While there used to be a very clear divide between mid-range smartphones and high-end flagships, the lines have increasingly blurred over the past few years. Today, it is easy to find a phone with a great camera, excellent build quality, and hardware that is powerful enough for anything you throw at it at a fraction of the cost of a flagship device.

These phones may not be as powerful and feature-packed as the top of the line devices, but given the price point, they certainly don’t fail to impress. Here are some of the best smartphones available in India priced under 20,000 rupees (~$282)!


Realme 3 Pro

Realme 3 Pro back of the phone

Realme entered India with one of the best smartphones under 20,000 rupees — the Realme 1. Just about a year and two iterations later, the company is hoping to continue giving Xiaomi and other competitors a run for their money with the Realme 3 Pro.

The Realme 3 Pro doesn’t break any boundaries but does well to keep up, and in some ways surpass, the competition. The generic notched-face makes it difficult to distinguish between the Realme 3 Pro and every other phone on this list. On the back though is a beautiful gradient-finish with curved lines that really add to the overall aesthetic.

Performance is an area where the Realme 3 Pro doesn’t fail to impress. The Snapdragon 710 processor and Adreno 616 GPU ensuring excellent and equal handling of everyday tasks and processor-intensive gaming. Keeping everything running is a large 4,045mAh battery that keeps the device chugging along well into a second day.

If there’s one point of contention with the Realme 3 Pro, it’s that the device comes with a Micro-USB port, even though the latest budget-friendly offerings from competitors like Samsung and Xiaomi feature USB-C ports. However, Realme more than makes up for it with the phone’s VOOC 3.0 fast charging feature, that lets you fully charge the large battery in just 80 minutes.

The 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage version of the Realme 3 Pro is priced at 13,999 rupees (~$202). However, if you’re willing to splurge a little more, you can get the 6GB of RAM models with 64GB and 128GB of storage at 15,999 rupees (~$230) and 16,999 rupees (~$245) respectively.

Specs

  • 6.3-inch IPS LCD display with Full HD+ resolution
  • 2.2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor
  • Adreno 616 GPU
  • 4/6GB RAM
  • 64/128GB internal storage, expandable via microSD card up to 256GB
  • 16MP and 5MP rear cameras, 25MP front-facing camera
  • dual SIM (dual standby)
  • 4,045mAh battery
  • Android 9 Pie
  • 156.8 x 74.2 x 8.3mm, 172 grams

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Oppo F11

oppo f11 rear cameras Oppo India

The Oppo F11 Pro may have grabbed all the headlines with its all-screen front and pop-up selfie camera. However, Oppo also announced the “base” F11 alongside it that is definitely worth considering and probably offers better value for money.

That’s because there’s practically no difference between the F11 and the Pro edition under the surface. You get the same processing package (the MediaTek Helio P70), the same 48MP and 5MP dual rear camera setup, the same 6GB of RAM, and an ever so slightly larger battery (4,020mAh vs 4,000mAh). The F11 also gets the VOOC 3.0 fast-charging advantage.

The Pro edition does come with double the storage, but other than that, the only difference is that the F11 comes with a front-facing camera that is housed in a waterdrop notch instead of a pop-up selfie camera. In fact, the 16MP front-facing shooter is the same on both as well.

If you’re okay with living without the novelty of a pop-up camera, the Oppo F11, which again is essentially the same device but with a notch, will help you save around 4,000 rupees (~$60). The Oppo F11 is priced at 17,990 rupees (~$255).

Specs

  • 6.53-inch IPS LCD display with 2,340 x 1,080 resolution
  • 2.1GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio P70 processor
  • Mali-G72 MP3 GPU
  • 6GB of RAM
  • 64GB of built-in storage, expandable via microSD up to 256GB (uses SIM 2 slot)
  • Dual 48MP + 5MP rear cameras, 16MP front-facing camera
  • Dual SIM (dual standby)
  • 4,020 mAh battery
  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • 162 x 76.1 x 8.3mm, 188grams

Samsung Galaxy A50

Samsung Galaxy A50 front display in hand

A great indicator of how seriously Samsung is taking the budget-friendly segment in India is the fact that the company has not one, but two, devices on this list of best smartphones under 20,000 rupees. Between the Galaxy M and the Galaxy A series, Samsung has covered the entire price spectrum of affordable devices from the entry-level to the premium mid-range. Leading the charge is the fantastic Samsung Galaxy A50.

There are quite a few features that make the Galaxy A50 a great choice. Samsung’s display prowess shines through in the mid-range, with the 6.4-inch Super AMOLED panel of the phone ensuring an excellent viewing experience.

The Galaxy A50 is also the first Samsung smartphone to sport the Exynos 9610 processor. The phone ships in two variants with either 4GB or 6GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage. The lack of a higher storage option certainly seems like an odd choice, but the availability of a dedicated micro SD slot for expansion makes up for it to a degree. We found the performance of the device to be top-notch in our review, with it able to handle everything from daily talks to intensive gaming with easy.

The Galaxy A50, along with its affordable sibling, the Galaxy M30, is also one of the few to bring a triple rear camera setup to this affordable price range. The primary shooter has a 25MP, f/1.7 sensor, and you also get an 8MP wide-angle camera and a 5MP depth sensor. A 25MP front-facing camera is housed in the waterdrop notch.

Samsung has done a great job with refreshing its budget-friendly smartphone portfolio to better compete with Xiaomi, Realme, and others. The 4GB RAM variant is priced at 19,990 rupees (~$289) while the 6GB RAM version is available for 22,990 rupees (~$332).

Specs

  • 6.4-inch IPS LCD display with Full HD+ resolution.
  • 2.3GHz octa-core Samsung Exynos 9610 processor.
  • Mali-G72 MP3 GPU.
  • 4/6GB RAM.
  • 64GB internal storage, expandable via microSD card up to 512GB.
  • 25MP, 8MP, and 5MP triple rear cameras, 25MP front-facing camera.
  • dual SIM (dual standby).
  • 4,000mAh battery.
  • Android 9.0 Pie.
  • 158.5 x 74.7 x 7.7mm, 166grams.

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Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro

Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro

Xiaomi has enjoyed incredible success in India with its Redmi Note series. However, the quick turnaround between generations and a largely similar design language meant that a feeling of “more of the same” was beginning to creep in. Luckily, Xiaomi seems to have recognized this, with the latest addition to the series – the Redmi Note 7 Pro – featuring key changes that put the phone back on top.

To start with, you now get a glass sandwich design and a gradient color scheme that is a first for Xiaomi’s affordable offerings. Another first for the budget-friendly Note series is the availability of a USB-C port.

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro also sports a 48MP Sony IMX568 sensor in the primary camera, paired with a secondary 5MP depth sensor. A slew of recently-launched smartphones – the Honor View 20, Vivo V15 Pro, Oppo F11 Pro, and more – come with 48MP cameras. The Redmi Note 7 Pro is, however, the most affordable device with such a camera set up.

Under the hood, you get a Snapdragon 675 chipset along with 4GB or 6GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB of storage depending on the variant. A 13MP front-facing shooter is housed in the waterdrop notch while a 4,000mAh battery powers the phone.

Excellent hardware at affordable prices is Xiaomi’s mantra, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that this continues with the Redmi Note 7 Pro. You can get the 4GB RAM/64GB storage version for just 13,999 rupees (~$202), while the 6GB of RAM and 128GB storage variant will set you back 16,999 rupees (~$245). Unfortunately, this isn’t the easiest phone to get your hands on and you will have to brave Xiaomi’s flash sales to get your hands on one. The device goes on sale every Wednesday at 12PM.

Specs

  • 6.3-inch IPS LCD display with Full HD+ resolution.
  • 2.0GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 processor.
  • Adreno 612 GPU.
  • 4/6GB RAM.
  • 64/128GB internal storage, expandable via microSD card up to 256GB (uses SIM 2 slot).
  • 48MP and 5MP 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, 186grams.

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Samsung Galaxy M30

Samsung Galaxy M30

Samsung remains king of the flagship market, but the company has undeniably buckled and lost ground to the likes of Xiaomi, Realme, Honor, and other Chinese OEMs in the affordable smartphone category in India. However, the company is hoping to change all that with the Galaxy M series.

The first two smartphones in the series – M10 and M20 – target the entry-level segment and the lower end of the mid-range segment, but if you’re looking for something more premium but still affordable, the Samsung Galaxy M30 is the one for you.

The 6.4-inch Super AMOLED panel on the Galaxy M30 is one of the best in this price range and definitely helps the phone stand out. Meanwhile, the minimalistic waterdrop notch doesn’t encroach too much on the viewing experience.

The Galaxy M30 is also one of the few to bring a triple rear camera setup to this affordable price range. The primary shooter has a 13MP, f/1.9 sensor, coupled with dual 5MP sensors which are used to capture ultra-wide images as well as depth information. A 16MP front-facing camera is housed in the notch. Meanwhile, a huge 5,000mAh battery promises excellent battery life. Finally, it is one of the few phones on this list to ship with a USB-C port as well as fast charging capabilities.

Samsung has done a great job with refreshing its budget-friendly smartphone portfolio to better compete with Xiaomi, Realme, and others. Unfortunately, Samsung has also decided to go with the dreaded flash sale model. Priced at 14,990 rupees (~$) for the 4GB/64GB version and 17,990 rupees (~$) for the 6GB/128GB model, the Samsung Galaxy M30 goes on sale every Tuesday at 12PM.

Specs

  • 6.4-inch IPS LCD display with Full HD+ resolution.
  • 1.8GHz octa-core Samsung Exynos 7904 processor.
  • Mali-G71 MP2 GPU.
  • 4/6GB RAM.
  • 64/128GB internal storage, expandable via microSD card up to 512GB.
  • 13MP, 5MP, and 5MP triple rear cameras, 16MP front-facing camera.
  • dual SIM (dual standby).
  • 5,000mAh battery.
  • Android 8.1 Oreo.
  • 159 x 75.1 x 8.4mm.

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Honor 10 Lite

Honor 10 Lite

Honor kicks off 2019 in India with the Honor 10 Lite, with the company hoping to replicate the fantastic run it enjoyed over the last couple of years. The Honor formula in India has been of beautiful designs, impressive specifications, and aggressive price points, and the Honor 10 Lite follows that formula to the tee.

The device comes with a beautiful gradient design on the back that looks great, particularly with the Sky Blue color option. Up front is a notched display, with the waterdrop notch the more subtle and the better-looking design choice. Under the hood is the Kirin 710 processor that powers every mid-range Honor and Huawei smartphone, backed by either 4GB or 6GB of RAM. A dual rear camera setup and an excellent 24MP wide-angle front-facing shooter round out the premium mid-range package.

The Honor 10 Lite actually has a lot in common with the Honor 8X that was released late last year. The latter gives you a bigger display, a slightly larger battery, and a better primary rear camera. However, the Honor 10 Lite features a better selfie shooter, is more premium looking, and also runs the latest version of Android. Both devices are priced similarly though so you can choose what features are more important for you.

Speaking of price, the Honor 10 Lite is priced at 13,999 rupees (~$197) and 17,999 rupees (~$254) for the 4GB and 6GB of RAM versions respectively.

Specs

  • 6.21-inch IPS LCD display with a 2,340 x 1,080 resolution
  • 2.2GHz octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 710 processor
  • Mali-G51 MP4 GPU
  • 4/6GB of RAM
  • 64GB of storage, further expandable via microSD up to 512GB
  • 16MP and 2MP dual rear cameras, 24MP front-facing camera
  • Dual SIM (dual standby)
  • 3,400mAh battery
  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • 154.8 x 73.6 x 8mm, 162grams

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Honor Play (4GB RAM)

The Honor Play on a table.

Gaming phones are powerful smartphones built to offer optimal performance when playing high-end, graphics-intensive games. Futuristic designs and optimized performance features aside, the one thing these devices usually have in common is a high price. Honor is hoping to buck that trend with its first gaming smartphone, the Honor Play, which features flagship specs at a mid-range price.

The Honor Play comes with the Kirin 970 SoC, which also powers the far more expensive Huawei P20 Pro. The processor is made from the 10nm manufacturing process and comes with onboard NPU chip for AI functionality. You also get the company’s new GPU Turbo technology to increase processing efficiency and reduce power consumption when playing games.

If you’re looking for flagship power and a smartphone that can handle gaming easily on a budget, the Honor Play is one the best smartphones under 20,000 rupees you can buy. The 14,999 rupees (~$210) price tag is for the version that comes with 4GB of RAM. There is also a 6GB RAM iteration that will set you back just an additional 1,000 rupees (~$15). Both versions come with 64GB of built-in storage.

Specs

  • 6.3-inch IPS LCD display with 2,340 x 1,080 resolution
  • 2.4GHz octa-core Hisilicon Kirin 970 processor
  • Mali-G72 MP12 GPU
  • 4/6GB of RAM
  • 64GB of built-in storage, expandable via microSD up to 256GB (uses SIM2 slot)
  • 16MP and 2MP dual rear cameras, 16MP front-facing camera
  • Dual SIM (dual standby) hybrid slot
  • 3,750 mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • 157.9 x 74.3 x 7.5mm, 176grams

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Xiaomi POCO F1 (6GB RAM, 64GB storage)

Xiaomi Poco F1

Xiaomi introduced a new sub-brand called Poco in India, and its first device is 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. It’s crazy to think there are two phones — this and the Honor Play — on a list of smartphones under 20,000 rupees with 2018 flagship processing packages.

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 19,999 rupees (~$282).

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. That’s nitpicking though. Aside from the design, the POCO F1 delivers in every other department.

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 19,999 rupees (~$282) for the 6GB of RAM and 64GB of built-in storage version.

Specs

  • 6.18-inch IPS LCD display with 2,246 x 1,080 resolution
  • 2.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • Adreno 630 GPU
  • 6GB RAM
  • 64GB 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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Even more options!

We’re just scratching the surface! Whether you’re looking specifically for Indian phone brands, phones under 10,000 rupees, under 30,000 rupees, or anything in between, we have a guide for you.


A note from the editor

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