The best smartphones of the moment: the mid-range

The best smartphones of the moment: the mid-range

A good smartphone is no longer so expensive. You can also buy a nice device for a few hundred euros: read here which phone you can choose better.

You like to buy the best logical product. “Best” is of course an opinion, and in this case ours. With Bright Stuff, we base that opinion on a few things. On this list: mid-range smartphones. The middle class mainly refers to the price, as these are very capable phones. We separate the wheat from the chaff, because there are real stars in this part.


For this list, we looked at a number of devices and then there are the dropouts as well. For example, the OnePlus Nord 3 was on our long list, but for the €450 that this device costs, we’d recommend a cheaper equivalent alternative, or an expensive device with better cameras.

This also applies to the Xiaomi 13 Lite: for a small 400 euros we would prefer to buy the Galaxy A54 with an equally beautiful screen and a longer life. The Sony Xperia 10 V has a nice size and is handy thanks to its narrow screen, but we find the Snapdragon 695 chip a little “mwah”.

Then these recommendations remain:

The A line is Samsung’s most popular and outsold more expensive S devices. We understand that, because for under 400 euros you get a lot of phones. Gorgeous 6.5-inch 1080p AMOLED display, full frequency 120Hz.

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The device runs on Samsung’s own Exynos 1380 smooth chip, and the battery is above average at 5,000mAh — but it can only be charged wired. The 32MP selfie camera is good and the triple camera on the back doesn’t disappoint either: the 50MP main camera and 12MP wide-angle lens deliver very impressive photos, even with the capable Night mode. The 5MP macro camera is funny to the side.

Samsung’s trump card is still its longstanding support. The Galaxy A54 will also receive four new versions of Android and 5 years of security updates from the moment of release. Until Android 17, with updates until March 2028.

The Samsung Galaxy A54 is available in black, white, purple and green colors and can be found at prices ranging from 350 to 399 euros.

We’re so glad that Google is finally selling its Pixel phones in the Netherlands not for nothing. These are simply the best Android phones for Android lovers. The latest updates are always the fastest, with feature drops in between giving older devices entirely new functionality. And this “bare” Android theme: beautiful.

The A models are the affordable alternative to the more expensive premium Pixels. Compromises are good, and sometimes even better. Take the screen: At 6.1 inches, it’s the Pixel 7’s smallest, which can definitely be an advantage. As with the regular Pixel 7, it’s a 1080p, OLED and 90Hz display — that display’s biggest drawback.

The Pixel 7a’s Tensor 2 chip is also found in its more expensive siblings, and is tailor-made for all of Google’s AI tasks. Automatic photo editing takes particular advantage of this. Erase objects from photos as if they were never there or make them change color, zooming in on more excellent night photos: Pixel 7a does it all. On the back there is a 64-megapixel main camera and a 13-megapixel wide-angle camera. The selfie camera is also 13MP. Google’s AI technology pushes these cameras to the limit, for performance well above this phone’s price.

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Moreover, wireless charging is an advantage in this price range. Build quality is also good this time around, in a sector where quality is often visually good, but where the hardware slaps against the plastic. The colors are nice too: dark grey, white, light blue and, exclusive to Google, coral.

Google Pixel 7a is available from 479 euros.

Once again the most striking phone on the list. Nothing is OnePlus founder Carl Pei’s business, and the company does it very differently. With a few hundred employees, David is among the goliath members of the smartphone market. Still, this Phone 2 is a nice improvement over the first model.

The eye-catching shade: ultra-sheer, with modern prints and a subtle lighting scheme on the back. Certified White Light Stripes can now do even more. They move along with the ringtones, which you can also edit yourself. But they can also show the progress, for example, of charging your battery, but also of your delivery meal. Apps can add support for Nothing lights themselves.

The device itself is practically the same size as its predecessor, but with a slightly larger screen with thinner bezels. It’s again displayed on a 1080p, 6.7-inch, 120Hz OLED screen with a top peak brightness of 1,600 nits. The chassis is slightly more rounded than the first Nothing Phone’s more angular.

The biggest leap forward is the chip: now the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, a true top-of-the-line chip where the previous model had to contend with a sub-top. The two 50MP cameras aren’t a leap forward in and of themselves, but the better chip and software get nicer photos out of it. And the battery is now slightly larger at 4,700mAh and can charge faster.

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The Nothing Phone (2) is available in white and gray, starting at €649. The most expensive device on this mid-range list, but you’re also buying a phone that’s excellently equipped and certainly not boring.

Check out Bright Stuff for more tools we recommend.

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