Huawei Ascend P7 ( black)
Although the Ascend P7 is certainly skinny and not too expensive, its unimpressive power and sometimes awkward interface makes it an acceptable -- albeit uninspiring choice. If you can find the P7 on a subsidised contract at a good price then it's worth a look, but some of last year's flagships could be a better choice for the same money.
Though it doesn't have LTE and takes unimpressive photos, the LG Optimus L90 remains a worthy midrange contender that you should look at if you're on a budget.
LG G3 ( 32GB)
Possessing the right blend of features and design, the G3 finally gives LG the right phone with which to challenge Korean rival Samsung.
Samsung Galaxy K Zoom
If you absolutely must have a phone with an optical zoom, the K Zoom is basically your only option. It's bulky though, and the pictures it takes aren't any better than the Galaxy S5's. You'll be far better off with a cheap Android phone and a decent compact digital camera.
Huawei Ascend Mate2 4G
You'd be hard-pressed to find a phone for the size and price of the Huawei Ascend Mate 2 4G that performs as well as it does.
Xiaomi Mi 3 ( black, 16GB)
Xiaomi's Mi 3 is a showcase of how Chinese phonemakers can create quality hardware without breaking the bank. If you don't need 4G LTE, and you can get hold of it, this is one of the best smartphones you can buy in its price range.
The Vybe is a competitively priced device that'll please messaging enthusiasts and smartphone neophytes who don't want high-end features.
Samsung Galaxy S 5 Active ( AT&T, Ruby Red)
Though it's only marginally more durable than the original Galaxy S5, the Galaxy S5 Active's physical buttons and high-end features keep it in Samsung's hit parade.
Nokia Lumia 630
The Nokia Lumia 630 is a cheap, vibrant alternative to Android and its Windows Phone 8.1 software is easy to use. The app store is still a problem though -- if you like getting new releases when your Android and iOS-toting friends do, a budget Android phone like the Moto G is still the way to go.
ZTE Open C
Although it's one of the cheapest smartphones around, you're better off saving your money for a slightly pricier handset.