The best midrange phones in 2024

Find out which midrange phone works for you!

In today’s tech landscape, the allure of premium smartphones like Samsung’s Galaxy S24 series or Apple’s latest iPhones is undeniable. However, not everyone has the budget to splurge on these high-end devices, so they opt for midrange phones. The good news? You don’t need to break the bank to own a smartphone that delivers both top-notch performance and stunning aesthetics.

The latest midrange phones boast sleek designs comparable to their flagship counterparts and excel in key aspects. If you’ve been looking at the market for a flagship phone, take a break. Look through our selection of this year’s finest midrange smartphones. You might end up saving hundreds of dollars! 

The Art of Buying Affordable Tech

When discussing midrange smartphones, we’re typically referring to devices priced between $300 and $500 for outright purchase. It’s undeniable that the latest top-tier smartphones keep pushing the boundaries of cost—some foldable models even approach the $2,000 mark—making the midrange phone market a constantly shifting landscape. However, our price bracket remains the focal point, offering the optimal balance of affordability and features.

Many budget buyers go for a phone with a SIM to lower the initial investment. While a 24-month contract minimizes upfront costs, a closer look often reveals the SIM-free option as more cost-effective in the long run. Nonetheless, it’s wise to keep an eye out for special offers, as occasional deals can be quite competitive. Another advantage of going SIM-free is the flexibility to sell and upgrade your phone whenever you desire, rather than being tied to a contract, potentially with an outdated handset.

When selecting midrange phones, it’s essential to prioritize features based on personal preferences. Whether it’s a long-lasting battery life or superior camera capabilities, understanding your priorities ensures a more satisfying purchase. Without further ado, we’ve put together some of the best midrange phones you can choose from. 

Pixel 7a ($499)

Source: Zdrop

The Pixel 7a is a standout midrange phone, blending impressive camera capabilities, Google’s renowned software, and an affordable price tag. Powered by the same Tensor G2 chip as its pricier counterparts, the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, the Pixel 7a delivers satisfactory performance for its segment. It adeptly handles AI features like call screening and voice recording. However, there are faster and more capable midrange options available, such as the Asus Zenfone 9.

This addition to the A-series lineup mirrors many key features of its pricier sibling, the Pixel 7, while surpassing its predecessor, the Pixel 6a, in several aspects. You can expect convenient Qi wireless charging, a generous 8GB of RAM, a faster 90Hz display (compared to the Pixel 6a’s 60Hz), and a robust metal body.

As expected from the Pixel series, the Pixel 7a has a dazzling camera. With a new 64MP sensor, it excels at capturing stunning images across diverse lighting conditions, delivering true-to-life skin tones. Its camera performance sets a high standard compared to any phone you put up against it, but it’s by far the best within its price range.  However, it’s important to note that the Pixel 7a offers average battery life and slow charging speeds. While it typically lasts a day on a single charge, intensive usage may necessitate a quick top-up. A full recharge can take over 100 minutes, and the charger is sold separately. 

Nothing Phone ($599)

Source: Nothing (R)

Following the trailblazing footsteps of the Nothing Phone (1), the new model also has a crazy semi-transparent design. Unlike anything else, it offers a glimpse into the phone’s internal components, along with the return of the Glyph interface.

Enhanced white LED strips in the rear provide brighter illumination and a significantly more customizable light show. This visual spectacle is further enhanced by Glyph Composer, an app akin to a synthesizer, enabling users to craft personalized visual ringtones synchronized with the rear lighting panel. While primarily serving to alert users of incoming calls and messages, the Glyph interface is visually striking. Other companies that offer unique as this are always on the higher end of the price range. As a midrange smartphone, it’s an outstanding conversation starter. 

Beyond the aesthetic appeal, the device boasts flagship-level performance with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, ensuring top-tier power and efficiency. Coupled with a 4,700mAh battery supporting 45W charging for swift full recharges in under an hour and a dual 50MP rear camera setup, it’s not just about looks. 

Introducing Nothing OS 2.0, the device introduces features like widget support on both the lock screen and always-on display. The OS boasts a heavily stylized design with dot-matrix iconography, distinguishing itself from the midrange competition in both hardware and software. It’s a bit more expensive than the Pixel 7a, as well as other midrange phones, but they differentiate themselves enough to justify the higher price. 

iPhone SE 3 2022 ($420)

Source: Apple

Despite looking like the design comes from 2014, the iPhone SE 3 (2022) stands out as Apple’s most cost-effective smartphone to date. While Apple may encourage customers to invest in the iPhone 15, the SE is so cheap for an iPhone, it feels like a steal. Especially why you consider the similarities in the inner component. 

Despite its significantly lower price point, the iPhone SE 3 (2022) boasts the same lightning-fast A15 Bionic processor as the iPhone 13, ensuring seamless performance. Additionally, its camera capabilities are commendable. The only downside is the short battery life compared to modern standards, but they make up for it with the speedy 20W charging. Furthermore, the iPhone SE appeals to those seeking a compact device, with its 4.7-inch screen provides effortless one-handed usage.

If you don’t want to spend a thousand dollars on the flagship iPhone, the SE is a great option to keep you in the Apple ecosystem. You can also go for the newly discounted iPhone 14. They go for around $700 now, which is a great price, but it’s outside of the range we’re going for on this list. 

Xiaomi Poco X5 Pro ($370)

Source: Poco

The Xiaomi Poco X5 Pro is an excellent option for budget-conscious shoppers. While the brand may not be widely recognized in the UK, the Poco X5 Pro offers exceptional value for money. They’re world-renowned for surpassing pricier handsets in performance, often at a fraction of the cost. 

The X5 comes equipped with top-notch features, including a 6.67-inch Full HD AMOLED screen, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G chipset with 5G support, a sizable 108MP camera sensor, and robust battery life complemented by rapid 67W charging. It ticks all the right boxes. 

While its affordability remains its standout feature, the Xiaomi Poco X5 Pro makes for an undeniable choice, boasting few compromises and delivering exceptional value for money. However, you can feel the corners they cut if you look underneath the surface. The X5 features a combined cutout for both the microSD card and the second SIM card, whereas the M5 and M5s boast separate memory slots, and the X5 Pro lacks this feature altogether. Perhaps the worst thing about the phone is the presence of a single speaker, which is uncommon on recent Xiaomi phones.

Samsung Galaxy A54 5G

Source: Samsung

People often tend to forget that Samsung puts out tons of midrange phones, which are immensely popular in Asia. Some of the phones, like the A54, are hidden gems in the smartphone market. It’s an impressive, affordable smartphone that not only looks good but also has a great screen and more than enough power for most people. Running on an Exynos 1380 processor with 6GB of RAM, the A54 is only slightly lagging behind the Pixel 6A. Nevertheless, you won’t have trouble with everyday tasks like web browsing, WhatsApp messaging, and emailing. 

However, the 6.4-inch display of the Galaxy A54 surpasses the Pixel 6A’s 6.1-inch screen. This difference matters for extensive mobile gaming sessions or video streaming. Notably, the Galaxy A54’s vibrant screen outshines both the Pixel 6A’s and 7A’s displays, offering enhanced readability outdoors, even under direct sunlight. The larger screen drains the battery a little faster, but the A54 has 600 mAh over the 6A, so their runtime is roughly the same. 

The phone has three cameras on its rear: a 50-megapixel primary camera, a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera, and a 5-megapixel macro camera. Images captured by the main camera are decent, although the software optimizations frequently lead to oversaturated images. However, the images stay crisp, and the 2x digital zoom preset (with no optical zoom available) produces sharp results.

To Sum Up

There are several more affordable smartphones on the market, especially if you’re open to buying some older flagships. You can use this list as a jumping-off point in your budget-phone exploration and find the one that suits your needs best. 

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