If you’re looking for a flagship smartphone, then you need to shell out over Rs. 50,000 or more. However, phones in and around Rs. 30,000 are the ones that offer flagship features but at an affordable price point.
The list of smartphones priced under Rs 30,000 was getting exhaustively long. However, we’re mid-way through the year and there have been a few good releases so far. Many of these are updates to their previous lineup or new products entirely.
You just have to look at what suits you the best. For some, a good camera could be vital, for some others, user experience, and mobile gaming could be their primary focus. A major trend among manufacturers is bringing older flagship chipsets to this price segment. And we could expect more additions and updates to this list in the next coming months as well.
The list includes the phones from some of the big players in this segment. These are Xiaomi, Poco, OnePlus, Realme, Samsung, Motorola, and even iQoo.
So, let’s just dive straight into the list of phones.
The OnePlus Nord 2T is a minor upgrade from the previous model, so it's not recommended for someone who owns a Nord 2. However, the smartphone is still one of the best choices to enter the OnePlus ecosystem.
The smartphone is the first device to launch in India with the Dimensity 1300 chipset but also gets an improved camera sensor. The new primary camera retains the 50MP lens however it has a larger sensor. This has improved the low-light performance of the Nord 2T.
The rest of the hardware like the display and the battery remain the same. You do get a higher 80W charger in comparison to the 65W one from the previous model. Also, if you're a fan of the iconic Sandstone finish the Grey Shadow model would be an apt choice.
The Xiaomi Mi 11X is one of the best affordable flagship phones. However, the camera setup is not the best for the price, the same also applies to the charging speeds. Also, the phones tend to heat up quite a bit while gaming. If you are okay with these things, the Mi 11X won’t disappoint you.
The Xiaomi Mi 11X comes with the best display in the segment with a 6.67-inch E4 Super AMOLED panel and 120Hz screen refresh rate. The device is powered by Snapdragon 870 and paired with LPDDR5 RAM, and UFS 3.1 storage which also makes it one of the better gaming phones in the segment.
In terms of cameras, the device comes with a 48MP main camera which is just above average. The design of the phone, especially the Cosmic Black is extremely prone to fingerprints and smudges, so it's better to go for Celestial Silver or the Lunar White colourways.
The Poco F4 5G launched almost 2 weeks ago in the Indian market. The smartphone features the Snapdragon 870 chipset and comes with a high refresh rate AMOLED display with support for Dolby Vision. The display also has a max brightness of 1300 nits, so outdoor visibility is good. The Poco F4 5G is a good choice for those who are more interested in binge-watching shows on their smartphones.
The smartphone also comes with a 4,500 mAh battery and is capable of lasting a day. And the 67W fast charger will help you get back on the road quickly. The cameras on the Poco F4 5G perform well in daylight conditions. The images are vibrant and tend to be a bit oversaturated. This will come down to a personal choice.
The other negative aspects of a Poco smartphone exist here as well. MIUI continues to feature bloatware but these can be uninstalled. The smartphone also struggles to handle low-light photography as well. You also miss out on a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Check out the Poco F4 5G on Flipkart (opens in new tab)
The Realme GT Neo 2 brings in a lot of features that make it a good alternative to flagship devices. While many of the devices on this list do come with the Snapdragon 870 chipset, the GT Neo 2 will win your hearts over the colour options of the smartphone. The GT-inspired racing stripes are sure to catch a lot of people's attention. So, if you've been eager to have a stylish smartphone the GT Neo 2 would be one of the best-looking devices out there.
There is no doubt that the device is capable of breezing through tasks, handling multitasking and playing graphic-intensive titles like Apex Legends Mobile and Genshin Impact. The display is a good choice for those who watch their favourite shows on their smartphone. The Realme GT Neo 2 also comes with a 5,000 mAh battery and supports 65W charging. Of the products listed here, this would be the only smartphone which offers a higher capacity battery pack.
The only downside of the smartphone is its camera performance. And if you're looking for a good device in this category, there are other options in this list. On the other hand, the smartphone is a good choice for anyone who consumes content and cares more about the fanfare around the GT lineup.
While the device is available for a price of Rs 31,999 on Flipkart and Amazon, we believe the device is a good purchase with the right discounts. You could keep an eye out for upcoming sales or even benefit from exchanging your existing device.
Check out the Realme GT Neo 2 on Flipkart (opens in new tab)
8GB RAM / 128GB ROM - Rs 31,999
iQoo Neo 6 would complete the list of devices that come with last year's flagship chipset, the Snapdragon 870. There is no shortage of premium features and the camera performs well too.
The iQoo Neo 6 comes with a 6.62-inch FullHD+ AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. This means the device is good for those who love to watch movies or play mobile games. The device doesn't heat too much when playing high graphic games like Genshin Impact. The device handles multitasking well.
We still feel that iQoo and Vivo need to improve the Android experience with a better UI. This can be fixed with third-party launchers. However, the stock browser tends to send in more notifications than Google News. And you will end up turning off notifications from the app. You will also find apps pre-installed when setting up the device for the first time. You can uninstall these.
The overall performance of the device is good. But it would have been better if there was no need to tweak every other setting.
The Motorola Edge 30 is like the Nord 2T. It's a minor upgrade from the previous models and gets only a few hardware changes. The smartphone features a Snapdragon 778G+ processor paired with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage on the base variant. The higher variant will only double the RAM offered with the same internal storage. It also continues to be one of the slimmest 5G smartphones measuring just 6.79mm.
In terms of visuals, the Motorola Edge 30 sports a 6.5-inch FullHD+ 10-bit pOLED with a 144Hz screen refresh rate. Due to the new display tech, the company has been able to reduce the bezels on the display, make it slightly slimmer and also reduce the weight.
When it comes to the cameras, the smartphone comes with a 50MP primary lens, a 50MP ultrawide and a 2mP macro lens. The performance of the cameras is not on par with the other competing phones. The selfies are handled by a 32MP shooter on the front. The phone is backed by a 4,020mAh battery unit backed by a 33W fast charging solution.
The Motorola Edge 30 is a good mid-range device that performs a balance of power and battery efficiency. The smartphone can handle day-to-day tasks and is the best smartphone to consume content on. However, the cameras are a weakness and would be recommended for someone for whom photography is a priority.
Check out the Motorola Edge 30 on Flipkart (opens in new tab)
The Xiaomi 11i 5G Hypercharge is for those users who prefer to recharge their devices at the last minute. The smartphone comes with a 120W fast charger in the box. While Realme and OnePlus does offer faster 150W chargers, these come for a premium price tag.
The smartphone features a 6.67-inch FullHD+ AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and runs on a MediaTek Dimensity 920 chipset. In comparison to the rest of the devices in this list, the performance of the device is passable. You can get through the day and it can handle light gaming. The camera performance is also a weakness just like other Xiaomi devices priced below Rs 25,000.
A lower-priced variant of the smartphone is available, however, you will be getting a 5,000 mAh battery pack with a 67W charger. The rest of the specification remains the same.
If it's a flagship-level device from Xiaomi that you are looking for, we would again recommend the Mi 11X. The only reason to opt for the Mi 11i Hypercharge is for the 120W charger.
The successor to the popular mid-range phone from 2020, the Galaxy M52 does not offer a gigantic 7,000mAh battery like its predecessor, but it comes with several improvements over the Galaxy M51 which makes it a good choice at this price point. The phone is now 5G, thanks to the Snapdragon 778G chipset. It comes with up to 8GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage.
The Samsung Galaxy M52 features a 6.7-inch Full HD+ display along with a 120Hz AMOLED Plus screen. In the camera department, you get a 64MP(f/1.8) main camera, a 12MP(f/2.2) ultra-wide lens, and a 5MP(f/2.4) macro camera. There is also a 32MP selfie camera with an f/2.2 aperture.
The Galaxy M52 packs in a 5,000mAh battery with 25W fast charging support. On the software side, the phone runs on Android 11 based on Samsung’s OneUI skin on top.