Best mid-range Android phones for the 2nd half of 2016

Unlike flagship smartphones, those on the mid-range are a dime a dozen. In fact, some manufacturers have more than two in that category at any given time. It results in an irony of choice, which, while giving you dozens of options to fit your budget and style, can also paralyze you with indecision. To help you in that crucial decision-making process this shopping season, we present you some of the best wallet-friendly smartphones that have landed this second half of the year, offering you the best bang for your buck when you don't have much bucks to spend in the first place.

What’s in a name?

Gone are the days when the lines between high, mid, and low-end are easily seen and determined by almost all parts of the hardware. These days, even these budget-smart smartphones can boast of 4 GB of RAM, copious storage, or competitive cameras, features you'd find in high-end devices. Some might even have prices that will make you faint, for better or for worse. The one remaining constant factor that delineates high-end from mid-range is the processor themselves, which is basically how chip makers also divide their product lines. We do so likewise here. So without further ado, in order of appearance, here are 8 of the top mid-range smartphones for the second half of 2016.

BlackBerry DTEK50

BlackBerry might be out of the smartphone-making game, but it still left two phones for its fans. And one still to come. For the budget-conscious BlackBerry loyal, the DTEK50 is the one to beat. It has modest specs, for sure, but, hey, mid-range. In addition to getting a well-rounded smartphone, you also have access to all the enterprise-friendly software BlackBerry has to offer. Plus you get to flaunt the brand of a now historic company.

Price: $299

• Operating System: Android 6.0 Marshmallow• CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 617• RAM: 3 GB• Storage: 16 GB, expandable• Display: 5.2-inch Full HD• Main Camera: 13 MP, f/2.0, PDAF• Secondary Camera: 8 MP, f/2.2• Battery: 2,610 mAh


BLU Products is often an overlooked brand. The US-based company has lots, and we do mean lots of options to fit every budget. Of late, however, the manufacturer has gotten better at offering top-notch specs and better-than-plastic designs. The Pure XR is testament to that, one of the first mid-range smartphones to include 4 GB of RAM and a 16 megapixel, laser-assisted camera. Plus it has a "3D Touch" feature to boot. And don't worry, it's not included in the list of BLU's devices affected by a Chinese spyware.

Price: $299

• Operating System: Android 6.0 Marshmallow• CPU: MediaTek Helio P10• RAM: 4 GB• Storage: 64 GB, expandable• Display: 5.5-inch Full HD Super AMOLED• Main Camera: 16 MP, PDAF, Laser AF• Secondary Camera: 8 MP, LED Flash• Battery: 3,000 mAh, quick charge


OPPO boasted that the F1s is the Selfie Expert and, based on our review, it truly is. At least for its budget tier. That comes via its 16 megapixel 1/3-inch front camera sensor with an f/2.0 aperture. In terms of specs, the OPPO F1s is pretty much your run of the mill mid-range device. The only downside to it is the 720p screen, when most of its rivals are all sporting 1080p.

Price: $270

• Operating System: Android 5.1 Lollipop• CPU: MediaTek Helio P10• RAM: 3 GB• Storage: 32 GB, expandable• Display: 5.5-inch HD• Main Camera:13 MP, f/2.2, PDAF• Secondary Camera: 16 MP, f/2.0• Battery: 3,075 mAh

Moto Z Play

The now Lenovo-owned Motorola made an interesting play with the new Moto Z line, but not everyone can afford those high-end prices. Not to worry, as the company didn't forget about its more financially constrained customers. While the Moto Z Play is mid-range through and through, you might forget about that when you start playing with the Moto Mods that are compatible with it. You might also forget about it being a mid-range phone when you gawk at its price tag.

Price: $449

• Operating System: Android 6.0 Marshmallow• CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 625• RAM: 3 GB• Storage: 32 GB, expandable• Display: 5.5-inch Full HD• Main Camera: 16 MP, f/2.0 PDAF, Laser AF, HDR• Secondary Camera: 5 MP, f/2.2, LED Flash• Battery: 3,510 mAh, TurboPower fast charging

Sony Xperia X Compact

In terms of price, however, it is Sony's mini flagship that asks the most. But for die-hard Sony fans, that's just fine and actually not that unusual for the company. The Xperia X Compact, after all, is just like other Compacts before it, bearing near flagship specs. That, however, may have been true in the past, but it now has a lot more competition in that space. That said, there are still a few things going for it, like that large 23 megapixel camera and Sony's new "loop surface" design.

Price: $499

• Operating System: Android 6.0 Marshmallow• CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 650• RAM: 3 GB• Storage: 32 GB, expandable• Display: 4.6-inch HD• Main Camera: 23 MP 1/2.3-inch, f/2.0, Predictive Hybrid AF• Secondary Camera: 5 MP 1/3-inch, f/2.0• Battery: 2,700 mAh, Quick Charge 3.0

HTC Desire 10 Pro/Lifestyle

Despite numerous setbacks, HTC continues to try to break even with its smartphones. The HTC 10 flagship may have been warmly received, but isn't exactly raking in the dough. With its Desire 10 Pro and Desire 10 Lifestyle, HTC has brought some of the appealing features of its flagship to the mid-range, particularly the new design language it has adopted. The specs aren't that bad either, giving you two options depending on how much you have in your wallet.

Price: $385/$230

• Operating System: Android 6.0 Marshmallow• CPU: MediaTek Helio P10/Qualcomm Snapdragon 400• RAM: 4 GB/3 GB• Storage: 64 GB/32 GB, expandable• Display: 5.5-inch Full HD/HD• Main Camera: 20 MP, f/2.2/13 MP, f/2.2• Secondary Camera: 13 MP, f/2.2/5 MP, f/2.8• Battery: 3,000 mAh/2,700 mAh

UMi Plus/Plus E

UMi is an up and coming new brand that is aggressively pushing its smartphones to the international smartphone market, including the US. What is quite unique about its marketing push is how it isn't shy about name-dropping big brands it uses for its components, be it a Sharp display, Samsung silicon and camera. The UMi Plus does have a few quirks, as detailed in our review, but nothing a very low price tag won't make you forget. The company has recently announced an UMi Plus E with even beefier specs. Sadly, it won't last long.

Price: $199

• Operating System: Android 6.0 Marshmallow• CPU:MediaTek Helio P10/P20• RAM: 4 GB Samsung LPDDR3/6 GB Samsung LPDDR4, expandable• Storage: 32 GB/64 GB• Display: 5.5-inch Sharp Full HD• Main Camera: 13 MP, PDAF• Secondary Camera: 5 MP• Battery: 4,000 mAh Pump Express+ fast charging

Huawei Mate 9 Lite

Huawei may have scored a winner with the Mate 9, so it isn't surprising that it is aiming to bring that to the mid-range as well. Of course, it isn't going to be as impressive as the main course, but if you're looking for a smartphone that looks like a Mate 9, has a dual camera setup, but doesn't cost as much, the Mate 9 Lite is the one for you. While performance isn't going to be the best, it won't be shabby either. Given how fresh it is, however, we're still waiting on complete availability details

Price: TBA

• Operating System: Android 6.0 Marshmallow• CPU: HiSilicon Kirin 655• RAM: 3 or 4 GB• Storage: 32 or 64 GB, expandable• Display: 5.5-inch Full HD• Main Camera: 12 MP + 2 MP• Secondary Camera: 8 MP• Battery: 3,340 mAh, fast charging


This is admittedly just the tip of the iceberg and there has literally been dozens of mid-range devices launched within the last 5 or so months. Hopefully, however, this list has given you an idea of what's available out there and some of the best among the breed. Of course, if you have the budget to spare, you might as well aim for something a bit higher that will most likely last you more than 2 years of service.