Best budget smartphones in India for 2021

The budget smartphone segment takes a big chunk in the Indian smartphone market. This is also one of the most crowded markets and every week one or the other company comes up with a new phone that falls between Rs 10,000 and Rs 20,000. The segment is crowded with too many options which might confuse you. 

So, to get rid of all the confusion with a plethora of options available in the budget segment, we have listed down the best cheap phones available in India that’s priced under Rs 20,000. We have mentioned reasons to buy a particular smartphone and also reasons to avoid that, so depending on usage and priority, you can choose the best device which suits your needs.  

Best budget phones under Rs 20,000

1. Redmi Note 10 Pro

2. Poco X3 Pro

3. Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G

4. Moto G40 Fusion

5. Realme 8

6. Redmi Note 10 

7. Samsung Galaxy M12

8. Micromax In 1

A few years back, the budget phone segment was dominated by the Redmi Note family and Samsung phones, but now we have smartphones from brands like Realme, Poco, Motorola, and even Micromax. 

The Redmi Note 10 Pro series lead our budget phone pack closely followed by Poco, Realme, Samsung, Moto, and Micromax. The Redmi Note series offers best-in-class all-round performance while Poco X3 Pro is a top gaming budget phone. The Moto G40 Fusion and Micromax In 1 both offer clean Android and competitive specs for the respective prices. 

The Realme 8 is an excellent budget phone with not-so-competitive specs, but an impressive overall experience. And, lastly, the Realme Narzo 30 Pro is the best 5G all-around smartphone under Rs 20,000 if you want to future proof yourself. 

These are the best budget phones in India:

Best budget smartphones in India under Rs 20,000

Image 1 of 8

Redmi Note 10 Pro Max review

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
Image 2 of 8

Redmi Note 10 Pro Max review

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
Image 3 of 8

Redmi Note 10 Pro Max review

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
Image 4 of 8

Redmi Note 10 Pro Max review

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
Image 5 of 8

Redmi Note 10 Pro Max review

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
Image 6 of 8

Redmi Note 10 Pro Max review

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
Image 7 of 8

Redmi Note 10 Pro Max review

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
Image 8 of 8

Redmi Note 10 Pro Max review

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

1. Redmi Note 10 Pro

Umpteen upgrades

Display: 6.67-inch FHD+, AMOLED, 120Hz | Processor: Snapdragon 732G | RAM: 6/8GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 5020mAh, 33W charging | Rear camera: 64MP+8+5+2MP | Front camera: 16MP | OS: Android 11, MIUI 12 | Weight: 193g | Thickness: 8.1mm

Lovely 120Hz AMOLED display
Reliable battery life
Great cameras
Stereo speakers
Relatively slow charging
Inconsistent secondary camera
No 5G

In India, we can say the synonym for the budget phone is the Redmi Note lineup, going by the past few years record. This time, we have three devices in the series ─ Redmi Note 10, Redmi Note 10 Pro, Redmi Note 10 Pro Max. The Redmi Note 10 Pro that starts at Rs 15,999 is the most bang for the buck smartphone as it has all the features of the Max variant apart from the 108MP main camera.  

The Redmi Note 10 Pro brings an AMOLED display and 120Hz refresh rate which was unheard of previously in the segment. The device is powered by Snapdragon 732G processor and packs in a massive 5,020mAh battery with 33W fast charging. In terms of optics, you get a 64MP main camera, an 8MP ultra-wide camera, a 5MP macro lens, and a 2MP depth sensor. The camera performance is excellent, especially the 5MP macro and the main camera. While the phone lacks 5G capabilities, the chipset performs well for most day-to-day tasks.

For those who want a 108MP camera, the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is available for Rs 3,000 more. Apart from the primary camera, everything else remains the same on both phones. 

Read our Redmi Note 10 Pro Max review

Redmi Note 10 Pro Max Redmi Note 10 Pro
6+64GB Rs 18,999 Rs 15,999
6+128GB Rs 19,999 Rs 16,999
8+128GB Rs 21,999 Rs 18,999
Image 1 of 9

Poco X3 Pro

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
Image 2 of 9

Poco X3 Pro

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
Image 3 of 9

Poco X3 Pro

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
Image 4 of 9

Poco X3 Pro

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
Image 5 of 9

Poco X3 Pro

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
Image 6 of 9

Poco X3 Pro

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
Image 7 of 9

Poco X3 Pro

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
Image 8 of 9

Poco X3 Pro

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
Image 9 of 9

Poco X3 Pro

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

2. Poco X3 Pro

New ingredients, same recipe

Display: 6.67" FHD+, LCD, 120Hz | Processor: Snapdragon 860 | RAM: 6/8GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 5160mAh, 33W | Rear camera: 48+8+2+2MP | Front camera: 20MP | OS: Android 11, MIUI 12 | Weight: 213g | Thickness: 9.4mm

Excellent performance
Battery life
Camera
Relatively slow charging
Bulky

Poco X3 Pro is the best-performing phone in the segment with a flagship-grade Snapdragon 860 processor. It is also a gaming phone that we can wholeheartedly recommend in the budget segment. Apart from the top-class processor, you get a 6.67-inch Full HD+ display with a 120Hz display - though it isn’t an AMOLED panel, the LCD panel on the device is of good quality with adequate performance. 

On paper, the 48MP quad-camera might seem disappointing, but the performance of the primary camera day and night is surprisingly good. The phone is packed with a big battery which can last one full day easily even with heavy usage. MIUI 12 isn’t still perfect software, but the powerful processor and optimization allow it to run smoothly. 

In case you have a slightly lower budget, you can also consider Poco X3 which recently got a permanent price cut. It comes with a 120Hz display,  Snapdragon 732G, and reliable cameras. It also packs in a 6,000mAh battery that also fails to live up. As a whole, it is still a formidable package for a starting price of Rs 14,999. 

Read our Poco X3 Pro review

Read our Poco X3 review

Buy Poco X3 Pro on Flipkart 

6+128GB: Rs 18,999 | 8+128GB: Rs 20,999

Buy Poco X3 on Flipkart

6+64GB: Rs 14,999 | 6+128GB: Rs 16,999 | 8+128GB: Rs 18,999

Realme Narzo 30 pro

(Image credit: Flipkart)

3. Realme Narzo 30 Pro

Display: 6.6-inch LCD, 120Hz | Processor: MediaTek Dimensity 800U | RAM: 6/8GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 4000mAh, 30W charging | Rear camera: 48+8+2MP | Front camera: 16MP | OS: Android 10, Realme UI | Weight: 194g | Thickness: 9.1mm

Performance
Battery life and charging
120Hz screen
Average camera experience
Android 10

While 5G seems far-fetched for Indians at this point, the Realme Narzo 30 Pro is for those who want to be future-proof. The Realme Narzo 30 Pro is one of the budget 5G phones that doesn’t compromise much just to offer 5G, unlike other 5G budget phones. The phone offers competitive specs and performance to stay on the list.

A 120Hz refresh rate 6.5-inch LCD panel sits on the front while the back offers a 48MP quad-camera setup followed by a 16MP selfie snapper. The Narzo 30 Pro is backed by a 5,000mAh battery that supports 30W charging. In the heart, the device is powered by MediaTek Dimensity 800U which is a capable chipset. 

Buy Realme Narzo 30 Pro on Flipkart

6+64GB: Rs 16,999

8+128GB: Rs 19,999

Moto G60 and Moto G40 Fusion

(Image credit: Flipkart)

4. Moto G40 Fusion

Display: 6.68-inch, Full HD+, LCD, 120Hz | Processor: Snapdragon 732G | RAM: 4/6GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Rear cameras: 64+8+2MP | Front cameras: 16MP | Battery: 6000mAh, 20W fast charging | OS: Android 11 | Weight: 220g | Thickness: 9.6mm

Clean Android
Performance
Big battery
Slow charging
Bulky

Motorola’s most competitive sub-Rs 15,000 phone in recent times, the Moto G40 Fusion is powered by a powerful Snapdragon 732G chipset. As for the display, the device has a 6.8-inch Full HD+ 120Hz display - however, it is an LCD panel with HDR10 certification. Powering the device from the inside is a 6,000mAh battery unit with support for 20W Turbo fast charging over the Type-C port. 

The device runs on near-stock Android 11 out of the box and as an added security feature, the device also comes with Thinkshield for a mobile suite that protects the phone from supply chain level to OS and hardware level. In the camera department, you get a 48MP main camera and a 16MP selfie camera. 

The company also offers the Moto G60 for Rs 17,999. The elder sibling comes with a 108MP main camera and a 32MP selfie camera, while the rest of the specs remain the same. 

Buy Moto G40 Fusion on Flipkart

4+64GB: 13,999 | 6+128GB: Rs 15,999

Buy Moto G60 on Flipkart

6+128GB: Rs 17,999

Image 1 of 8

Realme 8

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
Image 2 of 8

Realme 8

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
Image 3 of 8

Realme 8

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
Image 4 of 8

Realme 8

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
Image 5 of 8

Realme 8

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
Image 6 of 8

Realme 8

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
Image 7 of 8

Realme 8

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
Image 8 of 8

Realme 8

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

5. Realme 8

Greater than the sum of its parts

Display: 6.4-inch Full HD+, AMOLED, 60Hz | Processor: MediaTek Helio G95 | RAM: 4/6/8GB LPDDR4X | Storage: 128GB UFS 2.1 | Rear camera: 64+8+2+2MP | Front camera: 16MP | Battery: 5000mAh, 30W charging | OS: Android 11, Realme UI 2.0 | Weight: 177g | Thickness: 7.99mm

Excellent battery life
Fast charging
Much sleeker than last year
Consistent performance
No high refresh rate
Secondary camera performance

One of the phones that impressed us with performance and experience as compared to the on-paper specs. While it may not seem like it at first, the Realme 8 is a solid rival to the Redmi Note 10 with a Super AMOLED display, excellent battery life, and a fresh design. The Realme 8 has retained the Helio G95 SoC from the last generation and has been optimized well enough to manage even the heaviest tasks. Realme UI 2.0 also makes its debut in India with the Realme 8 series by bringing in a plethora of customization options.

The Realme 8 is also pretty sleek with a 7.99mm profile even with a massive 5,000mAh battery which can easily last a day and a half with heavy usage. You also get a 30W fast charger in the box that takes about an hour to charge. In the camera department, the primary camera on the back with 64MP is the only one that's worth your attention.

Read our Realme 8 review

Buy Realme 8 on Flipkart

4+128GB: Rs 14,999 | 6+128GB: Rs 15,999

8+128GB: Rs 16,999

Image 1 of 8

Redmi Note 10

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
Image 2 of 8

Redmi Note 10

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
Image 3 of 8

Redmi Note 10

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
Image 4 of 8

Redmi Note 10

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
Image 5 of 8

Redmi Note 10

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
Image 6 of 8

Redmi Note 10

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
Image 7 of 8

Redmi Note 10

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
Image 8 of 8

Redmi Note 10

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

6. Redmi Note 10

The right balance

Display: 6.43-inch Full HD+, AMOLED, 60Hz | Processor: Snapdragon 678 | RAM: 4/6GB LPDDR4X | Storage: 64/128GB UFS 2.0 | Rear camera: 48+8+2+2MP | Front camera: 13MP | Battery: 5000mAh, 33W charging | OS: Android 11, MIUI 12 | Weight: 178.8g | Thickness: 8.2mm

Excellent display
Good performance
Sleek design
Reliable battery life
Camera needs work
MIUI 12 is still not perfect

For those who are looking for a great value-for-money all-round phone around Rs 12,000, the Redmi Note 10 is the right choice. The Redmi Note 10 is an excellent upgrade from the last-gen devices with an excellent AMOLED display, good performance, and reliable battery life. As for the optics, the 48MP quad-camera setup on the back performs well in the daylight but struggles in low-light. Selfies come out just above average here. 

The 5,000mAh battery lasts a day and to back that up, Redmi is now offering a 33W fast charger in the box. The Redmi Note 10 has a superb AMOLED panel with a peak brightness of 1,100 nits. It is also one of the best-looking phones in the segment. The MIUI 12 is amongst the most customizable skins in the market, but it still needs some work. 

Read our Redmi Note 10 review

Buy Redmi Note 10 on Amazon

4+64GB: Rs 11,999 

6+128GB: Rs 13,999

Image 1 of 2

Samsung Galaxy M12

(Image credit: Amazon)
Image 2 of 2

Samsung Galaxy M12

(Image credit: Amazon)

7. Samsung Galaxy M12

Cheapest phone with 90Hz screen

Display: 6.65-inch HD+ LCD, 90Hz | Processor: Exynos 850 | RAM: 4/6GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Rear camera: 48+5+2+2MP | Front camera: 8MP | Battery: 6,000mAh, 15W fast charge | OS: Android 11, One UI 3.1 | Weight: 221g | Thickness: 9.7mm

90Hz screen
Big battery
Decent performance 
Slow charging 
Bloatware and spammy notifications 

For those who are loyal to Samsung, the Galaxy M12 is a good option. Samsung Galaxy M12 is the brand’s first phone with a 90Hz screen refresh rate in the budget segment. It packs in a massive 6,000mAh battery and an 8nm Exynos 850 processor. 

The phone runs on OneUI 3 Core based on Android 11 out of the box. In terms of optics, the device is having a  48MP ISOCELL GM2 main camera, a 5MP wide-angle lens followed by a 2MP macro, and a 2MP depth sensor. To the front, there is a dew-drop notch that houses the selfie camera of 8MP. 

Buy Samsung Galaxy M12 on Amazon

4+64GB: Rs 10,999

6+128GB: Rs 13,499

Rs 1,000 coupon available 

Image 1 of 8

Micromax In 1 review

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
Image 2 of 8

Micromax In 1 review

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
Image 3 of 8

Micromax In 1 review

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
Image 4 of 8

Micromax In 1 review

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
Image 5 of 8

Micromax In 1 review

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
Image 6 of 8

Micromax In 1 review

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
Image 7 of 8

Micromax In 1 review

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
Image 8 of 8

Micromax In 1 review

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

8. Micromax In 1

Display: 6.53-inch, Full HD+, LCD, 60Hz | Processor: MediaTek Helio G80 | RAM: 4/6GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Rear cameras: 48+2+2MP | Front cameras: 8MP | Battery: 5000mAh, 18W fast charging | OS: Android 10 | Weight: 195g | Thickness: 8.95mm

Competitive specs
Clean Android
Big, bright display
Runs on Android 10
No ultra-wide camera

The cheapest phone on the list starting at Rs 9,999, the Micromax In 1 is surprisingly a great budget phone for its price. It is also one of the cheapest phones to offer a 6+128GB combination under Rs 12,000. The device comes with competitive specs and offers a clean Android experience.

You get a 6.53-inch Full HD+ display which gets plenty bright and sharp for most use scenarios. In the camera department, the device sports a 48MP f/1.79 primary lens while the selfies are handled by an 8MP shooter. The Micromax In 1 is also amongst the cheapest devices to offer the MediaTek Helio G80 chipset and handles all things well. Paired with the large 5,000mAh battery and 18W charging, it does seem to tick most of the boxes that an average consumer would look for, in this segment.

Read our Micromax In 1 review

Buy Micromax In 1 on Flipkart

4+64GB: Rs 9,999

6+128GB: Rs 11,499

Best cheap smartphones in India under Rs 20,000

Product Price
Redmi Note 10 Pro Rs 15,999 onwards
Redmi Note 10 Pro Max Rs 18,999 onwards
Poco X3 Pro Rs 18,999 onwards
Poco X3 Rs 14,999 onwards
Realme Narzo 30 Pro Rs 16,999 onwards
Moto G40 Fusion Rs 13,999 onwards
Moto G60 Rs 17,999
Realme 8 Rs 14,999 onwards
Redmi Note 10 Rs 11,999 onwards
Samsung Galaxy M12 Rs 10,999 onwards
Micromax In 1 Rs 9,999 onwards

Follow TechRadar India on TwitterFacebook and Instagram!

Post a Comment

0 Comments