A budget phone, for a lot people, means a phone under Rs 20,000. There are so many options in the market making it so easy to have a choice, yet making it so difficult to choose. Between companies like Xiaomi, Motorola, Samsung and Lenovo battling it out in the Indian smartphone segment trying to win over the mid-range consumer, there's never a shortage of features.
Though this dynamic leaves a lot of options at the consumers disposal, it can be confusing to determine what the real world applications are between the differences in phones. The disparity can exist in anything from battery sizes to chipsets and from cameras to operating systems.
That said, selecting a phone can still be a challenging task despite the plethora of options. While some companies may have the best specs on paper in a given price range, the lack of software optimisation can make those phones a poor option compared to others.
In this post, we look at some of the best value for money options under Rs 20,000.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro
The best budget phone in the market
Weight: 181g | Dimensions: 158.6 x 75.4 x 8.1mm | OS: Android 7.0 | Screen size: 5.99-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2160 pixels | CPU: Snapdragon 636 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 4000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 5MP | Front camera: 20MP
It's a little disappointing that the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro doesn't run Oreo out-of-the-box but it still offers the most value for money.
The Redmi Note 5 and Note 5 Pro are pretty similar in terms of design. They both have metallic bodies and fingerprint sensors on the back. The colors on the display are warm and sharp. The touch feature responds well and visibility isn't too horrible in full sunlight.
Being the most dependable budget option in the market right now, the Redmi Note 5 Pro gives you a good camera, a decent processor with reliable power and incredible battery life.
Read the full review: Redmi Note 5 Pro
Xiaomi Mi A1
Weight: 165g | Dimensions: 155.4 x 75.8 x 7.3mm | OS: Android 7.1.2 | 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
The result of Xiaomi's partnership with Google, Mi A1 supported by the search giant's Android One program is aimed at users who want a premium smartphone experience at low price.
The Mi A1 reboots Google's Android One program which was at first created for budget OEM's so that they could give a great experience to users with the help of stock Android.
With its reboot, Google has tweaked that a bit and will now focus on smartphone manufacturers that can give a good overall experience to consumers, both with hardware and software.
The A1 features a full HD 5.5-inch IPS display and is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor backed by 4GB of RAM and an onboard storage of 64GB which can further be expanded with the help of a microSD card.
Mi A1 comes with dual camera setup and houses twin 12-megapixel camera modules, one wide-angle, f/2.2 aperture and the other one being a telephoto f/2.6 aperture lens. On the front, there is a 5-megapixel selfie camera as well.
As the smartphone is a product associated with Android One, it runs on stock Android 7.1.2 with promised update to Android 8.0 Oreo. Mi A1 draws power from a 3,080 mAh battery which supports fast charging.
Read the full review: Xiaomi Mi A1
Weight: 149g | Dimensions: 154 x 75.8 x 7.85mm | OS: Android 7.1.1 Nougat | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2160 | CPU: Snapdragon 430 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 3000mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera: 8MP
The Nokia 6 entered the Indian market in June last year and got an impressive response from the fans with over 1 million registrations on Amazon for the first flash sale. In terms of the OS, the phone will receive the latest Android Oreo update in the coming weeks.
While the other phones are easily available in the retail stores across the country, the Nokia 6 is exclusively being sold on Amazon India.
Read the full review: Nokia 6
Redmi Note 5
Weight: 180g | Dimensions: 58.50 x 75.45 x 8.05mm | OS: Android 7 Noughat | Screen size: 5.99-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2160 | CPU: Snapdragon 625 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 4000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 5MP
The Redmi Note 5 has been a very successful launch for Xiaomi in India. With this phone, Xiaomi has continued to offer excellent value for money to its customers along with its more premium variant featuring a dual rear camera, the Redmi Note 5 Pro.
While it had focused on specs with its previous phones, the company has started aiming for improved design and build quality. This shows in the Redmi Note 5 – the phone looks good, feels good in your hand and is packed with more power as compared to other mid-range smartphones.
Read the full review: Redmi Note 5
Weight: 149g | Dimensions: 142.5 x 69.3 x 8.1mm | OS: Android 7.1.1 Nougat | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2160 | CPU: Snapdragon 435 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3000mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP
The LG Q6+ is an upgraded version of the LG Q6 with additional memory and storage in the device. While the Q6 comes with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage, the Q6+ has 4GB memory and 64GB internal storage capacity. In terms of other specs, both the phones are similar.
The highlight of the phone is its impressive Full Vision 18:9 display with Full HD+ resolution. This upgraded version will cost you extra Rs 3,000 than the regular LG Q6.
Weight: 162g | Dimensions: 150.9 x 76.2 x 8.2 mm | OS: Android 6 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 | CPU: Kirin 655 | RAM: 3/4GB | Storage: 32/64GB | Battery: 3340mAh | Rear camera: 12+2MP | Front camera: 8MP
Launched in December last year, the Honor 7X has proven to be a good option in the mid-range. Featuring a dual camera setup on the back, the Honor 7X features a good set of specs overall. The display and camera performance are both good when it comes to smartphones in this price range.
The design is another plus for the phone as it doesn't feel inexpensive, thus making it a good, balanced option.
Read the full review: Honor 7X
Xiaomi Mi Max 2
Weight: 211g | Dimensions: 174.1 x 88.7 x 7.6mm | OS: Android 7.1.1 Nougat | Screen size: 6.44-inch | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | CPU: Snapdragon 625 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 5300mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 5MP
How big can a phone get for it to be called a tablet?
We'll leave that to you, but if you’re looking for a phone with a massive display, the Xiaomi Mi Max 2 is the real deal. It comes with a 6.44-inch display and a big 5300mAh battery.
Not just that, Xiaomi has also worked on its design which has helped the Mi Max 2 look slick, much like a premium smartphone.
Read the full review: Xiaomi Mi Max 2
Moto G5S Plus
Weight: 168g | Dimensions: 153.5 x 76.2 x 8mm | OS: Android 7 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 | CPU: Snapdragon 625 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3000mAh | Rear camera: Dual 13MP | Front camera: 8MP
Rounding off the list is another device from Motorola, the recently launched Moto G5S Plus. While almost all other features of the Moto G5S Plus are same as the Moto G5, it comes with a slightly bigger screen, a dual camera setup and an improved front camera.
You still get the smooth stock Android experience coupled with Motorola’s software optimisations.
Read the full review: Moto G5S Plus
Weight: 164g | Dimensions: 156.2 x 75.2 x 7.5mm | OS: Android 7 | Screen size: 5.9-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 | CPU: Huawei Kirin 659 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3340mAh | Rear camera: 16MP + 2MP | Front camera: 13MP + 2MP
While other brands are focusing on the dual camera setup in their smartphones, Honor went a step further and launched Honor 9i with four cameras. It is the first phone with dual camera setups both on the back and the front.
The phone is exclusively available on Flipkart where the e-commerce giant is offering a discount of up to Rs 17,999 on the exchange of an old handset.
Weight: 152g | Dimensions: 156.5 x 76 x 7.5mm | OS: ColorOS 3.2 based on Android 7.1 | Screen size: 6-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2160 | CPU: MediaTek MT6763T | RAM: 3/4GB | Storage: 32/64GB | Battery: 3200mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera: 20MP
Oppo recently extended its selfie series with Oppo F5 in India. The key factors of the phone include the Facial Unlock and the AI Beauty technology which is the first AI-based beautifying technology in the world as claimed by the company. It has a database of human faces from around the world which captures the details of the user on the basis of the skin tone, gender, age etc. thus giving the best selfies to the user.
The phone also has the capability to identify 200 facial recognition spots while clicking selfies. It comes in two variants which are priced at Rs 19,990 and Rs 24,990 respectively.
Read the full review: Oppo F5