Best premium all-rounders 2021 - buyer’s guide

GSMArena team, Last updated 7 December 2021.

Last updated: December 7, 2021 (Changelog)

A bit of an arbitrary distinction here - what's a premium phone that can do it all, how does it differ from the true top-dogs, where do the aggressively-priced models that can pass for 'flagship killers' go? Well, we tried to make some sense out of it, and we ended up with a selection of phones that didn't make it into our mid-range and flagship-killer lists. These are the all-rounders priced between €300-€400.


Editors' choice

Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G

Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G

Specs
  • Attractive design, IP67-rated
  • 6.5" Super AMOLED, 120Hz refresh rate
  • Plenty fast Snapdragon 778G 5G chipset
  • Capable quad-camera, good photo and video quality
  • Stereo speakers, dependable battery, NFC, 3.5mm jack, microSD
  • Plastic back
  • So-so selfies

The €380 Samsung Galaxy A52s is our new top pick for this category as it strikes a balance between premium features and attractive pricing. The latest Galaxy A52s features a great 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate, there is also the Snapdragon 778G 5G chipset with flagship-like performance and HRR gaming, we did like the stereo speakers and all sorts of ports and wireless connectivity.

The A52s is also a particularly reliable cameraphone and we did like the photos and videos coming from its rear 4-camera setup. The selfie weren't that good, though.

Finally, this Galaxy is IP67-rated for dust and water resistance, and we liked its design and matte rear panel even if it was a plastic one. For all those niceties we picked the Galaxy A52s for Editor's Choice in this category.

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Realme GT Master

Realme GT Master

Specs
  • Super AMOLED, 120Hz
  • Top-class performance with Snapdragon 778G 5G
  • Good photo quality
  • Incredibly fast charging, great battery life
  • Games capped at 60fps
  • No IP rating
  • Poor video quality
  • No stereo speakers

The €349 Realme GT Master is another great all-rounder, quite similar to the OnePlus Nord 2. It tops the Nord with a 120Hz OLED screen, but it's a plastic phone and omits stereo speakers. Just like with previous Realme and OnePlus phones, HRR gaming is a no-go here.

Obviously, the GT Master is not a perfect smartphone, but at that price we do recommend considering it - it impressed us with its gorgeous display, fast performance, reliable photo camera, and great battery life and charging experience. The Realme UI is easily likable, too.

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Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE

Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE

Specs
  • Great build with attractive design, splash resistance
  • 90Hz OLED, 1B colors, Dolby Vision HDR10+
  • Snapdragon 778G with 5G
  • Excellent battery life, fast charging
  • Reliable camera
  • Loud stereo speakers, NFC, IR port
  • No telephoto, no OIS

The Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE is the replacement of the Mi 11 Lite 5G on the market and it's one incredibly good all-round offer priced at €370. It is also about €100 cheaper than the 11T yet it offers comparable experience. The 11 Lite 5G NE features an outstanding Dolby Vision OLED screen with 1 billion colors and 90Hz refresh rate. The performance of the Snapdragon 778G 5G chip is impressive and allows for HRR gaming.

The triple-rear camera is capable, too, it offers particularly good photo and video quality and the only possible caveat we can think of is the lack of optical/lossless zoom.

The 11 Lite 5G NE also impressed us with its battery life and fast charging. The memorable experience continues with the loud stereo speakers, rich connectivity options, side-mounted fast fingerprint sensor and, of course, official splash resistance.

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Motorola Edge 20

Motorola Edge 20

Specs
  • 6.7" 144Hz 1B color, HDR10+ OLED screen
  • Snapdragon 778G 5G chip
  • Ready For support
  • Plenty snappers with good overall quality
  • Water-repellent design
  • No stereo speakers
  • Average battery life

Reviewing the Motorola Edge 20 left us with mostly positive impressions, and we remembered it as a good all-round offer. It offers a large 144Hz OLED and powerful Snapdragon 778G with 8GB RAM and 5G. We also liked the versatile camera options and the Ready For connectivity that's all but a gimmick.

There are no stereo speakers on the Edge 20, the battery life isn't that impressive. But having a good screen, enough power and the Ready For support make this Edge one versatile smartphone. Oh, and it costs just €380, which makes it a great offer of you are on a budget.

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India special

Realme X7 Max 5G

Realme X7 Max 5G

Specs
  • 120Hz AMOLED, tiny notch
  • Dimensity 1200 5G chip, 8GB or 12GB RAM
  • 128GB base storage,
  • Triple camera with 4K@60fps
  • Stereo speakers, NFC, 3.5mm jack
  • 4,500mAh battery, 50W charging
  • Games capped at 60fps
  • No OIS, lossless zoom or a tele camera, outdated selfie
  • No splash resistance

The Realme X7 Max 5G is an India-exclusive smartphone, also available as Realme GT Neo in China. It is a remarkable all-round device with a 120Hz AMOLED screen and the flagship-grade Dimensity 1200 5G chipset by MediaTek. We also liked its stereo speakers, the long-lasting battery life, and the 50W fast charging, too. The cameras are all reliable, too.

The Realme X7 Max 5G, just like the global Realme GT, has no splash protection. It cannot offer high-quality zoom - be it hardware or AI-enhanced, and the ultrawide and selfie cameras are somewhat basic. But the X7 Max 5G price is quite tempting, so we can see it chosen over other phones, at least in India.

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Most recent updates

December 7, 2021: Reorganized this category by moving the OnePlus Nord 2, Xiaomi 11T, Motorola Edge 20 Pro, Xiaomi 11T Pro, Pixel 6, Asus Zenfone 8 Flip and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 to Flagship Killer category. Removed the Apple iPhone 13 and the OnePlus 9.

November 30, 2021: Added the Realme X7 Max 5G.

November 15, 2021: Added the Motorola Edge 20 Pro, OnePlus 9, Xiaomi 11T Pro, and the Zenfone 8 Flip.

November 8, 2021: Replaced the Moto G100 with Motorola Edge 20. Replaced the Apple iPhone 12 with the iPhone 13. Replaced Pixel 5 with Pixel 6. Replaced OnePlus Nord with OnePlus Nord 2 5G. Replaced the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G with Galaxy Z Flip3 5G. Added Realme GT Master, Xiaomi 11T, Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE, and the Samsung Galaxy A52s (as new Editor's Choice). Removed the OnePlus 8T and Motorola RAZR 5G.

June 30, 2021: Moved Realme GT 5G to Flagship killers.

May 20, 2021: Replaced the Moto Edge with Moto G100. Added Realme GT 5G. Removed LG Velvet, Huawei P30 Pro.

Nov 27, 2020: Replaced the Apple iPhone 11 with 12. Replaced OnePlus 7T with 8T. Replaced the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip with Z Flip 5G. Added LG Velvet, Google Pixel 5, OnePlus Nord, and Motorola Razr 5G.


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Reader comments

  • Zafeer4

No way to update the list as it is 2021 list we are on 2022 it is another list it will take time to release such list

  • GamingScalpel

Please update the list!

  • Rishabh

Man! Please update the lists