In the smartphone market, the mid-range segment is one of the most crowded segments, filled with many great options. Needless to say, it can be daunting to decide just which mid-range smartphone is perfect for any given individual.
With that in mind, we set out to highlight several things all great mid-range smartphone must have. These range from battery life, security features, and of course, the overall build quality of the device. If you’re looking to get a new smartphone – mid-range or not – it’s worth to keep these five features in mind.
In the not so distant past, Full HD displays were usually only reserved for flagship, high-end smartphones. These days, any mid-range smartphone worth its salt should at least be packing a 1080p display; any resolution lower than this is usually – and should be – found on entry-level smartphones.
However, a high resolution display is only half of the equation; the display quality itself has to be up to snuff. The two most commonly used display technologies are IPS LCD and AMOLED panels, both of which have their own pros and cons. The former usually has better whites, while the latter is known for its deep blacks. Nonetheless, both display technologies are great in their own right, and either displays will be pleasant to use.
One of the most important features every great smartphone must have is good battery life. Now, there are many factors that affect the battery life of a particular device, such as display, power efficiency of the processor used – usually, the smaller the chipset is, the more power-efficient it is – as well as how well-optimised the smartphone’s software is.
Needless to say, the capacity of the battery itself is also important. Ideally, you should be looking for a device with at least a 3,000mAh battery, such as the honor 5C.
Arguably one of the most overlooked aspects of a smartphone is security. While a simple PIN or pattern password is usually enough to deter anyone from accessing your smartphone without your permission, it’s not exactly the most convenient – or secure – method.
Over the last year or so, many manufacturers have implemented fingerprint sensors on their smartphones. However, not all sensors are made equal; some fingerprint sensors are faster than others. In our experience, honor has one of the fastest sensors in the market, including last year’s honor 7 and the more recent honor 5C.
The focus of mid-range smartphones, more often than not, is to make them as affordable as possible without sacrificing important features. For this very reason, many smartphones in this segment do not emphasise much on overall build quality. After all, using more premium materials also means higher cost, which results in a higher retail price. However, more and more manufacturers have focused on this very aspect in recent times while keeping the price down, which is great for consumers.
Seeing how even sub-RM1,000 smartphones now are built with premium materials like metal, it makes sense to not settle for less; gone are the days when consumers had to settle for sub-par plastic bodies when shopping for mid-range smartphones.
As mentioned previously, certain features of mid-range smartphones had to be sacrificed to keep their prices low. As a result, devices in this segment don’t usually have much internal storage, which ranges from a meagre 8GB to – at most – 32GB of storage. Most of the time, this isn’t enough for the average consumer, which is why a microSD card slot is paramount for a mid-range device.
With a microSD card slot, consumers can solve their storage dilemma on the cheap. This, in turn, makes a lot of sense for a mid-range smartphone, where value for money is the main objective.
(Bonus) After Sales Service
Usually, after sales service is an afterthought for many, but it’s definitely an important thing to consider – you’ll never now if something were to happen to your smartphone. The fact that after sales service vary widely between different manufacturers also means things can get complicated very easily. Where honor has a one-to-one exchange policy that applies within the first six months of ownership, another manufacturer may not be as generous even with their general warranty. There are also special invites to fan-only events, fostering greater rapport with the community.
Basically, it’s important to consider what would happen after you’ve purchased any given smartphone. After all, it’s hard to say what could happen in the future, and assurance is always a good thing.
As a rule of thumb, mid-range devices in the sub-RM1,000 category usually offer the most bang for buck, although there are certain exceptions. Most smartphones in this price range offer a similar level of performance, so it is wise to also look into other factors such as those we’ve mentioned here.
Among the devices that have all of these features is the honor 5C: it has a power-efficient 16nm Kirin 650 processor, a 1080p IPS display, a metal body, as well as support for expandable storage. Its fingerprint sensor is also one of the fastest in the market. Either way, you cannot go wrong with a smartphone that satisfy all five – or better yet, all six – of the features highlighted here.
Disclosure: this article was sponsored by honor Malaysia.