The year 2106 is coming to end and as we look back at the top smartphones in the market, you will find that the mid-range smartphones gave a tough fight or at some point vanquished the so-called flagship devices. This year we have a complete overhaul in the mid-range segment as companies like OnePlus and Xiaomi came out with devices that give a flagship killer specs at half the price of what other top-notch players are offering. But in this sea of options, it becomes a mountainous task to choose the best from the rest. But don’t worry, to make things simpler we have handpicked the devices which are priced from Rs 20,001 to Rs 30,000. So without wasting any more time, we present you the best mid-range smartphones of 2016.
One phone to rule them all! This is the perfect way to summarise the OnePlus 3. The company totally changed the perception of a mid-range smartphone with the launch of OnePlus 3 as it gave flagship killing specs at a crazy price. Yes, many would argue that the design resembles HTC flagship devices, but it didn’t stop it to become one of the best smartphones we have seen in 2016. The phone is a style icon and monster performer, all thanks to the top-of-the-line design and hardware. We chose OnePlus 3 over the 3T, as the former has been present in the market for a longer period of time and has garnered lots of praise from the experts in India and around the world, while the latter is just launched in India. The smartphone comes with a 5.5-inch optic AMOLED display with a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, which gives excellent. The device is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, which we had seen in only high-end premium smartphones coupled with a huge 6GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage. One of the major highlights of the smartphone is the Dash Charge technology that claims to replenish over 60 per cent of the battery within 30 minutes, meaning that you won’t have to wait for a long time, in order to charge a device. OnePlus 3 boasts a16 megapixel rear camera with f2.0 aperture, 1.12 Âµm pixels, phase detection autofocus feature and Optical Image Stabilisation coupled with an 8-megapixel camera on the front, with both cameras gave a good performance in our testing. Overall, it is safe to say that OnePlus 3 is probably the best phone, we have seen in a long time. Period.
Price: Rs 27,999
Xiaomi Mi 5
Xiaomi created a gargantuan wave in the tech town when it launched its next-gen flagship, the Mi 5. It was Xiaomi that gave flagship killing specs with an affordable price tag before OnePlus launched its flagship device. The Xiaomi Mi 5 was the first smartphone to employ Sony’s latest IMX298 sensor. The 13-megapixel rear camera comes with phase detect AF and a deep trench isolation (DTI) feature which provide pixel to pixel isolation. The phone also supports 4K recording. It also came with a 4-axis optical image stabilisation which compensates for camera shakes along the longitudinal, latitudinal planes, rolling shake and stutter so that you can get a sharp and blur-free image. The device is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor coupled with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, which can handle each and task you throw at it with ease. The smartphone comes with a 3,000mAh battery with QuickCharge 3.0 and runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The device is compact, comes with some top-of-the-line specs with an affordable pricing, making it one of the best phones available in the market.
Price: Rs 24,999
Huawei’s sub-brand Honor came up with a device which is not only a good-looking one but also carries the legacy of the elder brother, the Huawei P9 in terms of camera performance with its dual-camera setup. The Honor 8 has a dual 12-megapixel camera unit in the rear that features a large 1.25 um pixels and f/2.2 aperture. One is capable of only taking snaps in black and white while the other takes the photo in colour. The photo we get is the combination of the output of both the device, thus making a photo well detailed even in low lights. The device does click some amazing pictures, though the colours reproduction of snaps is slightly on the warmer side but the quality will not disappoint. And it is a design marvel in its own right as it stands out of the crowd with its premium, shiny gloss finish. It does perform lag free as well with HiSilicon Kirin 950 processor coupled with 4GB RAM and 32GB of internal storage coupled with 5.2-inch full HD display which gives a bright, crisp display with excellent colour reproduction. Overall, the smartphone does impress you in all fronts and that’s why it has made its way to our top five picks.
Price: Rs 29,999
Motorola Moto Z Play
Motorola gave an interesting twist to the modular concept with the launch of Moto Z and Moto Z Play. The smartphones saved a concept which was on the verge of becoming obsolete in 2016. One can attach different modules (mods) magnetically by just slapping it on the rear panel. The company unveiled JBL Soundboost speaker, Hasselblad True Zoom Camera, Insta share projector and Incipio Offgrid power pack but these mods will cost you some extra bucks. Although the Moto Z is a premium device, Moto Z Play is the one that caught the eye on many with its striking design. The smartphone is ideal for those who want a modular phone without spending much. The device is just 6.99mm thin and comes with an aluminium frame and glass back with water repellent coating on its body. The major highlight of the device is it can deliver up to 45 hours of battery life and is said to be Moto’s longest-lasting battery ever. It has TurboPower charging feature that claims to charge it up to 8 hours in just 15 minutes. The phone offers a 2.0 GHz octa-core processor (Snapdragon 625), 5.5 inch 1080p Super AMOLED display and 3GB RAM of memory (LPDDR3 RAM). It has a 16MP laser autofocus camera that has laser auto focus, f2.0 aperture, 1.3 um pixel size, 4x digital zoom, burst mode, auto HDR, 4K video recording ability, slow motion video recording feature, and professional mode. A 5-megapixel camera with f2.2 aperture, 85-degree wide angle lens, flashlight, professional mode, beauty mode and auto night mode is in its front. Overall, with some gorgeous-looking design coupled with X factor of modularity, Moto Z Play shines brightly.
Price: Rs 24,999
Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016)
The 2016 variant of the Galaxy A7 shines bright with its biggest differentiator factor than its predecessorâ€”a perfect blend of glass and metal. The device has a glass on its back and front panel while the sides are made of metal, which gives it a very distinct look. The smartphone, in spite of sporting a 5.5-inch display, is just 7.3mm thick and weighs 169 grams. Samsung is known for making some exceptionally good displays and this is reflected in the A7 (2016) as well. The device comes with a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display which offers some superb colour output. The phone also scores good marks in camera performance as it comes with 13-megapixel rear camera which gives decent pictures in low lights and the camera is quite fast. The device is powered by an octa-core Exynos 7580 processor coupled with 16GB of storage and 3GB of RAM, which performed decently in our testing. Overall, if you desire for an oomph factor in your phone, the A7 (2016) won’t disappoint you.
Price: Rs 25,900
Asus recently updated its Zenfone series with the launch of Zenfone 3. The smartphone comes with a sleek design language and captures some amazing photos thanks to the 16-megapixel rear camera. As for specs, the Zenfone 3 has the Snapdragon 625 processor, an 8-megapixel front camera. It has two variants – one with a 5.2 inch full HD display, 3 GB RAM, 32 GB internal memory and a 2650 mAh battery while the other has a 5.5 inch IPS LCD full HD display, a 3000 mAh battery, 4GB RAM and 64GB internal memory. Although, the device performed well, but was the top contender to feature in this list.