While it’s undoubtedly been a strong year for flagships, 2020 has also seen the release of some brilliant mid-range handsets, offering top-tier specs at a budget-friendly price point. If you’re looking for a high-performance camera, reliable battery and access to the latest operating systems, then take a look at our roundup of 2020’s best affordable smartphones below.
iPhone SE (2020)
Highlights: 4.7-inch Retina HD display, single-lens 12MP rear camera, 7MP front camera, Li-Ion 1,821 mAh battery, 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm, 148g.
A revamp of Apple’s first iPhone SE which was released back in 2016, this 2020 edition has been upgraded to include a 4.7-inch Retina HD display, ideal for those who favour a compact smartphone over a widescreen experience. Glass covering the front and back gives this device a luxurious, glossy finish, while the aluminium frame enables a sturdy grip.
On the rear of this handset, you’ll find a single-lens 12MP camera, but with the A13 Bionic chip onboard, you can make the most of photography features like Depth Control, which allows you to blur the background to a specific degree with a simple slider, and Portrait mode, which can now be used on the 7MP front camera too. When it comes to video footage, you can film in crystal clear 4K, with an extended dynamic range to add depth and detail to highlights and shadows.
iPhone SE has been designed with a convenient user experience in mind. Not only is this handset the perfect size for a pocket, but it’s also dust resistant, and can withstand up to 1m of water for 30 minutes. The fingerprint scanner is helpfully integrated into the home button, and the battery can provide up to 13 hours of video playback on a single charge, so you’ll never be caught short without power.
Samsung Galaxy A42 5G
Highlights: 6.6-inch Super AMOLED display, quad-lens 48MP + 8MP + 5MP + 5MP rear camera, 20MP front camera, 5,000 mAh battery, 164.4 x 75.9 x 8.6mm, 193g.
One of the 2020 additions to the Samsung Galaxy A range, the A42 5G is proof that getting your hands on high-end specs and 5G connectivity doesn’t need to break the bank. This device features a 6.6-inch Super AMOLED display, and with a screen-to-body ratio of 84.3%, you won’t even notice the bezels, so whether you’re gaming or catching up on your Netflix Originals, you’ll enjoy a virtually uninterrupted viewing experience.
Despite the purse-friendly price, Samsung has gone all out with the rear camera system on this device, which is comprised of four lenses. As well as a 48MP telephoto lens, there’s an ultra wide 8MP lens with a 123-degree field of view, ideal for capturing stunning sunsets and group shots. Mounted alongside these is a 5MP macro camera, perfect for detailed closeups, and a second 5MP depth lens, which allows you to fine tune the background blur of your shots.
This is also a 5G-ready device, so you can enjoy all the benefits which come with the fifth-generation mobile network, like speedy downloads, lag-free smartphone gaming and a more reliable connection on video calls. Plus, with a 5,000 mAh battery, the A42 5G is well-equipped to support a 5G connection, and 15W adaptive fast charging is available if you need to power up in a hurry.
Huawei P40 lite
Highlights: 6.5-inch LCD display, quad-lens 64MP+8MP+2MP+2MP rear camera, 16MP front camera, 4,000 mAh battery, 162.3 x 75 x 8.6 mm, 189g.
Another affordable handset, the Huawei P40 lite has an eye-catching textured 3D design, and the side-mounted power button doubles up as a fingerprint scanner, so you can unlock your phone in less than half a second. The Punch FullView display is 6.5-inches, and bezels are barely there so you can really make the most of the space, whether you’re a budding photographer or big into gaming.
Huawei is known for its impressive camera specs, and the P40 lite is no exception, featuring a 64MP AI quad-camera system. As well as this main lens, there’s an 8MP ultra wide angle lens, a macro lens and a bokeh lens – so you can zoom in to capture the finest details, and just as easily photograph a panoramic landscape. There are plenty of videography features to explore too, like Dual-View Video which enables you to tell a story through a split-screen, and the capacity to film 960 fps Slow-Mo footage.
Powering this smartphone is a 4,000 mAh battery, more than capable of keeping you going from your morning workout playlist, right through to your bedtime scroll. There’s no need to plug in overnight either, as Huawei’s 40W SuperCharge technology can provide up to 70% charge in just 30 minutes.
Highlights: 6.5-inch LCD display, 48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP rear camera, 16MP front camera, 5,000 mAh battery, 162 x 75.5 x 8.9mm, 182g.
Released in spring 2020, the Oppo A72 is a midrange addition to the outstanding series of Oppo handsets, which features curved edges and side fingerprint unlock for improved ergonomic comfort. The 6.5-inch LCD display has a 90.5% screen-to-body ratio for a superbly cinematic viewing experience, and is also equipped with Eye Care Mode certified by TÜV Rheinland, which automatically adjusts screen brightness based on your surroundings and user habits.
When you turn the A72 over, you’ll see another AI quad-lens rear camera system, strikingly mounted in a glossy black rectangle. With a 48MP main lens, 8MP ultra wide lens which sports a 119-degree field of view, as well as two 2MP portrait-style lenses, the possibilities for smartphone photography are endless. There’s plenty of exciting software on board to make shooting in different circumstances easier, like Ultra Night Mode 2.0 to improve imagery in darkness, and AI Beautification which smooths and alters lighting, so you look your best in every shot.
Behind the scenes, there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor with octa-core CPU fuelling this device, while OPPO’s Hyper Boost performance engine keeps the A72 running smoothly, increasing the efficiency of your favourite apps and games. All of this is supported by the 5,000 mAh battery – which, according to Oppo – is guaranteed to withstand all day use, even when you’re streaming or scrolling non-stop.
Looking for an upgrade, but working to a budget? Find brilliant deals on affordable midrange handsets from all the biggest brands here at e2save.