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Best value for money phones under Rs 20,000 in India

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

India is the fastest-growing smartphone market in the world, thanks to numerous great budget smartphones. These form about 95% of the market, and gets new offerings every week to keep the competition on its toes. 

Between companies like Xiaomi, Motorola, Samsung and Lenovo battling it out in the Indian smartphone segment trying to win over the mid-range consumer, there's never a shortage of features in these phones. 

That said, selecting a phone can still be a challenging task despite the plethora of options. While some companies may have the best specs on paper in a given price range, the lack of software optimisation can make those phones a poor option when compared to others. 

In this post, we look at some of the best value for money options under Rs 20,000. 

(Image credit: Future)

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro

Weight: 200g | Dimensions: 161.4 x 76.4 x 8.8 mm | OS: Android 9.0 | Screen size: 6.53-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2340 | CPU: MediaTek G90T | RAM: 6/8GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 4500mAh | Rear camera: 64 + 8 + 2 + 2MP | Front camera: 20MP

Good design
Impressive quad camera
Gaming performance
Dedicated micro SD slot with dual-SIM
18W fast charging
Heavy
Ads in UI

Xiaomi's Redmi Note series has been the best-selling smartphone series in the country, and the Redmi Note 8 Pro steps up to that task gracefully, with a smartphone that excels at gaming and photography.

Powered by the new MediaTek Helio G90T chipset, the Note 8 Pro is one of the best performing smartphones in this segment. That is further augmented by a liquid-cooling tech and a big 4,500 mAh battery and 18W fast charging.

The other important highlight is the 64MP quad-camera on the back, which includes a 64MP primary camera, an 8MP ultra-wide shooter, a 2MP macro lens, and a depth sensor. 

Check out our Redmi Note 8 Pro hands-on experience

Poco F1

The best budget phone in the market

Weight: 182g | Dimensions: 155.5 x 75.3 x 8.8mm | OS: Android 8.1 | Screen size: 6.18-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2246pixels | CPU: Snapdragon 845 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 4000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 5MP | Front camera: 20MP

Low price
Good camera
Powerful 
No OIS

The Poco F1, the only launch so far from Xiaomi’s first sub-brand Poco is a feature packed mid-range device. It is the cheapest Snapdragon 845 powered device in India and with the recent price cuts, it offers even more value for your money. While the device’s design is something that the company has compromised on, the Poco F1 is durable with a sturdy plastic build.

If you prefer performance over looks, the Poco F1 is the device for you. It is priced starting at Rs 17,999 in India.

Read our full review: Poco F1

Redmi K20

(Image credit: Future)

Xiaomi Redmi K20

Xiaomi continues to surprise us

Weight: 191g | Dimensions: 156.7 x 74.3 x 8.8mm | OS: Android 9 Pie with MIUI 10 on top | Screen size: 6.39 inches | Resolution: 1080 x 2340 | CPU: Snapdragon 730 SoC | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 4,000mAh | Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 13MP | Front camera: 20MP

Vibrant display
Smooth performance
Very good camera performance
Big battery, fast charging
MIUI has ads

The Redmi K20 was introduced as 'Flagship Killer 2.0', and while the K20 Pro takes care of that, the Redmi K20 kills the competition in the sub-Rs 20,000 segment. More so now that it actually starts at Rs 19,999 in India.

At this price, you get a vibrant notchless display, the latest in-display fingerprint sensor, a pop-up selfie camera and a very adequate triple camera setup on the back. Sealing the deal is the gradient design on the back.

(Image credit: Future)

Realme XT

Weight: 183g | Dimensions: 158.7 x 75.2 x 8.6 mm | OS: Android 9.0 Pie with ColorOS 6.0 | Display: 6.4-inch Super AMOLED | Resolution: 2340 x 1080 | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 | RAM: 4/6/8GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 4,000mAh | Rear camera: 64MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP | Front camera: 16MP

Vibrant Super AMOLED display
Efficient chipset
Versatile camera performance
20W fast charging
ColorOS needs work

Realme has been making a splash since its debut last year. Over the last few months, the company has aggressively expanded its portfolio of smartphones right from the entry-level to the budget segment. The Realme XT is the latest in this line, and offers a versatile camera experience coupled with a vibrant display and a big battery.

The design of the Realme XT is also noteworthy, although it could be slightly over the top for people who prefer sticking to neat lines and patterns. Nevertheless, the Realme XT is a very good option in its segment.

Read our full review: Realme XT

Vivo Z1 Pro

(Image credit: Vivo)

Vivo Z1 Pro

OS: Android 9.0 Pie with Funtouch OS 9 | Display: 6.53-inch Full HD+ IPS LCD panel | Resolution: 1080 x 2340 pixels | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 SoC | RAM: 4/6GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 5000mAh | Rear camera: 16MP + 8MP + 2MP | Front camera: 32MP

Hole punch notch display
Decent daylight camera
Decent performance
LCD panel instead of AMOLED
Poor low light camera
Software optimizations needed

Vivo has upped its game in the budget and mid-range segments over the last few months in India. While a few other smartphones are aimed specifically at a slightly younger audience, Vivo has tried to offer a slightly more rounded package with the recently announced Z1 Pro.

The Z1 Pro is also one of the few smartphones in this price range to sport a punch hole notch. If you are looking for a smartphone that offers really long battery life, the Z1 Pro won't let you down with its massive 5,000mAh battery. The display, camera and the glossy design round off the remaining important aspects.

(Image credit: Future)

Samsung Galaxy M40

Display: 6.3-inch full-HD+ (1080x2340 pixels) PLS TFT panel | OS: Android 9.0 Pie | Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 SoC | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 128GB internal | Rear camera: 32MP + 8MP + 5MP | Front camera: 16MP | Battery: 3500mAh

Decent camera performance
Ample memory and storage
15W fast battery charging
PLS TFT display

The Samsung Galaxy M40 was launched in June as part of the company’s new Galaxy M series. The device features the company’s new Infinity-O display design and sports a triple camera setup at the back. In addition to the Infinity-O display, Samsung has also opted screen sound technology, allowing it to free up space required by traditional speakers.

With the Galaxy M40, the company is offering a premium design to users, taking inspiration from some of its more premium smartphones. If you are looking for a smartphone from Samsung under Rs 20,000, the Samsung Galaxy M40 is the best option for you.

(Image credit: HMD Global)

Nokia 8.1

Weight: 180g | Dimensions: 154.8 x 75.8 x 8 mm | OS: Android 9.0 Pie | Screen size: 6.18-inch | Resolution: 2280 x 1080 | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 | RAM: 4/6GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 3,500mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 13MP | Front camera: 20MP

Well built design
Large, clear display
Suitably powerful
Average camera performance

HMD Global has been tweaking its Nokia smartphone line-up for the Indian market which is very price sensitive. In this vein, the company recently announced a price cut on the Nokia 8.1, making it a great alternative for buyers who want a clean, reliable stock Android experience.

The Nokia 8.1 strikes a good balance between premium design, value for money features and performance. While it may end up losing when it comes to the megapixel race that is currently on in the Indian market, it manages to hold its ground with its decent performance and fast updates.

Read our full review: Nokia 8.1

(Image credit: Future)

Samsung Galaxy M30s

Display: 6.4-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED display | OS: Android 9.0 Pie | Processor: Exynos 9611 | RAM: 4GB/6GB | Storage: 64GB/128GB | Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 5MP | Front camera: 16MP | Battery: 6000mAh

Crisp Super AMOLED display
Massive battery
Ample storage
Plastic body

Samsung has more or less made itself relevant again in the highly competitive budget segment with the launch of the Galaxy M series earlier this year. The Galaxy M30s takes this forward with refreshed design and updated hardware.

The biggest takeaway from the Galaxy M30s is its massive 6,000mAh battery that should easily last you an entire day's worth of usage. For some users, it should be possible to extend the Galaxy M30s' battery life to two days of usage.

Coupled with the vibrant Super AMOLED display, ample storage and a triple camera setup on the back, Samsung might have another winner in the M30s.

Oppo A9 2020

(Image credit: Oppo)

Oppo A9 2020

Display: 6.5-inch HD+ | OS: Android 9.0 Pie | Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 SoC | RAM: 4GB/8GB | Storage: 128GB | Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP | Front camera: 16MP | Battery: 5000mAh

Massive battery
Quad camera setup
Abundant memory and storage
ColorOS needs work

The Oppo A9 2020 is a refreshed version of the Oppo A9 launched earlier this year. It offers a tweaked design with updated specifications and imaging capabilities.

The primary highlight of the Oppo A9 2020 is its quad camera setup on the back. But beyond that, the A9 2020 also offers ample storage and a massive battery. If you are someone who is on the move constantly and do not want to stream a lot of content, the A9 2020 could be what you need. The ample storage allows you to save plenty of content for offline consumption, and the big 5,000mAh battery means it should last you long enough.

(Image credit: Future)

Nokia 7.2

Weight: 180g | Dimensions: 159.9 x 75.2 x 8.3 mm | OS: Android 9.0 Pie | Display: 6.39-inch IPS LCD | Resolution: 1080 x 2280 pixels | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 | RAM: 4/6GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 3,500mAh | Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 5MP | Front camera: 20MP

Zeiss optics
Stock Android experience
Adequate storage
More powerful options available

HMD Global recently launched the Nokia 7.2 in India with Zeiss optics and a minimalist design. Aimed at those users who want a decent camera experience with a clean stock Android interface, the Nokia 7.2 also offers a premium glass design with interesting colour options.

Other aspects of the Nokia 7.2 that help it set apart from the competition include the PureDisplay technology that offers better contrasts and colour reproduction, and a dedicated Pixelworks visual processor that upscales content to HDR in real-time.