In the world of smartphones, we’ve reached a point where it’s no longer necessary to spend absurd amounts of money to get some pretty cool features in phones. Even in the mainstream segment, one can find some good deals if you know where to look.
If you have a budget of around Rs. 20,000, then you can find a pretty diverse set of good smartphones on offer. It was just last year that the in-display fingerprint sensor became all the rage in flagship phones, and today, you can actually get that in a phone under Rs. 20,000. Not only that, but due to stiff competition and recent price cuts, you can actually get a phone with a flagship-level Qualcomm SoC from 2018 in this price range too.
Like all our curated lists, the phones we’ve picked under Rs. 20,000 have all been well-received in our reviews and have a minimum rating of 8 out of 10. All our picks have individual strengths such as triple cameras, the allure of stock Android, bezel-less displays and even the raw power or the one of the best SoCs around, so you can pick the one that suits your usage the best.
Here the best phones you can buy under Rs. 20,000 in India right now.
The Motorola One Fusion+ is a budget offering from the company. This smartphone is among the very few devices to sport a pop-up selfie camera. As a result, it has an all-screen front without any notch or hole-punch in its way. The 6.5-inch display on the Motorola One Fusion+ is an IPS panel and is HDR 10 certified. Motorola has also added a loud bottom-firing speaker which makes this smartphone a good package for viewing content.
Powering the Motorola One Fusion+ is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G processor which is capable of handling day to day tasks as well as gaming with ease. It could manage heavy games at high settings without any issues. The One Fusion+ also packs in a big 5,000mAh battery which delivered excellent battery life. Charging isn't the fastest using the supplied 18W charger but the phone took around 2 hours to charge completely.
Motorola ships the One Fusion+ with stock Android which isn't very common. It is very easy to get used to this device. There are no pre-installed apps or bloatware on this device. Motorola One Fusion+ has a quad-camera setup with a 64-megapixel primary camera. It manages good photos in daylight and enables HDR automatically in bright scenes. The macro camera also delivers a good output. In lowlight, the camera performance is average but it is improved drastically with night mode enabled.
The Redmi Note 9 Pro Max is a part of the Redmi Note 9 series along with the Redmi Note 9 Pro. This new smartphone is identical to the Redmi Note 9 Pro and shares a lot of core hardware as well. It sports a big 6.67-inch display with a hole-punch at the centre of the display towards the top of the panel. It isn’t comfortable to use single-handedly as it is tall and bulky. The main reason for the bulk of this smartphone is the big 5,020mAh battery of this smartphone.
The Redmi Note 9 Pro Max is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G SoC, it is a capable processor and can handle daily tasks very well. The phone is offered in three variants, 6GB RAM with 64GB storage, 6GB RAM with 128GB storage and 8GB RAM with 128GB storage. The smartphone can handle games well but it can get warm if you game for longer durations.
It offers very good battery life and we could go beyond a day and a half before needing to charge the device again. It has support for 33W fast charging which is very helpful and is capable of topping the device up in about an hour. However, fast charging does cause the phone to get hot.
The quad-camera setup on the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max is better than the Redmi Note 9 Pro in terms of resolution. The phone manages good shots during the day but it does sharpen the output. In low-light, it manages to keep noise in check but the night mode does a far better job. Video is stabilised electronically and the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max does a very good job in daylight, low-light stabilisation causes a shimmer effect.
The Realme 6 Pro is a mid-range flagship featuring the powerful Snapdragon 720G chipset and a quad rear camera setup. It features a 6.6-inch LCD display, which produces good colours and brightness. There's no in-dsiplay fingerprint sensor so Realme has used a capacitive one in the power button. There's face unlock too, which works very well.
Realme has used a modern-looking, hole-punch cutout in the display for the two front cameras. The phone is avilable with up 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The latter is expandable. App and gaming performance is very good and we didn't face any issue with heating either. The 4,300mAh battery easily lasts for a day and half and there's 30W fast charging too.
The main 64-megapixel camera captures good quality photos in daylight and at night. Night mode comes in handy here. There's a wide-angle camera which is useful and macro camera for ultra close-up shots. The 6 Pro can also shoot video up to 4K resolution.
The Samsung Galaxy M31 sports a big 6.4-inch display and has a waterdrop notch at the top. It has thin bezels around the AMOLED display which helps it stand out among the competition. The Galaxy M31 is comfortable to hold in the hand but is a little heavy at 191g. The weight of the smartphone is mainly because of the big 6,000mAh battery that it packs.
Samsung has equipped the Galaxy M31 with an Exynos 9611 SoC and gets 6GB of RAM. It has two storage variants to choose from, 64GB and 128GB. The Galaxy M31 is a dual SIM device with support for 4G as well as VoLTE. It runs Samsung OneUI 2.0 on top of Android 10. We found the Galaxy M31 to have a fair amount of bloatware onboard.
The Galaxy M31 has a quad-camera setup at the back with the primary being a 64-megapixel shooter. It also houses an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, a 5-megapixel macro camera and a 5-megapixel depth sensor. Daylight camera performance is good but low-light camera performance was disappointing.
The Realme X2 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G SoC, making it the first smartphone under Rs. 20,000 to have it. It's designed around the Realme XT, with nearly idential ports and button placement. It also features a dewdrop notch with a large, Super AMOLED display and a in-display fingerprint sensor. The phone fetaures two Nano-SIM card slots and a dedicated slot for a microSD card.
It's available in three variants, with the first starting at Rs. 16,999. We tested the top-end varaint, which had 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage at Rs. 20,000. ColorOS offers lots of customisation and runs smoothly. Gaming performance is especially good and we didn't notice any overheating issues either. The bottom speaker gets loud thanks to Dolby Atmos enhancements.
The front camera is a 32-megapixel sensor and captures good quality selfies under good light. The rear quad cameras are exactly the same as the Realme XT. The main 64-megapixel sensor shoots sharp images in daylight and Nightscape works well for low-light shots. The widde-angle camera is competent too, given enough light. There's also two, 2-megapixel cameras for depth and macro shots.
Battery life is decent as the 4,000mAh battery easily lasts for more than a day. However, it does have very fast charging thanks to the VOOC Flash Charge 4.0 standard, which can fully charge the battery in little over an hour.
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 is a highly sought after smartphone. It has a big-display which measures 6.53-inches and a water drop notch that houses the selfie camera. The display also has support for HDR. It has a glass back that is made out of Corning Gorilla Glass 5. The Redmi Note 8 pro also has an IR Blaster at the top whihc cna be used to control other IR-based appliances.
The Redmi Note 8 Pro is powered by the MediaTek Helio G90T which is a gaming processor. It is very capable and can play most gaming title out there on the play store. There are three variants of the Redmi Note 8 Pro, 6GB RAM with 64GB storage, 6GB RAM with 128GB storage and 8GB RAM with 128GB storage. It uses UFS 2.1 for storage and has a dedicated card slot for storage expansion.
Xiaomi ships the Redmi Note 8 Pro with MIUI 10 running on top of Android 9 Pie. It comes preinstalled with a few apps which are capable of generating spammy notifications. The Redmi Note 8 Pro packs in a 4,500mAh battery that helps the device deliver good battery life. Xiaomi has also bundled an 18W charger with the device. The Redmi Note 8 Pro packs a triple camera setup at the back and clicks some good shots in different lighting conditions. We found low-light video performance to be sub-par.
Samsung has updated its Galaxy A50 with a slightly modified design and higher resolution cameras at the front and rear. Most other features remain the same, but this should help the company fend off some aggressive competition. The Galaxy A50s has a bright, punchy 6.4-inch full-HD+ Super AMOLED screen which is one of its best features.
This screen is a bit too large for easy one-handed use, but the phone is relatively light and slim, so handling isn't too uncomfortable. Samsung's One UI is also designed to take advantage of big screens and has a few tweaks that make life easier, such as being able to pull the tops of menus down so they can be reached.
The Galaxy A50s uses Samsung's own Exynos 9611 processor which is identical to the Exynos 9610 in the Galaxy A50 other than improved camera support. That's needed for the 48-megapixel primary rear camera, 8-megapixel wide-angle camera and 5-megapixel depth sensor, as well as the 32-megapixel front camera. The primary camera works great in the daytime, but low-light performance is a bit weak.
You get 128GB of storage though there are 4GB and 6GB RAM options. Performance is generally adequate for day-to-day tasks but this phone is outclassed by competition at the same price. The 4000mAh battery delivers good battery life and fast charging is supported too.
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 Samsung Galaxy M40 boasts of many segment-firsts such as a hole-punch display and a vibrating screen for a earpiece. It features a bright and vibrant 6.3-inch full-HD+ PLS TFT LCD display, which has good viewing angles but there's also a mild vignetting around the edges, which can be distracting. The body is slim and light but the plastic back attracts scuff marks pretty easily.
It's powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 SoC, which is good for gaming but just like the Redmi Note 7 Pro, the chip heats up very quickly when playing heavy games such as PUBG:Mobile. There's only one variant, which comes with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The latter is expandable but it's a hybird slot so you cann't have two SIMs and a microSD card. OneUI runs well and is based on Android 9 Pie.
The 32-megapixel primary camera at the back shoots decent pictures under good light, but in low-light, the autofocus is slow and images lack good detail. The wide-angle camera is useful but the quality isn't great. The 5-megapixel depth sensor works well for objects and pets but not so much for people. Video recording maxes out at 4K but the quality is average and there's no stabilisation. The 3,500mAh battery lasts all day on one charge, which is a good thing.
|Best Mobile Phones Under 20000 In India||Prices|
|Motorola One Fusion+||Rs. 17,499|
|Redmi Note 9 Pro Max||Rs. 16,499|
|Realme 6 Pro||Rs. 17,999|
|Samsung Galaxy M31||Rs. 16,298|
|Realme X2||Rs. 17,999|
|Vivo Z1x||Rs. 16,990|
|Realme XT||Rs. 16,999|
|Nokia 7.2||Rs. 16,399|
|Redmi Note 8 Pro||Rs. 15,999|
|Samsung Galaxy A50s||Rs. 18,570|
|Realme X||Rs. 17,350|
|Samsung Galaxy M40||Rs. 15,999|