With the ever-increasing smartphone market in India and people tending to spend even more for the smartphone in their pocket, the midrange segment has grown very popular especially phones in the price segment 15,000-20,000. One of the main reasons is that this segment tends to provide most bang for the buck and remains an economical option for most of the Indian buyers. Most of these phones provide almost flagship level performance (and some flagship killers) with a bit lower graphical performance as compared to flagships and a sub-par camera performance.
With sale season about to hit e-commerce websites (Flipkart and Amazon), it is a good time to round up the top picks in this segment. This collection has something for everyone – the Samsung lovers, to the selfie obsessed Oppo guys, from team Xiaomi to Honor and Realme. Let’s have a look at them one by one.
- Xiaomi Poco F1
- Last year, Xiaomi launched the new subrand Poco, with Poco F1 as it’s first and only phone till date.
- The subrand was meant to bring down flagship specs to the price of a mid-range device. It was meat to bring flagship specs from phones costing 70-80,000 Rs to a phone with price tag around 22,000.
- With Snapdragon 845 onboard, the Poco F1 became the cheapest device with this flagship chip.
- Like any other flagship killer, this phone follows the same flagship formula. It houses a Snapdragon 845, 6 -8GB RAM, an okayish camera with a notch and facial recognition array.
- Snapdragon 845
- 6GB RAM – 64/128 storage, 8GB RAM – 256GB storage
- Adreno 630 GPU
- Screen to body ratio – 82.2%
- Hybrid dual nano sim (dual standby)
- 6.18 -inch 18.7:9 (1080 x 2246 pixels) IPS LCD display (403 PPI)
- Dual: 12 MP, f/1.9, 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF
5 MP, f/2.0, 1.12µm, depth sensor
and secondary 20 MP, f/2.0, 0.9µm
- 4000 mAh battery.
- Even after offering such specs at this price, they didn’t skimp on the camera quality. The camera is quite good and even in low light. Can be said to have the best camera in the price segment.
- Even the base model comes with 6GB RAM and 64 GB storage and is the best value of all the models.
- The screen quality is good with good color reproduction and accuracy and gets sufficiently bright for outdoor viewing.
- True depth facial recognition system hence works even in pitch darkness.
- Battery life is just amazing. Can last up to an average of 1.5days.
- The notch is quite big and the cameras and array of sensors are not nicely hidden using a tinted glass.
- OIS is missing hence video quality may take a hit sometime and low and artificial light performance also takes a hit at times. Although EIS does a good enough job for video stabilization.
- Not a proper dual stereo speaker. The earpiece volume level is very tinny (not even close to the main speaker)
- The polycarbonate (aka plastic) back does seem and feel cheap but can’t complain give the price point. Might matter to someone looking for that premium glass feel.
- The notch and the chin are quite huge and the rounded corners waste some real pixels.
Unique selling point– People looking for value flagship with a good enough camera and a snappy UI
- Honor Play
- Honor Play is a device that just follows the classical formula of making a flagship killer just like Poco F1.
- It is aimed at power users and gamers at a mid-range budget packing in a top of the line specifications with a metallic back rather than the hugely popular metallic back.
- Comes with the flagship chip by Huawei, the Kirin 970 and features focusing
- Honor has included a turbo graphics feature focused on enhancing the gaming performance and reducing the battery life at the same time,
- HiSilicon Kirin 970 Octa-core (4×2.4 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A53)
- 4/6GB RAM – 64 GB / 128 GB Storage (expandable up to 256GB using SIM Slot 2)
- Mali-G72 MP12 GPU
- Screen to body ratio – 83%
- Hybrid dual nano sim (dual standby)
- 6.3 -inch 19.5:9 (1080 x 2340 pixels) IPS LCD display (409 PPI)
- Dual: 16MP f/2.2, PDAF and 2MP f/2.4 depth sensor.
and secondary 16 MP, f/2.0, 1 µm
- 3750 mAh battery.
- The build quality is amazing, feels dense with a metallic unibody
- Amazing screen quality, IPS screen with not that big notch. It’s not as wide as Poco F1.
- The processor is of flagship grade. The processor used in this phone is also used in Huawei flagships like the Huawei P20 Pro and Honor 10.
- Battery life on this phone is really good. The combination of a massive cell with a power efficient chipset gives up to 1.5 days on an average on a single charge.
- The front-facing camera is surprisingly good. The rear camera also includes video stabilization even in 4K mode.
- Headphone output is really amazing, better than most of the competition.
- Camera quality is not as good as some other Honor phones in low and artificial lighting conditions. In natural lighting conditions, it is fine.
- The phone has a single speaker and the speaker performance is quite average or even below average even at maximum volume while consuming media.
- The phone can heat up under pressure or duress.
- The sim card slot is hybrid
Unique selling point- An alternative to the value flagship like Poco F1 who doesn’t prefer a Xiaomi Phone but rather loves Huawei UI. Also, for someone who would prefer a metallic phone rather than a polycarbonate back.
- Realme X
- Realme has kept its main focus of providing value phones with a good camera and modern design.
- Realme X brings the modern design of having a no interruption display without a notch or a punch hole camera. It houses a popup camera and a under display fingerprint scanner.
- The body is made of polycarbonate back and offers a shiny glass like look.
- The device also has its proprietary VOOC 3.0 fast charging, Snapdragon 710 with 4,6 or 8 GB of RAM and a 48MP camera.
- Snapdragon 710 chipset
- 4/6GB RAM – 64 GB storage or 8GB RAM – 128 GB storage
- Adreno 616 GPU
- Screen to body ratio – 85.9%
- Dual nano sim (dual standby)
- 6.53 -inch 19.5:9 (1080 x 2340 pixels) OLDE display (394 PPI)
- Dual: 48 MP, f/1.7, (wide), 26mm (wide), 1/2″, 0.8µm, PDAF
5 MP, f/2.4, depth sensor and secondary Motorized pop-up 16 MP, f/2.0, 25mm (wide), 1/3″, 1.0µm
- 3765 mAh LiPo battery.
- The design is nothing like in its class. A true notchless interruption free device. The display looks beautiful to look at.
- One of the only phones in the range to house an under-display fingerprint scanner and that too a sufficiently fast one
- The device also houses an OLED display which is not a very common thing.
- Camera produces nice shots with certain pop in them. Contrast is high, colors are vivid and dynamic range is quite wide. Decent low light performance, awesome portraits and pretty great selfies
- Phone has a piezo earpiece which is not the best listening experience.
- MicroSD slot is missing.
- Lack of ultra-wide camera when the competition boasts it
Unique selling point- The modern look with a popup camera and an under-display fingerprint scanner and an amazing camera
- Samsung Galaxy M40
- Samsung has come a long way from its offerings from a couple of years ago. Those devices lacked the amazing value for money proposition that the Chinese competition was touting.
- This forced Samsung to churn out much better devices like the M series and the new A series,
- The new devices started offering flagship grade design and specs to challenge or even match their Chinese counterparts.
- Finally, with M series here, the Samsung midrange started making some sense again.
- M40 is one of the latest offerings by Samsung in the M lineup
- Snapdragon 675 chipset
- 4GB RAM – 64 GB storage or 6GB RAM – 128 GB storage
- Adreno 612 GPU
- Screen to body ratio – 84.9%
- Hybrid Dual nano sim (dual standby)
- 6.3 -inch 19.5:9 (1080 x 2340 pixels) TFT LCD display (409 PPI)
- Triple 32 MP, f/1.7, 0.8µm, PDAF
8 MP, f/2.2, 12mm (ultrawide), 1.12µm, PDAF
5 MP, f/2.2, depth sensor and secondary Motorized pop-up 16 MP, f/2.0
- 3500 mAh LiPo battery.
- The Snapdragon 675 processor used is a very powerful as well as power efficient chipset.
- The main camera is very good and the addition of that wide-angle lens produces some really dramatic shots.
- The full view display with an infinity O display makes it look very modern.
- The OneUI makes the day to day usage very snappy.
- Camera produces pictures that become soft in artificial or low lighting condition. Macro shots was a bit difficult to capture due to a little bit of trouble in focusing on close by subjects. Selfies were also a bit on the softer side even after turning off the beauty mode.
- The screen quality is fine but given the price, the decision by Samsung to include a TFT LCD panel instead of an AMOLED or even an IPS LCD panel makes you feel cheated.
- It does not have a dedicated auto-brightness sensor and uses the camera for adjustments which makes it very slow.
- Lack of headphone jack and presence of a single speaker doesn’t make it the first choice for media consumption because the volume output by the single speaker is quite low
Unique selling point – A device for someone who wants a phone from a tier 1 brand like Samsung.
- Oppo F11 Pro
- Oppo in the recent years have become synonymous with an innovative company which creates gorgeous looking smartphones
- In classic Oppo fashion, the device is centered around a great camera. The camera really does impress
- Another feature that makes the device standout is the popup selfie camera meant to give way to the full screen display without any notch and punch hole cutout.
- The F11 pro has it all going that makes a device this beautiful
- Mediatek Helio P70 (12 nm)
- 4GB RAM – 64 GB storage or 6GB RAM – 64/128 GB storage
- Mali G72 – MP3
- Screen to body ratio – 84.4%
- Hybrid Dual nano sim (dual standby)
- 6.53 -inch 19.5:9 (1080 x 2340 pixels) IPS LCD display (397 PPI)
- Dual 48 MP, f/1.8, (wide), 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF
5 MP, f/2.4, 1/5″, 1.12µm, depth sensor and secondary Motorized pop-up 16 MP, f/2.0, 1/3.1″, 1.0µm
- 4000 mAh LiPo battery.
- This is one hell of a gorgeous device with its triple gradient back to its no interruption display without notch or hole punches.
- The camera as usual is in the center of the device as the main focus. It works like charm in most of the situation
- Massive battery and VOOC 3.0 charging (one of the fastest fast charging around) serves the power user pretty well and can handle everything like a breeze
- In the camera app, shooting at full 48MP resolution makes you miss out on many features like scene recognition and HDR making it quite useless
- Lack of variable focal length makes the secondary camera quite a waste.
- Ironically this modern device with all the popup camera and full screen display lacks the modern USB C port and houses a micro USB connector instead.
- The device is also slightly heavy due to its glass build (bit more than average)
Unique selling point – Beautiful design and a nice camera to match who loves Oppo phones