Decision aid: the 10 best smartphones up to 400 euros

Do you want to spend between 300 and 400 euros on your new smartphone? For that money you get a good midrange model that you can use for years. Which is the best choice? That of course differs per person and that is why Computer!Total lists the 10 best smartphones up to 400 euros.

Top 10 best smartphones up to 400 euros
  • 1. Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro
  • 2. OnePlus North
  • 3.Xiaomi Mi 9
  • 4. Samsung Galaxy A51
  • 5.Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro
  • 6. Sony Xperia 10 II
  • 7. Motorola Moto G 5G Plus
  • 8.CAT S42
  • 9. Oppo Reno 2 Z
  • 10. Samsung Galaxy A70

Also view our other decision aids:

  • Smartphones up to 150 euros
  • Smartphones up to 200 euros
  • Smartphones up to 300 euros
  • Smartphones up to 600 euros
  • Smartphones from 600 euros

Top 10 smartphones up to 400 euros

1. Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro

9 Score 90

+ Very powerful

+ Long battery life

- No wireless charging

- No micro sd slot

The Mi 9T Pro is Xiaomi's upgraded version of the Mi 9T. The biggest differences are a much more powerful processor and better cameras. The device has a luxurious glass exterior but is smooth and scratch-sensitive. The 6.4-inch OLED screen looks very good and fills almost the entire front. The selfie camera slides out from the top. A very fast Snapdragon 855 processor, 6GB of RAM and at least 64GB of storage memory make the Mi 9T Pro a premium smartphone. Note that it does not support a micro SD card. Wireless charging has also been cut back – the slightly more expensive Mi 9 can do this. Thanks to the 4000 mAh battery, the Mi 9T Pro can easily last a long day. Charging takes place at an average speed: from zero to one hundred percent takes just under two hours. The triple camera on the back takes both normal photos and wide-angle images and can zoom a few times with minimal loss of quality. The cameras are slightly better than the Mi 9T but slightly less good than the Mi 9, and generally do a very nice job. Xiaomi's MIUI software takes some getting used to, but is fine to use afterwards. It is nice that Xiaomi provides its smartphones with updates regularly and for a few years.

2. OnePlus North

9 Score 90

+ Hardware

+ Software (policy)

- Plastic frame is less sturdy than aluminum

- No headphone jack

With the Nord, OnePlus returns to its roots: a good smartphone for less money than the competition. The Nord borrows a number of specifications from the OnePlus 8 (699 euros), including the good primary 48-megapixel camera and the lightning-fast 30W plug. A large and beautiful OLED screen with a higher refresh rate of 90Hz has also been retained. The Nord feels smooth to use, helped by a fast Snapdragon 765G processor and at least 8 GB of RAM. The storage memory is also nice and large with at least 128 GB. A 12 GB / 256 GB version costs a hundred euros more and is especially worth considering because the device does not have a micro-SD slot. Functions such as 5G support, two excellent selfie cameras (one for group photos) and a fast fingerprint scanner behind the display are present. The 4115 mAh battery will make it through a long day without any worries. Wireless charging is logically cut corners. OnePlus supplies the Nord with Android 10 and its light, fine OxygenOS shell. The device will receive two years of version updates (11 and 12) and three years of security updates. That is slightly better than average for this type of phone. It is a pity that the smartphone lacks a 3.5mm headphone port, which is also unusual in this price segment. Bottom line, the Nord is a complete and fine smartphone for a wide audience.

Knowing more? Check out our OnePlus Nord review.

3.Xiaomi Mi 9

8.5 Score 85

+ Fast (wireless) charging

+ Powerful hardware

- No headphone jack

- Not the best battery life

Xiaomi's Mi 9 is not the latest device in this overview, but it still offers an amazing price-quality ratio. The flagship has a luxurious glass design, is thin and relatively light and is very pleasant to hold. Also worth mentioning is the high-quality 6.4-inch full-HD OLED screen. Behind the screen is a fast fingerprint scanner. The Mi 9 runs on a powerful Snapdragon 855 processor and is available in two versions. The base model has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. A more expensive version has 8GB/128GB memory and is really only worth it if you need a lot of storage space, because the Mi 9 lacks a micro-SD slot. There is a triple camera on the back of the smartphone. The primary 48 megapixel camera shoots very nice pictures both during the day and in the dark. The wide-angle lens also works well and with the third zoom lens you get the image a few times closer with minimal loss of quality. The Mi 9 lasts just a day with normal use, so not that long. Fortunately, charging via USB-C is very fast (27W) and you can also charge wirelessly (20W). The device runs on Xiaomi's busy and messy MIUI software and will receive updates for years to come.

4. Samsung Galaxy A51

7.5 Score 75

+ Beautiful and big screen

+ Camera module

- Fingerprint reader is slow

- Processor a bit slow

The Samsung Galaxy A51 is the successor to the very popular A50 from 2019, which sold well because of its competitive price-quality ratio. Fortunately, Samsung continues that trend with the Galaxy A51 and has improved the phone in several areas. For example, the plastic housing looks a bit nicer and the large 6.5-inch full-HD screen no longer contains a large drop-shaped notch for the selfie camera. It is now in a small camera hole. The OLED display looks beautiful again. Another improvement is the camera module on the back, which now has four lenses. A new feature is the macro camera to capture objects and animals from very close by. The other cameras (normal, wide-angle and depth sensor for portrait photos) are slightly better than those of the Galaxy A50. While the Galaxy A51 isn't the best camera smartphone in its class, the cameras are versatile and good enough for most people. Other plus points of the phone are the pleasant Samsung software on Android 10 and the promise of two years of software updates, the generous storage memory (128GB with micro-SD slot) and good battery life with fast charging via USB-C. Although the Galaxy A51 is generally nice and fast, it sometimes falters during intensive use. And the fingerprint scanner behind the screen is fine, but not as good as a traditional fingerprint scanner. Also note that the device is not water and dust resistant.

View our Samsung Galaxy A51 review here.

5. Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro

8 Score 80

+ Very long battery life

+ Powerful hardware

- Too big for one-handed use

- Breakable design

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro is one of the cheaper smartphones in this list, but you wouldn't say that. It scores in many areas comparable to the more expensive competition and that is a great achievement by Xiaomi. For example, the Note 8 Pro has a luxurious glass housing with a front-filling screen, including sharp full-HD resolution. The 6.53-inch LCD screen can't quite match an OLED display, but it looks very nice. The battery is also remarkably large with 4500 mAh and lasts almost two days. Charging is smooth, although there are devices that charge faster. The Note 8 Pro runs on a fast processor, has 6GB of RAM and at least 64GB of storage memory. Only avid gamers will notice the difference with a phone that has a more powerful processor. Xiaomi's Redmi Note 8 Pro features four cameras on the back. That versatility is very nice and the photos are good, especially when there is enough daylight. More expensive models take better pictures in the dark. Xiaomi's MIUI software differs from other Android shells and you will have to find your way around it. Fortunately, the manufacturer releases long-term and regular updates.

6. Sony Xperia 10 II

8 Score 80

+ Good oled screen

+ Waterproof and handy design

- Weaker processor

- Slow charger included

The Sony Xperia 10 II is one of the cheapest smartphones with a housing that is water and dustproof according to a certification. Anyone who finds that important should definitely consider the phone. It is extra nice that the Xperia 10 II has a good OLED screen. Many competing smartphones use a less beautiful LCD display. The Xperia 10 II's 6-inch display uses an elongated 21:9 ratio; ideal for internet and movies. The smartphone is nice and handy and light (151 grams), takes excellent photos with its triple camera and lasts more than a day on a battery charge during normal use. Unfortunately, charging with the supplied plug takes a long time. It is therefore worth arranging an 18W plug yourself. The large amount of storage memory (128 GB) is fine, while the Snapdragon 665 processor is a bit disappointing. It is not very fast, but fortunately fast enough to usually run popular apps and games smoothly. The Xperia 10 II runs on Sony's user-friendly software shell and will receive at least two years of updates. That is average for this type of phone. Want to know more about the device?

Read our comprehensive Sony Xperia 10 II review here.

7. Motorola Moto G 5G Plus

8 Score 80

+ Complete and good hardware

+ Affordable 5G Phone

- So far mediocre update policy

- Button placement

The Motorola Moto G 5G Plus is a smartphone that mainly impresses with its price-quality ratio. The device offers functions that are not yet standard in this price segment at the time of writing, and is ready for the future with its complete and solid hardware. For example, the Moto G 5G Plus runs on a fast Snapdragon 765 processor, supports 5G internet and the storage memory is at least 64 GB with a micro-SD slot. Also nice is the large 5000 mAh battery, larger than usual for this type of device. The battery lasts a day and a half or more. Charging is very fast. The Moto G 5G Plus also gets plus points for its splash-resistant housing, the beautiful 6.7-inch screen with a higher refresh rate of 90 Hz and the dual selfie camera – in the display. With the second camera, you can take wide selfies, so that no one is left out of the picture. This works very well. The four cameras on the back work properly but are not above average. The plastic housing is solid, but the buttons are placed a bit high for me as a right-hander. Motorola's update policy remains moderate: the manufacturer only guarantees an Android 11 update and a security update every quarter for two years. Competing brands like Samsung and Nokia do this better.

Also read our extensive Motorola Moto G 5G Plus review.

8.CAT S42

7.5 Score 75

+ Very sturdy design

+ Long battery life

- Weak performance

- Micro USB Port

The CAT S42 is a special smartphone, and it is not on this list because it offers the best specifications for little money. No, this unit scores points with its construction worker design. The CAT S42 can withstand dust, sand, water, a fall and temperatures far below or just above freezing. Is it dirty? Run it under the hot tap and clean it with soap. It is simply difficult to break the smartphone and that will appeal to a selected target group. Also nice is the long battery life of one and a half days or longer and the hardly adjusted Android software. CAT promises two years of updates and an upgrade to Android 11. The hardware is less impressive; savings have been made here. The smartphone works properly but is slow, takes mediocre photos and charges via an old micro USB port. You don't buy the CAT S42 for its performance, but for its capabilities. For example, the 5.5-inch screen is protected with Gorilla Glass 5 and you can operate the display with wet fingers or gloves. Anyone looking for a construction worker's smartphone will find a great and affordable model in the CAT S42.

Also read our extensive CAT S42 review.

9. Oppo Reno 2 Z

7.5 Score 75

+ Excellent screen

+ Good battery life

- Weaker graphics performance

- Four cameras is mainly marketing

The Oppo Reno 2 Z is a cheaper variant of the Reno 2. The device stands out because of its glass housing and front-filling display of no less than 6.5 inches. It is therefore difficult to operate the smartphone with one hand. The OLED screen is colorful and looks sharp due to the full-HD resolution. However, the maximum screen brightness is on the low side. There are hardly any bezels around the screen, which is because the selfie camera slides out of the top of the phone. Such a pop-up camera is futuristic, although we wonder how sturdy the mechanism is. Behind the screen is an accurate and fast fingerprint scanner. The Reno 2 Z has no less than 128GB of storage memory and a fast MediaTek processor. The graphics performance is somewhat disappointing, so that some heavy games cannot be played on the highest settings. You can use the device for a long day without worry and the charging is nice and fast. Oppo's ColorOS 6.1 software is cluttered and contains many unnecessary apps. The promised ColorOS 7 update should improve the software. The manufacturer updates its smartphones regularly, but slowly. There are four cameras on the back of the Reno 2 Z, although that is mainly marketing. For example, there are two portrait lenses available, while one was in principle enough. The phone takes good photos during the day but is not the best in the dark.

10. Samsung Galaxy A70

7.5 Score 75

+ Good, big screen

+ Long battery life and fast charging

- Mediocre fingerprint scanner

- Plastic housing feels cheap

The Samsung Galaxy A70 is very reminiscent of the cheaper A50 in design. A plastic housing, almost borderless screen and three cameras on the back: the devices look a lot alike at first glance. But there are plenty of differences. For example, the A70 has an even larger screen of 6.7-inch: you don't actually get it any bigger. Your games, videos and photos look beautiful on this full-HD OLED display. The fingerprint scanner under the screen is okay, but not as good as a normal scanner on the back of a smartphone. Because of the large screen, the A70 has a huge 4500 mAh battery. It supplies enough power for one and a half to two days of use. Charging is very fast (25W) via the USB-C plug. The triple camera on the back shoots normal photos and wide-angle images, plus a depth sensor that blurs the background on portrait photos. Although the cameras perform well, there are smartphones with better camera qualities in this price segment. The A70 runs on a fast processor with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable storage. Samsung's One UI software is pleasant to use and will receive regular updates until at least May 2021.

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