Best Smartphones

Best Upper-Midrange Smartphones from $400 to $600

November 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 3 ($475)

No more awkward selfies! After years of taking photos using a chin-mounted front camera, Xiaomi’s Mi Mix series finally found a way to put the lens on top of the display — and it involves a magnetic slider. It’s accompanied by some of the best rear cameras in the market, as well as a ceramic back and wireless charging.

MORE: Xiaomi Mi Mix 3

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 November 2018:

  • Replaced Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S with Mi Mix 3

Best Smartphones

Best Budget Smartphones below $200

November 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 A3S ($195)

While the memory and storage may be lacking for some users, the OPPO A3S’ powerful processor and battery combo make this a legit gaming and productivity smartphone at this price point. It’s pretty good for selfies, as well.

REVIEW: OPPO A3S

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

Moto E5 Plus ($190)

There are times when you simply want a large battery and display without spending too much; the Moto E5 Plus offers all that. It may have a few shortcomings, but we can’t deny how great of a multimedia device it is for long trips.

REVIEW: Moto E5 Plus


Updates as of Novmber 2018:

  • Replaced Huawei Nova 2 Lite with Moto E5 Plus

Updates as of October 2018:

  • Replaced OPPO A83 with OPPO A3S

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Best Smartphones

Best Midrange Smartphones from $200 to $400

November 2018 Edition

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on

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

Vivo V11 ($400)

How can you go wrong with an in-display fingerprint scanner on a decently priced midrange smartphone? There’s little to dislike with the Vivo V11, as it also comes with a speedy Snapdragon 660 processor and a bright AMOLED display around the well-designed notch.

REVIEW: Vivo V11

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

Honor 8X (EUR 249)

Honor is once again disrupting the market with yet another nicely valued phone in the Honor 8X. Its specifications and features match those of more expensive phones, while the build quality and screen size excel in most cases.

REVIEW: Honor 8X

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 November 2018:

  • Replaced OPPO F9 with Honor 8X

Updates as of October 2018:

  • Replaced ASUS ZenFone 5Z with Vivo V11

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

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Best Smartphones

Best Premium Smartphones above $600

November 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 3 ($799)

As good as the Pixel 3 XL is, we’re recommending its smaller sibling once again. Not only is its 5.5-inch screen the perfect size for one-handed use, the absence of a notch makes all the difference in this era of camera cutouts. As expected, the Pixel 3 has the best single rear camera in the biz, plus the extra camera in front adds another dimension to selfies.

REVIEW: Google Pixel 3

Huawei Mate 20 Pro (EUR 1,049)

Good luck finding a more complete smartphone than the Mate 20 Pro this year. Ask for a feature, and Huawei’s flagship likely has it. Let’s see: wireless charging (and in reverse), modern 7nm chipset, highly versatile camera setup, in-display fingerprint scanner, 3D facial recognition, curved OLED HDR display, water and dust resistance, generous battery — the list goes on.

REVIEW: Huawei Mate 20 Pro

Apple iPhone XS and XS Max ($999)

While they look nearly identical to last year’s model, it’s the inside that matters most for the iPhone XS and its Max equivalent. The new A12 Bionic processor is leaps and bounds faster than anything else in the market, and the integration of iOS 12 is as smooth as butter.

REVIEW: Apple iPhone XS and XS Max

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 November 2018:

  • Replaced Vivo NEX S with Huawei Mate 20 Pro
  • Replaced Google Pixel 2 with Pixel 3

Updates as of October 2018:

  • Replaced Apple iPhone X with iPhone XS and XS Max

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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