The sub-₹15,000 price segment has always been significant in the Indian market. This price point allows manufacturers to offer better hardware to the audience than they could get with entry-level phones. We have seen some impressive smartphones launching in this price range, and we have even seen multiple battles between Redmi, Realme, Nokia, and even Samsung in the past. All of this has resulted in consumers getting very good value for their money.
If you have set a budget of ₹ 15,000 for getting a new smartphone, we have done the research for you. After reviewing multiple smartphones in the sub-₹ 15,000 segment, here are the models that are a cut above the rest. Check them out.
|Phones under ₹ 15,000||Gadgets 360 rating (out of 10)||Price in India (as recommended)|
|Redmi Note 9 Pro||8||₹ 13,999|
|Realme 6||8||₹ 13,999|
|Realme 5 Pro||8||₹ 13,999|
|Vivo Z1 Pro||8||₹ 13,990|
|Galaxy M30s||8||₹ 13,990|
|Redmi Note 8||7||₹ 10,999|
|Vivo U20||8||₹ 11,990|
The newest kid on the block is also one of the best you can get for under ₹ 15,000. The Redmi Note 9 Pro was launched recently and has a big 6.67-inch display. We found the phone to be bulky and heavy at 209g in weight but it is well designed.
It is powered by the Snapdragon 720G SoC and comes in two variants, one with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, and the other with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The base variant is available for ₹ 13,999 which is a minor bump up from its launch price of ₹ 12,999 due to the GST hike.
The Realme 6 is not exactly the successor to the Realme 5 since the company has positioned it in a higher price range. We found the Realme 6 to be well designed but the side-mounted fingerprint scanner might not appeal to everyone. The device is slightly on the heavier side, tipping the scales at 191g. It stands out with a 90Hz display.
The Realme 6 is powered by the Mediatek Helio G90T which is a powerful gaming processor and is capable of delivering some serious performance. Realme offers three RAM and storage variants: 4GB of RAM with 64GB of storage, 6GB of RAM with 128GB of storage, and 8GB of RAM with 128GB of storage. We found the camera quality to be good in daylight, producing good amounts of detail. The wide-angle camera offers a wider field of view but the dynamic range isn't great. Low-light camera output quality dips slightly but Night mode improves this. The base variant is priced at ₹ 13,999 and is the only one that fits within our budget since the GST price hike. You will have to spend more for the other variants.
The Realme 5 Pro makes it to our list yet again as its price makes it an attractive option. It offers a premium design and is comfortable to hold. Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 SoC, it is capable of delivering more than enough performance for day-to-day tasks. Even if you want to play games on this device, it can handle them without breaking into a sweat.
The phone's 4035mAh battery is capable of delivering a day's worth of usage before needing to be plugged in. It also comes with a 20W charger in the box which helps fill the battery quickly. Realme offers a quad-camera setup on the Realme 5 Pro, and its 48-megapixel primary camera delivers sharp output. The wide-angle camera offers a wide field of view but at the cost of detail.
There are three variants of the Realme 5 Pro: 4GB of RAM with 64GB of storage, 6GB of RAM with 64GB of storage, and 8GB of RAM with 128GB of storage. You will be able to get the two lower variants for under ₹ 15,000.
Vivo's first online exclusive smartphone, the Vivo Z1 Pro, has an eye-catching design and a gradient finish at the back. Vivo has opted for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 SoC which is capable of handling daily tasks quite well. We did not notice any stutter or lag with the smartphone when we used it. The Vivo Z1 Pro packs in a 5,000mAh battery and is a little bulky at 201g.
The Vivo Z1 Pro has a hole-punch display which is slowly becoming common in this price range. The panel is sharp and has great viewing angles. The Vivo Z1 Pro has a triple camera setup at the back which takes good photos in daylight with good detail, however shots taken with the wide-angle camera lack detail. Low-light camera performance is also good.
Vivo Z1 Pro is available in three variants: 4GB of RAM with 64GB of storage, 6GB of RAM with 64GB of storage, and 6GB of RAM with 128GB of storage. The two lower variants are available in this price range.
Samsung's Galaxy M-series started off as online exclusive, but a few models are now available offline. One such example is the Galaxy M30s. This phone packs a crisp full-HD+ AMOLED display, a big 6,000mAh battery, and an Exynos 9611 SoC. This processor is powerful and efficient.
Since the Galaxy M30s packs in a big battery, it is capable of delivering fantastic battery life, and it lasted us for two days with regular usage. It also features a triple camera setup at the back with a 48-megapixel primary camera that takes good photos in favourable conditions. Low-light camera performance is acceptable, and this phone does have a Night mode which helps improve the output.
Samsung offers the Galaxy M30s in two variants: 4GB of RAM with 64GB of storage, and 6GB of RAM with 128GB of storage. Only the base variant is available in this budget.
The Redmi Note 8 used to be available for under ₹ 10,000 but the GST price hike has caused this smartphone to cross over into a higher price segment. The Redmi Note 8 now starts at ₹ 10,999 and is among the most affordable smartphones in this price bracket. The Redmi Note 8 has a crisp full-HD+ display and is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 SoC. The base variant has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage while the top variant has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Both are available in this price range.
Xiaomi offers a quad-camera setup on the Note 8, with the primary one being a 48-megapixel shooter. It also has a wide-angle camera and a macro shooter. We found the camera performance to be good for the price. Low-light photos were noisy and blotchy, and we did have trouble with autofocus in poor lighting conditions.
Vivo got into the online game with the Vivo Z1 Pro but soon also launched the Vivo U series to compete against Redmi and Realme. The Vivo U20 is powered by a capable Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 SoC, packs in a 5,000mAh battery, and has a triple camera setup at the back. The phone is a little bulky because of the battery it packs. It has a Micro-USB port at the bottom, which is a little disappointing since the Type-C standard is now common in this price segment.
Vivo includes an 18W charger in the box which helps reduce charging time. The performance is good for the price, and this smartphone can play games and multitask easily. We found the cameras to be below average. If you are planning on using this as your primary device for taking photos, you may want to consider the other phones in this price range.
There are two variants of the Vivo U20: 4GB of RAM and 6GB of RAM. Storage remains the same at 64GB for both. The base variant is now available at ₹ 11,990 while the top variant is priced at ₹ 12,990.
The Redmi Note 8 Pro was on the previous version of this list but the recent GST price hike has unfortunately disqualified it as the price now starts at ₹ 15,999 for the base variant.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story stated that the Redmi Note 9 Pro has a 90Hz display, which is incorrect. The error is regretted.
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