Best smartphones under $400: TOP 5

1 place – Xiaomi Mi 8

Xiaomi Mi 8
  • Released: june, 2018
  • Android 8.1, up to 9.0
  • Body: Gorilla Glass 5 + aluminum frame, 175 gr, 7.6 mm
  • Display: Super AMOLED, 6.21", 2248x1080, HDR10, DCI-P3
  • Snapdragon 845
  • Memory: 6/8 Gb RAM, drive 64/128/256 Gb
  • Battery: 3400 mAh
  • Main camera: 12 f/1.8, 1/2.55'', OIS + 12 Mp telephoto
  • Selfie camera: 20 Mp, f/2
  • Comm: 2 sim, Wi-Fi 5 GHz, Bluetooth 5.0, USB Type-C, 4G
  • Features: NFC, Quick Charge 4.0+ support, infrared face scanner,

Display parameters (backlight 100%):

  • Black brightness: 0.0 cd / m2; 0.02 cd/m2 in Max Auto mode.
  • White brightness: 458 cd / m2; 624 cd/m2 in Max Auto mode
  • Contrast: /312000
  • The average color error (Delta E) – 1.8

Autonomy (brightness 200 cd / m2):

  • Communication 3G: 22:37 h
  • Surfing the Internet: 11:09 h
  • Video playback: 14:03 h

Performance (test results):

  • GeekBench 4.1 (single core) – 2431
  • GeekBench 4.1 (multi-core) – 8494
  • AnTuTu 7 – 217298

Camera samples

Good light:
Bad light:

Selfies

Pros and cons

  • Cool screen with minimal color accuracy.
  • Fast charging + autonomy.
  • High-quality sound.
  • Good cameras.
  • Face recognition in the dark with an infrared camera.
  • No output for headphones and slots for microSD-card.
  • A bad cooling system does not allow the processor to work at full power.
  • No stabilization during 4K record.
  • No stereo speakers and wireless charging.

2 place – Pocophone F1

  • Released: august, 2018
  • Android 8.1, up to 9.0
  • Body: plastic, 182 g, 8.8 mm
  • Display: IPS, 6.18", Full HD+, Gorilla Glass
  • SoC: Snapdragon 845
  • Memory: 6/8 GB RAM, 64/128 Gb disk
  • Battery: 4000 mAh
  • Main camera: 12/5 Mp, f/1.9, 1.4 um, Dual Pixel
  • Selfie camera: 20 Mp, f/2
  • Comms: 2 sim, Wi-Fi 5 AC, Bluetooth 5.0, USB Type-C, 4G
  • Features: Fast Charging QC 3.0, infrared scanner for FaceUnlock

Display parameters (backlight 100%):

  • Black brightness: 0.314 cd / m2.
  • White brightness: 461 cd / m2.
  • Contrast Ratio: 1468
  • Average color error (Delta E) – 0.9

Autonomy (brightness 200 cd / m2):

  • Communication 3G: 25:31 h
  • Surfing the Internet: 13:51 h
  • Video playback: 12:11 h

Performance (test results):

  • GeekBench 4.1 (single core) – 4238
  • GeekBench 4.1 (multicore) – 9003
  • AnTuTu 7 – 265314

Camera samples

Good light

Bad light:

Bokeh mode:

Selfies:

Pros and cons

  • Good body without backlash and squeaks.
  • The best processor in this price segment.
  • Infrared face scan.
  • Headphone jack 3.5 mm and flash drive.
  • Plastic cover.
  • No NFC and water protection.
  • Hybrid tray for microSD card.
  • Thick bottom frame.
  • Complaints from users about the firmware.

3 place – Huawei Nova 3

  • Released: August, 2018
  • Android 8.1, up to 9.0
  • Body: Glass + aluminum frame, 166 g, 7.3 mm
  • Display: IPS LCD, 6.3", 2340x1080
  • Hisilicon Kirin 970
  • Memory: 4/5 Gb RAM, drive 128 Gb
  • Battery: 3750 mAh
  • Main camera: 16 Mp, F/1.8 + B/W camera 24 Mp, F/1.8
  • Selfie camera: 24 Mp, f/2 + deepth sensor 2 Mp
  • Comm: 2 sim, Wi-Fi 5 GHz, Bluetooth 4.2, USB Type-C, 4G, 3.5mm jack
  • Features: NFC, Infrared face recognition, fast charging (18W)

Battery:

After usage during a day the phone still has 30% of charge (5 hours display work).

Charging from 0 to 100% takes 2 hours; 55% you’ll get after 1 hour.

Performance (test results):

  • GeekBench 4.1 (single core) – 1890
  • GeekBench 4.1 (multi-core) – 6500
  • AnTuTu 7 – 206412

Camera samples

Good light:
Bad light:

Selfies

Portrais (Bokeh mode)

Pros and cons

  • NFC (only in models PAR-LX1).
  • Good back camera.
  • Dual front camera.
  • Glass case.
  • Headphone jack.
  • Face scan with infrared sensor.
  • Dependent tray for SIM and SD card.
  • No optical stabilization of the camera.
  •  It is very hot in games.
  • The LED indicator is under the speaker grid, so it is hard to see.
  • There are complaints about the work of GPS: positioning errors, long search for satellites.

4 place – Meizu 16X

meizu 16x
  • Released: September, 2018
  • Android 8.1, up to 9.0
  • Body: 154g, 7.5 mm
  • Display: SuperAmoled, 6.0", 1080 x 2160
  • Hisilicon Kirin 970Snapdragon 710
  • Memory: 6 Gb RAM, drive 64/128 Gb
  • Battery: 3100 mAh
  • Main camera: Sony IMX 380, 12 MP, f/1.8, 1/2.3", 1.55µm, OIS + low-light camera Sony IMX350, 20 MP, f/2.6, 1/2.6"
  • Selfie camera: 20 MP, f/2.0
  • Comm: 2 sim, Wi-Fi 5 GHz, Bluetooth 5.0, USB Type-C, 4G, 3.5mm jack
  • Features: Fingerprint (under display), fast charging mCharge

Performance (test results):

  • GeekBench 4.1 (single core) – 1812
  • GeekBench 4.1 (multi-core) – 5361
  • AnTuTu 7 – 170000

Battery:

The smartphone supports fast charging. A complete cycle from zero to 100% lasts an hour. During charging, the case heats up to 40 degrees.

Camera samples

Good light:
Bad light:

Pros and cons

  • Design! The smartphone is beautiful.
  • Nice and bright screen with high contrast and low power consumption.
  • Flyme OS shell – everything works quickly and without friezes.
  • Fingerprint scanner in the display.
  • There is a headphone output.
    6-tone flash.
  • Cool loud speaker.
  • Ergonomics – the phone is compact and light.
  • No memory card slot.
  • Doubtful security – some people said that the smartphone was able to unlock the fingerprint of an outsider.
  • Strange vibration.
  • Bad front camera.
  • No moisture and dust protection.
  • No NFC.

5 place – Samsung Galaxy A8+

Samsung Galaxy A8+
  • Released: January, 2018
  • Android 7.1.1, up to 9.0
  • Body: Glass + aluminum frame, 191 g, 8.3 mm
  • Display: Super AMOLED, 6", 1080x2220, Gorilla Glass, Always-on display
  • Exynos 7885
  • Memory: 4/6 Gb RAM, drive 32/64 Gb
  • Battery: 3500 mAh
  • Main camera: 16 Mp, F/1.7, 1/2.8”, 1.12 um
  • Selfie camera: 16 MP, f/1.9, 1.0µm + 8 MP, f/1.9, 1.12µm
  • Comm: 2 sim, Wi-Fi 5 GHz, Bluetooth 4.2, USB Type-C, 4G, 3.5mm jack
  • Features: NFC, fast charging, IP68 water protection

Battery

Charging from 0 to 100% takes 1 hour 20 minutes. The continuous video playback time at maximum brightness (HD movie, MX Player) is about 16.5 hours.

The device with high load easily works for a full day, it is about 600-700 MB of load data in 4G networks, 6-7.5 hours of screen operation (50%, automatic brightness control). With less workload, you will get two days of confident work.

With Facebook updates enabled, the battery was melted and lasted until 7 pm, although there was no other load. The way out was the forced shutdown of all notifications from Facebook, banning work in the background – it corrected the situation.

Performance

Samsung S8+ with Exynos 7885 and Mali-G71 reacher results:

  • GeekBench (Single Core): 1394
  • GeekBench (Multi Core): 4343
  • Antutu: 83910

Camera samples

Good light:
Bad light:

Selfies

Pros and cons

  • Amoled display with cool colors and brightness.
  • Ergonomics and build quality.
  • There is an NFC chip + payment by Samsung Pay.
  • Solid autonomy.
  • Dual front camera.
  • Cool headset included.
  • Scrolling with a fingerprint scanner.
  • Quick unlock on the face, but the technology is badly eats battery.
  • Dedicated SD card slot.
  • Weak camera + disgusting focus.
  • A lot of garbage in the shell, which can not be removed.
  • Slippery – you need a case. If the screen breaks, the replacement will be expensive.

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