Gone are the days when phones priced around Rs. 25,000 were considered premium, but finding a good option that can be a strong alternative to flagships is still difficult. However, smartphone vendors, starting from Nokia brand licensee HMD Global and Oppo to Vivo and Xiaomi, have significant options to be your companion if you are looking for a good phone priced between Rs. 20,000 and Rs. 25,000 price bracket.
There are even options that have pop-up selfie cameras and in-display fingerprint sensors to influence your buying decision. Other models in the sub-Rs. 25,000 price segment offer the latest Android experience and features such as slow-motion video recording and top-notch battery life to meet your day-to-day requirements.
As expected, Chinese smartphone makers largely dominate the price segment. But if you're looking for something else HMD Global also exists with its compelling options. In this article, we have compiled our top picks for sub-Rs. 25,000 price segment. Every smartphone model listed here has notably gone through our detailed reviews, and received an overall score of 8 out of 10 or higher. If you are looking for more affordable options, look for our guides to best mobiles under Rs. 20,000 or the best phones under Rs. 15,000.
So without further ado, here's a look at our top picks for best mobiles under Rs. 25,000.
Best mobile phones under Rs. 25,000
|Phone under Rs. 25,000||Gadgets 360 rating (out of 10)||Price in India (as recommended)|
|Vivo V11 Pro||8||23,990|
|Oppo F11 Pro||8||23,990|
Xiaomi's Poco F1 has gained a spot in our lis, thanks to its attractive specifications and remarkable performance. The smartphone was launched back in August last year with a starting price of Rs. 20,999. However, it currently on sale with a price tag of Rs. 19,999 for the base variant with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, while its 6GB RAM + 128GB storage variant is available at Rs. 20,999. The top-of-the-line variant of the Poco F1 notably has the 8GB RAM + 256GB storage configuration. This brings plenty of space for multitasking and storing a variety of content, giving it a spot in the best of best mobiles under Rs. 25,000.
In our Poco F1 review, we found that the phone has all the elements of a Xiaomi phone, namely a powerful processor, MIUI, and a low price. The Snapdragon 845 SoC performed well at the time of our testing. Likewise, the liquid cooling system of the phone didn't break a sweat even played graphic-intensive Asphalt 9: Legends and PUBG.
We also found that while the display panel of the Poco F1 doesn't have ultra-thin bezels or a punch-hole design, it does offer good viewing angles and vivid colours. The dual rear camera setup of the phone is also capable of capturing detailed images in daylight and record macro shots with an ample amount of detail. Through an HD video loop test, we also found that the onboard 4,000mAh battery has sufficient power to last for a little over 17 hours. You can read more about our HD video loop test here. The supplied fast charge is also capable of charging the phone up to 35 percent in 30 minutes.
On the downside, the display panel quality of the Poco F1 isn't up to mark. Its camera also gives just average low-light performance, and the selfie camera specifically missed out on a few details at the time of our review. Furthermore, the bloatware that comes from MIUI alongside tons of annoying ads can't be ignored.
The Poco F1 is available in India currently in three different RAM and storage variants alongside the Armoured Edition with "real Kevlar" back that are available in 8GB RAM + 256GB storage as well as 6GB RAM + 128GB storage models.
Vivo V11 Pro
If the Poco F1 isn't of your choice for any reason, you can take a look at the Vivo V11 Pro. The phone was launched at Rs. 25,990 back in September last year, though it recently received a price drop that brings it down to Rs. 23,990, which makes it find its place of best phones under Rs. 25,000.
The Vivo V11 Pro has a full-HD+ Super AMOLED display that is accompanied by a waterdrop-style display notch. We mentioned in our Vivo V11 Pro review that the display panel providers vivid colours and deep blacks. The phone also sports an in-display fingerprint sensor that takes a second or two to unlock the screen.
In terms of optics, Vivo has given a dual rear camera setup that we noticed to come with a fast autofocus experience. There is also an Auto HDR mode that worked in a decent manner at the time of testing, balancing the exposure of dark and bright areas well. Additionally, the phone handled noise quite well even in low light while preserving details.
On the part of selfies, our review concluded that the Vivo V11 Pro is one of the best phones to produce well-exposed selfies. The preloaded AI Face Beauty mode also enhances the experience by adding filters. However, the layout of the camera app isn't the perfect one for all users. The lack of image stabilisation also makes it difficult to record videos while walking or moving the hand.
The camera of the Vivo V11 Pro affects the battery, though we noticed that the overall battery life of the phone is decent. Some lag was noticed when we bumped up the graphics in games such as Asphalt 9: Legends and PUBG due to the under-powered Snapdragon 660. Nevertheless, the regular use of the phone and playing Asphalt 9 and PUBG on default medium to low settings didn't bring any noticeable lag.
The Vivo V11 Pro has a lone 6GB RAM + 64GB storage model that comes in Dazzling Gold and Starry Night Black colour options.
HMD Global brought the Nokia 8.1 as its new mid-range offering at Rs. 26,999 back in December last year. However, the phone is currently on sale with a starting price of Rs. 21,999. This makes it earn its place in our list of best mobile phones under Rs. 25,000 price segment.
In our Nokia 8.1 review, we found the feels big, chunky, and heavy, thanks to its aluminium and glass materials and styling. The phone also comes as a decent overall performer that uses the Snapdragon 710 with a dedicated AI subsystem. The display, which is an HDR10-capable screen, is bright and vibrant. The presence of Android One also ensures speedier software updates and zero-bloatware than Chinese counterparts. Also, we found that the camera of the Nokia 8.1 is fairly capable of capturing good detail and vibrant colours and lock focus quickly.
However, there was a bit of overexposure in some shots we clicked during our review. We also observed too much noise and grainy details in low-light shots.
That being said, the battery of the Nokia 8.1 is decent. We found that after a full day of use including about two hours of non-HDR video streaming and a few rounds of PUBG, alongside usual messaging and Web browsing, the phone had about 10 percent of battery. In our HD video loop test, the phone lived for nine hours and 21 minutes before requiring the charger. The experience, in terms of real-world usage with the given hardware, was also predictably smooth during our review.
The Nokia 8.1 comes in two distinct variants, though its base variant with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage fits in our consideration with a current price of Rs. 21,999. However, its 6GB RAM + 128GB storage variant is currently available via some retail outlets at Rs. 26,999.
Oppo F11 Pro
The last of the phones in our list of best phones under Rs. 25,000 is the Oppo F11 Pro. The phone with its pop-up selfie camera was launched back in March with a starting price of Rs. 24,990 for the 6GB RAM + 64GB storage configuration. However, Oppo recently slashed the price of the phone and is currently available at Rs. 22,990. The top-end, 128GB storage variant that debuted at Rs. 25,990 also dropped to Rs. 23,990 as a result of the recent revision.
The curved sides of the Oppo F11 Pro also make it comfortable to hold, though the 191 grams body makes it a bit heavier than average. The display of the phone that has an LCD panel underneath produces crisp colours and has good viewing angles. We also noticed that there is the option to tweak the colour output of the display.
As we noted in our Oppo F11 Pro review, the phone was quick to meter scenes for light and lock focus at the time of our testing. Similarly, daylight shots we took for the review were crisp enough with a good amount of details. The AI scene recognition was also fast enough. Night shots on the phone also resulted in very low noise and weren't much grainy.
The selfie performance of the Oppo F11 Pro was also pleasing at the time of our review. The 16-megapixel camera produced accurate colours with good details, though we noticed some occasionally overexposed backgrounds when taking shots against the light. Video recording on the F11 Pro was also a bit disappointing since the phone doesn't have 4K support. But nonetheless, it does have image stabilisation.
As we mentioned, the Oppo F11 Pro comes in two different variants with 64GB and 128GB storage options. Both notably have 6GB of RAM and are available in Aurora Green and Thunder Black colour variants.
Xiaomi Poco F1 looks great value for the price, but is there a catch? 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.