Best cheap phones 2018: Our top budget mobiles in India


Notches, the disappearing 3.5mm headphone jack and dual cameras are all the rage this year. Not to mention making screens as bezel-less as possible. Once flagship models initiate a design or functionality trend, it's rare that new devices in the budget segment won't follow. 

In India, specifically, the budget segment of the smartphone market is booming. The best selling brands in country, including Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and Samsung, all have their strategy for this year aimed towards launching as many budget phones are possible. 

Currently, a user who plans to spend somewhere between Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 on a smartphone has loads of options. 

We have compiled a list of some devices which will provide you a bunch of features without burning a hole in your pocket.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5

Weight: 180g | Dimensions: 158.5 x 75.5 x 8.1 mm | OS: Android 7.1.2 Nougat | Screen size: 5.99-inch | Resolution: 2160 x 1080 full HD+ (18:9 aspect ratio) | CPU: Snapdragon 625 | RAM: 2GB/3GB | Storage: 32GB/64GB | Battery: 4000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 5MP

18:9, FHD+ display
Android version

The Redmi Note 4 has been one of the most successful smartphones for Xiaomi in India, and the smartphone maker has tried to build on its success with a refreshed Redmi Note 5. It features a 5.99-inch display with an 18:9 aspect ratio and is powered by an Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset.

Imaging duties are handled by a 12MP snapper on the rear and a 5MP snapper on the front. The phone is powered by a 4,000mAh battery which should easily last for more than a day's worth of usage.

If you are looking for a budget smartphone with a bigger, Full HD resolution display, then the Redmi Note 5 is one of the best options available in the market right now.

Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro

Weight: 178g | Dimensions: 149.3 x 71.7 x 8.8mm | OS: Android 8.0 Oreo | Screen size: 5.84-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2280 (19:9 aspect ratio) | CPU: Snapdragon 625 | RAM: 4GB/3GB | Storage: 64GB/32GB | Battery: 4000mAh | Rear camera: 12+5MP | Front camera: 5MP

Vibrant 19:9 display
Handy design
Value for money

Xiaomi has added the new Redmi 6 Pro smartphone to its sub 10K lineup this time. It's the first Pro smartphone in the segment, and it justifies to the name with some promising specs on paper and reliable real life performance. It gets the notch design, being the first from the company to have the feature, a 4000mAh battery and last years most reliable mid-range chipset Snapdragon 625 with 3/4GB of RAM and a full HD display. For its price, it's a steal. 

Oppo Realme 2

Weight: 168g | Dimensions: 156.5 x 75.6 x 8.2 mm | OS: Android 8.1 Oreo | Screen size: 6.2-inch | Resolution: 720x1520 | CPU: Snapdragon 450 | RAM: 3GB / 4GB | Storage: 32GB / 64GB | Battery: 4230mAh | Rear camera: 13+2MP | Front camera: 8MP

Great battery life
Attractive design
Bloated UI

Oppo entered the highly competitive entry-level segment with the beefy Realme 1 earlier this year. Squarely aimed at the Redmi and Redmi Note audience, the Oppo Realme 2 continues the series with features like a 6.2-inch HD+ resolution display, 3/4GB of RAM and a Snapdragon 450 chipset.

Oppo has stuck to the basics when it comes to cameras - on the rear, the Realme 1 has a 13+2MP camera and on the front, there is an 8MP camera. The phone is backed by a huge 4230mAh battery.

Honor 9N

Weight: 152g | Dimensions: 149.2 x 71.8 x 7.7 mm | OS: Android 8.0 Oreo | Screen size: 5.84-inch | Resolution: 2280 x 1080 | CPU: Kirin 659 | RAM: 3GB / 4GB | Storage: 32GB / 64GB / 128GB | Battery: 3000mAh | Rear camera: 13MP + 2MP | Front camera: 16MP

19:9, FHD+ display
Dual camera setup
Bloated UI

Interested in buying a smartphone with a notch but don't want to spend too much? Huawei's Honor brand has a smartphone for you in the form of Honor 9N. The Honor 9N features a 5.84-inch display with Full HD+ resolution and is powered by an octa-core Kirin 659 chipset, paired with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage.

Another highlight of the Honor 9N is its dual camera setup on the back - there is a 13MP primary camera along with a 2MP secondary camera. On the front, the phone has a 16MP camera for handling your selfie needs.

Xiaomi Redmi Y2

Weight: 170g | Dimensions: 160.7 x 77.3 x 8.1 mm | OS: Android 8.1 | Screen size: 5.99-inch | Resolution: 720 x 1440 | CPU: Snapdragon 625 | RAM: 3/4GB | Storage: 32/64GB | Battery: 3080mAh | Rear camera: 12+5MP | Front camera: 16MP

Good front camera
Solid build

The Redmi Y2 is the second iteration of Xiaomi's youth-focused Y-series. Of all the phones Xiaomi has launched till July 2018, the Y2 seemed like the biggest upgrade to its predecessor. Despite being a successful phone, the Redmi Y1 lacked the strength to be compared with the Redmi Note series, but the Y2 has a different story. Overall, the Y2 has proved to be a better composition of specifications and features than the Redmi Note 5. 

Read Xiaomi Redmi Y2 review

Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1

Weight: 180g | Dimensions: 159 x 76 x 8.5mm | OS: Android 8.1 Oreo | Screen size: 5.99-inch | Resolution: 2160 x 1080 | CPU: Snapdragon 636 | RAM: 3GB/4GB | Storage: 32GB/64GB | Battery: 5000mAh | Rear camera: 13MP + 5MP | Front camera: 8MP

Stock Android
Crisp FHD display
Massive battery
Unimpressive camera
Slightly wide

Asus' first smartphone to run on stock Android, the Zenfone Max Pro M1 brings in a host of features for a starting price of Rs 10,999. However, one of the biggest offerings comes in the form of a humongous 5,000mAh battery which is had to find in this price range. 

Other than that, the M1 is filled with stock Android goodness, a vibrant 5.99-inch full HD+ display and a powerful Snapdragon 636 processor. The cameras aren't the best of the bunch which may not impress some users.

Read the full review: Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1

Redmi Note 5 Pro

Redmi Note 5 Pro

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro

The best in the note series

Weight: 181g | Dimensions: 158.6 x 75.4 x 8.05mm | OS: Android 7.1.2 Nougat with MIUI 9 | Screen size: 5.99-inch | Resolution: 2160 x 1080 | CPU: Snapdragon 636 | RAM: 4/6GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 4,000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 5MP | Front camera: 20MP

Impressive battery live
Large screen, but egronomic
Runs on Android Nougat

Even if the new Xiaomi offering doesn't feature Android 8 Oreo, it's still not a bad smartphone for its price point.  

The Redmi Note 5, another phone that's worth a gander, was also launched alongside the Redmi Note 5 Pro. Both phones have metallic bodies with fingerprint sensors around back. The display works well with warm colors and sharp images. 

The Redmi Note 5 Pro has a vertical rear dual camera, which is one of the defining differences between the Pro and its counterpart. The device runs on a decent processor and has a long battery life.

All in all, the phone gives the user incredible value for money with premium features at an mid-range price. 

Read the full review: Redmi Note 5 Pro