(Pocket-lint) – After a couple of relatively quiet years in the smartphone market, 2022 saw a plethora of models released from a wide range of manufacturers. As always, the mid-range market is a hotly contested space with a lot of very similar devices, and it takes something special or out of the ordinary to stand out in a very crowded space.
There’s so much choice in the £250-£500 segment that it can be difficult to make a choice. We’ve seen multiple handsets from Xiaomi’s sub-brands, Poco and Redmi, as well as Samsung’s A-series, Motorola’s Edge 30 series, OnePlus’ Nord and even brands like Google and Apple getting involved. In short: there were a lot of devices to sort through for the EE Pocket-lint Awards 2022.
What’s exciting in this market is seeing technology usually reserved for expensive flagships start to trickle down to the more affordable devices. Whether that be super-fast charging or top-tier cameras.
Best £250-£500 phone of the year: Google Pixel 6a
The Pixel 6a stood out in a very crowded market thanks to Google’s focus on delivering the core Pixel experience, but in a phone that costs a lot less and has all the charm of the Pixel 6 that came before it. That means it’s powered by the Google Tensor processor and has a dual camera system powered by Google’s fantastic computational algorithms. It makes snapping a good photo very easy in pretty much any condition.
Highly Commended: OnePlus Nord 2T
Like its predecessor, the OnePlus Nord 2T gets so much right and delivers the fast and smooth experience that’s synonymous with OnePlus. The company’s approach to software and fluidity makes this phone a joy to use. It’s backed up by great battery life and fast charging, all in a phone that doesn’t cost the earth.
The best of the rest
As we mentioned, there were a lot of phones to sort through in this category and many of those were deserving of praise this year. Xiaomi’s sub-brands – Poco and Redmi – both delivered some fast, powerful devices with great displays and big batteries. Of those, it was the Poco F4 and the Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 4G that stood out. We also saw the first phone from Carl Pei’s company, Nothing. The Nothing Phone (1) stood out purely for its bold design featuring light-up glyphs on the back. Motorola launched its Edge 30, which has a stunning, slim design and a great, lightweight software experience.
What are the Pocket-lint Awards?
The EE Pocket-lint Awards take place annually to celebrate the best of tech from the previous 12 months. Products need to be fully reviewed by the Pocket-lint team to be considered for the Awards, with judging taking place towards the end of the year. Through a process of longlisting and shortlisting, the panel of expert judges scores the devices to result in the overall winner and a Highly Commended runner-up.
The Pocket-lint Awards was run for the 19th time in 2022.
Writing by Cam Bunton. Editing by Chris Hall.