Finding the right investment in mobile telephony is not an easy task. Between the known manufacturers and the newcomers, the proposals are more and more varied, which makes sorting difficult. After several hours of research and analysis, our choice fell on the Realme X2 Pro . Well finished, it has a reactive screen and incomparable performance in its range. It also has an extremely efficient fast charge that leaves far behind the market leaders.
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How did we choose?
Recently, there has been a huge influx of smartphones that are all competing for the first place on the market and each manufacturer is trying to attract us with an attractive price or features whose significance we do not always know.
To help you better understand all this, we have determined the criteria to take into account before making your choice:
- Performance : the processor, graphics chipset and RAM memory are the heart of your device. Thus, they determine the speed of execution of the phone. The more powerful the processor, the more flexible the photo editing, the faster the applications will open and, of course, the smoother the game will be with correctly reproduced graphics. Today, the most powerful is the Snapdragon 855 (especially in its “plus” version).
- The screen : the size of the display determines the size of your device. It is measured in inches. The bigger the display, the bigger the smartphone and the more immersive the experience. Modern smartphones use either IPS-LCD or OLED technology for display. OLED technology is currently the benchmark in the field thanks to its infinite contrasts but very well calibrated IPS screens manage to compete.
- Ergonomics : this criterion is above all determined by the materials used and the weight of the device. Thus, a glass back will certainly be more aesthetic but more slippery, metal will be more robust but heavier and plastic will generally be cheaper but less elegant. The placement of various elements such as physical buttons, fingerprint sensor and speakers is also important in order to provide the best possible experience.
- Photo quality : to produce beautiful photos, you need to check the brightness, contrast and colorimetry as well as the context in which you capture them. Generally, manufacturers ensure versatility either via a higher number of sensors or via additional software optimization (“night” mode for example). If the photo quality of your device is essential, do not hesitate to consult our comparison of the best smartphones for photo .
- Autonomy : one of the weak points of smartphones is their battery. We can consider that it is resistant when it lasts between 2 and 3 days. Many technologies accelerate the charging time of these devices. Note that a higher battery capacity does not necessarily mean that the autonomy will be better because it also depends on other factors such as the optimization of the standby mode, for example.
The analysis of these criteria allowed us to reduce our selection from around fifty models to around twenty.
By consulting the user reviews available on English and French-speaking sites, Youtube channels, blogs, forums, specialized pages in the field or by simply going back to the manufacturer, we were able to determine which are the 6 best value for money smartphones. / price of the moment.
NB: it should not be forgotten that the question of the quality / price ratio is difficult to tackle, because it still depends on your specific needs and especially on the budget that you are ready to devote to this purchase, a high-end model that can sometimes represent better value for money than a cheaper smartphone .
Our Choice: Realme X2 Pro
Newcomer to the smartphone world, Realme hunts on Xiaomi’s flowerbeds. With the X2 Pro, it offers a smartphone that rules out all competition by offering first-rate performance and high quality overall. Thanks to this, he dethrones the Mi 9T Pro, which has long been unrivaled.
Performance level, it takes the excellent Snapdragon 855 Plus coupled, as desired, with 6 , 8 or 12 GB of RAM. This combo, helped by a very good software optimization (already seen on the Realme 3 Pro ), places it among the most powerful Android smartphones.
Thanks to this, it can handle all the tasks that you entrust to it, whether in standard use or with greedy games.
The screen is very good. The brand chose Super AMOLED technology for its 6.5 ”Full HD panel. This very beautiful screen benefits in addition to a frequency of 90 HZ, for the benefit of fluidity, whether in navigation or in game. The high maximum brightness and the beautiful variety of colors flatter the retina, especially after optimization via the parameters (we recommend the “soft” mode coupled with the temperature in “warmer”).
This set allows comfortable use in all circumstances, despite a high reflectance.
Maintaining a contained price often involves making concessions. In the case of this smartphone, it is once again the photo quality that suffers. The module is composed of 4 lenses: a main one of 64 Mpx (f / 1.8), a 5x telephoto lens of 13 Mpx (f / 2.5), an ultra wide-angle of 8 Mpx (f / 2.2) and a 2 MP depth sensor (f / 2.4).
If the results are generally good when the brightness is sufficient with a rendering pleasing to the eye, the photos in low light are in the low average. This results in a more pronounced noise and a Lens Flare effect (exaggeration of the luminous halos). The latter is light enough to be acceptable.
We do not recommend abusing HDR, which tends to exaggerate sharpness, which causes loss of the natural side of the scene.
Finally, level autonomy, you will be entitled to a capacity of 4000 mAh which is equivalent to 1.5 to 2 days of use. If necessary, the (very) fast recharge allows you to renew in just 30 minutes!
The best cheap value for money smartphone: Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro
With its Note 8 Pro, Xiaomi continues its launch of smartphones with a very interesting quality / price ratio. Successor of the recognized Redmi Note 7 , this model does not lack qualities with in particular a powerful processor, a more than correct photo quality and a high level endurance. It has everything to please, especially after a short passage in the settings to make the most of its screen.
In terms of performance, this Chinese smartphone contains a Helio G90T processor. Combined with the 6 GB of RAM, it has a rock-solid fluidity and will follow you in all your activities whether it be to surf the web or to play your favorite tracks without big concessions. According to several tests, it even ranks at the level of products in the upper range!
Its screen is based on a 6.53-inch IPS panel with FHD + resolution (2340x1080px). After going through the parameters to activate the “default” mode, it offers very good calibration and a brightness that can be used in all circumstances. If you do not make this modification, you will benefit from disappointing results which do not do justice to this slab.
From a design point of view, it offers a high quality that is generally found on models at twice its price. The back is made of Gorilla Glass 5 (reinforced) glass framed by hard plastic with shiny effect. Its slightly rounded shape is ideal for handling and compensates for its fairly high weight (200g). Its screen occupies 85% of the front face, despite a notch containing the front camera.
The fingerprint reader is located on the back and falls perfectly under the finger. In terms of connectivity, USB-C, 3.5mm jack and NFC are on the menu. The Dual-Sim function and the possibility of integrating a microSD card are two significant features.
In the photo, Xiaomi has equipped its camera with a new lens. This combination allows it to get a very good rendering of your shots without distorting them (with a drop in quality on the ultra wide-angle all the same). As always for this price range, the night rendering is perfectible.
In the end, in addition to being powerful, the Note 8 Pro benefits from great endurance. It will accompany you without incident for a little less than 3 days in normal use and about 1 and a half days in very intensive.
The best high-end value for money smartphone: Huawei P30 Pro
The Huawei P30 Pro reveals itself in an attractive design. But this is not its main asset, which lies rather in its photo quality of very high level! As a bonus, it benefits from a neat AMOLED screen, a pleasant grip and a powerful processor. Few smartphones are able to compete with its balance and the price drop which it has been taking advantage of lately has strengthened its position.
This device is unlocked by means of a 2D facial recognition system and / or a fingerprint sensor. To improve the storage capacity, there is the possibility of integrating an additional memory card.
In terms of brightness, it is one of the best, with exceptional contrast and honest colors, thanks to its 6.47-inch Full HD + OLED screen.
It is equipped with a Kirin 980 chip, with 8 GB of RAM but its EMUI interface is however criticized because it is aging. We can still see a good speed of execution which does not generate overheating, whether it is games or not, even if it is possible to come across some bugs.
Here we are at the main asset of this camera: photography. The four camera sensors give it an impressive rendering, with beautiful lights. The night images are exceptional thanks to the “Super Spectrum” technology and the TOF sensor offers a luxury Portrait mode. In terms of video, it can shoot in 4K.
That’s not all, there is also a digital zoom that can operate up to x50. At this point, the image is a bit blurry but in x5 or x10, this zoom is flawless and quite rare for a smartphone.
The 2-day autonomy takes away the fears and worries of losing the battery (with a power of 4200 mAh). But even if that happens, the “SuperCharge 40 W” technology comes to the rescue via its USB type-C port, with a charging time of around fifty minutes which is enough to restore its full resistance.
In the end, among the advantages of this model, we will especially remember its photo quality, its design and its autonomy. If you like using your smartphone as a camera, with the P30 Pro, you have both in one.
A cheap alternative: Samsung Galaxy A50
The main advantage of the Samsung Galaxy A50 is the quality of its AMOLED screen, the benchmark technology on smartphones. It benefits from a nice fluidity and a decent autonomy but, on the other hand, if you are a gamer at heart, go your way. Unfortunately, it cannot compete with our much more recent reference.
In terms of performance, it is equipped with an Exynos 9610 processor. If it guarantees a fluidity to any test, it will still be quite limited for gaming enthusiasts. Indeed, more gourmet titles such as Fortnite will quickly push it to its limits.
The OLED Full HD + screen (2340 x 1080 px) extends over a length of 6.4 ″ and delivers exceptional contrasts and lights, which do not damage the eyes. This technology owned by Samsung is a benchmark in the middle of the smartphone (it is also found on high-end models).
From an ergonomic point of view, this model benefits from a good grip despite its large size. Its fingerprint sensor is located under the screen, which allows its plastic back to be very refined. This sensor is unfortunately not the most reactive.
It has a teardrop notch and rounded corners to surround an anti-reflective screen that covers 85% of the surface. Its main flaw is related to the choice of back coating, which is a fingerprint magnet.
From a connection point of view, it is provided with a USB-C port, a jack and a space reserved for the integration of a microSD card intended to extend the storage capacity.
For photography, our opinion is mixed, divided between the fairly detailed images which resist a lot of light, and the tendency of the photographs to clear up at the time of the capture. There is also a lot of saturation in some photos, however we appreciate the ultra wide-angle and portrait mode.
Overall, it is therefore not exceptional, but it is doing well. The sound, meanwhile, is far from being among the best.
The Galaxy A50 includes a 4000 mAh battery with a respectable resistance of 2 days for average use. To recharge it to the maximum, the trick is played in less than 2 hours.
Ultimately, the Galaxy A50 is a very good smartphone which unfortunately suffers from its age.
A mid-range alternative: Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro
Long considered a benchmark in quality / price, the Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro is not only aesthetically pleasing: it also presents a screen of very good quality and great performance to play all your favorite titles. The daytime photo quality is also high and its autonomy is above average. However, Realme, a newcomer to the market, does even better than him on all these aspects, except for endurance.
Power level, no complaints. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC chip always delivers an efficient experience, whether in everyday tasks or in-game, where you can claim high graphic quality and good fluidity without causing excessive overheating.
From a screen point of view, the Mi 9T Pro is equipped with a 6.39 ″ AMOLED screen (Full HD +). Like its little brother, the Note 8 Pro, a passage through the parameters is necessary to activate the default mode, which offers natural colors and good contrasts. Its luminosity, on the other hand, allows it to be as effective in full sun as at night.
Ergonomically, the Mi 9T Pro takes the recipe of the standard model: a fingerprint sensor under the screen, a retractable front camera and a screen without notch. A qualitative blend that shouldn’t be ashamed of more premium models. The grip is very good despite its high weight.
With its 48 MP sensor, the photos are detailed and natural. By day, he stands up to the reference of this price range in photo, the Google Pixel 3a and only tilts because of a slightly too strong exposure.
At night, the result is much less good: too much smoothing and dull colors deteriorate the final result. Unlike the main module, which offers correct quality, the other two modules are clearly below and produce photos that are not very usable.
Finally, the battery with a capacity of 4000 mAh holds almost two full days for average use and this, despite a fairly greedy processor. The fast charge allows full capacity in about 1h30 with the proposed block (18 W). But this duration can be further reduced because it accepts blocks up to 25 W.
In short, if your budget is a little more limited, the Mi 9T Pro is still an excellent versatile smartphone.
A high-end alternative: Oneplus 7T
Present in the top 5 of the most efficient smartphones, it takes advantage of the best chip on the market, to offer top-notch results. He also adds a very nice screen worthy of the best. Unfortunately, his disappointing results in photography (when compared to the competition, of course) keep him from the top of the ranking.
Its Snapdragon 855, coupled with 8 GB of RAM, allows it to perform above average. FNATIC Mode further optimizes software management to fully free it for your gaming sessions. Beware, however, of the autonomy that risks taking a big hit.
Screen point of view, you will not be outdone. With its 6.55 ”90 Hz AMOLED panel, it offers infinite contrast and flawless visual fluidity. Once the “Natural” mode is activated, you will get a good calibration, where only the color temperature will be slightly too high. This screen can be used comfortably day and night, despite a fairly high reflectance.
Using the same design as for its previous versions, Oneplus still improves the recipe with a more compact format. The coating is always in glass surrounded by aluminum and protected by Gorilla Glass. The grip is neat thanks to its rounded back and the placement of the various buttons that fall easily under the fingers.
The connectivity is standard and the fingerprint sensor follows the current trend by being under the screen.
The photo part is provided by a triple lens: one of 48 Mpx, a telephoto of 12 Mpx and an ultra wide-angle of 16 Mpx. Combined with an optimization of the treatment, this device is now more versatile than on the Oneplus 7 (it uses at least two lenses for better rendering).
The pictures are of good quality, without being perfect. The night photos are improved compared to the previous version. For the price offered, this is an honorable result, even if it is below the competition.
Finally, endurance level, this model does a little worse than its predecessor but will still hold between 1 day and a half and 2 days of mixed use. As mentioned above, the greedy tasks heat the battery which reduces the autonomy. The full charge is done in just 1 hour which, for the players, will allow them to easily compensate for the loss due to the heating.
Google Pixel 3a : this camera has great photo quality, making it the best in its class. Its OLED screen is also a very good asset. In addition, its performance is correct thanks to its Snapdragon 670 chip and its 4 GB of RAM. Unfortunately, even if it is quickly rechargeable, its battery is not powerful enough to last an entire day with barely 3000 mAh of capacity.
Huawei P30 : whether in photo or performance, this smartphone remains at the level and still offers a good quality / price ratio. It incorporates the components of the P30 Pro but has a slightly lower photo quality. On the menu, therefore: Kirin 980 with 6 GB of RAM, triple photo sensor and 6.1 ”OLED screen. Unfortunately released in recent months, it is overtaken by newcomers and their latest generation processors but it is perfect in the role of the versatile product combining power and photo quality.
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 : champion of the quality / price ratio, Xiaomi continues with its Note 10. On the program: a durable smartphone, equipped with an AMOLED screen and gifted in photography. It has a Snapdragon 730G which, although less powerful than the most current models (the 855 for example), still offers great performance. A few small software problems (which will certainly be fixed in the next updates) prevent it from taking the place of our references.