C247'S TOP 5 MID-RANGE SMARTPHONES IN 2022 | £300-£600

C247'S TOP 5 MID-RANGE SMARTPHONES IN 2022 | £300-£600

Choosing a new smartphone device just isn't as straightforward as it used to be. There are so many different form factors, camera options, and software that the list is never-ending when it comes to things you may want on your new handset. The flagship behemoths at the top of the smartphone food chain are certainly the prize picks. However, they're also worth two months of my rent, so what else is there to offer that won't leave you missing the best features or with an empty current account?


Budget devices have come a long way in recent years, and in the past five years, we've seen a huge shift from the 5MP Motorola and Pocket Neos to the current 108MP Xiaomi budget handsets. If you want to see more about that, you can check it out here. However, while amazing for some, budget isn't always enough for everyone, and many find themselves stuck between sufficing with a budget handset and missing out on a few desired features or forking out on a high-end device by spending too much. That is why we've done the hard work in collating our top picks for the five best mid-rangers in 2022, ranging between £300-£600, so you don't have to.


OnePlus Nord 2T


The OnePlus Nord 2T has brought about some welcome upgrades to the performance and battery technology. However, these alone aren't quite enough of an upgrade to warrant a full jump to the OnePlus Nord 3 title, thus giving us the interim device that is the OnePlus Nord 2T.

The OnePlus Nord 2T comes with the MediaTek Dimensity 1300 processor, which is an improvement over last year's OnePlus Nord 2's MediaTek 1200. The speed performance of this chip powers the OnePlus Nord 2T's 90Hz AMOLED display with ease. In tandem with the MediaTek 1300, the base model OnePlus Nord 2T now comes with the option to upgrade from the 8GB RAM base model to a 12GB RAM, 256GB model if you wish. Couple this with the fact it has a 50MP triple-lens camera capable of recording 4K footage, and it's easy to realise why OnePlus has been so dominant within the budget handset market in the last couple of years. The last point to touch on with the OnePlus Nord 2T, and arguably what's caused the biggest stir, is its 80W fast charging, the fastest charging of any Nord phone... ever. This new technology makes use of the Supervooc charging that we saw with the OnePlus 10 Pro and rockets the OnePlus Nord 2T's 4500mAh battery to a day's charge in just 15 minutes, which is the same performance we've seen in OnePlus' flagship devices but for half the price. Needless to say, the OnePlus Nord 2T is certainly a strong competitor in the mid-range smartphone market so far in 2022.



Google Pixel 6


Google completely re-imagined the Google Phone with the Pixel 6, branding it as its first-ever All-Google Phone, built completely differently. The focal point of the release was Google's brand-new Tensor chip, boasting a whopping 80% faster CPU than the Pixel 5 and a whopping 370% faster GPU. The Pixel 6's camera houses a 50MP lens, making it capable of capturing 4K photos and video content. A large proportion of all the impressive features the Pixel 6 brings to the table lie within the camera. The machine learning in the new Tensor chip allows for a user experience that learns, evolves, and adapts to you. Google's new It also means that we can now have more advanced photo editing capabilities, many of which you would only expect to see in professional photo manipulation suites. The magic eraser means that unwanted elements in a photo can be removed with ease and if you ask me, being able to scribble out a guy that had the audacity to obscure your photograph seems like a satisfying feature to me. Moreover, The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro feature Google's revamped live translate, which can translate messages, pictures, and speech in an instant.



iPhone SE 3


Apple's iPhone SE 3 is the only current-day Apple device that still retains the original classic iPhone design we all used to love. And for many, this is what draws us closer to the SE, having that sense of nostalgia for the good old iPhone 5s and 6s prime eras every time you unlock the device with the home button's fingerprint sensor. In 2022, underneath the shell of the classic design lies a modern interior, which is pretty compelling considering the price point of the iPhone SE 3. The iPhone SE 3 features 5G connectivity and the very same A15 Bionic chip that is found inside the iPhone 13, meaning you can experience high-grade device performance with a mid-range price tag. If that's not enough, the 12MP Apple camera sensor is capable of shooting 4K at 60fps as well as full HD at 240fps, which makes this a serious contender on this list.


Sony Xperia 10 IV


While Sony's mobile division is more commonly known for its high-end flagship devices and cameras, the Xperia 10 IV is their affordable alternative to the flagship behemoths. It gives average consumers like ourselves the chance to enter the Sony mobile ecosystem without breaking the bank. The Sony Xperia 10 IV is housed in an almost identical body to its predecessor, with a few minor tweaks. The Sony Xperia 10 IV comes with a 6-inch OLED display, a 21:9 aspect ratio (which has become an expectation with Sony devices now), and, of course, Sony's glorious headphone jack and speaker system. In addition, the Sony Xperia 10 IV features the same camera specs on paper as the last generation: a 12MP wide-angle lens, an 8MP telephoto lens, and an 8MP ultrawide lens with the additional OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) improvement in the main sensor. Pair all this with a 5000mAh battery, and the Sony Xperia 10 IV shapes into a solid mid-range device.


Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra


The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is the successor to the Mi 11 with a completely re-imagined camera configuration, an added IP68 water and dust resistance rating, and upgraded battery tech. With the Mi 11 Ultra being Xiaomi's top-spec phone, its purpose is to compete with mainstream flagships such as the Samsung Galaxy S22 and tackle its predecessor's shortcomings, all while staying at a mid-range price point. Now, a mid-range priced device competing in a high-range market is definitely a small fish in a big pond, but in this case, the smaller fish tastes much better. The Xiaomi comes with many flagship-grade features, which we can genuinely appreciate starting with the Corning Gorilla Glass Victus on both the front and rear of the device. The display on the Xiaomi 11 Ultra is an AMOLED 120Hz panel with a quad-HD resolution which, put very simply, is a pleasure to look at. The 120Hz refresh rate makes for buttery smooth transitions in general use as well as a fast-paced gaming experience. When you pair this with a 5000mAh battery with 67W wired and wireless charging, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is a device to be reckoned with.

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