It's a great time to buy a mid-range phone.
With the unveiling of the Honor 5C and Wileyfox Spark in Europe this past week, and the imminent arrival of the Sony Xperia XA and ASUS Zenfone 3 internationally, the mid-range market continues to be one of the most competitive spaces for Android phones. With many such handsets launching this summer, we've rounded up the top six to see how they compare on paper.
You'll find out spec showdown down below, along with links to our hands-on coverage with each of these promising mid-level handsets!
|Category||Moto G4||Alcatel Idol 4||Honor 5C||Wileyfox Spark X||ASUS Zenfone 3||Sony Xperia XA|
|Operating System||Android 6.0.1||Android 6.0.1||Android 6.0
|Display||5.5-inch 1080p||5.2-inch 1080p||5.2-inch 1080p||5.5-inch 720p||5.5-inch 1080p||5-inch 720p|
|CPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon 617||Qualcomm Snapdragon 617||Hisilicon Kirin 650||MediaTek MT6735||Qualcomm Snapdragon 625||MediaTek Helio P10|
|Rear Camera||13MP||13MP||13MP||13MP||16MP OIS, Laser AF||13MP|
|Charging||Turbo Charging||QuickCharge 2.0||5V/2A||5V/1A||Unknown (no QuickCharge)||Pump Express+ 2.0|
|Dimensions||153 x 76.6 x 7.9mm||147 x 72.5 x 7.1 mm||147.1 x 73.8 x 8.3mm||154.35x78.6x8.75mm||152.6 x 77.4 x 7.7 mm||143.6 x 66.8 x 7.9 mm|
|Fingerprint||No||No||No (except Chinese model)||No||Yes||No|
The fourth-generation Moto G ups the screen size, CPU and battery capacity, but loses last year's water resistance. Beyond that, Moto continues to strike a decent balance between cost and hardware muscle, with a muted plastic design on the outside, but important software differentiators like Moto Display lurking within.
Alcatel Idol 4
Alcatel's successor to its popular Idol 3 ditches the plastic altogether, with a new glass and metal chassis echoing some of Samsung's recent smartphone designs. Another unique feature sees the company using a fully reversible speaker system, so you can have stereo output whichever way the phone's facing. Meanwhile the programmable "Boom key" can help you quickly launch the camera, boost your bass or enhance screen visibility.
Huawei-owned Honor brings a metal-backed design to its most affordable handset of 2016, which also features a new, efficient Kirin 650 processor and a 1080p display. This £149 handset also boasts an large (for this class of phone, anyway) 3,000mAh battery and the cleanest version of Huawei's EMUI software to date. And around the back, a surprisingly capable 13-megapixel shooter benefits from many of the software features of more expensive Huawei phones.
Wileyfox Spark X
The most expensive member of Wileyfox's latest Spark range sells for just £129, and includes a 5.5-inch display, a 3,000mAh battery and a clean, feature-packed software experience from Cyanogen. It's a relatively no-frills experience, but the cheapest handset in our mid-range roundup has a promising spec sheet and a proven software setup, not to mention unassuming but sturdy build quality.
ASUS ZenFone 3
ASUS steps things up a notch for the most affordable of its ZenFone 3 series phones, priced at $299 in the U.S. The ZenFone 3 brings a glass and metal design, fingerprint security and a really impressive 16-megapixel camera experience, backed up by optical image stabilization, phase detect autofocus, laser autofocus and dual LED flash. ASUS's ZenUI software may be an acquired taste, but you can't argue with the value on offer here.
Sony Xperia XA
The entry-level phone in Sony's new Xperia X series maintains the design language of its more expensive siblings, but in a plastic-bodied chassis with a few hardware trade-offs. Still, you're getting a 1080p handset with a 13-megapixel camera and Sony's imaging chops for under $280, which isn't at all bad.
Will you be picking up any of this year's mid-range Android phones? Let us know which one down in the comments!