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Best phones in India for 2021

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

Are you looking for the absolute best phone in India for 2021? Our best smartphone list here will give you an in-depth look at the best devices available in the Indian market right now and offer you both pros and cons of each device - so that you can decide if that device is worth spending money on depending on your usage and requirement. We hope to make your selection easier, keeping your priorities in place. 

When it comes to smartphone launches, in India we are seeing at least 20 smartphone launches on average each month in 2021, starting from Rs 5,000 entry-level phones to flagship phones that costs over 1 lakh. There are plenty of options to choose from. As often said, the more options you have, the more confusion it creates. This list is designed to help you get a better understanding of the models so that you get clarity.  

Our in-depth reviews with pros and cons for each of the devices on this list would help you. We have included both Android and iOS devices in this compilation and more importantly, we have tried and tested these devices in our hands, so whatever we are writing here is based on our experience with the phone. 

Most of the phones in the list are pretty much new comes as we’re just coming from mega March and April smartphone launches. The current list of the best smartphones in India comprises ten phones which we think are the best ones to recommend. We have included smartphones that cost around Rs 30,000 to over a lakh in the list which should also give you more options to choose from.

While it is always worth the wait, If you are looking for the best smartphone right now, the list will not disappoint you. The best phone is not only about being among the priciest but, it also means improving the overall user experience be it in terms of display, performance, fast charging, or even fluid software.

Not all the phones that offer great specs on paper turn out winners. The best phone also doesn’t also necessarily mean it needs to have a flagship-grade processor or full-on flagship-like spec sheet. We at TechRadar test all the products rigorously and review the products that come to us. We make sure that every feature of the phone is tested and rated.

Here are the best smartphones of 2021 for India:

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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

Specifications
Display: 6.8" QHD+, Super AMOLED, 120Hz
Processor: Exynos 2100
RAM: 12GB
Storage: 256GB
Rear camera: 108+12+10+10MP
Front camera: 40MP
Battery: 5000mAh
Charging: 25W, wireless
OS: Android 11
Weight: 228g
Thickness: 8.9mm
Reasons to buy
+Excellent cameras+Captivating design+Great screen
Reasons to avoid
-Bulky-Takes long to charge-Prone to heating

The Galaxy S21 Ultra sets the bar higher than any other Samsung phone from the past, with strides in the camera zoom technology, performance, battery life, and display. If you are looking for the absolute best smartphone in India that doesn’t cut any corners, the Galaxy S21 Ultra is for you. 

The Galaxy S21 Ultra is one gorgeous-looking smartphone with a strong design and a finish that doesn’t catch fingerprints or scratches. It has a 6.8-inch curved edge-to-edge screen with QHD+ resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. Exynos 2100 powers the device which is paired with 12GB of RAM - the experience with Exynos processor is much better this time with excellent performance for the most part and improved efficiency. However, not everything is rosy, as it still suffers during heavy tasks such as gaming. There’s a fair bit of heating too, which is soon followed by throttling.

In terms of optics, the device comes with a 108MP ISOCELL HM3 main camera, an ultra-wide lens, two telephoto cameras, and a 40MP selfie camera. The on-paper specs translate very well into real-life results with lovely images at all focal lengths. Photos have a great quality till almost 30x, you can go up to 100x too. 

The 5,000mAh battery units last for a day with 5 to 6 hours screen on time and the 25W adapter takes the device from 0 to 100% in 90 minutes. The device also supports wireless charging. Lastly, the Galaxy S21 Ultra is Samsung’s first non-Note phone that’s compatible with its S Pen stylus, and it’s a trend we like seeing. However, there is no S Pen included with the phone and, even when you make a separate purchase, there's no way to embed the stylus into the body of the phone. While it ticks all the boxes, it loses expandable storage and a charger in the box.

Read our Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra India review

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Buy Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra on Amazon | Flipkart

12GB + 256GB: Rs 105,999


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Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

(Image credit: Future)
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Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications
Display: 6.81" QHD+, Super AMOLED, 120Hz
Secondary display: 1.1-inch AMOLED
Processor: Snapdragon 888
RAM: 12GB
Storage: 256GB
Rear camera: 50+48+48MP
Front camera: 40MP
Battery: 5000mAh
Charging: 67W wired and wireless(55W in-box)
OS: Android 11
Weight: 234g
Thickness: 8.38mm
Reasons to buy
+Fantastic camera array+Top all-around specs+performance
Reasons to avoid
-Bulky-Camera bump is just too big

Xiaomi’s most premium flagship smartphone in India to date, the Mi 11 Ultra is what the company calls a Superphone. The Mi 11 Ultra takes on the likes of the Galaxy S21 Ultra, iPhone 12, and OnePlus 9 Pro. The Mi 11 Ultra comes in two colour options - Ceramic White and Ceramic Black, both made up of modern ceramic material. The phone is also IP68 water-resistant and the Mi 11 Ultra is protected by Gorilla Glass Victus, which is 2x better than Gorilla Glass 6. 

The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra has a 6.81-inch Samsung E4 AMOLED quad-curved display with WQHD+ resolution (3200 x 1440p), 120Hz refresh rate, 480Hz touch input rate, and 20:9 aspect ratio. The display also supports Dolby Vision and 10-bit colour encoding, and a peak brightness of 1,700 nits.

Not only that, but the Mi 11 Ultra also comes with a secondary display on the rear camera bump. The display on the rear is the same as the Mi Band 5 display with a 1.1-inch AMOLED screen with 126 x 294 resolution and 450 nits max brightness. The secondary touch screen can be used to check notifications, it acts as a camera viewfinder, controls music, get notifications, Always-on Display displays photo frames, and you can set custom messages too!

Powered by Snapdragon 888, the Mi 11 Ultra is fast and fluid throughout. In terms of optics, the device comes with three primary cameras - a 50MP f/1.12 Samsung GN2 sensor, a 48MP(IMX 586) ultra-wide lens, and a 48MP Sony IMX586 telephoto lens with 5x digital, 10x optical, and 120x digital zoom. There is also a 20MP selfie shooter on the front. 

The phone draws power from a 5,000mAh battery unit which supports 67W wired as well as wireless fast charging. With the 67W fast charger, the device will go from 0-100% in just 36 minutes. The Mi 11 Ultra also supports 10W reverse wireless charging and 5W wired reverse charging. 

Read our Mi 11 Ultra review


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Apple iPhone 12 Purple

(Image credit: TechRadar)
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Apple iPhone 12 Purple

(Image credit: TechRadar)
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Apple iPhone 12 Purple

(Image credit: TechRadar)
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Apple iPhone 12 Purple

(Image credit: TechRadar)
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Spyfall

(Image credit: Future)
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iPhone 12

(Image credit: Future)
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iPhone 12

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Specifications
Display: 6.1" super retina XDR, 60Hz, OLED
Processor: A14 Bionic
Storage: 64/128/256GB
Rear camera: 12+12MP
Front camera: 12MP
Charging: 20W wired, wireless
Weight: 162g
Thickness: 7.4mm
Reasons to buy
+Colorful OLED display+Future-proofed with 5G+MagSafe is intriguing
Reasons to avoid
-Cameras are similar to last year-Battery life only okay

The best value-for-money in the Apple world is the iPhone 12, which is also one of the most compact phones on the list. The new boxy design is a departure from the curved edges we're used to seeing on smartphones these days, making it somewhat uncomfortable to hold. The front of the iPhone 12 features a new Ceramic Shield to further protect it from shattering. Additionally, you also get an IP68 rating for protection against water and dust.  

The iPhone 12 comes with a 6.1-inch OLED display which makes viewing content on the phone much better compared to the previous models. The iPhone 12 has 2532 x 1170 pixel resolution, and the display is sharp and clear, and viewable at all angles. However, unlike the Android competitions, the iPhone 12 comes with just a 60Hz refresh rate. 

The device comes with three 12MP cameras, two on the back and one on the front. The overall camera capability of the camera has been improved from the last-gen which means you won’t be disappointed with the device even if you come just for the cameras. 

The iPhone 12 series is powered by an A14 Bionic chipset that is more power-efficient than ever, while still achieving some of the best performance stats of any phone on the market. It is built on top of a 5nm fabrication process that also results in better performance and efficiency. 

Talking about the battery, the iPhone 12 can last one day, but this is not the best in terms of battery life. For charging, you will have to spend extra money on the charger for your new iPhone  Additionally, you also get the MagSafe wireless charging solution. 

Read our Apple iPhone 12 review

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Buy Apple iPhone 12 on Amazon | Flipkart

64GB: Rs 70,900

128GB: Rs 75,900 | 256GB: Rs 92,900


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Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

(Image credit: TechRadar)
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S20 FE

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
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Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

(Image credit: Samsung)

The best of Samsung

Specifications
Display: 6.7" FHD+, Super AMOLED, 120Hz
Processor: Snapdragon 865
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB
Rear camera: 12+8+12MP
Front camera: 32MP
Battery: 4500mAh
Charging: 25W
OS: Android 11
Weight: 190g
Thickness: 8.4mm
Reasons to buy
+Capable cameras+Display+Performance+IP rating and wireless charging
Reasons to avoid
-Slow charging-Average battery life

The 5G version of the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 chipset, which itself makes this a great smartphone. The Exynos variant of the Galaxy S20 FE had quite a bit of issue like battery life and heating - these shortcomings have been addressed with the Snapdragon chipset. 

This is also a Samsung flagship phone we can wholeheartedly recommend and the pricing is also pretty aggressive in Samsung standards. The heating issues which we had on the Exynos variant are also gone for good. However, the slow 15W charging is still a pain. But, if you can leave that behind, you get a pretty great smartphone from a top brand. 

The device comes with a 12MP f/1.8 main, 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide, and 8MP f/2.4 telephoto shooter along with OIS. The image captured via the phone’s camera is a true flagship grade and we were pretty impressed with the results. To the front, you get a 32MP shooter with f/2.0 aperture.

Apart from that you also get an IP68 rating, wireless charging, and a cool design. On top of that, you are also getting a solid 120Hz Support AMOLED display. 

Read our Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (4G) review


(Image credit: Future)

5. Vivo X60 Pro

Gimble like stabilization

Specifications
Display: 6.56" FHD+ Super AMOLED, 120Hz
Processor: Snapdragon 870
RAM: 12GB
Storage: 256GB
Rear camera: 48+13+13MP
Front camera: 32MP
Battery: 4200mAh
Charging: 33W
OS: Android 11
Weight: 179g
Thickness: 7.69mm
Reasons to buy
+Excellent 120Hz display+Cameras+Performance
Reasons to avoid
-No IP rating-No wireless charging -Pre-installed apps

Smartphones from Vivo have always been one of the best-designed and capable cameras. This time around, with the Vivo X60 Pro, the company also nailed the pricing. In the camera department, the Vivo X60 Pro sports a 48MP(Sony IMX598) primary camera with gimbal stabilization, a 12MP portrait camera with 2x optical zoom, and a 13 MP ultrawide camera. As for the selfie camera, it is a 32MP camera with an f/2.5 aperture. 

The camera performance is definitely one of the best in the segment and the design of the phone is something unique and is again, one of the best you can find on a phone. It comes with a 6.56-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate which produces excellent colors and viewing angles. 

The device is powered by Snapdragon 870 chipset which is efficient and powerful enough even for gaming and heavy apps. A 4,200mAh battery unit is backed by a 33W fast charging which easily lasts one day. 

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Buy Vivo X60 Pro on Flipkart

12GB + 256GB: Rs 49,999


Specifications
Display: 6.67" QHD+, Super AMOLED, 120Hz
Processor: Snapdragon 888
RAM: 8/12GB
Storage: 128/256GB
Rear camera: 48+50+2MP
Front camera: 16MP
Battery: 4500mAh
Charging: Wrap charging 65T, 50W wireless
OS: Android 11
Weight: 196g
Thickness: 8.7mm
Reasons to buy
+True-to-life camera+Excellent display+Great ergonomics+Incredible charging speeds
Reasons to avoid
-Average battery life-Telephoto lens-Expensive
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OnePlus 9 Pro

(Image credit: Truls Steinung)
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OnePlus 9 Pro

(Image credit: Truls Steinung)
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OnePlus 9 Pro

(Image credit: Magnus Blix)
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OnePlus 9 Pro

(Image credit: Magnus Blix)
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OnePlus 9 Pro

(Image credit: Magnus Blix)
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OnePlus 9 Pro

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

The OnePlus 9 Pro is finally a flagship from the brand that we can wholeheartedly recommend, thanks to a massively improved camera system, along with capable performance, a beautiful display and impressively fast charging, ticking all the boxes that a premium Android smartphone should. 

That being said, the OnePlus 9 Pro is still not the first flagship we can recommend purely because the competition has gotten so much better at the same price or lesser price tag. Running on the latest Snapdragon 888 chipset with oodles of fast storage and RAM, the OnePlus 9 Pro is as good as things get on the Android side of things when it comes to performance. The build and design are also now premium with a 6.7-inch QHD+ AMOLED display that is bright, clear, colourful, and smooth.

The weakest point of the OnePlus 9 Pro experience is its battery life. The 4,500mAh pack offers an average backup that is easy to kill by the end of the day. Thanks to the new 65W fast charging, the device can go from 0 to 100% in just about 35 minutes. As a bonus, you also get a 50W wireless charging. 

The camera is one area that the OnePlus phones have struggled all along and with the OnePlus 9 Pro that changes by a fair bit. OnePlus partnered with Hasselblad to process the images and we could see improvements in colour accuracy and temperature. The main camera is a 48MP f/1.8 unit, using the new 1/1.43-inch Sony IMX789 sensor, the secondary 50MP Sony IMX766 sensor is one of the best ultra-wide cameras on a smartphone, and you also get a 3.3x telephoto lens that has an 8MP resolution. In a nutshell, the OnePlus 9 Pro’s photography experience is much better than anything we’ve seen from OnePlus earlier. 

Read our OnePlus 9 Pro review

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Buy OnePlus 9 Pro on Amazon

8GB + 128GB: Rs 64,999

12GB + 256GB: Rs 69,999


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iQoo 7 Legend

(Image credit: Future)
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iQoo 7 Legend

(Image credit: Future)
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iQoo 7 Legend

(Image credit: Future)
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iQoo 7 Legend

(Image credit: Future)

7. iQoo 7 Legend

Specifications
Display: 6.62" FHD+, AMOLED, 120Hz
Processor: Snapdragon 888
RAM: 8/12GB
Storage: 128/256GB
Battery: 4,000mAh, 66W
Rear camera: 48+13+13MP
Front camera: 16MP
OS: Android 11
Weight: 209.5g
Thickness: 8.7mm
Reasons to buy
+Performance+Display+Stereo speakers
Reasons to avoid
-Battery-Software

The newest entry in the flagship space, the iQoo 7 Legend is the company’s most premium smartphone to date for India. The iQoo 7 Legend comes in a cool BMW-inspired design with a matte white glass on the back along with a race track-inspired design. The device comes with an average 4,000mAh battery, but it is bundled with a 66W fast charger that refuels in just 22 minutes. 

The iQoo 7 Legend comes with a 6.62-inch AMOLED display with Full HD+ resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, and 300Hz touch sampling rate. It is also HDR10+ certified. In the optics department, you get a 48MP camera(Sony IMX 598, OIS), a 13MP ultra-wide lens that doubles as a macro shooter, and a 13MP portrait lens with a focal length of 50mm. For selfies, there’s a 16MP camera on the front. Out of the box, the iQoo 7 Legend runs on FunTouch OS 11.1 based on Android 11.

The phone is also marketed as a gaming phone and comes with some gaming-specific features including 4D Game Vibration (works on Call of Duty: Mobile only), an in-display Monster touch which can act like additional input buttons, dual stereo speakers with surround sound, etc.  

Read our iQoo 7 Legend review

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Buy iQoo 7 Legend on Amazon

8GB +128GB: Rs 39,990

12GB + 256GB: Rs 43,990


(Image credit: Future)

8. Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro

Specifications
Display: 6.67" FHD+, Super AMOLED, 120Hz
Processor: Snapdragon 888
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 256GB
Rear camera: 108+8+5MP
Front camera: 20MP
Battery: 4520 mAh
Charging: 33W
OS: Android 11
Weight: 196g
Thickness: 7.8mm
Reasons to buy
+Aggressive price+E4 AMOLED panel+Cameras
Reasons to avoid
-MIUI needs some work-No the fastest charging

Yet another Xiaomi device in the list, but this time it's the more affordable ones in the Mi 11X series. The Xiaomi Mi 11X is the successor to the Xiaomi Mi 10 from 2020. Some of the key features of the device include a 108MP main camera, an 8MP ultra-wide lens, and a 5MP tele-macro shooter. 

The device is powered by the latest Snapdragon 888 which tends to heat up a bit while gaming. The phone runs off a 4,520mAh battery with support for 33W fast charging which can charge the device within an hour. You also get a beautiful 6.67-inch Samsung E4 Super AMOLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate. 

On the front is a 20MP selfie shooter for selfies. The phone runs off a 4,520mAh battery with support for 33W fast charging which can charge the device within an hour. 

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Buy Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro on Amazon

8GB + 128GB: Rs 39,999

8GB + 256GB: Rs 41,999


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LG Wing 5G

(Image credit: Future)
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LG

(Image credit: Future)
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LG Wing 5G

(Image credit: Future)
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LG Wing 5G

(Image credit: Future)
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LG Wing

(Image credit: Future)
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LG Wing

(Image credit: Future)

Swiveling out from one screen to two

Specifications
Display: 6.8" Full HD OLED + 3.9" OLED
Processor: Snapdragon 765G
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB
Camera: 64+13+12MP
Front camera: 32MP pop-up
Battery: 4000mAh
Thickness: 10.9mm
Weight: 260g
Reasons to buy
+Swivel-screen is a novel, easy-to-use+Excellent pricing+Stand out designGood cameras
Reasons to avoid
-Bulky-Multi-screen software lacking-No high refresh rate

Just after announcing the exit from smartphone manufacturing, LG dropped the pricing of LG Wing by a whopping Rs 40,000 in India. The LG Wing is now available at a crazy price of Rs 29,999. 

The LG Wing offers a dual-screen experience in a different way. The primary screen sits on the top layer and It swivels out and up to the top of the device, exposing the mini-screen and forming a ‘T’-shape. The LG Wing has a primary 6.8-inch OLED display with a 3.9-inch secondary display underneath. 

On the inside, the LG Wing is powered by a Snapdragon 765G chipset paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. It is backed by a 4,000mAh battery with support for 25W fast charging and 10W wireless charging. The company is not bundling a charge in the box. 

For optics, the LG Wing comes with a  64MP primary camera with OIS, a 13MP ultra-wide lens, and a second 12MP wide shooter for videos. On the front is a 32MP pop-up selfie camera.

Do note that LG has quit the smartphone market and will not be producing any more phones. While the company has committed to a couple of years of support, things could change in the future.

Read our LG Wing review

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Buy LG Wing on Flipkart

8GB + 128GB: Rs 29,999


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Google Pixel 4a 5G

(Image credit: Future)
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Google Pixel 4a 5G

(Image credit: Future)

For the purists

Specifications
Display: 5.81" OLED, 60Hz
Processor: Snapdragon 730G
RAM: 6GB
Storage: 128GB
Camera: 12.2MP
Front camera: 8MP
Battery: 3140 mAh
Charging: 18W fast charging
Reasons to buy
+One-handed use possible+Powerful single camera+Faster Android updates+Headphone jack
Reasons to avoid
-Mediocre battery life

The only Google phone that’s available in India officially, the Google Pixel 4a is available for an all-time low price at the time of compiling this article. The Google Pixel 4a is for those who need an excellent camera phone around the Rs 30,000 mark and want to be the first in the line to get Android updates. 

If the aforementioned couple of things matter to you, you’d be happy with the Pixel 4a. For everything else, there are a lot more phones in the sub Rs 30,000 that offer better display, build, performance, and battery life. 

The Google Pixel 4a is also the only Android smartphone of the season with a compact display, thanks to the relatively small 5.8-inch OLED screen. 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.

Read our Google Pixel 4a review

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Buy Google Pixel 4a on Flipkart

6GB + 128GB: Rs 31,999

[Now available for Rs 26,999]


Best smartphones in India for 2021

Sl.noPhonePrice
1Samsung Galaxy S21 UltraRs 105,999
2Xiaomi Mi 11 UltraRs 69,999
3iPhone 12Rs 70,900 onwards
4Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5GRs 47,999
5Vivo X60 ProRs 49,990
6OnePlus 9 ProRs 64,999 onwards
7iQoo 7 LegendRs 39,990 onwards
8Xiaomi Mi 11X ProRs 39,999 onwards
9LG WingRs 29,999
10Google Pixel 4aRs 26,999

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Srivatsa Ramesh

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.