The prices of flagship-class smartphones have skyrocketed over the past few years, and it isn’t shocking at all to see people spend more than Rs. 70,000 for the latest iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, and Google Pixel models. Thankfully, if your budget isn’t quite so generous, you can get very nearly the same performance, features, and style for less than half as much. The sub-Rs. 30,000 category has plenty of options, and some of the recently launched models at this price level even boast of features that much more expensive flagships don’t have yet.
If you can spend up to Rs. 30,000, you can get yourself a phone that does it all. You don’t have to compromise on camera quality, battery life, or modern conveniences. Some of our picks for the best smartphones priced below Rs. 30,000 might surprise you with their features, such as the Vivo V15 Pro’s pop-up selfie camera and in-display fingerprint sensor, or the Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)’s four rear cameras.
We review hundreds of smartphones each year and put them through a number of tests to see whether they’re good enough to recommend. We check out their performance, cameras, displays, batteries, software, and physical construction quality, and we also tell you everything you need to know about how they hold up in day-to-day use. The following phones have scored the highest across the board, so you know that you’re getting the best possible bang for your buck.
Here are our current picks for the best smartphones priced below Rs. 30,000.
The Realme GT isn’t a flagship killer but it is a premium all-rounder. Priced starting from Rs 37,999, the Realme GT lacks features like an IP rating and wireless charging but still turned out to be a good all-rounder. With its top variant available only in a Racing Yellow vegan leather finish, it is aimed at the youth who want a no-frills performance-oriented smartphone. It has a Super AMOLED display with a high refresh rate that will appeal to gamers. There’s a top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor and plenty of RAM, so this phone is more than capable of handling the most high-end games. The cameras also perform quite well for still photos and video recording. Battery life is good, and the 65W charger that’s included in the box charges this phone very quickly.
The Motorola Edge 20 is sleek but with a protruding camera bump at the back. Motorola has focused on design making it sling and light at 163g. It has a 6.7-inch full-HD+ AMOLED display with a 144Hz refresh rate. The device is well built and has Corning Gorilla Glass 5 at the front and back and an aluminium frame in between. It is IP52 rated for dust and water resistance.
It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G SoC. paired 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. It packs in a 4,000mAh battery and gets a 30W charger in the box. Motorola ships near-stock Android 12 with few of its customisations in the form of MyUX. The phone offers good performance and will appeal to those who prefer style and performance. It isn’t the best when it comes to battery life though because of the small battery.
The Edge 20 has a triple camera setup, with a 108-megapixel primary camera, a16-megapixel ultra-wide camera and.an 8-megapixel 3X telephoto camera. Photos from the Edge 20 were good in daylight and closeups were better. Low light camera performance was not upto the mark.
The OnePlus Nord 2 5G is the successor of the OnePlus Nord. It is a part of the affordable Nord series and is affordable compared to the OnePlus 9 Series. The OnePlus Nord 2 sports a 6.43-inch AMOLED display with fullHD+ resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate. The smartphone has Corning Gorilla Glass 5 at the front and the back, giving it a premium look and feel.
OnePlus has managed to keep the weight of the smartphone down to 189g. It packs in a 4,500mAh battery and supports 65W Warp charging., the charger is bundled in the box. At the back, it has a triple camera setup, comprising of a 50-megapixel primary camera with OIS, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera and a 2-megapixel mono camera.
The Nord 2 is powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 1200AI processor and is available in 6GB, 8GB and 12GB RAM options. OnePlus offers 128GB and 256GB storage options but these aren't expandable further Just like other OnePlus smartphones, the Nord 2 also gets OxygenOS and it is running on top of Android 11. You also get two years of software updates and three years of security updates. The Nord 2 is a good performer and can handle heavy tasks and apps without any issues. The 4500mAh battery can go for a day and a half without any issues. Charging is super quick and the phone can get topped up from a drained state in just 32 minutes.
Camera performance of the Nord 2 is good for the price. Daylight photos are good but shots from the ultra-wide angle camera aren't great. The Nord 2 manages close-ups and portrait shots very well. Low light camera performance was also good and with Nightscape mode, the phone can click better shots in lowlight. Overall, the OnePlus Nord 2 is a good pick for someone on a budget.
The Poco F3 GT is a successor to the original Poco F1 and focuses on delivering performance. The Poco F3 GT has a premium build quality, it has a metal frame and a glass back. This metal frame has “maglev” trigger buttons which can be engaged by sliders on the side.
You get a big 6.67-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. It has support for HDR10+ and can reach a touch sampling rate of 480Hz while in game turbo mode. Poco has picked the Dimensity 1200 SoC to power the F3 GT and has paired it with 6GB and 8GB of RAM. You do get 128GB and 256GB storage options with this device.
Poco has managed to pack in a 5,065mAh battery and had bundled a 67W fast charger in the box. The phone can go beyond a day and a half on a single charge and did manage to score well in our HD video loop test. The supplied charger too was quick to top the big battery off very quickly.
The Poco F3 GT has a triple camera setup consisting of a 64-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera and a. 2-megapixel macro camera. The smartphone delivered average performance in daylight as well as lowlight. The macro camera managed decent details but had a lower resolution.
Overall, the Poco F3 GT is a gaming focussed smartphone that offers very good performance for the price. However, it isn’t a though all-rounder and could do with a few camera improvements.
Realme has launched the new X7 Max 5G shortly after the X7 Pro 5G, and this new phone offers a much more powerful SoC but at a lower starting price. The Dimensity 1200 SoC is great for gaming and general productivity. You get a 4500mAh battery and 50W fast charging, with a 65W charger unit supplied in the retail box. Battery life is excellent and you should be able to last well over a single day on each charge. The 6.43-inch Super AMOLED scren is crisp but not the best we've seen. Stereo speakers make games and movies more engaging. Realme UI's default apps do throw up some spammy notifications but there are lots of features too. The cameras are disappointing overall, especially in low light. You also might not like the plastic rear panel which doesn't feel too premium.
The Oppo Reno 6 shares a lot of features with the Pro model, such as the Bokeh Flare Portrait filter in the camera app, 65W fast charging, and a high refresh rate AMOLED display. The design gives off strong iPhone 12 vibes, but it really seems to work in its favour. The 6.42-inch AMOLED display looks very good. It has a full-HD+ resolution, Corning Gorilla Glass 5, 90Hz refresh rate, and a claimed peak brightness rating of up to 700nits.
Oppo says this is India's first phone to sport the MediaTek Dimensity 900 SoC which is plenty powerful to handle daily tasks and games at the full-HD+ resolution. The 4,300mAh battery capacity might not sound too impressive, but with day-to-day usage, I was easily averaging more than a full day on single charge. The Oppo Reno 6 misses out on the rear depth camera that the Reno 6 Pro has, but apart from this, it has the same set of sensors on the front and back.
The Xiaomi Mi 11X offers the very powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 SoC at a surprisingly low price, and the tradeoff is camera quality. While this phone is great for gaming and entertainment, it takes just about average photos and videos in the daytime, while low-light performance is quite below par. You get a big, bright vibrant 6.67-inch 120Hz full-HD+ display and a battery that will easily last you through a full day. There are also some premium touches such as Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back, an IP53 rating, and stereo speakers. You can buy the Mi 11X with 6GB or 8GB of RAM, but storage is constant at 128GB. Games run very well, and videos look great on the screen. The 48-megapixel main rear camera is serviceable and the 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera is much weaker, but the surprise standout is the 5-megapixel "telemacro" camera which allows for some very creative shots.
The Galaxy A52 is a part fo the A series and was launched alongside the Galaxy A72. The new Galaxy A52 has a big 6.5-inch full-HD+ Super AMOLED display with a hole-punch display. It also has a fast 90Hz refresh rate. The build is mainly plastic which isn't the case with its competition. The Galaxy A52 is IP67 rated and you will find a rubber seal around the SIM tray to help keep water and dust out. The smartphone has a 4,500mAh battery and is manageable for single-handed use. The battery is capable of fast charging at 25W but you only get a 15W charger in the box.
The Galaxy A52 has a quad-camera setup at the back consisting of a 64-megapixel primary camera, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera, a 5-megapixel macro camera and a 5-megapixel depth sensor. The camera performance is acceptable in daylight but the wide-angle camera does not capture as much detail as the primary camera. Close-up were good and the Galaxy A52 clicks some good portraits. The macro camera too was good in delivering a crisp output. Selfies taken from the selfie camera were good and the camera did a good job in most lighting conditions.
The Galaxy A52 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 720 processor which is a decent processor. It is capable of delivering good performance and coupled with 6GB of RAM, multitasking too is easy. Compared to some of the direct competitors of the Galaxy A52, the chipset feels underpowered.
The 4,500mAh battery delivers good battery life and the phone went for about a day and a half with our usage. Charging times weren't too long either with the charger topping the phone up in about an hour and a half.
The Realme X7 Pro 5G looks quite similar to the Realme 7 Pro, especially the design of the rear camera module. One-handed use is quite comfortable thanks to the slim body and relatively low weight of 184g. The display is one of the highlights of the Realme X7 Pro which is a 6.55-inch full-HD+ Super AMOLED panel with an in-display fingerprint sensor, 120Hz refresh rate, Gorilla Glass 5, and support for HDR video playback.
Another feature worth noting is the use of MediaTek's Dimensity 1000+ 5G SoC which is a power-efficient SoC with strong CPU and GPU performance. The Realme X7 Pro 5G ran smoothly in the short time I had to test it. I didn't notice any unwarranted heating, system lag, or slowdowns of any kind.
The Realme X7 Pro 5G is still running Realme UI 1.0, based on Android 10. There's not much that we haven't already seen. It's still flooded with bloatware, although most of that can be removed. The Realme X7 Pro 5G posted strong benchmark numbers, and games such as Oceanhorn and Call of Duty Mobile ran effortlessly.
The Realme X7 Pro 5G has a familiar camera configuration which we've seen on some of its previous smartphones. You get a 32-megapixel selfie camera on the front, and at the back, there are four sensors which include a 64-megapixel main camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera, a 2-megapixel monochrome camera, and a 2-megapixel macro camera. Daylight performance is good but it struggles to give satisfactory results in low light.
Just like the Vivo V20, the Vivo V20 Pro focuses on design and cameras. The patterns created on the Sunset Melody colorway when light hits the back panel look very funky. The display on the Vivo V20 Pro is once again very similar to that of the V20. It is a 6.44-inch full-HD+ AMOLED panel with Schott's Xensation Up cover glass. Colours are rich, it gets very bright, and there's HDR support too.
Videos look great on the Vivo V20 Pro thanks to the vivid AMOLED panel. HDR videos on YouTube play smoothly. The Vivo V20 Pro is a good phone for gaming since the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G can handle even demanding titles fairly well without overheating. Funtouch OS 11 on the V20 Pro is packed to the gills with shortcuts and customisation options.
The Vivo V20 Pro boasts of impressive camera specifications. For selfies, you get a 44-megapixel primary camera with a f/2.0 aperture and autofocus, and an additional ultra-wide-angle 8-megapixel camera. Compared to the OnePlus Nord, the V20 Pro offers slightly sharper selfies and more interesting shooting modes, however the Nord does have a slight edge when it comes to video performance.
If you're looking for a mid-range 5G smartphone that's not a OnePlus Nord, the V20 Pro gets our recommendation.
The premium design of the Reno 4 Pro helps it stand out from the competition and is easily one of its best attributes. It's also incredibly slim (7.7mm) and light (161g), which is a refreshing change of pace. The Oppo Reno 4 Pro has a large 6.5-inch full-HD+ Super AMOLED display with Corning's Gorilla Glass 5 for scratch protection. It runs on Oppo's ColorOS 7.2, which is based on Android 10. It also has some new smarts added,such as ‘Icon pull-down gesture' and ‘Quick return bubble' for games.
In India, Oppo has launched a single variant of the Reno 4 Pro, which has 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G might be a speedy and efficient chip for a low-cost phone, but in the Reno 4 Pro, it's definitely outclassed by its peers. Still, with day-to-day use, I didn't notice any issues with performance.
The Oppo Reno 4 Pro sold here has four rear cameras: a 48-megapixel primary, 8-megapixel ultra-wide, 2-megapixel macro, and 2-megapixel depth cameras. In terms of image quality, the primary Sony IMX586 sensor delivers predictable results during the day. Details are generally good, HDR works well, and colours are nicely saturated. The Oppo Reno 4 Pro can shoot videos at up to 4K 30fps, with stabilisation, but only using the primary rear camera.
Just like the Vivo X50 Pro, the Vivo X50 looks striking from any angle and is easily one the best looking phones I've seen from the company of late. It has a 6.56-inch AMOLED display with a full-HD+ resolution, 90Hz refresh rate, and HDR10+ certification. Overall, the Vivo X50 is a very well-built smartphone with a premium in-hand feel.
The Vivo X50 runs the same software as the X50 Pro, Funtouch OS 10.5, based on Android 10. There's a lot that's packed into this custom Android skin, starting with plenty of redundant apps such as Vivo's own app store, browser, and email client — none of which can be uninstalled.
The Vivo X50 uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 SoC and performance has been nothing but great. Unlocking the phone is quick and seamless, the interface is always snappy thanks to the high-refresh-rate screen, and multitasking isn't a problem. I found the battery life of the Vivo X50 to be more than satisfactory. Even with light gaming and camera use, I was easily getting at least a day and a half, and sometimes even up to two full days on one charge.
The main rear camera was pretty impressive overall. In daylight, landscape shots packed in plenty of detail, colours were vibrant, and exposure was balanced.In low light, the main camera automatically decreases shutter speed for better exposure. There's a bit of grain, and brightly lit areas can look overexposed, but switching to Night mode fixes both these issues.
|Best Mobile Phones Under 30000 In India||Price in India|
|Realme GT 5G||Rs. 29,999|
|Google Pixel 4a||Rs. 27,999|
|Motorola Edge 20||Rs. 27,999|
|OnePlus Nord 2||Rs. 27,999|
|Poco F3 GT||Rs. 28,999|
|Realme X7 Max||Rs. 26,790|
|Oppo Reno 6||Rs. 29,990|
|Mi 11X||Rs. 27,999|
|Samsung Galaxy A52||Rs. 26,499|
|Realme X7 Pro 5G||Rs. 29,999|
|Vivo V20 Pro||Rs. 29,990|
|LG Wing||Rs. 29,999|
|Oppo Reno 4 Pro||Rs. 29,990|
|Vivo X50||Rs. 26,800|
|Best Mobile Phones||Best Camera Mobile Phones||Best Mobile Phones Under 10000|
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|Best Mobile Phones Under 35000||Best Mobile Phones Under 40000||Mobile Phones between 10000 to 15000|
|Best Camera Mobile Phones Under 15000||Best Camera Mobile Phones Under 20000||Best Camera Mobile Phones Under 25000|
|Best Camera Mobile Phones Under 30000||Best 5G Mobile Phones Under 20000||Best 5G Mobile Phones Under 25000|