Best Smartphones Under Rs.12,000 (May 2020)

by | May 3, 2020

If you are looking for a smartphone above Rs.10,000 and you can’t extend your budget to Rs.15,000, then the best option is to go for a smartphone under Rs.12,000.

The sheer variety and competition in this segment are massive in India and almost every phone manufacturer launch a product in this price range.

So, which is the best smartphone under Rs.12,000?

Who offers the best value for money as well as build quality?

Let’s find out here.

Best Phones Under Rs.12,000

1. Realme 5 ProOverall Best Pick
2. Vivo U20Best all Rounder Smartphone
3. Samsung Galaxy M30  Best Reliable Smartphone
4. Redmi Note 8 Best Budget Smartphone
5. Nokia 6.2Best Build Quality
6. Honor 20iSmartphone with Best Design
7. Mi A3Android One Device
8. Oppo A5sHonorable Mention


1. Realme 5 Pro

Overall Best Pick
  • Powerful processor
  • Capable quadruple camera
  • VOOC fast charging

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

The Realme 5 Pro is one of the latest flagship Realme devices retailing in the market as of now priced competently under Rs.12,000.

Design and Build Quality

The Realme 5 Pro has followed the footsteps of its elder sibling, the Oppo F9 and has a dewdrop 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 and the back glass is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5. The buttons feel very tactile and responsive.


The display on this updated Realme 5 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 5 Pro is one of the best phones with a large screen to body ratio in this price segment.

Processor and Performance

The Realme 5 Pro smartphone houses a Snapdragon 712 SoC which 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 616 GPU inside, which will unleash the gamer in you.

This smartphone comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage.


The Realme 5 Pro has a quadruple-camera in the rear that constitutes the 48MP primary sensor with an aperture size of f/1.7, wide-angle 8MP, 2MP macro and a 2MP portrait mode sensor.

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.

The rear camera on this budget Android device supports super-slow-motion video capture at an astounding 960fps.

Battery Life

The Realme 5 Pro comes powered by a 4035 Li-ion battery. It is sufficient for this smartphone to last for over a day and a half comfortably with moderate to heavy usage.

It also supports VOOC fast charging to juice up the battery much faster than the competitors in the segment.


The Realme 5 Pro is the best smartphone that you can purchase under a budget of Rs.12,000.

With the class-leading performance-oriented Snapdragon 712 SoC and a very capable camera, this phone is a very compelling purchase.


Elegant and sleek design


Excellent display

Type-C USB port
Bloated UI


Operating SystemAndroid 9.0 Pie
Internal Memory64 GB
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 712
Camera48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP Rear, 16MP Front
Display6.3 inch Full HD+ IPS LCD 19.5:9

2. Vivo U20

Best all-Rounder Smartphone
  • Great build quality
  • Android One device from Nokia
  • Guaranteed software updates

The all-new Vivo U20 is the bigger sibling to its budget V10 smartphone. This specific device competes with the likes of Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 and Realme 5 in the Indian market.

With impressive hardware onboard, this smartphone gives a run for the money for other devices in the same price category.

Design and Build Quality

The Vivo U20 has adopted the regular glass sandwich design found on phones in a similar price range but with one advantage – the back shell is polycarbonate plastic with a gradient paint finish.

In a design perspective, this might look less premium than having a glass back, but from a durability standpoint, this is very much appreciable.

The volume rockers and the power buttons are very clicky and responsive.

The front display is protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 to save the screen from accidental scratches.

The main downside of this device is that it lacks a USB Type C port but come with micro USB 2.0 as the standard.

The rear-mounted fingerprint scanner is fast and responsive to the touches and unlocks the phone in an instant.


The Vivo U20 features a 6.53-inch Full HD+ IPS LCD with a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels.

This display has a body to screen ratio of about 84.4% and comes with a pixel density of 295ppi.

The colours look vivid and the brightness levels are decent with this panel on the U20.

Processor and Performance

The Vivo U20 budget Android smartphone is powered by the mid-range champion Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 processor clocked at 2.0GHz.

This powerful processor coupled with 6GB RAM can handle everyday tasks effortlessly and will even let you play graphic-intensive games.

The phone stays cool even while gaming and doesn’t overheat and cause thermal throttling.

Furthermore, the UFS 2.1 64GB internal storage is lightning fast in loading apps and read/write speeds as well.


The Vivo U20 has a triple rear camera setup which consists of a primary 16MP sensor, an 8MP ultrawide camera and a 2MP unit for macro shots.

These cameras return very good pictures with natural colours and vivid details.

The front camera is a 16MP sensor which comes with all the bells and whistles such as AI beauty mode which the Vivo phones are known for.

Battery Life

This is where the Vivo U20 trumps other competitors in the price range.

The Vivo U20 packs in a mammoth 5000mAh Li-ion battery which will last for up to days of moderate usage and a day of heavy usage.

Supplementing this, the device comes with an 18W fast charger in the box for juicing up the battery quickly.


The Vivo U20 is probably the only device with a UFS 2.1 storage under Rs.12,000 price range.

With a decent full HD display and powerful processor, this smartphone should be on the lookout for anyone who prefers to have an all-round winner in their hands.


Robust build quality


The AI-powered triple rear camera


Fast and accurate fingerprint sensor


No USB type C


Operating SystemAndroid 9.0 Pie
Internal Memory64 GB
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 675
Camera16MP+8MP+2MP Rear, 16MP Front
Display6.53-inch Full HD+

3. Samsung Galaxy M30

Best Reliable Smartphone
  • Super AMOLED display
  • 5000mAh battery
  • Triple camera setup

The galaxy M30 is the latest entry-level flagship smartphone from Samsung to take on the competition from the likes of Xiaomi and Honor.

The Samsung Galaxy M30 is a device like nothing else from the past.

It is loaded with features which stack well against its competition for the price tag at which the phone retails.

Design and Build Quality

The Samsung Galaxy M30 has a polycarbonate outer shell with a matt textured finish which looks elegant.

The phone feels very light in hand and thanks to its rounded corners, it feels very lightweight and easy to hold in one hand.

This phone comes with minimal bezels on all four sides and offers an immersive visual experience with its infinity V display.

Overall the quality of construction is very good and is on par with its competitors.


The Samsung Galaxy M30 features a 6.4-inch super AMOLED display with an infinity V notch at the top.

This full HD+ display has a resolution of 1080 x 2280 pixels and has a pixel density of about 394 ppi which renders the screen very sharp and clear output.

Samsung is the best OLED manufacturers in the world and the quality of this AMOLED display justifies that claims effortlessly.

This smartphone has greater than 90% screen to body ratio and supports L1 wide wine certification which lets you watch online streaming services in full HD resolution.

Processor and Performance

The Galaxy M30 is powered by the Samsung Exynos 7904 octa-core processor supplemented by the Mali-G71 GPU.

With the integrated 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, this device performs excellently when it comes to multitasking and gaming.

Whether it be PUBG or Fortnite, this budget Android smartphone from Samsung will let you play it in full HD resolution without any dropped frames or lags.

The latest Android 9.0 Pie OS is very optimized for performance improvements when compared to the Oreo 8.1 version as well.


This smartphone comes with a triple camera setup in the rear. Yes, a triple camera under sub. Rs.15,000, that too from Samsung.

The primary camera on the rear is a 13MP shooter with an aperture size of f/1.9 for better low light performance.

The secondary sensor is a 5MP ultrawide shooter, which is one of a kind in this price bracket.

The third one is a 5MP depth sensor for high-quality portrait and bokeh mode photos.

The front camera is a 16MP sensor with HDR support for high dynamic selfie shots.

Battery Life

The Samsung Galaxy M30 is powered by a whopping 5000mAh Li-ion battery which is rated to last for up to two days of heavy usage.

Samsung does include a fast charger in the box which will let you charge this device in under 2.30 hours.


The Samsung Galaxy M30 is the most feature-packed Android smartphone priced under Rs.12,000.

With its AMOLED display, triple camera setup and the 5000mAh battery, this smartphone is difficult to pass up in this price bracket.


Excellent battery life


Type C port


Fast charging support


Slow software updates


Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 Oreo
Internal Memory64 GB
ProcessorExynos 7904 octa-core
Camera13MP+5MP+5MP Rear, 16MP Front
Display6.4-inch Full HD+ AMOLED

4. Redmi Note 8

Best Budget Smartphone
  • The good quality IPS display
  • Quad camera setup
  • Long-lasting battery life

Redmi Note 8 is the Xiaomi’s true successor to the much-touted Redmi 7 which brought some premium features right into the hands of people scouring the market for an affordable feature-packed smartphone.

The Redmi Note 8 comes with internals which totally blows the competition out of the scene and is priced very competently under Rs.10.000.

Design and Build Quality

Xiaomi has set a new standard with the design of this budget entry-level Android smartphone.

The glass bodied chassis was only seen on premium devices in the past has made its way to the sub. Rs.10000 with this smartphone.

The bezels are minimal and the weight is evenly distributed for a comfortable and delightful smartphone usage experience.

The quality of materials used for construction is top-notch and without any compromise.


The Redmi Note 8 features a large 6.3-inch FHD+ panel with a resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels.

This display is one of the brightest in the segment.

The colours pop up and feel vibrant and vivid even in the direct sunlight.

Media consumption and gaming will be a delight with this display with the waterdrop notch up top.

The display is protected with corning gorilla glass 5 for protection from accidental scratches and dents and an additional p2i splashproof protection.

Processor and Performance

The Redmi Note 8 is powered by the powerful mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor.

This quad-core processor together with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage is more than enough for some serious multitasking and gaming action in this price range.

The phone never heats much and the glass body helps the phone stay cool even while gaming.


The Redmi Note 8 smartphone has a whopping 48MP+8MP+2MP+2MP rear camera setup with support for AI mode and phase detection autofocus.

The front shooter is a 13MP camera with an aperture size of f/2.0 for better low light selfies.

The 48MP sensor outputs 4 images of 12MP each and stitches it together to deliver photos with great details and colour accuracy. The 8MP sensor is an ultra-wide camera, and the rest is for depth sensing and macro photography.


This phone supports connectivity features such as dual VoLTE. You can use two 4G sims simultaneously without any glitches.

All standard set of sensors are available on this device including an infrared emitter for using the phone as a remote to your home appliances.

And yes, there is a 3.5mm headphone jack to plug in your favourite earphones.

Battery Life

This device from Xiaomi comes with a generous 4000mAh Li-Po battery that will last for about two days on moderate to heavy usage.


The Redmi Note 8 is the best smartphone you can get your hands for a budget under Rs.10,000 in the Indian market as of now.

With its 48MP camera sensor and a very colour accurate display, spending Rs.10,000 on this gadget is well worth every penny you’ve earned.


Premium design and build quality


Gorilla glass protection


Type C charging port


Bloated MIUI


Operating SystemAndroid 9.0 Pie
Internal Memory64 GB
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 665
Camera48MP+8MP+2MP+2MP Rear, 13MP Front
Display6.3-inch Full HD+

5. Nokia 6.2

Best Build Quality
  • Timely software updates
  • Triple rear camera with AI
  • Decent battery life

Nokia isn’t the old Nokia anymore. With HMD making the Nokia phones rather than the Microsoft, they’ve decided to go en route Android.

With a few phones such as Nokia 7 Plus priced under Rs.25,000 creating ripples in the market, Nokia is now back with a new offering – the all-new Nokia 6.2.

Design and Build Quality

Machined out of series 6000-grade Aluminium, the Nokia phones offer the best build quality in the market. They are built solid and feels extremely durable in hand.

The Finnish design exudes confidence and stands on par with the design of any other smartphone available at this price range.

The Nokia 6.2 comes with an edge to edge display that is protected by 2.5D curved Gorilla glass that blends in with the chassis seamlessly.

The backside of the chassis is adorned by a vertically placed dual-camera module followed by a flash and a fingerprint scanner.

Having a USB C port for budget phones is still considered a luxury by many smartphone brands, but not Nokia.

Overall, Nokia 6.2 is one of the phones with the best build quality available in the market.

Processor and Performance

The Nokia 6.2 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 SoC which is one of the mid-range champions when it comes to the efficient mix of performance and battery life.

But to be honest, there are other smartphones in the same price category with much more powerful processors out there.

With 4GB high-speed LPDDR RAM onboard, this device can blaze through apps and can handle multitasking without any sort of lags or stutters.

The Adreno 509 GPU inside lets you play high-end games but at low graphics settings.

The built-in 64GB ROM provides you with a sufficient starting point to store all your data – be it movies or songs on the phone offline, without the fear of running out of memory too soon.

This device also comes with a dedicated SD card slot which is another luxury that we are used not to expect from budget smartphones nowadays.


The Nokia 6.2 features a 6.3-inch full HD+ display with a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels.

This notched display has a 19:9 aspect ratio and has a pixel density of around 400 ppi.

The colours appear vivid and the contrast levels despite being an LCD is excellent. The texts appear sharp and clear so does the images.

This being an IPS LCD, the viewing angles are great and there is no colour shift when viewed from extreme angles as well.


The Nokia 6.2 comes with a triple rear camera setup which constitutes of a 16MP primary sensor accompanied by a 5MP depth-sensing unit for accurate edge detection and portrait mode photos along with an 8MP ultra-wide sensor.

On the front, there is an 8MP shooter which has autofocus capabilities and an aperture size of f/2.0.

The pictures from both the front and rear cameras come out detailed and colourful in daylight conditions but suffer from oversharpening in photos shot at low light environments.

When it comes to the video, this phone does support gyro EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization) for smoother video recording with minimal shakes.

Battery Life

The Nokia 6.2 is powered by a non-removable 3500 mAh Li-ion battery which easily lasts over a day of moderate to heavy usage.

The Snapdragon 636 is very much an energy-efficient processor and combined with the stock Android OS running on this smartphone, energy consumption is very minimal when sitting idle.


For those who love Nokia, this device is one of the best devices that the company has launched this year.

Under Android, One programme promised future updates will make this device one of the most desirable gadgets to own in its price segment.


Robust build quality


Elegant, stylish design


Stock Android OS


Outdated processor


Operating SystemAndroid 9.0 Pie
Internal Memory64 GB
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 636
Camera16MP + 5MP + 8MP Rear, 8MP Front
Display6.3 inch 1080 x 2280 19:9 Full HD+

6. Honor 20i

Smartphone with the Best Design
  • 128GB internal storage
  • 3D portrait lighting
  • Gorgeous design

Honor 20i is the stripped-down version of the latest Honor flagship – the Honor 20.

This android smartphone packs almost all goodies that are present in its elder brother, but omits certain features to keep the price tight under Rs,15,000.

Design and Build Quality

The Honor 20i has a familiar rounded drop notch design which looks almost similar to the Essential one smartphone.

The glass sandwich design with the gradient back looks nice and feels premium to hold in the hand.

The buttons are placed on easy reach and feel clicky and responsive. The headphone jack and the speaker is located in the bottom part.

One of the downsides of this smartphone is that it still packs an obsolete micro USB 2.0 port for charging and data transfer.

Processor and Performance

The Honor 20i features a mid-range HiSilicon Kirin 710 processor coupled with 4GB of RAM.

Although the device lacks an expandable storage option, the phone comes with 128GB of internal memory out of the box.

For most users, this will be more than sufficient for storing their files and installing apps on the device.

The Kirin 710 performs so well without any lags even while having multiple apps open in the background.

The games do run smoothly without any frame drops as well.


Talking about the display, Honor this time decided to join the notch bandwagon. The Honor 20i features a 6.21-inch full HD+ display with an aspect ratio of 19:9.

The notch up the front of the device accommodates the front camera.

This display gets sufficiently bright and the visuals come out clean and vivid.


Optics front, this smartphone has a 24MP + 8MP + 2MP rear camera unit.

The 24MP is a primary sensor that captures details in the frames precisely. The 8MP wide-angle sensor provides a whole new perspective of the subject you’re trying to capture.

The 2MP depth-sensing unit allows you to take portrait mode shots with a blurred background as you might get on a DSLR camera.

The 32MP front camera takes pictures with a hell lot of details and colour accuracy under well-lit environments.

The AI effect produces over-processed photos which can be easily achieved by applying filters from one of the photo editing apps.

The camera app has a manual mode that will let you tweak finer aspects such as aperture size, white balance, ISO etc to get a more desired output.

Battery Life

Honor 20i comes with Android 9.0 Pie OS out of the box with the latest EMUI 9 on the top.

EMUI skin adds a lot of extra features that are useful for tighter control over the operating system but frequent updates are a concern.

The 3400mAh battery holds pretty well and lasts well over a day with moderate to heavy usage.


The Honor 20i from Huawei is a smartphone that’s a stunner in terms of design and looks. The phone has capable internals and performs excellently as well.


Triple rear camera


Excellent build quality


32MP front camera




AI camera modes are less impressive


Operating SystemAndroid 9.0 Pie
Internal Memory128 GB
ProcessorHiSilicon Kirin 710F
Camera24MP+8MP+2MP Rear,32MP Front
Display6.21 Full HD+

7. Mi A3

Android One Device
  • Best in class camera
  • Guaranteed future android updates
  • Powerful Snapdragon 665 processor

Xiaomi and Android One is a dream we all had. Then one fine day the company announced Mi A1. Rest is history.

The Mi A3is the successor of the famous Mi A2 which sold like hot cakes in the Indian market.

Design and Build Quality

The Mi A3 has significant improvements in design and form factor over its predecessor, the Mi A2.

The new Mi A3 comes with the now industry-standard 19:9 display. The glossy glass back is retained with this release.

The orientation of the camera is now vertical, resembling that of iPhone X. That said the Mi A3 resembles closely to Xiaomi’s own Redmi Note 5 Pro.

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


The Mi A3 features a 6.08-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 1560 x 720 pixels.

This is a downgrade from the full HD+ displays that its predecessors had, but the AMOLED goodness makes up for it.


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 triple camera setup. This 48MP + 8MP + 2MP setup provides some of the best shots, both in daylight as well as low light in the segment.

The 48MP 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 32MP AI camera that captures portrait selfies with excellent details and saturation levels.

Processor and Performance

The Snapdragon 665 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 4030mAh Li-ion cell inside. This will last for two days 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 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.


Excellent build quality


Amazing optics


Android One device


The display is not full HD


Operating SystemAndorid 9.0 Pie
Internal Memory64 GB
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 665
Camera48MP + 8MP+2MP Rear, 32MP Front
Display6.08-inch HD AMOLED

8. Oppo A5s

Honorable Mention
  • Best for media consumption
  • Sleek and stylish design
  • Dual rear camera

Oppo has had relatively a success streak in the Indian market with their smartphones.

The company has been concentrating on its products advertising its selfie prowess and things have started to change.

The Oppo A5s is a budget Android smartphone from the company that brings certain features of its high priced siblings into the sub Rs.12,000 segment.

Design and build quality

Oppo phones are known for their sharp edges and boxy designs.

The A5s, however, breathes fresh air into the dull design budget smartphone market with its notched design.

This device has a notch up front, that houses the front camera and other sensors along with the earpiece.

The back shell is made of glossy plastic that has an interesting textured design which reflects light off the back interestingly and attractively.

The build quality is on par for the asking price. The device feels solid and well made in the hand.

What made us happy is that Oppo went with a dedicated SD card slot along with the dual sim connectivity option.


The Oppo A5s features a 6.2-inch display that has a modern 18:9 aspect ratio.

The display panel has a resolution of 1520 x 720 pixels which makes it an HD+ rated one and not a full HD panel which is a bit of a bummer.

However, the display is adequately bright and the text and images appear sufficiently sharper and vibrant.

If you’re the one who loves to watch a lot of media content on your smartphone, this larger display would be the one you’re in search of.

Processor and camera

Oppo usually favours MediaTek processors in their smartphones.

The A5s is powered by a MediaTek MTK6735 octa-core processor clocked at 2.3GHz.

The chip itself is OK for causal used and mild multitasking but will likely face some troubles with intensive multitasking or heavy gaming.

The Oppo A5s features a 13MP+2MP rear camera with portrait mode support. A secondary 2MP camera is a depth-sensing unit.

The photos come out as expected with good details and accurate colours. But the quality of low light photos is questionable.

The front notch houses an 8MP camera with AI modes to enhance your selfies to look better on screen.

Battery life

What’s powering the Oppo A5s inside is a massive 4230 mAh Li-ion battery.

This battery is sufficient enough to make the phone last for a day and a half comfortably even with heavy usage.

Since the processor and display resolution is on the lower side, the battery life is very impressive when compared to other phones with similar capacity battery.


The large notched display is probably the USP of this device. Those who love to watch a lot of media content on their phones would love this extra screen real estate.

Apart from the display, the build quality is good as well. The attractive colour options that this device comes is a fashion statement in itself.


Large 18:9 display


Attractive colour options


Dedicated SD card slot


No Full HD display


Operating SystemAndroid 8. Oreo
Internal Memory64 GB
ProcessorMediatek 6765 octa core
Camera13MP + 2MP Rear, 8MP Front
Display 6.2 inch HD+

And that concludes our list of the best mobile phones under Rs.12,000.

We have taken a genuine effort to list out only the best smartphone in this price category.

We will be updating this list when new phones that can challenge our top picks are launched.

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