The fight in the mobile phone universe is now shifting midstream, after five years of flagship brawl running unabated. All players are suffering from a flagship fatigue and market saturation at the high-end, so they are reshifting positions for the exploding Android midrange opportunity.
What are the current midrangers offering, though, and are they worthy of the nascent landgrab that is about to ensue in the category? Good midrangers these days start you off with a 720p display, which means we’ll have both H1 2013 entrants, and last year’s flagships in the slideshow below.
We are rounding up a few of the best representatives of the upper midrange category
1. Huawei Ascend P6
Ascend P6 is believed to be the world’s slimmest phone with dedicated design.
It features a sleek and stylish design with brushed metal finish – packed with 4.7-inch display, 1.5GHz quad core processor, 2GB RAM and 8GB ROM. Moreover, it consists of SD storage expandable to 32GB and 2000MaH battery with intelligent battery saving chip preinstalled.The Ascend P6 has a 8MP camera which shines mostly because it has advanced scene recognition settings. But the more interesting one is the front snapper which is 5MP, unmatched on other phones.
Other than that, the phone has the latest version of Google’s Android operating system, Jelly Bean 4.2.2, and ticks all the other spec boxes you’d expect, such as the short-range data transfer system NFC, GPS and wi-fi.
2. Sony Xperia ZR
The 4.6-inch device has a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels and is powered by Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core 1.5GHz CPU with 2GB of RAM and 8GB storage capacity. The storage capacity can be boosted up to 32GB by microSD slot. Users are forced to depend on microSD cards if you intend to store your music and video files on this device. The phone has a 13MP autofocus LED flash with Exmor RS technology which allows you to take pictures in low light. The 2300mAh capacity battery is sufficient to last more than a day with moderate mobile data use without stamina mode on. The images taken are crisp, detailed and rich in colours.Sony’s Xperia ZR is IP55 and IP58 compliant, which means that it can be immersed in water up to five feet and can take photos or record videos for 30 minutes. But the sad part is Sony forgot to update the device to latest Android operating system and the device comes up with Android 4.1.2.
3. HTC One Mini
The HTC One mini comes with a 4.3-inch, 720×1280 pixel display. The HTC One mini has its processing punch delivered by a dual-core Snapdragon 400 SoC with a processor clocked at 1.4GHz along with 1 GB of ram. HTC has delivered the best software it has too – Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean out of the box with Sense 5. The HTC One mini spells out premium with an aluminum unibody design and UltraPixel camera with dedicated ImageChip 2, plus BoomSound (stereo speakers on the front with a dedicated amp).
4. Google Nexus 4
Google Nexus 4 has a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro with Krait CPUs (meaning this thing should be crazy fast), a 4.7-inch WXGA True HD IPS Plus (1280 x 768 pixels) display with Zerogap Touch technology and Corning Gorilla Glass 2, 2GB of RAM, an 8MP rear camera, a 1.3MP front camera, and a 2100 mAh battery rated for upwards of 15.3 hours of talk time. The device has NFC as expected, and will support wireless charging. It will run Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.
5. LG Optimus F7
The Optimus F7 is squarely in the mid-range of specs, with a 4.7-inch 720×1280 display, 1.5GHz dual-core (Snapdragon S4 Plus) processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage and 8MP/1.3MP cameras. Naturally, the Optimus F7 is running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with LG’s customizations and bundled apps.
6. Samsung Galaxy S III
The Galaxy S3, released last year, comes with a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED screen that can display 306 ppi. Underneath the hood lies a quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, and a 1.9-megapixel front camera. While the rear camera can shoot video in 1080p, the front one can only take video in 720p. The Galaxy S3’s battery is a 2,100mAh battery, and it comes with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean onboard. An update to Android 4.2.2 seems to be in limbo, but when it finally does release, it will bring a number of Galaxy S4 features such as gesture controls over to the Galaxy S3.
7. HTC One X+
The HTC One X+ offers a quad-core Tegra 3 chip that runs at 1.7GHz and since higher clock speeds usually result in increased power consumption, the smartphone has been equipped with a 2,100mAh battery that can supposedly provide 6 more hours of talk time. The on-board storage capacity has been given a bump up to 64GB, which is plentiful no matter how you look at it. On the software side of things, the HTC One X+ comes with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean pre-installed, which is currently the platform’s newest version. Layered on top of it is the maker’s custom Sense 4+ interface, with features like Self Portrait mode that enhances front-facing cam shots, grouping photos in the Gallery based on the location they were taken at, and the ability to launch the camera app with a press of the power button.