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What is the best mid-range smartphone of 2017?

Smartphones

So what is the best mid-range smartphone 2017 had to offer?

So the premium smartphone category is getting quite expensive now. Figures of £600 – £800 are very common now with some costing even more. These prices seem to be the norm now for a premium phone. So if your budget cannot quite stretch that far, what can you do? Well fear not, the mid-range smartphone category is huge, and quite a few of them are giving the premium phones a run for their money. Sure a premium phone will always have extra features and can be made with better parts and materials, but the phones listed here are still extremely good and cost a lot less. Here is our list of the best mid-range smartphones of 2017.

Also, check out our 2017 top ten of the best premium and budget smartphones here and here and the best feature phones here.

  1. Huawei Honor 9

    Huawei Honor 9
    Huawei Honor 9

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    • OS : Android 7
    • Chipset : HiSilicon Kirin 960
    • RAM : 4GB
    • Storage : 64GB
    • Display : 5.15″ IPS LCD 1080 x 1920
    • Camera : 12MP rear and 8MP front
    • Battery : 3200mAh
    • Dimensions : W 70.9mm × H 147.3mm × D 7.5mm
    • Weight : 155g
    • Pros : Premium feel, excellent performance, lots of features for the money and a great camera.
    • Cons : Average battery life.

    If you do not know already, Honor is a brand created by Huawei and it has been around for a number of years now. They have been making great progress in that time, and hence are banging on the doors of premium smartphone makers for making quality products. The Honor 9 is no exception, and for that reason it gets our number one spot for the mid-range category.

    Everything about this phone seems to hit the spot, hence ample storage space, lots of RAM, a really nice large display and a clever dual camera. The design feels like a premium phone and it has the performance to match its looks. It has the newer USB-C connector and can do fast charging.

    There is not a lot of bad things we can say about this phone. The battery life could be a little better as other phones here can manage another half a day or more between charging. Apart from that, wishing for other better features would probably not be possible at this price.

    What is not to like about the Honor 9. It offers just about the best package for a mid-range smartphone and indeed proves that you do not need to spend two to three times the amount on a premium phone. There are better phones out there, but you will be paying a lot more money. So it deservedly gets our mid-range number one spot.

  2. Motorola Moto Z2 Play

    Motorola Moto Z2 Play
    Motorola Moto Z2 Play

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    • OS : Android 7.1.1
    • Chipset : Qualcomm Snapdragon 626
    • RAM : 4GB
    • Storage : 64GB
    • Display : 5.5″ AMOLED 1080 x 1920
    • Camera : 12MP rear and 5MP front
    • Battery : 3000mAh
    • Dimensions : W 76.2mm x H 156.2mm x D 6mm
    • Weight : 145g
    • Pros : Beautiful large screen, great camera and good battery life.
    • Cons : Average performance and modular features might be a bit hit or miss.

    With the excellent Huawei Honor 9 at the number one spot, after a lot of thinking, the Motorola Moto Z2 Play gets our vote for the number two spot.

    It uses a modular feature that others have tried and abandoned. There are contacts on the back and you can magnetically attach devices to it one at a time for extra features. Things like an optical zoom, extra battery capacity, projector, game pad, wireless charging and speakers. This would probably be something you will either love or just dismiss as a novelty. Are modules a fad or will they gain more acceptance. Only time will tell.

    The specifications are very good all round coupled with a lovely AMOLED display, which is a nice step up from other displays in this list. But performance wise, it probably could have been a bit better even for a mid-range device. Battery life is exceptional and charged via a USB-C connector. With a lovely premium feel, this is a very good mid-range smartphone for the money.

  3. Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra

    Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra
    Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra

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    • OS : Android 7
    • Chipset : Mediatek Helio P20
    • RAM : 4GB
    • Storage : 32GB
    • Display : 6″ IPS LCD 1080 x 1920
    • Camera : 23MP rear and 16MP front
    • Battery : 2700mAh
    • Dimensions : W 79mm x H 165mm x D 8.1mm
    • Weight : 188g
    • Pros : Big display, nice camera and good battery life.
    • Cons : Old design and not the best mid-range smartphone here.

    The Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra is a pretty decent phone with some nice features, but they have stuck with a design that to some is getting a bit old now. But saying that, it makes it stand out from the rest which are starting to all look the same.

    The main thing about this phone is the display and how big it is, which is bordering on a small tablet. So this makes it a large device and might not suit smaller hands. With such a big display, unfortunately it does not have a bigger resolution to match and it is only HD. Other phones here have managed this in this category. The display however is nice to use and look at.

    Sony do not do much with their skin on Android so you get a more or less stock feel to it, which some people prefer. Performance is good with the chipset, but not the best here. It will tackle most tasks and only feel the strain when pushed quite hard. But you can probably say this about a lot of the phones here. The camera on paper looks very good with high pixel ratings, but in practice it does not seem to improve things much. The camera has some weird quirks that seem to spoil the experience. Picture quality is okay, but not up there with what you would expect from the camera specifications.

    All in all this is a fairly decent mid-range smartphone with a slightly dated looking design and a few average specifications. But this is by no means a terrible phone and would be a good choice for someone looking for a larger display.

  4. LG G6

    LG G6
    LG G6

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    • OS : Android 7
    • Chipset : Qualcomm Snapdragon 821
    • RAM : 4GB
    • Storage : 32GB or 64GB
    • Display : 5.7″ IPS LCD 1440 x 2880
    • Camera : 13MP rear and 5MP front
    • Battery : 3300mAh
    • Dimensions : W 71.9mm x H 148.9mm x D 7.9mm
    • Weight : 163g
    • Pros : Great camera, better design and a nice display.
    • Cons : Average performance.

    LG have not always done so well against the competition, but is the G6 about to change this? Gone are the add on modules feature, which was something you either loved or did not care about. The G5 last year did not really hit the spot, but this model is a lot better.

    At last LG has made a phone that actually looks like a quality product which is nice and thin and has a very minimal bezel around a really nice large display. Dual cameras can do wide angle pictures allowing you to capture more of your image into the frame.

    Unfortunately the G6 has used a slightly old chipset meaning its performance is not quite up to scratch. This is not a huge problem, but other phones here offer better performance.

    The G6 is certainly a step up from the previous model. It launched at quite a high price, but this has dropped quickly, making it a better buy. There are better phones in this list, but if you get it at its reduced price, then this is still a very good choice.

  5. Huawei Honor 8 Pro

    Huawei Honor 8 Pro
    Huawei Honor 8 Pro

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    • OS : Android 7
    • Chipset : HiSilicon Kirin 960
    • RAM : 6GB
    • Storage : 64GB
    • Display : 5.7″ IPS LCD 1440 x 2560
    • Camera : 12MP rear and 8MP front
    • Battery : 4000mAh
    • Dimensions : W 77.5mm × H 157mm × D 7mm
    • Weight : 184g
    • Pros : Lovely design, lots of battery life, great display and plenty of performance.
    • Cons : Slightly old camera and not water resistant.

    Like the Honor 9 at the top of the list, the Honor 8 Pro is a decent phone. The Honor brand is certainly gaining respect and will be one to watch in the future.

    The design looks very premium and with a large clear display and a thin bezel around it. The battery capacity is huge and will give lots of use between charging. Like the Honor 9, there is a dual camera which gives great results. The camera performance is not perfect, but many of the phones in this list are in the same boat.

    Quite a few phones in this category are offering fast charging, but alas this model does not offer that. Also it is not water resistant which other phones here can offer. It might not be the best phone here, but it is a good phone for the money.

  6. Samsung Galaxy A5 2017

    Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
    Samsung Galaxy A5 2017

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    • OS : Android 6.0.1
    • Chipset : Samsung Exynos 7880
    • RAM : 3GB
    • Storage : 32GB
    • Display : 5.2″ AMOLED 1080 x 1920
    • Camera : 16MP rear and 16MP front
    • Battery : 3000mAh
    • Dimensions : W 71.4mm x H 146.1mm x D 7.9mm
    • Weight : 157g
    • Pros : Fantastic display, premium design, great performance and long battery life.
    • Cons : Camera is not the best here.

    So the first Samsung phone in this list, and even though it is at number 6, this is a very good phone for the money. Samsung are great at making premium phones and this is evident with the Galaxy A5 2017.

    A big feature of this phone is the fantastic AMOLED display. It is fairly large and is a joy to use, even in bright conditions. It only comes with Android 6.0.1, but there is now an upgrade which brings it up to version 7. The chipset might not be cutting edge compared to better Samsung phones, but this still does a great job and can handle most tasks. Samsung have a great skin on Android which is really pleasant to use.

    The camera performance is very good but might not be the best compared to other phones here, but it still does a great job and will satisfy most people. Charging is via a USB-C connector and it can do fast charging as well. Battery life with moderate use is very good and nearly 2 days is possible between charging.

    We feel Samsung have a real winner here and this is an amazing phone for the money. There are a lot of premium features included and it almost seems hard to believe for the price. There is not a lot better out there for the same money.

  7. Nokia 8

    Nokia 8
    Nokia 8

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    • OS : Android 7.1.1
    • Chipset : Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
    • RAM : 4GB
    • Storage : 64GB
    • Display : 5.3″ IPS LCD 1440 x 2560
    • Camera : 13MP rear and 13MP front
    • Battery : 3090mAh
    • Dimensions : W 73.7mm x H 151.5mm x D 7.9mm
    • Weight : 160g
    • Pros : Nice display, good camera and a lovely design.
    • Cons : Better phones for similar money and does not really stand out against the competition.

    We feel with Nokia making Android smartphones can only be a good thing after their previous work with Microsoft. Those phones were good, but Windows Mobile has failed to make any noticeable impact on Android and iOS.

    The design is one of the best here with a lovely thin bezel and really shows what Nokia can do. All the specifications are not bad with lots of features to boot. Charging is via a USB-C connector with fast changing as well. The camera is very capable and indeed produces excellent results. The chipset provides ample performance dealing with most tasks you can give it. The Nokia skin on Android is very minimal, meaning you almost get a stock looking Android experience.

    Nokia have always made great phones in the past and they can certainly do it again. The competition is very fierce now and they still have a little way to go with the Nokia 8. This is a very good phone and will not disappoint, but for the money, there are better choices out there. With all that said though, this is certainly not a bad phone.

  8. Apple iPhone SE

    Apple iPhone SE
    Apple iPhone SE

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    • OS : iOS 9.3.2
    • Chipset : Apple A9
    • RAM : 2GB
    • Storage : 16GB, 32GB, 64GB or 128GB
    • Display : 4.0″ IPS LCD 640 x 1136
    • Camera : 12MP rear and 1.2MP front
    • Battery : 1624mAh
    • Dimensions : W 58.6mm x H 123.8mm x D 7.6mm
    • Weight : 113g
    • Pros : Quality design and build, ample performance, great camera and good battery life.
    • Cons : Looks a little old now.

    The Apple iPhone SE was actually released in 2016, but as Apple are still making it today we have included it here. With the mid-range smartphone category booming, Apple have their own phone to compete with. This has been a great success for Apple and they have sold a lot of them. This phone shares a lot of features and specifications with the iPhone 6S. And indeed this is a good thing for a phone in the mid-range category.

    Even though this mid-range smartphone is a more budget model for Apple, there is nothing budget about how this phone looks or feels. The main thing is it has a smaller display than the regular iPhone models. But apart from that, you get a lot of premium features. The display is the lowest resolution here, but it works fine on this phone and it is a quality display at that. The smaller display also helps with the battery life and a full day or more is easily accomplished.

    As with other iPhone models, there is no provision for external storage, but different internal storage options are available at a higher price. The camera is of a decent quality and although not the best here, it will take excellent pictures and will satisfy most of the people using it.

    If your smartphone has to have iOS and the mid-range category is what you are looking at, then this is certainly going to be a good choice. It will not disappoint as far as the iOS experience goes. This mid-range smartphone has been in production for a little while now, so we feel an updated version could replace it soon.

  9. Huawei P10 Lite

    Huawei P10 Lite
    Huawei P10 Lite

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    • OS : Android 7
    • Chipset : HiSilicon Kirin 658
    • RAM : 4GB
    • Storage : 32GB
    • Display : 5.2″ IPS LCD 1080 x 1920
    • Camera : 12MP rear and 8MP front
    • Battery : 3000mAh
    • Dimensions : W 72mm x H 146.5mm x D 7.2mm
    • Weight : 146g
    • Pros : Nice design and display.
    • Cons : No USB-C charging port and no physical home button.

    The last Huawei mid-range smartphone on our list is the P10 Lite. This is not an Honor branded model like the the two higher up. The Lite model is a cut down version of the premium P10 and P10 Plus models. Even though this is a cut down premium model, it is still made to a high quality with a premium feel to it.

    The display is really nice and quite large. There is no home button in the usual place and this has been substituted by buttons on the actual display. This is something you will either love or hate. Performance is not bad, but not exceptional. It will handle most jobs an average user will give it. Unlike the P10 and P10 Plus, you do not get a dual camera, but the picture quality is still pretty good.

    Huawei are making better and better phones and in time they will have a real winner on their hands, but unfortunately this one falls short of the competition. But this is still not a bad mid-range smartphone if it satisfies your needs.

  10. HTC U Ultra

    HTC U Ultra
    HTC U Ultra

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    • OS : Android 7
    • Chipset : Qualcomm Snapdragon 821
    • RAM : 4GB
    • Storage : 64GB
    • Display : 5.7″ SLCD5 1440 x 2560
    • Camera : 12MP rear and 16MP front
    • Battery : 3000mAh
    • Dimensions : W 79.8mm x H 162.4mm x D 8mm
    • Weight : 170g
    • Pros : Good performance and a nice display.
    • Cons : Average camera, okay build and average battery life.

    HTC are slowly getting back into the limelight with smartphones after a period of being behind the competition. They are still not quite there and unfortunately the U Ultra only made the last position in our list. HTC will definitely need to up their game to gain more ground on the competition.

    At first glance this looks like a decent quality mid-range smartphone, and to a certain extent it is. But looking more closely, it just does not have the high quality premium like feel that other phones in this category are achieving. Some may disagree and this is merely an opinion. Performance is good and it will tackle most tasks given to it to satisfy most people. The camera performs reasonably well, but is not the best here and other phones produce better results.

    The display is large and is nice to look at and use. There is a neat mini display above the main display and this is used to provide status / notification information and additional aids when using the phone. This is a nice touch, but some might say this is just a novelty gimmick. Charging is via a USB-C connector and the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack has been removed. But they do provide headphones to get you started.

    On the whole this is an okay mid-range smartphone from HTC, but not one that is going to make waves. A good buy if this ticks the boxes for you, but there are other better phones here.

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