Best Smartphones Under Rs.20,000 (November 2019)

by | Nov 16, 2019

Are you the one looking for stepping up your geek game a bit?

With a bunch of choices lying around, you’re sure to sweat it out but don’t worry we will walk you through the toughest part.

This list has been curated to provide you with an insight into the best phones under Rs.20,000.

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 Smartphones Under Rs.20,000

1. Poco F1Overall Best Pick
2. Asus Zenfone 5ZRunner-Up Pick
3. Realme XTBest Budget Smartphone
4. Redmi K20Feature Rich Smartphone
5. Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 ProBest Budget Gaming Smartphone
6. Samsung Galaxy A50sBest Branded Smartphone
7. Nokia 7.2Best Build Quality
8. Honor 10Honorable Mention

1. POCO F1

poco-f1
Overall Best Pick
  • Powerful Snapdragon 845 processor
  • Gorgeous full HD+ display
  • Excellent battery life

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 Quality and Design

For a premium budget smartphone priced under Rs.20,000, the Poco F1 has a decent build quality, to say the least. The plastic 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.

Processor and Performance

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 Snapdragon 845 were only reserved for the elite flagship smartphones that cost a fortune.

But not anymore.

The Poco F1 comes with the top of the line Snapdragon 845 processor for under Rs.20,000.

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 256GB storage and gives the option to increase the storage capacity by a hybrid SIM slot.

Display

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 fairly big.

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.

Camera

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.

Battery Life

The Poco F1 has 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.

Verdict

If you can get a 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 definitely won’t 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

IR assisted front camera

R

OTG support

R

Regular MIUI updates

Q

No dedicated SD card slot

Specifications

Operating SystemAndroid Oreo 8.1
Internal Memory256 GB
RAM8 GB
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 845
Camera12MP + 5MP Rear, 20MP Front
Battery4000mAh
Display6.18 inch Full HD+ IPS

2. Asus Zenfone 5Z

asus-zenfone-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 and then came the Asus Zenfone 5Z.

The Asus Zenfone 5Z is packing killer specs at a jaw-dropping price point and compromise neither on quality nor on the performance.

Performance

Featuring the top of the line Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 inside, performance is snappy as ever before.

Assisted with 8GB RAM on board and the 256GB internal storage capacity, multitasking and gaming is a breeze to handle for this beast.

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.

Display

On the front, there’s a 6.2-inch Super IPS+ 19:9 aspect ratio display that comes with a resolution of 2246 x 1080 pixels.

The colour accuracy of this panel is top-notch, so does the brightness levels.

Asus has added a true tone colour enhancer which you can manually adjust to get the most out of this screen for your liking.

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.

Camera

Talking about the optics, this phone features a rear 12MP + 8MP shooter and an 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 colour accurate. The wide-angle selfie camera captures pleasant selfies with almost little or no noise.

Miscellaneous

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.

Verdict

Priced at just Rs.19,999, 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

Great colour accuracy

R

Excellent camera

R

Hi-Res Audio

Q

No AMOLED display

Specifications

Operating SystemAndroid Oreo
Internal Memory256 GB
RAM8 GB
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 845
Camera12MP + 8MP Rear, 8MP Front
Battery3300mAh
Display6.2-inch Full HD+

3. Realme XT

realme-Xt
Best Budget Smartphone
  • Latest powerful processor
  • An optical in-display fingerprint scanner
  • Gorgeous full HD+ AMOLED display

Realme is fighting tooth and nails with the Redmi lineup it seems. Whenever Redmi comes up with a smartphone that awws the market, Realme quickly follows the same.

This time the Realme comes with the Realme XT which is a direct competitor to the much-hyped Redmi K20 Pro.

Design and Build Quality

The Realme XT features a refreshing design which differs from the recent glass-backed design trend plagued in certain aspects.

Yes, the Realme XT also features the gradient coloured glass back, but subtle changes like the camera placement make the device much more pleasing to look at.

The fit and finish of this mid-range Android smartphone are excellent for its price. The overall construction seems to be of good quality, which Realme phones are famed for, starting from the original Realme 1.

Display

The Realme XT features a large 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels.

This display, thanks to the pop-up camera extends almost all across the front. The 3D curved bezels make the display blend with the chassis seamlessly.

The quality of the display is excellent. With deep blacks and high contrast ratio, the visuals look stunning with this smartphone.

The pop up front camera helps this display to achieve an impressive screen to body ratio of 91.2% resulting in immersive media viewing and gaming experience.

Processor and Performance

This mid-range Android smartphone packs in a Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 processor clocked at a respectable 2.2GHz.

With 4GB of RAM and 64GB of UFS 2.1 storage, the performance is blazing fast and smooth.

UFS 2.1 storage is a faster storage technology which considerably improves the read/write speeds resulting in faster performance.

Be it games or resource-hungry apps, the Realme XT cuts through them effortlessly.

Camera

The Realme XT has a quadruple rear camera setup mounted in the centre vertically. The primary sensor is a 64MP sensor with an 8MP ultra-wide sensor for photos with an enhanced field of view.

There is a 2MP macro sensor for close up shots and the regular 2MP depth-sensing unit for accurate bokeh shots.

The main sensor captures four images of 16MP each and stitches them together to deliver a crisp and clean final image output.

The macro shots from this unit deliver greatly detailed photos with excellent colour accuracy.

The front camera is a 16MP sensor with a 70-degree field of view to capture more subject in the frame.

This camera pops-up when required from the top portion of the chassis.

Battery Life

What powers the Realme XT is 4000mAh Li-ion battery which is advertised to last for a day and a half with moderate to heavy usage.

Realme has also included a VOOC enabled fast charger in the box to juice up the device as quick as it can.

Verdict

The Realme XT delivers one of the best premium smartphone ownership experiences under a budget of just Rs.15,999.

With an excellent screen and processor, this is one of the best devices you can grab at this price point.

R
Elegant design
R

Robust build quality

R

VOOC fast charging

Q

No stock Android UI

Specifications

Operating SystemAndroid 9.0 Pie
Internal Memory64 GB
RAM4 GB
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 712
Camera64MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP , 24MP Front
Battery4000mAh
Display6.4 inch Full HD+ AMOLED

4. Redmi K20

redmi-k20
Feature-Rich Smartphone
  • Super AMOLED display
  • 960 fps slo-mo capture
  • Long-lasting battery life

Redmi K20 is the latest offering from the Xiaomi budget smartphone stable priced slightly higher than its predecessors.

This android smartphone is a lighter version with less powerful hardware compared with its bigger brother, the flagship Redmi K20 Pro.

Design and Build Quality

The Redmi K20 has a glass sandwich design which follows the current trend in the budget smartphone segment.

The interesting gradient two-tone colour scheme lends this smartphone a unique personality on its own.

The front and rear glass are protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for avoiding accidental scratches and marks.

The Redmi K20 is a very well built phone with a sturdy chassis and good overall fit and finish.

Display

The Redmi K20 features a 6.39-inch FHD+ AMOLED display with an approximate pixel density of about 410ppi.

With a resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels, this display is sharp and vibrant. With a contrast ratio of 60000:1, the blacks are deep and the saturation levels are on par with the competing device.

The fingerprint scanner is tucked beneath the display and unlocks the device in an instant without any noticeable delay.

Processor and Performance

The all-new Redmi K20 packs a newer and more powerful budget Qualcomm snapdragon 730 processor clocked at 2.2GHz.

With the ample 6GB RAM and 128GB storage, this device performs the way it should be without any lags or stutters.

Games and apps run buttery smooth and the larger RAM considerably helps in executing multitasking operations.

Camera

The Redmi K20 from Xiaomi features a triple rear camera setup and a pop-up motorized front camera.

The rear camera system consists of a 48MP primary sensor accompanied with a 13MP wide-angle and an 8MP telephoto lens capable of 2x zoom.
The quality of the photos and videos are quite good and on par with other devices in the same price range.

The front camera is a 20MP sensor with AI beauty modes to make your selfie shots look more professional.

Battery Life

Battery life is one of the most crucial aspects people look for while buying a smartphone. Redmi phones are famed for packing high capacity batteries in the past and the same is the case with K20.

The 4000mAh battery can hold the phone to live up to one and a half days on a single charge comfortably.

Verdict

Packed with features to the brim, Redmi K20 is one of the best mid-range Android devices in the Indian market priced under Rs.20,000.

R

Elegant design

R

Build quality

R

18W fast charge

Q

Skinned MIUI

Specifications

Operating SystemAndroid Pie 9.0
Internal Memory128 GB
RAM6 GB
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 730
Camera48MP + 13MP + 8MP Front, 20MP Rear
Battery4000mAh
Display6.39-inch AMOLED Full HD+

5. Redmi Note 8 Pro

redmi-note-8-pro
 Budget Gaming Smartphone
  • Powerful MediaTek G90T processor
  • Capable quad-camera setup
  • Long-lasting battery life

Redmi Note 8 Pro is the latest Redmi Note 8 flagship out there in the market.

The Redmi Note series is one of the best selling device lineups in the country with superior performance and value for money proposition, so this phone had a lot going for it and boy, it delivers.

Design and Build Quality

The Redmi Note 8 Pro has significantly improved the build quality and aesthetics this time to rival not only the other phones in the same price segment but also other higher-priced devices currently on sale in the market.

The glass sandwich design with Gorilla Glass 5 protection on both front and back with the gradient colour finish makes this device look premium.

The curved edges make holding this phone in the palm a bit less of a hassle considering it’s larger sized display.

The Redmi Note 8 Pro this time comes with a dedicated SD card slot along with two nano-SIM slots.

The downward-firing speaker is quite loud and clear and has no distortions even at higher volume levels.

Display

This device features a large 6.53-inch full HD+ IPS LCD panel with a pixel density of 397ppi.

The screen is very bright and can reach up to 500 nits of peak brightness for easy sunlight readability.

The colours look vivid and rich and the contrast levels are on par with other LCDs in the segment.

Processor and Performance

The Redmi Note 8 Pro is the world’s first smartphone launched with the gaming-centric MediaTek G90T chipset.

This processor is custom made for performance in gaming and multitasking. Along with the 8GB LPDDRX RAM, this phone performs lightening fast – be it in gaming or handling resource-intensive apps.

There is a high speed UFS2.1 128GB internal storage with this phone for industry-leading read/write speeds in this price segment.

Camera

The Redmi Note 8 Pro has a quad-camera set up in the rear consisting of a primary 64MP Samsung GW1 sensor, 8MP ultra-wide camera, a 2MP macro shooter and a 2MP depth sensor for bokeh shots.

The front camera is a 20MP shooter which delivers selfies with rich details and natural colours.

The pictures and videos from the rear camera look very sharp and clean with a lot of details preserved, even in low light.

There are reports of working Gcam ports available for this device that might result in even better clicks in the future.

Battery Life

This budget Android smartphone features a 4500mAh Li-ion battery to power its internals. Redmi phones are known for their incredible battery life and the Note 8 Pro is no different.

You can get a screen on times of at least 7 hours, even with heavy usage.

It also comes with an 18W fast charger in the box to speed up the juicing process.

Verdict

The Redmi Note 8 Pro combines the best in many worlds and brings you a true flagship-grade experience under an affordable budget of Rs.15,000.

R

Premium build quality

R

Bright and vivid display

R

18W fast charger in the box

Q

No OLED display

Specifications

Operating SystemAndroid Pie
Internal Memory128 GB
RAM8 GB
ProcessorMediaTek G90T
Camera64MP+8MP+2NP+2MP Rear, 20MP
Battery4500mAh
Display6.53 inch Full HD+ IPS

6. Samsung Galaxy A50

samsung-galaxy-a50
Best Branded Smartphone
  • Stunning AMOLED display
  • AI-powered triple rear camera setup
  • Large capacity 4000mAh battery

The galaxy A50s is the latest mid-range Android smartphone from Samsung which comes as a slight upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy A50 smartphone a while ago.

Featuring a 3-D prism design, this smartphone looks and feels premium for the price at which retails.

Design and Build Quality

The Samsung Galaxy A50s 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 notch display.

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

Display

The Samsung Galaxy A50s 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 2340 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 A50 is powered by the Samsung Exynos 9611 octa-core processor supplemented by the Mali-G72 GPU.

With the integrated 4GB RAM and 128GB 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 well optimized for performance improvements when compared to the Oreo 8.1 version.

Camera

This smartphone comes with a triple camera setup in the rear similar to its predecessor.

The primary camera on the rear is a 48MP shooter with an aperture size of f/2.0 for better low light performance.

The secondary sensor is an 8MP 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 32MP sensor with HDR support for high dynamic selfie shots.

Battery Life

The Samsung Galaxy A50s is powered by a 4000mAh 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.

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy A50s is one of the most feature-packed Android smartphone priced under Rs.20,000.

With its AMOLED display, triple camera setup and the 4000mAh battery, this smartphone is difficult to pass up in this price bracket.

R

Elegant and premium design

R

Dedicated SD card slot

R

Support for fast charging

Q

Slower software updates

Specifications

Operating SystemAndroid 9.0 Pie
Internal Memory128 GB
RAM4 GB
ProcessorSamsung Exynos 9611
Camera48MP + 8MP +5MP Rear, 32MP Front
Battery4000mAh
Display6.4-inch Full HD+ SAMOLED

7. Nokia 7.2

nokia-7.2
Best Build Quality
  • Android One device
  • HDR10 certified full HD+ display
  • Capable camera

Nokia 7.2 is the new refreshed version of the Nokia premium budget smartphone, the Nokia 7.1.

The Nokia 7.2 brings in a completely revamped design preserving all the stock Android goodness for a budget of Rs.20,000.

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 7.2 comes with a dedicated SD card slot for expanding the storage if you doing so.

The phone looks very sleek in hand but the glass back has to be taken care of from accidental falls.

Display

Nokia 7.2 features a 6.3-inch FHD+ drop notch display with a resolution of 1080 x 2280 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 above 400ppi, 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 82% screen to body ratio display.

Processor and Performance

The Nokia 7.2 is one of the first smartphones in the Indian market powered by the latest Snapdragon 665 SoC from Qualcomm.

The SD 665 is an incremental upgrade over the 660 and is made using a 14 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 64GB 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 7.2, the company has thrown in a triple 48MP+8MP+5MP sensor setup with Zeiss optics and a 20MP selfie shooter in the front.

The primary 48MP camera has an aperture size of f/1.8 and comes with PDAF support.

The 8MP sensor is a wide-angle shooter and the third 5MP camera captures depth information for bokeh and portrait mode photos.

The 20MP front camera takes detailed photos with good colours and saturation levels as well.

Battery Life

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 7.2 is a solid choice for a budget under Rs.20,000.

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

Aesthetically pleasing design

R

Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection

R

Dedicated SD card slot

Q

Slightly outdated processor

Specifications

Operating SystemAndroid 9.0 Pie
Internal Memory64 GB
RAM6 GB
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 660
Camera48MP + 5MP + 8MP Rear, 20MP Front
Battery3500 mAh
Display6.3-inch Full HD+ Pure Display

8. Honor 10

honor-10
Honorable Mention
  • The elegant and futuristic style
  • System-wide AI enhancements
  • Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor

Honor 10 is the flagship smartphone from Huawei’s budget subsidiary Honor.

The company is emphasizing AI capabilities of this device, especially the camera.

The Honor 10 comes in attractive colour options that make it one of the most eye-catchy smartphones under Rs.25,000.

Processor and Performance

The Honor 10 features a powerful HiSilicon Kirin 970 processor coupled with 6GB 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 970 performs so well without any lags even while having multiple apps open in the background.

The games run smoothly without any frame drops as well.

Display

Talking about the display, Honor this time decided to join the notch bandwagon. The Honor 10 features a 5.84-inch full HD display with an aspect ratio of 19:9.

The notch up the front of the device accommodates the sensors, earpiece and the front camera.

Miscellaneous

The fingerprint situation on this device is a bit interesting, to say the least. It is located on the bottom front chin of the Honor 10 under the glass.

Honor calls it as an ultrasonic sensor, which works as fast as any other direct to touch fingerprint sensors in the market.

This smartphone comes equipped with all the essential features that a device priced under Rs.20,000 should possess.

There’s an IR blaster on this phone to control your home appliances. Additionally, there’s the NFC feature for contactless payments.

Camera

Optics front, this smartphone has a 16MP+24MP rear camera unit.

The 24MP is a monochrome sensor that captures details in the frames precisely.

The AI part, we feel is a bit of an exaggeration from Honor’s part.

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.

Summarizing, the cameras on the Honor 10 are capable of producing images with great details, without the AI filters.

EMUI and Battery Life

Honor 10 comes with Android 8.1 out of the box with the latest EMUI 8.1 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.

Verdict

The Honor 10 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.

R

Powerful processor

R

Fast charging

R

NFC

Q

AI camera modes are less impressive

Specifications

Operating SystemAndroid Oreo
Internal Memory128 GB
RAM6 GB
ProcessorHiSilicon Kirin 970
Camera16MP + 24MP Rear, 24MP Front
Battery3400 mAh
Display5.84-inch Full HD+

This concludes our list of the best upper mid range smartphones under Rs.20,000.

By no means, this is a complete exhaustive guide, but we believe this would help you to start making up your mind by providing some cues.

Don’t worry, the pain is real and we all know it.

Take your time and make your mind.

Meanwhile, don’t hesitate to check out our best smartphones list under every possible budget category on our website.

All the best for your next smartphone and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more such awesome buying guides.

Some articles you may love to read: