Best smartphones under Rs 20,000 (Nov 2019): From Redmi Note 8 Pro to Realme XT

From sharp Super AMOLED displays to 64 MP cameras to 256 GB of internal storage, you can find it all in this budget.


Our list of phones under Rs 20,000 this month is dominated by Xiaomi and its sub-brands. But there’s some stiff competition too. What’s more important is the kind of features and processing power that buyers can get in this budget these days. From sharp Super AMOLED displays to 64 MP cameras to 256 GB of internal storage, you can find it all here. So let's jump into the action and check what your best options are under 20K currently.

Best phones under Rs 20,000 in India

Realme XT

Realme XT (Review) was the first phone with a 64 MP camera that the Oppo sub-brand launched in India. And if that wasn’t enough, Realme chose to add three more cameras at the back to give it company. The quad-camera setup comprises of the main 64 MP camera, an 8 MP ultra-wide shooter, 2 MP dedicated macro camera, and a 2 MP depth sensor. The main camera supports pixel binning and captures some impressive 16 MP images in varied lighting conditions including low light. The images have a good amount of detail along with natural colours.

Best smartphones under Rs 20,000 (Nov 2019): From Redmi Note 8 Pro to Realme XT

Realme XT runs Android 9.0 Pie with the pleasant Color OS 6.0 UI on top.

While the 64 MP camera is its marketing mouthpiece, the other features of the phone are even more impressive. The design is elegant and has a glass back that is protected by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 5, and so is its sharp 6.4-inch Super AMOLED Full HD+ display. There’s an in-display fingerprint scanner too. The phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 SoC which is a great choice in this segment. Its 4,000 mAh battery keeps the phone powered for a day and a half of moderate usage. But what’s even better is the bundled VOOC 3.0 fast charger that refills it from 0 to 100 in under 90 minutes, with the first 50 percent recharge taking just 30 minutes.

Realme XT runs Android 9.0 Pie with the pleasant Color OS 6.0 UI on top. The 8 GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage variant is available in this budget too, but 8 GB RAM is a bit of an overkill on this chipset. So, you can choose to save a couple of thousand Rupees and opt for the 6 GB RAM / 64 GB storage variant instead. You can always pop in a micro SD card and increase the storage.

Realme XT price in India: Rs 16,999 for 6 GB RAM / 64 GB storage; Rs 18,999 for 8 GB RAM / 128 GB storage

Redmi Note 8 Pro

Redmi Note 8 Pro (Review) is Xiaomi’s answer to Realme XT. This too comes with the exact quad camera combination at the back, with the 64 MP sensor being the flag-bearer. Camera performance is comparable but the colours and contrast are slightly spiced up. While purists won’t appreciate it, social media enthusiasts may actually like it. The phone's design is as good as the XT’s with a glass back and Gorilla Glass 5 protection at the front as well as at the back. The phone is on the larger side courtesy of its 6.53-inch Full HD+ display. The company hasn’t opted for an AMOLED screen here but the display is sharp and supports HDR.

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Redmi Note 8 Pro is powered by Mediatek Helio G90T SoC which raises the performance bar in the midrange segment.

The protagonist of the Redmi Note 8 Pro is its Mediatek Helio G90T SoC which raises the performance bar in the midrange segment. Not only does it outperform its Qualcomm counterparts in system benchmarks, it comfortably takes the honours in gaming performance as well. One can play PUBG Mobile on it in Ultra mode with HDR on — that’s some performance for the segment. It has a 4,500 mAh battery that can last you for a couple of days of moderate usage without much gaming, and just over a day if you indulge in ample gaming.

It runs Android 9.0 Pie with MIUI 10 on top. You again get an 8 GB variant of the phone with 128 GB storage for 2K more, but you won’t see any noticeable performance gain over the 6 GB RAM variant.

Redmi Note 8 Pro price in India: Rs 15,999 for 6 GB RAM / 128 GB storage; Rs 17,999 for 8 GB RAM / 128 GB storage

Redmi K20

The next Xiaomi phone on the list is the Redmi K20. The K20 has a more practical but competent triple camera setup comprising a 48 MP main camera with a Sony IMX582 sensor, 13 MP ultra-wide camera with a 125-degrees FOV, and an 8 MP telephoto lens that facilitates 2X optical zoom. They manage to capture some really sharp images in varied lighting conditions. You also get an option to record super slo-mo 720p videos at 960 fps. And there’s a 20 MP pop-up selfie camera too that adds to the cool quotient of this device.

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The Redmi K20 runs Android Pie with MIUI 10 on top and is equipped with a 4,000 mAh battery.

With a glass body and Aura Prime design, the Redmi K20 has one of the most attractive designs among mid-range phones. There’s a 6.4-inch Full HD+ all-screen notch-less AMOLED display protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5. There’s also an in-display fingerprint scanner. The phone is powered by an upper-midrange Snapdragon 730 SoC and comes bundled with 6 GB RAM and 64 GB storage. There’s also a 128 GB variant that sells for 3K more and one can give it a serious thought as there is no memory card slot here. A 4,000 mAh battery keeps the phone running for over a day of moderate usage. The Redmi K20 runs Android Pie with MIUI 10 on top.

Redmi K20 price in India: Rs 19,999 for 6 GB RAM / 64 GB storage

Poco F1

We can’t keep this phone out of our lists, can we? Xiaomi sub-brand, Poco last year launched a phone with Qualcomm’s then flagship Snapdragon 845 SoC for just over 20K in India. While its base variant was priced at 21K at launch, you can now get its top end variant with 8 GB RAM and 256 GB storage for just Rs 18,999. You can add another 256 GB to it using a microSD card, just in case. The design isn’t the most eye-catching, but it is still a beast when it comes to performance.

The Poco F1 (Review) comes with a 6.18-inch full HD+ notched display and a 12 MP + 5 MP dual camera setup at the back that does a good job in average to good lighting. The image quality is pretty good, but is nothing fancy. There’s also a more than decent 20 MP front camera for selfies. But this is mainly a phone for gamers on a budget than for camera enthusiasts. If you are looking to play PUBG in its full glory on a tight budget, Poco F1 is still an excellent option. The Poco launcher on top of Android 9.0 Pie remains a better alternative to MIUI that you get in most Xiaomi phones.

Poco F1 price in India: Rs 15,999 for 6 GB RAM / 128 GB storage; Rs 18,999 for 8 GB RAM / 256 GB storage

Asus Zenfone 5Z

If you are looking for a classier version of the Poco F1, Asus Zenfone 5Z (Review) is a great option. This too boasts of a Snapdragon 845 chip, and now you can buy its mid variant with 6 GB RAM and 128 GB storage under 20K, which is a great deal. The storage can be expanded further up to 2 TB with a microSD card.

It has 12 MP+8 MP dual rear cameras that do an impressive job in most lighting conditions courtesy of an f/1.8, 24 mm wide-angle lens with large pixel size and 4-axis optical image stabilisation. It can also record 4K videos at 30 fps and slow-mo videos at 1080p and 720p resolution at 120 and 240 fps respectively.

The Zenfone 5Z looks and feels premium thanks to its glass and aluminium body. The 6.2-inch Full HD+ notched display is really sharp and the phone feels fairly compact in hand. The Zenfone 5Z is a solid all-round phone with premium looks, very good cameras, a powerful SoC, and now at a great price. The phone runs Android 9.0 Pie with ZenUI on top.

Asus Zenfone 5Z price in India: Rs 18,999 for 6 GB RAM / 128 GB storage

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