You no longer have to spend ridiculous amounts of money for a smartphone with top of the line specifications and a premium design. In fact, the very definition of a flagship smartphone has undergone a transformation, with phones under Rs. 30,000 giving their more expensive siblings a serious run for their money. This segment has been hotting up as of late, with several new launches from the likes of Asus, Xiaomi, and Vivo. To make your life easier, we have compiled a list of the best phones under Rs. 30,000. As usual, we have restricted ourselves to phones that have been reviewed by Gadgets 360, and put through our stringent tests.
For those on a tighter budget, we have also compiled a list of best phones under Rs. 20,000. For even more affordable offerings, you can check out our list of best phones below Rs. 15,000 and top mobiles under Rs. 10,000.
|Phone under Rs. 30,000||Gadgets 360 rating|
|Asus ZenFone 5Z||9/ 10|
|Nokia 7 Plus||9/ 10|
|Vivo V11 Pro||8/ 10|
|Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018)||8/ 10|
|Xiaomi Poco F1||8/ 10|
As we mentioned in our official review, the Asus ZenFone 5Z is a powerhouse on a budget. The smartphone is built well and features the top-of-the-line Snapdragon 845 processor, good cameras, and AI-enhanced software. The fact that the Android Pie update is scheduled to roll out in January 2019 adds to the phone's appeal.
The lack of water resistance is the only chink in the Asus ZenFone 5Z's armour. At Rs. 24,999, the base model with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage offers stellar value for money and even the higher specced models with 6GB RAM/128GB storage and 8GB RAM/256GB storage, which can be found online for Rs. 27,999 and Rs. 31,999 respectively, make for a good buy.
The most well-rounded smartphone from HMD Global yet, the Nokia 7 Plus (Review) is built well, looks premium, and runs a stock version of Android devoid of any bloat. The phone is scheduled to get minimum two years of software updates and the Android Pie update has already started rolling out.
The cameras struggle in low light but do a commendable job in favourable lighting conditions and the Snapdragon 660 processor strikes the right balance between performance and efficiency. The smartphone is offered in a single variant with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, which retails for Rs. 25,999. The Nokia 7 Plus can be bought via Amazon and Nokia's official online store as well as offline retail stores. It must be noted that the phone has been out of stock on Nokia's website for quite some time now.
The Vivo V11 Pro (Review) offers a good mix of features and performance at a competitive price. It has a sleek design, good battery life, a bright and vivid display, lots of software features, and one of the best selfie cameras in this segment. Vivo's heavily customised Android skin might detract some users though, and the in-display fingerprint sensor is futuristic but quite sluggish.
The Vivo V11 Pro can be bought via both online and offline channels and is offered in a single variant with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage priced at Rs. 28,999.
The Galaxy A7 (2018) (Review) is a solid all-rounder with one big party trick - the versatile triple camera setup at the back comprised of a 24-megapixel primary sensor, 5-megapixel depth sensor, and an 8-megapixel wide angle sensor. The smartphone is built well, delivers good battery life, and has a crisp and vivid 6-inch display.
Low-light camera performance could be better though and the software is quite cluttered. The base model with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage retails for Rs. 23,999 and is the one to buy. Priced at Rs. 28,999, the higher-end variant with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage is tougher to recommend given you can get the more well-rounded Asus ZenFone 5Z (Review) at around the same price.
In true Xiaomi fashion, the Poco F1 (Review) sports extremely impressive specifications for the price. Not only is it the most affordable smartphone powered by Qualcomm's flagship Snapdragon 845 processor, it also has a sizeable 4,000mAh battery, a 6.18-inch full-HD+ display, and minimum 6GB of RAM.
The unimpressive low-light camera performance and plastic build does not detract from the fact that this is the best value you'll get for your money. The smartphone is offered in multiple variants - the base variant with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage priced at Rs. 20,999, a mid-tier variant with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage which retails for Rs. 23,999, and the top-end variant with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, which retails for Rs. 28,999. A special armoured edition is also available, which is priced at Rs. 29,999, and features 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a back panel made of kevlar.
Other good options
The Honor 10 (Review) is a sleek and compact device with a bright and punchy display, excellent camera hardware, and nifty artificial intelligence features like intelligent scene detection and face recognition in the camera app. The smartphone runs Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box with Huawei's feature loaded EMUI 8.1 custom skin on top and is powered by the Kirin 970 processor, which has a Neural Processing unit that enables on-device AI computations.
There are some caveats though. The under-the-glass fingerprint sensor is unreliable and battery life is rather underwhelming. The MRPS of the phone is Rs. 32,999 but can often be found online for less than Rs. 30,000.
The Nokia 8 (Review) and Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 (Review) are also good options that are older but still highly competent. With a sleek design, clean software devoid of bloat, great performance courtesy the Snapdragon 835 processor, a great QuadHD display, and capable ZEISS powered cameras, last year's Nokia 8 still has a lot going for it. The substantial bezels might look out of place in 2018 but the phone is scheduled to get the Android Pie update soon, which makes it future ready.
Despite the disappointing cameras, the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 is well worth taking a look at. It has a stunning display, excellent battery life, good performance thanks to the Snapdragon 835 SoC, and a head-turning design. The smartphone was launched at Rs. 35,999 but can be now found online for less than 30,000 rupees.
The LG G7 ThinQ, which can now be found online for less than 30,000 rupees, is another option worth considering. The G7 ThinQ is virtually identical to the G7+ ThinQ which received a stellar 9/10 in our official review. The only difference lies in the amount of RAM (4GB) and internal storage (64GB).
The smartphone is shock, water, and dust resistant, is powered by Qualcomm's flagship Snapdragon 845 processor, and has a bright and vivid display. The cameras are also highly competent and the design is sleek and classy. These advantages more than make up for the sluggish face recognition and LG's cluttered user interface.