Best smartphones in India under Rs. 20,000 (September 2018)


While there used to be a very clear divide between mid-range smartphones and high-end flagships, the lines have increasingly blurred over the past few years. Nowadays, phones offer similar metal constructions, high-resolution displays, solid cameras, and as much RAM and built-in storage as their flagship counterparts, but at less than half the price.

Granted, these phones may not be as powerful and feature packed, but given the price point, they certainly don’t fail to impress. Here is a roundup of some of the best smartphones available in India priced at under 20,000 Rupees!

Editor’s note: This list includes phones that essentially fall in the price range between Rs 10,000 and Rs 20,000. There will be separate lists to showcase devices priced below Rs 30,000 and below Rs 10,000 as well.

Xiaomi Mi A2

Xiaomi Mi A2 home screen

The Mi A1 was Xiaomi’s first smartphone to be a part of the Android One program. The device certainly took everyone by surprise but combined what many wanted – Xiaomi’s aggressive pricing and stock Android software. The Mi A1 was extremely popular and made its successor, the Xiaomi Mi A2 one of the most anticipated releases of 2018.

The Mi A2 certainly delivers by featuring key improvements over its predecessor. These upgrades are primarily seen in the performance and camera departments. The Mi A2 comes with the Snapdragon 660 processor under the hood, which is fantastic at this price point given that the closest competition with the same processing package is far more expensive. 4GB of RAM and 64GB of built-in storage round out the impressive hardware.

A highlight of the Xiaomi Mi A2 is its camera. The dual 20MP and 12MP rear camera setup is capable of taking some excellent photos, far beyond what you would expect from a smartphone that falls in this price range. There is still some room for improvement, but overall, the Mi A2 cameras are something that most users will be happy with. The device also features an excellent 20MP front-facing shooter.

Of course, the biggest selling point of the Mi A2 for many will be its software package. Running a stock version of Android 8.1 Oreo for now, the Mi A2 will also be one of the first smartphones to receive the official update to Android 9.0 Pie later this year. Keeping everything running is a 3,000mAh battery. The battery life is decent enough, but the good news is that you can charge the device really quickly with it supporting Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.0.

Color options for the Xiaomi Mi A2 include black, blue, and gold, and the device is priced at just 16,999 Rupees. If you are someone who is looking for stock Android on a budget, the Mi A2 is one of the best smartphones under 20,000 rupees to deliver that experience.

Specs

  • 5.99-inch IPS LCD display with 2160 x 1080 resolution
  • 2.2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor
  • Adreno 512 GPU
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 64GB of built-in storage, not expandable
  • 20MP and 12MP dual rear cameras, 20MP front-facing camera
  • Dual SIM (dual standby)
  • 3,000 mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • 158.7 x 75.4 x 7.3mm, 166grams

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Honor Play (4GB RAM)

The Honor Play on a table.

Gaming phones are powerful smartphones built to offer optimal performance when playing high-end, graphics-intensive games. Futuristic designs and optimized performance features aside, the one thing these devices have in common is that all of that power comes at a price. Honor is hoping to buck that trend with its first gaming smartphone – the Honor Play – that features flagship specs at a mid-range price.

The Honor Play comes with the Kirin 970 processing package, which is the same one that powers the far more expensive Huawei P20 Pro. The processor is made from the 10nm manufacturing process and comes with onboard AI capability (via the built-in Neural Processing Unit). You also get the company’s new GPU Turbo technology to increase processing efficiency and reduce power consumption when playing games.

If you’re looking for flagship power and a smartphone that can handle gaming easily on a budget, the Honor Play is one the best smartphones under 20,000 Rupees you can buy. It’s not the easiest phone to get your hands on though, with Honor employing the dreaded flash sale model that is unfortunately quite common in the Indian market. The device goes on sale every Friday at 12 PM on Amazon.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the 19,999 Rupees price tag is for the version that comes with 4GB of RAM. There is also a 6GB RAM iteration that will set you back an additional 4,000 Rupees. Both versions come with 64GB of built-in storage.

Specs

  • 6.3-inch IPS LCD display with 2340 x 1080 resolution
  • 2.4GHz octa-core Hisilicon Kirin 970 processor
  • Mali-G72 MP12 GPU
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 64GB of built-in storage, expandable via microSD up to 256GB (uses SIM2 slot)
  • 16MP and 2MP dual rear cameras, 16MP front-facing camera
  • Dual SIM (dual standby) hybrid slot
  • 3,750 mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • 157.9 x 74.3 x 7.5mm, 176grams

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Nokia 6.1 Plus

Nokia 6.1 Plus back

Nokia has released some excellent smartphones so far this year like the Nokia 7 Plus, and the Nokia 8 Sirocco. The company also made the decision to have all of its devices be a part of Google’s Android One initiative. Its latest premium mid-range offering is the new Nokia 6.1 Plus that was recently launched in India.

The Nokia 6.1 Plus is the third iteration in the series. The original Nokia 6 launched in 2017, followed by Nokia 6 (2018) — popularly dubbed the Nokia 6.1 early this year — with more incremental hardware updates. The Nokia 6.1 Plus comes with superior specifications and a new look, with it being the first Nokia device to feature a notch.

The Nokia 6.1 Plus features a beautiful design and the metal and glass build is much more impressive than what its price point would suggest. The device is powered by the Snapdragon 636 processor, the same that is found with the Asus Zenfone Pro M1 and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro.

As expected, the performance is as good as expected, helped along by the stock Android software experience that is available, which is one of the highlights of this phone. Being a part of the Android One program means that this phone will also one of the first to receive the official update to Android 9.0 Pie.

Nokia also finally seems to have adjusted to the aggressive pricing strategy that its competition relies on in the Indian market. Available in black, white, and blue, the Nokia 6.1 Plus is priced at just 15,999 Rupees, putting it in the same price range and competing devices. Nokia is also using the flash sale method though, so this isn’t going to be the easiest phone to get your hands on. The Nokia 6.1 Plus goes on sale every Thursday at 12 PM.

Specs

  • 5.99-inch IPS LCD display with 2160 x 1080 resolution
  • 1.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor
  • Adreno 509 GPU
  • 4/6GB of RAM
  • 64GB of built-in storage, further expandable via microSD up to 256GB
  • 12 and 5MP rear cameras, 20MP front-facing camera with LED flash
  • Dual SIM (dual standby)
  • 3,060mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • 158.6 x 75.4 x 8.1 mm, 181 grams

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Moto G6

Moto G6

Motorola can be credited with starting the mid-range boom a few years ago with the Moto G series. The competition is a lot more intense in this space now, but every iteration of the Moto G has consistently remained a part of the best smartphones under 20,000 Rupees list. Things are no different with the recently launched Moto G6.

Under the hood is a Snapdragon 450 processor, 3 or 4GB of RAM, 32 or 64GB of built-in storage, and a 3,000mAh battery. You also get a dual rear camera setup and a good 16MP front-facing shooter. In a world full of infinite displays and notches, Motorola stays true to the design language of the Moto G series, even though it does adopt the 18:9 display aspect ratio that is now standard.

The 3GB/32GB and 4GB/64GB versions of the Moto G6 are currently priced at 13,999 Rupees and 15,999 Rupees respectively.

Specs

  • 5.7-inch IPS LCD display with 2160 x 1080 resolution
  • 1.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor
  • Adreno 506 GPU
  • 3/4GB of RAM
  • 32/64GB of built-in storage, further expandable via microSD up to 256GB
  • 12 and 5MP rear cameras, 16MP front-facing camera with LED flash
  • Dual SIM (dual standby)
  • 3,000mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • 154.5 x 72.4 x 8.3mm, 167grams

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OPPO RealMe 1

OPPO RealMe 1

OPPO is looking to carve out their own piece of the market share pie in a segment that is dominated by Xiaomi, with its new online-only sub-brand RealMe. The higher-end iteration of the RealMe 1 has received all the headlines because of the incredible specifications and features you get at a sub-15,000 rupee price point, undercutting and beating Xiaomi at their own game.

You get almost flagship like specifications with the high-end iteration of the RealMe 1. These include a Full HD+ display, a Mediatek Helio P60 processor, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of onboard storage. You also get a 13MP rear camera, an 8MP front-facing camera with AI features and face unlock, and a 3,410mAh battery.

This version of the RealMe 1 is considerably cheaper than the competition, with a price tag of just 13,990 Rupees. But if you’re hoping to save more money, you can also pick up the version with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage at just 10,990 Rupees. The limited edition silver color is also available only with the latter, but you get the gorgeous diamond back design with both versions.

OPPO has certainly come out of the gate swinging, and the RealMe 1 is easily one of the best smartphones under 20,000 (and lower) in India right now.

Specs

  • 6-inch IPS LCD display with 2160 x 1080 resolution
  • 2GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio P60 processor
  • Mali-G72 MP3 GPU
  • 4/6GB of RAM
  • 64/128GB of built-in storage, further expandable via microSD up to 256GB
  • 13MP rear camera, 8MP front-facing camera
  • Dual SIM (dual standby)
  • 4,000 mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • 156.5 x 75.2 x 7.8mm, 155grams

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Huawei P20 Lite

Huawei P20 Lite

The Huawei P20 Lite, as the name suggests, is the mid-range version of the super-charged P20 Pro. However, it does manage to look quite similar and you get to enjoy the flagship design at a third of the price.

The specifications are pretty impressive as well. You get a large Full HD+ display, the mid-range HiSilicon Kirin 659 processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of built-in storage. There is a dual 16MP and 2MP rear camera setup and an excellent 24MP front-facing shooter with face unlock capabilities. Keeping everything running is a 3,000 mAh battery. On the design front, the Huawei P20 Lite is one of the few smartphones in this price range to feature the notch.

The Huawei P20 Lite, available in black and midnight blue, is currently priced at 19,999 Rupees, allowing it to make it onto this best smartphones under 20,000 Rupees list.

Specs

  • 5.84-inch IPS LCD display with 2280 x 1080 resolution
  • 2.36GHz octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 659 processor
  • Mali-T830 MP2 GPU
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 64GB of built-in storage, further expandable via microSD up to 256GB (uses SIM 2 slot)
  • 16MP and 2MP dual rear cameras, 24MP front-facing camera
  • Dual SIM (dual standby)
  • 3,000mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • 148.6 x 71.2 x 7.4mm, 145grams

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ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1

ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1

ASUS is another company like OPPO that is looking to undercut some of Xiaomi’s dominance in the Indian market. That is where the ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1 comes in, with the device featuring specs similar to the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5, but at a far cheaper price point. Among the new entrants in the India over the last couple of months, this device definitely deserves to be on this list of best smartphones under 20,000 Rupees.

These specs include the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor, 3 or 4GB of RAM, 32/64GB of onboard storage, and a dual rear camera setup. There is also a 6GB RAM iteration of the phone, but that hasn’t been launched in India yet. The big selling point of this phone though, and as large as its name, is the huge 5,000 mAh battery than ASUS has managed to squeeze into a phone that is not much thicker than the rest of the devices on this list.

The ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1 can be yours for just 10,999 Rupees (3GB/32GB) or 12,999 Rupees (4GB/64GB). However, it isn’t the easiest to get your hands on, with ASUS employing the dreaded flash sale system. The device goes on sale on Flipkart at 12PM every Thursday.

Specs

  • 5.99-inch IPS LCD display with 2160 x 1080 resolution
  • 1.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor
  • Adreno 509 GPU
  • 3/4GB of RAM
  • 32/64GB of built-in storage, further expandable via microSD up to 512GB
  • 13MP and 5MP dual rear cameras, 8MP front-facing camera
  • Dual SIM (dual standby)
  • 5,000mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • 159 x 76 x 8.5mm, 180grams

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Vivo V9

best phones under 30,000 rupees - Vivo V9

The Vivo V9 comes with a 6.3-inch display with a 19:9 aspect ratio and an impressive 85.2 percent screen to body ratio. Under the hood is an octa-core Snapdragon 626 chipset, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of internal storage. 

As for the camera setup, the Vivo V9 makes use of a 16MP and 5MP dual rear camera with f/2.0 apertures, and a 24MP camera with an f/2.0 aperture up front. These are backed by some AI functions that automatically improve selfies, whether learning your preferences over time or offering lighting adjustments.

The V9 also has what Vivo refers to as an AI Smart Engine that “prioritizes processing and storage resources for an optimized experience,” and an updated version of its Game Mode that can block all messages, calls, and alerts while gaming.

A recent price drop has resulted in the Vivo V9 being currently priced at 18,900 Rupees. Vivo might not be quite as popular as some of the other brands on this list, but don’t let that fool you. This is one of the best phones under 20,000 Rupees you can buy. 

Specs

  • 6.3-inch IPS LCD display with 2280 x 1080 resolution
  • 2.2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 processor
  • Adreno 506 GPU
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB built-in storage, further expandable via microSD card up to 256GB
  • Dual 16MP + 5MP rear cameras, 24MP front-facing camera
  • Dual SIM (dual standby)
  • 3,260mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • 154.8 x 75.1 x 7.9mm, 150 grams

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Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro

Xiaomi’s latest affordable smartphone has proven to be extremely popular in India — the Redmi Note Pro model sold out in a few seconds during its first sale. They are the successors to the Redmi Note 4, which was the most sold handset in India in 2017.

The Redmi Note 5 Pro comes with the Snapdragon 636 chipset that’s backed by either 4 or 6GB of RAM. It’s equipped with a dual-camera setup featuring 12 and 5MP sensors for capturing those popular bokeh images. The handset also features a selfie snapper with a higher resolution at 20MP. All other specs including the display, battery, and OS are the same as those of the Redmi Note 5.

The Redmi Note 5 Pro can be yours for 14,999 Rupees (4GB/64GB) or 16,999 Rupees (6GB/64GB). The RealMe 1 may offer a better deal in terms of price, but the Note 5 Pro does have some advantages when compared to it, like its dual rear camera setup, excellent front-facing shooter, and larger battery. Despite increasing competition in the price segment, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro remains one of the best smartphones under 20,000 Rupees.

Specs

  • 5.99-inch IPS LCD display with 2160 x 1080 resolution
  • 1.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor
  • Adreno 509 GPU
  • 4/6GB of RAM
  • 64GB of built-in storage, further expandable via microSD up to 256GB
  • 12 and 5MP rear cameras, 20MP front-facing camera with LED flash
  • Dual SIM (dual standby)
  • 4,000mAh battery
  • Android 7.1.2 Nougat
  • 158.6 x 75.4 x 8.1 mm, 181 grams

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Even more options!

We’re just scratching the surface! Whether you’re looking specifically for Indian phone brands, phones under 10,000 Rupees, under 30,000 Rupees, and anything in between — we have a guide for you.



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