Flagship smartphones may generate the most buzz, but it is the sub-Rs. 10,000 mobile phones that account for a significant portion of smartphone sales in India. The consumers in the segment may not have big bucks to spare but they don't to settle for anything inferior, which really forces the smartphone makers to outthink themselves to bring some amazing value-for-money devices. So, we have seen some great phones being offered for under Rs. 10,000 over the past few years, including the likes of Redmi Note 7 and Redmi 7 from Xiaomi and ZenFone Max Pro M2 from Asus.
The price segment, however, isn't limited to just these phones. There are several other great phones that are currently available under Rs. 10,000, ranging from Realme U1 to Nokia 5.1 Plus. In this article, we have compiled our top picks for sub-10,000 price segment. To keep things simple, we have only included the smartphones priced between Rs. 8,000 and Rs. 10,000, for phones priced below Rs. 8,000, do check out our latest guide on the best phones under Rs. 8,000.
As usual, we've restricted ourselves to mobiles that we've reviewed. We test hundreds of products every year, so rest assured we've covered all the major options. So without further delay, here are our top picks for best phones under Rs. 10,000.
Best phones under 10000
|Phone under Rs. 10,000||Gadgets 360 rating (out of 10)||Price in India (as recommended)|
|Redmi 7||8||Rs. 8,999|
|Samsung Galaxy M20||8||Rs. 9,990|
|Redmi Note 7||8||Rs. 9,999|
|Realme U1||8||Rs. 9,999|
|Nokia 5.1 Plus||8||Rs. 9,999|
|Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2||8||Rs. 9,999|
One of Xiaomi's latest launches in sub-Rs. 10,000 price segment, Redmi 7 is a very capable smartphone, barring Xiaomi's usual annoyances. It is a great option for any consumer, who doesn't have the budget to go for the company's more popular and powerful phones in the Redmi Note 7-series. In our review, we found the Redmi 7 to be offering a great overall performance with impressive battery life. The Redmi phone went on over 17 hours in video loop test. It is also big upgrade over its predecessor, however an optional 64GB variant would have been certainly welcome.
The phone's camera handles exposure well and provides decent shots in daylight with subtle details and sharp focus, however unsurprisingly, it disappoints is low-light situations like pretty much all budget smartphones. MIUI advertisements are another big issue with the phone.
Xiaomi is selling two variants of the Redmi 7 in the country – 2GB + 32GB and 3GB + 32GB – however, we will recommend you go for the 3GB RAM variant.
Samsung Galaxy M20
Part of Samsung's India-first Galaxy M-series, which has already crossed 2 million-unit sales since launch, Galaxy M20 is a good option for anyone looking to buy an affordable smartphone. Samsung has packed a great screen, which is bright and crisp and offers good viewing angles. The phone's performance mostly impressed us in our review, except rare lag in the user interface (UI) at occasions. Hopefully with the One UI upgrade for the phone, which was released recently, the interface would have become a lot smoother.
Samsung Galaxy M20 also provides excellent battery life in real-life, however the same was not translated in our HD video loop test and the phone lasted for only 12 hours and 53 minutes. The phone's camera performance remains its biggest disappointment. The photos taken from the Galaxy M20 lack detail and sharpness; however, they are vibrant and well-focused. The presence of advertisements on the lock-screen is a big annoyance as well.
Samsung is selling two variants of the Galaxy M20 in the country – 3GB + 32GB and 4GB + 64GB – however, only the 3GB variant falls in this price bracket.
Redmi Note 7
The latest entrant in our list, the Redmi Note 7, is one of the most exciting phones to debut in India recently. It may be missing the 48-megapixel camera that comes in its Pro cousin, but that doesn't make the phone a slouch. In fact, there are very few true competitors to the phone in the country right now.
In our review, we found the Redmi Note 7 to be sporting a premium design and a sharp display. The phone came out with flying colours in terms of the performance and also offers a great battery life. The Redmi Note 7 lasted 12 hours and 52 minutes in our HD video loop test.
The Xiaomi smartphone also shines in the camera department, but it reserves most of its good work for daylight photography. It captures fairly decent images with good detail and colours in sufficient natural lighting. The lowlight images are, however, average, which is a problem for pretty much all of the budget and mid-range smartphones right now. The pre-installed bloatware is another issue with the smartphone.
Xiaomi is currently offering two variants of the Redmi Note 7 in the country – 3GB + 32GB and 4GB + 64GB – however, only one of these falls in this price segment, making it one of the picks for best phones under Rs. 10,000. If you can go a little over your budget, the 4GB RAM variant is certainly a better option.
Since its launch in November last year, Realme U1 has consistently featured in our best smartphones under Rs. 15,000, now thanks to a recent price cut, even the consumers with a budget under Rs. 10,000 can go for this smartphone. The Realme U1 packs an impressive set of specifications for its pricing and the phone performed admirably in our review. The Realme U1 sports a nice design, which looks good in hand, however the fingerprint smudges are a big problem. The phone also packs a bright and crisp display with good viewing angles.
The Helio P70 SoC, which is powering the smartphone, makes sure that Realme U1 doesn't offer any unpleasant surprises in the day-to-day usage. Further, the smartphone delivers good battery life and ran for 14 hours and 56 minutes in our HD video loop test. On the imaging front, while the dual camera setup of U1 takes good photos in decent lighting, it struggles in low-light conditions.
Realme is selling two variants of the U1 in the country these days — 3GB + 32GB and 4GB + 64GB – however, only one of these variants is available under Rs. 10,000. The company will also begin offering a new 3GB + 64GB variant of the smartphone starting April 10 in the country.
Nokia 5.1 Plus
HMD Global's Nokia 5.1 Plus is another smartphone that has been part of our top picks for best phones under Rs. 15,000 until very recently. Now, after a couple of price cuts, the phone is making its debut in this list of best mobiles under Rs. 10,000 list. Based on Android One platform, the Nokia smartphone looks stunning and features a premium design. The phone also offers decent performance and a good battery life. It lasted 14 hours and 36 minutes in our HD video loop test.
The dual camera setup present on the Nokia 5.1 Plus isn't free of problems and also falters in poor lighting conditions. In our review, we found the Nokia 5.1 Plus cameras captured good details in landscape shots. Unfortunately, they didn't always get the exposure right, even with Auto HDR. Another issue that we had to deal with was the phone quickly heating up around the LED flash area.
HMD Global is offering two storage variants of the Nokia 5.1 Plus in the country – 3GB + 32GB and 4GB + 64GB, however only the 3GB RAM variant is available under Rs. 10,000.
Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2
Almost every smartphone that Asus unveiled last year made its presence felt in the market and the ZenFone Max Pro M2 was no different. A worthy successor to Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1, the smartphone comes with a compelling set of specifications and features.
In our review, we found the ZenFone Max Pro M2 housing a bright and crisp display with good viewing angle. The phone also packs a powerful SoC which makes sure you will get a snappy performance with any lags or stutter. The presence of stock Android also help with performance of the ZenFone Max Pro M2.
Another area where the Asus phone excels is the battery life. The phone lasted 17 hours and 58 minutes in HD video loop test, the most in this list of the best mobiles under Rs. 10,000.
The ZenFone Max Pro M2's camera capabilities are average and are a slight disappointment for an otherwise great smartphone. The onboard fingerprint sensor is also a bit slow but the company has included face unlock support.
Asus is offering three variants of the ZenFone Max Pro M2 — 3GB + 32GB, 4GB + 64GB, and 6GB + 64GB — in the country right now, however only the 3GB + 32GB variant of the phone is available in this price segment.
Do Redmi Note 7 Pro, Redmi Note 7, and Mi Soundbar redefine their price segments? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.