Wed. Dec 8th, 2021

 

In the world of smartphones, we’ve reached a point where it’s no longer necessary to spend absurd amounts of money to get some pretty cool features in phones. Even in the mainstream segment, one can find some good deals if you know where to look.

If you have a budget of around Rs. 20,000, then you can find a pretty diverse set of good smartphones on offer. It was just last year that the in-display fingerprint sensor became all the rage in flagship phones, and today, you can actually get that in a phone under Rs. 20,000. Not only that, but due to stiff competition and recent price cuts, you can actually get a phone with a flagship-level Qualcomm SoC from 2018 in this price range too.

Like all our curated lists, the phones we’ve picked under Rs. 20,000 have all been well-received in our reviews and have a minimum rating of 8 out of 10. All our picks have individual strengths such as triple cameras, the allure of stock Android, bezel-less displays and even the raw power or the one of the best SoCs around, so you can pick the one that suits your usage the best.

Here the best phones you can buy under Rs. 20,000 in India right now.

1. Realme 8s 5G

The Realme 8s 5G looks nearly identical to the Realme 8 5G. It has a 6.5-inch display with thin bezels on the sides but a slightly thicker chin. The Realme 8s 5G has a side-mounted fingerprint scanner. The Realme 8s 5G has a triple camera module which protrudes enough to cause the device to rock when kept on a table.

Powering the Realme 8s 5G is the MediaTek Dimensity 810 5G processor, and is paired with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM. Both variants have 128GB of storage which is expandable using the dedicated microSD card slot. Realme also has a Virtual RAM feature which lets you use 5GB of storage to extend RAM. You get a 5,000mAh battery and a 33W charger in the box. Battery life on the Realme 8s 5G was good, and it can last beyond a day quite easily. Charging the 5,000mAh battery with the supplied 33W Dart Charger got the phone to 94 percent in an hour.

Realme 8s 5G has a triple camera setup with a 64-megapixel primary camera with an f/1.8 aperture, a 2-megapixel B&W portrait camera, and a 2-megapixel macro camera. It managed good photos in daylight but the lack of an ultra-wide angle camera makes it less versatile than some of the competition. Lowlight camera performance was average though Night mode helped improve the output.

Realme 8s 5G Specifications
Display 6.50-inch, 1080×2400 pixels
Processor MediaTek Dimensity 810
RAM 6GB
Storage 128GB
Battery Capacity 5000mAh
Rear Camera 64MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front Camera 16MP

2. Motorola Edge 20 Fusion

The Motorola Edge 20 Fusion sports a 6.7-inch OLED display with 90Hz refresh rate and a centred camera hole punch. It has a side-mounted fingerprint scanner,a dedicated Google Assistant button and is IP52 rated. You get a triple camera module at the back which protrudes significantly.

Powering the Motorola Edge 20 Fusion is the MediaTek Dimensity 800U processor and it’s paired with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM. Both variants get 128GB of storage. Motorola ships the Edge 20 Fusion with Android 11 and its lightly skinned MyUX interface on top. The UI feels like stock Android and is further customisable.

The Motorola Edge 20 Fusion sports a triple camera setup consisting of a 108-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. For selfies, this phone has a 32-megapixel front camera. Camera performance on the Moto Edge 20 Fusion was good for daylight and closeups. Lowlight camera performance appeared smoothened. The Edge 20 Fusion offer clean Stock Android and will appeal to purists on a budget.

Motorola Edge 20 Fusion Specifications
Display 6.70-inch, 1080×2400 pixels
Processor MediaTek Dimensity 800U
RAM 6GB
Storage 128GB
Battery Capacity 5000mAh
Rear Camera 108MP + 8MP + 2MP
Front Camera 32MP

3. Infinix Note 10 Pro

The Infinix Note 10 Pro boasts of a massive 6.95-inch 90Hz display and stereo speakers, and that helps it stand out from the competition. The big display makes the phone physically larger than some of its competitors. Infinix has picked the MediaTek Helio G95 processor which is a capable SoC focussed for gaming on the device. It is only offered in 8GB RAM and 256GB storage option which makes it a capable device for gaming.

The Note 10 Pro runs XOS 7.6 on top of Android 11 and comes with a fair amount of apps preinstalled. Infinix has also added features on top one of which also allows you to play a video in the background. The Note 10 Pro sports a quad-camera setup consisting of a 64-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera, a 2-megapixel macro camera and a 2-megapixel black and white camera. Daylight camera performance was decent but low light performance was strictly average. Infinix Note 10 Pro packs in a 5,000mAh battery that delivers decent battery life and quick charging thanks to the bundled 33W charger.

Infinix Note 10 Pro Specifications
Display 6.95-inch, 1080
Processor MediaTek Helio G95
RAM 8GB
Storage 256GB
Battery Capacity 5000mAh
Rear Camera 64MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front Camera 16MP

4. Realme Narzo 30 5G

Realme’s Narzo 30 5G offers some great hardware but cuts corners in some areas to make it all happen. The smartphone uses a vibrant and sharp full-HD+ display with a 90Hz refresh rate. The display also offers a maximum 180Hz touch sampling rate, which combined with the MediaTek Dimensity 700 processor, makes for a decent gaming smartphone. Realme UI 2.0 runs smoothly with everyday use but comes with several pre-loaded third-party apps. The Narzo 30 5G, just like the Narzo 30 does not offer an ultra-wide-angle camera, which you did get with the previous Narzo 20 series. Out of the three rear cameras, only two are accessible to the user, as the 2-megapixel monochrome camera is only activated when using the Portrait mode. The performance of these cameras is also quite average. Video recording is limited to 1080p @30fps, which is a bit disappointing, given that the more affordable Narzo 30 offers better options. Battery life is quite good, but charging this phone using the bundled 18W charger takes over two hours.

Realme Narzo 30 5G Specifications
Display 6.50-inch, 1080×2400 pixels
Processor MediaTek Dimensity 700
RAM 4GB
Storage 128GB
Battery Capacity 5000mAh
Rear Camera 48MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front Camera 16MP

5. Motorola Moto G60

The Moto G60 s the first Motorola smartphone with a 108-megapixel camera and is priced quite aggressively. The Moto G60 is a big and bulky phone measuring 9.8mm in thickness and has a weight of 225g. This makes single-handed use a little tough. It has a big 6.8-inch LCD display with a 120Hz refresh rate. It has a hole punch at the top that houses the 32-megapixel selfie camera.

Moto G60 is powered by the tried and tested Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G processor and delivers good performance. It has only one variant in India offering 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Storage is further expandable using the hybrid SIM slot. The Moto G60 houses a 6,000mAh battery which makes it bulky. The battery offers a day and a half worth of battery life but charging time is long as the phone only gets a 20W charger in the box.

The Moto G60 has a triple camera setup at the back but does the job of four cameras. It has a 108-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera that also clicks macros, and a depth sensor. Photos clicked from the Moto G60 were average and not as sharp as some of the other competition in daylight. The ultra-wide angle photos are upscaled to 12-megapixels and had some distortion.

Lowlight photos were also average as the phone failed to get the colour tone right. Night mode does not return a brighter image but fixes the colour tone issue. Motorola ships the Moto G60 with Android 11 with only the Facebook app pre-installed. This is a big plus considering most of the completion has spammy bloatware preinstalled.

Motorola Moto G60 Specifications
Display 6.80-inch, 1080×2460 pixels
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G
RAM 6GB
Storage 128GB
Battery Capacity 6000mAh
Rear Camera 108MP + 8MP + 2MP
Front Camera 32MP

6. iQOO Z3

While the iQoo Z3 does not follow in the footsteps of the gamer-centric iQoo 3, it succeeds as an affordable smartphone that not only looks good, but also offers a good processor considering its price. The iQoo Z3 uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 768G, a mid-range SoC that surprisingly makes it to this affordable smartphone. While the performance of this new SoC is noticeable, it’s not a gigantic leap over the competition. This is where the other interesting hardware bits of the iQoo Z3 come in. There’s a triple-camera setup that performs well in daylight but suffers in low light. The 4,400mAh battery charges to 100 percent in just 60 minutes using the included 55W charging adapter. The 120Hz LCD panel is useful for gamers thanks to its 180Hz touch sampling rate. Factor in that attractive price tag, and iQoo seems to have a solid contender.

iQOO Z3 Specifications
Display 6.58-inch, 1080×2408 pixels
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 768G
RAM 6GB
Storage 128GB
Battery Capacity 4400mAh
Rear Camera 64MP + 8MP + 2MP
Front Camera 16MP

7. Realme 8 Pro

Realme 8 Pro is the successor to the Realme 7 Pro and gets a bold design. It is slimmer than its predecessor and comes in flashy colours. The main change on the Realme 8 Pro is the quad-camera setup at the back which houses a 108-megapixel primary camera. The phone is light and easy to hold.

It sports a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with a hole punch for the selfie camera in the top left corner. The display has full-HD+ resolution and an in-display fingerprint scanner. It is also powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G processor, with 6GB or 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage. You get a 4,500mAh battery that is capable of fast charging at 50W.

The camera performance is a hit or miss with the Realme 8 Pro. Daylight photos were average and did not have as much detail. The phone does a good job with portrait shots and the macros too were sharp but limited to 2-megapixels in resolution. Camera performance in low light was decent with better details in nighmode.

Realme 8 Pro managed to deliver good battery life and lasted for 26 hours and 14 minutes in our HD video loop test. The 50W bundled charger is quick to charge the phone up getting it to 75 percent in 30 minutes.

Realme 8 Pro Specifications
Display 6.40-inch, 1080×2400 pixels
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G
RAM 6GB
Storage 128GB
Battery Capacity 4500mAh
Rear Camera 108MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front Camera 16MP

8. Poco X3 Pro

The main selling point of the Poco X3 Pro is its Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 SoC, which is a slightly faster version of the erstwhile flagship Snapdragon 855. This makes the X3 Pro perform very well in benchmarks and even in real-world tasks, including high-end games. You should have more than enough power to get through all your day-to-day activities. Battery life is also quite good, but the large battery makes this phone heavy and bulky. You don’t get 5G which might make this phone seem to lag behind some of its competitors. The full-HD+ screen has a 120Hz refresh rate. Its quality is serviceable but not as good as some others at this price level. Similarly, the cameras deliver acceptable performance but photo and video quality aren’t strong points of the Poco X3 Pro. With its eye-catching design and prominent camera bump, the Poco X3 Pro will appeal to young buyers who want performance above all else.

Poco X3 Pro Specifications
Display 6.67-inch, 1080×2400 pixels
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 860
RAM 6GB
Storage 128GB
Battery Capacity 5160mAh
Rear Camera 48MP + 8MP
Front Camera 20MP

9. Redmi Note 10 Pro Max

Xiaomi is raising the profile of its mainstream Redmi Note series with specifications that are sure to grab attention. The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max has a 108-megapixel camera but is otherwise identical to the Redmi Note 10 Pro, and the price difference between the two might not be worth it. This phone has a fantastic 6.67-inch full-HD+ 120Hz HDR10 Super AMOLED display with an embedded front camera. It’s bright, crisp, and vibrant. You get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G SoC and up to 8GB of RAM with 128GB of storage. There’s a 5020mAh battery and you get a 33W charger in the box. The rear 108-megapixel camera takes good shots in the daytime but don’t expect incredible detail in distant objects. The 5-megapixel telemacro camera is even more interesting and really does allow for some creative framing. Performance overall in everyday use is pretty good, and so is battery life. The phone heats up a bit when gaming. The body is slim and light, and this makes the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max easy to use and carry around.

Redmi Note 10 Pro Max Specifications
Display 6.67-inch, 1080×2400 pixels
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G
RAM 6GB
Storage 64GB
Battery Capacity 5020mAh
Rear Camera 108MP + 8MP + 5MP + 2MP
Front Camera 16MP

10. Realme Narzo 30 Pro

The Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G is currently the least expensive 5G phone in India with a starting price of Rs. 16,999. The all-plastic body has held up well so far, ergonomics are good, and it doesn’t feel very heavy even though it weighs about 194g. The side-mounted fingerprint sensor works very well. All that’s needed is a quick tap to unlock the phone. The display is a 6.5-inch full-HD+ LCD panel with good levels of brightness and colour saturation.

The Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G runs on the MediaTek Dimensity 800U SoC, which has a built-in 5G modem, and is quite powerful and power efficient. Software on the Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G is a bit of a letdown since it’s still Android 10 and not 11, which is what many others are offering. Performance of the Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G has been pretty solid as the SoC handles multitasking or demanding tasks such as gaming, pretty easily. Battery life is equaly good.

The cameras on the Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G are your run-of-the-mill setup. There’s a primary 48-megapixel camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera, and a 2-megapixel macro camera. The cameras perform decently but low-light performance is weak.

The bottom line is, if you’re considering the Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G, I’d recommend sticking to the base variant.

Realme Narzo 30 Pro Specifications
Display 6.50-inch, 1080×2400 pixels
Processor MediaTek Dimensity 800U
RAM 8GB
Storage 128GB
Battery Capacity 5000mAh
Rear Camera 48MP + 8MP + 2MP
Front Camera 16MP