Best Mid-Range Phones (Autumn 2021) | Top smartphones for under £400

Reviewing the best smartphones of 2021 for a budget under £400 UK, offering slick camera tech, top gaming performance and premium specs. Don’t splash out on a flagship phone, grab one of these value mobiles like the OnePlus Nord 2, Pixel 4a, Xiaomi’s Mi 11 Lite 5G and the Poco F3, or Samsung’s Galaxy A52 5G.

Unboxings and reviews of my favourite smartphones can be found here on Tech Spurt. Check them out for an in-depth look at the specs, software and camera tech. Also, my review of the beefed-up Galaxy A52s is coming soon!

We start with Google’s Pixel 4a, which is still one of my favourite phones of 2021 for a price under £400. That camera tech is among the best at any cost, offering good looking photos even in tough conditions, plus stock Android is great.

If you’d prefer, the fresh OnePlus Nord 2 boosts performance thanks to the Dimensity 1200-AI chipset. Or if your budget is a bit tighter, check out the cheaper Core Edition (Nord CE 5G).

Xiaomi is the best smartphone in this round-up for gaming on Genshin and PubG, thanks to the Poco F3’s Snapdragon 870 platform. I also like the Mi 11 Lite 5G, which offers a lot for a respectable asking price.

Last up, Samsung’s Galaxy A52 5G will please anyone after that One UI experience, a gorgeous OLED screen and strong audio chops.

Best Smartphones of 2021 Under £400 Chapters:
0:00 – Bald Man Yapping
0:40 – Google Pixel 4a
2:13 – OnePlus Nord 2
3:35 – OnePlus Nord CE 5G
4:34 – Oppo Find X3 Lite
6:12 – Oppo Reno 4 5G
6:46 – Xiaomi Poco F3
8:57 – Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G
9:48 – Samsung Galaxy A52 5G
11:55 – Byeeeeee


  1. i1968 on September 7, 2021 at 10:50 pm

    ayyy I got the Poco F3, but damn MIUI sucks ass.

  2. David c on September 7, 2021 at 10:50 pm

    All great 👍

  3. john oburo on September 7, 2021 at 10:51 pm

    Where can I buy any of these phones …..mi 11 lite 5g

  4. G on September 7, 2021 at 10:51 pm

    More than half are now Chinese brand filling the void. Meanwhile most high brands moved on to something else.

  5. Ameer Hamza on September 7, 2021 at 10:51 pm

    I love the way he say "bloody iphones"

  6. Zoltan Varadi on September 7, 2021 at 10:52 pm

    Still love your slang mate. 😍

  7. IGA on September 7, 2021 at 10:52 pm

    F3 is the closest phone to flagship experience among all mid rangers

  8. David on September 7, 2021 at 10:53 pm

    Got a Pixel 4a for £270 brand new. Brilliant!

  9. Bilal Skilja on September 7, 2021 at 10:54 pm

    Watching "like a legend" on POCO X3 PRO

  10. Muhammad Nasser on September 7, 2021 at 10:54 pm

    what is the name of that game ?

  11. Anthus on September 7, 2021 at 10:56 pm

    Is the Moto edge 20 not even on the list?

  12. The Velocity of Fire on September 7, 2021 at 10:56 pm

    What about the one plus 8t?

  13. Stuart on September 7, 2021 at 10:58 pm

    What would be a good smartphone with the following priorities: battery life, processing speed, camera quality, and ergonomics? Thanks, if anyone can answer this.

    For me I really don’t care about watching movies or gaming as I do that on a desktop/console so the important thing for me with phones is if it will be there for me on long trips without needing charging, quickly manage multiple apps, take good holiday pics and fit nicely in the hand and pockets.

  14. Marc Randell on September 7, 2021 at 10:59 pm

    Of these phones, which one do you consider to have the ‘best’ camera? I know that’s subjective, and maybe determined by subject/conditions, but would love to hear what you think. My context: currently looking to replace my much loved Samsung Galaxy S8 (great camera).

  15. Albert De Castro on September 7, 2021 at 11:02 pm

    Any insights about the poco f3gt/ redmi k40 gaming edition?

  16. Chris B W on September 7, 2021 at 11:06 pm

    Fun Fact: The 65w fast charger for Oneplus and OPPO is exactly the same thing! I know because I have an OPPO Find X2 Pro and I got my mum a Oneplus Nord 2. I had to use her charger and it up "Super VOOC 2.0" on my OPPO screen. Also I quite like ColorOS and OxygenOS is near enough the same thing now.

  17. Mathew on September 7, 2021 at 11:07 pm

    Why didn’t you consider moto edge 20?

  18. Matthew B on September 7, 2021 at 11:08 pm

    poco x3 pro should have made the list

  19. LuciferMorningstar on September 7, 2021 at 11:09 pm

    Watching this on pixel 4a thanks to your review

  20. Luke Shields on September 7, 2021 at 11:10 pm

    kill la kill tshirt. man. of. culture!

  21. Dusti Buns on September 7, 2021 at 11:11 pm

    Mt birthday is coming up (26th) and this was the perfect video for me.

    (For anyone wondering im going for the poco f3)

  22. aa aa on September 7, 2021 at 11:12 pm

    I bought the Mi 11 Lite 5G Mint Green from watching your video for £329 last month. Excellent so far, cheers! ☺️ With Nova Prime it’s an identical experience to my previous Moto. It beats the new Edge 20 on specs. One thing I’ve found is that the 159g weight is actually 163g with the preinstalled protector and with the condom case on it’s actually 181g. With my previous Moto G6 Plus with case being 185g the difference is negligible. We need lighter slimer phones, not the trend of 200g+ bulky beasts! The one that’s not on the list is the ZTE Axon 30 which is £399 early bird and goes on sale this Thurs 🤔

  23. Jhey D. Steven on September 7, 2021 at 11:13 pm

    Thanks for the short Attack on Titan scene, best moment of the video 😅

  24. QuattroLad06 on September 7, 2021 at 11:16 pm

    I’ve been using the huawei mate 20 lite for about 2 and a half years now and I was hoping to upgrade to something from the p40 line but no Google is a dealbreaker. Such a shame tbh it’s such a strong phone and I love the way huawei does things. The Americans always have to ruin everything ffs. I’ve been looking at the samsung galaxy s20 fe 5g which seems amazing but other than that any other recommendations?

  25. Randy Lucas on September 7, 2021 at 11:17 pm

    *Investing in crypto now should be in every wise individuals list, in some months time you’ll be ecstatic with the decision you made today.*

  26. Jeffrey Ampadu on September 7, 2021 at 11:17 pm

    I think Poco f3 is the winner here

  27. The YM on September 7, 2021 at 11:19 pm

    No MOTO EDGE 20?

  28. Hassan Sajid on September 7, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    I actually recently bought Oppo Reno 4 pro 5g £350
    I think this one should be on there as well glass and metal sandwich with 90fps display

  29. Md.Abdulla Al Waily Khan Chowdhury on September 7, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    So should I buy Moto Edge 20!?
    Or not?

  30. Will Nicol on September 7, 2021 at 11:21 pm

    Worth mentioning the used market is fantastic as well considering there hasn’t been much innovation in the past 18 months. I managed to pick up a S20 FE 5G from a shop for £320 in perfect condition which is better than anything listed in this video.

  31. Tech Spurt on September 7, 2021 at 11:21 pm

    Huge thanks for checking out my round-up of the best mid-range phones in 2021 for a budget of £400 or under. Full unboxings/reviews are here on Tech Spurt right now!

  32. HZ Shade Ralte on September 7, 2021 at 11:24 pm

    @Tech Spurt You’ve got a lot of fans from India which are willing to buy these products you unbox/reviews. So please,could you maybe displayed on a screen as rupees? We’d be delighted

  33. Youssef Asr V.2 on September 7, 2021 at 11:26 pm

    Hey which phone do u recommand me i want a nice display and good camera thanks for the advice 👍🏼

  34. Marc Randell on September 7, 2021 at 11:27 pm

    I love the fun/banter aspect of your videos, but also the content. Great to hear you highlighting how many years of android/security updates the company’s are offering. I’m currently looking to replace my (much loved) Samsung Galaxy S8, mainly because of the ending of security updates. So this issue is one of my main priorities for assessing it’s replacement. Please keep discussing this – perhaps the matter deserves a video of it’s own, maybe a ‘top 10’ of the worst-to-best companies.

  35. Paul Strutt on September 7, 2021 at 11:29 pm

    Do I ditch my huawei p30 for the pixel 4a? Tempted but slightly concerned over the battery life of the 4a. BTW, I’m not a heavy phone user. Thanks in advance, Paul

  36. Kawaii Chio on September 7, 2021 at 11:33 pm

    I recently got the Poco F3 I really like it few bugs here and there waiting for the new update
    Great phone ☺️

  37. David Bezzant on September 7, 2021 at 11:34 pm

    Awesome list Chris, good to remember that some of last year’s flagships have come right down in price too. I picked up a new OnePlus 8T for 349 in Amazon’s recent sale, it’s always bouncing around in price and you can often get it for less than 400

  38. 3e on September 7, 2021 at 11:35 pm

    I have an iPhone XR and im not really satisfied with my battery life should I switch to a Redmi Note 10 Pro?

  39. Sandy Travis on September 7, 2021 at 11:35 pm

    Chris, what are your thoughts on Realme GT 5G, the 128GB version is 399 on Amazon? Cheers

  40. Rafael Flores on September 7, 2021 at 11:36 pm

    Is the pixel 6 worth the wait? I’m unsure whether I should wait for it’s release or just get a OnePlus 9

  41. Borky on September 7, 2021 at 11:37 pm

    Was a fan of the bloody iPhone’s for a very long time. Now it’s just not worth it… i need my kidneys

  42. Joakim Lindholm on September 7, 2021 at 11:38 pm

    Nord CE here. 👏

  43. sahil parvez on September 7, 2021 at 11:39 pm

    MI 11X is the best deal with SD870 and a gorgious 6.67inch E4 Display with HDR 10+ support.

  44. David Ravenscroft on September 7, 2021 at 11:41 pm

    Mate,can you do a review of the oppo x3 neo..I know you did a quick unboxing of it few months ago.
    I’m interested to hear your thoughts on it.

  45. Arina Drobot on September 7, 2021 at 11:41 pm

    Sassageyo! Sassageyo!

  46. Timalay on September 7, 2021 at 11:41 pm

    It is worth noting that the OG OnePlus Nord is only £30 more than the CE now.

  47. Kevin Fairbrother on September 7, 2021 at 11:43 pm

    Would you start reviewing screen performance in low light. Some of these with OLED have absolutely dreadful black crush and smear

  48. Goody on September 7, 2021 at 11:44 pm

    I think the samsung s10 5g is a good price today £300 and still being updated and will get android 12

  49. Brian Griffith on September 7, 2021 at 11:45 pm

    Mi 11 lite is a great handset.

  50. G K on September 7, 2021 at 11:47 pm

    Hopefully the new Pixel 5a 5g will be sold in the UK. Hopefully will fall just into this bracket as well.

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