Welcome to the top 15 smartphones that you can buy right now for $500. And with what we’ve seen in the last few months. It’s becoming hard for me to recommend spending more than this.
15. Vivo V15 Pro
In 15th place we’ve got the Vivo v15 pro and for 399. You get not just the contemporary design but a super AMOLED display. That fills the front of the phone. A powerful 48-megapixel triple camera. And even pretty good battery life.
The main caveat, being a mid-range snapdragon 675 chip. But at the same time, it’s kind of amazing that was at a stage. Where my main complaint with this mid-range phone is that it comes with a mid-range chip.
That’s just how competitive this market is right now and it is great for the consumer.
14. Xiaomi MI Mix 3
This is one of these slickest phones thanks to the super AMOLED display on the front. With its dual front cameras being activated with what might be the most addictive sliding mechanism on a phone to date.
And don’t be fooled by the fact that this is last year’s phone. The snapdragon 845 chip inside of it is every bit as powerful as the mid-range chips released this year.
13. Lg G7 ThinQ
This is gonna seem like a really weird choice. But LG smartphones have maybe the worst value retention. That also has a flipside. Whilst it made almost no sense to buy this phone at launch. I’ve seen this thing brand new online now for 280 dollars.
Two hundred and eighty for some of the best hardware of 2018. A good camera, a powerful speaker and a quad HD plus display. The battery is on the small side though at 3000 mah.
12. Honor View 20
The honor view 20 set the bar high for 2019. It released right at the end of last year with a flagship-grade kirin 980 chip. A pretty high-end 48-megapixel camera and was one of the only phones in the world with a punch-hole display.
Now that whole buncha phones have come out with similar features. It doesn’t quite stand as the mid-tier king but is still a very well rounded phone.
11. Samsung A70
The Samsung a70, which comes with a massive 4,500 mah battery. Combined with the fastest charging Samsung offers at 25 watts. It even has a 6.7-inch super AMOLED display on the front. The main compromise here being a made here at snapdragon 675 chip but for a lot of users, that’s great.
10. Poco Phone F1
The poco is pretty good at everything. Performance, camera, and battery. Even a year after its release are still comparable. And so the fact that it’s now even cheaper than it was before is a bonus.
9. Honor 20
Honor 20 is an amazing value for money. And is one of the only situations where I recommend the standard version of a phone as opposed to its pro counterpart. The standard honor 20 is still powered by a flagship-grade chip. And is one of the only phones with this kind of power that is compact enough to be used in one hand.
It has this side-mounted fingerprint scanner which is tough to part. Once you’ve got used to it and a quad-camera setup although one of these is just for depth sensing.
8. Pixel 3A XL
The pixel 3a xl and I are gonna preface this by saying this is not a phone for a tech-ed. This is not a phone for a gamer, this is not even a phone for the person who wants the most beautiful design. But what it is is one of the cleanest and one of the easiest android experiences. The software is blissfully lite to use and the camera captures amazing photos effortlessly. Battery life on this is off the charts, a lot more than its 3,700 mah capacity.
7. Huawei Mate 20 Pro
When the mate 20 pro came out late last year. I completely fell in love with that phone and whilst that doesn’t fit into this price bracket. What does is the standard mate 20. And this one makes sense for a lot of the same reasons as the honor 20. You’ve got that flagship Kirin chip inside. You’ve got a proper triple camera with an ultra wide lens and a telephoto camera. And the kind of design and materials that are usually reserved for flagship phones.
6. Samsung S9 Plus
What I think makes more sense. If you’re gonna go down that route of buying an old flagship phone instead of a cheaper newer one is the s9 plus. Which software-wise is very similar to what the Samsung a 70 offers. But you can’t shake that feeling of this being a flagship as opposed to a mid-range phone. You get a flagship-grade metal and glass body. Flagship great display and flagship-grade Dolby atmos speakers. And so when you combine that. That’s quite a tough combination for a newer mid-range phone to beat.
5. Red Magic 3
The red magic 3 completely blew me away. If you’re happy with having a phone that weighs over 200 grams. And one with above-average sized bezels it doesn’t get much better than this. Having the most powerful components are only the start with this thing. It has a massive 6.65-inch 90-hertz AMOLED panel. An incredible 5000 mah battery. Which can pull through two days of medium use and a ton of features to appeal to the gamers. You’ve got a customizable led strip over here. You’ve got proper shoulder buttons. And probably the coolest thing is that this phone has an dedicated fan to keep temperatures down.
4. OnePlus 7
Don’t be fooled by the fact that this phone has only one main camera and a second for depth. It takes both amazing photos and amazing videos especially after a new update that’s just dropped. But that’s not even the best thing about the phone. The software it’s running on oxygen os is incredibly fluid it is light, it is fast and this time around the companies also added stereo speakers.
3. Xiaomi Mi 9
People have been telling me that they found it cheaper but the best price I could find for this was $470. And compared to the one plus seven, you do miss out on oxygen os which I prefer to xiaomi miui skin. But it is cheaper while being just as powerful and also comes with a more versatile triple camera setup.
2. Asus Zenfone 6
The Asus zenfone 6 and this phone is not what it initially seems. On the first impression, you see this rotating camera setup and think okay this is great. Yet another one of those phones that’s interesting to look at. But that I wouldn’t spend my money on. But right here Asus has got a device that walks all over that notion. The battery life is exceptional with a mega 5000 mah power cell. The UI is snappy and bloatware-free and that camera is not just something to ogle at. But it takes amazing photos and videos on not just the rear, by the front also.
1.Redmi K20 Pro
The redmi k20 pro or the Xiaomi Mi 9t. They’re both rebranded versions of the same phone. And in almost every way this is xiaomi mi 9 but better. It is cheaper and has a much larger battery and a display that fills the whole front of the phone. No notches thanks to its motorized pop-up camera which also looks pretty slick thanks to the built-in LEDs.
I’m Jaskaran Singh, a passionate tech enthusiast from Delhi, now based in Ahmedabad. My five-year journey as a tech writer has culminated in my role as the Editor in Chief at TheWorldsBestAndWorst, where I continue to explore and share the myriad facets of technology with my audience. Beyond writing, I also run a YouTube channel, with a community of 50,000 subscribers.