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 Realme 7 Pro is the spiritual successor to the Realme 6 Pro, boasting of big upgrades such as an AMOLED display, stereo speakers, and 65W fast charging. The Realme 7 Pro features the same mirror-split design on its back as the Realme 7, but it's a lot slimmer (8.7mm) and lighter (182g), even compared to the Realme 6 Pro. Sadly, this phone ditches one big feature from the Realme 6 Pro, and that's a high screen refresh rate.
The Realme 7 Pro performed well as it features the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G SoC as the 6 Pro. Realme UI ran pretty smoothly without missig a beat. The Super AMOLED display was great for watching videos on, and this experience was enhanced by the stereo speakers. There's a 4,500mAh battery in the Realme 7 Pro, which on average easily lasted for more than one day starting on a full charge.
The rear cameras on the Realme 7 Pro include a 64-megapixel Sony IMX682 main camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera, a 2-megapixel depth camera, and a 2-megapixel macro camera. Regular photos taken in daylight generally looked good. HDR was handled well, details were good, and colours looked natural. Low-light photos were decent, without much visible grain, and details were fairly good even in darker regions.
The Samsung Galaxy M31s is the successor of the Galaxy M31 and brings new features to the segment. The Galaxy M31s sports a 6.5-inch Infinity-O AMOLED display with a hole-punch at the centre. Just like the Galaxy M31 this too packs a big 6,000mAh battery but this time around Samsung has paired a 25w charger in the box.
Samsung has also gone with a side-mounted fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy M31s. The phone has a "Glasstic" back which looks like glass but is actually made out of plastic. It is a fingerprint magnet and picks up fingerprints very easily. The phone runs OneUI 2.1 on top of Android 10. The Galaxy M31s comes with a fair amount of bloatware preinstalled on the device.
Samsung has opted for the Exynos 9611 SoC to power the Galaxy M31s. This is a dated processor at this point and you do see some sluggishness while loading heavy apps and games. Battery life on the Galaxy M31s is impressive as the phone lasted us over 2 days with our usage. The Galaxy M31s has a quad-camera setup at the back consisting of a 64-megapixel primary camera. We found the camera performance to be good in daylight. It also has a Single Take feature which offers different outputs after recording a video. Lowlight camera performance was average but the found video stabilisation to be poor.
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 Poco X2 offers good value for money, with specifications and capabilities that few other companies can match in the sub-Rs. 20,000 market. The design, with its attention-grabbing circular patch on the rear and bright gradient finishes, might be a bit polarising but Poco has used Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back for durability. You get a large 6.67-inch screen with dual front cameras embedded in a cutout in the top-right corner. The display is bright, and supports a 120Hz refresh rate as well as HDR-10, but we didn't find it to be too vibrant. Performance is very good thanks to the Snapdragon 730G processor, and you can get up to 8GB of RAM with up to 256GB of storage for less than Rs. 20,000. This phone also boasts of a 64-megapixel primary rear camera and it took very good stills in the daytime. The night mode also helped low-light photos look good. The wide-angle and macro cameras are less useful but still nice to have. Daytime videos looked good, but quality suffered a lot at night, especially when recording at 4K. Battery life was also quite good, but not spectacular.
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.
Vivo V17 is a good looking smartphone finished in a fancy paint job, At the front, it has a hole-punch selfie camera which makes it look modern. It has a 6.44-inch display with thin bezels on the sides. It also packs in a 4,500mAh battery but it isn’t very bulky at 176g. It sports a quad-camera setup at the back with a 48-megapixel primary shooter.
Powering the Vivo V17 is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 SoC which is relatively dated. It is paired with 8GB of RAM which makes multitasking easy. There is 128GB of storage which is plenty for an average user. The Vivo V17 runs Funtouch OS 9.2 on top of Android 9. There is a fair amount of bloatware on the device and we found that a few preinstalled apps pushed spammy notifications.
Battery life is good and the smartphone could last over a day easily. Camera performance of the Vivo V17 was very good in daylight but low-light photos had some noise. Night mode helps deliver a better shot. Low-light video recording is below average and could do with a few tweaks.
The Vivo Z1x is an improved but slightly more expensive version of the Vivo Z1 Pro, with better cameras and an Amoled scren with an embedded fingerprint sensor. There's a gradient pattern on the rear, and some people might find the colour options rather gaudy. This is a relatively bulky and heavy phone, and might be difficult to use with out hand, but it does feel solidly built.
You get a 6.38-inch full-HD+ display and Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 SoC with 6GB of RAM. You can choose between 64GB and 128GB of storage but there's no microSD slot. The main rear camera has a 48-megapixel resolution, and there's also an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera and a depth sensor. On the front, there's an 8-megapixel selfie shooter. The Vivo Z1x runs FunTouch OS 9.1 which is very different from stock Android.
General performance is good and even games run well enough. Battery life is great, and the cameras are decent.
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.
The Nokia 7.2 offers three rear cameras and a premium new design, plus a high-quality display, and the promise of stock Android with regular updates. This phone feels very premium thanks to a metal frame and frosted glass rear. However, this phone is fairly bulky, and the circular camera module on the back sticks out a bit.
This phone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC which might feel underpowered for this price segment. Storage is constant at 64GB but you can choose between 4GB and 6GB of RAM. The 6.3-inch full-HD+ HDR10 display is a highlight, and HMD Global boasts of being able to upscale SD video to HD. There's a 3500mAh battery and 10W fast charging. Performance is good enough for day-to-day tasks but some games struggled to run smoothly. Photos taken with the 48-megapixel camera were sharp and detailed, with slightly oversaturated colours. Low-light shots were underwhelming.
|Best Mobile Phones Under 20000 In India||Prices|
|Poco X3||Rs. 16,999|
|Realme 7 Pro||Rs. 19,999|
|Samsung Galaxy M31s||Rs. 18,499|
|Motorola One Fusion+||Rs. 16,999|
|Redmi Note 9 Pro Max||Rs. 15,999|
|Realme 6 Pro||Rs. 17,999|
|Poco X2||Rs. 15,845|
|Samsung Galaxy M31||Rs. 15,499|
|Realme X2||Rs. 17,999|
|Vivo V17||Rs. 17,990|
|Vivo Z1x||Rs. 16,990|
|Realme XT||Rs. 16,999|
|Nokia 7.2||Rs. 16,399|