Best Smartphones Under Rs.30,000 (April 2019)

by | Apr 13, 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.

Best Smartphone Under Rs.30,000

1. Pocofone F1 Overall Best Pick
2. Asus Zenphone 5Z Runner-Up Pick
3. Nokia 8.1 2018 Best Build Quality
4. Vivo V15 Pro Best Feature Rich Smartphone
5. Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) Value for Money Smartphone

1. POCO F1

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.

Battery

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.

Final Verdict

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.

R

Snapdragon 845 SoC

R

Liquid cooling technology

R

Fast charger bundled with the box

Q

No OIS

Specifications

Operating System Android Oreo 8.1
Internal Storage 256 GB
RAM 8 GB
Processor Snapdragon 845
Camera 12MP + 5MP Rear, 20MP Front
Battery 4000mAh
Display 6.18 inch FHD+ Display

2. Asus Zenphone 5Z

asus-zenphone-5z
Runner-Up Pick
  • 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.

Battery Life

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.

Summary

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.

R

Good build quality

R

Great colour accuracy

R

Excellent camera

R

Hi-Res Audio

Q

No AMOLED display

Specifications

Operating System Android Oreo
Internal Storage 64 GB
RAM 6 GB
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Camera 12MP + 8MP Rear, 8MP Front
Battery 3300 mAh
Display 6.2 – inch, 2246 x 1080, Super IPS+

3. Nokia 8.1 2018

nokia-8.1-2018
Best Build Quality
  • Guaranteed software updates
  • Powerful Snapdragon 710 SoC
  • Optical Image Stabilization

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.

Display

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 6GB RAM coupled with the ample 128GB storage makes apps usage and data storage a breeze with this device.

Camera

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.

Battery

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.

Verdict

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.

R

Robust build quality

R

Android OS 9 Pie

R

Decent camera

Q

Slightly larger notch

Specifications

Operating System Android 9 Pie
Internal Storage 128 GB
RAM 6 GB
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 710
Camera 12MP+13MP Rear, 20MP Front
Battery 3500mAh
Display 6.18 inch1080 x 2246 FHD+

 

4. Vivo V15 Pro

vivo-v15-pro
Best Feature Rich Smartphone
  • Motorized 32 MP front camera
  • Excellent battery life
  • Powerful Snapdragon 675 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 V15 Pro, the Chinese company is now taking the selfie obsession to the next level by including a motorized 32MP pop-up 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 V15 Pro.

This premium Android smartphone boasts an impressive screen to body ratio of 85.9% and comes without a notch in the front – yes, you heard it right.

At the back, there is this glossy polycarbonate backplate with textures which gets revealed when the light strikes the surface.

The build quality of this phone feels excellent. However, the curved body makes this device easy to hold in your hand.

The clear glass case which comes in the box has a rubber padding along the edges, which protects the device and doesn’t obstruct the beauty of the device at the same time.

Unfortunately, Vivo has still decided to stick with the outdated micro USB connector on this 2019 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 V15 Pro belong to the newer fifth generation and feels considerably faster and more accurate.

Display

The device features a huge 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display with good colour reproduction and contrast levels.

This full view display with an aspect ratio of 19:9 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.

With a pixel density around 40 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 675 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 675 under Rs.30,000 falls short of the Snapdragon 845 found in the much more affordable Poco F1.

The 6GB RAM comfortably manages to process multiple tasks simultaneously without
any stutters or lag in between.

Camera

The Vivo V15 Pro features a triple rear camera setup that has a 48MP + 8MP + 5MP sensor.

The main 48MP camera has an f/1.8 aperture that lets more light to enter the lens, resulting in better low light photos and videos.

As we have described this 48MP camera myth in the Redmi Note 7 Pro, which was the best smartphone under Rs.15,000 pick, this phones takes four 12MP shots and combines them to deliver a sharper and better-looking image.

The 8MP sensor is a wide angle shooter with a 120 degrees field of view. The camera switches to the 8MP sensor automatically when you select the wide-angle mode in the camera application.

The 5MP tertiary sensor is purely for depth perception which is used for creating DSLR like bokeh and portrait mode shots.

The 32 MP motorized 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.

When you select the front camera option, the sensor pops up from the inside and snaps the photo, returns back inside the chassis.

Battery Life

The battery on this device is a 3500mAh Li-Po cell.

The display is Super AMOLED and with the power efficient Snapdragon 675 inside, the phone easily lasts for a day worth of usage.

Verdict

The Vivo V15 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 and the motorized front camera makes this an exciting deal worth checking out in this price segment.

R

In Display fingerprint scanner

R

AMOLED display

R

Infrared face scanner

Q

No USB C

Q

Plastic construction

Specifications

Operating System Android 9 Pie
Internal Storage 128 GB
RAM 6 GB
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 675
Camera 48MP+8MP+5MP Rear, 32MP Front
Battery 3700mAh
Display 6.39-inch SAMOLED FHD+

5. Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)

samsung-galaxy-a9
Smartphone with the Best Design
  • Designed to perfection
  • Impressive screen to body ratio
  • Ceramic back

Samsung usually reserves major technological breakthroughs for its higher-end Galaxy S series and Note series smartphones.

But with the latest edition of Samsung Galaxy A9, the company is introducing the world’s first quad camera setup on a smartphone, which of course is its main selling point.

Design and Build Quality

The Samsung A9 2018 is gracefully designed to captivate the eyes as well as the minds with glass finish exteriors coated with gradient colours.

This colour scheme is the same Honor has been doing with their smartphones off late, but here in A9, it comes with a more subtle effect.

This smartphone brags about having 80.5% screen to body ratio, and has minimal bezels at the sides of the display, making it look more awesome.

There is the USB C charging port at the bottom, accompanied with the 3.5mm headphone jack ( Thank God!).

The rear part is where this phone starts to look unfamiliar. It features a quad camera setup arranged as a vertical strip with an LED flash beneath.

Other than the camera bump and the physical fingerprint scanner, the back side is left blank for that awesome paint job to flaunt its style.

Display

The Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 features a 6.3-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1080 x 2220 pixels.

Although, not as clear and crisp as those displays found on premium Galaxy series lineup, this panel is sufficiently bright and has impressive colour reproduction when compared with other phones in the similar price bracket.

With an aspect ratio of 18.5:9 and pixel density around 392 ppi, watching media and playing games is a delightful experience.

Processor and Performance

Considering the price, the Galaxy A9 2018 doesn’t feature the most powerful processor in its price category. In Fact, the Snapdragon 660 is kind of like an entry-level chipset that’s found on smartphone priced around Rs.15,000.

However, this processor performs well in normal conditions and won’t give any trouble for most of the people using it. With the available 6/8GB RAM variants, multitasking and gaming are perfectly fine with this smartphone.

There is an inbuilt 128GB UFS storage with a dedicated SD card slot for expanding the memory up to 512GB.

Quad Camera Setup

This is the biggest USP of this smartphone – having four cameras. No, not including the one in the front.

The Quad camera set up on the back has an interesting mix of sensors earmarked specially for various functions.

The first one is the 24MP primary shooter with f/1.7 aperture.

This sensor has all the standard features such as PDAF found on almost all the mid-range smartphone cameras.

The second in line is a 5MP depth sensor for those bokeh and portrait mode photos.

The third one is a 10MP telephoto lens with 2X zoom for capturing distant objects with lossless zoom.

The fourth and final sensor is the 8MP ultrawide sensor with a 120-degree field of view.

Apart from the physical hardware, Samsung has delivered a feature-rich camera interface with a multitude of functions for taking smartphone photography to the next level.

The photos and videos come out pretty clean and sharp. The shots taken are rich in detail as well.

Miscellaneous

The Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 is launched with Android Oreo out of the box with Samsung experience UI on top.

Based on Samsung’s past commitments in updating their phones, the Android Pie update cannot be expected soon, at least not until the second half of 2019.

Speaking about connectivity, this device has the latest Bluetooth v5.0 and dual-band Wi-Fi capability.

Battery Life

Surprisingly, Samsung has started to include higher capacity batteries in its smartphones off late.

This Android smartphone is powered by a 3,800 mAh Li-ion battery that will easily last for a day and a half on moderate to heavy usage.

Verdict

If you are a smartphone photography enthusiast and wants to stand out a notch above everyone in terms of smartphone camera capabilities, the Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) is an apt choice.

With its Super AMOLED display and excellent build quality, there is much more than just the optics to cherish about this device.

R

Elegant and stylish design

R

Excellent build quality

R

Decent battery life

R

Next level photography choices

Q

Snapdragon 660 is a lower mid-range chipset

Specifications

Operating System Android 8 Oreo
Internal Storage 128 GB
RAM 6 GB
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
Camera 24MP + 5MP + 10MP +8MP Rear, 24MP Front
Battery 3800mAh
Display 6.3-inch FHD+ SAMOLED

 

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.

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