Mobile Devices

Great Flagship Phone Alternatives You can Get Right Now

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Let’s face it – as great as they are, flagship smartphones can sometimes take a toll on our wallets, and with phones like the iPhone XS and Galaxy Note 9 exceeding the thousand-dollar price point, you may be looking for a similarly-powerful but less expensive smartphone.

This is where midrange phones come in. They offer a good balance with specifications and features that outperform those of entry-level phones, and prices which are considerably less than high-end premium smartphones.

We made a list of some great phones you can get at the moment, which offer good specs and features at a non-flagship price. Read on for our recommendations!

Xiaomi Pocophone F1


The Xiaomi Pocophone has recently been making waves due to its affordable price tag and the inclusion of top-of-the-line specs. While you make a bit of a compromise with the plastic body, everything else is worth the trade-off.

The phone comes with the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, an Adreno 630 GPU, and comes with either 6 or 8GB of RAM. You can also choose between 64, 128, or 256GB of internal storage, and you can expand this even further with the addition of the micro SD card slot.

This should give more than enough space to store your photos and videos, which can be taken through the phones 12+5 megapixel dual camera set-up at the back.

There’s also a 20-megapixel camera on the front. Powering the phone is a 4,000 mAh battery, which should be enough to push through a day with the phone’s massive 6.18-inch display.

The phone comes with Android 8 Oreo though, which is a version behind from the current Android 9 Pie. Hopefully, we’ll see an update along the way.

Huawei Nova 3i


For a long time now, Huawei has been releasing good value phones for a lower price compared to that of mainstream flagship phones from big brands.

Also known as the Huawei P-Smart, the Nova 3i is one of their latest midrange devices and serves as a sequel to last year’s Nova 2i handset. It features a glass and metal design which is pretty much a standard for a lot of midrange phones these days.

The phone makes good impressions with a spec list that ticks the right boxes. It has a large 6.3-inch display which covers the entire front, a 16-2 megapixel dual camera set-up on the back and a 24-2 megapixel shooter up front, Huawei’s own Kirin 710 processor, and a 3340 mAh battery.

The Nova 3i also comes with storage variations of 128GB of internal memory and 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of internal memory and 6GB of RAM.

Nokia 7.1


Nokia continues to climb back up the industry ladder by releasing new phones under parent company HMD Global, and so far the phones have been good devices.

The latest Nokia 7.1 has an LCD display that measures 5.84-inches, and it contains the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 chipset, alongside an Adreno 509 GPU. It also comes in two variations with a 64GB storage and 4GB RAM combo, or 32GB + 3GB configuration.

If you want to boost the phone’s onboard storage, the Nokia 7.1 accepts memory cards of up to 400GB capacity.

Powering the phone is 3060 mAh battery, which hopefully will be enough for daily use. On the back, you’ll find the 12+5 megapixel dual camera set-up, which sits above the fingerprint sensor.

The Nokia 7.1 fall under Google’s Android One program. It launched with Android 8.1 Oreo, with HMD promising to update it to Android 9.0 Pie.

Samsung Galaxy A8+


If you’re after a Samsung smartphone but don’t have the budget for an S-series or Note-series phone, then the Galaxy A8+ is a good alternative. The phone comes in an attractive design which makes it reminiscent of more recent high-end Samsung handsets.

It features the same tall display Samsung introduced with the Galaxy S8, with this one measuring at 6-inches. It’s available in either a 64GB storage and 4GB RAM combo, or a 32GB + 3GB storage configuration.

The phone is powered by Samsung’s own Exynos 7885 CPU, which runs on a 3,500 mAh battery. It also features 16-megapixel cameras on the back, with a dual 16-8 megapixel dual camera on the front.

The only downside here is that the phone ships with Android 7.0 Nougat, two versions behind from the current Android 9.0 Pie. Probably, we’ll see Samsung provide an update for this otherwise good phone.

We hope that we’ve helped you with this list. If you have any comments or opinions, we’d love to read them! Stay tuned for more features on gadgets and accessories.

About the author

Mike Viray

A writer with a fondness for consumer tech, Mike is also a music lover, and an avid gamer as well. He and his wife are big fans of Mario Kart.


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  • Its great to me that the first phone on your list is one that I have been researching for a while. China is really getting their reputation up in the leader boards with phones like this. Xiomii look like a real contender in the smartphone arena.

    One thing I have noticed is that smartphones are beginning to look very similar to me. There are differences like home buttons or fingerprint scanners in different places but the overall shape and look is starting to become uniform. This is great for us as the consumer because so many trusted brand are releasing phones we could see ourselves using.

    It is also exciting because the phone companies will have to push to be seen as innovative or different so its a big win for us! What do you think?

    • Thanks for dropping by, Renton!

      I agree, what we want to see is how OEMs can innovative to outdo one another. It’s crazy now that we can get powerful phones at less expensive prices. At the same time though, it is sad that there’s this trend of uniformity when it comes to smartphone design. I’m not the biggest fan of notches, and I most certainly am against the removal of headphone jacks.

  • Thank you for this review, am actually not a fun of the high end phones so this flagship phones come in handy on my budget. My main concern is usually space and accommodating my main apps that I use frequently. I don’t take photos with my phone as I have a camera but use social media a lot with my phone. Currently have a Huawei P8 lite (3 years old) and i think I need a more present version. The Huawei Nova 3i looks like a good upgrade and has a big storage space, do you think it is a good choice to upgrade from a P8 lite to the Nova 3i?

    • Hi Anita. I’d say the Nova 3i would be a great upgrade, seeing as how it’s got great specs at a decent price. It also makes sense as it comes with current-trend specs that we’re seeing at the moment in most 2018 smattphone models.

  • Hi Mike I liked your post. As you say the price of those flagship phones have gone through the roof. Most people have to take out a loan or pay a high price on contract for these. I’ve always looked for good value budget to mid range mobiles so your article provides me with a good round up of what is good on the market right now. Thanks.

    • Hello James, glad we were able to be of assistance.

      It’s a bit frustrating how smartphone prices have skyrocketed. For a thousand dollars you could get a decent laptop or PC. Lately for me it’s always been get a good midranger or last year’s flagship.

  • Hi Mike,

    I’ve been thinking for awhile about what phone I’m going to get next because I am NOT getting the next iPhone.  It’s unfortunate because I’ve been a fan of Apple for a long time.  

    I appreciate the list you provide in this article.  I’ll need to research the cost comparisons.  Do you have one of the phones you have listed?

    All the best,


    • Well I am planning on getting the Nokia or Galaxy A8, but that would have to wait as my phone’s still in contract. If you’re interested, we have more reviews on non flagship phones here on Detechtors.

      Thanks for dropping by!

  • Thanks for the great post.  I’m an Apple guy myself and, until they release a good clone that runs iOS (my guess is never), I’m stuck on that line.  That said, I provide my family and in-laws with phones on my account.  I might be tempted to move them to less expensive options, since I pay for them.  My only concern is moving them from iOS to Android and having to provide support and training.

    I’m impressed with the specs in some of these phones, especially when it comes to RAM and the ability to use memory cards.  I wish Apple would support additional storage options.

    Thanks again for the great post.  I’ll definitely have to take a closer look at these models as renewals are starting to pop up on my cell phone account.

    • If you’re planning on moving them over to Android you might want to look at the phones under the Android One program. They run a clean, stock version of the OS and get regular updates as well.

      Thanks for reading!

  • I am an iPhone X owner.  However putting that away for a minute, I probably would take the Nokia 7.1 over the others.  I had a Nokia before iPhone came along and really did like them.  Not a fan of the Chinese Huawei with their antics, and haven’t ever been a fan of Samsung for personal reasons.

    The Ansdroid OS bothers me with so little users upgrading their OS.

    • Hi Stew.

      So far the new Nokia devices have been great. I’m using a Nokia 6.1 and so far it hasn’t let me down. They’ve so far managed to give out regular updates and the phones are quite durable!

  • Hi Mike, thank you for your review of some of the alternative phones to iPhone and the high-end Samsungs. I live in SE Asia and we have access to a lot of the mid-range phones (as well as the high end ones). I don’t know if you have access to Oppo phones in your market but they also have good specs and are affordable. I have had mine for over 2 years and it is still running strongly. Just a thought.


    • Hi Gary.

      I have very little experience with Oppo phones, I’ve only seen them in use but haven’t actually used one. Perhaps we’ll add them to our reviews soon. Thank you!