Companies like Xiaomi, Motorola, and more recently Honor, Nokia, and RealMe have changed the game in India, with budget-friendly smartphones offering impressive performance and features. This has given rise to a whole new budget category in India.

If you’re looking for the best phones under 15,000 rupees (~$210), here are your best options!


Xiaomi Redmi Note 7

Xiaomi Redmi Note 7

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro, sporting the much-hyped 48MP rear camera, has grabbed all the headlines In India. However, the more affordable and almost as impressive Redmi Note 7 is also an excellent option if you are looking for one of the best Android smartphones under 15,000 rupees.

Xiaomi’s Redmi Note series is incredibly popular in the country, but it was due for a refresh, at least in terms of design. Xiaomi seems to have recognized this, with the latest Redmi Note now featuring a glass sandwich design instead of the all-metal build of previous generations. Another key upgrade to ensure that the Redmi Note range doesn’t get left behind the times is the USB-C port the device sports.

Under the hood is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor, along with 3/4GB of RAM and 32/64GB of storage. Giving the 48MP rear camera a skip with this more affordable version, the Redmi Note 7 comes with a 12MP camera combined with a 2MP depth sensor. On the front, there’s a 13MP camera to cover your selfie requirements. Finally, keeping everything running is a 4,000mAh battery.

Xiaomi keeps with its tradition offering a lot of bang for your buck with the Redmi Note 7. The 3GB RAM/32GB storage variant is priced at 9,999 rupees (~$140), while the 4GB RAM/64GB storage iteration will set you back 11,999 rupees (~$169). Unfortunately, this isn’t the easiest phone to get your hands on, with Xiaomi utilizing the dreaded flash sale model. The device goes on sale every Wednesday at 12PM on Flipkart.

Specs

  • 6.3-inch IPS LCD display with 2340 x 1080 resolution
  • 2.2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor
  • Adreno 512 GPU
  • 3/4GB of RAM
  • 32/64GB of built-in storage, further expandable via microSD up to 256GB (uses SIM 2 slot)
  • 12 and 2MP rear cameras, 13MP front-facing camera
  • Dual SIM (dual standby)
  • 4,000mAh battery
  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • 159.2 x 75.2 x 8.1mm, 185grams

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Samsung Galaxy M20

Samsung Galaxy M20

Samsung has faced an onslaught from companies like Xiaomi, Realme, and Asus. It’s continued to release budget-friendly smartphones, but these devices have failed to compete with the current crop of sub-15,000 rupee phones that are available in India now. However, Samsung is well on its way to recovering lost ground with the recently-announced Galaxy M20.

Samsung needed to keep up with the competition and that’s exactly what it did with the Galaxy M20. It’s the first smartphone from Samsung to feature a notch of the minimalist, waterdrop variety. You also get all the usual features that we’ve come to expect from phones in this price range — a Full HD+ display, premium build quality, a dual rear camera setup, and a mid-to-high-end processing package.

Samsung managed to make the Galaxy M20 stand out in a few key ways. The secondary camera of the dual rear cameras is an ultra-wide angle lens, instead of the depth sensor found with other devices. The Galaxy M20 comes with a huge 5,000mAh battery, promising excellent battery life. Finally, it is one of the few phones on this list to come with a USB-C port and offers fast charging capabilities.

The Samsung Galaxy M20 will go on sale on Feb. 5 on Amazon at the extremely reasonable price points of 10,990 rupees (~$156) and 12,990 rupees (~$183) for the 3GB RAM/32GB storage and 4GB RAM/64GB storage versions. Samsung is finally back in a segment it used to dominate, and we’re certainly glad that it is.

Specs

  • 6.3-inch IPS LCD display with Full HD+ resolution.
  • 1.8GHz octa-core Samsung Exynos 7904 processor.
  • Mali-G71 MP2 GPU.
  • 3/4GB RAM.
  • 32/64GB internal storage, expandable via microSD card up to 512GB.
  • 13MP and 5MP rear cameras, 8MP front-facing camera.
  • dual SIM (dual standby).
  • 5,000mAh battery.
  • Android 8.1 Oreo.
  • 156.4 x 74.5 x 8.8mm, 186grams.

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Realme 2 Pro (4GB RAM)

The front of the Realme 2 Pro.

Realme entered India with one of the best smartphones under 15,000 rupees — the Realme 1. Less than six months later, the company released its successor, the RealMe 2 Pro, hoping to continue its impressive run in the competitive Indian market.

The RealMe 2 Pro features key upgrades across the board. You get a large display with a barely-noticeable waterdrop notch that looks great. The device is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor, along with up to 8GB of RAM and up to 128GB of built-in storage. You get a dual rear camera setup and an upgraded front-facing shooter, which are impressive, at least on paper. Keeping it all running is a 3,500mAh battery.

The Realme 2 Pro is available with three different configurations and four color options. However, only the version with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, priced at 13,990 rupees (~$197), comes under the specific under-15,000 rupees price segment. If you are willing to splurge a little more, you can bump the RAM up to 6GB for an additional 2,000 rupees (~$28). Finally, the high-end 8GB of RAM and 128GB of built-in storage version will set you back 17,990 rupees (~$253).

Specs

  • 6.3-inch IPS LCD display with Full HD+ resolution.
  • 2.0 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor.
  • Adreno 512 GPU
  • 4/6/8GB RAM.
  • 64/128GB internal storage, expandable via microSD card up to 256GB.
  • 16MP and 2MP rear cameras, 16MP front-facing camera.
  • dual SIM (dual standby).
  • 3,500mAh battery.
  • Android 8.1 Oreo.
  • 156.7 x 74 x 8.5mm, 174grams.

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Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2

Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2

Xiaomi may have set the trend, but companies like Realme, Asus, and others have made the affordable mid-range category an extremely competitive one. The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1, released in May last year, proved to be an excellent smartphone. Now Asus is hoping to further build on its success with the latest addition to the series — the Zenfone Max Pro M2.

Sticking with the latest trend, the Zenfone Max Pro M2 comes with a notched display. Compared to its predecessor, it has a faster processor, a higher (6GB) RAM variant, improved cameras, and an equally large 5,000mAh battery. This phone is also the first in the budget-friendly category to feature the latest Gorilla Glass 6 protection. Asus has also dropped its Zen UI in favor of stock Android, and the device will receive the official update to Android 9.0 Pie early in 2019.

What remains the same is Asus’ extremely aggressive pricing. The Zenfone Max Pro M2 starts at just 12,999 rupees (~$183) for the version with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of built-in storage. The 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage version will set you back a still affordable 14,999 rupees (~$211).

Specs

  • 6.26-inch IPS LCD display with Full HD+ resolution.
  • 2.2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor.
  • Adreno 512 GPU
  • 3/4/6GB RAM.
  • 32/64GB internal storage, expandable via microSD card up to 512GB.
  • 12MP and 5MP rear cameras, 13MP front-facing camera.
  • dual SIM (dual standby).
  • 5,000mAh battery.
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • 157.9 x 75.5 x 8.5mm, 175grams.

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Realme U1

The Realme U1. Realme

Realme has made a splash since its launch back in May last year with a slew of excellent budget-friendly smartphones. While the Realme 2 Pro is the more well-rounded device of the two, The Realme U1‘s selling point is its selfie camera.

The device comes with a 25MP f/2.0 front snapper (IMX576) akin to the Oppo F9. The selfie camera is also equipped with four-in-one pixel binning, real-time beautification/bokeh/HDR previews, multi-frame noise reduction, and night shot functionality. Realme claims the selfie camera is also capable of recognizing 296 identification points to serve up to eight million personalized beauty solutions. On the back there’s a 13MP and 2MP dual camera setup.

As for the other key specs, the Realme U1 comes with the Helio P70 chipset under the hood. We’ve also got a 6.3-inch full HD+ screen with a waterdrop notch, 3GB or 4GB of RAM, 32GB or 64GB of expandable storage, a 3,500mAh battery, rear fingerprint scanner, and AI Face Unlock functionality.

The smartphone is available on Amazon India, starting at 11,999 rupees (~$169) for the 3GB RAM/32GB of storage model, and 14,499 rupees (~$203) for the 4GB RAM/64GB of storage variant.

Specs

  • 6.3-inch IPS LCD display with Full HD+ resolution.
  • 2.1GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio P70 processor.
  • Mali-TG72 MP3 GPU.
  • 3/4GB RAM.
  • 32/64GB internal storage, expandable via microSD card up to 256GB.
  • 13MP and 2MP rear cameras, 25MP front-facing camera.
  • dual SIM (dual standby).
  • 3,500mAh battery.
  • Android 8.1 Oreo.
  • 157 x 74 x 8mm, 168grams.

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Looking for more phones available in India? Be sure to check out our best phones guide, as well as our guides on best phones under 10,000 rupees, Best phones under 20,000 rupees in India, and best phones under 30,000 rupees.

Read Next: Where to buy phones in India – All available options and best deals