Are you in the market for a new phone? Do you feel like spending extra for a better phone, but don't want to spend a bomb either? We looked at the best phones under Rs. 20,000 that are available right now, and realised that all the best options are actually much closer to Rs. 15,000 - the most expensive phone among our picks is priced at Rs. 16,999.
So let's dive in to our list, and pick out the five best phones on the market under Rs. 20,000, arranged by price. All the phones are devices we've reviewed ourselves so that we can give you our first-hand views, based on the numerical scores assigned in our review process, cross-checked with what actual users are saying online. Devices we haven't reviewed yet, no matter how good they look on paper, will not be on this list.
Here are the top phones you can buy under Rs. 20,000 right now:
- Nubia z11 mini S
One of the newer phones on this list, the Nubia z11 mini S (Review) is priced at Rs. 16,999, going up against the new Moto G5 Plus (Review), which has similar pricing and specifications for its top-end variant. The phone has a good build and aesthetics, along with decent cameras, and snappy performance, backed up by all-day battery life. The lack of a fast charge is a problem though - it took an hour to charge just 36 percent.
- Moto G5 Plus
Also priced at Rs. 16,999, the Motorola Moto G5 Plus (Review) is a worthy new entry from Motorola and lives up to its predecessors. On the downside, the loudspeaker is not very good, and the low-light camera performance could also be better. It also heats up a bit - however, the near-stock Android Nougat experience, coupled with turbo-charging support, make it a very enticing option. Add to that Motorola's design chops, and general build quality, and you can see why the company remains a major player in this price segment despite the increasing competition.
If you're on a tighter budget, then you can also definitely consider the Moto G4 Plus. The last generation phone is still a winner, and it's also around Rs. 2,000 cheaper online. It scores almost as well in all departments, although the newer Moto G5 Plus does have some software improvements that make it a worthy upgrade. That said, if you're on a tight budget, the Moto G4 Plus is not a bad idea.
- Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime
Samsung doesn't have the same presence at lower price points, but over Rs. 15,000 it comes in strong with the Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime (Review). The phone scores well on all fronts, particularly battery life and software. The fingerprint scanner can be finicky, which is a surprising problem in 2017, but the phone makes up for this with a superb screen, S Power power management, and overall design and build quality.
- Lenovo Z2 Plus
Along with Motorola, its sibling Lenovo has also had a number of really successful - and really good - phones in the under Rs. 20,000 segment. With the Lenovo Z2 Plus (Review), this continues with a phone that is loaded with features and high-end specifications at a decent price. The design and build, along with performance and battery life make this a phone o buy, along with a number of interesting home-button tweaks. It's also fast charger capable, which is pretty important. However, the bundled charger is - very disappointingly - not a fast charge. Also, the camera performance could've been better as well.
A more budget friendly alternative is the previous generation Lenovo Zuk Z1, which is cheaper by Rs. 1,500 - it's a worthy alternative to the Z2 Plus.
- Xiaomi Mi Max
The last pick on this list is less a phone and more a phablet - we feel sorry for ever having found the original Galaxy Note too big - but if you're at peace with that, then the Xiaomi Mi Max (Review) is actually a great option, at a really good price. Despite the huge size, this 6.44-inch phone actually looks really good. It also has a striking display, and performs like a champion. And as you can guess, thanks to the large size, it also does swimmingly well on the battery front, with a 4850mAh battery in there.
There's also the Xiaomi Mi Max Prime which is priced at Rs. 19,999, barely making it in for this list. However, we have not reviewed that variant, so can't say if it lives up to its specs. The Mi Max Prime has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 SoC against the SD 650 in the Mi Max, 4GB of RAM against 3GB, and 128GB storage against the standard 32GB. On paper it sounds like an upgrade, but perhaps not one worth the extra Rs. 5,000. If you're on a budget, the better choice would be to check out the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 - its price starts under Rs. 10,000, but we'd suggest the 4GB variant, with 64GB storage, which is priced at Rs. 12,999. Like most budget phones, the camera is a little disappointing, but in other areas it does not disappoint, and it does particularly well in terms of build quality and battery life.
That's it for our top five picks for phones under Rs. 20,000. Apart from the five picks, we've already given you three budget-friendly alternatives you can buy instead, but let's round that out to an even 10, by mentioning two of our best under-Rs. 10,000 phones available on the market, the Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime, and the Lenovo K6 Power.
The two phones are very similar, although the Lenovo has a higher resolution full-HD display, and although both are based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 430, the Lenovo is clocked at a slightly higher speed. It also has a slightly better selfie camera. Beyond that, there's a lot to like about both phones, which are sturdy and good looking, reliable performers with great battery life, and are both priced ridiculously cheaply.
That said, they do fall short when compared to some of the other phones on this list, but if you're on a budget, they offer options you can consider.
Tell us which of these phones you like, and also let us know about phones you feel should be added to the list, via the comments.