Expensive smartphones are often more interesting from a feature and specification viewpoint, but the real volumes flow in the budget segment. With mobile data becoming more affordable, many more Indians can now afford to get onto the smartphone bandwagon. These days, even affordable smartphones come with all of the features you’d expect to see on more expensive devices, including high-resolution screens, good cameras, fingerprint sensors and 4G connectivity. We’ve put together a list of some of the best affordable smartphones - priced at under Rs. 10,000 - that you can buy today.
Although there have been some interesting recent launches such as the Realme 3, some of best options in this price category have been around for a few months already. We’ve compiled a list of the best smartphones you can buy today at under Rs. 10,000, which includes options from brands such as Asus, Nokia, Honor, Lenovo and Infinix, to name a few. We’ve restricted this list to phones priced at between Rs. 7,000 and Rs. 10,000, and have been reviewed by us here at Gadgets 360.
Take a look at our picks for the best phones under Rs. 10,000 below.
Xiaomi has updated its low-cost workhorse Redmi series with the new Redmi 7. Compared to the Redmi 6, which was less than a year old, the Redmi 7 has a more powerful processor, bigger screen, and new plastic body with optional gradient designs, in keeping with current trends. This phone does seem to tick all the boxes in terms of matching or exceeding the features and specifications that other manufacturers are tempting buyers with right now. The price for the base model is very attractive, but we don't really see how the higher-priced variant, with just 1GB more RAM, makes a lot of sense.
The Redmi 7 is an all-rounder that doesn't have any one major headlining feature, but it does well at nearly everything. The 6.26-inch HD+ screen is immersive and will make media and games look good, even if it isn't the best. The 4000mAh battery is more than enough to get you through a full day. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 SoC did very well in our tests. The cameras are serviceable, and the rear 12-megapixel primary camera impressed us in daylight shots, but low-light performance was weak. Xiaomi also continues to stuff its MIUI skin and its own apps with ads, which can get very annoying.
Overall, the Redmi 7 is a very strong device that delivers solid performance and has no deal-breaking flaws, and offers fantastic value for money.
The Redmi Note 7 features a glass front and back with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection on both sides. The phone feels incredibly premium, especially for its starting price of Rs. 9,999. The 6.3-inch LCD display produces decent colours and brightness level is also very good.
The Redmi Note 7 has a dewdrop notch, a notification LED in the chin and a hybrid SIM slot. It’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC which offers very good app and gaming performance. MIUI 10 still spams you with a lot of ads and promotions but you can disable most of them.
The rear 12-megapixel camera on the Redmi Note 7 captures usable daylight shots but the AI can make colours look unnatural. Low-light camera performance isn’t stellar and so is the video recording, but the selfie camera shoots decent images.
The 4000mAh battery on the Redmi Note 7 will last you a full day on a single charge and there’s fast charging support too, however that charger doesn’t come bundled in the box.
The Samsung Galaxy M20 is Samsung's attempt to take on Xiaomi, Realme, Honor, and Asus in the fiercely competitive low-cost market. It offers specifications that are good enough to match these rivals, plus a very modern all-screen look with a waterdrop-style notch. The Exynos 7904 processor was designed specifically for the value segment in India, and works quite well. The display is large and crisp, and battery life is very good. However, the cameras are just mediocre, and Samsung's UI is riddled with spammy ads and notifications. The Galaxy M20 will appeal to Samsung fans who are looking for great value.
The Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2 sports a big 6.26-inch display with a 19:9 aspect ratio. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC and comes with multiple RAM and storage options. You get 3GB RAM with 32GB of storage, 4GB RAM with 64GB storage and 6GB RAM with 64GB of storage. The ZenFone Max Pro M2 is a dual SIM device with two nano SIM slots and has a dedicated microSD card slot. It supports 4G as well as VoLTE on both SIM slots. Asus offers a 5000mAh battery with this phone which helps it offer excellent battery life.
|Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2 Specifications|
|Display||6.26-inch, 1080x2280 pixels|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 660|
|Rear Camera||12-megapixel + 5-megapixel|
The Realme U1 features a plastic body with a laminated back, which looks very nice. It also has a tiny 'dewdrop' notch and slim bezels on the sides. The phone supports dual 4G VoLTE and there's a dedicated slot for a microSD card too. The phone is powered by a MediaTek Helio P70 SoC, which offers very good app and gaming performance. ColorOS 5.2 also feature two new apps called ORoaming and Smart Scan, which are handy. The front 25-megapixel camera captures detailed selfies in daylight but struggles in low light. It's the same for the rear camera too. Battery life is very good as the 3500mAh battery easily lasts a full day on a single charge.
The Nokia 5.1 Plus sports a high-gloss design and comes with a 2.5D glass back, which makes it looks very stylish. It features a 5.86-inch HD+ display, which has good colour reproduction and sunlight legibility. The phone is powered by a MediaTek Helio P60 SoC and comes with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. App and UI performance is quick thanks to the stock Android 8.1 Oreo. It's also part of the Android One programme so updates should be timely. Games run well too but the phone gets warm quickly. The rear 13-megapixel camera captures decent details in daylight but struggles a bit in low-light. The 3060mAh battery easily delivers all-day battery life, which is very good.
The Realme 3 is the successor to the Realme 2 and features an updated design unibody design, with a dewdrop notch. The 6.2-inch display still has an HD+ resolution, which is a little low for this price segment but it produces good colours and is legible under sunlight. It also supports two Nano SIM cards with Dual VoLTE and a separate slot for a microSD card. The phone is powered by a MediaTek Helio P70 SoC, which delivers good app and gaming performance. We didn't notice any overheating issues either. ColorOS 6.0 is based on Android 9 Pie, which looks slick compared to previous offerings. The rear 13-megapixel camera sadly, isn't a consistent performer and struggles in low-light. The new Nightscape and Chroma Boost feature do their job well. The selfie camera is also quite average at best. The 4230mAh battery didn't fare too well in our battery loop test but does last a full day on one charge. The Realme 3 is a decent upgrade but at this price, we think you'd be better off with the Realme U1 or even the Redmi Note 7 by Xiaomi, for a bit more money.
The Z92 is a budget offering from Lava and is priced at Rs. 9,999. It has a 6.22-inch display and a notch at the top. The smartphone is powered by a MediaTek Helio P22 SoC and has 3GB of RAM. There is 32GB of storage which is further expandable via a dedicated microSD card slot. The Lava Z92 runs Star OS 5.1 on top of Android 8.1 Oreo. It has a 13-megapixel primary camera and an 8-megapixel selfie shooter. The Z92 is a dual SIM phone with support for both 4G as well as VoLTE on both SIM slots. It has a 3260mAh battery.
The Asus ZenFone Max M2 isn't a replacement for the ZenFone Max M1, but slots above it. This phone has up-to-date styling with a large notched display, and also brings the relatively powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 processor to a new low price. Performance was good, and the Android UI was smooth throughout our review. This phone even ran a few recent games at decent quality settings without any stutters. The 4000mAh battery is also great in real-world usage. The primary downside is the 13-megapixel main rear camera. Despite the promise of an f/1.8 aperture, low-light shots were verging on unusable, and many of our test shots came out blurry or just too dark. The depth effect was also not great. This is a good budget phone for those who prioritise everyday tasks, but you'll want to upgrade if camera quality is important.
Infinix has released a followup to its well-received Hot S3. This new model, the Hot S3X has relatively basic specifications for a phone at this price, such as a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 SoC and 3GB of RAM. The main change is a larger display with a notch, to keep up with trends. This phone looks good, but keeping it clean might be a challenge. Performance is underwhelming, and the custom XOS UI weighs this phone down. The 4000mAh battery is a big selling point, but real-world performance wasn't as good as we expected. One thing that did stand out positively was daytime camera performance. There are better options available at this price.
The Lenovo K9 marks a return for the once-popular brand to the highly competitive budget segment. It promises two cameras on the front and two on the rear, as well as an attractive glass body. We were a little disappointed with the construction quality of our review unit, but it did look very good. Performance is just about okay for an entry-level phone and the cameras actually surprised us with decent results in some situations, though this is still very much an entry-level phone. Battery life is a strong point, and the software is clean with useful customisations. The hybrid dual-SIM slot is disappointing.
The Nokia 3.1 Plus has a big screen and can run for up to two days on each charge without a very high-capacity battery. It looks good and will appeal to a lot of buyers based on the reputation of the Nokia name. However, manufacturer HMD Global has skimped on the processor, using the entry-level MediaTek Helio P22 which means that performance is way below the level that other phones at this price deliver. The cameras are disappointing too, and we got poor results in most of our test shots. On the plus side, the Android One UI is bloat-free and very fluid. Buy this phone only if you value the Nokia name and have very basic needs.
The Honor 8C has a dedicated microSD slot, a quick and accurate fingerprint sensor, and solid battery life. However, the average cameras, performance issues, cluttered user interface, and all plastic build prevents it from challenging the likes of the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1, Nokia 5.1 Plus, and Realme 1.
The Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro features a metal back and a 5.84-inch display with the notch. The full-HD+ resolution delivers crisp images and the brightness and contrast is more than adequate. The phone is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 625 SoC and comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. General performance is good but the phone does struggle with heavy 3D games. MIUI is based on Android 8.1 Oreo, which offers plenty of customisation options. The rear 12-megapixel camera captures decent details in daylight but struggles with autofocus and clarity in low-light. Video recoding maxes out at 1080p and the electronic stabilisation is not bad. The 4000mAh battery offers very good battery life, easily lasting a full day and more.
The Realme 2 offers stellar battery life, a unique design, a dedicated microSD card slot, and good build quality. However, the sub-standard display, average cameras, and iffy fingerprint sensor prevent it from challenging the likes of the Xiaomi Redmi 5 and Redmi Note 5.
|Best Mobile Phones Under 10000 In India||Prices|
|Xiaomi Redmi 7||Rs. 7,999|
|Xiaomi Redmi Note 7||Rs. 9,999|
|Samsung Galaxy M20||Rs. 9,990|
|Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2||Rs. 9,999|
|Realme U1||Rs. 9,790|
|Nokia 5.1 Plus||Rs. 9,200|
|Oppo A5s||Rs. 9,579|
|Xiaomi Redmi Y3||Rs. 9,999|
|Realme 3||Rs. 8,999|
|Lava Z92||Rs. 8,999|
|Asus ZenFone Max M2||Rs. 8,499|
|Infinix Hot S3X||Rs. 7,999|
|Lenovo K9||Rs. 7,896|
|Nokia 3.1 Plus||Rs. 8,426|
|Honor 8C||Rs. 9,999|
|Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro||Rs. 8,639|
|Realme 2||Rs. 9,499|