You've got your high-end flagships like the iPhone 14, and the best cheap phones like the Moto G31 – but in between those two extremes are the mid-rangers, the handsets that hit the sweet spot when it comes to balancing price against performance.
These phones won't break the bank in terms of their cost, nor will they let you down with their performance. Sure, the top-tier handsets such as the Samsung Galaxy S23 are going to be faster in terms of benchmarks and performance, but you could make the case that most people aren't going to notice the difference or need any extra speed.
If you're on a really tight budget then a mid-range phone might be beyond your reach, but with these devices on offer, we think it really is worth spending the extra cash if you can. The upgrades you get – in terms of camera quality, battery life, display and so on – are significant ones compared to the cheapest handsets on the market.
With Amazon Prime Day now around the corner (it's set to take place from 11 to 12 July), you'll have the opportunity to grab these handsets for an even lower price. Keep your eyes on T3 for the best deals as they happen, and on these mid-range phones in particular.
1. Google Pixel 7a
The Google Pixel 'a' series has a strong reputation for keeping the best bits of the flagship Pixel models and wrapping them up in a cheaper package. That's exactly what the Google Pixel 7a does again: while it has the same Tensor G2 processor as the Google Pixel 7 and the same 8GB of RAM, it starts at £449, not £599.
The compromises Google has made to get that price drop are subtle – think slower battery charging speeds, a slightly smaller screen, and plastic instead of aluminium – and it means the Pixel 7a is just about one of the best value phones you can pick up at the moment. It comes in a range of fetching colours too (Charcoal, Snow, Sea or Coral).
As always with Google Pixel phones, you get the latest versions of Android as soon as they drop, plus some handy exclusive extras like the Recorder app for turning spoken voice notes into digital text. The photo and video capture quality is another reason to buy a Google Pixel, and the Pixel 7a excels here too.
2. Apple iPhone 12
There's no precise definition when it comes to what constitutes a mid-ranger and what doesn't, so you could make a case for the £449 iPhone SE (2022). However, Apple still sells and supports the £649 iPhone 12, and we think it's the better option – it offers a bigger screen, a better camera, and modern touches such as Face ID support.
Yes, it's a little bit older now, but this is still a fantastic handset – and Apple is known for supporting its iPhones with iOS software for a substantial number of years, so it will definitely get the iOS 17 update coming later this year. The fact that it's an older handset means you might see even more discounts coming for Amazon Prime Day.
The phone remains super-speedy and super-slick, and the aforementioned camera is a champ when it comes to taking high-quality photos and videos. Battery life is impressive too, and you couldn't really ask for any more from a phone, could you? This is definitely one to put on your mid-range phone shopping shortlist.
3. Samsung Galaxy A54
And so to Samsung: the Samsung Galaxy S23 comes in at a starting price of £849, making it a bit too expensive for a mid-ranger. Consider instead the Samsung Galaxy A54, which can be yours for a mere £449 – and you get plenty of performance to work with, a decent camera, and the usual high-quality Samsung build and finish.
Remember that with Prime Day deals, that price could drop even lower. There's a gorgeous 6.4-inch, 120Hz AMOLED display to enjoy here, as well as a triple-lens rear camera and up to 256GB of internal storage. This phone launched in 2023 too, so you'll be in line for Android updates for plenty of years yet.
Of course there are trade-offs, as with any mid-ranger: the internal processor isn't the best, and there's no wireless charging, for example. However, we think that most people are going to be more than happy with what they get here – it's an example of just how good mid-range phones can be. And for a great price, as you can see in the live widget below. Happy shopping!