Best cheap phones 2020: top budget mobiles in Indiaby Siddharth Chauhan
Best cheap phones 2020: top budget mobiles in India
Good features are now within your budget
(Image credit: Xiaomi)
Buying a budget smartphone under Rs 20,000 in India has never been so easy and yet so difficult. That's because there are a plethora of options available in the market. So, choosing the best smartphone under Rs 20,000 can become a daunting task if you get lost.
Nevertheless, having that choice is always a great thing. While Motorola truly started the budget smartphone revolution in India, Xiaomi has carried that torch since it debuted in India. Now, rivals like Vivo, Oppo, Realme and even Samsung are putting up a fight against Xiaomi, so we as consumers are spoilt for choice.
The best selling brands in-country,including Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and Samsung, all have their strategy for this year aimed towards launching as many budget phones are possible.
Here is a list of the best phones that you can get under Rs 20,000 in India.
Weight: 208g | Dimensions: 165.3 x 76.6 x 8.8 mm | OS: Android 10 | Screen size: 6.67-inch | Resolution: 2400 x 1080 | CPU: Snapdragon 730G | RAM: 6/8 GB | Storage: 64/128/256 GB | Battery: 4,500mAh | Rear camera: 64MP + 2MP + 8MP + 2MP | Front camera: 20MP + 2MP
+ 120Hz refresh rate display
+ Sony IMX686 based 64MP camera
+ Powerful Snapdragon 730G chip
+ Value for money
- No telephoto lens
Poco X2 features a 6.67-inch Full HD+ (2400 x 1080 pixels) LCD screen with a 120Hz refresh rate and support for HDR10 playback. It is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G chipset with an octa-core CPU and Adreno 618 GPU. This is paired with upto 8GB of RAM and 256GB of UFS 2.1 storage.
It has a quad-camera setup which consists of a primary 64MP camera, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle lens with 120-degree field-of-view, a 2MP macro lens and a 2MP depth sensor. On the front, there's a 20MP primary selfie camera and a secondary 2MP depth camera, housed within the dual punch-hole cutout.
The X2 is equipped with a 4,500mAh battery with support for 27W fast charging out-of-the-box. It starts at Rs 15,999 in India.
Read our review of the Poco X2 to know more.
Realme 5 Pro
The latest kid on the block
Weight: 184g | Dimensions: 157 x 74.2 x 8.9 mm | OS: Android 9.0 Pie | Screen size: 6.3-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2340 | CPU: Snapdragon 712 | RAM: 4/6/8GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 4,035mAh | Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP | Front camera: 16MP
+ Quad camera setup
+ Good design
+ Ample memory and storage
- Plastic body
- Old version of Gorilla Glass
The Realme 5 Pro is the latest kid on the black and it truly represents Realme's aim of taking on established smartphone makers in India. Featuring a mid-range Snapdragon chipset and offering a quad-camera setup in the budget segment, Realme 5 Pro could be your next smartphone.
If you want a smartphone that offers great value for money and if you don't want to use MIUI again (we've all been a Xiaomi user at some point of time), the Realme 5 Pro is worth considering.
Read the full review: Realme 5 Pro review
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro
Weight: 200g | Dimensions: 161.4 x 76.4 x 8.8 mm | OS: Android 9.0 | Screen size: 6.5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2340 | CPU: MediaTek Helio G90T | RAM: 6/8GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 4500mAh | Rear camera: 64 + 8 + 2 + 2MP | Front camera: 20MP
+ Powerful for gaming
+ Impressive quad-camera
+ Smooth performance
+ Alexa built-in
- Ads in UI
The budget segment is Xiaomi's home turf, and the Redmi Note 8 Pro is its best offering in this space. As the tradition has been, the Note 8 Pro scores great in aspects such as performance, camera and battery life.
It is powered by the new MediaTek Helio G90T chipset along with up to 8GB of RAM, making it one of the best phones for gaming in this segment. It is also one of the few to offer a quad-camera, with a 64MP primary camera, an ultrawide lens, a macro shooter as well as a depth sensor.
At 4,500 mAh, this is the biggest battery ever on a Redmi Note device, and that is paired with an 18W fast charger in the box. The Note 8 Pro is one of the best all-rounders you can get for the price.
Read our hands-on:
Weight: 182g | Dimensions: 155.5 x 75.3 x 8.8mm | OS: Android 8.1 | Screen size: 6.18-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2246pixels | CPU: Snapdragon 845 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 4000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 5MP | Front camera: 20MP
+ Low price
+ Good camera
- No OIS
The Poco F1, the only launch so far from Xiaomi’s first sub-brand Poco is a feature packed mid-range device. It is the cheapest Snapdragon 845 powered device in India and with the recent price cuts, it offers even more value for your money. While the device’s design is something that the company has compromised on, the Poco F1 is durable with a sturdy plastic build.
If you prefer performance over looks, the Poco F1 is the device for you. It is priced starting at Rs 17,999 in India.
Read the full review: POCO F1 Review
Redmi Note 8
Weight: 190g | Dimensions: 158.3 x 75.3 x 8.4 mm | OS: Android 9.0 Pie | Screen size: 6.3-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2340 pixels | CPU: Snapdragon 665 | RAM: 4/6GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 4000mAh | Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP | Front camera: 13MP
+ Quad-camera setup
+ Big battery with fast charging
Xiaomi surprised everyone by pricing the Redmi Note 8 at under Rs 10,000 for the base variant, making it one of the best value smartphones.
Powered by the Snapdragon 665, performance should be up to the mark. It brings the same quad-camera setup from the Note 8 Pro, with a 48MP primary camera, an ultrawide shooter, a dedicated macro camera and a depth sensor.
The 4,000 mAh battery with fast charging should be sufficient for most users.
Samsung Galaxy M30s
More M for your money
Weight: 188g | OS: Android 9.0 Pie | Screen size: 6.4-inch Super AMOLED | Resolution: 2340 x 1080 pixels | CPU: Exynos 9611 | RAM: 4/6GB | Storage: 64GB/128GB | Battery: 6000mAh | Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 5MP | Front camera: 16MP
+ Vibrant AMOLED display
+ 6,000mAh battery
+ Improved cameras
+ Ample, fast storage
- The camera module on the back looks out of place
Samsung has more or less made itself relevant again in the highly competitive budget segment with the launch of the Galaxy M series earlier this year. The Galaxy M30s takes this forward with a refreshed design and updated hardware.
The biggest takeaway from the Galaxy M30s is its massive 6,000mAh battery that should easily last you an entire day's worth of usage. For some users, it should be possible to extend the Galaxy M30s' battery life to two days of usage.
Coupled with the vibrant Super AMOLED display, ample storage and a triple camera setup on the back, Samsung might have another winner in the M30s.
Samsung Galaxy M30s review
Oppo A9 2020
Display: 6.5-inch HD+ | OS: Android 9.0 Pie | Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 SoC | RAM: 4GB/8GB | Storage: 128GB | Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP | Front camera: 16MP | Battery: 5000mAh
+ Massive battery
+ Quad camera setup
+ Abundant memory and storage
- ColorOS needs more optimizations
The Oppo A9 2020 is a refreshed version of the Oppo A9 launched earlier this year. It offers a tweaked design with updated specifications and imaging capabilities.
The primary highlight of the Oppo A9 2020 is its quad camera setup on the back. But beyond that, the A9 2020 also offers ample storage and a massive battery. If you are someone who is on the move constantly and do not want to stream a lot of content, the A9 2020 could be what you need. The ample storage allows you to save plenty of content for offline consumption, and the big 5,000mAh battery means it should last you long enough.
Samsung Galaxy A50s
Display: 6.4-inch Full HD+ (2340 x 1080 pixels) Super AMOLED notched panel | OS: Android 9 Pie with OneUI | Processor: Exynos 9611 | RAM: 4GB/6GB RAM | Storage: 128GB | Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 5MP | Front camera: 32MP | Battery: 4000mAh
+ Attractive design
+ Lasting battery
+ Fast charging
+ Vibrant display
- Unimpressive low-light camera
- UI feels sluggish at times
The Samsung Galaxy A50s has a lot going for it. The device features a glossy finish and sports an attractive display, a triple camera setup that includes a good daylight camera, and decent battery life with fast charging support all make it a phone that’s worth considering when you go out to buy a new smartphone.
While the Galaxy A50 performs well in daylight, its low-light images are not up to the mark. If you are a heavy gamer, you might want to skip this device and look at the other devices mentioned in this list.
The device is available starting at Rs 22,999 in Black, Blue and White color options.
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy A50s
OS: Android 9 Pie with ColorOS 6 | Display: 6.4-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display | Resolution: 2340 x 1080 | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 SoC | RAM: 4/6/8GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 4000mAh | Rear camera: 64MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP | Front camera: 16MP
+ Good design
+ Runs Android 9 Pie
+ Great battery life + fast charging
+ Ample storage
- No ultra-wide camera
The Realme XT is the best smartphone the company sells in India, and is quite possibly one of the best in the segment too.
It was the first smartphone with a 64MP quad-camera, starting a trend that is now becoming mainstream. In our review, we also mentioned that the Realme XT has one of the best performance on a budget smartphone, for regular use as well as gaming.
Read the full review: Realme XT review
- Also read: The best smartphone under Rs 5,000 in India and why you should not buy it
Weight: 198g | Dimensions: 164.4 x 75.6 x 9.3 mm | OS: Android 9.0 Pie | Screen size: 6.5-inch | Resolution: 720 x 1600 pixels | CPU: Snapdragon 665 | RAM: 3/4GB | Storage: 32/64/128GB | Battery: 5000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP | Front camera: 13MP
+ Massive battery capacity
+ Ample memory and storage options
+ Quad cameras in budget segment
- ColorOS has niggles
Blowing some serious heat, Realme has launched another worthy contender in the budget segment with the Realme 5. Aimed at buyers who are looking for a smartphone that delivers great bang for their buck, the Realme 5 is powered by a decently powered Snapdragon chipset.
The Realme 5 is powered by a massive battery and this, in combination with the HD resolution display should mean the phone should easily last for a couple of days with normal usage.
Read the full review: Realme 5 review
Xiaomi Mi A3
The middle child
Weight: 173.8g | Dimensions: 153.5 x 71.9 x 8.5 mm | OS: Android 9.0 Pie | Screen size: 6.01-inch | Resolution: 720 x 1560 pixels | CPU: Snapdragon 665 | RAM: 4/6GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 4030mAh | Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 2MP | Front camera: 32MP
+ In-display fingerprint sensor
+ 48MP camera with Sony IMX586 sensor
+ Ample memory and storage
+ Big battery
- 720p Pentile AMOLED display
Xiaomi's smartphones have been a hit in the budget segment and that trend has continued for years. However, not everyone is a fan of MIUI and Xiaomi has acknowledged that with the launch of its Android One series of smartphones.
The Mi A3 is the latest in this line of smartphones. It runs on clean, stock Android and should get updates faster than other phones. It also offers a decent camera experience, an in-display fingerprint sensor and a big battery at very aggressive prices, making it a great option if you want all these features.
Read our review: Xiaomi Mi A3
- On a strict budget? Try our buying guide of Best phones under Rs 15,000 in India for March
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