Best Android phones in India

If you’re in the market for the best smartphone in India and not going the iPhone way (pretty much why you’re here), there are tons of great Android options. All these devices are powerhouses brimming with features, with a few marquee elements to make them stand out.

However, form and function are subjective, and often the specifications sheet or the marketing pitch doesn’t tell you the complete picture. In this roundup, we’re looking at the absolute best Android phones in India right now.

Read Next: The best deals and lowest prices for the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus in India

Editor’s note: We will update this list regularly as new Android phones in India launch.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

Huawei Mate 20 Pro triple camera close up

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro was one of the most anticipated phones of 2018, and for good reason. The Mate 20 Pro features an all-glass design and comes with Huawei’s popular gradient color scheme with five color options to choose from. The device comes with the Kirin 980 SoC, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and the somewhat odd Nano Memory slot for expandable storage.

However, the reason for it making a lot of best lists is its excellent camera setup. Similar to the P20 Pro, the Mate 20 Pro features three cameras on the back – a primary 40MP one with a f/1.8 aperture; a telephoto 8MP with a f/2.4 aperture and OIS, and a 20MP ultra-wide with a f/2.2 aperture. On the front, there’s a single 24MP camera. It’s a highly versatile camera system that lets you shoot everything from macro details to long-distance, zoomed-in scenery.

It’s blazing fast, has great battery life, and some of the best cameras you can get on any smartphone. There’s no doubt that the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is one of the best Android smartphones in India right now. However, it is also one of the most expensive Android smartphones around, priced at 69,990 rupees (~$983). 

Specs

  • 6.39-inch Super OLED display with 3120 x 1440 resolution
  • 2.6GHz octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 980 processor
  • Mali-G76 720MHz GPU
  • 6/8GB RAM
  • 128/256GB of built-in storage, expandable via nano memory card slot (uses SIM 2 slot)
  • dual-SIM (dual standby)
  • 40MP, 20MP, and 8MP triple rear cameras, 24MP front-facing camera
  • 4,200mAh battery
  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • 157.8 x 72.3 x 8.6mm, 189grams

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OnePlus 6T

oneplus 6t

The OnePlus 6 was a great handset, but in late 2018 OnePlus updated its formula a little to bring us its latest flagship – the OnePlus 6T. The “T” line usually represents an incremental upgrade to the previous model in that it only offers a handful of new specs and features. That does hold true in some ways, at least as far as the specs concerned. However, the OnePlus 6T also packs a ton of new features, design changes, and upgrades.

There are a few changes on the design front. The 6T is slightly thicker and with more of a curve. Apart from the feel, this change also allowed OnePlus to pack a larger battery into the phone. The rear fingerprint sensor is now gone. Instead, you get an in-display scanner that works pretty well.

The new teardrop notch looks great and still houses the same front-facing camera as the OnePlus 6. Another key change that has been quite controversial is the removal of the headphone jack. Finally, while the rear camera setup is the same, a slew of software features significantly enhance the camera experience.

The OnePlus 6T may not be worth the upgrade if you already have a OnePlus 6. However, from an older generation smartphone, the OnePlus 6T is certainly a great option. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles as some of the other phones on this list, but where the OnePlus 6T remains unbeaten is in the pricing department.

The 6GB version of the OnePlus 6T is priced at 37,999 rupees (~$521), while the 8GB iteration will set you back just 41,999 rupees (~$576). Both versions come with 128GB of built-in storage. The OnePlus 6T is the most expensive OnePlus flagship yet, but remains one of the cheapest high-end smartphones you can get your hands on.

Specs

  • 6.4-inch AMOLED display with 2340 x 1080 resolution
  • 2.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • Adreno 630 GPU
  • 6/8GB RAM
  • 64/128GB built-in storage, not expandable
  • 16MP and 20MP dual rear cameras, 16MP front-facing camera
  • 3,700mAh battery
  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • 157.5 x 74.8 x 8.2mm, 185grams

Oppo R17 Pro

Oppo R17 Pro

The Oppo R17 Pro is the latest high-end offering from the company that comes with a slew of exciting features that make it worth its price tag. It also helps that the R17 Pro is a beautiful smartphone, with the most eye-catching part about the R17 Pro’s design being its new fog gradient color.

One of the most exciting features of the R17 Pro is its battery setup. The R17 Pro has two 1,850mAh batteries to provide for faster charging than if the device only had one battery. The phone charges via SuperVOOC Flash Charge using the provided charger and we found Oppo’s claims of providing 40 percent battery in 10 minutes to hold true.

Triple cameras on smartphones are starting to crop up more and more and the Oppo R17 Pro also joins this group. The primary camera is a 12MP sensor with OIS and a variable aperture of f/1.5 and f/2.4. The third camera is probably the most unique of the bunch. It’s a TOF (Time of Flight) 3D stereo camera that allows you to capture 3D images in seconds by circling the camera around an object or person. Up front is an equally impressive 25MP shooter.

The one aspect that makes the Oppo R17 Pro seem out of place on this list is the fact that the device is powered by the mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor, found in devices that are almost half the price of the R17 Pro. Flagship specs like 8GB of RAM and 128GB of built-in storage certainly help though.

The Oppo R17 Pro is priced at 45,990 rupees (~$645), which seems expensive for a phone with its processing package. However, making it worth the price are exciting features like the in-display fingerprint scanner, the incredible fast charging capability, and an impressive camera setup.

Specs

  • 6.4-inch AMOLED display with 2340 x 1080 resolution
  • 2.2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor
  • Adreno 616 GPU
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128GB built-in storage, expandable via microSD up to 256GB (uses SIM 2 slot)
  • 12MP,20MP, and TOF stereo 3D triple rear cameras, 25MP front-facing camera
  • 3,700mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • 1157.6 x 74.6 x 7.9mm, 183grams

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Honor View 20

Honor View20 screen

Ever since the race towards a truly bezel-less smartphone has kicked off, OEMs have struggled to find the best way to accommodate features like the front-facing camera. We’ve seen notches of various shapes and sizes, and automatic or manual sliding mechanisms. However, 2019 is shaping up to be the year of the “punch hole” camera, starting with the Honor View 20.

The Honor View 20 is the company’s first device with a FullView display and places the 25MP front-facing camera in a 4.5mm cutout in the top left corner of the screen. This screen has eighteen layers, and drills just two of the bottom layers to make room for the camera. This helps uphold the structural integrity of the glass while maintaining a number of transparent layers to protect the sensor.

The new take on the notch is grabbing all the headlines and almost distracts from the fact that the Honor View 20 is an incredibly powerful smartphone. It sports Huawei’s best and brightest Kirin 980 chipset, that also powers the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. The Honor View 20 packs 6 or 8GB of RAM and 128 or 256GB of internal storage, making it a head-to-head competitor with flagships from most other companies.

The Honor View 20 is also one of the first devices to use Sony’s new IMX 586 sensor, enabling the 48MP camera Honor has stuffed into this thing. There is also a 3D camera seated next to the 48MP sensor for depth detection and for creating virtual versions of objects.

The Honor View 20 is currently up for pre-order on Amazon and is set to go on sale on January 30. While the exact price of the phone is unknown, it’s expected to fall in 30,000 rupees (~$420) to 40,000 rupees (~$560) range.

Specs

  • 6.4-inch IPS LCD display with 2310 x 1080 resolution
  • 2.6GHz octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 980 processor
  • Mali-G76 MP10 GPU
  • 6/8GB RAM
  • 128/256GB of built-in storage, not expandable
  • dual-SIM (dual standby)
  • 48MP and TOF stereo 3D dual rear cameras, 25MP front-facing camera
  • 4,000mAh battery
  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • 156.9 x 75.4 x 8.1mm, 180grams

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Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

Google Pixel 3 XL vs Pixel 3 screen

The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL aren’t off to the best start, with a slew of random bugs and issues surrounding their launch. Not helping is the comically huge notch on the larger flagship and the fact that they don’t feature as much RAM as every other high-end smartphone currently available.

However, there is one department where the latest Google flagships shine — the camera. They still sport the same single rear cameras as the Pixel 2, but there are a ton of camera software improvements here. Top Shot mode will take multiple pictures of your subject and recommend the best one.

Night Sight is also supposed to bring next-level low-light photography thanks to computational photography. Finally, there’s a mode called Motion Auto Focus that lets the Pixel 3 focus on a subject in a video, no matter how much they move around.

If you aren’t a fan of the notch or are looking for a less expensive option, the smaller Pixel 3 is the way to go. The only differences between the two are that the Pixel 3 has a 5.5-inch Full HD+ screen and comes with a slightly smaller battery. You get all the same specs and features with both, including wireless charging, dust and water resistance, dual front-facing cameras, and an excellent software experience.

The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are some of the most expensive flagships around though. For the 64GB and 128GB versions, the Pixel 3 is priced at 71,000 rupees (~$975) and 80,000 rupees (~$1100), while the Pixel 3 XL costs 83,000 rupees (~$1140) and 92,000 rupees (~$1265).

Specs

  • 5.5-inch AMOLED display with 2160 x 1080 resolution (Pixel 3)
  • 6.3-inch AMOLED display with 2960 x 1440 resolution (Pixel 3 XL)
  • 2.5GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • Adreno 630 GPU
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64/128GB built-in storage, not expandable
  • 12.2MP rear camera, dual 8MP front-facing cameras
  • 2,915mAh battery (Pixel 3)
  • 3,430mAh battery (Pixel 3 XL)
  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • 145.6 x 68.2 x 7.9mm, 148grams (Pixel 3)
  • 158 x 76.7 x 7.9mm, 184grams (Pixel 3 XL)

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 was one of the most anticipated releases of 2018 and it delivered. The latest Galaxy Note is the epitome of powerhouse. It shares much of its predecessor’s design language, with flatter sides and refinements like better fingerprint scanner placement and a smaller camera visor. The Galaxy Note 9 is the latest example showing Samsung knows how to make a premium smartphone.

The phone doesn’t compromise on its hardware at any point. You get the Snapdragon 845 processor onboard, with 6GB or 8GB of RAM, up to 512GB of built-in storage, and a 4,000mAh battery. It’s a power user’s dream.

The Galaxy Note 9 features the best smartphone display around, with numbers to prove it. It’s got the exact same setup as the Galaxy S9 Plus, with a few new software tricks to further enhance an already excellent experience.

Some may consider the Galaxy Note 9 a slightly bigger Galaxy S9 Plus. That’s not far off, but it ignores the Note 9’s defining feature — the S-Pen. Samsung has brought more value and convenience with the stylus every year, and the Galaxy Note 9’s S-Pen comes with a lot of new features and capabilities.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is as premium as it gets, so it’s no surprise this is reflected in its price tag. The 6GB of RAM and 128GB of built-in storage version is priced at 67,900 rupees (~$934), while the 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage iteration will set you back 84,900 rupees(~$1,168).

Specs

  • 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display with 2960 x 1440 resolution
  • 2.7GHz octa-core Exynos 9810 processor
  • Mali-G72 MP 18
  • 6/8GB RAM
  • 128/256/512GB of built-in storage, expandable via microSD card up to 512GB (uses SIM 2 slot)
  • 12MP and 12MP rear cameras, 8MP front-facing camera
  • dual-SIM (dual standby) – hybrid slot
  • 4,000mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8mm, 201grams

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LG G7 Plus ThinQ

LG G7 Plus ThinQ

It certainly took a while to get here, but LG has finally launched its 2018 flagship in India.

The LG G7 Plus ThinQ is almost identical to the G7 ThinQ, but comes with 6GB of RAM and 128 of built-in storage. Everything else remains the same, from the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and big 6.1-inch LCD display, to the concealable notch.

The phone only has one speaker, but its Boombox feature turns the inner space of the phone into an acoustic chamber, making the native audio sound very loud.

It also has two noise-canceling microphones and a technology called “Voice Resilient Voice Recognition,” which allows the phone to pick up voice commands in noisier environments from up to 16 feet away. That’s helpful if you want to use the Google Assistant digital helper, though it also has its own dedicated hardware button on the side.

The phone includes two rear 16MP cameras, one standard and one wide angle, and one 8MP front camera. Both front and rear cameras support portrait mode.

As with LG’s previous flagships, the LG G7 Plus ThinQ deserves a lot more recognition than it gets. LG also priced the device quite aggressively in India, at just 40,000 rupees (~$550). It’s not the most affordable flagship on this list, but it certainly has a huge leg up over the latest and greatest from Samsung, Huawei, and Google.

Specs

  • 6.1-inch IPS LCD display with 3120 x 1440 resolution
  • 2.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • 6GB of RAM
  • 128GB built-in storage, expandable via microSD up to 512GB (uses SIM2 slot)
  • Dual 16MP rear cameras, 8 MP front camera
  • Dual SIM (dual standbY0
  • 3,000mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • 153.2 x 71.9 x 7.9mm, 162grams

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Xiaomi POCO F1

Xiaomi Poco F1

Xiaomi introduced a new sub-brand called POCO in India, with its first device being the F1. The phone’s name promises speed, and Xiaomi certainly delivers in that department. The POCO F1 is the only smartphone in its price range with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor.

Backing the fast processor is 6GB or 8GB of RAM, with up to 256GB of built-in storage available. With specs like a far more expensive flagship, the POCO F1 starts at just 20,999 rupees (~$289).

Unfortunately, the phone’s underwhelming design betrays its flagship specs. The polycarbonate backing is simple, and the large notch and relatively thick bezels don’t look great. For those wanting a more premium look, the highest-end variant’s kevlar back looks and feels much better.

Aside from the design, the POCO F1 delivers in other departments. The phone absolutely flies and the large battery ensures impressive battery life. If performance and battery life are important to you, the POCO F1 is one of the best in this price range. The cameras are good, though inconsistent. The software experience is great, with Xiaomi aiming for a more stock-like feel with the new Poco Launcher (based on MIUI 9.6 based on Android 8.1 Oreo).

As mentioned, the POCO F1 starts at just 20,999 rupees for the 6GB of RAM and 64GB of built-in storage version and doubling the storage will set you back an additional 3,000 rupees. It’s truly impressive that the iteration with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage — flagship specs by any standard — is also just 28,999 rupees (~$399). The kevlar edition of the device is the most expensive of the lot, with a price point of 29,999 rupees (~$412).

Specs

  • 6.18-inch IPS LCD display with 2246 x 1080 resolution
  • 2.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • Adreno 630 GPU
  • 6/8GB RAM
  • 64/128/256GB of built-in storage, expandable via microSD up to 256GB (uses SIM 2 slot)
  • 12MP and 5MP rear cameras, 20MP front-facing camera
  • dual-SIM (dual standby) – hybrid slot
  • 4,000mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • 155.5 x 75.3 x 8.8mm, 180grams

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Asus Zenfone 5Z

Asus Zenfone 5Z

OnePlus may have started the trend of the affordable flagship, but now many competitors are looking to make their own mark in this segment – this includes Asus with its ZenFone devices. One undercuts Xiaomi in the mid-range market, and the other —the Zenfone 5Z — takes on the OnePlus 6 and other high-end phones in the flagship arena.

The specs sheet of the Zenfone 5Z looks very similar to that of the OnePlus 6. You get the Snapdragon 845, 6 or 8GB of RAM, up to 256GB of built-in storage, and a 3,300mAh battery. The OnePlus 6 has a leg up, at least on paper, in the camera department, with the Zenfone 5Z coming with a 12MP and 8MP dual rear camera setup and an 8MP front-facing shooter.

Asus has liberally tacked the term “AI” on to various features of the phone, which oversells the actual capabilities of the device. However some features are impressive. AI Charging stops the phone from charging to 100 percent overnight. That doesn’t mean you won’t get a fully charged phone, it just means the phone will charge to 100 percent right before you wake up, once it gets to know your sleeping habits.

The ZenFone 5Z also comes with two five-magnet stereo speakers driven by dual amplifiers to ensure maximum volume. It also supports Hi-Res Audio files encoded at up to 24-bit/192KHz sample rates and supports DTS Headphone:X for 7.2-channel virtual surround-sound when using headphones.

The Zenfone 5Z is slightly more affordable than the OnePlus 6, which makes it a more enticing option for some. The 6GB RAM and 64GB storage version is priced at just 29,999 rupees (~$410). The 8GB RAM iterations with 128GB and 256GB of storage are priced at 32,999 rupees (~450) and 36,999 rupees (~$505) respectively.

Specs

  • 6.2-inch AMOLED display with 2246 x 1080 resolution
  • 2.7GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • Adreno 630 GPU
  • 6/8GB RAM
  • 64/128/256GB built-in storage, expandable via microSD up to 512GB
  • 12MP and 8MP dual rear cameras, 8MP front-facing camera
  • 3,300mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • 153 x 75.7 x 7.9mm, 155grams

Special mentions – Oppo Find X and Vivo Nex

Vivo Nex

Vivo Nex

Ever since the launch of infinite displays and the 18:9 (and beyond) display aspect ratio, OEMs have seemingly been working towards the goal of a bezel-less smartphone. We’ve seen devices with notched displays, and devices like the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S put the camera below the display.

None have managed to do as much as Oppo and Vivo. The Oppo Find X and the Vivo Nex feature impressive screen-to-body-ratios of 92.5 percent and 91.2 percent respectively, offering unique solutions to the front-facing camera issue that an all-screen design creates.

The Vivo Nex’s front-facing camera is housed inside the chassis of the phone and pops up when required. You get a huge display but a handling experience that is manageable enough courtesy of the reduced bezels. The Vivo phone brings a cutting-edge in-display fingerprint scanner.

Oppo takes things one step further with the Find X by keeping both the front and back completely plain. All the cameras are housed in a rising window, which pops up whenever the camera is needed. There is no fingerprint scanner though, with Oppo utilizing 3D mapping and face recognition software to let you unlock the device. This means every time you want to unlock the phone the window pops up, which I have to admit looks really cool.

OPPO Find X

OPPO Find X

Both phones feature the latest and greatest hardware, so you aren’t compromising on performance just get a unique looking phone. However, these devices come under special mentions because it’s still not known how these devices will survive the test of time.

The Vivo Nex has its fair share of issues. The in-display fingerprint scanner isn’t nearly as fast as a regular one and often requires multiple attempts to unlock the phone. The software also seems to slow the device down despite its high-end specs it features. The Oppo Find X is definitely the more refined and the better option of the two, but it’s also more expensive. Having the top pop up every time you need to unlock it may be problematic in the future. Durability is a concern, since there aren’t any cases currently available to protect the all-glass smartphone.

Both the Oppo Find X and the Vivo Nex are solid first attempts at what will hopefully be the future of the smartphone, just don’t be suprised if some teething problems pop up. The Find X comes with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage and is priced at 59,990 rupees (~$820). The Vivo Nex offers 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage and will set you back 44,990 rupees (~$615).

Specs

Oppo Find X

  • 6.42-inch AMOLED display with 2340 x 1080 resolution
  • 2.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • Adreno 630 GPU
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB built-in storage, not expandable
  • 16MP and 20MP rear cameras, 25MP front-facing camera
  • 3,730mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • 156.7 x 74.2 x 9.4mm, 186gram

Vivo Nex

  • 6.59-inch Super AMOLED display with 2316 x 1080 resolution
  • 2.7GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • Adreno 630 GPU
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128GB built-in storage, not expandable
  • 12MP and 5MP rear cameras, 8MP front-facing camera
  • 4,000mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • 162 x 77 x 8mm, 199gram

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