Looking for a new phone but don't want to break the bank? Some of these mid-range options offer huge feature sets without those top-bracket flagship prices, such as the Google Pixel 7 and iPhone 14.
It's a great time to buy a mid-range phone. There are impressive options out there from Google, Apple, Oppo, and more top brands. Plus, they're starting to offer the sort of tech that used to be reserved for big-hitting flagships. Also, right now, there are some pretty great spring sales happening, which means that if you keep an eye out you can find some mid-range phones for a budget price.
For instance, the standard of the cameras on mid-range phones are incredibly impressive. The Oppo Reno 8 Pro fell down slightly on its secondary lenses, but its main camera and selfie camera really shone, making use of MariSilicon X image processing technology that makes photography easy.
Elsewhere, we loved the simple, affordable and infinitely usable Google Pixel 6a. It comes in a small, compact and affordable package, with an RRP of £399, and offers more than most phones at the same price.
As ever, with mid-range phones the phone will likely fall a little shorter on certain features and that's how the brand achieves that price-tag, rather than just making another flagship. As a result, it pays to re-examine your own personal preferences and priorities in a phone before buying a new mid-ranger. Only you know how much flexibility you have in terms of budget, as well as what you're most likely to use your phone for.
There's no exact science to where the budget, mid-range and premium — or 'flagship' — categories begin and end. This varies from publication to publication and from brand to brand. In our case, we've chosen to define a budget smartphone as anything under £300, a mid-range smartphone as anything between £300 and £600, and a premium smartphone as anything above £600.
Of these premium smartphones, only some of them are actually regarded as flagships. A flagship is a phone that leads a whole brand's offering, or at least one of their most premium lines. The term is a naval one as, historically, the flagship in a navy would be the largest, most valuable ship with the most firepower.
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Read on for our full round-up of the very best mid-range smartphones on the market today. There are some great value offerings in this list that our experts have loved testing.
Looking for a more affordable phone? Take a look at the best budget smartphones to buy in 2023.
- Best mid-range phones a glance
- The best mid-range phones to buy in 2023
- How to choose the best mid-range phone
- Best all-rounder: Google Pixel 7, £549
- Best premium mid-range: Oppo Reno 8 Pro, £292
- Best for iOS: Apple iPhone SE (3rd gen), £479
- Best budget mid-range: Moto G200, £300
- Best mid-range display: Honor 70, £243.10
- Best small mid-range phone: Google Pixel 6a, £295
- Best for fast charging: Xiaomi Poco F5 Pro, £539
- Best mid-range performance: Motorola Edge 30 Ultra, £694.99
Google Pixel 7
- Amazing camera
- Speedy new processor
- Brilliant value
- Google software and Google hardware combine with great results
- Slick interface and user experience
- Accessible and easy to use
- Display only 90Hz
- No optical zoom
- Unremarkable fast-charging
- Google Tensor G2 chip
- Android 13
- IP68 dust and water resistant
- 8GB RAM
- 6.3 inch AMOLED display
The Google Pixel 7 is a hugely impressive smartphone. It competes with handsets that cost much more thanks to Google's intelligent AI. That AI makes for a speedy, intuitive user experience and offers amazing image processing.
In our full Google Pixel 7 review, we praised the phone's easy-to-use camera and the amazing images it can capture. The phone also offers one of the slickest, smoothest user experiences out there by combining Google software with Google hardware.
Buy the Google Pixel 7:
- Google Pixel 7 | £549 at John Lewis
- Google Pixel 7 | £549 at Argos
- Google Pixel 7 | from £23.99 a month at Carphone Warehouse
As a result, the 50MP main camera on the Pixel 7 competes with some of the best offerings out there. The standard phone lacks an optical zoom though, offering only a digital alternative. If zoom photography is your main priority, then you'll have to go slightly more up-market. Consider a premium option like the Pixel 7 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, or Honor Magic 4 Pro.
Into your Google tech? Then be sure to take a look at the all-new Google Pixel Tablet release date page.
If you're looking for something a bit more budget-friendly, there's also the Pixel 6. Following the release of the Pixel 7 it's increasingly being discounted, as you'd expect. Check out the latest prices below.
Buy the Google Pixel 6:
- Google Pixel 6 | £299.38 at Amazon
Oppo Reno 8 Pro
Best premium mid-ranger
- Sleek and eye-catching design
- Good camera with powerful image processing
- 4K video shooting
- Bright, clear and responsive 120Hz display
- Speedy fast-charge facility
- Hit-and-miss zoom photography
- Can heat up during intensive use
- Only one storage option (256GB)
- 8GB RAM
- 256GB storage
- 4500mAh battery
- 5G connectivity
We were impressed with this new offering from Oppo. In our full Oppo Reno 8 review we gave the phone an impressive four-star rating, citing its fantastic image processing and brilliant display.
It's not the slimmest looking phone on the market, perhaps, but we found it had a very satisfying hand-feel, felt premium and was nice to use.
With this being the 'premium' offering on the list, it does out-perform some other entries in some respects. However, you'll need a slightly larger budget to pick one up.
Buy the Oppo Reno 8 Pro:
Apple iPhone SE (3rd gen)
Best mid-range iOS experience
- Seamless iOS experience
- 5G connectivity
- Excellent camera results
- Small display
- A15 Bionic chip, same as iPhone 13
- Wireless charging capability
The iteration of Apple's most affordable phone — the iPhone SE — adds 5G connectivity, more storage and a more powerful processor.
It can be purchased for just over £400 but the iPhone SE (3rd gen) uses the same A15 Bionic chip used in the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 with great results.
The main drawback is a smaller display. While the phone is nice and compact, the small screen is less well suited to video streaming, editing images, or similar tasks. Overall, though, the SE 3 is a good value entry-point to the Apple line-up.
Certain that you want an iPhone? Head over to our best iPhone guide to see how other models compare to the iPhone SE. Or, for more on how the new model compares to its predecessor, try out our iPhone SE 2020 vs iPhone SE 2022 guide.
Buy the Apple iPhone SE (3rd gen):
- iPhone SE (3rd gen) | £429 at Currys
- iPhone SE (3rd gen) | £479 at Amazon
- iPhone SE (3rd gen) | £479 at Very
Motorola Moto G200
Best budget mid-range smartphone
- Powerful 5G processor
- 108 MP triple camera setup
- No expandable storage
- No 3.5 mm headphone jack
- Clean Android 11 software with no unwanted apps
- 5000mAh battery easily lasts for more than a day
- 144Hz refresh rate gives smooth performance
The G200 is the most impressive mid-range Android phone we have recently tested, largely thanks to it boasting a top-end Snapdragon 888 Plus 5G processor that gives it lots of power for £300.
On top of that, it's got a versatile triple camera set-up and very strong battery life — it lasts for over a day — while the 144Hz refresh rate keeps the display and apps running silky smooth. Sure, the back is made of plastic and has no expandable storage, but those are compromises we are willing to make.
Buy the Motorola Moto G200:
Moto G200 | £300 at Lenovo
Best mid-range display
- Solid camera offering
- Smooth hi-res display
- Sleek design
- 4k video shooting with 'Solo Cut Mode'
- No IP rating
- Glossy background attracts marks
- Snapdragon 778G Plus processor
- 54MP, 50MP and 2MP rear cameras
- 32MP selfie camera
- 4800mAh battery
For the price bracket, the Honor 70's display is stunning. It's silky smooth to use too, thanks to its 120Hz display and high touch-sampling rate.
The 6.67-inch OLED panel impressed us in testing and we also liked the camera, complete with 'solo cut mode' to give creators even more freedom when shooting videos. Read our full Honor 70 review for more information or check out buying links below for the latest deals.
Buy the Honor 70:
- Honor 70 | £243.10 at Amazon
Google Pixel 6a
Best small mid-range phone
- Compact form factor
- Powerful and slick to use
- Solid camera
- Google's Tensor Chip performs well again
- Not much cheaper than Pixel 6
- No fast-charger included and max charge speed 18W
- No wireless charging
- 60Hz display
- 5G connectivity
- Android 13
- Google Tensor processor
The new, smaller version of the Google Pixel makes a few compromises on specs — but it's still a fantastic handset. Thanks to that notably compact form-factor and 6.1-inch display it's a great option for any users with smaller hands, or those who just want a nice pocketable phone, rather than a larger phone at the 6.7-inch display size that has increasingly become standard.
You'll have to settle for a 60Hz display and ditch wireless charging, but otherwise it's a fantastic little phone. It combines Google hardware and software to great effect, giving users a notably smooth experience at just £299. We could possibly see discounts soon too, as the release of the Pixel 7 approaches.
Check out our full review of the Google Pixel 6a.
Buy the Google Pixel 6a:
Xiaomi Poco F5 Pro
Best for fast charging
- Very quick to charge
- Strong performance
- Bright, colourful display
- Camera performance in low light could be improved
- No comprehensive dust and water protection
If you’re on the lookout for a phone with fantastic performance that isn’t going to cost the premium of high-end handsets, then the Poco F5 Pro is a fantastic option. It’s not a massive upgrade over the budget option, but it does come with a few nice improvements, including a slightly better, if not spectacular, camera and screen upgrade.
Speaking of the screen, the Poco F5 Pro comes with a crisp and colourful OLED display that’s higher resolution than the base model. In sunlight, the Pro gets a nice brightness boost keeping everything clearly visible in all lighting conditions.
Its battery might not last the 14 hours that you’d get out of the budget model, but it has still got enough juice for around 12 hours of use. Combine that with the fact that you’ll get a full charge in under an hour and you’ve got a great mid-range handset.
Buy the Xiaomi Poco F5 Pro:
Xiaomi Poco F5 Pro | £539 at Xiaomi
A mid-range phone would make a brilliant gift for a loved one, perhaps for a youngster's first smartphone. For more tech gifts and gadgets and university technology essentials, check out our best lists.
Motorola Edge 30 Ultra
Best mid-range performance
- Strong battery life, quick to charge
- Strong performance
- Desktop mode
- Camera performance in low light could be improved
- Photo quality only convincing in 200 megapixel mode
The ‘jack of all trades’ Motorola Edge 30 Ultra is a fantastic mid-range option if you want a fast phone with great battery life. It’s definitely on the more expensive side of mid-range, but for the extra cash, you are getting a feature-packed phone with a fantastic 144 Hz OLED display.
The handset does come with a brilliant 200 megapixel mode for shooting super high-res photos, however, most people will only use the standard camera settings, which leave a lot to be desired. Outside of the high-res photos, which take up significantly more storage, this is the rare case where the cheaper Edge 30 Fusion model actually takes better photos.
Where the Ultra really shines is in its performance. The upgraded internals mean that all your apps run smoothly without affecting battery life dramatically. You’ll still get around 19 hours of juice out of the Ultra with an exceptional charging time of just 30 minutes.
Buy the Motorola Edge 30 Ultra:
Motorola Edge 30 Ultra | £694.99 at Amazon
Here are some top tips on how to choose the right mid-range model for you.
- Shop around: Leading tech giants like Apple, Google, and Samsung offer their own affordable phones, including the Pixel 6a and iPhone SE (2022), so you'll never have to settle for a 'lesser' brand. But there are plenty of phone makers in this space that shouldn’t be overlooked – namely Xiaomi, Oppo, Realme and OnePlus.
- Compromise: When it comes to choosing the right mid-range phone, the key will be to compromise. Understand that you can’t have every premium feature in one package – that’s a luxury for the top-end handsets – and instead, focus on what you need the phone for. Is it a two-day battery life? Top camera lenses? High refresh rate display? That will narrow down your options and help you save cash.
- Read reviews: While the spec sheet for a phone will tell you everything you need to know about screen size, camera specs, storage options, battery life, and processor – expert reviewers will give you an honest view of how the handset performs in the real world. Here at RadioTimes.com, we get hands-on time with lots of phones, like the Poco F4 GT and a wide array of the best budget smartphones, too.