The contribution of premium segment smartphones to the Indian smartphone market share is gaining momentum with each quarter, as brands are bringing their flagship smartphones to the under Rs 40,000 segment.
If you buy a smartphone that costs Rs 40,000 in India today, you get a real flagship smartphone in terms of the chipset, premium design, a high refresh rate display, fast charging speeds, and more. In this segment, you are most likely to miss out on features like IP rating and wireless charging on most phones. Apart from these two features, you get everything that a premium flagship offers.
1 Realme GT
2. Mi 11X Pro
3. iQoo 7 Legend
4. Vivo X60
5. OnePlus Nord 2
6. Galaxy A52s
7. iPhone SE 2020
8. Google Pixel 4a
Our current list of the best smartphones under Rs 40,000 includes flagships from competitive brands as well as last-gen flagships which are now subject to price drops. We’ve tried to include phones that are specialists in gaming and photography, as well as all-rounders that can be recommended to everyone.
Previously, the list of dominated by OnePlus starting from the OnePlus 5 to the OnePlus 7T. But, now, we have phones from Realme, Xiaomi, Vivo, Samsung, and Google for its camera and there is an option for Apple fans as well.
Realme’s first flagship phone after the Realme X50 Pro, the Realme GT is a powerful Android smartphone with a top processor, fast charging and a svelte build. There’s a lot to like about it, most importantly the price, as this device is a lot more affordable than its specs suggest. However, not everything is great about the Realme GT as there are some software bugs, poor heat management 一 but, overall, as a package, this is a great buy.
This is also the cheapest Snapdragon 888 phone right now. Talking of speed, the Realme GT has incredibly fast charging, going from full to empty in just over 30 minutes, thanks to the 65W fast charging. The screen looks great – it’s an AMOLED display with a smooth 120Hz refresh rate. The Racing Yellow colour option is way more eye-catching than the other variants.
While the primary camera performance is good, the Realme GT misses a trick by not having a telephoto lens for optical-zoom shots, especially as the macro snapper isn’t anything to write home about. With relatively small concerns, it’s easy to recommend as you are getting value for money.
Read our Realme GT review
The Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro is the company's flagship phone with top of the line specs. The Mi 11X Pro offers a 108MP primary camera, an 8MP ultra-wide lens and a 5MP tele-macro shooter. For selfies, there is a 20MP camera. The device is powered by Snapdragon 888 processor which performs exceptionally well, but does heat up during extensive usage or gaming sessions.
The Mi 11X Pro also comes with an excellent Samsung E4 Super AMOLED panel with a 120Hz screen refresh rate - this is one of the best displays on a smartphone we’ve seen in the segment. The phone runs off a 4,520mAh battery with support for 33W fast charging which can charge the device within an hour. MIUI 12 is still not a bloat free software, but it does not show up. All in all, the Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro is a great buy for the price.
Alternatively, the Mi 11X is available for Rs 31,999, but you are getting a 48MP main camera and Snapdragon 870 processor. Apart from that, everything else is the same as the Pro variant.
iQoo 7 Legend is the top-of-the-line flagship phone from the brand. It is basically the iQoo 7 BMW Edition from China. The iQoo 7 Legend is also one of the cheapest phones with a Snapdragon 888 processor. There’s also a 4,096sqmm vapor chamber to keep the thermals in check. The device is made up of pure white matte surface AG matte glass on the back along with a race track-inspired design.
The iQoo 7 Legend offers a 66W Flash Charger which can charge the 4,000mAh battery to full in about 22 minutes. You also get “enhanced” UFS 3.1 storage, LPDDR5 RAM, and virtual RAM. On the visual front, the device comes with a 6.62-inch AMOLED display with Full HD+ resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, and 300Hz touch sampling rate. It also offers HDR10+ certification and an in-display fingerprint scanner.
In terms of optics, the iQoo 7 Legend sports an optically stabilized 48MP camera(Sony IMX 598), a 13MP ultra-wide lens that doubles as a macro shooter, and a 13MP portrait lens with a focal length of 50mm. For selfies, there’s a 16MP camera on the front.
Read our iQoo 7 Legend review
The cheapest offering in the Vivo X60 series, the vanilla Vivo X60 is powered by is among the first set of phones in India to be powered by a Snapdragon 870 processor. It has a gorgeous 6.56-inch flexible AMOLED FHD+ display that also supports a 120Hz refresh rate, 240Hz response time, and HDR10+ visuals. The other features of the Vivo X60 include a 4,300mAh battery but supports 33W FlashCharge. This comes along with an optical in-display fingerprint scanner.
You are getting a 48MP main camera, a 13MP portrait camera with 2x optical zoom, and a 13MP ultrawide camera. The optics are from Zeiss with Biotar style portrait, VIS 5-axis video stabilization, pixel shift ultra HD imaging, and HDR Super night shots. As for the selfie camera, it is a 32MP camera with an f/2.5 aperture. The cameras on the Vivo X60 are one of the best in the segment. But, it does suffer when it comes with battery life.
The OnePlus Nord 2 12GB+256GB variant is available for Rs 34,999. You can also buy this variant in a special Green Woods colour that comes with a leather finish. The OnePlus Nord 2 comes with a lot of improvements over its predecessor and it shines in all departments. It also brings insanely fast 65W fast charging and we are also pretty impressed with the camera as well for the first time on a Nord device.
For the first time in the series’ history, we were pretty impressed with the overall camera performance including photos, videos, night mode, and also selfies. Lastly, the Oxygen OS on the Nord 2 is now integrated with ColorOS codebase which does bring in a few changes, but the pure Oxygen OS stays the same 一 fast, fluid, and responsive.
However, we’d have liked to see some upgrades on the display front. Regardless, the Nord 2 is an exciting addition to the Rs 40,000 segment in India and this comes with a better camera than the OnePlus 9R as well.
6GB+128GB: Rs 27,999
8GB+128GB: Rs 29,999
12GB+246GB: Rs 34,999View Deal
The Samsung Galaxy A52s is Samsung’s latest offering in the sub Rs 40,000 segment. The Galaxy A52s is powered by Snapdragon 778G(5G) with up to 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. In terms of visuals, you get a 6.5-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The powerful princess and an AMOLED display is a great addition from Samsung.
Further, in the camera department, the Galaxy A52s sports a quad-camera setup with 64MP wide (OIS), a 12MP ultrawide, a 5MP macro, and a 5MP depth sensor. There is a 32MP shooter for selfies and video calls. The device packs in a 4,500mAh-capacity battery, 25W fast charging and comes with an IP67 water resistance rating as well.
For those who want an Apple device, the iPhone SE is a great entry into the ecosystem. This is also a small phone, so if you are one of those who prefer a small phone, you won’t regret it. The iPhone SE 2020 offers decent but not top-end performance, it has a good camera though.
However, the battery life on the phone and display could have been better, the headphone jack is also missing here. But, for the price, this is the best iPhone you can buy and of course, you’ll be getting software for a few years which will make this a long-lasting phone.
The A13 Bionic chipset performs well and you won’t run into any issues. The new iPhone SE can often stand up to the iPhone 11 Pro Max in terms of general snapping, and only struggles when it comes to the areas where the hardware is lacking. The 64GB is available for Rs 32,999 while the 128GB is available for Rs 34,999.
Google Pixel 4a was launched in India for an introductory price of Rs 29,999 during the festive season. Now that the festive season is done, the Google Pixel 4a is now available for Rs 31,999. Even with the slight price bump, the Google Pixel 4a is worth it if you are looking for one of the best cameras in this segment, Stock Android, and a relatively smaller form factor phone.
With the Google Pixel 4a, you are looking at a 5.8-inch Full HD+ display. It is a pretty standard device with a 60hz refresh rate, a Snapdragon 730G chipset, mediocre battery life, etc. Be vary of the cheap-feeling plastic back as well. The Google Pixel 4a also comes with the latest features that Android has to offer and will be first in line for OS updates.
Read our Google Pixel 4a review
Best smartphones under Rs 40,000 in India
- Realme GT
- Mi 11X Pro
- iQoo 7 Legend
- Vivo X60
- OnePlus Nord 2
- Galaxy A52s
- iPhone SE 2020
- Google Pixel 4a