Skip to main content

Best cheap phones 2020: top budget mobiles in India

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

Buying a budget smartphone under Rs 20,000 in India has never been so easy and yet so difficult. That's because there are a plethora of options available in the market. So, choosing the best smartphone under Rs 20,000 can become a daunting task if you get lost.

Nevertheless, having that choice is always a great thing. While Motorola truly started the budget smartphone revolution in India, Xiaomi has carried that torch since it debuted in India. Now, rivals like Vivo, Oppo, Realme and even Samsung are putting up a fight against Xiaomi, so we as consumers are spoilt for choice.

The best selling brands in-country,including XiaomiOppoVivo and Samsung, all have their strategy for this year aimed towards launching as many budget phones are possible.

Here is a list of the best phones that you can get under Rs 20,000 in India.

(Image credit: Future)

POCO X2

Weight: 208g | Dimensions: 165.3 x 76.6 x 8.8 mm | OS: Android 10 | Screen size: 6.67-inch | Resolution: 2400 x 1080 | CPU: Snapdragon 730G | RAM: 6/8 GB | Storage: 64/128/256 GB | Battery: 4,500mAh | Rear camera: 64MP + 2MP + 8MP + 2MP | Front camera: 20MP + 2MP

120Hz refresh rate display
Sony IMX686 based 64MP camera
Powerful Snapdragon 730G chip
Value for money
No telephoto lens

Poco X2 features a 6.67-inch Full HD+ (2400 x 1080 pixels) LCD screen with a 120Hz refresh rate and support for HDR10 playback. It is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G chipset with an octa-core CPU and Adreno 618 GPU. This is paired with upto 8GB of RAM and 256GB of UFS 2.1 storage.

It has a quad-camera setup which consists of a primary 64MP camera, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle lens with 120-degree field-of-view, a 2MP macro lens and a 2MP depth sensor. On the front, there's a 20MP primary selfie camera and a secondary 2MP depth camera, housed within the dual punch-hole cutout.

The X2 is equipped with a 4,500mAh battery with support for 27W fast charging out-of-the-box. It starts at Rs 15,999 in India.

Read our review of the Poco X2 to know more.

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

Realme 5 Pro

The latest kid on the block

Weight: 184g | Dimensions: 157 x 74.2 x 8.9 mm | OS: Android 9.0 Pie | Screen size: 6.3-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2340 | CPU: Snapdragon 712 | RAM: 4/6/8GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 4,035mAh | Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP | Front camera: 16MP

Quad camera setup
Good design
Ample memory and storage
Plastic body
Old version of Gorilla Glass

The Realme 5 Pro is the latest kid on the black and it truly represents Realme's aim of taking on established smartphone makers in India. Featuring a mid-range Snapdragon chipset and offering a quad-camera setup in the budget segment, Realme 5 Pro could be your next smartphone.

If you want a smartphone that offers great value for money and if you don't want to use MIUI again (we've all been a Xiaomi user at some point of time), the Realme 5 Pro is worth considering.

Read the full review: Realme 5 Pro review

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro (Image credit: Xiaomi)

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro

Weight: 200g | Dimensions: 161.4 x 76.4 x 8.8 mm | OS: Android 9.0 | Screen size: 6.5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2340 | CPU: MediaTek Helio G90T | RAM: 6/8GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 4500mAh | Rear camera: 64 + 8 + 2 + 2MP | Front camera: 20MP

Powerful for gaming
Impressive quad-camera
Smooth performance
Alexa built-in
Ads in UI

The budget segment is Xiaomi's home turf, and the Redmi Note 8 Pro is its best offering in this space. As the tradition has been, the Note 8 Pro scores great in aspects such as performance, camera and battery life.

It is powered by the new MediaTek Helio G90T chipset along with up to 8GB of RAM, making it one of the best phones for gaming in this segment. It is also one of the few to offer a quad-camera, with a 64MP primary camera, an ultrawide lens, a macro shooter as well as a depth sensor.

At 4,500 mAh, this is the biggest battery ever on a Redmi Note device, and that is paired with an 18W fast charger in the box. The Note 8 Pro is one of the best all-rounders you can get for the price.

Read our hands-on: Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro review

Poco F1

Poco F1 (Image credit: Future)

Poco F1

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 the full review: POCO F1 Review

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

Redmi Note 8

Weight: 190g | Dimensions: 158.3 x 75.3 x 8.4 mm | OS: Android 9.0 Pie | Screen size: 6.3-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2340 pixels | CPU: Snapdragon 665 | RAM: 4/6GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 4000mAh | Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP | Front camera: 13MP

Affordable
Quad-camera setup
Big battery with fast charging
MiUI

Xiaomi surprised everyone by pricing the Redmi Note 8 at under Rs 10,000 for the base variant, making it one of the best value smartphones.

Powered by the Snapdragon 665, performance should be up to the mark. It brings the same quad-camera setup from the Note 8 Pro, with a 48MP primary camera, an ultrawide shooter, a dedicated macro camera and a depth sensor.

The 4,000 mAh battery with fast charging should be sufficient for most users.

(Image credit: Future)

Samsung Galaxy M30s

More M for your money

Weight: 188g | OS: Android 9.0 Pie | Screen size: 6.4-inch Super AMOLED | Resolution: 2340 x 1080 pixels | CPU: Exynos 9611 | RAM: 4/6GB | Storage: 64GB/128GB | Battery: 6000mAh | Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 5MP | Front camera: 16MP

Vibrant AMOLED display
6,000mAh battery
Improved cameras
Ample, fast storage
The camera module on the back looks out of place

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 a 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.

Samsung Galaxy M30s review

Oppo A9 2020

(Image credit: Oppo)

Oppo A9 2020

2020's here

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 more optimizations

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.

Samsung Galaxy A50s

Samsung Galaxy A50s (Image credit: Future)

Samsung Galaxy A50s

Display: 6.4-inch Full HD+ (2340 x 1080 pixels) Super AMOLED notched panel | OS: Android 9 Pie with OneUI | Processor: Exynos 9611 | RAM: 4GB/6GB RAM | Storage: 128GB | Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 5MP | Front camera: 32MP | Battery: 4000mAh

Attractive design
Lasting battery
Fast charging
Vibrant display
Unimpressive low-light camera
UI feels sluggish at times

The Samsung Galaxy A50s has a lot going for it. The device features a glossy finish and sports an attractive display, a triple camera setup that includes a good daylight camera, and decent battery life with fast charging support all make it a phone that’s worth considering when you go out to buy a new smartphone.

While the Galaxy A50 performs well in daylight, its low-light images are not up to the mark. If you are a heavy gamer, you might want to skip this device and look at the other devices mentioned in this list.

The device is available starting at Rs 22,999 in Black, Blue and White color options.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy A50s

Realme X

Realme X (Image credit: Future)

Realme XT

OS: Android 9 Pie with ColorOS 6 | Display: 6.4-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display | Resolution: 2340 x 1080 | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 SoC | RAM: 4/6/8GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 4000mAh | Rear camera: 64MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP | Front camera: 16MP

Good design
Runs Android 9 Pie 
Great battery life + fast charging
Ample storage
No ultra-wide camera

The Realme XT is the best smartphone the company sells in India, and is quite possibly one of the best in the segment too.

It was the first smartphone with a 64MP quad-camera, starting a trend that is now becoming mainstream. In our review, we also mentioned that the Realme XT has one of the best performance on a budget smartphone, for regular use as well as gaming.

Read the full review: Realme XT review

Realme 5

Weight: 198g | Dimensions: 164.4 x 75.6 x 9.3 mm | OS: Android 9.0 Pie | Screen size: 6.5-inch | Resolution: 720 x 1600 pixels | CPU: Snapdragon 665 | RAM: 3/4GB | Storage: 32/64/128GB | Battery: 5000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP | Front camera: 13MP

Massive battery capacity
Ample memory and storage options
Quad cameras in budget segment
ColorOS has niggles
Hefty

Blowing some serious heat, Realme has launched another worthy contender in the budget segment with the Realme 5. Aimed at buyers who are looking for a smartphone that delivers great bang for their buck, the Realme 5 is powered by a decently powered Snapdragon chipset.

The Realme 5 is powered by a massive battery and this, in combination with the HD resolution display should mean the phone should easily last for a couple of days with normal usage.

Read the full review: Realme 5 review

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

Xiaomi Mi A3

The middle child

Weight: 173.8g | Dimensions: 153.5 x 71.9 x 8.5 mm | OS: Android 9.0 Pie | Screen size: 6.01-inch | Resolution: 720 x 1560 pixels | CPU: Snapdragon 665 | RAM: 4/6GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 4030mAh | Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 2MP | Front camera: 32MP

In-display fingerprint sensor
48MP camera with Sony IMX586 sensor
Ample memory and storage
Big battery
720p Pentile AMOLED display

Xiaomi's smartphones have been a hit in the budget segment and that trend has continued for years. However, not everyone is a fan of MIUI and Xiaomi has acknowledged that with the launch of its Android One series of smartphones.

The Mi A3 is the latest in this line of smartphones. It runs on clean, stock Android and should get updates faster than other phones. It also offers a decent camera experience, an in-display fingerprint sensor and a big battery at very aggressive prices, making it a great option if you want all these features.

Read our review: Xiaomi Mi A3