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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines