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Best phones under Rs. 30,000 in India for January 2022

PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
OnePlus Nord 2
(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

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.

This range can fulfil most of your needs, from offering an exceptional camera to a great overall performance.

Manufacturers know customers don’t want to spend a lot on gimmicky features. Users want an effective and good-performing phone on a budget that doesn’t burn a hole in their pockets. This is why smartphone makers have started putting up a completely new series to help customers make easy choices.

But the category, including the phones below Rs. 30,000, is pretty much filled up to the brim and finding the right one could be a challenge. This is why we have compiled the list with the best ones to help you in narrowing down your searches.    

The list includes the phones from some of the big players in this segment. These are Xiaomi, OnePlus, Samsung, Motorola, and even Google. 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. 

So, let’s just dive straight into the list of phones.

OnePlus Nord 2

(Image credit: Future / Srivatsa Ramesh)

Return of the flagship killer

Specifications
Display: 6.43-inch FHD+, 90Hz
Processor: Dimensity 1200 AI
RAM: 6/8/12GB
Storage: 128/256GB
Rear camera: 50+8+2MP
Front camera: 32MP
Battery: 4,500mAh, 65W
Weight: 189g
Thickness: 8.2mm
Reasons to buy
+
Smooth and stable software
+
Insane fast charging
+
Capable cameras
+
Excellent low light photography
Reasons to avoid
-
Only 90Hz display
-
Boring design
-
No IP rating

Our first choice for your budget is the OnePlus Nord 2. It comes with a lot of improvements over its predecessor and it shines in all departments. It also brings insanely fast 65W fast charging and we are also pretty impressed with the camera as well for the first time on a Nord device. 

However, we’d have liked to see some upgrades on the display front. The Dimensity 1200 AI is an excellent chipset of choice and the phone flies at anything you throw at it. The phone also comes with a 90Hz AMOLED display which despite not being the best in the segment, is good enough for most tasks. 

Lastly, the Oxygen OS on the Nord 2 is now integrated with ColorOS codebase which does bring in a few changes, but the pure Oxygen OS stays the same 一 fast, fluid, and responsive. 

Xiaomi Mi 11X

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

Specifications
Display: 6.67inch FHD+, 120Hz
Processor: Snapdragon 870
RAM: 6/8GB
Storage: 64/128GB
Rear camera: 48+8+5MP
Front camera: 20MP
Battery: 4,520mAh, 33W fast charging
Reasons to buy
+
Performance
+
Excellent display
Reasons to avoid
-
Heats up
-
Prone to smudges and fingerprints

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, 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 colorways. 

Poco F3 GT

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

A star is (re)born

Specifications
Display: 6.67" Full HD+ AMOLED, 120Hz
Processor: Dimensity 1200
RAM: 6/8GB
Storage: 128/256GB
Camera: 64+8+2MP
Front camera: 16MP
Battery: 5065 mAh, 67W
Thickness: 8.3mm
Weight: 205g
Reasons to buy
+
Thoughtful design
+
Great display and speakers
+
Long battery life
Reasons to avoid
-
Camera performance
-
Can feel heavy

The Poco F3 GT goes beyond the usual performance race and becomes one of the best mid-range smartphones of the season for gaming with an excellent display, catchy design, reliable battery life and fast charging. Though, its cameras, while fine, are not great.

The flagship MediaTek Dimensity 1200 chipset gives it ample power for gaming as well as daily use along with 5G capabilities. The Poco F3 GT looks quite cool and unique, and comes with a bunch of gaming-centric extras such as retractable shoulder triggers, RGB lighting, and quirky accents 一 this is one of the best-designed smartphones in the segment. 

It features a 6.67-inch Full HD+ display with a 120Hz screen refresh rate and a 480Hz touch response rate. The screen is big for immersive viewing, fast for enjoyable gaming, bright for outdoor legibility and beautifully vibrant. You also get excellent speakers.

Buy Poco F3 GT on Flipkart

Buy Poco F3 GT on Flipkart

Price (6GB+128GB): Rs 28,999
(8GB+128GB): Rs 28,999
(8GB+256GB): Rs 30,999

Das Realme GT Master Edition mit dem Gesicht auf einem Holztisch liegend.

(Image credit: Future / Franziska Schaub)

A design masterpiece

Specifications
Display: 6.43" FHD+ AMOLED, 120Hz
Processor: Snapdragon 778G
RAM: 6/8/12GB
Storage: 128/256GB
Rear camera: 64+8+2+2MP
Front camera: 32MP
Battery: 4,300mAh, 65W
Weight: 174g
Thickness: 8mm
Reasons to buy
+
Stand-out design
+
Smooth performance
+
120Hz AMOLED display
Reasons to avoid
-
Average battery life
-
No dual speakers

The Realme GT Master Edition includes Snapdragon 778g processor and it is snappy and smooth. The phone also comes in a unique design inspired by travel suitcases which is one of its standout features. The phone looks premium, feels premium, and is great to hold in the hand. The horizontal grid of the suitcase replicates an actual travel suitcase.

The device also packs in a 120Hz AMOLED display, 65W fast charging, 64MP triple camera setup, making it one of the contenders for the best phone under Rs 30,000. However, the phone falls short in terms of battery life and also lacks a stereo speaker setup which is getting popular in the segment. 

Lastly, the primary camera does bring plenty of vibrant and sharp images. There is also decent HDR processing. The GT Master Edition bring out more details from the dark with Night mode turned on. Selfies come out good too with the 32MP camera. 

Buy Realme GT Master Edition on Flipkart

Buy Realme GT Master Edition on Flipkart

Price (6GB+128GB): Rs 25,999
8GB+128GB: Rs 27,999
8GB+256GB: Rs 29,999

(Image credit: Flipkart)

Moto Edge 20

Specifications
Display: 6.7" Full HD+ 10-bit AMOLED, 120Hz
Processor: Snapdragon 778G
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB
Rear camera: 108MP + 16MP + 8MP
Front camera: 32MP
Battery: 4000mAh, 30W fast charging
Weight: 163g
Thickness: 6.9mm
Reasons to buy
+
Great display
+
Smooth performance
+
Software experience
Reasons to avoid
-
Boring design
-
Not the fastest charging 

The Moto Edge 20 comes with a Snapdragon 778G processor paired with a 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. This is also the slimmest 5G phone measuring just 6.9mm.  

In terms of visuals, the Moto Edge 20 sports a 6.7-inch Full HD+ 10-bit OLED with a 144Hz screen refresh rate, and 576Hz touch sampling rate. On the rear, you get a 108MP main camera, 16MP ultra-wide and macro camera, and an 8MP 3x telephoto lens with OIS. The selfies are handled by a 32MP shooter on the front. The phone is backed by a 4,000mAh battery unit backed by a 30W fast charging solution. 

Buy Moto Edge 20 on Flipkart

Buy Moto Edge 20 on Flipkart

Price (8GB+128GB): Rs 29,999

(Image credit: Xiaomi )

Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G

Specifications
Display: 6.55" Full HD+ 10-bit AMOLED, 90Hz
Processor: Snapdragon 778G
RAM: 6/8GB
Storage: 128GB
Rear camera: 64MP + 8MP + 5MP
Front camera: 10MP
Battery: 4,250mAh, 33W fast charging
Weight: 158g
Thickness: 6.81mm
Reasons to buy
+
Great display
+
Smooth performance
+
Sleek design
Reasons to avoid
-
Not the fastest charging 

The Xiaomi 11 Lite NE is a phone for those who want a slim and light phone without having to compromise on the other specs. The phone weighs just 158 grams and measures just 6.81mm thick. It has a 10-bit 6.55-inch AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate. This is also the only phone in the segment to support Dolby Vision. 

Powered by Snapdragon 778G 5G chipset, the device packs in 4250mAh with 33W fast charging. It comes with up to 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. In terms of optics, the Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G comes with a 64MP main camera along with a 20MP selfie shooter. You also get dual stereo speakers and a side-mounted fingerprint scanner. 

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung Galaxy M52 5G

Specifications
Display: 6.7" Full HD+ AMOLED, 120Hz
Processor: Snapdragon 778G
RAM: 6/8GB
Storage: 128GB
Rear camera: 64MP + 12MP + 5MP
Front camera: 32MP
Battery: 5,000mAh, 25W fast charging
Weight: 173g
Thickness: 7.4mm
Reasons to buy
+
Good display
+
Performance
+
Good cameras
Reasons to avoid
-
Slow charging
-
15W charger in-box

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.

(Image credit: iQoo)

iQoo Z5

Specifications
Display: 6.67" Full HD+ LCD, 120Hz
Processor: Snapdragon 778G
RAM: 8/12GB
Storage: 128/256GB
Camera: 64+8+2MP
Front camera: 16MP
Battery: 5,000mAh, 44W
Weight: 193g
Reasons to buy
+
Performance
+
120Hz display
+
44W fast charging 
Reasons to avoid
-
Software experience
-
Not AMOLED screen

Get the iQOO Z5 smartphone if you want to have a good gaming device. While the phone takes good daylight pictures, it has a weak low-light performance. The good part is even the 12GB RAM variant comes for below Rs. 30,000 price tag. 

is powered by a Snapdragon 778G chipset paired with up to 12 GB of LPDDR5 RAM and up to 256 GB of UFS 3.1 storage. It comes with a 6.67-inch IPS LCD Full HD+ display with a 120Hz refresh rate with 240Hz touch sampling rate. The phone also comes with features like 28837mm2 VC liquid-cooling system. 

In the camera department, the iQoo Z5 comes with a 64MP main camera with an f/1.79 aperture, an 8MP ultrawide lens, and a 2MP macro camera. For selfies, there is a 16MP shooter. The iQoo Z5 runs off a 5,000mAh battery with 44W fast charge support 一 which is said to offer 50% battery in just 26 minutes. 

Google Pixel 4a 5G

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications
Display: 5.8-inch FHD+
Processor: Snapdragon 730G
RAM: 6GB
Storage: 128GB
Rear camera: 12.2MP
Front camera: 8MP
Battery: 3,140mAh, 18W fast charging
Reasons to buy
+
Camera
+
Compact form factor
Reasons to avoid
-
60Hz display
-
Battery life

The Pixel 4a brings the best camera in this segment, though you will have to make do with the single sensor setup. It is also now available at a lower price tag than the launch price.

It is also one of the only decent compact Android smartphones of the season, thanks to the relatively small 5.8-inch display. Apart from that, it is a pretty standard device with a 60hz refresh rate, a Snapdragon 730G chipset, mediocre battery life, etc. Be vary of the cheap-feeling plastic back as well.

The Google Pixel 4a also comes with the latest features that Android has to offer and will be first in line for OS updates.

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Srivatsa is a prolific writer who spearheads the core writing team on tech news, buying guides, reviews, and all gadget articles. He is passionate about technology.