Here at PhoneDog we tend to shed a lot of the limelight on the current flagships and current news surrounding the more recent smartphone releases – and why not? When people are in the market for a new phone a lot of the time they’re going to be looking for what has the best specs, features, and hardware. However, not all who are in the market for new phones are necessarily looking for the best of the best; sometimes what we might consider “mid-range” is perfect to many people.

But what exactly makes a mid-range device? The spectrum for a mid-range smartphone is much broader than any other category we place our phones in; they’re not “top of the line” but they’re also not “lowest of the low”. It leaves for a lot of leg room when it comes to this type of smartphone, and having so many choices can cause confusion for somebody going into the market with little to no knowledge about what phone can provide you with a good smartphone experience without forking over an arm and a leg.

Many people who look to purchase mid-range smartphones are usually doing so in order to stay cost-effective. Why spend an arm and a leg on a phone whose primary features will probably never be touched or recognized? While a faster, smoother experience is optimal for any smartphone user - new or experienced - sometimes the cost of such luxury just isn’t justified.

Fortunately, not all mid-range smartphones will give you a so-so experience – some mid-range phones on the market can actually be quite good. You see, with each passing year several OEMs such as Samsung, HTC, Apple, etc. try their hand at making the next best flagship smartphone. By doing so, last year’s flagship smartphone loses a bit of value. Not only is the technology on these devices slightly outdated, but so are the prices. Cha-ching!  This is the moment that budget-conscious shoppers have been waiting for.

While these phones would most likely be placed in the “upper” mid-range category (as I mentioned before, very broad range) you can still find pretty great deals on these smartphones that are running on decent specs and updated (or nearly updated) software.

For example, let’s look at the Samsung Galaxy S III. This phone has a 4.8-inch 720x1280 super AMOLED HD display running on a 1.5GHz dual-core processor with 2 GB of RAM and is currently upgradeable to Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean) software. It has an 8 MP camera on the rear, and a 1.9 MP camera on the front. Most major carriers in the U.S. are selling the 16GB variant for $99.99, which is $100 discount from summertime last year. Sometimes carriers have extra promotions that make the Galaxy S III even cheaper than that.

Another decent option for a mid-range Android smartphone, which has since been outdated by the HTC One, is the HTC EVO 4G LTE from Sprint. The HTC EVO 4G LTE is available to Sprint customers for $99.99. The EVO 4G LTE  has a 4.7-inch 720x1280 HD display, dual-core 1.5GHz Krait processor, 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage with external microSD storage available up to 32GB. There’s an 8 MP shooter on the back, and a 1.3 front facing camera as well. Did I mention this phone has a kickstand? If you’re like me and enjoy watching movies while relaxing and laying down, but suffer from chronic dropphoneonfaceitis like I do then the kickstand is a welcome little feature that comes with this device.

If HTC or Samsung isn’t your thing you can also check out other honorable mentions like the LG Optimus G, Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX HD, or even the iPhone 4S (the iPhone 5 will presumably drop in price soon).

Just because you’re sticking to a budget when it comes to purchasing a new smartphone doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice decent functionality if you don’t want to; not every mid-range smartphone comes with an HVGA display and a 3.2 megapixel camera without flash. Most of the phones mentioned here are being sold for $100 or less, which is a pretty good deal for phones that were considered “top of the line” around this time last year.

Just remember: If you’re in the market for a mid-range smartphone, don’t automatically dismiss “old” technology for “bad” technology!

Image via ABC News

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eBay prices for the Samsung Galaxy S III

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