Best Smartphones

Best Midrange Smartphones from $200 to $400

September 2018 Edition

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When premium phones are out of financial reach and entry-level handsets just don’t make your cut, something in between is the next best thing. This is our updated list of the best midrange smartphones retailing from US$ 200 to US$ 400.

Formulating this category was tricky, since you can’t set an exact price and some of these devices are, in fact, the flagship phones of their respective brands. To simplify things, we chose a price range that simply sits between our other lists for best budget, upper-midrange, and premium smartphones.

Here they are in no particular order:

Honor Play ($290)

This phone proves that you can have flagship performance in a midrange offering. With the same processor as the one inside the premium Huawei P20 Pro, the Honor Play is an absolute beast for mobile gaming on the go, especially with GPU Turbo enhancement out of the box.

REVIEW: Honor Play

ASUS ZenFone 5 ($385)

Finally, a midrange ZenFone that’s priced just right! After losing precious momentum with the premium pricing of the ZenFone 4 lineup, the ZenFone 5 brings order back to ASUS, along with a balanced mix of AI-powered processing and versatile set of cameras.

REVIEW: ASUS ZenFone 5

Xiaomi Mi A2 (EUR 249)

The follow-up to the widely popular Mi A1 is here, and it’s packing lots of power. With a faster processor, larger screen, and the same pure Android interface we all know and love, the Mi A2 provides a Pixel-like experience at a fraction of the cost.

REVIEW: Xiaomi Mi A2

OPPO F9 ($335)

Now equipped with a host of new features — including a brand-new notch design, dual rear cameras, and fast charging — the OPPO F9 is a worthy successor to the successful F7 before it. This selfie expert also comes with a variety of attractive colors, as well as more powerful specs.

REVIEW: OPPO F9

Pocophone F1 ($300)

No surprises here; the Pocophone F1 is the slayer of flagship killers with its unbelievable specs and features at such an affordable price point. Its high-end Snapdragon 845 processor, generous amount of memory and storage, as well as Xiaomi’s own MIUI software make this a powerhouse through and through.

REVIEW: Pocophone F1


Updates as of September 2018:

  • Replaced Moto G6 with Pocophone F1
  • Replaced OPPO F7 with F9
  • Replaced Huawei P20 Lite with Honor Play
  • Replaced Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 with Mi A2

Updates as of August 2018:

  • Replaced Vivo V9 with Moto G6

Best Smartphones

Best Budget Smartphones below $200

September 2018 Edition

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Welcome to GadgetMatch’s list of the best smartphones priced below US$ 200! Each month, we update our selection with the budget-friendly phones we believe are most deserving of your hard-earned savings.

Even though the spotlight has been on high-end smartphones this entire year, there have been a few surprisingly good entry-level handsets coming out lately, as well. So good, in fact, that we had to reassess our entire list.

Here they are in no particular order:

ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M1) ($200)

ASUS has been on a roll with its ZenFone Max series lately. After the well-received ZenFone Max and Max Plus (M1), the company has released the feature-packed ZenFone Max Pro (M1). It has the processor of the much pricier ZenFone 5, a massive 5000mAh battery, and, for the first time in an ASUS phone, a clean version of Android.

REVIEW: ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M1)

OPPO A83 ($195)

Anyone on a tight budget with a hankering for a near-borderless display has to go for the A83. It’s not just OPPO’s most affordable 18:9 (that’s the tall screen ratio) smartphone; it’s also one of the cheapest you can find anywhere. But its real hero feature is an 8-megapixel front-facing camera with artificial intelligence built in for smoother selfies.

REVIEW: OPPO A83

Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus ($180)

The Redmi 5 Plus — or Redmi Note 5 if you live in India — continues the Redmi lineup’s legacy of solid hardware for the price you’re paying. This new entry introduces a more borderless 18:9 screen to the series, as well as the freshest version of Xiaomi’s well-loved interface, MIUI 9.

REVIEW: Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus (Redmi Note 5)

Xiaomi Redmi 5A ($85)

This is the best smartphone you can buy below US$ 100 at the moment. It’s got everything you need at the price point, from the reliable Snapdragon processor to the solid cameras and smooth interface. It may lack a fingerprint sensor and fast charging, but how can you say no to its incredible value?

REVIEW: Xiaomi Redmi 5A

Huawei Nova 2 Lite ($190)

Leave it to Huawei to offer such a complete package below US$ 200. The Nova 2 Lite comes equipped with dual main cameras, a fast fingerprint sensor, and some of the thinnest bezels this side of the price spectrum. Its pricier sibling the Nova 2i may be more feature-packed, but this is where the true value is at.

REVIEW: Huawei Nova 2 Lite

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Best Smartphones

Best Upper-Midrange Smartphones from $400 to $600

September 2018 Edition

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When premium phones are out of financial reach and entry-level handsets just don’t make your cut, something in between is the next best thing. This is our updated list of the best upper-midrange smartphones retailing from US$ 400 to US$ 600.

Formulating this category was tricky, since you can’t set an exact price and some of these devices are, in fact, the flagship phones of their respective brands. To simplify things, we chose a price range that simply sits between our other lists for best budget, midrange, and premium smartphones.

Here they are in no particular order:

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S ($525)

We’re still amazed by the fact that the Mi Mix 2S is able to match the Huawei Mate 10 Pro and Apple iPhone X in imaging quality — well, at least based on DxOMark scores. The new Xiaomi flagship is what the original Mi Mix 2 should have been, with its excellent dual-camera system and wireless charging.

REVIEW: Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S

Nokia 7 Plus (EUR 399)

If you find the Nokia 6 too low-end and the Nokia 8 (or its more premium Sirocco sibling) beyond your budget, then there’s nothing better than the Nokia 7 Plus for fans of great value. Not only does it have dual main cameras with Zeiss optics, it also carries Android One on board, making it pure and free of bloatware.

REVIEW: Nokia 7 Plus

Honor 10 (EUR 399)

What happens when you strip the Huawei P20 of its Leica branding yet keep almost everything else? The Honor 10, of course! It’s the closest an Honor as ever gotten to premium P-series levels, and it’s one heck of a success. This handset has high-end specifications, beautiful color options, and handy AI integration — minus the hefty price.

REVIEW: Honor 10

OnePlus 6 ($529)

We have to accept that the newest OnePlus smartphones aren’t as affordable as they once were, but that doesn’t change the fact that the OnePlus 6 is an excellent handset. That’s because it’s still priced below its high-end rivals and looks dashing in the process. Go for this if you want the most value at this price range.

REVIEW: OnePlus 6

Huawei Nova 3 ($500)

Huawei and Honor have a confusing lineup and naming scheme, but there’s no denying how feature-packed and well-priced the Nova 3 is. It has the same internals as the more expensive P20 series (minus the Leica branding, of course) and offers some grand gradients on its nicely curved back.

REVIEW: Huawei Nova 3


Updates as of September 2018:

  • Replaced Samsung Galaxy A8 with Huawei Nova 3

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Best Smartphones

Best Premium Smartphones above $600

September 2018 Edition

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If you’re looking for the very best high-end smartphones available, you’ve come to the right place! Every month, GadgetMatch updates this list with the finest devices money can buy, no matter how much they cost.

Updated monthly, this list takes every newly launched flagship costing more than US$ 600 into consideration, but doesn’t discount the smartphones that continue to make an impact since their launch last year.

Here they are in no particular order:

Samsung Galaxy S9 ($720)

Not much has changed from the Galaxy S8 to the S9, but that doesn’t matter. Samsung’s newest flagship smartphone is all about refinement and perfecting the design around the Infinity Display. A better fingerprint sensor location and software features like AR Emoji and super slow-motion video are icing on the already delicious cake.

REVIEW: Samsung Galaxy S9

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 ($999)

The Galaxy Note series has always been known for two things: being big and having that sought-after S Pen. The latest generation doesn’t deviate from that tried-and-tested formula, but has an even more powerful set of hardware and the smartest stylus we’ve ever seen on a smartphone.

REVIEW: Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Google Pixel 2 ($649)

With all the controversy swirling around the Pixel 2 XL and its display issues, it makes more sense to place its smaller sibling on this list. Even though its bezels are much thicker, the Pixel 2 has everything the larger equivalent has, including the highly rated single cameras, dual front-facing speakers, and the fastest hardware-software optimization we’ve ever seen on an Android.

REVIEW: Google Pixel 2

Vivo NEX S ($700)

Could the NEX really be the future of smartphone design? At this point, it’s tough to say, but we can confidently recommend the NEX S as one of the top premium smartphones today. Equipped with an innovative pop-up camera and in-display fingerprint scanner, it’s both a pleasure to look at and joy to use.

REVIEW: Vivo NEX S

Apple iPhone X ($999)

Love it or hate it, the iPhone X is Apple’s best smartphone to date, hands down. There were a lot of controversial factors before its launch — such as Face ID replacing Touch ID and the eye-popping prices — but having spent enough time with the handset, we’re absolutely sure it belongs on this list.

REVIEW: Apple iPhone X

Huawei P20 Pro (EUR 899)

When a smartphone’s cameras blow the competition out of the water like the P20 Pro has, then it’s a shoo-in for this list. A triple-camera setup with Leica engineering, fantastic AI integration, and some of the best colors we’ve ever seen on a handset make the new Huawei flagship a sight to behold and love.

REVIEW: Huawei P20 Pro


Updates as of September 2018:

  • Replaced Samsung Galaxy Note 8 with Galaxy Note 9

Updates as of August 2018:

  • Replaced Huawei Mate 10 Pro with Vivo NEX S

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