Best phones under Rs 15,000 (January 2019): Redmi Note 6 Pro to Nokia 6.1 Plus

Confused about which phone to buy under Rs 15,000? Here are the top 5 options for you.

The sub-15K price bracket for smartphones in India is synonymous with great value for money, if you choose right, of course. We had a look at the best smartphones under Rs 10,000 last week. While those phones too offer good value for money, some phones around Rs 15,000 up the ante on several fronts such as design, processing power, camera, memory, etc. This segment sees some of the top selling handsets in the country every year. Hence, it is crowded with multiple models from several brands vying for your attention. From the chaos, we have handpicked 5 smartphones that deserve your hard earned money. So let’s meet them.

The Redmi Note 6 Pro features a massive notch at the front which is reminiscent of the POCO F1. Image: tech2/ Kshitij

The Redmi Note 6 Pro features a massive notch at the front which is reminiscent of the POCO F1. Image: tech2/ Kshitij

Best smartphones under Rs 15,000 in India

Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro

While the Redmi Note 6 Pro isn’t a major upgrade over its predecessor, Redmi Note 5 Pro, it is still a good phone for its asking price. Of course, if you own a Redmi Note 5 Pro, you don’t need to upgrade to this. The Redmi Note 6 Pro is powered by a Snapdragon 636 SoC that provides reasonable processing power along with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB internal storage that can be expanded further. It sports a sturdy metal body and 4,000 mAh battery that comfortably lasts a day. It runs Android Oreo 8.1 with an MIUI layer on top.

Xiaomi has opted for a 6.26-inch Full HD+ notched display with Corning Gorilla Glass protection to make it look different from the Note 5 Pro. The rest of the design is similar to most phones from the company. A subtle yet important difference comes in the photography department where the seemingly similar 12 MP + 5 MP dual rear cameras now come with a wider f/1.9 aperture, resulting in sharper images in good lighting and better performance in low light too. Dual cameras make their way to the front as well; a 20 MP + 2 MP setup helps you take better selfies.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro price in India: Rs 13,999 4 GB RAM / 64 GB storage variant.

Nokia 6.1 Plus

If you want similar features and a couple more in a way more aesthetically appealing package, the Nokia 6.1 Plus is your best option. It is easily the best looking phone in this segment. It has a metal body sandwiched between two sheets of glass with Gorilla Glass 3 protection to give it a touch of class. It bears a 5.8-inch notched display with a Full HD+ resolution and subsequently, a higher pixel density and hence, a sharper picture. The notch is noticeably smaller than the Redmi Note 6 Pro but doesn’t miss out on any important sensors. The SoC, RAM and storage are exactly the same as that of the aforementioned Xiaomi handset.

The Nokia 6.1 Plus has 16 MP + 5 MP dual rear cameras and a 16 MP front shooter that do a good job for a phone in this segment. Most importantly, this is an Android One device, meaning it comes with stock Android UI and regular OS updates for a couple of years. The phone has already received the Android 9.0 Pie update. All things considered, the phone is a great combination of style and substance.

Nokia 6.1 Plus price in India: Rs 14,999 for 4 GB RAM / 64 GB storage

Realme 2 Pro

Realme 2 Pro. Image: tech2/Kshitij Pujari

Realme 2 Pro. Image: tech2/Kshitij Pujari

Oppo’s sub-brand Realme has clearly one-upped Xiaomi in this segment courtesy of the Realme 2 Pro. This phone is a great combination of specifications and features at a hard-to-beat price that has set a new performance benchmark in this segment. It is powered by a Snapdragon 660 SoC that was generally seen in phones priced upwards of Rs 20,000 not too long ago. There is 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal (expandable) storage to keep it company. Though you also get higher RAM and storage variants of this phone, their price exceeds our budget for this article. However, the higher specced variants are not a bad buy at all if you have a slightly higher budget.

The Realme 2 Pro has a 6.3-inch Full HD+ display with a tiny drop-sized notch similar to the one seen in OnePlus 6T. Its 16 MP + 2 MP dual rear cameras are quite competent in most conditions but not spectacular in low light. A 3,500 mAh battery keeps it powered for a day. It runs Android Oreo 8.1 with a ColorOS 5.2 layer on top. Simply put, this phone offers a lot of upper mid-range features at a lower mid-range price.

Realme 2 Pro price in India: Rs 13,990 for 4 GB RAM / 64 GB storage

Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2

The new Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 also joins the Snapdragon 660 bandwagon under Rs 15,000. This too has 4 GB RAM and 64 GB internal storage that can be expanded further up to a whopping 2 TB. The design is radically different and way more stylish than its predecessor Zenfone Max Pro M1. Asus has opted for a 6.26-inch Full HD+ notched display here but retained the huge 5,000 mAh battery capacity of the Max Pro M1 along with stock Android UI. This phone runs Android Oreo 8.1 out of the box and one can expect an Android Pie update soon.

The camera department has seen an improvement too with the 12 MP + 5 MP dual rear cameras clicking good pictures in bright conditions and with acceptable quality in low light. The portrait mode here does an excellent job at edge detection. The 13 MP front camera takes pretty good selfies too. The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 has multiple RAM and storage variants with the 4 GB / 64 GB being the best in this budget.

Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 price in India: Rs 14,999 for 4 GB RAM / 64 GB storage

Honor 8X

Honor 8X. Image: Tech2

Honor 8X. Image: Tech2

If you are looking for a smart looking phone with a big display, Honor 8X would be a good choice. This smartphone has a 6.5-inch Full HD+ notched display that is great for media consumption and gaming. Honor 8X is powered by Huawei’s latest mid-range chipset, Kirin 710. While it is no flagship, it is more than capable of handling most of the popular games at medium settings at least. And there’s a 3,750 mAh battery too to back you up for a while during those gaming sessions.

The 20 MP + 2 MP AI-powered dual rear cameras deliver quality shots in well-lit conditions but you cannot expect miracles in low light. There’s 4 GB of RAM and 64 of GB internal storage that can be expanded to 400 GB with a microSD card. The phone runs Android Oreo 8.1 with an EMUI 8.2 layer on top.

Honor 8X price in India: Rs 14,999 for 4 GB RAM / 64 GB storage

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