It doesn’t always make sense to buy the latest and greatest smartphones.
This is especially the case for Android phones, which are often discounted a few months after they are launched, unlike Apple iPhones.
For instance, some of last year’s high-end phones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S10e and the Huawei P30 (with the Google Play Store), have dipped into upper mid-range price territory. The S10e is available now at around $700 (down from $1,098) while the P30 is now $608 (down from $998).
So how about getting such older flagships as an alternative to current mid-range phones? There is a caveat: Android smartphone makers usually offer only two years of software updates, which means that by next year, phones launched in 2019 will only receive security updates and not new features.
Furthermore, despite declining prices, last year’s top models are still more expensive than the current mid-range ones.
For those looking for a reasonably-priced phone, here are our picks:
Apple iPhone SE (2020)
From $649 on Lazada and Shopee
The iPhone SE has been described as the perfect phone for the pandemic era.
Not only is it the cheapest iPhone available, the SE brings back the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, which is unhindered by mask-wearing, unlike the Face ID feature on higher-end iPhones.
While its camera and battery life are merely decent, the SE should last for more than a few years, seeing as it has Apple’s latest processor and features such as Wi-Fi 6 and wireless charging. Apple also has an excellent track record for supporting older devices – the SE will likely receive at least four to five years of software updates.
$499 on Lazada
Do you love to take selfies? Then the Oppo Reno3 may just be the mid-range phone for you.
It comes with a whopping 44-megapixel (MP) front selfie camera with a night selfie mode for low-light conditions.
The Reno3’s quad rear cameras are not too shabby either. They include a 48MP primary camera, a 13MP telephoto camera, a 8MP ultra-wide camera and a 2MP monochrome camera.
Redmi Note 9 Pro
$399 on Lazada and Shopee
Are you constantly worried about your phone running out of juice before the end of the day?
The Redmi Note 9 Pro has you covered with a massive 5,020mAh battery that should easily last over a day.
Also making a big impression is its sizeable 6.67-inch display, which is mostly all screen except for the small hole-punch camera.
It is powered by a mid-tier Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G processor and features a quad-camera system anchored by a 64MP camera sensor from Samsung.
Samsung Galaxy A51
$448 on Amazon and Lazada
The Samsung Galaxy A51 should need no introduction. After all, it was the bestselling Android smartphone globally in the first quarter of the year, according to market research firm Strategy Analytics.
The mid-range A51 even beat out Samsung’s flagship S20+, which was third in the list. But that is no surprise – the A51 comes with a large and bright 6.5-inch Oled screen, quad cameras and a decent-sized 4,000mAh battery.
Samsung’s OneUI (based on Android 10) is also a sleek and polished user interface with a bunch of fun camera modes and filters.
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