Best smartphones under Rs 10,000 to buy in India: January 2019 Edition

Whether you prefer style, power, battery backup or good cameras, there’s something for everybody.


Gone are the days when one used to get a barely functional smartphone in the sub-10K price bracket in India. Some of the phones that you get these days in this budget can be termed as lower mid-range devices rather than entry-level phones. This space is crowded with models with varied specifications and choosing the right one can be difficult for a buyer. Today, we will weed out the imposters and give you the best allrounders in terms of features and performance that you can safely buy under Rs 10,000.

Best smartphones under Rs 10,000 to buy in India: January 2019 Edition

The Zenfone Max Pro M2 is a major upgrade from its predecessor. Image: tech2/ Shomik Sen Bhattacharjee

Best phones under Rs 10,000 you can buy in India

Asus Zenfone Max M2

Let’s start with the latest. The 3 GB RAM + 32 GB storage variant of the recently launched Asus Zenfone Max M2 can be purchased under Rs 10,000. This stylish Asus device sports a 6.26-inch HD+ (1520 x 720 pixels) display with a notch and 2.5D glass on top. It is powered by the new Snapdragon 632 SoC that is an excellent choice in this segment.

If you do watch a lot of video content on your phone then the Zenfone Max Pro M2 will definitely not disappoint you. Image: tech2/ Shomik Sen Bhattacharjee

If you do watch a lot of video content on your phone then the Zenfone Max Pro M2 will definitely not disappoint you. Image: tech2/ Shomik Sen Bhattacharjee

The 13 MP + 2 MP rear cameras are more than capable in well-lit scenarios and there’s an 8 MP front camera for selfies. Both, front and rear cameras come with LED flash support. Its 4000 mAh battery comfortably takes you through the day without the need for a charger. Like its predecessor, the Asus Zenfone Max M2 runs a stock build of Android with Oreo 8.1.

Price in India: Rs 9,999 for 3 GB RAM/32 GB storage

Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1

Speaking of predecessors, the 3 GB/32 GB variant of the near-year-old Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 is retailing for exactly the same price. While it’s not as stylish as the M2, it does provide a handful of benefits over it. The ‘Pro’ in the name has to count for something, right? Though you do not get a notched display here, you get a higher resolution Full HD+ 18:9 screen with 2160 x 1080 pixels.

Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1

Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1

Other than that, you get a more powerful Snapdragon 636 SoC, a higher capacity 5000 mAh battery and better 13 MP + 5 MP dual rear cameras. Both phones support expandable memory up to 2 TB using a microSD card. So while the Zenfone Max M2 has a lot more style, the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 has a lot more substance. Take your pick.

Price in India: Rs 9,999 for 3 GB RAM/32 GB storage

Redmi 6

Can any budget phones list in India not feature a Xiaomi handset? Redmi 6 makes the list courtesy of the features it packs in a compact package. If you do not like big phones, you will like the Redmi 6. The phone features a 5.45-inch 18:9 HD+ display (1440 x 720 pixels) with slim bezels. It also comes with 12 MP + 5 MP dual cameras at the back that were earlier found in the higher Note Pro series from the same company.

The Xiaomi Redmi 6A, Redmi 6 and the Redmi 6 Pro. Image: Prannoy Palav

The Xiaomi Redmi 6A, Redmi 6 and the Redmi 6 Pro (L to R). Image: Prannoy Palav

They do a good job for a phone in this price bracket. It is powered by a MediaTek P22 Octa-core SoC with 3 GB RAM and 32 GB or 64 GB of onboard storage expandable up to 256 GB. It runs Android Oreo 8.1 out of the box with Xiaomi’s MIUI skin on top. Its 3000 mAh battery will take you through the day of moderate usage.

Price in India: Rs 8,499 for 3 GB RAM/32 GB storage; Rs 9,499 for 3 GB RAM/64 GB storage

Honor 9N

Honor 9N was perhaps the first phone with a notched display to breach the 12K price barrier. The fact that it now sells under Rs 10,000 is great news for those looking for a stylish handset in that budget. This phone sports 2.5D glass at the front as well as at the back with a mirror-like finish. It has a fairly compact 5.84-inch notched display with a 19:9 aspect ratio and a Full HD+ resolution of 2280 x 1080 pixels. That results in a high pixel density of 432 PPI which translates into sharp picture quality. That is quite impressive in this price bracket.

The Honor 9N loses out heavily to the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 when it comes to performance. Image: tech2/ Amrita Rajput

The Honor 9N loses out heavily to the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 when it comes to performance. Image: tech2/ Amrita Rajput

The phone is powered by Huawei’s Kirin 659 octa-core SoC and a 3000mAh battery that lasts for a workday. There’s 13 MP + 2 MP dual camera combination at the back and a 16 MP front camera that will get the selfie enthusiasts excited. It runs Android Oreo with EMUI 8.0 layer on top. If you want to make a style statement in this budget, the Honor 9N is arguably your best option.

Price in India: Rs 9,999 for 3 GB RAM/32 GB storage

Motorola Moto G6

If you want a glass-clad stylish phone without a notch, along with better cameras and near-stock Android UI, say hello to the Motorola Moto G6. The Moto G6 compares well with the Honor 9N in terms of style and offers a bit more substance too. Up front is a sharp 5.7-inch full HD+ 18:9 display with 2160 x 1080 pixels resolution. It is protected against scratches by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3, and the same applies to the glass at the back of the phone too. The phone is powered by a Snapdragon 450 Octa-core SoC and its base variant comes with 3 GB RAM and 32 GB internal storage expandable up to 256 GB.

The Motorola Moto G6. Image: tech2

The Motorola Moto G6. Image: tech2

What makes this phone stand out is its 12 MP + 5 MP dual camera setup at the back that delivers arguably the best results in this price bracket. It manages to capture photos with high amount detail and accurate colours in good lighting but it also happens to do a more than decent job in low-light photography, something unheard of in this segment. So all the photography enthusiasts on a tight budget, Moto G6 is the phone for you. Its near-stock Android UI is an added bonus. The phone currently runs Android Oreo but is expected to get Android Pie soon.

Note: The phone usually sells for Rs 12,999 but is currently available under 10k online.

Price in India: Rs 9,699 for 3 GB RAM/32 GB storage

Infinix Note 5

Speaking of Android updates, how about an Android One device! Enter Inifinix Note 5. Infinix may not be as popular a brand yet as others in this list, but this handset from the company ticks a lot of boxes for well under Rs 10,000. As I just mentioned, the Infinix Note 5 is a part of the Android One bandwagon, meaning regular OS and security updates for at least two years from its launch. While it currently runs Android 8.1 Oreo, one can certainly expect an Android Pie update soon. The phone sports a sharp 6-inch Full HD+ 18:9 display with 2.5D glass on top. It is powered by a MediaTek P23 octa-core SoC.

The Infinix Note 5 is currently the cheapest Android One smartphone in India. Image: Facebook/ Infinix India

The Infinix Note 5 is currently the cheapest Android One smartphone in India. Image: Facebook/ Infinix India

Though it has a single 12 MP camera at the back, it manages to capture good shots in favourable lighting. The 16 MP camera up front takes some sharp selfies too. It also comes with triple slots - two for active 4G SIMs and one for microSD card up to 128 GB. A huge 4500 mAh battery that supports fast charging keeps the phone powered for well over a day of moderate usage.

Price in India: Rs 8,999 for 3 GB RAM/32 GB storage

There you go. These are our top picks this month within a budget of Rs 10,000. Whether you like style, processing power, battery backup, good cameras or frequent Android updates, there’s something for everybody. So choose one depending on your priorities and you will get your money’s worth.