapping the 60 Hertz display and upgrading it to a proper 90 Hertz effort. So, as long as you’re not horrendously impatient, you might want to hold on just that wee bit longer.
2. OnePlus Nord 2T
Now, one of the Pixel’s most impressive rivals at this price range is the OnePlus Nord 2T, which is perfect for gaming fans. The OnePlus Nord 2T is powered by MediaTek’s bicep flex and Dimensity 1300 chipset, which can blaze through any Android game with ease. Even Gentian is handled smoothly, thanks to those dedicated gaming tools.
This phone also features an OLED screen, a 6.43-inch AMOLED panel with a faster 90 Hertz refresh rate, and a decent stereo speaker setup. As a result, the OnePlus Nord 2T is just as great for relaxing with some Netflix or enjoying your favorite bold Tech. The Nord 2T’s 4500 milliamp-hour battery provides enough screen time to get through a fairly long and intensive day, even for demanding users. It also supports 80-watt fast charging when you plug in a cable, which is pretty ridiculous at this price point.
Oxygen OS is as customizable as ever, with a guarantee of a few years of software updates to keep it fresh and secure. Although the 50-megapixel primary camera sensor couldn’t capture pixels cleanly and as capably as the Pixel, it is still well up to the job of everyday snaps and sharp-looking home movies.
3. OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G
If your budget doesn’t allow for the Nord 2T, then the OnePlus Nord ce3 Lite 5G is still a great option to consider. It costs 100 quid less but is still an impressive spec-tweaked smartphone. The design is made of plastic but spruced up with a lovely lime paint job. The OLED screen is swapped out for a more basic LCD panel, but the visuals are still sharp and the refresh rate is boosted to 120 hertz.
This smartphone also has a stereo speaker set up and a headphone jack. With a sizeable 5000 milliamp hour capacity battery, you can use it all day without any worries unless you absolutely torture the living haircut out of this thing. The 67-watt fast charging is quite impressive when you do run dry. Gaming is smooth and satisfying, even with titles like PUBG, Call of Duty Mobile, and Genshin Impact if you keep the graphics settings low. The Snapdragon 695 chipset handles everything else capably, and the 108-megapixel camera is a bit of a cracker, serving up good-looking picks in all kinds of difficult conditions.
4. Samsung Galaxy A54 5G
Another decent option for a mid-range budget is Samsung’s fresh new Galaxy A54, which is a big old step up over last year’s clunky and rather disappointing A53. First, that glass finish looks and feels almost as premium as the S23 flagship, with the choice of four colors – all of them awesome if you’re inclined to believe Samsung’s naming scheme. Is this awesome line model actually awesome? Well, no, it’s just rather pretty. However, I do absolutely adore the IP67 dust and water resistance, which is tricky to find at this price outside of the Pixel phone. Samsung fans will enjoy the feature-filled One UI5 experience that’s not too different from those flagship blowers. Unlike Google with its Pixel phone, Samsung has guaranteed several years of Android OS and security updates for the Galaxy A54, so you shouldn’t have to replace it anytime soon.
The 6.4-inch 120Hz Super AMOLED screen gets a thumbs up, chucking out sharp full HD Plus images complete with Samsung’s trademark colors that positively pop, although you can opt for a more natural output if you want. It’s definitely good for your Disney Plus or Netflix, and your Crunchyroll and all that good stuff. You’ve even got microSD memory card support and a bit of NFC action, of course, via contactless payments, although there’s no headphone jack action – boo hiss etc. Likewise, I found that the 5000mAh capacity battery can keep you going all day long, no worries, thankfully. Despite being powered by another Samsung chipset, the Galaxy A54 sets up a much smoother everyday experience than the older A53, even combined quite well with Genshin Impact and heavier gaming titles. And Samsung has even upgraded the camera tech for this year’s model, so it’s a bit better in lower light, although that lethargic shutter speed can scupper some of your shots of living subjects.
5. Nothing Phone 1
Now, certainly one of the more distinctive smartphones you’ll find at this price range is the Nothing phone one, which starts from 399 quid and offers some decent specs to rival that of the Google Pixel 6A. Forget the flashy lights on the back end, because chances are after piddling about with them for your first deal or two, you’ll basically forget they even exist. To me, that glyph lighten is just like an attention-seeking child absolutely off its tits on Haribo. But get past all that attention-seeking bollocks, and you’ll find you’ve got yourself a very capable mid-range mobile. After several updates, the various bugs and the less than impressive battery life have mostly, thankfully been sorted right out. And not only can you now just about generally squeak through a full day of use on just a single charge, but you’ve also got support on the Nothing phone 1 for wireless charging, which is an incredibly rare feature at this sort of price.
That OLED screen is a delight. Like most rivals, the stereo speaker setup is decent, and this blower is nippy enough to play any game out there, Genshin Impact included. Plus, if you want an Android that looks like an iPhone for whatever friggin’ reason, this is probably about the closest you’ll come, with its chunky, flat-edged frame. Nothing’s camera setup is gloriously streamlined. You won’t find any pointless macro nonsense or any of that other bollocks here, and it’s good enough to grab good-looking picks and horror movies even in reasonably testing conditions. It’s only really in proper law-light where that camera stumbles a bit, and the Pixel 6 here starts to show its dominance. But apart from that, it’s hard to really nitpick much about the Nothing phone beyond the usual complaints like the lack of a headphone jack, the lack of micro SD memory card support.
6. Motorola Edge 30 Neo
Now, another smartphone that offers a stock Android vibe at this mid-range price point is the Motorola Edge 13 Neo. It is the most affordable of Motorola’s trio of fresh Edge blowers and comes in special colors hand-picked by Motorola’s latest partner, Panton, including this spangly variant. Around the other side is a gorgeous 120hz Pure LED display, although the Neo serves up more basic performance than its siblings, with a Snapdragon 695 running the show and still enough grunt for the latest games, albeit on lower graphic settings if they’re proper memory guzzlers like Genji Impact.
The 4000 milliamp hour capacity battery, while a little bit smaller, still offers good returns helped by the more energy-efficient platform. You’ve got that 68-watt wide charging and full wireless charging support here as well. However, the 64-megapixel primary camera sensor does lag behind some of the priced rivals such as the Pixel 6 here. So, if photography is a priority for you, I’d say maybe go Google instead. And, in my experience so far, Motorola isn’t quite as dependable as Google and some of its other rivals when it comes to the software updates. So, if that’s a big thing for you, you might be sweared elsewhere.
7. Nokia X30 5G
Another one of the best stock Android mid-range phones right now is the Nokia X35G, which just happens to be an eco-friendly device to boot, thanks to its fully recycled aluminum chassis and mostly recycled plastic bits packed inside. Underneath this tree-hugging body is the Snapdragon 695 chipset, which once again does the job well. A 6.43-inch OLED display and the stereo speaker setup mean good times when streaming a bit of Disney Plus or even your uncle’s sport here on YouTube.
Manufacturer HMD Global is also generously guaranteeing three OS updates beyond Android 12, so that means you’re covered all the way up to Android 15. Obviously, you won’t be throwing this phone in the bin after just a year or two because it’s out of date. They’re also chucking in a three-year warranty as well, so no worries if it muffs up.
The 50-megapixel camera features built-in optical image stabilization and it’s one of the better snappers found on a Nokia smartphone, working well even in quite low light. If not quite up to those Pixel standards, like some of its other mid-range rivals here. The Nokia X30 is fully water-resistant as well, and while the 4200 milliamp-hour capacity battery can’t be charged wirelessly, unfortunately, it will at least see you through a full day of use, no problems at all, as long as you’re not constantly bashing those annoying little grippy hill troll things in Genshin Impact, of course.
8. Poco F4 GT
Now, any gaming fans out there looking for a dependable device should have a proper good squint at one of my favorites, the Poco F4 GT. This absolute unit is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, which can run a little bit hot but also blazes its way through any Android title out there, helped by Poco’s rather essential coolant tech.
The game and chops are further cemented by some very handy pop-up shoulder triggers, which can really take the pain out of more complex titles. Plus, the 4700 milliamp hour capacity battery means you can game for a good few hours on this Poco phone before you’ll need to plug it back in. While the 120-watt charging support means you can power this bugger right back up to full in less time than it takes for James Corden to annoy the live and piss anime.
Poco’s 6.67-inch AMOLED display is a proper stunner, bold and bright with full Dolby Vision support, and compatible games can enjoy up to a 120-hertz refresh rate for a fluid finish. There’s also a Dolby Atmos action with crisp audio spaffed out by the quad speaker arrangement. Overall, Kraken stuff for watching flicks as well as playing games.
Although not everyone will get on with the MIUI launcher that is slapped on top of all of Poco and Xiaomi smartphones. It’s crammed full of crapware, and also the OS updates and the security updates tend to dwindle out after just a year or two compared with the years of support that you’ll get from the likes of Samsung or a Pixel.
9. Poco F4
If you’re looking for performance, you should check out the Poco F4 4, which is a minor evolution over the older F3 but still excellent. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 chipset is a bit older than the 8 gen 1 from the F4 GT, but it’s more than capable of playing games like Genshin with a respectable frame rate. Battery life is pretty great, and you also have 5G support on top of Wi-Fi 6 for connectivity. Once again, Poco has packed in a 6.67-inch OLED screen with 120Hz refresh and Full HD Plus resolution. However, the screen’s sheer size means that images aren’t as crisp as some rivals, but you do get incredible contrast and full HDR 10+ support, while colors are vibrant.
The primary 64-megapixel camera is fine but not as good as the Pixel 6. Again, in more testing conditions, it’s pretty much like most other phones in this best mid-range mobiles roundup. On the downside, there’s no headphone jack, and there’s no memory card support either. But those are my only grumbles besides the fact that the Poco F4 is not much of an upgrade at all over the previous Poco F3.
10. Poco X5 Pro
And for under £400, you can also grab yourself the Poco X5 Pro, which packs similar specs to the F4, including a 6.67-inch 120Hz OLED screen and a 5000mAh battery. But while the camera’s megapixel count has been boosted to 108MP, its performance has been kicked down a bit to a Snapdragon 778G. That said, the X5 Pro can still handle games like Gentian Impact, Call of Duty, etc.
11. Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus 5G
Another solid mid-range choice is the Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus 5G, a clunky name for sure, but a decent handset boasting smooth performance thanks to the Dimensity 1080 chipset. That MediaTek brain can breeze through games like Genshin Impact on regular settings, while battery life is also rather decent. And even if you do run dry during the day for whatever reason, well, no worries, the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus 5G supports 100-120 watt fast charging, which is proper mental.
The mass of 6.7-inch Super AMOLED screen is another stunner supported by Dolby Vision streaming shenanigans, plus 120Hz refresh. You’ve also got a stereo speaker arrangement, a headphone jack, all the goodies we love to see. On the software side, it is once again Xiaomi’s MIUI launcher in all of its batch mental splendor, complete with those tardy rollouts.
But one of the true standout features is the 200 Meg main camera sensor, which can capture great-looking evening shots thanks to the clever clogs pixel binning tech. I’ve done a full video on the 12 Pro Plus right now, and also check out my comparison with the 12 and the 12 Pro if you want to save yourself a bit of cash and don’t mind missing out on some of those clever features like the 200 Meg camera sensor.
12. Xiaomi 12 Lite
And another option is the Xiaomi 12 Lite, which again is a pretty satisfying all-around smartphone in almost every regard. Qualcomm’s older Snapdragon 778G chipset provides the power here, but that still copes admirably with everything up to and including a good bit of gaming. The smaller 4,300 milliamp-hour battery still offers all-day use without stress, and it can be refilled quickly with 67-watt charging support. The 108-megapixel camera does its job well in everything except for more murky conditions. It may not stand out particularly in any way, but the Xiaomi 12 Lite is still a good option and worth grabbing if you do see it on sale.
13. Realme GT Master Edition
For my final mid-range smartphone recommendations, let’s turn our attention to good old Realme. Starting with the Realme GT Master Edition, which is just over 300 quid and is a bit of a bargain. This slick looking 6.4-inch blower boasts many of the same advantages as its peers, including a gorgeous Samsung Super AMOLED panel with 120Hz refresh – a proper bit of eye candy when you’re streaming endless Netflix or blasting through your favorite games. All of which run beautifully, courtesy of the Snapdragon 778G chipset and dedicated coolant tech.
You’ve also got full 5G support, as well as Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, so no endless buffering when you try to enjoy a nice bit of classic British sitcom action on Britbox – yeah, a bit of Your Honor Lords, good stuff. The 4300mAh battery isn’t as big as some others in this roundup, but you shouldn’t struggle to last a full day, while there’s 65W Super Dart Charge support if you need to give it a top-up. Realme’s 64MP rear camera and 32MP selfie shooter are pretty respectable for this price point too.
14. Realme 9 Pro Plus
One of the most recent mid-rangers to launch globally is the realme 10 Pro Plus, and while it has not officially come to the UK just yet, I have got all of my fleshy bits crossed that this gorgeous blower does make it here soon. This 6.7-inch smartphone is ridiculously thin and light, with a display that pretty much entirely fills that front end. I have experienced some slight responsiveness issues as the screen does cover on the edges, so it is easy for your palm flap to intrude, but that is one of my only real complaints here. Besides that, the realme 10 Pro Plus is mostly a joy to use. That 120Hz OLED screen is matched with a powerful stereo speaker setup, so movies and games look and sound fantastic. The speaker to games MediaTek’s Dimensity 1080 handles gentian and other memory-hogging titles impressively well, even on those higher graphic settings. However, that camera once again is not as good as the Pixel 6, often struggling with moving subjects. It is not a bad snapper by any means, it is just not one of the better efforts in this roundup.
15. Realme GT Neo 3T
Lastly, I would like to give a quick shoutout to the Realme GT Neo 3T. This smartphone definitely catches the eye with its bold Dash yellow design – you’ll either love it or hate it. But regardless of your opinion on the design, you’ll be getting a beautiful 120Hz AMOLED screen, impressive audio support, a massive 5000mAh battery with 80W charging, and the same Snapdragon 870 performance as the Poco F4. Overall, the Realme GT Neo 3T is a solid choice for those looking for a mid-range smartphone with powerful features and unique design.
There are several options available in the mid-range smartphone market to accommodate different needs and price ranges. Whatever your top priorities are in a smartphone—performance, photo quality, or battery life—there is one on this list that will satisfy them. Many of the high-end flagship phones’ features and capabilities are available on these handsets, albeit at a more affordable price. In 2023, a year of innovation and technical growth, we may anticipate the release of even more stunning mid-range smartphones. We therefore hope that this list has provided you with some fantastic options to think over if you’re in the market for a new smartphone. Please feel free to leave a comment below if you would like more information or have any questions regarding any of these gadgets.