Mobile Of The Year Awards 2018: Best Mid-Range Smartphone (Priced Under Rs 30,000)


With a line between mid-range and top-end phones fast blurring, 2018 left us wondering if it is worth spending premium for flagship devices. Throughout the year, brands such as Huawei, Asus, Nokia, and Vivo introduced sub-30k phones that can pass off as premium handsets.

In addition to getting the basics right, many smartphones offered flagship features such as the in-display fingerprint sensor, premium design, top of the line processor, and solid dual cameras in the mid-range segment. Now before we declare the winners in this highly competitive smartphone category, let’s run through the nominations:

Best Mid-Range Smartphone Contenders 2018

Nokia 8.1

At its new home HMD Global, Nokia rolled out some solid phones. Its latest offering the Nokia 8.1 delivers a premium design without costing a bomb. The phone has an anodized metal frame sandwiched between glass panels. With a notch-screen design, the phone pulls off an impressive screen-to-body ratio of 86.5 percent. The 6.18-inch IPS (In Plane Switching) panel has Full HD+ resolution. The Nokia 8.1 is based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 710 chipset based on 10 nm process. The phone comes with 4 GB RAM, 64 GB internal storage, and a hybrid slot. In the photography department, Nokia has turned to its trusted German optics provider Zeiss. The rear camera setup comprises of 12 MP + 13 MP sensors. To please the selfie aficionados, there’s a 20 MP snapper. The phone packs in a 3500 mAh battery with fast charging tech. The phone ships with Android 9.0 Pie under Google’s Android One program.

nokia 8.1

Asus Zenfone 5Z

The most powerful smartphone on the list comes from Asus. The Taiwanese brand’s Zenfone 5Z is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 chipset, found on premium phones such as the Pixel 3, LG G7 ThinQ, and Oppo Find X. In addition to high-performance, the phone offers a swanky design featuring a sandblasted aluminum body. What’s more, the phone’s 6.2-inch Full HD+ IPS screen has a whopping 90 percent screen-to-body ratio. The phone features a 12 MP rear camera with an 8 MP sensor to keep it company. It is equipped with OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) to improve the low-light performance. For selfies, Asus has thrown in a wide-angle 8 MP front-facing camera. The phone draws power from a 3,300 mAh battery with fast charging tech. On the software side of things, you get Android 8.0 Oreo with ZenUI on top.


Honor 10

Huawei’s Honor 10 makes a strong case for itself in the mid-range segment. It is powered by Huawei’s high-end Kirin 970 chipset, which also takes care of the processing job on the Mate 20 Pro. For the shutterbugs, the Honor 10 offers a dual camera setup in a 16 MP + 24 MP config. It comes with an AI mode that can detect scenes and apply ideal settings on the fly. It can also snap great selfies with its 24 MP front-facing camera. The Honor 10 packs in a 3400 mAh battery with fast charging support. On top of that, the Honor 10 brings a premium glass and metal build to the table. Its 5.8-inch IPS screen with a notch on its forehead, offers a screen-to-body ratio of 80 percent. The IPS panel packs in 2280 x 1080 pixels.


Vivo V11 Pro

Bringing in some novelty to the mix, the Vivo V11 Pro offers an in-display fingerprint sensor. The phone has incredibly thin-bezels, and with its halo-inspired notch, you get an impressive screen-to-body ratio of 91 percent. As a result, the phone offers a 6.4-inch Full HD OLED screen in a compact body. The device is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 chip. The V11 comes with 6 GB of RAM, 64 GB internal storage, and a microSD card slot. Vivo offers a 12 MP rear camera with a 5 MP secondary depth sensor. The company has baked in AI feature to get best possible camera output. For selfies, you get a 25 MP front snapper. The Vivo V11 Pro settles for a 3,400 mAh battery with fast charging technology. On the software front, the handset comes with Android 8.1 Oreo with Funtouch OS on top.


Samsung Galaxy A8 Star

The South Korean giant finally makes an appearance on our list. Cheesy name aside, the Galaxy A8 Star is a solid mid-range device. Thanks to its metal frame sandwiched between glass panels, the phone feels premium. It sports a 6.28-inch Full HD+ OLED screen, which offers vibrant colours and deep blacks. At the core is a Snapdragon 660 chip with 6 GB of RAM. The phone comes with 64 GB internal storage and has an expansion slot. Moving on to the back, you get a 16 MP rear camera with a 24 MP sensor to tag along. For selfies, this phone is equipped with a 24 MP front-facing snapper. Much like the high-end Galaxy devices, the A8 Star comes with Samsung Pay mobile payment service. The phone supports both the fingerprint sensor and face recognition tech for security. The device packs in a 3,000 mAh battery with Samsung’s adaptive fast charging tech.

galaxy a8 star

Best Mid-Range Smartphone 2018 – Winners

Gold Award: Asus Zenfone 5Z

At this price range, phones generally make you choose between raw power and a stylish body. However, the Zenfone 5Z is a rare exception. This classy-looking phone is backed by a powerful Snapdragon 845 chipset. Moreover, you get a solid dual camera and an impressive IPS screen. Long story short, the Zenfone 5Z delivers more than you could bargain for.

Silver Award: Honor 10

The Honor 10 is a solid all-round performer. Its Kirin 970 chipset may not beat the Snapdragon 845 but handles any resource intensive game with an ease. Thanks to its AI mode, the Honor 10 doubles up as an excellent point-and-shoot for those too lazy to bother with camera settings. Moreover, the build quality is so impressive that it can give any premium phone a complex.

Bronze Award: Vivo V11 Pro

The in-display fingerprint sensor was meant for high-end phones. But, Vivo proved everyone wrong with its V11 Pro. It made the futuristic feature more accessible for consumers. The Chinese company also ditched the screen notch in favor of a less distractive halo design. What’s more, the V11 Pro impresses with its high screen-to-body ratio and a stunning OLED screen. It also does well on the camera and performance front. All in all, a good phone with bragging rights.