The best phones aren’t always the most expensive.
Yes, the most expensive phones are also packed with the most high-end specs, but a phone really doesn’t need a 4K screen.
Better yet, because of the fast pace of technology, today’s high-end specs will become tomorrow’s midrange feature set. Overall, good is really just enough, and if that’s all we really need, then that’s the best for us.
Here are the seven best midrange smartphones in 2015 that can be all yours for less than $400.
Asus ZenFone 2
So, topping off our list is the Asus ZenFone 2. When the only real complaint about the phone is the battery, and even then that the battery isn’t user replaceable,you still have a winner in your hands. Encased in all plastic faux brushed aluminum design, the ZenFone is still quite a looker and feels well-placed in the hands. One of the first phones this year to ship with 4 GB of RAM, the standout feature of the ZenFone 2 is in fact it’s price. It packs a bunch of value comparable to other company’s flagship models with a price as low as $199 up to $299.
Riding on the heels of the ZenFone 2 is another evolutionary follow-up to an original, Google’s Nexus 5X. By today’s standards, the first Nexus 5 is still a mighty functional phone in it’s own right. The Nexus 5X takes it up a notch with a few key upgrades for 2015, such as a much, much better camera, a fingerprint reader, and Android 6.0 Marshmallow all in the same classy, handy design as the well-loved original. It’s a bit pricier than the original starting at $379, however, but still just as competitive against flagships that cost considerably more.
Moto G 2015
Our third best budget friendly midrange phone is the third generation in it’s class of best bang for your buck smartphones. The first Moto G released in 2013 was Motorola’s cheapest phone ever and it sold in the millions. Motorola’s three-peat of the G still retains the original’s ridiculously low $179 price tag with a 5-inch 720p display, quad-core processor with 2 GB of RAM, water-resistance, and a bigger 2,400 mAh battery. For just a few dollars more at $219, you can get double the storage at 16 GB and tons more customization options.
Motorola actually has two budget friendly winners on this list. If the Moto G’s down-to-earth price tag of $179 is still too high, the $149 Moto E may just fit the bill quite nice and snuggly. It could even be a stocking stuffer for those who need a spare, backup emergency phone. Despite the Moto E’s super low price, the device still has 4G LTE connectivity, a respectable 4.5-inch screen, and still runs Android 5.1 Lollipop.
LG Escape 2
The other Korean company not as well-known as Samsung, LG, has a great phone that’s almost just a miniature version of its latest flagship device for 2015. The LG Escape 2 is nearly internally identical to the LG G4 in a smaller, compact body. With a 4.7-inch 720p curved display the Escape 2 packs a punch with its Snapdragon 410 processor, 8-megapixel camera, 8 GB of storage with a microSD care slot for more, and Android 5.0 Lollipop running things in the back ground.
The makers of Google’s flagship Nexus device, the 6P, for 2015 also brings us one of our last few better mid-range phones. Huawei, which seems to gaining even more popularity outside of its Chinese origins, offers the P8 for budget-conscious but still spec seeking buyers. The svelte device looks like it should cost more for just $249. For that price, an eight-core Snapdragon processor runs the show using 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage, 13-megapixel camera, 4G LTE connectivity, all viewed on a good 720p high-definition display.
The last one on our list is definitely not the least. The OnePlus is still a relatively unknown brand, but those who do know of it, also know it’s hard to get their hands on one. In fact, the OnePlus One could be acquired by invite only back in its day, and now that the OnePlus 2 is out, the One has become a much better value. The 64 GB model costs $299, but out in the wild, there is a $249 model with 16GB of storage. Both still have 5.5-inch 1080p displays, a Snapdragon 801 processor, 3 GB of RAM, 13-megapixel camera by Sony, and a hefty 3,100mAh battery. Out of this bunch, the OnePlus One is the one to beat.