5 reasons to choose a mid-range phone over a flagship in 2020

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Written by Anuj Bhatia
| New Delhi |

Published: July 30, 2020 5:22:49 pm

Will your next smartphone be a mid-ranger or a flagship? (Image credit: OnePlus India)
For years, the mid-range phones have played second fiddle to flagships. However, in 2020, the conversations around the mid-range phones have changed. The sub-Rs 25,000 smartphone segment has all of a sudden become more appealing to consumers due to the coronavirus pandemic. While top-end devices like the iPhone 11 Pro Max and Galaxy S20 Ultra will always coexist alongside the iPhone SE and Galaxy A51, most people won’t be willing to shell out beyond a point for a phone. Here are reasons why you should get a mid-range phone instead of a flagship, beyond the obvious price considerations.
Mid-range phones are gaining premium features
There is a perception that a majority of mid-range phones still can’t match the performance and features of top-tier smartphones. Well, that’s a wrong assessment. Take the case of the OnePlus Nord and OnePlus 8 Pro. Both phones cater to different price segments but still deliver very similar overall experiences. The point we are trying to make is that mid-range phones now feel, and perform, like flagship phones. This isn’t to say that high-end phones don’t bring anything more to the table. They do, but you don’t have to pay Rs 70,499 for the Galaxy S20 to get a signature feature like Single Take which can also be experienced on the mid-tier Galaxy M31s. On the hardware front, 2020’s mid-range phones have all the extra bells and whistles that were limited to premium phones. In-display fingerprint sensors and edge-to-edge displays with higher refresh rate screens are now standard among many mid-range phones.
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Mid-range phones have some extra features that the flagships don’t offer
You will be surprised to note that the mid-range phones are even more appealing than many critically-acclaimed flagships of 2020. A mid-range phone like the OnePlus Nord supports 5G but the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra doesn’t. Mid-range phones like the Galaxy M31s come with a 6000mAh battery but many popular flagship phones struggle to last even a day. What also makes mid-range phones better than the latest flagships is that they still feature a 3.5mm headphone jack. The 3.5-mm headphone jack is still important for many consumers, who use wired headphones.
Samsung Galaxy M31s (Image credit: Amazon India)
Mid-range phones have comparable performance to that of flagships
For a long time, it was believed that mid-range phones out there still can’t match the performance of top-tier phones. Now, mid-level chipsets from Qualcomm and MediaTek not only boast high-performance cores but also feature improved graphics capabilities for gaming. Take the case of a gaming-focused Snapdragon 765G processor, which powers the OnePlus Nord. The mid-level chipset promises a 20 per cent boost to graphics performance and can handle slightly higher GPU clocks. More specifically, the Snapdragon 765G has enough horsepower to get you through the most demanding games, be it PUBG Mobile or Call of Duty: Mobile.
But the Snapdragon 765G is a chipset that is designed to enhance gaming capabilities in a smartphone. Qualcomm makes a number “system-on-chip” chipsets that power mid-end phones. That means you can choose a smartphone depending on the chipset powering the device. If you want a low-priced smartphone that doesn’t limit yourself to play games and run apps, the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max only costs Rs 16,999. It is powered by the Snapdragon 720G processor that should allow you to run games on high settings for graphics.
OnePlus Nord (Image credit: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express)
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Mid-range phones no more look inferior in design
The Redmi K20 has an impressive build and so does the OnePlus Nord. But these phones aren’t the only mid-range phones with premium designs under Rs 25,000. The Nokia 7.1 impresses with the glass on the back and front offering a flagship experience. The device is also perfect to carry around all day because of its 5.84-inch screen. Even a phone like the Realme XT, which only costs Rs 16,999, is a handsome device to look at.
Poco X2. (Image credit: Mohammad Faisal/Indian Express)
Mid-range phones are getting better cameras
Camera performance was a major differentiator between mid-range phones and flagships over the past few years, but now the differences are becoming less drastic. Look at the OnePlus Nord, the primary and ultra-wide cameras can take really good shots. The quad-camera system does well in a variety of lighting conditions, though it’s still not quite as good as the iPhone 11. But you have to agree that the OnePlus Nord costs half the price of the iPhone 11. For a phone priced at Rs 24,999, OnePlus Nord’s camera performs more than expected. Other mid-range phones like the Poco X2 can still deliver good pictures and video capability despite their low cost.
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