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 5

Weight: 157g | Dimensions: 151.8 x 72.8 x 7.7mm | OS: Android 7.0 Nougat | Screen size: 5.7-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 720 HD+ (18:9 aspect ratio) | CPU: Snapdragon 450 | RAM: 2GB/3GB | Storage: 16GB/32GB | Battery: 3300mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 5MP

Vibrant 18:9 display
Handy design
Value for money
Dated Android version
HD display resolution

One of the recent smartphones to come out of Xiaomi's stable, the Redmi 5 is the most balanced smartphone under Rs 10,000 price bracket. The phone brings an 18:9 aspect ratio 5.7-inch display to budget segment which runs on Snapdragon 450 processor and is paired with 2GB/3GB RAM and an internal storage capacity of 16GB/32GB. 

Though we recommend you to get the 3GB RAM variant as anything lesser than that in this price range decreases the use cycle. 

There's a 12-megapixel rear camera and a front-facing 5-megapixel camera. The phone draws power from a 3,300 mAh battery which is more than sufficient to last for a day.

The Redmi 5 is quite possibly the best and value for money 4G smartphone you can get right now.

Read the full review: Xiaomi Redmi 5

Honor 9 Lite (32GB)

Weight: 149g | Dimensions: 151 x 71.9 x 7.6mm | OS: Android 8 Oreo | Screen size: 5.6-inch | Resolution: 2160 x 1080 | CPU: Kirin 659 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 3000mAh | Rear camera: 13MP + 2MP | Front camera: 13MP + 2MP

Vibrant 18:9 display
Premium looks
Latest Android
EMUI is cluttered
Fast charge not supported

Honor's 9 lite looks dapper in Sapphire Blue colour variant. It has everything going for itself in the design department with the shiny 2.5D glass on back and for Rs 10,999, it's one of the better designed smartphones available right now. 

The 18:9 aspect ratio display is vibrant and is reason enough to buy it. It also has a quad-camera setup. The front-facing cameras capture some good pictures while the rear one leaves much to be desired for. There's no fast charge support which might be a deal breaker for some.

But for people who can turn a blind eye to these things, the 9 lite is a unique smartphone at this price.

Also read: Honor 9 Lite 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

Xiaomi Mi A1

Weight: 165g | Dimensions: 155.4 x 75.8 x 7.3mm | OS: Android 7.1 Nougat | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 | CPU: Snapdragon 625 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3080mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP | Front camera: 5MP

Google’s software with timely updates
Powerful hardware
Best dual camera setup
Derivative design
Smaller battery than Redmi Note 4

Xiaomi Mi A1 is the first Xiaomi phone with stock Android and is one of the most popular mid-range device of the year. It has a 5.5-inch full HD display with 2.5D curved glass coating on the top and runs on Android 7.1 Nougat. 

The company promised that the phone will receive the Android Oreo update by the end of 2017 and according to the recent reports it has started rolling out the beta version of the software.

The phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, 4GB RAM and an internal storage of 64GB which is expandable up to 128GB via microSD card. 

On the camera front, the phone has a dual camera setup on the rear with a 12-megapixel wide angle lens supported by a 12-megapixel telephoto lens. A 5-megapixel front shutter with 36 smart beauty profiles and face recognition sits above the display. 

The 3080mAh battery provides sufficient fuel to last for a day. 

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

Honor 7X

Honor 7X

Honor 7X

Weight: 165g | Dimensions: 156.5 x 75.3 x 7.6 mm | OS: Android 7 | Screen size: 5.9-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2160 | CPU: Kirin 659 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32/64GB | Battery: 3340mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 2MP | Front camera: 8MP

Premium build
Vibrant 18:9 display
Impressive camera
No USB Type-C
Charges slowly

The Honor 7X brings an 18:9 aspect ratio to the mid-range segment, along with dual-camera setup. Other than that, the camera onboard the 7X is a pretty good snapper while the slick metal unibody makes it feel like a premium smartphone.

It runs on the Kirin 659 chipset, which is claimed to be a tough competitor to the Snapdragon 625 backed by 4GB of RAM. It comes in two storage variants - 32GB and 64GB. 

Only the 32GB variant falls under the 15K category. It is still a good choice for those who like playing with smartphone cameras but can't afford more expensive phones.

Read the full review: Honor 7X