(Pocket-lint) - The Shortlist for the EE Pocket-lint Awards has been announced, celebrating the nominations across 20 categories from smartphones and tablets to games and cameras.
All of the devices and products nominated have been reviewed or used by us in full over the last 12 months and there are some excellent contenders.
There are six nominees in each category, with the Best Phone (£250-£500) 2022 category focusing on the best smartphones out there for a cut of the price of the flagships.
These are the shortlist nominations for Best Phone (£250-£500) 2022:
You can click on each of the titles above to read our full reviews on each nomination, which will give you an idea as to why they have been nominated, or read our short verdicts on all six nominees below.
Google Pixel 6a
The Google Pixel 6a is a nice-looking compact phone that offers considerable power for the price. There's great overall build quality, and a decent display that's nice and vibrant, only really let down by sticking to 60Hz, but the addition of an IP67 rating on a phone at this price will be welcomed.
Many are likely to be drawn to the Pixel 6a because of the camera. This is similar to the Pixel 5 camera arrangement so doesn't have all the advantages of the more expensive Pixel 6 or Pixel 7 phones, but still delivers great results thanks to Google's AI approach to the cameras. It's certainly one of the most straightforward cameras, producing the best results, that you'll find at this price point.
Motorola Edge 30
The Edge 30 is a phone that makes the most of its slim design, with good features and performance that is extremely creditable given its price. The display is bright and vibrant, and battery life is very decent, making it a nice handset to use day-to-day.
There are a few missing features, though, from wireless charging to a headphone jack, so you'll need to be sure that you don't need either before you commit to it. Still, if you want 5G connectivity and a phone that's as light and thin as they come, this is a great contender that doesn't break the bank.
Nothing phone (1)
The Nothing phone (1) is a solid Android phone from a new company, showing maturity in the software and offering performance that many will appreciate in the mid-range. The battery life is good, with the reverse wireless charging being a little more unique at this price point.
Nothing's aim of delivering two decent cameras doesn't really come through, but you do get a competitive main camera and avoid the multitude of junk lenses that many rivals push, so that's a positive.
What makes it stand apart from the rest is the design. Its Glyph interface on the back (shaped LED strips) light up in different sequences for different functions and - while of questionable use - is a nice touch, even if it is just a novelty.
OnePlus Nord 2T
The Nord 2T is a very solid, easy-to-recommend phone that fits comfortably underneath the $400 / £400 / €400 price bracket (if you get the 8GB model). There's no doubt it's one of the very best mid-range phones and stands up well against the rest of the phones in this list.
It's fast and fluid, but did feel at the time of launch like it was an iteration for the sake of it, offering a minor boost over its predecessor. However, in terms of the overall mid-range market, it's incredibly competitive and has great features like 80W fast charging and a very smooth 90Hz display with HDR10+ support.
Like the Nord 2T, the Poco F4 was something of a minor iteration and improvement over its predecessor, however, at its price range, you'll struggle to find a more powerful and feature-rich phone.
The Snapdragon 870 processor inside delivers near flagship levels of speed and fluidity, which is further enhanced by an impressive 120Hz refresh display, lots of RAM, big storage, great battery life and a 67W fast charger in the box.
Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 4G
If fast charging is your thing, the Redmi Note 11 Pro+ has that locked down. With its 120W charger you can completely refill the battery in under 20 minutes which - at this price point - is staggeringly fast.
Otherwise, it's very much like its predecessor, delivering fast performance, a big display and stereo speakers at a price that's very competitive. The MIUI software onboard leaves a little to be desired, but it's a strong device in this category.
How the Pocket-lint Awards judging works
The winner for the Best Phone (£250-£500) category is decided by the Pocket-lint team, along with a panel of expert judges from publications across the industry. Following the scoring process, the Best Phone (£250-£500) winner for 2022 will be announced at an in-person event on 30 November 2022 in Central London, along with the winners from the other 19 categories.
A Product of the Year winner will also be announced, chosen from the winners of the 20 categories and a winner of the EE Superfast Award, will also be revealed at the event. We will be announcing the results on the Pocket-lint Twitter handle as they unfold on the night so keep an eye out there.