Maria Montero

Best Smartphones Under Rs 20,000 (Jan 2019): Little …

A price range of Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 was typically the realm of mid-range smartphones that offered higher RAM and storage variants than their sub-15K counterparts. That’s still the case, but something unthinkable happened in the second half of 2018 that transformed this category of mid-range phones into affordable flagship potential killers. A couple of brands started selling phones with flagship chipsets from Qualcomm and Huawei on this budget, while some offered excellent cameras or an extremely high amount of memory. But there is no single phone to rule them all. So, here are our top 5 smartphones under Rs 20,000 with different PSUs. Depending on your needs and priorities, make your choice.

Best Phones under Rs 20,000 in India

The POCO F1 starts at a price of Rs 19,999. Image: Tech2 / Shomik Sen Bhattacharjee

Poco F1 – The best performer.

Xiaomi launched its new sub-brand, Poco last year and adjusted to its first phone, Little f1 with a flagship Snapdragon 845 SoC and priced below 21K. The price of the base variant is now down just under 20K. That means excellent value for money, but Poco trimmed some corners. For starters, the design is pretty generic and has a plastic body. That won’t please style-conscious users. The 12 MP + 5 MP dual camera set up on the back does a good job in decent lighting, but it doesn’t impress as much in low light. Works with Android Oreo 8.1 with a Poco launcher.

Aside from Qualcomm’s flagship SoC, the phone comes equipped with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage in the base variant. Storage can be further expanded up to 256GB with a microSD card. You also get a bright 6.2-inch Full HD + screen and a 4000 mAh battery that provides enough juice for a day’s use. If you’re a performance buff or gamer who doesn’t care too much about camera layout or output, the Poco F1 is a device that lets you play games. PUBG Mobile and other popular games smoothly with high settings under Rs 20,000.

Little F1 price in India: Rs 19,999 (6GB RAM / 64GB storage variant)

Honor Play – Performance with elegance

Game of honor.  Image: tech2 / Amrita Rajput

Game of honor. Image: tech2 / Amrita Rajput

Huawei’s sub-brand Honor had similar ideas to Xiaomi when they launched the Game of honor with its then flagship Kirin 970 SoC under 20K. This isn’t exactly more powerful than the Snapdragon 845 but the performance is comparable in most areas. But unlike Poco F1, the Honor Play has a metal (aluminum) body and a sleek design. It has a 6.3-inch Full HD + notched display and a 3,750 mAh battery and runs Android Oreo 8.1 with EMUI 8.2 on top.

Photography is handled by dual 16 MP + 2 MP rear cameras, while there is a 16 MP sensor at the front for selfies. It comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage that can be expanded further. The Kirin 970 chip in conjunction with Huawei’s GPU Turbo technology provides sufficient processing power in games and other resource-intensive tasks. This phone made headlines for the wrong reasons, but it is still a good buy under Rs 20,000. The phone is currently selling for Rs 13,999 at Amazon’s Republic Day sale. Grab one before supplies run out.

Honor Play price in India: Rs 19,999 (4GB RAM / 64GB storage variant)

Xiaomi Mi A2 – Pure Android experience and good cameras

The Mi A2 is Xiaomi's second-generation Android One smartphone.  Image: tech2 / Amrita Rajput

The Mi A2 is Xiaomi’s second-generation Android One smartphone. Image: tech2 / Amrita Rajput

Moving from hardware to software, Xiaomi Mi A2 it’s an Android One device and so you get an Android UI with the promise of regular OS and security updates for years to come. Those who like a clean user interface, this is the phone for you. The phone comes in two variants: 4 GB of RAM / 64 GB of storage and 6 GB of RAM / 128 GB of storage; We have opted for the latter for two simple reasons. First of all, the phone doesn’t have a microSD card slot to expand the internal storage, so it’s best to have more storage right away. Second, the price difference between the two variants is currently only Rs 2000, and that would be money well spent as you would get 2GB more RAM and double the storage by that amount.

Other specs of the phone are pretty decent too. It is powered by a Snapdragon 660 SoC and has a 6-inch 18-inch Full HD + screen with narrow bezels and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5. In addition, it has 12 dual cameras with 20 MP and 20 MP rear cameras that are possibly the best in this budget, along with a 20 MP front shooter. Another notable absence here is a 3.5mm headphone jack. Despite that, the Mi A2 is a good smartphone that offers excellent value for money.

Xiaomi Mi A2 price in India: Rs 15,999 (6GB RAM / 128GB storage variant)