Attack of the $400 phone

These days, $400 can get you a powerful and stylish phone with the latest Android software. Here are the best.

Josh Miller

A few years ago, you couldn't expect much from midrange phones. Though they got the basics right -- like making calls and sending emails -- you still had to make compromises. Sometimes they'd have low-resolution screens, sluggish processors, ho-hum cameras or all of the above.

Fast forward to now and you 'll notice that midrange phones offer a lot, especially the ones that cost about $400. Oftentimes, they can even be more tempting than their high-end rivals that run up to $600 or more. That's because these handsets deliver either comparable or equally powerful hardware and a solid design -- all at about a fraction of the cost. Read on to find more about our recent favorites.


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The sleek and shiny Idol 4S.

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Alcatel Idol 4S

The Idol 4S comes packed with features and accessories. Though its Boom Key needs a little more work (it's easy to accidentally activate) and the fingerprint reader is small, it has a high-end design and build. It also has a great camera and impressive display. Read the full review.


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With its magnetic pins, the Moto Z Play can connect to other accessories, like this camera lens.

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Motorola Moto Z Play

On Verizon, the Moto Z Play costs $408 and if you want it unlocked, that'll cost you $450. Still, it's worth it. The phone works with swappable modular accessories, retains its headphone jack (unlike the more upmarket Moto Z and Z Force) and some of the longest battery life we've ever tested. Read the full review.


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The OnePlus 3T (front) and the 3 (rear).

Photo by James Martin/CNET

OnePlus 3 and 3T

Launched with a $399 price tag, the OnePlus 3 was one of our favorite Android phones of the season due to its powerful hardware and elegant design. OnePlus soon followed up this phone with its 3T counterpart, a $439 handset with a longer-lasting battery and more storage. You'll be satisfied with whatever variant you buy, but the 3T is obviously our preferred model. Read the full review.


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The LePro 3 also comes with lots of video streaming content.

Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

LeEco LePro 3

Though the LePro 3 is heavy in the hand and its interface is rough around the edges, it's extremely affordable for the specs it offers. It also has an enduring battery life and a super-fast processor. Read the full review.


The Axon 7 is ZTE's best flagship yet.

Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

ZTE Axon 7

ZTE has come a long way in the last few years, as shown by the Axon 7 -- the company's best looking phone to date. In addition to its sophisticated design, it also has a zippy processor and very loud speakers. Read the full review.

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