Welcome Citizen!

Sign in to start sharing and discover the best products you can buy today!

Welcome Citizen!

Setup your account or continue reading!

Settings
cover image

Top 8 Mid-Range Smartphones in Malaysia 2023 - Brand Reviews

You won’t have to make a killing to afford these!

Expert In This Title
Expert avatar
YouTuber

Umar Naqshbandi

Umar Naqshbandi is ProductNation's resident tech enthusiast, photography expert and video maestro. He is also the host and brains for our YouTube channel as well as the main reviewer for all our tech-related content.
"Picking smartphones these days can be very confusing because of the simple fact that there’s just too many of them. All their specs and feature start melting into one making it very difficult to give a clear distinction and pick the right one. The easiest way to declutter from that mess and pick the right phone for you is by looking at the 5 main factors - Processor, Display, Camera, OS, Battery." - Umar Naqshbandi

As much as high-tech is fascinating, mid-range smartphones are getting the most hype among Malaysian consumers. By compromising a bit of the flagship specs, the value of mid-range device is much more affordable yet performs almost equally well compared to a top-end smartphone for most general users.

And so the demand for good quality mid-range smartphones ensues. Continue reading to find out which mid-range smartphone best suits you and, of course, your wallet.


Samsung Galaxy Unpacked: Get RM200 eVoucher When You Register!

8 Best Mid-Range Smartphones in Malaysia

Best overall mid-range smartphone
Samsung
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G
Check Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G price below:
add_circle Powerful processor
add_circle Advanced camera system
add_circle Stunning AMOLED display
remove_circle Only support up to 15W fast charging

Why It’s Our Top Pick

“Powered by the Samsung Exynos chipset and a stunning AMOLED display, the all-rounder Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G tops our chart. Other than the reliable Samsung system, it also comes with an industry-leading camera and decent build quality. ”

Overview

As expected from a Samsung smartphone, the Galaxy S21 FE 5G features an amazing display with Dynamic AMOLED 2X to deliver vibrant colour and brightness, even under bright sunlight. You can enjoy its 120Hz ultra-smooth scrolling and faster touch response which offers seamless visuals in both works and play. In appearance, it comes in 4 colours with a matte finish to provide extra comfort and grip to users.

The latest Galaxy S21 FE series is powered by an Exynos 2100 processor to deliver a powerful yet reliable system to get you through tasks and entertainment. It has a triple camera system consisting of a 12MP + 12MP + 8MP lens and a 32MP selfie camera. You can also zoom up to 30x to capture the smallest and furthest objects. 

For storage, there’re two options available; base 128GB and more premium 256GB of space.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G Specs

  • Processor: Snapdragon 888 5G (5 nm)
  • Display: 6.4” Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, HDR10+
  • Memory: 6GB/8GB + 128GB / 8GB + 256GB
  • Rear Camera: Triple camera, 12MP + 8MP + 12MP
  • Front Camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh dual battery
  • Operating System: Android 12, One UI 4

Who Is It For?

Mobile photography enthusiasts will love this midrange smartphone for its camera capabilities. On top of that, it also comes packed with powerful specs that can do everything else impeccably, be it gaming or watching videos!

Best mid-range smartphone for gaming
Lenovo
Lenovo Legion Duel 2
Check Lenovo Legion Duel 2 price below:
add_circle Great processor
add_circle Stunning display
add_circle Effective cooling system
remove_circle No IP rating

Overview

The Legion Duel 2 features an industry-leading display which is a 6.92-inch AMOLED screen that supports up to 144Hz refresh rate and 720Hz sampling rate. This display ensures your favourite games be it Genshin Impact or Mobile Legends run lag-free. Not to forget, it has an Octa-Trigger feature which offers the most comfortable virtual key arrays while delivering smooth gameplay.

The advanced Twin Turbo Fan Cooling System makes the Legion Duel 2 a great gaming smartphone. Despite its superb performance, the Snapdragon 888 processor is also notorious for overheating, which is why the cooling system on this smartphone cleverly optimises the performance while keeping the key components cool to prevent overheating which can cause severe frame drops in gaming.

Lenovo Legion Duel 2 Specs

  • Processor: Snapdragon 888 5G (5 nm)
  • Display: 6.92” AMOLED, 144Hz, HDR10+
  • Memory: 12GB + 256GB / 16GB + 512GB
  • Rear Camera: Dual camera, 64MP + 16MP 
  • Front Camera: 44MP, Motorized pop-up 
  • Battery: 5,500mAh dual battery
  • Operating System: Android 11, Zui 12.5

Who Is This For?

Slightly on the pricier end, the Lenovo Legion Duel 2 is one of the best mobile gaming machines that is worth every penny you spent. Engineered with gamers in mind, this smartphone packs amazing features for the best gaming experience.

More: We Reviewed the Samsung Galaxy A8, and it Blew Us Out of the Water

Best mid-range smartphone for photography
Realme
realme 9Pro+ 5G
Check Realme 9 Pro Plus price below:
add_circle Superior camera
add_circle Super AMOLED display
add_circle 60W fast charge
remove_circle Not suitable for heavy gaming

Overview

The realme 9 Pro Plus offers a stunning Sony IMX766 OIS camera, which supports that triple rear camera to yield photos that are as good as any other recent flagship smartphones. With optical image stabilisation, you can get smoother handheld videos and clearer low light shots. Another bonus point is its Super AMOLED display which delivers richer colours. 

Outside of photography, the realme 9 Pro Plus is equipped with a MediaTek Dimensity 920 chipset, offering enough grunt to tackle day-to-day tasks. You can enjoy your favourite mobile games at a reasonable framerate with some minor tweaks to graphics settings. 

Moreover, the 4500mAh battery is long-lasting and can charge quickly at 60W. Finally, the realme UI 3.0 works wonders with Android 12 to bring the best out of all the features.

Realme 9 Pro Plus Specs

  • Processor: MediaTek Dimensity 920 (6 nm)
  • Display: 6.4" Super AMOLED, 90Hz
  • Memory: up to 8GB RAM + up to 256GB ROM
  • Rear Camera: Triple camera, 50MP Main + 8MP Ultrawide + 2MP Macro
  • Front Camera: 16 MP
  • Battery: 4,500 mAh
  • Operating System: Android 12, Realme UI 3.0

Who Is It For?

If all you need is a formidable camera, the realme 9 Pro Plus might be perfect for you. It offers a flagship-level camera for half of the price of a true flagship smartphone. 

Best mid-range smartphone under RM1000
Xiaomi
Xiaomi POCO M4 Pro
Check Xiaomi POCO M4 Pro price below:
add_circle Budget-friendly
add_circle Supports NFC
add_circle Amazing battery life
remove_circle No 5G connectivity

Overview

Even with a tight budget of RM1000, you can still get a decent mid-range specced phone with the Xiaomi POCO M4 Pro.

The POCO M4 Pro sacrifices 5G connectivity to bring you a better visual experience, camera performance, and last but not least, a more budget-friendly price tag. With its 90Hz AMOLED display, the phone is able to deliver more vibrant colours and bright images. 

Fast charging is one of the signature features of Xiaomi that fans have come to pride their phones on; the Xiaomi POCO M4 Pro doesn’t disappoint in this regard, as it can get to 100% in just an hour. Performance-wise, the MediaTek Helio G96 octa-core processor is capable enough for general tasks and light gaming.

That said, it’s unrealistic to expect this phone to run graphically-demanding games, since its chipset is just not built for it. For the base variant, you can get 6GB RAM and 256GB internal storage, which is more than enough for daily drivers.

Xiaomi POCO M4 Pro Specs

  • Processor: MediaTek MT6833P Dimensity 810 (6 nm)
  • Display: 6.6” IPS LCD, 90Hz
  • Memory: 4GB / 6GB / 8GB RAM + 64GB / 128GB / 256GB ROM
  • Rear Camera: Dual camera, 50MP + 8MP 
  • Front Camera: 16MP 
  • Battery: 5,000mAh dual battery
  • Operating System: Android 11, MIUI 12.5

Who Is This For?

If you’re looking for a decent phone with a budget, then the POCO M4 Pro is the way to go. It provides a great display and enough performance to power you through your daily tasks.

Best mid-range smartphone with AMOLED display
OnePlus
Check OnePlus Nord 2T 5G price below:
add_circle Modern, sleek design
add_circle Compact form factor
add_circle Fast processor
remove_circle Throttles under heavy loads
remove_circle Smaller screen

Overview

The OnePlus Nord 2T 5G is priced as a midrange phone but sports flagship specs. With the same flagship 80W SUPERVOOC fast charging as the OnePlus 10 Pro, the phone is able to give you a full day’s power in just 15 minutes, which is 120% faster than the original OnePlus Nord.

At its price, the Nord 2T 5G comes with a 6.43” AMOLED display that allows cinephiles to binge the latest movies and series comfortably. Combined with the 90Hz refresh rate, scrolling social media or online shopping has never been smoother! 

OnePlus Nord 2T 5G Specs

  • Processor: MediaTek Dimensity 1300
  • Display: 6.43" AMOLED, 90Hz
  • Memory: 8GBRAM, 128GB ROM / 12GB RAM, 256GB ROM
  • Rear Camera: Triple camera, 50.0 MP + 8MP Ultrawide + 2MP depth
  • Front Camera: 32.0 MP
  • Battery: 4500 mAh
  • Connectivity: USB Type-C, 3.5mm Headphone jack
  • Operating System: OxygenOS 12.1, Android 12
  • Other features: DualSIM, in-display fingerprint, Alert Slider 

Who Is This For?

OnePlus has always been a cult favourite amongst tech enthusiasts. The OnePlus Nord 2T 5G, as part of the brand’s affordable Nord lineup, is one of the best mid-range phones you can get that does just about everything. 

Best mid-range smartphone with 5G
Nothing
Check Nothing Phone (1) price below:
add_circle Unique design
add_circle Decent battery life
add_circle 5G connectivity
remove_circle Pricey

Overview

Most modern phones support 5G connectivity now, so how do you stand out from the mass?

The Nothing Phone (1) generated a lot of hype when it launched in June 2022, mainly for its interesting and out-of-this-world design. With the Glyph interface on the back of the phone which is comprised of over 900 LEDs, users will be able to play a light show with their ringtone. It’s also a charging and notification indicator. 

While the Nothing Phone (1)’s price is on the higher end of this list, there’s reason for it. The Nothing Phone (1) is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G+ processor and runs on the Nothing OS based on Android 12. There’s also an NFT-specific gallery where you’ll be able to display your precious and check floor prices. 

Nothing Phone (1) Specs

  • Processor: Qualcomm SM7325-AE Snapdragon 778G+ 5G (6 nm)
  • Display: 6.55" OLED, 1B colors, 120Hz
  • Memory: up to 12GB RAM + up to 256GB ROM
  • Rear Camera: Dual camera, 50MP Main + 50MP Ultrawide
  • Front Camera: 16 MP
  • Battery: 4,500 mAh
  • Operating System: Android 12, Nothing OS 1.1.4

Who Is It For?

The Nothing Phone (1) is great for those who like to express themselves through tech. The unique design of the Nothing Phone (1) certainly stands out amongst the crowd. Best of all, it supports 5G, ensuring that you are future-proof.

Best mid-range smartphone with best battery life
Samsung
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
Check Samsung Galaxy A53 5G price below:
add_circle Long-lasting battery
add_circle Budget-friendly
add_circle Great camera setup
remove_circle Plasticky build
remove_circle No headphone jack

Overview

Despite its plastic finish, the Galaxy A53 5G feels sturdy and premium to the touch. The Ambient Edge design blends the camera with the body seamlessly, creating a beautiful yet functional device with added battery capacity under a slim frame.

The Galaxy A53 5G also provides an advanced, next-level camera experience, including a quad-camera system that features a 64MP OIS camera with VDIS technology that keeps the phone steady while taking videos. Powered by Exynos 1280, the phone is capable of just about anything – including intensive creative work!

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G Specs

  • Processor: Exynos 1280 (5 nm)
  • Display: 6.5" Super AMOLED, 120Hz
  • Memory: up to 8GB RAM + up to 256GB ROM
  • Rear Camera: Quad camera, 64MP Main + 12MP Ultrawide + 5MP Depth + 5MP Macro
  • Front Camera: 32.0 MP
  • Battery: 5,000 mAh
  • Operating System: Android 12, One UI 4.1
  • Other features: Hybrid Dual SIM, under-display fingerprint

Who Is This For?

Looking for a smartphone with excellent specs but not willing to break the bank for it? Your best bet is the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G, which gives you a high-end experience at a mid-range price. Apart from superb battery life, photography enthusiasts and content creators will also be impressed with the quad-camera system!

Best mid-range smartphone with 8GB RAM
Realme GT Neo 3
Check Realme GT Neo 3 price below:
add_circle Premium build
add_circle 8GB RAM, up to 12GB
add_circle 80W SuperDart Charge

Overview

Large RAM smartphones are not unusual nowadays, but a phone with large RAM and a reasonable price is not easy to find. Here’s one for you: the realme GT Neo 3 is powered by a Dimensity 8100 5G processor and 8GB of RAM to keep performance speeds at tip-top conditions, keeping true to the racing strips it’s designed with.

Besides that, the realme GT Neo 3 also has a dedicated display processor that supports better visual performance on its 120Hz Reality Display. This makes it a great phone for mobile gamers as well, especially with the GT Mode 3.0.

Realme GT Neo 3 Specs

  • Processor: MediaTek Dimensity 8100 (5 nm)
  • Display: 6.7" AMOLED, 1B colors, 120Hz
  • Memory: up to 12GB RAM + up to 516GB ROM
  • Rear Camera: Triple camera, 50MP Main + 8MP Ultrawide + 2MP Macro
  • Front Camera: 16 MP
  • Battery: 5,000 mAh
  • Operating System: Android 12, Realme UI 3.0

Who Is This For?

You don’t really need to shell out for a decent 8GB RAM phone, now that you have the realme GT Neo 3. The realme GT Neo 3 is great for gamers, thanks to the great display and powerful processors. 

FAQ

- What is a mid-range phone?

For this article, we define mid-range phones based on specs and relative price. All phones featured here are less than RM2,500 (for base models) and more than RM1000 at the time of writing; with few exceptions going lower than RM1000. 

Mid-range phones are typically all-rounders, with capable specs in all areas. Some brands may choose to focus on one key trait and sacrifice other specs to keep the price lower than flagships, typically in camera and display, which is why most mid-range smartphones may come with older hardware and processors.

You will not find luxury specs like wireless charging, waterproofing, and premium build quality in mid-range phones; these are compromises you need to make for flagship-level specs at lower prices. 

- Are mid-range phones better than flagship phones?

The answer is almost always no. As mentioned above, mid-range phones tend to compromise on certain aspects in order to keep the price down; these sacrifices are often made on build quality and processors. If you’re looking for a capable daily driver, a mid-range phone is great; but if you really want a powerhouse that does everything, go for the pricier flagships.

- How long do mid-range phones last?

Like all other phones, it depends on your usage and the brand’s software updates. For example, Nothing has promised four OS updates and five years of security updates for the Phone (1); as did Samsung with its Galaxy A series (and other selected lineups). This guarantees at least five years of usage on the phones, but if you manage to crack the screen beyond repair past the warranty period, that lifespan may not be quite as accurate. 




Related articles:

End of Article