Ameya DalviJan 23, 2019 14:28:28 IST
A price range of Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 was typically the realm of mid-range smartphones that would offer higher RAM and storage variants of their sub-15K counterparts. That is still the case but something unthinkable happened in the second half of 2018 that transformed this category from just mid-range phones to potential affordable flagship killers. A couple of brands started selling phones with flagship chipsets from Qualcomm and Huawei in this budget, while some offered excellent cameras or an extremely high amount of memory. But there’s no one phone to rule them all. So, here are our top 5 smartphones under Rs 20,000 with different USPs. Depending on your needs and priorities, take your pick.
Best phones under Rs 20,000 in India
Poco F1 - The best performer
Xiaomi released their new sub-brand, Poco last year and fitted their first handset, Poco F1 with a flagship Snapdragon 845 SoC and priced it under 21K. The price of the base variant has now dropped just under 20K. That does spell excellent value for money, but Poco did cut a few corners. For starters, the design is fairly generic and it has a plastic body. That won’t please the style-conscious users. The 12 MP + 5 MP dual camera set up at the back does a good job in decent lighting but doesn’t impress as much in low light. It runs Android Oreo 8.1 with a Poco launcher.
Other than Qualcomm’s flagship SoC, the phone comes equipped with 6 GB RAM and 64 GB storage on the base variant. The storage can be further expanded up to 256 GB using a microSD card. You also get a bright 6.2-inch Full HD+ notched display and a 4000 mAh battery that provides sufficient juice for a day’s usage. If you are a performance buff or a gamer who doesn’t overly care about design or camera output, the Poco F1 is one device that lets you play PUBG Mobile and other popular games smoothly with high settings under Rs 20,000.
Poco F1 price in India: Rs 19,999 (6 GB RAM/64 GB storage variant)
Honor Play - Performance with elegance
Huawei’s sub-brand, Honor had ideas similar to Xiaomi when they released the Honor Play with their then flagship Kirin 970 SoC under 20K. This isn’t exactly more powerful than the Snapdragon 845 but the performance is comparable in most areas. But unlike Poco F1, the Honor Play has a metal (Aluminium) body and an elegant design. It has a slightly larger 6.3-inch Full HD+ notched display, 3,750 mAh battery and runs Android Oreo 8.1 with EMUI 8.2 on top.
Photography is handled by 16 MP + 2 MP dual rear cameras while there’s a 16 MP sensor up front for selfies. It comes with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB internal storage that can be expanded further. The Kirin 970 chip along with Huawei’s GPU Turbo technology provides enough processing muscle in gaming and other resource-intensive tasks. This phone made news for the wrong reasons but is still a good buy under Rs 20,000. The phone is currently selling for Rs 13,999 in the Amazon Republic Day sale. Grab one before the stocks run out.
Honor Play price in India: Rs 19,999 (4 GB RAM/64 GB storage variant)
Xiaomi Mi A2 - Pure Android experience and good cameras
Moving on from hardware to software, Xiaomi’s Mi A2 is an Android One device and hence you get stock Android UI with a promise of a regular OS and security updates for the next couple of years. Those who like a clean user interface, this is the phone for you. The phone comes in two variants - 4 GB RAM/64GB storage and 6 GB RAM/128 GB storage; we have opted for the latter for two simple reasons. Firstly, the phone doesn’t have a microSD card slot to expand the internal storage, so it’s better to have more storage right out of the box. Secondly, the price difference between the two variants currently is just Rs 2000, and that would be money well spent as you would get 2 GB more RAM and double the storage in that amount.
Other specifications of the phone are pretty decent too. It is powered by a Snapdragon 660 SoC and has a 6-inch 18:9 Full HD+ display with narrow bezels and protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5. In addition to that, you get 12 MP + 20 MP dual rear cameras that are arguably the best in this budget, along with a 20 MP front shooter. Another notable absentee here is a 3.5 mm headphone jack. Despite that, Mi A2 is a good all-round smartphone that offers excellent value for money.
Xiaomi Mi A2 price in India: Rs 15,999 (6 GB RAM/128 GB storage variant)
Vivo V9 Pro - For the stylish and selfie enthusiasts
Vivo V9 Pro has a stylish design and is a significant upgrade over the Vivo V9 in terms of processing hardware. Despite having a plastic body, it looks classy thanks to its curvy design and 7.9mm thickness. This too has a 6.3-inch full HD+ notched display. Like the Mi A2, this is powered by a Snapdragon 660 SoC backed by 6 GB of RAM. You get 64 GB internal storage here but it expandable further using a microSD card. The 3.5 mm jack is also present here. 13 MP + 2 MP dual cameras at the back do a decent job is bright conditions but Vivo phones are known for their selfie expertise, and this one is no different. Its AI assisted 16 MP front camera lets you take good selfies with AI HDR, bokeh effect (portrait mode) and a handful of other tweaks. If you are a selfie enthusiast, Vivo V9 Pro is a great option for you.
Vivo V9 Pro price in India: Rs 17,990 (6 GB RAM/64 GB storage variant)
Realme 2 Pro - No memory loss here
Last but by no means the least, the Realme 2 Pro makes our list. This phone is a great combination of specifications and features at a hard to beat price. While we included its base variant in our list of phones under 15K, we opted for its top variant here. This phone too is powered by a Snapdragon 660 SoC but boasts of a whopping 8 GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage that can be expanded further. That makes multitasking a breeze.
The goodies don’t stop there. It has a full HD+ display with a tiny drop-sized notch that is generally seen in phones 1.5 times or two times its price or higher. The 16 MP + 2 MP dual rear cameras are quite competent too in most conditions but just about acceptable in low light. A 3,500mAh battery keeps it powered for a day comfortably. It runs Android Oreo 8.1 with ColorOS 5.2 layer on top. This is one phone with by far the most amount of RAM in this price bracket currently.
Realme 2 Pro price in India: Rs 17,990 (8 GB RAM/128 GB storage variant)
That completes our list of best phones under Rs 20,000 for this month. If you are on a tighter budget, you may want to check our list of the top phones under Rs 15,000 here. If on a super tight budget, here are our best phones under 10K worth buying.