What you should be looking out for in an affordable mid-range smartphone

These specs are what mark your mid-rangers as flagship competition

For around RM1500 to RM2100, you can be the proud owner of a lag-free midranger that isn't lacking in the style and class departments.

How do you spot these hidden gems amongst the sea of smartphones out there? Well, you can make sure they've got these specifications. While a smartphone's performance is still dependent on optimisation, these specs are good benchmarks for you cut the good stuff from the merely mediocre. 

Processor and RAM

Think of the smartphone processor like the brain of your device. The CPU, coupled with the RAM, dictates how fast your smartphone runs and how well it multi-tasks. The two most commonly used type of chips in smartphone are Snapdragon ones by Qualcomm and Mediatek ones.


For phones with Snapdragon processors, you should ideally be looking at:

●     Snapdragon 650 (at least)

●     Snapdragon 652

●     Snapdragon 808

●     Snapdragon 820 - Best

Usually, the higher the number, the more capable the Snapdragon processor. The high-end flagships that cost you around RM3000 or more will often pack on a Snapdragon 820 or even an 821 like the Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe.

For phones with Mediatek processors,

●     Helio P10(MT6755)

●     Helio X10(MT6795)

●     Helio X20(MT6797)

●     Helio X25(MT6797T) - Best

Mediatek processors are slightly cheaper than Qualcomm ones so it's not uncommon for mid-rangers to carry them.

As for the RAMs in the smartphone, these specifications dictate your smartphone’s multitasking capabilities. So if you are someone who refuses to swipe to close your apps, you should try looking for a device with more RAM.

For a midranger, you should ideally be looking at between a phone with a 3GB or 4GB RAM.

Just to illustrate the points above, the Mi 5 has a Snapdragon 820 processor and 3GB worth of RAM. This RM1761 device outperforms RM3100 flagships like the Sony Xperia XZ by around 30% in terms of speed and processing capabilities according to Antutu benchmarks.