Quick comparison: 2016's mid-range Android challengers

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!

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CategoryMoto G4Alcatel Idol 4Honor 5CWileyfox Spark XASUS Zenfone 3Sony Xperia XA
Operating SystemAndroid 6.0.1Android 6.0.1Android 6.0
EMUI 4.1
Android 6.0.1
CyanogenOS 13
Android 6.0.1
ZenUI 3
Android 6.0.1
Display5.5-inch 1080p5.2-inch 1080p5.2-inch 1080p5.5-inch 720p5.5-inch 1080p5-inch 720p
CPUQualcomm Snapdragon 617Qualcomm Snapdragon 617Hisilicon Kirin 650MediaTek MT6735Qualcomm Snapdragon 625MediaTek Helio P10
Rear Camera13MP13MP13MP13MP16MP OIS, Laser AF13MP
Front Camera5MP8MP8MP8MP8MP8MP
ChargingTurbo ChargingQuickCharge 2.05V/2A5V/1AUnknown (no QuickCharge)Pump Express+ 2.0
Dimensions153 x 76.6 x 7.9mm147 x 72.5 x 7.1 mm147.1 x 73.8 x 8.3mm154.35x78.6x8.75mm152.6 x 77.4 x 7.7 mm143.6 x 66.8 x 7.9 mm
FingerprintNoNoNo (except Chinese model)NoYesNo
~$300 (import)
~$200 (import)
~$175 (import)
~£230 (import)

Moto G4

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.

MORE: Our review of the G4's big brother, the Moto G4 Plus

Alcatel Idol 4

Idol 4 + 4s

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.

MORE: Our hands-on preview of the Alcatel Idol 4 series

Honor 5C

Honor 5C

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.

MORE: Our hands-on preview of the Honor 5C

Wileyfox Spark X

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.

MORE: Our hands-on preview of the entire Spark range

ASUS ZenFone 3

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.

MORE: Our preview of all ASUS's ZenFone 3 series phones

Sony Xperia XA

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.

MORE: Our hands-on preview of the Sony Xperia XA

Will you be picking up any of this year's mid-range Android phones? Let us know which one down in the comments!

Alex Dobie
Executive Editor

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.

  • I would rather get a Nexus 5X or wait for Moto x pure edition's price drop. Posted via the Android Central App
  • u missed out last week mxp 239.00 b&h with 32gb card free shipping no tax
  • A great time, unless you live in the US, where none of these phones are available.
  • The Honor 5C is at Best Buy, and the Moto G4 will be soon as well. Agreed about the others.
  • Do you have a link? Only seeing the honor 5x there, which is a slight step down.
  • The 5X is at Best Buy, not the 5C.
  • Just bought the X Pure Edition at Best Buy for $239. Taking it back.
    Lousy battery and issues with the screen not being responsive in certain areas! As a PRO comment, I was happy with the radios in the phone. Worked on VZW flawlessly!
  • Is the idol 4 even a thing anymore? It was announced in Feb but has apparently fallen off the face of the earth. I'd love one if it were available.
  • I too was surprised when I saw it in the list. Alcatel made a huge mistake by moving upmarket, and then a worse mistake failing to launch at any time in the last 5 months. Now that the OnePlus 3 owns the $400 price point, the Idol 4 is dead in the water.
  • Sony Xperia XA typo ... you're getting a 1080p handset... It's only 720p.
  • I wanted the XA but hearing the stamina mode doesn't work the same as it did before, I'm not as interested. :(
    Reviews may or may not change my mind though.
  • Any word on a larger release date for the Zenfone 3 line? I saw they're coming out in Taiwan July 12, but no other countries have been announced.
  • Anyone have any tips for using these scrollable tables in the app? It's impossible for me it just scrolls to the next/previous story
  • I wish I knew. I've had it work flawlessly one time. Otherwise I've always had to make tiny little swipes and scroll it a a few pixels at a time.
    Some tables are readable in landscape but this one is too wide. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yeah I've learned the landscape trick but as you say this one it too wide even for that!
  • So much this! Absolutely unusable Posted via the Android Central App
  • You have to swipe diagonally for it to work. The developer really needs to work on this Posted via the Android Central App
  • Will ZTE Axon 7 be available in the U.S.? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Gosh, I hope so. Been looking for a mid priced phone for awhile now. Sure wish they would list the phones as either working with AT&T, VZW, and T-Mobile or not. What the heck does a bunch of Band info mean to 99% of us? Just make things simple! AS an example..............the One Plus 3. Will it work on VZW or not? Just list the darn thing easily!
  • I concur. That's a valid point. Band #s don't mean much to the average consumer. Posted via the Android Central App
  • i agree. Having compatible carriers as a spec is as important as if it has a finger sensor or not.
  • A general rule: if you have to ask, then no, it probably won't work on Verizon.
  • I'd also agree that AC editors should state carriers supported..Most of the international phones won't work in the US. I think they should also add NFC which we need for mobile payments. The BIG letdown for the Moto G4 Plus is it won't work with Android Pay for that reason.. That kills it for me and others
  • I think you've missed Xiaomi Redmi note 3 from the list...