Xiaomi’s flagships are packed with powerful hardware, but you don’t need to pay a hefty amount of money when the company’s mid-budget and budget offerings also contain enough high-end features to make them amazing bargains. The Poco F3 is one of these models that despite being over a year old, is still a tempting 5G phone for $ 300. Xiaomi recently released a high-end GT variant of its successor, but the regular F4 is yet to be announced.
The Poco F3 is powered by Qualcomm’s SD 870 5G SoC, which is paired with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. These specifications, along with Android 11-based MIUI shine on a large and bright 120Hz 6.67-inch 1080p AMOLED display within a well-built, well-designed glass and plastic body. The Poco F3’s three-camera array is big in terms of megapixels, though expect to see decent results (and not much more) from its main 48MP shooter.
It comes with a 4,520 mAh thick battery with 33 W fast charging support, so you will charge it less often. MicroSD slot and 3.5mm jack may be the only notable omissions that can be found on all of our remaining budget options. However, there are other features that make up for these two, such as stereo speakers, a side fingerprint sensor and an IR explosive.
For the price, the Poco F3 offers an outstanding display for content consumption, long battery life and solid build quality. Xiaomi’s highly customizable MIUI skin can be a little weird at times, but the company offers decent software support, which means you’ll get up to Android 13 and monthly or quarterly security patches until 2024.
OnePlus midwives have become more and more exciting than the company’s flagships, as they are more in line with OnePlus ’original philosophy of delivering the best profit. That’s why the Nord series has seen a rapid expansion in recent years, with the Nord CE 2 5G being the best value OnePlus currently available.
The 2022 model is basically an Oppo Reno 7 dress with a slightly different design and OnePlus brand, but don’t let that push you away. Underneath its sleek 7.8mm pure-looking shell is a capable Dimensity 900 SoC with 6GB of RAM that runs Oxygen OS 11 on a sleek and sharp 6.4-inch 90Hz AMOLED display. Although the iconic OnePlus attention slider is missing, this model adds microSD expansion over the original Nord CE and retains the 3.5mm slot.
Nord’s three-camera system works admirably for a medium guard, especially the 64MP main wide-angle lens. While it matches the aforementioned Samsung rival in terms of battery capacity, the 4,500mAh unit in the Nord CE 2 supports reverse charging as well as much faster 65W SuperVOOC charging, with OnePlus generous enough to include the adapter in the box.
In terms of software and security support, OnePlus lags behind Samsung. The 2022 Nord CE 2 is expected to receive just two major OS updates (up to Android 13) along with three years of security support. Although another year would have added a lot to its value proposition, the average price point of this accomplished all-around will make it easier to upgrade when the need arises.
Phone buyers who want to get the best value from their next purchase should consider the Galaxy A52s 5G. Somehow this mid-range guard is even better than its successor, the A53 5G. The older A52s not only have almost identical specifications in terms of display, cameras and memory / storage, it powers these components with a superior Qualcomm chip instead of Samsung’s own Exynos SoC used in the newer model, and includes the always useful 3.5mm. sonfanto.
For just over $ 300, shoppers get 5G connectivity, a sharp 6.5-inch 120Hz AMOLED display, a 64MP three-camera array and 4GB / 128GB of storage (basic model) with microSD exchange.
The 4,500mAh battery will easily last through a day of moderate use, although it takes a few hours to charge with the supplied 15W adapter. The phone also supports a faster 25W cable charge, so users can deal with the problem by getting a more powerful adapter.
Being an older model, the 2021 Galaxy A52s ships with Android 11 out of the box and therefore will see less software support along the line. Three more years of major OS updates means this phone will be eligible for Android 14, while four years of security support will get you monthly patches until 2025.
In several good and bad ways, the iPhone SE 2022 offers what no other phone on this list can do. A really compact, yet powerful package with 5G connectivity (sub-6GHz) for $ 429, which not only beats the peer-to-peer competition easily, but will even give expensive Android flankers a run for their money. On the other hand, you won’t find such a dated screen and bezel-heavy design on a $ 400 + phone.
The iPhone SE 2022 uses the same A15 Bionic chip as the iPhone 13, which means brilliant iOS performance and industry-leading software. The single-lens 12MP camera with OIS, though not as versatile as dual or three-lens systems, is still a solid performer. What’s disappointing is that you’ll experience this hardware, and all the other features, on a sub-par 4.7-inch 750p 60Hz screen. The inclusion of large bezels, top and bottom, does not help either. Perhaps the only thing for it here is the return of the iconic Home button with Touch ID, which some Apple users still prefer (and miss) over Face ID.
Due to its smaller size, the iPhone SE 2022 also suffers in terms of battery life. Despite its efficient SoC and software, the 2,018mAh battery is almost half the capacity of what packaged mid-range Android rivals these days, so expect to charge it regularly at night (more with 5G enabled).
If you really want a compact phone that will last you for years, the iPhone SE 2022 with all its compromises is still the best bet right now. It’s also the cheapest way to experience iOS, since the modern look iPhone 12 Mini ($ 599) and 13 Mini ($ 699) are too expensive for what they offer.