Mid-range smartphones — phones under Rs. 20,000, roughly — are no longer heavily compromised pieces of hardware with underwhelming cameras, sub-par performance, mediocre build quality and uninspiring designs. They have come a long way indeed. While the phones listed below cannot compare to latest flagship handsets from the likes of Samsung and Apple, they do come pretty close.
Our picks range in price from Rs. 13,000 all the way to Rs. 19,999 and offer a nice balance of performance, battery life, and build quality. As usual we have restricted ourselves to smartphones reviewed by Gadgets 360 which have been subjected to our stringent tests. With all that out of the way, here are our top picks for the best smartphones under Rs. 20,000 — listed in no particular order.
Phone under Rs. 20,000 Gadgets 360 rating Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro 9/ 10 Moto G5S Plus 8/ 10 Xiaomi Mi A1 8/ 10 Infinix Zero 5 Pro 8/ 10 iPhone SE 8/ 10 Samsung Galaxy On Max 8/ 10
Best phones under Rs. 20,000 in India
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro
One of only two phones in this list to come with an edge-to-edge display, the Redmi Note 5 Pro (Review) stands out from the rest thanks to impressive specifications and a sleek all-metal bezel-less design. Face unlock capabilities, competent dual cameras, great build quality and a bright and vivid display are just icing on the cake, making it one of the best phones you can buy under Rs. 20,000.
The lack of USB-Type C and the bloated nature of MIUI are not enough to dampen the Note 5 Pro’s appeal. The 4GB RAM variant is available at Rs. 13,999 and the 6GB RAM variant is available at Rs. 16,999. Both have 64GB storage on board, which can be expanded via a microSD card.
Moto G5S Plus
With a fast and fluid build of Android free from bloat, great build quality, a chassis constructed from a single piece of aluminium, decent cameras and great performance courtesy the Snapdragon 625 processor, the special edition of the Moto G5 Plus is a pretty solid and sensible option in this price range.
The phone’s battery life is a bit underwhelming and bokeh images shot by the rear cameras are hit and miss at best, but it performs admirably overall. The Moto G5S Plus (Review) is available in only one variant with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage at Rs. 14,999.
Xiaomi Mi A1
Xiaomi’s smartphones have always punched above their weight in terms of specifications and hardware. However, their bloated software has often held them back. All that changed last year with the launch of the Mi A1 — which marries Xiaomi’s hardware with stock Android.
The Xiaomi Mi A1 (Review) has one of the best dual-camera implementations in this price range and thanks to the fluid software package and efficient Snapdragon 625 processor — performance is commendable as well. It is an extremely well-rounded smartphone with only battery life as a slight concern. It was launched for Rs. 14,999 but has recently seen its price reduced to Rs. 13,999.
Infinix Zero 5 Pro
With a vivid display, oodles of RAM, a large 4,350mAh battery that translates to great battery life and impressive performance, the Infinix Zero 5 Pro (Review) is another great smartphone in the highly competitive sub-Rs. 20,000 segment.
The Infinix Zero 5 Pro is also a great option for selfie aficionados thanks to its 16-megapixel front camera with flash. It is quite heavy and unwieldy though and the rear camera setup disappoints. It is only available in one variant with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage at Rs. 19,999.
The iPhone SE (Review) is a great entry point into Apple’s enticing ecosystem. By today’s standards, the 4-inch display can come across as diminutive and the front camera is extremely underwhelming. If you can look past those grievances however, the smartphone makes for a great buy at its current retail price.
Basically an iPhone 6s, encased in the shell of an iPhone 5s, the SE has great build quality, a crisp and vivid 4-inch retina display, stellar performance, a fairly decent fingerprint sensor embedded in the home button up front and a capable 12-megapixel rear camera that manages to hold its own despite being two years old.
The 32GB variant of the iPhone SE is available at around Rs. 19,000 online and the 128GB storage variant goes beyond the ambit of this list at Rs. 24,000.
Samsung Galaxy On Max
The Galaxy On Max (Review) brings features like face recognition and Samsung Pay to the mid-range segment. It also has a fairly decent set of cameras, a software package loaded with features, dedicated SIM and microSD slots, a crisp 5.7-inch full-HD display and capable internals.
There are a few caveats though — the capacitive keys are not backlit, battery life is average at best, and Samsung’s software is still not as fluid as stock Android. However, at Rs. 14,000, the Galaxy On Max makes for a great buy for Samsung loyalists.
The Moto X4 is a great option that falls just outside the Rs. 20,000 bracket with its Rs. 20,999 sticker price. It is IP68 dust and water resistant, runs on a near stock version of Android, has a competent dual camera setup at the back and performs admirably.
The Oppo F5 and Honor 9i are also decent options that fell just short in our reviews. The Lenovo K8 Note and Xiaomi Mi Max 2 are also good options but with the Moto G5S and Moto G5S Plus getting price cuts, the former has lost some of its sheen and the latter, with its gigantic display, is a bit too cumbersome for some people.