There is no doubt that the sub-Rs. 10,000 price segment is crucial for the average Indian buyer. At this price level, users can get more than just the essentials in a smartphone, and manufacturers are very competitive here. The result is a wide variety of options to choose from. If you are looking for phones priced under Rs. 10,000 following the rise in prices due to a recent GST rate hike, this list should help you narrow your search down.
Our sub-Rs. 10,000 list has been compiled considering smartphones that have scored really well in our reviews. These devices are hand-picked based on their performance, battery life, and cameras. So which one would you pick?
|Phones under Rs. 10,000||Gadgets 360 rating (out of 10)||Price in India (as recommended)|
|Realme 5i||8||Rs. 9,999|
|Samsung Galaxy M30||8||Rs. 9,685|
|Realme U1||8||Rs. 8,499|
|Redmi 8||7||Rs. 8,999|
The Realme 5i makes it to our list once again, but the price of the device isn't the same since we last featured it. At launch, the Realme 5i was priced at Rs. 8,999, but the recent GST hike has caused this to go up. The base variant of the Realme 5i with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage now starts at Rs. 9,999 while the higher variant with 4GB RAM and 128GB storage is priced at Rs. 10,999.
The Realme 5i was launched at the start of 2020 and has a new design that looks appealing. It also sports a quad-camera setup at the back like some of the other smartphones in this price range. We found the primary camera to be good enough during the day but details could have been a little better. Since the Realme 5i has an ultra-wide-angle camera it offers a very wide field of view but the level of detail isn't as good as what the primary camera can capture. Close-up shots were good but low-light performance was disappointing.
The Realme 5i delivered good battery life but it lacks a fast charger.
The Samsung Galaxy M30 is over a year old at this point but thanks to multiple price drops, it is now available in the sub Rs.-10,000 price segment. It does offer a full-HD+ AMOLED display which is very rare at this price point. The Galaxy M30 is made out of plastic but the device feels solidly built. Samsung also offers this model in multiple colour gradient options.
The Galaxy M30 is powered by an Exynos 7904 Soc which isn't the most powerful in this price range. You do get two RAM and storage options to choose from: 3GB of RAM with 32GB of storage and 6GB of RAM with 128GB of storage.
We were pleased with the battery life of this smartphone but charging was a tad too slow for our liking. The UI is neat and easy to use. We found the triple camera setup on the Galaxy M30 to be good enough. It managed good photos in daylight but low-light results could have been better. Currently, you can grab the base variant of the Galaxy M30 for just under Rs. 10,000. The device is available for purchase on Samsung's own website in addition to e-commerce stores.
The Realme U1 is another smartphone that has become more affordable over time. While the phone is a little old, it is not irrelevant. This device managed to impress us with its specifications. The Realme U1 offers a full-HD+ display which is not very common at this price point.
The Realme U1 is powered by a MediaTek Helio P70 SoC, which is capable of delivering good performance. It has a dual-camera setup at the back and it takes good photos under decent lighting conditions. We weren't happy with the low-light performance. The auto-focus is also not the quickest. Surprisingly, the Realme U1 has a 25-megapixel selfie shooter which takes good photos in daylight. Low-light selfies weren't great when we reviewed this phone.
Realme U1 manages to get through day-to-day tasks without issue and even games perform great. Battery life is another positive, and Realme U1 lasted 14 hours and 56 minutes in our HD video loop test.
The Redmi 8 was on our list of phones under Rs. 8,000, but a recent price bump on account of the GST hike has caused it to land on this list now. The Redmi 8 is the successor of the Redmi 7, and has good build quality. It is well designed and we like the fact that it has a USB Type-C port at the bottom. That's not all, it also has support for 18W fast charging.
The Redmi 8 has an HD+ display but its processor is weak compared to the Redmi 7 that this phone replaces. You will be able to play games on the device but heavy titles might stutter. Camera performance is on par with other smartphones for the price.
Xiaomi only has one configuration of the Redmi 8 on sale, with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. It is currently priced at Rs. 8,999.
Is iPhone SE the ultimate 'affordable' iPhone for India? 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.