Best Mobile Phones Under Rs.30,000 (February 2019)
Are you the one looking to step-up your geek game a bit?
With a bunch of choices lying around in mobile phones under Rs.30,000, you’re sure to sweat it out to find the best.
But don’t worry we will walk you through the tough part. This list has been curated to provide you with an insight into the best phones under Rs.30,000.
Whether you are an amateur photographer, an avid gamer or a selfie lover, we’ve tossed the best smartphones with these features in this price range so that you can take your pick quite easily.
Without any further ado, here are the choices we have shortlisted for you.
1. POCO F1
Overall Best Pick
- Performance beast
- Undermines most of the other flagships
- Value for money device
As you might have already known, Pocofone is a new subsidiary of Xiaomi that was recently unveiled in the country.
The company’s first launch in the market, the Poco F1 is already the new talk of the town even before the device is being released to the hands of the public.
Build and design…
For a premium budget smartphone priced under Rs.25,000, the Poco F1 has exceeded our expectations. The metallic body feels firm and easy to hold in hand.
The curved edges help this comparatively large device easy to hold and operate with a single hand.
The Poco F1 looks similar to many of the expensive flagships in the market with a vertical dual camera set up at the back and a notched display up front.
What makes this device stand out from the pack is the inclusion of a liquid cooling technology that will avoid the device from getting hot while gaming or any other intense resource-hungry operations.
Mighty Snapdragon 845 – Yes, not a typo!
Most of the mid-range smartphones today feature perfectly capable, but not necessarily high-end processors.
The last greatest SoC to be used in a premium budget smartphone was the Snapdragon 660 which is powerful and efficient.
The absolute beasts like Sandragon 845 were only reserved for the elite flagship smartphones that priced a fortune. But not anymore.
The Poco F1 comes with the top of the line Snapdragon 845 processor for under Rs.25,000.
This beast is supported by a fast LPDDRX 8GB RAM to chew through whatever apps or games you throw at it.
This device also comes with a massive 256GB storage and gives the option to increase the storage capacity by a hybrid SIM slot.
Large 6+ display.. With a notch!
The Poco F1 features a large 6.18-inch full HD+ display that reproduces stunning lifelike images with true to life colours.
This IPS display has excellent viewing angles and gives a sharp and crisp output, thanks to the 403 ppi pixel density even with this large size.
The display has a notch up top, which is of fairly big size.
If you don’t like the intrusion of a notch, you can technically turn it off in the settings but with a slight reduction in screen real estate.
AI cameras at its best…
The Poco F1 comes loaded with a rear dual camera setup that has a 12MP+5MP setup of which a second lens is a depth-sensing unit.
Along with the physical depth calculations, the AI integration that the company has built in will give you possibly one of the best image output in the segment.
The front camera is a 20MP shooter assisted with infrared sensors to give clear selfies even in low-light environments.
The only gripe we had with the camera department is that there is no Optical Image Stabilization available.
OIS houses a physical motor unit on top of which the camera sensor is mounted. This tiny motor moves in three or more axis to counteract the shakes arising from the movement of your hands while filming and aids in a perfectly balanced smooth frame.
The Poco F1 has a 4000mAh Li-ion battery inside which will easily last over a day even with heavy use.
Xiaomi is already known for including higher capacity batteries on their certain models such as the Redmi Note 5 Pro.
This time the company has even bundled a Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 certified fast charger that will let you charge the device even faster.
If you can get hold of a unit while the lottery like flash sales in Flipkart, this might be the best mobile money can buy in recent times.
The absolute beast of a performer, the Snapdragon 845 is the centrepiece of all attractions and won’t definitely fail your expectations – be it multitasking or gaming.
With the slightly modified, less cartoony MIUI interface, you are going to get a plethora of customization options as well.
Snapdragon 845 SoC
Liquid cooling technology
Fast charger bundled with the box
|Operating System||Android Oreo 8.1|
|Internal Storage||256 GB|
|Camera||12MP + 5MP Rear, 20MP Front|
|Display||6.18 inch FHD+ Display|
2. Asus Zenphone 5Z
- Best flagship grade phone in this budget
- Excellent software support
- Sleek and stylish design
Even though little overpriced, the Oneplus 6 was ruling this budget without competition for a brief period of time and then came the Asus Zenfone 5Z.
The Asus Zenfone 5Z is packing killer specs at a jaw dropping price point and doesn’t compromise neither on quality nor on the performance.
Flagship grade SoC and the build quality
Featuring the top of the line Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 inside, performance is snappy as ever. Assisted with a 6GB RAM on board, multitasking and gaming is a breeze to handle for this beast.
On the front, there’s a 6.2-inch Super IPS+ 19:9 aspect ratio display that has a resolution of 2246 x 1080 pixels. The color accuracy of this panel is top notch so does the brightness levels.
Asus has added a true tone color enhancer which you can manually adjust to get the most out of this screen for your liking.
The front as well as the back is made of glass and is protected by 2.5D Gorilla glass. The rounded patterns etched on to the back of this phone is just awesome to stare at.
Gorgeous 6.2-inch IPS+ panel…
Asus this time has optimized its ZenUI with a lot of AI related features such as AI charge, AI phone boost and even AI modes on the camera app.
Excellent cameras on board…
Talking about the optics, this phone features a rear 12MP + 8MP shooter and a 8MP front camera. The primary camera is equipped with 4-axis OIS and the videos are stabilized with the combination of OIS + EIS technology.
The photos look detailed and color accurate. The wide angle selfie camera captures pleasant selfies with almost little or no noise.
Dedicated audio amplifier inside…
To please the audiophiles, LG has added Hi-Res audio chip inside. This will let you listen to your favourite tracks the way they were recorded in the studio.
The loudspeaker on this phone does have a stereo effect. The earpiece doubles up as a speaker along with the unit placed on the bottom.
Powered by a 3300 mAh battery, the Asus Zenfone 5Z easily lasts for a day even with intense usage. With fast charging support out of the box, juicing up this guy is no big deal.
Priced at just Rs.29,999, the Asus Zenfone 5Z is a flagship level smartphone that even outperforms the excellent OnePlus 6 in certain aspects.
Considering the specs and the performance, we recommend you to think no further.
Good build quality
Great colour accuracy
No AMOLED display
|Operating System||Android Oreo|
|Internal Storage||64 GB|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 845|
|Camera||12MP + 8MP Rear, 8MP Front|
|Display||6.2 – inch, 2246 x 1080, Super IPS+|
3. Mi MIX 2
Best Build Quality
- Designed to perfection
- Impressive screen to body ratio
- Ceramic back
Even though Sharp started the bezel-less trend with Aquos range, it was Xiaomi who met success with this experiment on their Mi MIX phones.
At the time, Xiaomi was praised industry-wide for such an innovation and they are repeating the success with the Mi MIX 2 as well.
Futuristic design and awesome build quality…
Mi MIX 2 features a pretty high screen to body ratio with it’s 5.99″ full HD+ display.
With a minimal bezel, this phone looks gorgeous from the front.
It comes with a 6 GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage that will let you pack your stuff without bothering about the free space for a long time.
Mi MIX 2 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 that is currently the next best flagship offering from Qualcomm.
On the design front, Mi MIX 2 is a show stopper.
The awesome design will turn anyone’s head in awe and that gorgeous display is destined to get praises from the crowd.
The device features a ceramic back that is an industry first.
Ceramic is very tough and will resist the scratches much better than Corning gorilla glass.
Those who throw their devices around carelessly can calm your nerves.
Xiaomi, following other manufacturers, has decided to let the headphone jack to disappear on this phone.
Powerful and efficient Snapdragon 835 SoC!!
Snapdragon 835 coupled with 6 GB RAM ensures your apps and games will run like a butter spread on the bread.
Multitasking and those memory intensive games you have been longing to play will not even bother to test the phone’s capability.
Xiaomi experimented with the design but it seems that they spared the camera from that test.
Single feature packed camera at the rear!
Mi MIX 2 features a single 12MP rear camera with some advanced modes that will take no time to master.
The phone is equipped with 4 axis Optical Image Stabilization to keep your videos look like they are shot in a gimbal.
The 5MP front camera is nothing much to talk about and does it’s job fine although the awkward placement on the lower chin may raise many eyebrows for sure.
Adequate battery capacity…
Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 comes with a 3400mAh battery that will let you catch up your favourite shows on the phone or gaming without the fear of a dying battery a no-frills experience.
MIUI is the last point of mention as some may like it, some may not.
It is highly customized skin on top of Android by Xiaomi and although it brings its own goodies in the bag, some may find the bloated experience less appealing.
Should you buy it?
The Mi Mix 2 from Xiaomi is an excellent smartphone that comes with all goodies loaded and then some.
The ceramic back and the overall construction feels solid and durable making it one of the phones with the best build quality in this list.
Tough ceramic construction
Excellent battery life
Support for a wide range of brands
Odd front camera placement
No headphone jack
|Operating System||Android Nougat|
|Internal Storage||128 GB|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 835|
|Camera||12 MP Rear, 5 MP Front|
|Display||5.99-inch, 1080*2160, 403 ppi|
4. Vivo V11 Pro
Best for Selfie Lovers
- AI-powered 25MP front camera
- Excellent battery life
- Midrange snapdragon 660 processor
Vivo is a Chinese smartphone company that always had its concentration focused on selfie cameras. For so long, they had marketed their products having the best selfie camera in the industry.
With the Vivo V11 Pro, the Chinese company is now taking the selfie obsession to the next level by including a 25MP front camera to quench the selfie lover’s thirst.
Design and Build Quality
Vivo phones have been copying the iPhone design since time immemorial and it continues to this date with the Vivo V11 Pro.
This premium budget Android smartphone boasts an impressive screen to body ratio of 85.2% and adorns a teardrop styled notch at the front that houses the front camera and an infrared sensor.
At the back, there is this glossy plastic backplate with textures that gets revealed when the light strikes the surface.
The build quality of this phone feel just average with this plastic case. However, the curved body makes this device easy to hold in your hand.
The golden accent lines around the camera bump give a premium feel to the device. The speaker and the headphone jack is located on the bottom side.
Unfortunately, Vivo has still decided to stick with the outdated micro USB connector on this late 2018 phone, which is nothing short of a huge disappointment.
In-display Fingerprint Scanner
The fingerprint sensor on this device is placed below the display. To unlock the device, you just need to place your finger on the screen where it visually indicates the sensor location.
When compared to the Vivo X21, which was the first smartphone to come equipped with an in-display fingerprint scanner, the sensor on the Vivo V11 Pro feels slightly faster and more accurate.
The device features a huge 6.41-inch Super AMOLED display with good colour reproduction and contrast levels.
This full view display with an aspect ratio of 19.5:9 has really thin bezels all around. If you are a fan of mobile media consumption, this screen will prove to be a delight to use.
Since the teardrop sized notch is small and doesn’t take up much screen real estate, the immersive experience isn’t affected much.
With a pixel density around 402 ppi, this screen looks detailed and vibrant.
Being an AMOLED panel, the blacks remain pitch black, making the images and videos look visually more appealing to the eyes.
Processor and Performance
This device is powered by the popular Snapdragon 660 which offers a balanced and power-efficient performance.
Multitasking is smooth and gaming performance is decent with this SoC.
However, looking from a price to performance standpoint, the Snapdragon 660 under Rs.30,000 isn’t the best among the bunch.
The 4GB RAM comfortably manages to process multiple tasks simultaneously without
any stutters or lag in between.
The Vivo V11 Pro features a dual rear camera setup that has a 12MP + 5MP sensor combo of which the latter is completely dedicated to depth sensing.
The main 12MP camera has a f/1.8 aperture that lets more light to enter the lens, resulting in better low light photos and videos.
The 25MP front camera is one of the main USP’s of this device.
This high-resolution sensor, combined with extensive AI features that Vivo has baked into the OS makes it perform much better than most of the selfie cameras out there.
With the inbuilt 64GB internal storage, saving your pictures and videos is no more a concern.
The battery on this device is a 3400mAh Li-Po cell.
The display is Super AMOLED and with the power efficient Snapdragon 660 inside, the phone easily lasts for a day worth of usage.
The Vivo V11 Pro packs in a high-resolution selfie front camera that takes crazy good photos in both indoor as well as outdoor.
This AI-powered camera along with the futuristic in-display fingerprint sensor makes this an exciting deal worth checking out in this price segment.
In Display fingerprint scanner
Infrared face scanner
No USB C
|Operating System||Android 8.1 Oreo|
|Internal Storage||64 GB|
|Processor||Qualcomm SNapdragon 660|
|Camera||12MP + 5MP Rear, 25MP Front|
|Display||6.41 – inch 2340x1080 pixels SAMOLED|
5. Nokia 8.1 2018
Value for Money
- Android One device
- Powerful Snapdragon 710 SoC
- OIS enabled rear camera
Nokia 8.1 is the new refreshed version of the yesteryear Nokia flagship, the Nokia 8.
This device is, in reality, a trimmed down version of a flagship-grade product, but with much more useful and value for money features, right within an affordable budget.
Design and Build Quality
As always, Nokia has reinforced its stature as a manufacturer producing smartphones with the best build quality.
This device has a glass front and back design with aluminium frame running around the chassis.
The buttons are also made of aluminium and feel and tactile. Nokia has even given an aluminium ring around the otherwise plush fingerprint sensor in the back.
The Nokia 8.1 comes with a hybrid SIM slot meaning you can only use a SIM and an expansion card or two SIM cards at once and no expansion options.
The phone looks very sleek in hand but the glass back has to be taken care of from accidental falls.
Nokia 8.1 features a 6.18-inch FHD+ notched display with a resolution of 1080 x 2246 pixels.
The colour accuracy and brightness levels of this screen are excellent. Being an IPS LCD, there is no noticeable colour shift when viewed from extreme angles.
With a pixel density about 409ppi, the texts and visuals look sharp and vibrant even from close quarters.
The minimal bezels on the sides and the top portion contributes to the almost 81% screen to body ratio display.
However, the notch up top felt a tad bit unnecessarily larger, compared to other models in the same price range.
Processor and Performance
The Nokia 8.1 is one of the first smartphones in the Indian market powered by the latest Snapdragon 710 SoC from Qualcomm.
The SD 710 is an incremental upgrade over the 660 and is made using a 12 nm process for better performance and battery efficiency.
This processor clocked at 2.2GHz is perfectly OK for intense multitasking and gaming without any lags in between.
The 4GB RAM on this device might seem a bit less when compared to other models, but the processor and the latest Android 9.0 Pie makes things work effortlessly.
Nokia has been cooperating with Zeiss optics for their camera lenses since time immemorial.
With the Nokia 8.1, the company has thrown in a 12MP + 13MP Zeiss optics lens and a 20MP selfie shooter in the front.
The rear 13MP camera comes with optical image stabilization for blur and jitter-free photos and videos.
The front camera takes detailed photos with good colours and saturation levels as well.
Nokia has included a 3500mAh Li-ion battery with the Nokia 8.1 which makes this device last comfortable over a day of medium to heavy usage.
With the bundled 9V/2A fast charger, you will be able to refill the juice from empty to full in just under 90 minutes.
If you are looking for a well-built device with all the basic features loaded, the Nokia 8.1 is a solid choice for a budget under Rs.30,000.
Being an Android One device, you are assured to receive Android updates for the next two years and won’t be missing the upcoming features in this regard.
Strong Aluminium chassis
High-quality Zeiss optics
Excellent battery life
Slightly larger notch
|Operating System||Android 9 Pie|
|Internal Storage||64 GB|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 710|
|Camera||12MP+13MP Rear, 20MP Front|
|Display||6.18 inch 1080 x 2246 FHD+|
This list completes our hunt for the best smartphones under Rs.30,000.
The budget has been stretched by a couple of thousands to include those phone that you wouldn’t want to miss at this range.
We hope, we helped you alleviate some of your concerns about picking up a mobile in this price range.
Now it’s your turn to decide. Which phone are you going with?
Tell us in the comment section below and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more such useful content.