The under Rs.15,000 price point is crucial to the Indian smartphone industry since it is accessible to a lot of people. Over the years we have seen multiple manufacturers attempting to capture this segment by offering better cameras, faster processors, and better batteries. In order to be the best in this segment, manufacturers have flooded the sub-Rs. 15,000 price segment with a range of good smartphones.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 which was earlier exclusive to smartphones above Rs. 20,000 is now available under Rs. 15,000. You can also find mightier processors like the Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, and MediaTek Helio P70 at this price point, giving users powerful hardware at a bargain price.
Good camera technology has also trickled down to the sub Rs. 15,000 segment over the years giving people the option to capture good photos without paying a bomb for flagship devices. Some of the recent smartphones we have seen in this price point pack in as much as a 48-megapixel sensor. With so many options in the market, picking up a smartphone isn’t easy. But we’ve put together a list of the best phones under Rs. 15,000 for you. As usual, we've restricted ourselves to phones that have fared well in our review process.
The Galaxy M30s is an update to the Samsung Galaxy M30 which was launched earlier this year. This new smartphone packs in a 6,000mAh battery which is its highlight feature. We were impressed with the AMOLED display on this smartphone as it was crisp and had good viewing angles. The 6.4-inch display also got bright enough when outdoors.
Samsung has picked the Exynos 9611 SoC to power the Galaxy M30s which is the same processor powering the Galaxy A50s, There are two variants of the Galaxy M30s, 4GB RAM with 64GB of storage and 6GB of RAM with 128GB of storage. The processor isn't as powerful as the Snapdragon 675 SoC but is on par with the Snapdragon 710 SoC.
The Galaxy M30s has a triple camera setup consisting of a 48-megapixel primary sensor, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera and a 5-megapixel depth sensor. We were happy with the camera performance of the Galaxy M30s however, it was slow to focus while shooting macros. Video recording tops out at 4K but lacks stabilisation. On the other hand, videos shot at 1080p were stabilised.
We could use the Galaxy M30s for close to 2 days with our usage. The big battery does help to keep the phone away from the charger for long. Charging the phone took about 2 and a half hours with the supplied 15W charger.
|Samsung Galaxy M30s Specifications|
|Display||6.40-inch, 1080x2340 pixels|
|Processor||Samsung Exynos 9611|
|Rear Camera||48-megapixel + 5-megapixel + 8-megapixel|
The Realme XT is the first phone in India with a 64-megapixel sensor. It shares a similar design to the Realme 5 Pro but instead of a plastic back, it uses Gorilla Glass 5. The body feels premium and the back doesn't attract many fingerprints. It has a USB Type-C port, a triple slot for two nano-SIM cards and a microSD card. The 6.4-inch display also gets Gorilla Glass 5 protection and the panel produces vibrant colours. Face unlock is also quick and so is the in-display fingerprint sensor.
The phone is powered by a Snapdragon 710 SoC and comes in three RAM and storage variants. The 8GB version we reviewed ran smoothly without any issue. The phone also runs on ColorOS 6.0.1 which is based on Android 9 Pie. The new skin features a cleaner layout for the menus and you still have the same set of shortcuts and gestures which we've seen before.
The main attraction is the 64-megapixel camera, which captures detailed landscapes and close-ups in most lighting conditions. You can shoot at full resolution, which lets you zoom much more than full 48-megapixel stills, while still maintaining good detail. You also get the same wide-angle and macro cameras from the 5 Pro here. The 16-megapixel selfie camera works well under most lighting conditions. Video recording is also good but the quality at 4K resolution in low light could be better.
Finally, the 4000mAh battery does a good jon, lasting an entire day on one charge. It also has fast charging, which can top up the battery rather quickly in just an hour.
|Redmi Note 8 Pro Specifications|
|Display||6.53-inch, 1080x2340 pixels|
|Processor||MediaTek Helio G90T|
|Rear Camera||64-megapixel + 8-megapixel + 2-megapixel + 2-megapixel|
|Realme 5 Pro Specifications|
|Display||6.30-inch, 1080x2340 pixels|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 712|
|Rear Camera||48-megapixel + 8-megapixel + 2-megapixel + 2-megapixel|
Vivo's new Z1 Pro is aimed at millenials who are highly critical of specifications and features, and who prefer buying phones online. It has plenty of selling points including a large, crisp, notchless screen with a punch-hole for the front camera. This is also the first phone in India to feature the Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 processor, which gives it a performance advantage at its price level, especially for gaming. There's a 5000mAh battery with support for quick charging, and three rear cameras. There are three variants: 4GB RAM with 64GB storage, 6GB RAM with 64GB storage, and 6GB RAM with 128GB storage. You can also choose between the shiny Sonic Blue and Sonic Black finishes.
The Vivo Z1 Pro puts up a strong showing in terms of its display, cameras, processor, and battery. We enjoyed using it for everyday tasks as well as entertainment. One slight damper is that Vivo's Funtouch OS takes a bit of getting used to, and has a lot of bloat.
Some people might find this phone too bulky and heavy, but it's priced very well and offers great value even compared to other heavyweights in its segment.
The Mi A3 is the third smartphone in the series of Android One smartphones from Xiaomi. It sports a 6.08-inch display with HD+ resolution. We found this to be low considering that the predecessors of this device, the Mi A1 and the Mi A2 had full HD+ panels.
The display puts out less than 300 pixels per inch and the device does not let you tweak the colour settings of the display. We found the panel to be slightly boosted for our liking. The Mi A3 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 SoC and comes in two variants, 4GB RAM with 64GB of storage and 6GB RAM with 128GB of storage. You do have the option to expand storage further as the phone has a hybrid dual-SIM slot.
We found the Snapdragon 665 to be powerful enough to handle day-to-day tasks and also games like PUBG Mobile without any lag or stutter. The Mi A3 packs in a 4,030mAh battery and has a USB Type-C port. It delivered good battery life and we could go on for close to a day and a half without needing to be charged. Xiaomi claims that the Mi A3 has support for 18W fast charging but it only gets a 10W charger in the box.
Xiaomi offers a triple camera setup on the Mi A3 consisting of a 48-megapixel primary sensor, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle sensor with a 118-degree field-of-view, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. At the front, it has a 32-megapixel selfie shooter. We found the camera performance to be quite good in different lighting conditions.
The Realme X is a premium offering from Realme, which features an in-display fingerprint sensor and a pop-up selfie camera, under Rs. 20,000. It features a 6.53-inch, full-HD+ OLED display that produces good colours and has adequate brightness. The in-display fingerprint sensor also works very well and there's face unlock too, which we found to be equally fast.
The phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 SoC and is available in two variants -- one with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage and the top-end one has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The phone runs on ColorOS 6, which is based on Android 9 Pie. The large size of the phone makes it a little cumbersome to use but other than that, the build quality is great and performance is very good. Apps and games run smoothly too, without any heating issues.
The Realme X has a 48-megapixel primary camera that captures detailed landscapes and close-up shots and video recording can also go up to 4K resolution, which is good. The phone does a pretty good job in low light too and there's also Nightscape that helps bring out better details and colours. Battery life is also solid, as we found the phone lasting for a full day with regualr use. Fast charging is also present that helps top-up the battery quickly.
The K20 Pro is a part of the new K series of smartphones from Redmi. It is the flagship smartphone and sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC. This smartphone sports a 6.39-inch AMOLED display which makes it the first Redmi smartphone with an AMOLED display. The big display dominates the front of the smartphone and the K20 Pro has a 91.9% screen-to-body ratio. It is a FHD+ HDR panel and has good viewing angles and adequate brightness to be visible outdoors.
Xiaomi has also opted for a unique gradient pattern for the back which helps the device stand out. There is Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection at the front and the back which helps the smartphone resist wear caused by daily use. The Redmi K20 Pro is available in two variants, 6GB RAM with 128GB storage and 8GB RAM with 256GB storage, priced at Rs. 27,999 and Rs. 30,999 respectively.
It sports a triple camera setup at the back consisting of a 48-megapixel primary sensor, 13-megapixel ultra-wide angle sensor and an 8-megapixel tele-photo sensor. It has a 20-megapixel pop-up selfie camera. These cameras deliver good photos during the day and we liked the smartphone's macro performance. Portraits were very good and the phone did manage edge detection well.
The Redmi K20 Pro runs MIUI 10 on top of Android 9 Pie. The UI does have useful features but is riddled with spammy notifications throughout the day. The Redmi K20 Pro packs in a 4,000mAh battery that delivers more than a day and a half of battery life. It ran very well in our HD video loop test and we manage to go beyond a day with our usage.
The advantage the K20 Pro has over its competition is in terms of price. It is the most affordable smartphone with a Qualcomm 855 SoC in India. However, Xiaomi's sale model might make it hard to get your hands on one.
|Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro Specifications|
|Display||6.39-inch, 1080x2340 pixels|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 855|
|Rear Camera||48-megapixel + 13-megapixel + 8-megapixel|
The Redmi K20's aesthetics are appealing and it stands out in a sea of other phones with a glass slab design and gaudy gradients. The 6.39-inch AMOLED display is of excellent quality, and the in-display fingerprint sensor is also quick.
The triple rear cameras deliver impressive results, and except for the underwhelming low-light performance and some other minor issues, the overall output is a cut above what the competition offers. The phone's battery life is also great, with the 4,000mAh unit easily making it past a day and more.
The Snapdragon 730 SoC powering this phone ensures a lag-free usage in even the most demanding situations and delivers a smooth gaming experience. A refined MIUI with fewer ads and features like a dark mode, app drawer, and ambient display are an added bonus on the software side.
|Xiaomi Redmi K20 Specifications|
|Display||6.39-inch, 1080x2340 pixels|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 730|
|Rear Camera||48-megapixel + 8-megapixel + 13-megapixel|
The Motorola One Vision, priced at Rs. 19,999, has an appealing design that stands out from the competition, thanks to a tall 21:9 display with a hole-punch. The display quality is a little underwhelming, but the tall aspect ratio offers some advantages when it comes to watching videos and split-screen multitasking.
There octa-core Exynos 9609 SoC powering the phone is a capable performer and handles day-to-day tasks as well as gaming without any issues. The 48-megapixel rear camera captures detailed and crisp photos, but it has a tendency to produce slightly oversaturated colours. There is a tonne of camera features to play with.
The Night Vision mode delivers impressive results in low-light conditions and is one of the best implementations you can find in this price range. The 3,500 mAh battery, on the other hand, is barely enough to last a full day of usage and can be charged fully in less than two hours with the bundled 15W TurboPower charger.
The A9 is a budget smartphone from smartphone maker Oppo. It has a big 6.5-inch fullHD+ display at the front with a waterdrop notch. We found the display to be crisp and have good viewing angles. The Oppo A9 has a fingerprint scanner at the back which is easy to reach and is quick to unlock the smartphone. It also has face unlock which uses the 16-megapixel selfie shooter.
Oppo has opted for the MediaTek Helio P70 Soc to power the A9. It is available in one variant only with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The phone could perform day-to-day tasks without any lag or stutter. We played games like PUBG Mobile and the Oppo A9 managed to run it at the medium settings. Storage is expandable via the hybrid dual SIM slot.
The Oppo A9 packs in a 4020mAh battery that manages to deliver very good battery life. We could go beyond a day and a half while using apps like WhatsApp and Google Maps on the device. Oppo only supplies a 10W charger in the box which is a little slow to charge the device. The smartphone runs ColorOS 6 on top of Android 9 Pie and comes with some amount of bloatware preinstalled.
At the back, the A9 has a dual-camera setup consisting of a 16-megapixel primary sensor and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The camera managed good photos in daylight and the AI does help to set the scene before taking the shot. Camera performance drops slightly in low-light.
|Best Mobile Phones Under 15000 In India||Prices|
|Vivo U20||Rs. 10,990|
|Samsung Galaxy M30s||Rs. 13,999|
|Vivo Z1x||Rs. 14,990|
|Realme XT||Rs. 14,999|
|Redmi Note 8 Pro||Rs. 14,876|
|Realme 5 Pro||Rs. 12,900|
|Vivo Z1 Pro||Rs. 12,990|
|Xiaomi Mi A3||Rs. 12,239|
|Realme X||Rs. 13,999|
|Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro||Rs. 13,999|
|Xiaomi Redmi K20||Rs. 13,999|
|Motorola One Vision||Rs. 13,999|
|Oppo A9||Rs. 11,990|