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Best Mid-Range Smartphones 2024: 8 excellent options tested and reviewed

After thorough testing, Trusted Reviews ranks the best mid-range phones to buy right now – discover the leading mobiles offering top-notch capabilities at a fraction of the price of full-fat flagships.

Flagship phones, despite their impressive features, continue to rise in price. This compilation of eight exceptional mid-range smartphones, ranging from £399/$399 to £699/$699, can serve as a valuable alternative.

The mid-range market really struggled in the 2010s, often offering subpar performance, limited software support, and lacklustre cameras compared to their pricier brethren. However, the market has matured over the past few years with the trickle-down nature of tech meaning they’re now much more tempting.

Mid-range smartphones in 2024 can provide boast numerous benefits, including robust camera capabilities, long-lasting battery life, powerful performance, and more. Premium features like wireless charging and IP68 water resistance have even started making their way into this category, although they are not yet universally available.

Nonetheless, the vast array of phones available in the 2024 mid-range market can make selecting your new phone quite challenging. This guide aims to simplify your decision-making process by presenting a carefully curated list of the very best options available right now.

Each phone featured in this list has undergone rigorous testing by expert reviewers, lasting at least one week. They have conducted benchmark tests and assessed real-world day-to-day performance to provide you with comprehensive insights into how each device stacks up against the competition.

Our review process considers factors such as screen quality, processing power, battery life, camera performance, design, and durability, ensuring that our buying recommendations are both reliable and well-informed.

If price isn’t your biggest concern and you’d actually prefer to compare the best top-end phones around, you should check out our best phones guide. On the other hand, if your budget doesn’t stretch as far as the devices listed below, then you can head over to our best cheap phones page to find the most eminently affordable sub-£399/$399 handsets we’d recommend to you right now.

Best mid-range smartphones at a glance

How we test

Learn more about how we test mobile phones

All the devices in this list have been thoroughly tested and used by one of our expert reviewers. We don’t review a phone purely on specs or benchmark scores and we use them as our everyday device for the review period, which is usually at least five days but often a lot more.

When we review a phone our expert will put their personal SIM card into the phone, sync across their most-used apps and log into all their typical accounts. We do this so you’ll feel confident in our review and trust our verdict.

Our review process includes a mixture of real-world tests, along with more than 15 measured tests and industry-standard benchmarks.

Google Pixel 7a

Best mid-range phone
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Pros

  • Excellent camera for the price
  • Plenty of upgrades over the Pixel 6a
  • Smart software
  • Some nice colour options

Cons

  • Middling battery life
  • Achingly slow charging

The Pixel 7a is an impressive mid-range Android phone that combines excellent camera skills, Google’s renowned software, and an affordable price tag. It has quickly become a favourite among the Trusted Reviews staff.

Google’s latest A-series device matches many of the essential features found in its pricier counterpart, the Pixel 7, while also offering several advantages over the Pixel 6a. These advantages include convenient Qi wireless charging, a generous 8GB of memory, a faster 90Hz screen compared to the Pixel 6a’s 60Hz, and a sturdy metal body that improves durability.

The standout feature of the Pixel 7a is, as many would expect from this series, its impressive camera array. Equipped with a new 64MP sensor that’s far larger than the one in the Pixel 6a, it captures exceptional images in various lighting conditions, accurately rendering skin tones. In fact, it’s hard to find a better phone in this price range that can match the camera performance here.

Under the hood, the Pixel 7a is powered by the same Tensor G2 chip found in its higher-end counterparts, the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. This chip offers satisfactory performance for its price range and handles the phone’s AI features, such as call screening and voice recording, with ease. There are faster, more capable mid-range phones though – including the Asus Zenfone 9.

It’s worth noting that the Pixel 7a’s battery life is average, and charging is slow. While the phone generally lasts a day, heavy screen usage on busier days might require a quick recharge. A full charge can take over 100 minutes, and a charger needs to be purchased separately.

Overall, the Pixel 7a presents itself as an impressive choice, combining excellent camera capabilities, Google’s software prowess, and an affordable price point.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full review: Google Pixel 7a

Nothing Phone (2)

Best design
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Pros

  • Unique LED-laden design
  • High-end 6.7-inch OLED display
  • Snappy everyday performance
  • Capable dual 50MP cameras

Cons

  • Camera isn’t great in low-light conditions
  • No charger in the box
  • Much more expensive than Nothing Phone (1)

If you want a smartphone that stands out from the crowd, look no further than the Nothing Phone (2).

Continuing what was started with the Nothing Phone (1), the latest model sports the same unique transparent look that gives a good look at some of the components powering the phone, and the Glyph interface has made a return too.

The white LED strips on the rear are much brighter this time around and, thanks to improvements in the strips, the light show is much more customisable. That’s further improved by Glyph Composer, a synthesiser-style app that allows you to create your own visual ringtones that sync with the rear lighting panel.

The Glyph interface is still mainly used for alerting you to incoming calls and texts, but it’s handy and, importantly, looks impressive – especially at the mid-range price point.

It’s not just a looker either; it sports the flagship-level Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 for top-end power and efficiency, a 4,700mAh battery with 45W charging that delivers a full charge in under an hour and a dual 50MP rear camera offering.

There’s also Nothing OS 2.0, introducing new features like widget support on both the lock screen and always-on display. It’s heavily stylised with a dot-matrix iconography that won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but as with the hardware, it certainly sets itself apart from the mid-range competition.

Reviewer: Lewis Painter
Full review: Nothing Phone (2) review

Motorola Edge 40

Best lightweight mid-range phone
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Pros

  • Svelte, lightweight design
  • Vibrant, fast 144Hz pOLED display
  • Versatile main camera performance
  • Fast 68W TurboPower charging

Cons

  • Can overheat when playing games
  • A few bugs within the OS
  • Refresh rate has to be fixed at 144Hz if used

Motorola’s mid-range Edge 40 is a strong option for prospective buyers, offering not only a sleek, svelte design but impressive camera performance, a gorgeous display and fast 68W charging tech for £529.

The design of the Edge 40 is unique, sporting a vegan leather rear that completely encompasses the rear including the camera housing, with the material also proving to be grippy enough to wield the 6.55-inch phone one-handed without much issue. It’s also one of the thinner and lighter options around at 7.6mm and 172g respectively.

The display is rapid at 144Hz, with pOLED tech delivering the vibrant colours and inky blacks expected of the tech – it’s just a shame that the 144Hz refresh rate is locked, with the auto-refresh rate option only cycling between 60- and 120Hz.

The main 50MP rear camera has the widest aperture around at f/1.4, and combined with PDAF and OIS, takes impressive low-light photos for the money. It also adds a nice natural bokeh to most images with a relatively shallow depth of field. The ultra-wide isn’t quite as capable, however, and the selfie camera delivered consistently washed-out images.

Things aren’t quite as rosy when it comes to performance though; the Dimensity 8020 chipset is more than enough to power the day-to-day experience without lag, but the phone can quickly overheat when playing demanding games like Call of Duty Mobile leading to lag and framerate drops.

Reviewer: Lewis Painter
Full review: Motorola Edge 40

Samsung Galaxy A54 5G

Best mid-range Samsung phone
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Pros

  • Premium look and build
  • Great 120Hz AMOLED display
  • Huge 5,000mAh battery
  • New and improved 50MP camera

Cons

  • Inconsistent battery life
  • No display HDR support
  • Can be a bit slow at times
  • Slow charge times

If you’re a Samsung purist and your budget can’t quite stretch to the £849 Samsung Galaxy S23, the more budget-friendly £449 Galaxy A54 5G might suit your needs.

It sports a near-identical design to the flagship Galaxy S23 series complete with rounded edges and a minimalistic camera setup on the rear, and even makes the jump to a glass rear for an added premium feel, though it’s let down somewhat by the polycarbonate frame.

Netflix bingers and social media addicts will love the 6.4-inch 120Hz AMOLED display, delivering vibrant colours and deep blacks. It’s just as good for gaming, though with the distinctly mid-range Exynos 1380 chipset, it’s more limited to 2D titles than AAA 3D games like Call of Duty Mobile with top-end graphics enabled.

Though it may seem like a downgrade on paper compared to the 64MP snapper of its predecessor, the A54 5G’s 50MP main lens has a larger sensor and improved OIS that leads to notable improvements in low-light photography, though it can’t quite compete with the Pixel 7. That’s flanked by an ultrawide and macro lens, but the main lens is where most of the attention is.

The inclusion of a 5000mAh battery is welcome, matching the top-end S23 Ultra and beating the flagship S23 and S23 Plus, but battery life is a bit hit-and-miss in real-world conditions. It has the potential to last all day with average use, but pushing the A54 5G to its limits will leave you scrambling for a charger. And, with 25W charging, it takes quite some time to charge too.

Reviewer: Lewis Painter
Full review: Samsung Galaxy A54 5G

iPhone 14

Best iPhone under £700/$700
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Pros

  • Clever safety features
  • Very good battery life
  • Reliable camera
  • Fun colours

Cons

  • Stuck on a 60Hz display
  • Minimal differences to the iPhone 13

If you’re an Apple fan dead-set on getting an iPhone, then there are a couple of options on the market at the moment. At £799/$799, the regular iPhone 15 is too expensive for what we consider a mid-range phone, so that’s crossed off the list. But the now-discounted £699/$699 iPhone 14 is within budget and a great choice.

Sporting a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display, the iPhone 14 provides a top-notch video-watching experience complete with Dolby Atmos support for impressive HDR playback. It’s not quite as large as the iPhone 14 Plus’ 6.7-inch panel but that also means it’s much more comfortable to use one-handed – as long as you can get on with the comparatively angular design of Apple’s iPhone.

Elsewhere, a dual 12MP camera setup serves well in both well-lit and low-light scenarios, though it lacks the finesse of high-res sensors from both the iPhone 14 Pro and its Android brethren. Still, premium features like Dolby Atmos HDR video recording and some of the best video stabilisation around will mean you’ll likely be happy with what’s on offer.

The Apple A15 Bionic within the iPhone 14 isn’t the most powerful chipset that Apple makes, but it’ll more than suffice for day-to-day use and gaming, comfortably keeping pace with the most powerful mid-rangers around.

Wireless charging is here, as is an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance. It’s also just a very nice-looking phone, with multiple tasteful colour options available.

If you want a cheaper iPhone, the iPhone SE 2022 packs decent performance but in a slightly dated body with a smaller screen.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full review: iPhone 14 Review

OnePlus 12R

Best battery life
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Pros

  • The screen is great
  • Good power for the price
  • The best OnePlus phone for battery life

Cons

  • Boring design
  • Rubbish camera selection
  • No wireless charging

The OnePlus 12R is a solid attempt at a mid-range smartphone that manages to stand out in a busy market with a smattering of truly high-end tech.

The OnePlus 12R’s display is one of the main reasons to opt for the phone. While the 6.78-inch AMOLED screen isn’t quite as pixel-packed as the flagship OnePlus 12, it boasts the same 120Hz refresh rate and, rather importantly, LTPO 4.0 tech.

It’s one of the first phones on the market to sport the tech at any price point, not just the mid-range market, and allows the phone to essentially adjust the refresh rate as you scroll. This essentially means that the screen feels super responsive in use and, crucially, it’s way more battery-friendly.

That also means that, combined with a 5500mAh battery that’s larger than any other phone in our chart, the OnePlus 12R has the best battery life around, managing around 7-8 hours of screen-on time on a single charge. If you’re not a power user, that should get you through two days of use. Even then, with 100W SuperVOOC charging it’ll get a full charge in under 30 minutes. That makes it one of the fastest-charging mid-rangers around.

It’s also a decent performer with the 2023 flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, especially when coupled with OnePlus’ various software and hardware optimisations. It’ll even give the Pixel 7a’s Tensor G2 chipset a run for its money, both in benchmarks and real-world use.

Elsewhere, it has a solid primary 50MP camera, though it is let down by its supporting 8MP ultrawide and 2MP macro cameras, and it also lacks some key features like wireless charging.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full Review: OnePlus 12R review

Xiaomi 13 Lite

Best selfie camera
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Pros

  • Premium look and feel
  • Great main camera performance
  • Decent everyday performance

Cons

  • MIUI can be frustrating to use
  • Photos can appear oversaturated
  • Only lasts a day with comfortable use

As the name suggests, the Xiaomi 13 Lite is a cheaper version of the excellent Xiaomi 13 – one of our favourite Android phones of the year.

Our reviewer was thoroughly impressed with the design here, praising the curved looks and thin overall build. But it impressed in other areas too, even bettering the pricier Xiaomi 13 when it came to the selfie camera.

It has a bright OLED display too, a really impressive main rear camera that beats many entries on this list even if it can, at times, oversaturate images. If you like the blurry, bokeh-influenced selfies too this is a winner.

There’s snappy 67W charging that can take it from 0-100% in less than 45 minutes and generally battery life that got our reviewer comfortably through the day.

Reviewer: Andrew Williams
Full review: Xiaomi 13 Lite review

Honor 90

Best display
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Pros

  • One of the best screens at this price
  • Solid main camera
  • Reliable battery life

Cons

  • MagicOS is clunky
  • No wireless charging
  • Mono audio

The Honor 90 is a good phone in many areas but it really impressed our reviewer with its fantastic display – especially at the sub-£500 price.

The 6.67-inch OLED display is excellent, whether it’s for watching Netflix or reading books in the Kindle app. The 2664×1200 resolution is sharp and it gets really dim too, along with getting very bright when outside.

It also has a 120Hz refresh rate and the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 Accelerated Edition chipset. We found that the chipset could handle most of what we threw at it, however it does feel a little slower than the Pixel 7a.

Other key features include a healthy 5000mAh battery with fast 65W wired charging and 5G connectivity. The main rear camera is solid too, which isn’t always a given at this end of the market.

Reviewer: Thomas Deehan
Full review: Honor 90 review

FAQs

How much does a mid-range phone cost?

The team at Trusted Reviews defines mid-range smartphones as any handset costing ideally under £700/$700. We raised our definition in 2022, following a gradual rise in prices in the top end of the market.

Are mid-range phones good?

Over the last few years, the mid-range phone market has blossomed, with key companies including Google, Xiaomi, OnePlus, Oppo and Samsung creating mid-range handsets with features traditionally reserved for flagship devices. Recent highlights have included 5G connectivity, high refresh rate screens and improved rear camera sensors. The team of experts at Trusted Reviews recommend most users consider a mid-range smartphone before investing in a flagship as a result.

Are there 5G mid-range phones?

5G is an increasingly common site in the mid-range market with Samsung, Oppo, Motorola, OnePlus and Google having mid-range phones supporting the connectivity.

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Specification comparison

UK RRP
USA RRP
EU RRP
CA RRP
AUD RRP
Manufacturer
Screen Size
Storage Capacity
Rear Camera
Front Camera
Video Recording
IP rating
Battery
Wireless charging
Fast Charging
Size (Dimensions)
Weight
ASIN
Operating System
Release Date
First Reviewed Date
Resolution
HDR
Refresh Rate
Ports
Chipset
RAM
Colours

Benchmark comparison

Geekbench 5 single core
Geekbench 5 multi core
Geekbench 6 single core
Geekbench 6 multi core
Max brightness
1 hour video playback (Netflix, HDR)
Battery drain 60-min (music streaming online)
Battery drain 60-min (music streaming offline)
30 minute gaming (intensive)
30 minute gaming (light)
1 hour music streaming (online)
1 hour music streaming (offline)
Time from 0-100% charge
Time from 0-50% charge
60-min recharge (included charger)
30-min recharge (included charger)
15-min recharge (included charger)
30-min recharge (no charger included)
15-min recharge (no charger included)
3D Mark – Wild Life
3D Mark – Wild Life Stress Test
GFXBench – Aztec Ruins
GFXBench – Car Chase

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

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