Phones priced under Rs. 20,000 tend to get the most attention these days, and with good reason – chances are you'll find all the features and capabilities you'll need without spending huge amounts of money, thanks to intense competition and continuous improvements in technology. However, there are still some ways in which the premium tier of smartphones are very attractive, and if your budget allows for one of these devices, you'll be very happy with the improved style, specifications, and material quality.
You can get an edge in terms of performance for gaming as well as display quality for entertainment, and you can in many cases rest assured that future-ready 5G support is baked in. Waterproofing, wireless charging, and versatile cameras are also to be expected.
We've seen a lot of action in the sub-Rs. 50,000 segment of late, including the debuts of previously budget-minded brands such as Realme and Xiaomi and some cut-down versions of flagships that have become too expensive for many people. Here's our list of the best phones that you can buy for between Rs. 40,000 and Rs. 50,000 in India, as of June 2020.
|Phones under Rs. 50,000||Gadgets 360 rating (out of 10)||Price in India (as recommended)|
|OnePlus 8||9||Rs. 41,999|
|OnePlus 7T Pro||9||Rs. 47,999|
|Samsung Galaxy S10e||9||Rs. 47,300|
|Mi 10 5G||9||Rs. 49,999|
|Realme X50 Pro 5G||9||Rs. 39,999|
|LG G8X ThinQ||9||Rs. 49,999|
|Asus ROG Phone II||9||Rs. 39,999|
The brand new OnePlus 8 is a solid update over its predecessors but has somewhat risen in price. You get 5G, the flagship-grade Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor, and a slick design with the front camera embedded into the screen. Build quality is excellent and this phone feels great in the hand. The 90Hz screen refresh rate makes the UI and some apps feel snappy, while HDR10+ makes colours in videos pop.
OnePlus' OxygenOS has several handy features and is thankfully free of clutter. Battery life is great but you don't get wireless charging. The cameras are slightly disappointing since the OnePlus 7T's telephoto camera has been dropped.
Prices start at Rs. 41,999 for the Amazon-exclusive variant with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, while the 8GB RAM, 128GB version sells for Rs. 44,999 and you'll pay Rs. 49,999 for 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The lower variants are priced well, but you might want to consider spending more on the OnePlus 8 Pro or choosing the slightly older OnePlus 7T Pro which is also on our list.
Although not a cutting-edge model, the OnePlus 7T Pro is still available and falls within our budget. You get an uninterrupted 6.67-inch QHD+ 90Hz screen with curved edges, a pop-up selfie camera, and the Snapdragon 855+ processor. On the rear, you'll see a 48-megapixel primary camera, 16-megapixel ultra-wide camera, and 8-megapixel telephoto camera. Unfortunately there's no official waterproofing or wireless charging. Battery life is good and OxygenOS is up to date. 4K video shooting and low-light photography weren't great at the time of our review.
There's only one colour, Haze Blue, and one configuration option, 8GB of RAM with 256GB of storage. At the current price of Rs. 47,999, this is an interesting option.
This model might now be over a year old but we liked it a lot when it first released and it still has a lot going for it. The relatively compact body and low weight make this phone unique, and will appeal to a lot of buyers. You get the modern Exynos 9820 SoC, a 5.8-inch full-HD+ AMOLED screen with HDR10+, a hole-punch front camera, a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, and the same primary 12-megapixel and wide-angle 16-megapixel cameras as on the more expensive Galaxy S10 models.
Performance will be snappy enough for everyday tasks and modern games. The front and rear cameras impressed us in our tests. Battery life is good, but not great. You can find this phone selling for Rs. 47,300 with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
Xiaomi has entered the truly high-end smartphone market in style with the Mi 10 5G. This is an attractive phone with plenty of modern features and a highly competitive price point, considering that it is by far the most affordable phone with a 108-megapixel primary rear camera in India. Nearly all the other specifications are flagship-grade, and Xiaomi has paid attention to a lot of small details including the haptic vibration motor. There's no IP rating, and we did feel the back of this phone get rather hot when running heavy apps. MIUI 11 is relatively free of ads and bloatware but we still got spam notifications. Performance and battery life are very good. The cameras are flexible but not great. Overall, the price might be high for a Xiaomi phone but it's very competitive considering what you get.
The Mi 10 5G with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage comes in just under budget at Rs. 49,999, while a version with 256GB of storage will cost Rs. 54,999.
One of the earliest 5G-capable phones to launch in India, the Realme X50 Pro 5G is also a big step up for Realme, which usually plays in the budget and lower-mid-range segment. This is a powerful device with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 SoC, and other headlining features include 65W fast charging and a 90Hz 6.44-inch HDR10+ Super AMOLED screen with dual embedded front cameras. The four rear cameras include a 64-megapixel primary shooter, plus a 12-megapixel telephoto camera, 8-megapixel wide-angle camera, and a depth sensor. We had issues with the night mode and when shooting 4K video, but the cameras are otherwise pretty good. The look and feel are also great, making this a very interesting option at its price. You don't get wireless charging or an IP rating, though.
The Realme X50 Pro 5G starts well under budget at Rs. 39,999 for 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, but the variant with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for Rs. 41,999 is better value. You can go up to 12GB of RAM with 256GB of storage for Rs. 47,999.
Perhaps the most unique device on this list, the LG G8X ThinQ can be used with two screens, giving you something close to the experience of a foldable phone, at a fraction of the cost. The phone itself doesn't stand out, but when used with the included Dual Screen Case, you get double the viewing area. Included software and OS-level tweaks help you make the most of it. The specifications are slightly dated, with a Snapdragon 855 SoC, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. There's a 12-megapixel primary camera and a 13-megapixel wide-angle camera on the rear, plus a 32-megapixel front camera. If you don't much care for the unique second screen, you'll find more modern alternatives in this list.
The LG G8X ThinQ sells for Rs. 49,999. There's only one configuration and one colour – black.
When you get to the premium price tier, you can also consider gaming phones. These tend to be chunky and flashy, with emphasis on the processor, cooling, screen, and speakers. True to form, the Asus ROG Phone 2 has RGB LED accents and aggressive styling, and performance in games including PUBG Mobile is excellent. The cameras aren't a high priority but you get good quality photos in the daytime. There are “air trigger” shoulder buttons and an extra charging port on the side, all in the name of improved gaming comfort.
The variant with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage costs Rs. 39,999 in India, while the one with 12GB of RAM And 512GB of storage is priced way out of our budget at Rs. 62,999.
There are several other models that didn't quite make it to our list of recommendations, but might be worth considering for those with specific needs. First of all, the iPhone XR often sells for less than Rs. 50,000 but discounts appear to have dried up. There's still the brand new iPhone SE (2020) if you want an affordable yet modern iPhone – it can't really be compared to Android models in terms of specifications, but we found it highly capable in our review, despite looking old-fashioned.
Also worth considering, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite brings you the functionality of Samsung's S-pen stylus and reasonable power at a far lower cost than current Galaxy Note models. This could be a great option for those who like scribbling notes by hand. For those considering gaming phones, the Redmagic 3S and Blackshark 2 offer performance as well as features that aren't usually found in the lower price segments.
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