Best Mid-Range Smartphone ($300$500) in 2019

Moderators at OzBargain are now running yearly polls to decide the best products in popular categories that get asked repeatedly in the forum. Our aim is to have a central thread where users can vote on the items, suggest options and also change their vote throughout the year. For more information on how these polls work, or if you want to suggest a new poll that isn't covered already, please refer to our announcement thread here.


Question

What is your favourite Mid-range Smart Phone for the year 2019?

Mid-range: Phones with market prices between $300 AUD to $500 AUD. Good phones don't always have to be expensive, and there lots to choose from in this category.

This is also the part where we'd normally talk about last year's top suggestions from our community, which you can see here. However, closer to the end of the year the number of voters gradually tapered off and the poll quickly became outdated; with the number of votes skewing towards older phones that got suggested at the beginning of the year. To keep the poll fresh and continually updated with information you might get reminders to come back to rethink your vote and change it if neccessary.

Remember: You can change your votes at anytime, and suggest more than 1 product over the course of the poll.


How do I suggest products to What Should I Buy polls?

If you have a product that you would like to suggest for the poll (that is currently not in the Poll Options), you'll need to make a top-level comment (i.e. not replying someone else's comment) and fill up "Suggestions" text box just above your comment:

Suggestion box

Do try to make a sensible suggestion (e.g make sure the phone is still available to purchase) and include a brief argument as to why you would recommend the product. You can only suggest 1 product at a time.

Poll Options expired

Comments

  • +2 votes

    I understand this is outside the purview of the poll, so I'm not going to suggest any additional poll options, but (personally) sometimes at lower price-points, it's worthwhile to consider previous years' flagship models (selling at significant discounts, for example Samsung S7s selling for approx $500 today) as alternatives to current-year mid-tier phones. Things to watch out for: whether the model is still being supported and getting updates, battery performance (and/or replacements) if it's a used/refurb device, whether the apps you need to use are supported on the device.

    •  

      Also off the Poll is my fav:

      • XiaoMi [Mi] Max 3 w/ Global ROM + 6.9" disp + 5,500 mAh batt

      (I need Big Screen for my eyes…)

      As low as Au $317 [shipped]

      Has anyone tried one in AU on Optus? Telstra? Voda'?

      If so:

      • Any issues getting Fast 4G or LTE mobile data?

      • How's the Audio Quality? Build Quality?

      • Any Issues at all with it?

      Thanks!

      •  

        Using this on boost. Had mi max previously and upgraded to mi max 3. I've no complaints for the price. Massive screen to ozbargain with.

    •  

      I agree with you around the previous used models idea, but I think the LG G6 is a better deal. Nicer display, better cameras better CPU (compared to SD version) and better features as well. All for under $300 .

  • +3 votes
    Suggested LG V30 Plus

    LG V30+ sub-$500 deals pops up every now and then

    •  

      Yeah, I would choose the LG V30 over the Xiaomi PocoPhone F1 everytime. Why?

      • IP68 Waterproofing
      • Much better screen
      • Much better camera
      • Much better software (w/o modification)
      • Much better feature support (eg/ NFC, Wireless Charging, Band28 etc etc)

      The only thing the PocoPhone F1 has over it is the better processor, larger battery, more durable/plastic construction, and bigger community support (mods for camera, screen, and OS).

      ….however, if we're allowed to go to the Used Market, then a Samsung S7-Exynos offers quite comparable experience to the LG V30 but can be found for cheaper. The OnePlus devices offer Bad Value here in the Australian Phone Market.

      (Personally I'm waiting for mid-range phones from Xiaomi to offer IP68 Waterproofing in the future. But it doesn't like it's going to happen).

      •  

        I think for most people LG V30 wins but.

        If you look at DXOMark Rankings Pocophone rates higher than LG V30. Also worth noting selfie cam for pocophone is much better.

        If I did not need NFC I would probably think about Pocophone. Lack of local warranty support is a concern though. M

      •  

        NFC, Wireless Charging, Band28

        You just needed to stop there. The only reason I wouldn't consider a pocofone is because it's missing these things.

        I would question the camera claim though - pocofone has a great camera and came out on top in a blind camera test done this year.

  • +1 vote
    Suggested Nokia 8

    Nokia 8 should be considered. At the moment you can get for $344 plus postage on eglobal. That's for the 6GB Ram 128GB Dual Sim model. Good things about it is the all aluminium body and because it runs stock android it been updated relatively quickly and now comes with Android 9.0. On the down side its not fully water proof.

  •  
    Suggested Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018)

    About $400-$450

  •  

    Pocophone has no NFC

    How about Moto G7 plus ?

  •  
    Suggested Oppo F11

    Oppo F11 (soon to be released Mar 2019) for about $450

  •  

    Not a poll option but also consider second hand s9 for about $450

  • +1 vote

    Pixel 2 XL hands down. 499 brand new with warranty.

  • +1 vote

    Last year Nokia 7 plus was a clear winner.
    Moto G5 Plus came second and I guess it was great value for money form at the start of the year.

    Will be interesting to see how things pan out this year.

    Pocophone F1 has great specs, pretty good camera but lacks NFC and Band 28 which are important for some. IMO being able to pay with google pay and use NFC is someways more useful than fastest processor unless you are into gaming.

    LG V30 is good all rounder. Selfie cam is not very good apparently but otherwise good features. If you need NFC/B28 may be the phone for you. I expect pri

    What models to look forward to?

    Motorola G7 plus does not looks okay but may not have NFC, has lower battery than the G6 and is not as powerful as Pocofone. I would not geat G7 over Pocophone

    Will have to wait to see what Nokia do in the mid range zone.

    ?Further LG price drops!

    •  

      Nokia line of phones with Android One represent good value because of monthly security updates and Android updates.

      • +1 vote

        Good security… but that does not equal good value when comparing specs/performance per $$ spent.

        •  

          I consider security to be very important.
          Secondly longevity from 2 years of Android updates and 3 years of security updates adds considerable value in my opinion.

  •  

    Pocophone F1 for the time being is the clear ruler of the midrange phones right now. Flagship Snapdragon Chip in 845, awesome IPS display, HEADPHONE JACK, USB Type-C with Quick Charge 3.0 (with support for QC 4.0), awesome rear and front camera (if you know how to use the G-Cam mod) which is pretty much similar to the Mi 9 Camera, and with a lot of development support, moreso than other Xiaomi phones, and it's the hottest phone right now in India.

    Sure it doesn't have NFC or Band 28, but regardless of that you don't get flagship specs in a midrange phone these days. Xiaomi is going for that OnePlus market so i'm hoping for NFC to be on the Poco F2 (if they ever release it this year) along with a smaller notch.

    Also i never thought i would get myself into PuBG Mobile until the past few weeks, the phone is just that damn amazing (and more spectacular if you know how to flash ROMs by following what the devs in XDA forums do).

    • +1 vote

      Pocophone leads the way specwise!

      The NFC and B28 are not flagship specs IMO. My mid range phone I had 4 years ago (Nexus 5) had NFC! I think it has more to do with the countries it is marketed for. I suspect in many of these countries contactless payment is not a big thing yet. B28 is not a major issue for me. Again it is not a flagship spec but more related to region the phone is designed for.

      It is a shame that Xiaomi don't make australian/european versions of there phones.

    •  

      I've been happy with my Pocophone F1. Bought it at launch when I was in Singapore and haven't had any issues with it.

      Probably the biggest challenges with a phone not for this market is the lack of accessories/support whether it be a TG screen protector or a case - you basically need to plan ahead and order online.

  •  
    Suggested Nokia 8.1

    Nokia 8.1, grey import sites have it for $490.

  •  
    Suggested Nokia x71

    New Announce.. you can import from taiwan.. about 470

  • +1 vote
    Suggested Huawei Nova 3i

    No love for the Huawei Nova 3i? I note the cheaper 3e is listed in the sub $300 category. For a bit more the 3i is a great option. I picked one up for around $400 a while back.

  • +1 vote
    Suggested Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL

    A suggestion on the recently introduced Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL, Google's recent addition to the Pixel series and the first in line as a midrange phone.

    Many people are excited for this phone since they bring back the headphone jack(!! Seriously why did they even remove it in the first place??), keep the same camera as the Pixel 3 (with OIS!! pretty rare) and for a midrange phone has a OLED display which is pretty awesome for a phone like that. Obviously wait for the price drops until it can fit the midrange price range but it's worth it imo, especially to give a satisfying feedback to Google that these are the types of phones they should make, not something like the Pixel 3 (which turned a lot of people off).

    Downsides are probably that there is only the 4/64 GB version, the memory chip is bad (eMMC being used compared to the popular UFS chip a lot of phones have these days), lack of water resistivity (although can't really expect that with a midrange phone) and battery (3000mAh for the 3a and 3700 mAh for the 3a XL which is kinda low compared to the Poco F1 for example, a 4000 mAh would've been absolutely nice, especially for this phone).

    But it checks off the 3-4 things that OzBargainers want from a phone: clean Android OS (with security updates and the possibility of unlocking bootloader), B28, NFC and a good price (after a month or so). Keep an eye on this one and if it goes below $500 or even $400, that's a huge bargain (or should i say OzBargain??)

  •  

    If anyone still following this thread, i'm kinda stuck.

    Got a redmi note 4, has served me well and i've been running pixel experience last few months - 0 complaints. only reason i need to buy a new phone is because i've noticed the screen starting to pop out, so im guessing the battery is starting to expand.

    really don't want to spend more than 300$, so i was looking at either a redmi note 7, or a nokia 6.1…i also saw that asus zenfone max pro m2, but that is kinda out of budget.

    pros of the nokia 6.1 is android one, nfc and band 28 - unlike most of the ozB crowd i dont plan to be an adopter of nfc on my phone, and i haven't had any issue running on a non band 28 phone so i think i can skimp on those. the most appealing aspect would be android one. i also don't think 3000mhz is enough for a battery even down the track. i want to always have at least 4-5 hours screen time.

    redmi note 7 seems like the most appropiate pathway, as i will be able to flash to a custom rom and its specs are great for the price and the 4000mhz battery with the snapdragon 660 should be ample. miui is usable, just the ads are an annoyance and im not sure what background processes it may be running.

    the asus zenfone max pro m2 also looks good, it would be worth the stretch in budget. stock android, 5000mhz battery, band 28 (if i ever go with a provider that needs it). dont really care that it still uses micro USB. don't like the bigger first gen type notch.

    i'm leaning the redmi now that i type this out in front of me, i mean ultimately if i want to keep using the hardware down the track in say 3 years time ill need to rely on an active XDA community to get me to the latest version of android down the track, for any of these phones

    any other suggestions/input, aagin keeping in mind the 300~ budget

    p.s. im planning to purchase via tobydeals, prices are good there and haven't seen alot of terrible reviews + paypal protection

    • +1 vote

      unlike most of the ozB crowd i dont plan to be an adopter of nfc on my phone, and i haven't had any issue running on a non band 28 phone so i think i can skimp on those. the most appealing aspect would be android one. i also don't think 3000mhz is enough for a battery even down the track. i want to always have at least 4-5 hours screen time.

      Xiaomi Mi Max series for around $300~330?. They don't have NFC nor Band28 but it will satisfy the user who really wants 5 plus hours of screen time.

  •  

    Me to can someone suggest a good phone $300 or less 32GB 2-3ram? no Xiaomi or Redmi though. Must be compact no bigger than 5.8

  •  
    Suggested Samsung Galaxy A20

    Mid ranger phone with One UI, and all the Australian bands like B28

  • +1 vote
    Suggested Samsung Galaxy A70

    Add Samsung Galaxy A70 to the list, big screen & battery, decent camera, most flagship features

    •  

      Real pain it doesn't have a form of water proofing, would've been great if it had. But I just picked one up for $560. Tad over $500 but it's from a good store so I can live with it.

      Seems like an excellent phone. Can't wait to have it arrive.

  •  

    I have the v30+ from this deal: https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/435564

    I can't fault the phone. Compared to my wife's now broken s8+. The camera is better, sound is awesome via the Quad DAC. Screen resolution is same if not better. I think it beats the s8+ hands down in everything.

  •  

    what you guys think of p20? price drop down about $500 range…

  •  

    If I went back to Android it would only be a Pixel device or something with Android One. I wouldn't consider anything else. I like security and OS updates in a regular and timely manner.

    •  

      Have you used OnePlus?

      •  

        Haven't used a OnePlus device. But from what I know their Oxygen OS is based on ASOP and their speed at pushing OS security updates isn't that great. They are supposed to have bi-monthly security patches but from what I've read that's been slipping. I've seen numerous posts from OnePlus owners going back to Pixel or Android One devices like a Nokia.

        •  

          I got October security patch for my oneplus5 last night, wondering if that's not great what is.

          •  

            @Shaunf: That is good. Like I said I had read a number of forum posts about the updates slipping but not owning a device don't have experience with them.

  •  

    My rubbish Nokia 7 Plus just died after 8 months, one minute it was working the next minute it won’t turn on. I love Android One and strongly dislike most of the other manufactures custom OS’s especially Samsung. What options do I have for a camera that can preferably make use of GCam and has a good camera. The Nokia’s camera was rubbish for anything but still subjects, any movement would mean a blurry photo. I was waiting for the Google Pixel 4 to be released, but obviously can’t wait now and don’t want to spend a head of money, but I do use my camera very regularly. Any suggestions around the $400 (+- $100). NFC is important as I use that for all card payments as well.

  •  

    NOKIA 8 IS DA BEST it was super cheap a couple of months ago! I got mine for $330 But no one sells it anymore… so go with the LG V30 Plus as it is also very good vale for money.

  • +2 votes
    Suggested Umidigi F1 Play

    UMIDIGI F1 Play. Great price at $270 has Band 28, NFC, headphone jack & 5150mAh battery.

  •  
    Suggested Nokia 7 Plus

    Nokia 7 plus
    Great battery life and well under $500 mark

  •  

    Hardware alone can never constitute a good phone. Poco has a pretty bad skin on it. Nokia with Google one is much better.

  • +5 votes
    Suggested MI 9t (non pro edition)

    suprised that the mi 9t isnt here
    under 500 and very good specs

  • +2 votes
    Suggested Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite

    Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
    https://www.mi.com/global/mi-9-lite/specs

    At $330 to $360 it almost fits into the Budget Smartphones category - but comes with a lot more than budget specs.
    - OLED screen (1080p)
    - 6 GB ram
    - 64 or 128 GB storage
    - NFC
    - Band 28
    - SD card slot
    - Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 (10 nm)
    - 18w / QC4+ charging
    - Bluetooth 5.0 / aptX

  • +1 vote
    Suggested Xiaomi Mi Mix 3

    Now that the ex Flagship Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G has dropped below $500 I have to change my recommendation for best mid-range phone under $500.

    Although I still rate the Mi 9 Lite as great value under $350.

  •  

    Anything with IR blaster still?

  •  
    Suggested Oppo Reno Z

    Gotta add my new baby to the list (Oppo Reno Z)! We've been inseparable since I got it, & I'm pretty damn happy with it. 😃

    Edit: added phone model to comment, as well as poll

  •  

    I'm gonna buy a phone for my sister since hers is literally taped together. I'm not sure if I should get the LG V30+ or the Xiaomi Mi9 Lite.
    What do you guys recommend?

  •  

    I assume the mi 9 lite is the go if you have to have NFC and dual SIM? How's the camera compare to it's competitors?

  • +1 vote

    I think Mi Mix 3 5G is the current king, with SD855 chipset.

  •  
    Suggested Realme XT

    realme XT

    6.4" FHD+ Super AMOLED Display
    8GB RAM + 128GB ROM
    Australia's First 64MP Quad Camera
    Dual Sim with Independent SD Slot
    In-display Fingerprint Sensor
    Massive 4035mAh Battery
    VOOC 3.0 Fast Charging

  •  
    Suggested TCL Plex

    TCL Plex

    6.53" Full HD+ Dotch display
    HDR display
    Qualcomm SDM675 Snapdragon 675
    6GB RAM
    128GB storage
    microSD card slot (up to 256GB)
    3820mAh battery
    Bluetooth 5.0
    Quickcharge 3.0

  •  

    Huawei Mate 20 under $500 is absolutely Godlike.

  •  

    is lg v30+'s hardware still adequate in 2020?

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