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:
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.
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
12GB + 256GB: Rs 69,999
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
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
8GB + 128GB: Rs 47,999
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.
12GB + 256GB: Rs 49,999
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
8GB + 128GB: Rs 64,999
12GB + 256GB: Rs 69,999
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
8GB +128GB: Rs 39,990
12GB + 256GB: Rs 43,990
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.
8GB + 128GB: Rs 39,999
8GB + 256GB: Rs 41,999
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
8GB + 128GB: Rs 29,999
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
6GB + 128GB: Rs 31,999
[Now available for Rs 26,999]
Best smartphones in India for 2021
|1||Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra||Rs 105,999|
|2||Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra||Rs 69,999|
|3||iPhone 12||Rs 70,900 onwards|
|4||Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G||Rs 47,999|
|5||Vivo X60 Pro||Rs 49,990|
|6||OnePlus 9 Pro||Rs 64,999 onwards|
|7||iQoo 7 Legend||Rs 39,990 onwards|
|8||Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro||Rs 39,999 onwards|
|9||LG Wing||Rs 29,999|
|10||Google Pixel 4a||Rs 26,999|