Best phones under Rs 12,000 in India for 2023

Realme C35
(Image credit: Future)

India is a price-sensitive market and will always have enough demand for affordable Android phones

The segment is led by Chinese players like Xiaomi, Realme, Infinix and others. Even brands like Samsung, Motorola, and home-grown brands like Micromax have also started making their presence felt in the budget and entry-level price bracket.

It is expected that the increased consumer preference and shrinking price differences will drive consistent growth in this segment further. This price range has so far gradually inherited features from the mid-range segment, like better cameras, massive batteries, decent displays, and so on. 

 All the phones listed below are 4G-enabled except the Poco M4 5G, which is the most affordable one on the market currently. However, in case you like to see the list of more 5G phones, we've got a guide for that too.

Combined with affordable 4G internet packs, these phones can offer you great speed so that you could enjoy uninterrupted gaming sessions and binge on your favourite movies.

The phones priced below this price range are best suited for light to moderate regular usage as they come with chipsets that aren’t meant for heavy usage. However, you can easily find a phone with significantly huge RAM and a decent display for under Rs. 12,000. Also, these phones offer large storage options, enough to store heavy media. 

So, let’s just dive straight into the options. 

Realme C35

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications

Display: 6.6-inch, FullHD+, LCD
Processor: Unisoc T616
RAM: 4/6GB
Storage: 64/128GB
Rear cameras: 50MP+2MP+0.3MP
Front cameras: 8MP
Battery: 5000mAh, 18W fast charging
OS: Android 11, Realme UI
Weight: 189g
Thickness: 8.1mm

Reasons to buy

+
Good main camera
+
Surprisingly low price
+
Long-lasting battery

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn’t feel great in the hand
-
No ultra-wide camera
-
Display is a little dim

The Realme C35 offers a balance of good features, great performance and affordable price. Similar to devices priced below Rs 10,000 in India, the smartphone offers a 5,000 mAh battery clubbed with an 18W fast charger. Smartphones within this range are aimed at users who aren't too much into gaming.

Catching up with your friends on social media, making calls and your basic internet browsing are all met with this device. Surprisingly, the Realme C35 also comes with a good primary camera with a 50MP lens. The pictures come out good in well-lit conditions.

Check out Realme C35 on Flipkart (opens in new tab)

Check out Realme C35 on Flipkart (opens in new tab)

Starts from Rs 11,999

Samsung Galaxy M12

(Image credit: Amazon)

Samsung Galaxy M12

Specifications

Display: 6.65-inch HD+ LCD, 90Hz
Processor: Exynos 850
RAM: 4/6GB
Storage: 64/128GB
Rear cameras: 48+5+2+2MP
Front cameras: 8MP
Battery: 6000mAh, 15W fast charging
OS: Android 11, One UI 3.1
Weight: 221g
Thickness: 9.7mm

Reasons to buy

+
90Hz
+
Big battery
+
Decent performan

Reasons to avoid

-
Slow charging 
-
Bloatware and spammy notifications 

Here comes an option from Samsung for this price range. The Samsung Galaxy M12 is powered by a 7mm Exynos 850 SoC and offers a decent 90Hz display. The device features a matte finish which adds premium-ness to the phone.

The device also packs in a massive 6,000mAh battery and is paired with 15W fast charging. Further, there is a 48MP ISOCELL GM2 main camera, a 5MP wide-angle lens followed by a 2MP macro, and a 2MP depth sensor. However, you may not find the camera pretty decent. 

On the front, there is a dew-drop notch that houses the selfie camera of 8MP. The phone runs on One UI 3 Core based on Android 11 out of the box. 

Realme Narzo 50A

(Image credit: Realme)

Realme Narzo 50A

Specifications

Display: 6.52-inch HD+ LCD
Processor: MediaTek G85
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 64GB
Rear cameras: 50+8+2MP
Front cameras: 16MP
Battery: 6000mAh, 18W fast charge
OS: Android 11, Realme UI
Weight: 209g
Thickness: 9.8mm

Reasons to buy

+
Battery life
+
Good performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavy
-
Slow-charging

Realme Narzo 50A comes as a decent and affordable 4G smartphone. It gets a massive battery capacity, 50MP rear shooter, and 16MP front shooter.

Under the hood, the phone is powered by a MediaTek Helio G85 processor with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage at this price segment. The phone gets a triple rear camera at the back with the primary sensor being a 50MP shooter coupled with a 2MP depth sensor and a 2MP macro camera.

It gets an HD Plus LCD display, a massive 6,000mAH battery capacity, and an 18W fast-charging via USB Type-C port.

Check Realme Narzo 50A on Flipkart (opens in new tab)

Check Realme Narzo 50A on Flipkart (opens in new tab)

Starts at Rs 10,999

Poco M4 5G

(Image credit: Poco)

Poco M4 5G

Specifications

Display: 6.58-inch, Full HD+, 90Hz
Processor: Dimensity 700
RAM: 4/6GB
Storage: 64/128GB
Rear cameras: 50MP+2MP
Front cameras: 8MP
Battery: 5000mAh, 22.5W charging
OS: MIUI 13 based on Android 12
Weight: 200g
Thickness: 8.9mm

Reasons to buy

+
5G support
+
FHD+ display
+
Big battery

Reasons to avoid

-
Video recording lacks stabilization of any kind

Poco has launched multiple handsets this year within the M-series. The Poco M4 5G is currently the only 5G-ready smartphone in the country.

It runs on the MediaTek Dimensity 700 chipset and sports a 90Hz display. As a budget device, the smartphone can handle day-to-day tasks and will help you to test out 5G services without harming your wallet. As the 5G spectrum auction concluded recently, the smartphone does support many of the common 5G bands in the country.

While the camera performance is also good in good lighting conditions, the smartphone doesn't come with video stabilization of any kind.

The Poco M4 5G also comes with a 5,000 mAh battery that can get you through the day without a problem. It runs on MIUI 13 based on Android 12.

Check out Poco M4 5G on Flipkart (opens in new tab)

Check out Poco M4 5G on Flipkart (opens in new tab)

Starts at Rs 10,999

(Image credit: Infinix)

Infinix Note 12

Specifications

Display: 6.7-inch FHD+ AMOLED, 60Hz
Processor: Mediatek Helio G88
RAM: 4/6GB
Storage: 64/128GB
Rear camera: 50+50+2MP
Front camera: 16MP
Battery: 5000mAh, 33W
OS: XOS 10 based on Android 11
Weight: 184.5g
Thickness: 8.03mm

Reasons to buy

+
AMOLED display
+
Decent performance
+
Battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Software needs polishing

The Infinix Note 12 runs on a MediaTek Helio G88 chipset and 4GB RAM on the base variant with 64GB of storage. The RAM can be further expanded by up to 3GB virtually from the settings.

When it comes to the camera, it features a dual 50MP main and wide-angle cameras along with a 2MP depth and AI sensor. For selfies, you get a 16MP camera. It is backed by a 5,000mAh battery with support for an 33W fast charge. Other features include a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, Android 11 OS, dual-band Wi-Fi, headphone jack, and Type-C port. 

Check out the Infinix Note 12 on Flipkart (opens in new tab)

Check out the Infinix Note 12 on Flipkart (opens in new tab)

Starts at Rs 9,999

Moto G31

(Image credit: Future / Jitendra Soni)

Specifications

Display: 6.43-inch, Full HD+, AMOLED, 60Hz
Processor: MediaTek G85 SoC
RAM: 4GB LPDDR4X
Storage: 64GB
Rear cameras: 50+8+2MP
Front cameras: 13MP
Battery: 5,000mAh, 33W fast charging
OS: Android 11, My UX 12
Weight: 178.8g
Thickness: 8.2mm

Reasons to buy

+
Good performance
+
Reliable battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
60Hz refresh rate
-
Slow-charging

The Moto G31 is the latest smartphone from Motorola that comes under this price range to offer decent specifications. It includes an FHD Plus AMOLED display, however, you’d only get the 60Hz refresh rate, compared to others in this segment that offers a 90Hz screen.

Under the hood, the phone gets the MediaTek Helio G85 processor coupled with the MaliG52  MC2 GPU. It gets 4GB RAM and 64GB onboard storage. The phone supports memory expansion of up to 1TB with the help of a microSD card slot. It gets a 50MP sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera, and a 2MP sensor for taking macro shots. There is a 13MP front-facing camera housed under a hole-punch cutout. The 5,000mAh battery capacity gets 20W fast-charging support over USB Type-C.

Check Moto G31 on Flipkart (opens in new tab)

Check Moto G31 on Flipkart (opens in new tab)

Price (4/64GB): Rs. 12,000*

Apply card offers to avail it for below Rs. 12,000*


Redmi 10 Prime

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

Redmi 10 Prime

Specifications

Display: 6.5-inch, FullHD+, LCD, 90Hz
Processor: MediaTek Helio G88
RAM: 4/6GB
Storage: 64/128GB
Rear cameras: 50+8+2+2MP
Front cameras: 8MP
Battery: 6,000mAh, 22.5W fast charging
OS: MIUI 12.5 based Android 11
Weight: 192g
Thickness: 9.6mm

Reasons to buy

+
Good performance
+
Reliable battery life
+
90Hz display

Reasons to avoid

-
MIUI is buggy
-
Slow-charging

The Redmi 10 Prime comes with a MediaTek Helio G88 chipset clubbed with 4GB RAM and 64GB of storage on the base variant.

Similar to other Redmi Prime models, this smartphone too comes with a 50MP primary camera and the performance is good. At the price point that the device comes,  the smartphone is capable of handling most day-to-day tasks.

It comes with a large 6,000 mAh battery pack and can be charged with the 22.5W charger that comes in the box. It also runs on MIUI 12.5 based on Android 11.

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Naina Batra

For the past seven plus years, Naina has been an avid follower of the consumer technology industry, with a special focus on gadgets. Her areas of focus include the broad world of smartphones, apps, wearables, and other consumer electronics. Always on the lookout for new and unique bits, Naina constantly seeks to find ways to share her knowledge with readers in a fashion that benefits both.