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Getting smart in the middle



Not in the market for a wallet-busting flagship smartphone but still want the cutting edge? ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK names his best mid-range and lower-range smartphones of the year.

One of the great ironies of the smartphone industry is that buying the ‚”best‚” handset in the world is not necessarily the smartest purchasing decision you can make.

If you can afford to pay between R8 000 and R10 500 for a phone without blinking, its no problem. Or, for that matter, between R350 and R450 a month on contract. The truth of that matter, however, is that numerous phones, that are almost as good, allow you to slash the price tag by between a third and a half.

For that reason, it doesn’t tell the full story if we only anoint the best smartphones in the world, selected from the flagship devices of the major manufacturers. We also need to look at the mid-range and low-end to see where the best value is to be found.

Here, then, is a personal perspective on the best value-for-money smartphones in the local market, divided between mid-range and low-end devices.

Mid-range Smartphones of the Year

Lower-range Smartphones of the Year

Three phones dominate the smartphone lower-range in South Africa (for entry-level options, see The best non-smart phones you never noticed: The Samsung Galaxy Pocket from 2012, this year’s Nokia Lumia 520 and the BlackBerry Curve both the older 9320 and the new 9720. But the value winner chooses itself: