Ameya DalviSep 30, 2019 10:21:59 IST
In a domain where things tend to get outdated pretty fast, there are a few handsets that stand the test of time and manage to stay relevant. While there are plenty of new phones to consider in budgets ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000, here are five phones from 2018 that are still worth buying and offer excellent value for money at their new selling price.
Best phones under Rs 25,000 in India
Asus Zenfone 5Z
Asus Zenfone 5Z (Review)was the first phone with Snapdragon 845 SoC to be priced under Rs 30,000 in India. At launch, its base variant with 6 GB RAM and 64 GB storage used to sell for a Rupee under 30K. Now, you can get the mid variant with twice the storage for a Rupee under 25K.
It lets you expand the storage further up to 2 TB with a microSD card. The glass and aluminium body gives the phone a premium feel. The 6.2-inch Full HD+ notched display is sharp and feels just the right size.
The 12 MP + 8 MP dual rear cameras do an impressive job in most lighting conditions and you also get 4-axis optical image stabilisation (OIS) to compensate for your shaky hands. It can also record 4K videos at 30 FPS and slow-motion videos at 1080p and 720p resolution at 120 and 240 FPS respectively. The Asus Zenfone 5Z is a solid all-round phone with premium looks, very good cameras, a powerful SoC and now at an even better price. The price drops further during Flipkart sales. The phone runs Android Pie.
Asus Zenfone 5Z price in India: Rs 18,999 for 6 GB RAM/128 GB storage
Here’s another phone with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 SoC. You can now get the top-end variant of the Poco F1 (Review) with 8 GB RAM and 256 GB storage in this budget. You can add another 256 GB to it using a microSD card. The design isn’t as elegant as the Asus but the performance is very much at par. Also, you get a larger 4,000 mAh battery that lasts longer.
In addition to that you get 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. It doesn’t come with premium features like optical image stabilisation but the image quality is pretty good. There’s also a more than decent 20 MP selfie camera up front. The Poco launcher is a better alternative to MIUI that you get on most Xiaomi phones.
Nokia 8.1(Review) has received a price cut not too long ago and its 4 GB RAM + 64 GB storage variant now sells well under Rs 20,000, and that’s a pretty good deal. The storage can be expanded further by 400 GB with a microSD card. The phone has the trademark Nokia metal and glass design with a dual-tone anodised metal frame. It has a sharp 6.18-inch Full HD+ notched display that’s HDR10 compliant. The colour reproduction is excellent and the sunlight legibility is pretty good too.
The Nokia 8.1 is powered by a Snapdragon 710 chipset which also powers the Realme 3 Pro and Realme X. A 12 MP + 13 MP dual-camera setup at the back boasts of Zeiss optics, dual-pixel auto-focus and optical image stabilisation. The cameras produce some vibrant photos with the right amount of sharpness and detail. The Live Bokeh (portrait) mode here saves the depth data and lets you tweak the photos in Google Photos app after you shoot them. The Nokia 8.1 is a part of the Android One program and runs Android Pie with stock Android UI. One can expect regular OS and security updates till the end of 2020 at least.
Nokia 8.1 price in India: Rs 16,479 4 GB RAM/64 GB storage variant
Best phones under Rs 15,000 in India
Huawei’s sub-brand, Honor had ideas similar to Poco when they released the Honor Play (Review) with their then flagship Kirin 970 SoC under Rs 20,000. The performance is comparable to a Snapdragon 845 in many areas, though not better. However, it has enough processing muscle to play most games at high settings. It comes with 6 GB RAM and 64 GB internal storage that can be expanded further with a microSD card. The Kirin 970 chip along with Huawei’s GPU Turbo technology provide the necessary boost in gaming and other resource-intensive tasks.
The Honor Play has an aluminium body and an elegant design. It has a 6.3-inch Full HD+ notched display and a 3,750 mAh battery. It ran Android Oreo 8.1 with EMUI 8.2 on top at launch but received an Android Pie update earlier this year. Photography is handled by 16 MP + 2 MP dual rear cameras, while there’s a 16 MP shooter up front for selfies. The cameras do a decent job but this phone is targeted at budget gamers more than camera enthusiasts. The price of the phone has now dropped to 15K and wouldn’t be a bad idea for mobile gamers on a tight budget to grab one.
Honor Play price in India: Rs 12,999 6 GB RAM/64 GB storage
Xiaomi Mi A2
Another Xiaomi device without MIUI (thankfully) makes this list. Mi A2 (Review) is an Android One device and is powered by a Snapdragon 660 SoC. The 12 MP + 20 MP dual cameras at the back do a stellar job and were rated among the best under Rs 20,000 then. They can hold their own even today. This phone sports a good old 5.99-inch narrow bezel 18:9 Full HD+ display without any notch.
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 drop. But the 4 GB/64 GB variant now sells close to 10K. 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.
Mi A2 price in India: Rs 9,999 for 4 GB RAM/64 GB storage
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