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The mid-premium segment in 2019: OnePlus 7 to Redmi K20 Pro, the standout phones

Best smartphones of 2019: We look at the mid-premium range category, which starts at Rs 25,000 plus in India and goes all the way to Rs 45,000 with devices like OnePlus 7, Redmi K20 Pro, Realme X2 Pro managing to stand out

Written by Shruti Dhapola | New Delhi | Updated: December 30, 2019 12:32:17 pm
Best mobiles 2019, best smartphones 2019, best premium phones 2019, best mid-range premium phones, best phones under Rs 40k, best mobiles under 40k, best mobiles under 30k, oneplus 7, redmi k20 pro, oneplus 7t, realme x2 Pro Best of 2019: These mobiles in the mid-premium segment were the ones that impressed us the most. (Image created by Gargi Singh)

The definition of a flagship is longer limited to just the top-end phones from Samsung or Apple. It was a trend that started with OnePlus and its phones, and we’ve seen it go beyond the brand. These days if you want to get a premium device in India, there are plenty of options and all of offer top-of-the-line specifications at a fairly reasonable cost.

A consumer no longer has to spend above Rs 50,000 to get the best specifications and performance. As 2019 comes to an end, it is time to take a look at the best mid-range flagships that impressed us in the price bracket of Rs 25,000 to Rs 45,000.

Read more: Bigger battery to more cameras: How 2019 changed our devices like never before 

The best mid-range flagship phone: OnePlus 7 and later OnePlus 7T

OnePlus had four phones this time, the OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro followed by the 7T and 7T Pro. While the Pro series was pricier, the OnePlus 7 and 7T were an excellent option for those looking to get a flagship under Rs 40,000. OnePlus has managed to maintain quality when it comes to its phones by delivering on performance, camera, battery and more importantly, software. The last is aread whether other players continue to struggle in finding the right balance.

The OnePlus 7T built on the 7’s success by adding a third camera. Its steadfast performance is why this is the best mid-range flagship you can get in our view.

Read more: OnePlus 7 review: Value for money, and still a power performer 

Runner ups in the mid-premium category:

Redmi K20 Pro

Xiaomi’s Redmi brand entered this segment for the first time with the K20 series. And the Redmi K20 Pro was a strong contender, which appears to have done well for the brand, according to reports. The Redmi K20 Pro stands out for its stylish design, the excellent overall performance and while the camera didn’t impress us so much early on, Xiaomi pushed out regular updates to improve on this.

There’s no doubt the Redmi K series might finally be the key that could help Xiaomi break into the mid-premium segment, where it has struggled to maintain a presence. The Redmi K20 Pro had the right combination of specifications and a stylish design to make itself heard in this competitive segment.

Redmi K20 Pro had the right combination of specifications and a stylish design when it launched. (Image source: Shruti Dhapola/Indian Express)

Read more: Redmi K20 Pro review: Does Xiaomi’s new ‘flagship’ live up to the hype? 

Realme X2 pro

If there was a brand that was constantly pushing Xiaomi’s buttons this year, it would be Realme without a doubt. The Realme X2 Pro was the most premium phone in the company’s lineup this year, and came with top of the line specifications. It also had a more premium price tag compared to the brand’s other offerings, which was a first. Still it came packed with features such as 50W charging, the newer 855+ processor, all of which make it stand out in this list and the overall performance left us impressed.

Read our review: Realme X2 Pro: Realme has arrived with this flagship

Best camera phone in the mid-premium segment: Vivo V17 Pro

Vivo’s V17 Pro came with six cameras in total and while that might appear to be an overkill for some, the company nailed the performance in this department, which was also the USP of the device. As we noted in our detailed camera performance analysis of the Vivo V17 Pro, the company got the user interface right in the camera app, along with the details and colours in photos, even in low-light shots. This phone was clearly aimed at those who need an excellent camera and didn’t want to pay more than Rs 30,000.

Best mobiles 2019, best smartphones 2019, best premium phones 2019, best mid-range premium phones, best phones under Rs 40k, best mobiles under 40k, best mobiles under 30k, oneplus 7, redmi k20 pro, oneplus 7t, realme x2 Pro The Vivo V17 Pro sports a total of six cameras. (Image source: Mohammad Faisal/Indian Express)

Read our review: Vivo V17 Pro camera review

Innovative camera phone in this price segment: Oppo Reno 10x Zoom

Oppo’s Reno series was all about the camera and design, but the Reno 10x Zoom offered an option not yet available even on flagship phones. It had 10x hybrid zoom support on its triple rear cameras, which certainly made it stand out in this category, though when it launched it was close to Rs 50,000, a price that later dropped under Rs 40,000. And yes, it packed all the latest high-end specifications, which makes the Reno 10x Zoom an ideal mid-premium device.

Oppo Reno 10x Zoom offered one of the most innovative cameras for 2019 in this segment. (Image source: Hansa Verma/Indian Express)

Read our review: Oppo Reno10x Zoom review: Camera than stands out

The gaming phone in mid-range: Asus ROG phone

To be fair, every phone in this price segment is a gaming phone. These days you can run PUBG Mobile or Call of Duty easily on most of these phones. But 2019 was also the year we saw phones launching in the Indian market, which were dedicated to gaming.

And if there was a gaming phone that was ahead of the competition, it would be the Asus ROG Phone II, given how it was geared towards the serious mobile gamer. Specifications like a 120Hz display for smooth gameplay, copper plating and a cooling system along with “Air Triggers”, which could be customised by the user, made this an ideal gaming phone. The Air Triggers were a standout feature of the device.

Read our review: Asus ROG II phone review: Best gaming phone for sure 

The one phone that remained a best-seller: iPhone XR

This phone is now nearly two years old, but thanks to the price cut, it did really well in 2019 for the Apple. The iPhone XR helped Apple get back to the number one position in the premium segment in India by the second quarter,  and recent data showed that it was the best-selling phone in 2019 in the third quarter on a global level too. In India, the iPhone XR can be availed at under Rs 40,000 thanks to all the online offers and cashback schemes that continue, which makes it a pick for those who still want to buy an iPhone.

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