Best Mobile Phones Under Rs.15,000

by | Jan 12, 2019

I assume since you are reading this, you are planning to buy a smartphone under Rs.15,000. You may have found out that this price range is flooded with a number of smartphones.

It is undoubtedly the most competitive price range for smartphones in India.

We have analyzed all the phones currently available in the market, gone through a variety of expert opinions, scrub through numerous user reviews and came up with this shortlist of smartphones under Rs.15,000 to help you pick the best.

Best Mobile Phone Under Rs.15,000

1. Realme 2 ProOverall Best Pick
2. Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2Runner-Up Pick
3. Xiaomi Mi A2Value for Money
4. Motorola One PowerAndroid One Device
5. Honor 8xBest Design pick
6. Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 ProHonorable Mention

1. Realme 2 Pro

realme-2-pro
 Overall Best Pick
  • Suited for low light photography
  • Budget gaming device
  • Elegant design

Realme had created a wave in the Indian smartphone industry by launching the Realme 1 which competed against the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5.

After this, a few weeks before the company launched the less impressive Realme 2 which we honestly feel is a letdown from the original model.

However with the new Realme 2 Pro, the company has a winning recipe that combines performance and features that meets at an aggressive price point of less than Rs.15,000.

Design and build quality

The Realme 2 Pro has followed the footsteps of its elder sibling, the Oppo F9 and has a dew drop inspired design.

The body of this smartphone is made of glossy plastic and has an interesting light reflective coating on top that makes this phone even more attractive in the daylight.

The screen up front is protected by corning gorilla glass. The buttons feel very tactile and responsive.

The phone still comes with an outdated micro USB port which we feel is a serious letdown for a mid 2018 gadget.

Display

The display on this updated Realme 2 pro is a large 6.3-inch full HD+ panel that comes with an interesting aspect ratio of 19.5:9.

The main USP of this device is the water drop shaped notch that houses the front camera.

This looks very special and makes the phone stand out from the crowd of notched display smartphones in the market.

The display is bright and the contrast levels are excellent. The colours pop out from the screen, thanks to the cartoony nature of the custom skin Color OS.

The Realme 2 Pro is one of the best phones with a large screen to body ratio in this price segment.

Performance

The Snapdragon 450 on the Realme 2 was a disappoint for many.

But this time around, the company has realized its mistake and included a Snapdragon 660 SoC that delivers excellent performance in the mid range segment processor market.

The apps load faster and the multitasking is well within your reach no matter how many apps you have running in the background.

This phone has the Adreno 512 GPU inside, which will unleash the gamer in you.

The base model of this smartphone comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. There are also 6GB/8GB RAM with 128GB storage for a couple of thousand bucks extra.

Camera

The Realme 2 Pro has a dual camera in the rear that constitutes of 16MP primary sensor with an aperture size of f/1.7.

The secondary sensor is a 2MP depth sensing unit for portrait mode photos.

In the front is a 16MP sensor that has AI based portrait and beautification modes for better selfies.

Being an f/1.7 sensor, the low light photography is much more possible since this camera can gather much more light than a typical f/2.2 sensor.

Battery

The Realme 2 Pro comes powered by a 3500 Li-ion battery. It is sufficient for this smartphone to last for over a day comfortably with moderate to heavy usage.

The SoC inside supports fast charging. However the supplied charger is a standard charger.

If you want to juice up the device quickly, you’ll have to invest on a Quick-charge enabled charger.

Verdict

The Realme 2 Pro is the best smartphone that you can purchase under a budget of Rs.15,000.

With the class leading performance oriented Snapdragon 660 SoC and a very capable camera, this phone is definitely a very compelling purchase.

R

High screen to body ratio

R

Powerful processor

R

Decent battery life

Q

No USB C

 Specifications

Operating SystemAndroid Oreo
Internal memory64 GB
RAM4 GB
ProcessorSnapdragon 660
Camera16MP + 2MP Rear, 16MP Front
Battery3500mAh
Display6.3 inch Full HD+ IPS LCD 19.5:9

2. Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2

asus-zenfone-max-pro-m2
Runner-Up Pick
  • Powerful Snapdragon 660 SoC
  • Near stock Android experience
  • 2-day battery phone

The Zenfone Max Pro M2 from Asus is a substantial upgrade over the successful Zenfone Max Pro M1 which was sold at an aggressive price tag with plenty of features loaded in.

There are 2 variants of this model in the market, a 3GB/32GB variant sold at Rs.12,999 and a 4GB/64GB variant at Rs.14,999.

Design and Build Quality

The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 is one of the better-looking smartphones in the under Rs.15,000 budget.

The glass looking plastic back has an interesting texture design which becomes visible once the light hits the surface and makes the device look like its a piece of art, more than just another gadget.

The phone feels hefty in hand because of the massive battery it has but the weight distribution is really good.

Buttons on the side are tactile and clicky. The responsiveness has now been improved from the original model and overall, the quality of the construction feels extremely premium.

The only disappointing point about this design is that it lacks a USB C port and instead comes loaded with the legacy micro USB standard port.

Display

The display of this phone is a 6.2-inch full view display with a full HD+ resolution of 2280 x 1080 pixels which is really immersive and colour accurate.

This is an IPS display and incidentally offers excellent viewing angles without any colour degradation.

One of the main drawbacks of the original Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 was that it didn’t have any sort of screen protection.

But with the Max Pro M2 Asus has rectified it and now the phone comes loaded with the 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 6 protection to keeps accidental scratches at bay.

There is obviously the late 2018 trend notch up top, resulting in a 19:9 aspect ratio for the display.

Processor and Performance

The Zenfone Max Pro is powered by the latest Snapdragon 660 Octa-core chipset clocked at 1.95GHz.

This is the best performing chipset in mid-range smartphones under Rs.15,000.

The phone comes bundled with Android Oreo with an almost stock like feel.

There is not much bloatware on this smartphone. Updates are also confirmed until Android Q.

The 4GB RAM and 64GB inbuilt storage work well with the Snapdragon 660 processor to give the users a right mix of power and performance.

Be it the multitasking or gaming, this phone performs excellently without breaking a sweat. Thanks to the near stock Android 8.1 Oreo OS, the RAM management is very good and right on point.

Camera

On the camera front, the Asus Zenfone Max Pro is a decent performer.

It packs a dual 12MP +5MP rear camera with single LED flash that takes some good bright light shots and portrait photos.

If you feel that the stock camera app isn’t for your taste, there are numerous online tutorials describing ways to install the much revered Google Camera application which will deliver breathtaking photos and videos out of these sensors.

The front camera is a 13MP shooter that does reasonably well to capture selfies.

Battery Life

This phone packs in a gigantic 5,000mAh battery that easily last 2 days of usage which is simply amazing for many power-hungry users.

The Snapdragon 660 supports fast charging and you can get the device juiced up fairly quickly with a fast charger.

Verdict

If you love to have a mammoth battery inside so that you can possibly use the phone with a peace of mind inside, this is it.

With nearly stock Android OS, there’s nothing much to blame about the software either.

With Asus promising the Android P update, this smartphone should be definitely under your radar if you planning to buy a phone under Rs.15,000.

R

Feature rich phone

R

Elegant and premium look

R

Audio output is very good

R

Suitable for heavy gaming

Q

Average front camera performance

 Specifications

Operating SystemAndroid Oreo
Internal memory64 GB
RAM4 GB
ProcessorSnapdragon 660
Camera12MP+5MP Rear, 13MP Front
Battery5000mAh
Display6.26 inch 2280 x 1080 18:9

3. Xiaomi Mi A2

xiaomi-mi-2
Value for Money Smartphone
  • Best in class camera
  • Promised android updates
  • Powerful Snapdragon 660 inside

Xiaomi and Android One is a dream we all had.

Then one fine day the company announced Mi A1.

Rest is history.

The Mi A2 is the successor of the famous Mi A1 which sold like hot cakes in the Indian market.

Design and Build Quality

The Mi A2 has significant improvements in design and form factor over its predecessor, the Mi A1.

The new Mi A2 comes with the now industry standard 18:9 display. The metal back is retained with this release.

However, the orientation of the camera is now vertical, resembling that of iPhone X. That said the Mi A2 resembles closely to Xiaomi’s own Redmi Note 5 Pro.

The build quality is superb with the quality material used for the construction.

Camera

Even though the USP of this smartphone from Xiaomi is its Android One tag, what makes it special is the optics used.

Xiaomi claims that this is one of the best camera phones available in the market at this price point.

The rear side of this phone features a vertically placed dual camera setup. This 12MP + 20MP setup provides some of the best shots, both in daylight as well as low light in the segment.

The 20MP shooter uses pixel binning technology to enhance the low light photos by reducing the noise of the processed image.

In the front, there is a 20MP AI camera that captures portrait selfies with excellent details and saturation levels.

Processor and Performance

The Snapdragon 660 is a very powerful midrange chipset that will carry out resource-intensive tasks with relative ease. ‘

Multitasking and gaming will not be a showstopper on this device for sure.

Coupled with a 4GB RAM and 64GB of storage, there isn’t much left worth asking for.

Android One

Xiaomi usually uses MIUI custom skin on top of Android releases with their phone.

But with Android One programme, the device receives a stock Android OS with no or minimal changes from the manufacturer.

How does it benefit the end customers?

Phones under Android One programme receive updates and security patches directly from Google.

Unlike Xiaomi, which decided whether to upgrade a phone to the next Android version, Google assures that you will at least get two major OS upgrades for the device.

Newer updates mean more features and better security. Who wouldn’t want that?

Battery Life

Now coming to the battery, this device packs a 3000mAh Li-ion cell inside. This will last for a day of moderate to heavy usage.

And with Qualcomm quick charge support, you can use a compatible charger and juice up this device pretty quickly.

The Negatives

The Mi A2 doesn’t have a 3.5mm headphone jack. Yes. you heard it right.

Even though you get a USB C to 3.5mm adapter in the box, this is really a bad move from Xiaomi.

There is no way you can increase the storage size on this phone. The Mi A2 comes with a dual sim slot but no sd card slot.

Even a hybrid sim slot might have been good but somehow that’s the case – no expansion slots.

Verdict

The Mi A2 is probably the best camera phone that you can purchase at this price point.

The exceptional build quality and the stock Android OS with promised Google updates makes this phone one of the most desirable piece of gadget.

If you can live with the absence of a 3.5mm headphone jack, don’t think twice.

R

Excellent build quality

R

Amazing optics

R

Android One device

Q

No 3.5mm jack

Q

No SD card slot

 Specifications

Operating SystemAndroid Oreo
Internal memory32 GB
RAM4 GB
ProcessorSnapdragon 660
Camera12MP + 20MP Rear, 20MP Front
Battery3010mAh
Display5.99 inch 2160x1080 pixels

4. Motorola One Power

motorola-one-power
Android One Device
  • Assured 2 year software updates
  • Excellent 5000mAh battery
  • Capable processor

Motorola has been receiving a lot of flak for its pricing strategy as well the choice of processor on their latest G6 series phones.

The company, it seems has understood the mistake and is back in business with an Android One powered device, the One power which is exclusive to the Indian market.

Design and build quality

The Motorola One Power has a metallic unibody design with a large 18.7:9 display up front.

The back side of the device resembles the Redmi Note 5 Pro from Xiaomi due to the vertical dual camera placement.

Even though the bezels are thin around the display, there is a considerable lower chin on the front which houses the Motorola brand name.

The rear mounted fingerprint has the famous Motorola logo embossed on it.

Overall the build quality feels very premium and the device doesn’t feel too much heavy.

Display

The display on this device is a 6.2-inch IPS LCD panel with a full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2246 pixels.

The display is sharp and vivid with accurate colours. The brightness and contrast levels are excellent as well.

The 18.7:9 aspect ratio display has a huge notch in the front which some people may like and some won’t.

The pixel density of 402 ppi means the images and texts will appear sharp and less pixelated.

Performance

Motorola has been notorious for including outdated SoC in their newer gen smartphones and selling at exorbitant prices.

This time around, the Motorola One power comes with s Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor which is a budget powerhouse.

Accompanied with 4GB of RAM, this device can handle multitasking very well. Games like PUBG plays smoothly and notably, without any overheating.

Camera

This device has a dual rear camera setup which constitutes of a 16MP main unit and a supplementary 5MP depth sensor for that accurate portrait mode clicks.

The front 12MP shooter lets you take good quality selfies even under low lighting conditions.

The rear camera supports 4K recording and even supports 1080p recording at 60 fps.

Miscellaneous

One of the main USP of this device is that it comes under the Android One programme.

This means that you get the stock Android experience just as on Google’s won hardware, the Pixel phones and assured software updates up to two years.

Battery

As the name suggests, the Motorola One Power is indeed a powerhouse.

Powered by a massive 5000mAh battery, this device will last easily over two days of moderate to heavy usage, especially with the pure stock Android OS.

The company bundles the fast charger with the box always and this will let you charge the device faster than from a normal charger or from a powerbank.

Verdict

It seems Motorola has got it right this time around.

With a great display on a well built chassis, powered by a powerful processor, the Motorola One power ticks almost all the right boxes for a phone priced under Rs.16,000.

The long lasting battery makes this a media consumption device without having to worry about the device getting turned off amidst your favourite show.

R

USB C

R

Great display

R

Moto action gestures

Q

Notched display might not be everyone’s cup of tea

 Specifications

Operating SystemAndroid Oreo
Internal memory64 GB
RAM4 GB
ProcessorSnapdragon 636 Octa core 1.8 GHz
Camera16MP + 5MP Rear, 12MP Front
Battery5000mAh
Display6.2 inch 1080 x 2246 IPS

5. Honor 8x

honor-8x
Best Design Pick
  • 19:9 immersive notch display
  • AI integration across the system
  • Excellent battery life

The all new Honor 8X is the latest mid range Android smartphone from Huawei that comes with some noteworthy features rivaling the likes of Asus and Xiaomi.

This slim and elegantly crafted smartphone is perhaps the best looking device that you can purchase under a budget of Rs.15,000 in the Indian market.

Design and Build Quality

Honor phones are known to be stylish and sleek. The Honor 8X features a glass back that reflects light off from it in a distinct style.

The outer shell cover is metallic and it makes the chassis feel much more durable and tough.

The device, despite its budget pricing, is very well built and looks like a premium flagship phone.

The full view display with really narrow bezels makes the front of this phone to look like an endless slab of display.

The back glass on this device is intrinsically designed with patterns that is only visible when light strikes the surface.

However having glass on both the sides has its own problems. If the phone drops from your hand, there is a chance of glass breakage that wouldn’t end well with the pocket.

Display

The Honor 8X features a large 6.5-inch LCD display that has a full HD+ resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels.

The brightness levels are excellent, so does the colour reproduction and contrast ratio. Covered by the 2.5D glass up front, the display certainly looks vivid and seamlessly integrated with the chassis.

The bezels on the sides of this 6.5-inch display are thin and unobstructive to the seamless viewing experience.

This 19:9 aspect ratio display with the notch up top gives this phone an impressive screen to body ratio of about 91%, which is quite unheard of in its segment.

The colours look very punchier straight out of the box. If you are a fan of a more natural colour tone, there is an option to adjust the colour profile built right into the EMUI skin.

Processor and Performance

The Honor 8x is powered by the latest HiSilicon Kirin 710 processor which is comparable with the Snapdragon 660.

This SoC which is built based on the 12nm architecture ensures excellent battery life and performance optimizations to the phone.

Daily apps and games run buttery smooth, thanks to the 4GB RAM and the ample 64GB storage that comes on board.

Supported by the patented turbo GPU technology from Huawei, the graphical performance of 8x is much more improved and refined than its predecessors.

Camera

Honor has been banking on its AI prowess a lot. The company has integrated AI not only to the camera app, but system-wide implementations are expected to hit more devices soon.

The rear dual camera houses a 20MP shooter accompanied by a 2MP depth-sensing camera for accurate portrait effects.

However, the quality of photos from these cameras pale in comparison with other competitors such as Mi A2 and even Realme 2 Pro.

The 16MP front camera is capable of taking some excellent snaps in good lighting conditions.

Talking about the video, even though the chipset inside supports 4K, the camera app limits the recording to a maximum resolution of full HD.

Additionally, there is no Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS), which makes the videos extremely shaky.

EMUI and Battery Life

Emotion UI is a custom skin from Huawei that has some nice tricks up its sleeve. The Honor 8X comes with the EMUI 8.0 on top of Android Oreo 8.1.

EMUI adds a lot of useful features such as ride mode and game mode that enhances the overall usability of this device.

What’s powering the Honor 8X inside is a 3750 mAh Li-ion battery. On our tests, the battery lasted easily for a day, thanks to the power efficient Kirin 710 processor.

Even with the need to push pixels on to a large 6.5-inch full HD+ display, this phone gets an average screen on time of about 10 hours.

If you’re a casual user, this phone will last for 2 days on a single charge comfortably.

Depending on your usage pattern, the battery life may vary from time to time, so take our words for it with a pinch of salt.

Verdict

If you’re interested in an elegant looking smartphone with a notch design under Rs.15,000, the Honor 8X is your best bet.

This device has got the looks of a premium flagship smartphone and offer decent performance along with a gorgeous 19:9 display and excellent battery life.

R

Elegant glass back design

R

Immersive notch display

R

Feature-rich EMUI 8.0

Q

No EIS

Q

Average camera quality

 Specifications

Operating SystemAndroid Oreo
Internal memory64 GB
RAM4 GB
ProcessorHisilicon Kirin 710 Octacore
Camera20MP + 2MP Rear, 20MP Front
Battery3750mAh
Display65 inch FHD+ 2340 x 1080 pixels

6. Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro

xiaomi-redmi-note-6-pro
Honorable Mention
  • Premium features at a budget price
  • Solidly built phone
  • Latest powerful mid-range processor

Xiaomi has now become a household brand name in India. They started a revolution just like Ambanis did with reliance and now their mobile phone shipment volumes have even made Samsung feel the heat.

The Redmi Note 6 Pro is the successor to their highly successful Redmi Note 5 Pro.

Design and Build Quality

Chinese phones with low build quality is a thing of past. Xiaomi came in with the Redmi 1S that has surprisingly robust features for its price and was really well built.

Fast forward from those plasticky days, the Redmi Note 6 Pro comes with a unibody design made of metallic back. The phone feels very durable while holding it in hands.

The 2.5D curved glass blends on to the metallic chassis very well and the overall look of the device is very pleasing.

Xiaomi has provided Gorilla glass protection for the glass at front to avoid accidental scratches.

Processor and Performance

The Redmi Note 6 Pro features the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 chip that is found on the predecessor model. This SoC clocked at 1.8GHz performs fairly well for its price.

Coupled with the Adreno 509 GPU, this device performs fast when it comes to the apps and games. The 4GB RAM inside ensures that multiple apps stay in memory even in the background.

During multitasking, the apps in the memory can be quickly called back without reloading and this saves a lot of hassle and time.

Notched Display

This smartphone features a 19:9 full HD+ notched display with a resolution of 2280 x 1080 pixels.

At this price range, Xiaomi has managed to include a unit with punchier colours and great sunlight readability with good contrast levels.

The large screen makes it easier for you to watch videos on this phone. Also, wider screen real estate means easier gaming as well.

The in-game buttons are sufficiently spaced so that you won’t accidentally press them while playing fast paced games such as PUBG.

Miscellaneous

Xiaomi phones are known to pack a ton of features at an affordable price tag. The Redmi Note 6 Pro packs in all sorts of sensors that enhance the functionality of device.

There is an infrared sensor on this phone to be used as a universal remote controller for all your devices at home.

Camera

The Redmi Note 6 Pro features the same camera sensor found on the Redmi Note 5 Pro but with minor changes.

The 12MP+5MP dual camera module at the back will help you take some nice shots and with the EIS enabled, your memories will feel less shaky, at least to the eyes.

The 12MP primary sensor on this setup now has a f/1.9 aperture compared to the f/2.2 aperture on the Redmi Note 5 Pro.

On the front, there is the same 20MP shooter that now accompanies with a 2MP depth sensor for hardware based portrait selfies.

The quality of the image and videos that come out of these sensors are quite detailed and has vivid colours and excellent dynamic range.

Verdict

If you are not worried about updates and is looking for a solid smartphone with all the features in one box, Redmi Note 6 Pro is the choice for you.

Remember, the Redmi Note 6 Pro is not a generous upgrade from the redmi Note 5 Pro. So if you have one, we advice you not to jump the wagon, unless you are too eager to join the notched Redmi club.

R

Excellent notched display with 19:9 aspect ratio

R

Has Electronic Image Stabilization

R

Massive 4000 mAh battery

Q

Almost similar to its predecessor Redmi Note 5 Pro

 Specifications

Operating SystemAndroid 7.1 Nougat / MIUI 9
Internal memory64 GB
RAM4 GB
ProcessorSnapdragon 636 Octa core 1.8 GHz
Camera12 MP + 5 MP Rear, 20 MP + 2MP Front
Battery4000 mAh
Display6.26 inch 1080 x 2160 19:9 403 ppi

That sums up our list of the best mobile phones under Rs.15,000.

We hope that we have helped you pick the right product.If not, do check out out list for the best smartphones under Rs.20,000. You might find a match there.

If you have any queries or if you think we have left out any great mobile phone under Rs.15,000, don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below.

Please subscribe to our newsletter for more such cool gadget guides and unbiased reviews. Cheers!