If you’re considering upgrading or purchasing a new smartphone amid the changes of lockdown living, price becomes an important factor. This month, we narrow down three mid-range handsets for you to consider, and investigate which will give you more phone for your money.

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Samsung Galaxy A31 – R6 999

The Samsung Galaxy A31 offers a multipurpose quad camera, large Infinity-U display, Samsung Knox defence-grade security and a whopping 5 000 milliampere hour (mAh) battery.The 6.4-inch edge-to-edge display has a wide aspect ratio that is suited for streaming, gaming, working or watching videos on its full HD Amoled screen. Despite a large screen, it is 8.6mm thin and comes in a geometric design with a glossy finish.It has a specific game booster feature to optimise gaming by adjusting the temperature and memory after monitoring how the game runs on the device. Notifications, Bixby and the edge panel can be disabled during gaming.The emphasis of the A31 falls on the quad cameras, which include a 48MP main camera, an 8MP ultra-wide camera with 123° field of view, a 5MP macro lens for 40mm close-ups, and a 5MP depth camera for portrait and bokeh shots.The A31 has an octa-core processor, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage and an all-day battery with 15W fast charging. It features an on-screen fingerprint sensor and supports Samsung Pay.

Huawei P40 Lite – R6 499

Huawei recently unveiled its P40 range of smartphones, and the P40 Lite offers the best value for money. It is important to note that, while the P40 Lite still runs on Android 10, there is no Google Play Store or Google-related apps. Instead, it uses the Huawei AppGallery, which has a range of alternative apps and a selection of South Africa-related banking, travel, food and entertainment services.The P40 Lite has a 6.4-inch display with narrow bezels and no notch as the front cameras appear on the top left corner. It has a trendy design with a bold mix of gradient colours and metallic highlights. Similar to the Galaxy A31, the P40 Lite offers a Kirin Gaming+ feature that is optimised for gaming using artificial intelligence (AI), which ensures that there is no strain on the system.The AI on the chip also works for image processing on its quad camera set-up. This is made up of a 48MP main camera, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP macro and a 2MP depth sensor.The P40 Lite also has built-in AI video editing capabilities for vlogging, with a selection of transitions, effects and templates. It is powered by 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, and has a side-button fingerprint sensor and a 4 200mAh battery with a 40W super charger in the box.

Huawei P40 Lite

iPhone SE 2020 – R9 999

Apple’s newest iPhone, which went on sale in South Africa last month, uses its most powerful chip, but on an older-form factor and with a previous generation camera.It’s suited for those who want to remain on the Apple ecosystem without paying a premium, but it remains on the high end of mid-range handsets.It has a 4.7-inch HD display, but features the same body as the iPhone 8, which looks a bit dated. However, the “smaller” size may appeal to those don’t like large phones.It has received rave reviews for its A13 bionic chip, which currently powers the iPhone 11 range and is regarded as one of the most powerful chips today, beating all its rivals.The iPhone SE has a single 12MP lens with optical image stabilisation, portrait mode and bokeh effects, and shoots 4K videos at 60frames per second. The selfie-cam is 7MP with 1080p HD video support.Other features include touch ID (no face ID), water resistance up to 1m for 30 minutes, and the phone promises up to 13 hours of video playback.

iPhone SE 2020