The age of the super mid-range smartphone

Once upon a time, to get really good performance on a smartphone, you had to buy a flagship. You had to buy one of the most expensive models on the market. However, a number of factors have changed that. In 2016, you no longer need a flagship smartphone to get really good performance and features. The mid-range smartphone is here. But allow me to stretch a bit and introduce you to the super mid-range smartphone.

super mid-range smartphone

What Is the super mid-range smartphone?

It is not in the league of the flagships, but it has features and specs very similar to what obtains on them. And it costs much, much less.

Yesterday morning, Mobilityarena user, Kayode Akinrelere, asked a question about available devices in the sub-N70,000 price range but with at least 3GB of RAM and 32GB internal storage. I shall build a case for the super mid-range smartphone on it. Imagine a quad, hexa or octa-core processor clocked up between 1.5 and 2.2 GHz. The processor will likely be made by Mediatek. The device will be 4G LTE and have a 13 megapixel camera and above. Ladies and gentlemen, I have just introduced you to the super mid-range smartphone.

Some years ago, the above was specs for a flagship, but thanks to the army of Chinese manufacturers and Mediatek (among others), what used to be flagship specs and performance are now readilly available at much lower cost to enthusiasts and those who want to live on the cutting edge of smartphone usage. The super mid-range smartphone is a possibility, if it doesnt already exist.

The Contenders Are…

Here is a quick list of my personal contenders right now:

  • Lenovo Vibe K4 Note
  • Huawei GR5
  • Gionee M5 Plus
  • Innjoo Max 3

But if you check their specs, you will see that they all fall short a bit. Internal storage on both the Lenovo and Huawei is 16GB. The processor in the Gionee is 1.3 Ghz (aaargh!). We do not yet have details of the processor in the Innjoo, but if past experience is anything to go by, I wont be shocked to see 1.3 Ghz in it too. Mbanu. 1.3 Ghz wont cut it.

There are some models from other brands like Ulefone, Xiaomi, and so on that are close too. Some of their 2014 flagships fit the description perfectly, but we are talking about 2016 devices now (maybe late 2015 too).

These Models Qualify

The Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro with 3GB RAM, 32GB internal storage, micro-SD card slot, octa-core Snapdragon processor clocked up to 1.5 GHz, 4G/LTE and a massive 4,100 mAh battery meets all the specifications. And it costs less than N70,000. So, we have one.

Another device that qualifies as a super mid-range smartphone based on the above specifications is the Infinix Zero 3 LTE. 2 GHz octa-core processor. 3GB RAM. 32GB internal storage. 4G LTE. Costing less than N60,000, it is incredible value for money. The build is plastic, but I guess that is partly why the Zero 3 is so pocket-friendly.

Do you know of any other super mid-range smartphones – a 2016 (or late 2015) smartphone that meets up to the specified specs above and costs N70,000 or below?

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3 comments

    1. Yeah. Was actually discussing this phone with Mr. Mo. The challenge here though is if it gets to Nigeria, the price will no longer be in that range. Best bet is to buy for yonder and have someone help deliver.

    2. @Noni. This version wasn’t the one I discussed with Mo. This one is even more expensive! USD375 will translate to 123k+ in Naira! That’s hardly mid-range pricing IMO.

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