Among them are Xiaomi, Samsung, vivo, Oppo, realme, and OnePlus selling 63 mid-range smartphones, with vivo (14 smartphones) topping the list. BBK Electronics’ brands – vivo, Oppo, realme and OnePlus – sell 42 mid-range smartphones. We help you pick five of the best phones from this crowded segment.
We have curated a list of the five best affordable smartphones that you can choose from right now. These phones fall into the mid-range category – between Rs 15,000 and Rs 25,000. These are realme Narzo 50 Pro 5G, vivo T1 Pro 5G, OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G, Oppo F21 Pro and Samsung Galaxy A23.
The mid-range Indian smartphone segment is in an interesting place right now. According to a recent report by Counterpoint Research, four of the top five positions in terms of market share are occupied by Chinese companies – Xiaomi (No. 1), realme (No. 3), vivo (No. 4) and Oppo (No. 5), the other being the Korean giant. South Samsung is in second place. Out of these four Chinese brands, three — Realme, vivo, and Oppo — are owned by BBK Electronics, which is also the parent company of another Indian smartphone chain — OnePlus.
The mid-range segment is what most tech-savvy Indians prefer because all they need is for their device to have all the latest features, new design and multiple cameras on the back, something every smartphone is proud of these days.
Considering the short life span of most Android phones – 18 months of OS updates from the date of manufacture, we have considered only those mobiles that entered the Indian market since March 1st, to ensure that you get the most for your money.
Here’s a look at five of those phones, in no particular order.
realme narzo 50 pro 5g
The latest entrant in this segment, along with its less powerful sibling, the narzo 50, this smartphone is perhaps the easiest to recommend. It went on sale in India on May 26 and has hit the sweet spot in terms of price and specifications. The phone packs a 5,000mAh battery powered by MediaTek Dimensity 920 5G processor. The phone has 6 to 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage. The screen is a 6.4-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate, which makes animations and scrolling smooth. It runs on the realme UI 3.0 Android 12 based operating system.
The smartphone also features dual SIM 5G capabilities and has a 3.5mm headphone jack. For cameras, the narzo 50 Pro has a 48MP main lens with portrait mode, night mode, among other features; 8MP Ultra Wide Camera; and a macro lens. At the front, there is a 16MP selfie camera behind a punch-hole cutout.
Vivo T1 Pro 5G
vivo T1 Pro 5G comes second after its launch in the first week of May. Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 5G processor, the phone has 6/8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, a 6.44-inch AMOLED screen with HDR10 + support and runs on FunTouch OS 12, based on Android 12. The phone also features a 5000mAh battery mA.
The T1 Pro 5G features a 64MP main camera, an 8MP ultra-wide lens, and a 2MP macro camera, while a 16MP camera is installed on the front for selfie lovers. The smartphone starts at Rs 23,999.
OnePlus Nord C2 Lite 5G
OnePlus has been in the process of launching a smartphone recently, launching four times in two months. Nord CE 2 Lite 5G is a powerful offering that runs on the Snapdragon 695 chipset and is powered by a 5,000mAh non-removable battery. The 6.59-inch LCD screen has a refresh rate of 120Hz. The phone comes with 6/8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage.
With a starting price of Rs 19,999, the NOrd CE 2 Lite 5G features a 64MP primary lens, a 2MP depth assist lens, a 2MP macro lens on the back, and a 16MP camera on the front. The phone runs on the latest version of OxygenOS based on Android 12.
Oppo F21 Pro
Released in the first half of April, the F21 Pro continues a long tradition of Oppo’s mid-range phones, offering premium looks and solid specs with a healthy focus on the camera. Marketed as the “Selfie Master”, the F21 Pro features a 32MP front camera with panoramic, portrait, night mode, and time-lapse features. On the back, the phone has a 64MP primary lens, a 2MP microscope lens, and a 2MP black and white camera.
The phone’s standout feature is its design – the back has a faux leather finish and a flat aluminum frame, with the camera array housed in a textured body at the back. From the front, the phone is all-glass — a 6.43-inch AMOLED display with a screen-to-body ratio of over 90 percent. The phone runs on the Snapdragon 680 SoC (system on a chip) and is powered by a 4,500mAh battery. With 8GB of RAM and 128GB of RAM, the phone is priced at Rs 22,990.
Samsung Galaxy A23
The “oldest” phone on this list, launched in late March, is a typical Samsung A23 — powered by the Snapdragon 680 SoC. From the front, the phone is almost indistinguishable from any other Samsung phone that isn’t a Galaxy S series model. However, this smartphone is quite impressive in its own right, as it has the most cameras of any phone on this list – 5. That includes four Cameras on the back – 50MP main lens with optical image stabilization, 5MP ultra-wide camera – wide camera, 2MP depth lens and 2MP macro camera. The phone has an 8-megapixel front camera.
The Galaxy A32 has 6/8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 5,000mAh battery that lasts for two days. The screen is a 6.4-inch Full HD + LCD panel. The phone has a 3.5mm headphone jack, and its starting price is Rs 18,499.
These are the five mid-range smartphones we recommend. However, with the rapid pace at which the Android smartphone landscape is changing, don’t be surprised if this list gets updated, or even overhauled in the coming days. Until then, watch this space.
First published: he is