You could be attracted by a shiny Apple or Samsung smartphone that costs €1,000, if not more. However, most people should save their money and get a good mid-range smartphone instead. For a price of €500 or less, you can buy a cool mid-range reliable smartphone that looks almost as good as it sounds and has some remarkable technology. We’re talking about stunning OLED panels, feature-packed cameras, real gaming power, and a speedy 5G. If you want to be part of that for less than half the price of an iPhone, go for it. As we are already in the middle of 2022, here’s our proposal for the best affordable phones for around or under €500.
Google Pixel 6 Mid-Range Smartphone
Pixel 6 is an eye-catching device with a better look and more powerful cameras than its predecessors. Indeed, you do get one of the greatest cameras available at this price, with an outstanding primary lens and an equally impressive ultrawide. Both benefit from Google’s new in-house Tensor chip that can shoot images that no other phone can at all levels of light.
The phone is the first to release with Android 12 pre-installed, and it comes with many new capabilities. Most of these improvements are minor but some are significant.
Pixel 6 has also 8GB RAM, 128GB or 256GB storage options, and a 4,612mAh battery that lasts for around a day. The Pixel 6’s 6.4-inch Full HD OLED display is bigger than most flagship panels, and with a 90Hz refresh rate, it delivers smoother browsing than phones with 60Hz refresh rates. Nevertheless, a 90Hz screen rather than 120Hz is considered one of the obvious drawbacks along with slow 30W charging. Also, no charger was supplied.
The weight of the Pixel 6 is influenced by the camera bar. The iPhone 13 and 13 Pro, as well as the Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus, are lighter than the 207g of the Pixel 6. When you pick it up, you’ll notice that it’s top-heavy, needing a solid grip in one hand to keep it secure. The phone is less sleek than other handsets due to its unwieldy balance, weight, and camera block projecting from the rear.
Nonetheless, you can go for it if you want a powerful and fast phone at a value price, shooting great photos at any light level, and running on the latest android.
OnePlus Nord 2 Mid-Range Smartphone
The OnePlus Nord 2, which dramatically improves performance, is now one of the Pixel’s most remarkable rivals at this price bracket. Unlike Google’s affordable mid-ranger, Note 2 has a unique Media Tek chipset called the Dimensity 1200-AI.
The display was one of the best parts of the previous Nord, so it’s reasonable that OnePlus chose to leave it unchanged. So, you get another OLED panel, this time a 6.43-inch AMOLED with a quicker 90Hz refresh rate, dual speakers, and significant audio smarts. The display is large enough to feel roomy while being compact – and bright, with acceptable color reproduction and visibility in most settings. It is just as great for watching some Netflix action as your favorite TV screen.
You get a 4500mAh battery with complete support for OnePlus’ insanely quick warp charge 65 technology. In just 30 minutes, you’ll have a full charge. Is as stylish and adaptable as ever, with two years of Android OS upgrades and three years of security updates included. While the 50MP primary camera sensor can’t take images as sharply and efficiently as the pixel, it’s still more than adequate for everyday photos and shooting videos.
It’s probably inevitable that the Nord 2 won’t be as interesting as the first Nord. It’s not as innovative or ground-breaking, and with so many OnePlus phones on the market right now — this is the company’s sixth phone this year – it’s difficult to find anything as exciting.
Although Nord 2 faces stiffer competition in the mid-range market, it nevertheless makes a compelling argument. The Dimensity 1200-AI chipset is one of the most powerful for the money, the minimalist appearance is attractive, and the primary camera outperforms most competitors.
OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G Mid-Range Smartphone
If the OnePlus Nord 2 is beyond your budget, consider the OnePlus Nord CE 2, which stands for Core Edition. It’s still a powerful device, but at a lower price. The design is reduced to simple plastic, and the stereo speakers are replaced with a mono system.
Bluetooth or the headphone jack provides excellent sound and music. The AMOLED screen is another full HD 90-hertz cracker, so media lovers should be happy. With a 4500mAh capacity battery, you can play all day. You can charge it quickly with 65W fast charging, yet the gaming experience is still smooth on lighter games.
On the rear, the OnePlus Nord CE 2 has a triple camera setup with one 64MP sensor behind the primary wide lens camera and an 8MP ultra-wide snapper. The third camera is a macro lens. In excellent lighting circumstances, the primary camera can capture acceptable shots, but even then, the images lack dynamic range and detail. The primary camera and the ultrawide camera have a significant difference: the latter overexpose the images, and the colors are drastically different between the two sensors.
OPPO Find X3 Lite Mid-Range Smartphone
The OPPO Find X3 Lite is another excellent budget smartphone available at this pricing. The rear of this top blower is plastic, while the front is gorilla glass 5 with a limited variety of space-inspired colors. At 6.4 inches, it’s not as little as the Pixel phone, but it’s not a bulky one.
The OPPO, like the Pixel, does not have a memory card slot, so you’re stuck with whatever storage you choose. However, that 6.4-inch AMOLED screen is a total stunner, with bright images and beautiful contrast right in front of your eyes. The speakers are adequate, but there is also a headphone port for listening to music. The Snapdragon 765G processor, together with 8GB of RAM, can handle all of the standard titles, along with a special gaming mode to give you the upper hand.
The OPPO Find X3 Lite also has all-day battery life and full 5G compatibility. There is also 65W rapid charging, which is the same as the OnePlus Node 2. This wonderful combination is completed by a 64MP main camera sensor that is more than adequate for ordinary family photos.
The fantastic Poco F3 should undoubtedly attract you if you are looking for performance. It is positioned just a little bit over €300, but if you time it right, you may get it for less in a sale. The Snapdragon 870 processor distinguishes as having exceptional gaming performance.
The 48MP primary camera sensor can produce good-looking images at virtually any time of the day. On top of that, you have full 5G capability and a Wi-Fi 6 connection. Poco has included a 6.67-inch OLED screen with a 120hz peak rate and full HD plus resolution. Full HDR 10 plus compatibility is still present, with excellent contrast. Bright colors are still there, and the brilliant movies and images will blow your mind off.
Yet Poco F3 isn’t perfect; there’s no headphone port, no stereo speakers, and no microSD memory card. If none is of your concerns, you should get along swimmingly with the pocket F3. It provides incredible value for money at this pricing range.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G is another good option at this pricing level. Thanks to the Dimension 920 processor, this is a decent device with smooth performance. That Media Tek brain can fly through games and have a big influence in everyday situations. The battery life is also good, and if you run out of fuel during the day, don’t worry since the Pro+ supports lightning-fast 120W charging.
The 6.7-inch super AMOLED screen is the ideal support for HDR10 streaming and 120hz refresh for all apps. A stereo speaker system, a headphone port, and expandable storage are also included. Unfortunately, you’ve got Android 11 on this device, so you’ll have to be patient if you want a taste of Android 12. While the 108MP main camera sensor can’t compete with the one of Pixel’s, it still performs adequately at this pricing point.
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
The new Samsung Galaxy A53 is another excellent option near the €400 price threshold. The design is fresh, and there are four color options. Ιt is IP67 water and dust-proof. The 6.5-inch 120 hertz super AMOLED screen earns our respect for producing crisp full HD plus images with Samsung’s distinctive colors.
You have a microSD memory card, which allows you to enhance your storage capacity. The A53 has NFC for contactless payments, but unlike the A52 and A52s from last year, it lacks a headphone port. Because of the Exodus chipset, 5G is supported. It doesn’t handle gaming as effectively as the Snapdragon chipset seen in last year’s A52s. The massive 5000mAh battery will keep you going all day long with no problems. The 64MP primary camera performs adequately in a variety of settings, with many extra features such as single take, which is a total game changer.
realme 9 Pro Plus
The realme 9 Pro Plus, has great camera technology. As a result, you can expect good-looking photos at any time of day or night. The battery life is once again excellent, thanks to the inclusion of a larger 4500mAh battery. This is compatible with the nearly as excellent 60W super fast charging.
Instead of 120Hz, the display now runs at 90Hz. Because it uses super AMOLED technology, you can anticipate more sharp, vibrant images no matter what you’re doing. The realme 9 Pro Plus, like the Redmi Note and several other phones in this price range, is powered by Media TeK Dimensity 920 for gaming. You have simultaneous 5G support across two sims, as well as a stereo speaker system. All of this is housed in a charming color-changing chassis that becomes a dazzling red tint when sunlight hits it.
Mid-range smartphones are designed to offer flagship-level functionality at a lower price. You may have to sacrifice on one or more features, such as the camera or build quality, but saving a significant amount of money is frequently well worth it. Indeed, the current mid-range smartphones not only look and feel as good as their “flagship” rivals, but they can be even better in certain areas. Even if you’re thinking about spending a lot of money on a top-of-the-line phone, you should look at the mid-range options first.
Although the mid-range smartphone segment is getting crowded these days, it’s not always about specs. These phones do not have the top characteristics as the latest flagships but they will satisfy the majority of consumers. So, choose a phone that will compromise a mix between price, performance, features, and design that appeals to you and your needs.