Ameya DalviAug 19, 2019 09:20:52 IST
When someone is looking for a smartphone with a very good camera, it is natural for the person to look for a phone upwards of Rs 25,000. Those on a tighter budget must make do with whatever’s available. But that’s not the case this year. A handful of lower mid-range phones have raised their camera quality so much that it feels wrong to refer to them as lower mid-range devices.
Here are the top five phones you must strongly consider under Rs 15,000 in case you are looking for an excellent camera performance in that budget.
Best camera phones under Rs 15,000 in India
Redmi Note 7 Pro
Redmi Note 7 Pro (Review) was the first phone in this budget to sport a 48 MP rear camera and that too with a Sony IMX586 sensor. There’s also a secondary 5 MP camera for depth sensing. Like some flagship devices these days, it uses pixel binning that combines information from four pixels into one to provide more light data and retain finer details in captured images. As a result, it manages to capture excellent shots in all lighting conditions including low light. At times, it is hard to believe that the results are from a sub-15K device. The 13 MP front camera does a more than decent job with selfies too.
The goodness doesn’t end with the cameras. The glass-clad Redmi Note 7 Pro is pleasing to the eye and protected against scratches by Gorilla Glass 5 at the front as well as at the back. You get a 6.3-inch Full HD+ display with a drop notch. This handset is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 SoC that is a good all-round chip. You get 4 GB RAM and 64 GB internal storage that can be expanded further. It has a 4,000 mAh battery that easily lasts over a day of moderate usage. This Xiaomi device runs the latest Android Pie out of the box with an MIUI 10 layer on top.
Redmi Note 7 Pro price in India: Rs 13,999 for 4 GB RAM / 64 GB storage
Realme 3 Pro
Just like the Redmi Note 7 Pro, Realme 3 Pro (Review) is another stylish phone that offers a lot of all-round goodness. Though it doesn’t come with a 48 MP sensor, its 16 MP rear camera is fitted with a Sony IMX519 sensor, the same one that you get on a OnePlus 6T. There’s a 5 MP depth-sensing secondary camera too. Again, the rear cameras manage to capture excellent shots with a great amount of detail, accurate colours, and sharpness. It does a great job with night photography too and you also have the Nightscape mode to take it a notch higher. The 25 MP front shooter does a good job with selfies.
The curved edges and dual-tone back make the Realme 3 Pro look classy and the wavy pattern at the back makes it eye-catching. There is a layer of Gorilla Glass 5 on the 6.3-inch Full HD+ screen to protect it from scratches. It is powered by a Snapdragon 710 chip with a slightly more powerful GPU than the 675. There’s a 4,045 mAh battery that lasts reasonably long. And in case it is running low at a crucial time, the company bundles a 20 W VOOC quick charger to take the battery from 0 to 100 in under 75 minutes. And if you are in a hurry, you can charge a third of it in just 20 minutes. ColorOS 6.0 based on Android Pie is a refreshing change courtesy of its new design language and colour schemes, along with the presence of an app drawer.
Realme 3 Pro price in India: Rs 14,999 for 6 GB RAM / 64 GB storage
Xiaomi Mi A2
Another Xiaomi device makes this list but it’s completely different from the Redmi Note 7 Pro. The Mi A2 (Review) is an Android One device and sports a more classical look with a good old 5.99-inch narrow bezel 18:9 Full HD+ display without any notch. But when it comes to photography, it is as solid as its newer cousins. The 12 MP + 20 MP dual cameras at the back do a stellar job in all lighting conditions. And though the phone is over a year old, the cameras can hold their own even today. The 20 MP secondary camera helps greatly with improving its low light photography and helps capture excellent shots in varied lighting conditions.
It is powered by a Snapdragon 660 SoC and comes with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage on the base variant. While the Mi A2 is a great all-round phone, it has a couple of quirks. There’s no 3.5 mm headphone jack here or a microSD card slot to expand the internal storage. So, it would be better to opt for the 128 GB storage variant with 6 GB RAM instead of the 4 GB / 64 GB option. However, that variant has seen no price change in a while and still sells close to 16K. However, the 4 GB / 64 GB variant has seen a massive price drop and now sells under 10K. For a difference of Rs 6,000, the base variant offers much better value for money.
For that price, you get a solid Android One device with competent hardware, stock Android UI and frequent OS and security updates. Strangely, Xiaomi is yet to release its successor, Mi A3 in India. It’s about time they did.
Mi A2 price in India: Rs 9,999 for 4 GB RAM / 64 GB storage
Best triple camera phones under Rs 15,000
Time to move on to the flavour of the season — triple rear cameras. In fact, you get quite a few triple camera phones in this budget now. But having three cameras doesn’t necessarily mean better photography. However, the following two devices live up to the hype and deliver the desired level of performance.
Honor 20i may be a significantly scaled-down version of its more illustrious sibling — Honor 20 — but it still packs a serious punch for its price. Armed with a 24 MP + 8 MP + 2 MP triple camera setup at the back, it does a good job with everything from macros to portrait shots. The low light performance is pretty good too. Vibrant colours and sharp images are what you can expect from this smartphone. The 32 MP front camera will certainly impress selfie enthusiasts.
The phone is powered by a Kirin 710 chip and comes with 4 GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage that can be expanded further to 1 TB. There’s a sharp 6.2-inch Full HD+ screen with a tiny drop notch and a 3,400 mAh battery that can take you through a day of moderate usage. This stylish device runs Android Pie with EMUI 9.1 on top.
Honor 20i price in India: Rs 14,999 for 4 GB RAM / 128 GB storage
Vivo Z1 Pro
Just like the Honor 20i, Vivo’s recently launch Z1 Pro flaunts three rear cameras with a combination of 16 MP + 8 MP + 2 MP sensors. Again, the cameras do an excellent job in bright lighting as well as indoors, and their low-light performance is more than acceptable. Vivo phones are known for their selfie cameras and this handset won’t disappoint the selfie enthusiasts either because it boasts of a 32 MP front snapper that captures some crisp shots.
The design and the rest of the hardware make it even more impressive than the Honor 20i. The Vivo Z1 Pro is powered by a new Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 SoC, which is paired with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB expandable storage. It has a 6.53-inch Full HD+ full-screen display with a punch-hole selfie camera, something extremely rare in this budget right now. Its 5,000 mAh battery can keep the phone powered for close to two days of moderate usage and supports fast charging with the bundled 18 W charger.
The phone runs Android Pie with a layer of FunTouch OS 9.0 on top.
Vivo Z1 Pro price in India: Rs 14,990 for 4 GB RAM / 64 GB storage.