iQOO 3, OnePlus Nord to Vivo V20 Pro: Best smartphones under Rs 30,000 (December 2020)

Thanks to price cuts and festive offers, we can buy some really powerful and feature-packed phones under 30K this month.


Typically, the Rs 35,000 to Rs 40,000 range belongs to budget flagship phones, or the flagship killers, as they were once called. Some of that flagship goodness can now be found in the sub-30K category itself. This month, you can get your hands on phones with a flagship Snapdragon 865 chip or 5G compliance, or even with 256 GB of internal storage under Rs 30,000. Time to look at the best options available in this budget before the year ends.

Best phones to buy under Rs 30,000 in India

iQOO 3

Let’s start with iQOO 3 from the Vivo sub-brand that flaunts an impressive set of specifications and features, starting with Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 865 SoC. You can now get the 8 GB RAM variant of this phone with 128 GB of internal storage in this budget, and that’s a cracker of a deal. The iQOO 3 comes with a 6.44-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED screen with Corning Gorilla Glass 6 on top and HDR10+ support. You also get a 16MP selfie camera located in a tiny punch-hole at the top-right of the screen.

Speaking of photography, there’s a versatile quad camera combination at the back, with a 48MP primary camera, 13MP ultrawide camera, 13MP telephoto camera for 2X optical zoom, and a 2MP depth sensor. The iQOO 3 runs Android 10 with the company’s custom UI on top. Its 4400 mAh battery keeps it powered for over a day of moderate usage. To speed things up further, the company also bundles a 55W fast charger to recharge it in double quick time.

iQOO 3 price in India: Rs 29,990 for 8 GB RAM/128 GB storage

 iQOO 3, OnePlus Nord to Vivo V20 Pro: Best smartphones under Rs 30,000 (December 2020)

iQOO 3

OnePlus Nord

The OnePlus Nord continues to offer great value in this segment, and is an easy recommendation. It is one of the two 5G-enabled phones in this list. While that feature is reserved for the future, what you get in hand now is even better. Let’s start with the vibrant 6.44-inch Full HD+ Fluid AMOLED display with a 90 Hz refresh rate that is protected by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 5. The protection extends to the phone’s glass back too. The OnePlus Nord is powered by Qualcomm’s upper-midrange Snapdragon 765 chip, which is accompanied by either 8 GB RAM and 128 GB storage or 12 GB RAM and 256 GB storage.

It borrows its main 48MP camera from the more expensive OnePlus 8, and has optical image stabilisation, something not very common in this segment. The main camera does most of the heavy lifting. The rest of the cameras include an 8MP ultra-wide camera, 5MP depth sensor and 2MP macro camera. The selfie crowd hasn't been ignored either, with 32MP + 8MP dual front cameras capturing some crisp shots and videos, including ultra-wide selfies and 4K videos at 60 fps.

OnePlus Nord

OnePlus Nord

It has a 4115 mAh battery that lasts close to a day and a half of moderate usage, and the bundled 30W fast charger takes it from 0 to 60 percent in under half an hour. OxygenOS 10.5 based on Android 10 remains arguably the finest UI for Android phones.

OnePlus Nord price in India: Rs 27,999 for 8 GB RAM/128 GB storage; Rs 29,999 for 12 GB RAM/256 GB storage

Vivo V20 Pro

Time to meet the second 5G phone in this list — the Vivo V20 Pro — which also happens to be the only Android 11 phone among the lot for now. It comes with the latest Android OS out of the box with Funtouch OS 11 UI on top. This phone exhibits another trait that’s getting increasingly rare these days, and that’s slimness. The V20 Pro claims to be less than 7.4 mm thick; a refreshing change from the ever-bloating phones in 2020. Despite the slim profile, it has a respectable 4000 mAh battery that keeps the phone running for over a day of moderate usage.

Vivo V20 Pro. Image: Sheldon Pinto/Tech2

Vivo V20 Pro. Image: Sheldon Pinto/Tech2

The Vivo V20 Pro has a 6.44-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display that’s HDR10-compliant. Just like the Nord, this phone too is powered by a Snapdragon 765 SoC and offers 8 GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage. Camera department is more than decent with a 64MP primary camera at the back, supported by an 8MP ultrawide shooter and a 2MP depth sensor. Selfie enthusiasts will be thrilled with its 44MP + 8MP front cameras that can record 4K videos as well as take ultra-wide selfies.

Vivo V20 Pro price in India: Rs 29,990 for 8 GB RAM/128 GB storage

Realme X3 SuperZoom

While we opted for the base variant of this phone in our sub-25K list, you can get a higher variant comfortably in this budget. The Realme X3 SuperZoom boasts of 5X optical zoom, courtesy of its 8MP periscope telephoto camera with OIS. The rest of the camera department on this phone is versatile too, and includes a 64MP primary camera, an 8MP ultrawide shooter and a 2MP macro camera. Again, you get two cameras at the front with a 32MP + 8MP duo to take care of selfies and video calls.

The design is similar to the Nord in many ways, but the textured glass back looks a lot cooler. The processing power here is a couple of notches higher, with Qualcomm’s last generation flagship chip Snapdragon 855+ powering this phone. You get the 8 GB RAM and 256 GB internal storage variant in this budget. There is a 12 GB RAM variant too, but we feel it’s overkill, and not worth the additional 3K premium.

RealmeX3SuperZoom-back-1280

The display is pretty impressive, with a 6.6-inch Full HD+ screen that flaunts a 120 Hz refresh rate for flicker-free scrolling in compatible apps. But you get a LCD display here instead of AMOLED. The screen is protected by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 5. A 4200 mAh battery powers the phone for over a day of moderate usage, but what’s even better is that the bundled 30W fast charger juices it up in just about an hour. The Realme X3 SuperZoom runs Android 10 with Realme UI on top.

Realme X3 SuperZoom price in India: Rs 25,999 for 8 GB RAM/256 GB storage

Oppo Reno3 Pro

Just like the Realme X3 SuperZoom, you can get the top variant of the Oppo Reno3 Pro in this budget. It is another fairly compact phone for today’s standards. It has a bright 6.4-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED display with a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on top, and an embedded in-display fingerprint scanner. The company has opted for a reasonably powerful Mediatek P95 SoC in this phone. You also get 8 GB RAM and 256 GB of internal storage to go with it. The phone runs Android 10 with ColorOS 7 on top.

Oppo Reno3 Pro

Oppo Reno3 Pro

The Oppo Reno3 Pro has an impressive camera department comprising a 64MP main camera, an 8MP ultra-wide shooter with autofocus, a 13MP telephoto camera for 2X optical zoom and a 2MP monochrome depth sensor at the back. Just like the Vivo V20 Pro, this phone too has a 44MP front camera, but you get a 2MP depth sensor with it for better portrait selfies. It manages to take some quality shots in different modes in good-to-decent lighting. Its 4025 mAh battery can last for more than a day of moderate usage, and you can charge it to 65% in just about 30 minutes using the bundled VOOC 4.0 fast charger.

Oppo Reno3 Pro price in India: Rs 27,990 for 8 GB RAM/256 GB storage


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