It is staggering the rate at which new smartphones are coming into the market. With manufacturers relentlessly aiming to gain share in every possible segment, the amount of choice that exists for buyers today is unprecedented. While flagships continue to be priced exorbitantly, the mid-range segment has seen some very interesting growth in the last few months. Technology and features that were restricted to the flagship segment have started trickling down into this segment, with prices remaining fairly static over the last year. If you’re in the market for a phone that gives you good performance and reliability, without breaking the bank (Rs. 15,000 – Rs. 30,000) then we’ve got a list of five phones that would do you justice. Here is the list of the top five mid-range smartphones based on our reviews.
Bringing the absolute top-of-the-line hardware to a gorgeous brushed aluminium build, the OnePlus 3T leaves very little room for any complaints. At its heart, there’s the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 paired with a whopping 6GB of RAM which, as we noted in the OnePlus 3T’s Performance review, does not suffer from hiccups regardless of how many apps you leave running in the background. It comes with ample amount of onboard storage, has a dual sim card slot and runs on a very stable Oxygen 4.1 ROM based on Android Nougat. For all you heavy users, it has a 3400mAh battery that easily lasts more than a day. The icing on the battery cake happens to be OnePlus’s Dash Charge, which pushes the battery from 0 to 100 per cent in under 80 minutes. The OnePlus 3T is the most expensive in the mid-range segment, but also the most well-rounded device in this segment. | Full Review
Nubia Z11 Mini S – Score 76.2/100
Put a ZTE and a Nubia phone side-by-side and you’d find it hard to believe that Nubia is a subsidiary of ZTE. The two product lines are radically different, with Nubia being a more focused and refined brand. The Nubia Z11 Mini S retails for Rs. 16,990 and has some incredible things to offer. For starters, the Nubia Z11 mini S’s camera is one of its strongest components as we noted in the camera review of the phone. The mid-range Snapdragon 625 paired with 4GB of DDR3 RAM doesn’t let the phone stutter while gaming or editing photos. Another wonderful feature of the phone happens to be its 5.2-inch full-HD edge-to-edge display. The Nubia Z11 mini S scores highly on battery life, build quality and even call quality, making it a great bargain for the price. | Full Review
Lenovo Z2 Plus – Score 73.6/100
When it was launched, the Lenovo Z2 Plus made great waves. A phone powered by the Snapdragon 820 processor and 4GB RAM with 64GB of onboard storage that costs Rs. 19,999 at launch is now available for Rs. 16,547. Even at its original launch price, the phone offered features only available in phones that cost more than Rs. 25,000. The Lenovo Z2 Plus offers very reliable performance and a battery life that you can rely on. The build quality is average, but the fibreglass back can definitely take some abuse. The cameras are average performers and the display could be a little brighter, the phone ends up scoring really well thanks to almost stock Android. If you’re looking for reliable performance, good storage and good battery life, the Lenovo Z2 Plus should have you covered for less than Rs. 20,000. Just don’t have a lot of expectations from the cameras. | Full Review
Gionee A1 – Score 73.1/100
The Lenovo Z2 Plus lacks in imaging prowess, so it may not be the best option for selfie lovers. This is where the Gionee A1 steps in. It may not have the former Snapdragon flagship SoC, but the 16-megapixel front camera with a dedicated flash for the best possible selfies. Gionee has over the years built a brand name around selfie cameras and battery life, making the Gionee A1 no different. The Gionee A1 is a mid-level performer, in that it will run your games fine, but you might have to first clear out your background processes. The 4010mAh battery lives up to every (realistic) expectation you might have from it. If you’re a hip college goer or someone who just spends a lot of time on the move or travels frequently to distant lands, the Gionee A1 might be a great smartphone for you. | Full Review
Moto G5 Plus – Score 72.4/100
The Moto G5 Plus was a surprise performer in our review. Given its Snapdragon 625 processor and 4GB of RAM, we didn’t have a lot of expectations from the phone but were left rather surprised by the end of the day. Thanks to a stock Android Nougat ROM, the phone is able to give you a very optimised user experience, one that reflects stability and reliability. Probably the best feature of the Moto G5 Plus (besides its excellent build quality) is the fact that it has a really good primary camera. In our review of the primary camera, we found that not only does it focus quickly, but also takes images that were surprisingly good for this price bracket. The OS allows the phone to be very stable, as we suffered absolutely no app crashes in our review. The screen is of good quality, the fingerprint sensor is fast and the phone has a water repellant coating that will allow it to withstand the occasional spill. | Full Review
We chose the above five phones as they score the highest in our reviews. As of April, these are the phones that offer the most value for money between the price bracket of Rs. 15,000 – Rs. 30,000 given the pool of devices we have reviewed. We will continue updating this list every month ass and when new phones come out.