Best Smartphones Under Rs.25,000 (July 2021)

Smartphone space in India is generally less competitive in this price bracket when compared to mid-range and budget segments.

But don’t get me wrong, there are enough great phones under Rs.25,000 that you can choose from.

At this price, you can expect some of the latest features seen in flagship phones trickling down to the premium budget smartphones. 

In this article, we bring you the curated list of the eleven best smartphones in India priced under Rs.25,000 that offers you the best bang for buck deal at present. 

Without any further ado, let’s find out in detail about these devices!

Best Smartphones Under Rs.25,000

1. IQOO 3Overall Best Pick
2. Poco X3 ProRunner-up pick
3. OnePlus Nord CEValue for Money Smartphone
4. Mi 10i 5GBudget 5G Smartphone in India
5. Samsung Galaxy F62Best Battery Life
6. Realme X7Feature-rich Smartphone
7. Redmi Note 10 Pro MaxAffordable Smartphone
8. Samsung Galaxy M51Best Non-chinese Smartphone
9. Oppo F19 Pro+ 5GBest All-rounder Performer
10. Vivo V21e 5GBest Camera-centric Smartphone
11. Samsung Galaxy M42Honourable Mention

Note: The price shown are the once when we reviewed the products. However, as the promotional offers changes on the given E-commerce sites, the price may vary. Bettershark is supported by it’s readers and when you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

1. IQOO Z3 5G

IQOO Z3 5G

Overall Best Pick

  • 120Hz IPS LCD
  • Snapdragon 768G processor
  • Android 11 OS
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Pros

Side fingerprint sensor

55W fast charging

Features headphone jack

Cons

No AMOLED panel

iQOO is a Chinese smartphone company that was formed as a subsidiary of Vivo but now it has become independent from Vivo and markets smartphones under its brand. 

The iQOO Z3 5G is the latest mid-range smartphone by the company and it retails for Rs.20,990 in the Indian market.

Build and Design 

The iQOO Z3 5G is another addition to the mid-range smartphone market in India. We had previously reviewed their iQOO 3 smartphone as well which was a banger. 

When it comes to the build and design of the iQOO Z3 5G, this smartphone has a polycarbonate construction to keep the cost low. The frame and back of the smartphone are made from polycarbonate plastic. 

Also present in the rear is the triple camera setup which is pretty decent, it looks similar to the setup of most smartphones that are currently in the market. 

The side of the iQOO Z3 5G features the volume rocker and the power button which doubles as the fingerprint sensor. 

The beloved 3.5mm headphone jack also makes a return on the smartphone.

Performance 

Under the hood of the iQOO Z3 5G is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 768G. The iQOO Z3 5G is the first phone in India to feature this chipset. 

For gaming, this smartphone is equipped with the Adreno 620 GPU which should provide you with a smooth gaming experience. You won’t have any trouble running games on the smartphone. 

Furthermore, this smartphone runs on the Android 11 operating system with the Funtouch 11.1 UI skin by iQOO. 

When it comes to RAM and storage this smartphone has 8GB of RAM along with 128GB of internal storage. iQOO also says that they have introduced a virtual RAM system on their smartphone and the 8GB variant of the phone comes with an additional 3GB of virtual RAM.

Overall the experience of the iQOO Z3 5G is smooth and enjoyable. 

Display 

The iQOO Z3 5G does not feature an AMOLED display and instead, the smartphone features an IPS LCD which has a fluid refresh rate of 120Hz. 

Thanks to the 120Hz fluid refresh rate you can enjoy games the way they are meant to be played. 

One of the drawbacks of the IPS LCD panel is that the colour accuracy is not as vibrant and accurate as an AMOLED panel.

The panel of the IQOO Z3 5G supports HDR10. Since it is an LCD panel, there is no always-on support for this smartphone as well. 

Camera 

The iQOO Z3 5G sports a triple camera setup in its rear and a waterdrop notch in the front for the selfie camera. 

The sensors on the rear include a 64 MP wide, 8MP ultra-wide, and a 2 MP macro. In its front is the 16MP selfie shooter. 

When it comes to image quality, the iQOO Z3 5G is quite impressive for the price. Images taken by the camera appear good. But there is also some softening present when taking pictures in portrait mode.

This smartphone is also capable of recording videos at 4K 60 fps which is quite nice. There is no OIS on the smartphone but we do get EIS. 

Battery Life 

The iQOO Z3 5G smartphone is equipped with a 4400mAh Li-polymer battery that should give you a day’s charge during normal usage.

The smartphone also has support for 55W fast charging and you get the charger for the smartphone in the box unlike some other smartphones these days.

Verdict 

The iQOO Z3 5G is a gaming smartphone that is well worth the price you pay. The new Snapdragon chipset is impressive and should provide you with excellent performance.

Specifications

Operating System/UIAndroid 11
Internal Memory128 GB
RAM8 GB
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 768G
Camera64MP + 8MP + 2MP Rear, 16MP Front
Battery4400mAh
Display6.58-inch FHD+ 120Hz

ALSO READ: Best Smartphones Under Rs.30,000

2. Poco X3 Pro

Poco X3 Pro

Runner-up Pick

  • Extremely powerful Snapdragon 860 CPU
  • Fabulous 120Hz FHD+ panel
  • Liquid cooling technology
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Pros

IR blaster

MIUI 12 based on Android 11

33W fast charging

Cons

Heavy

Poco is an independent sub-brand of Xiaomi that rocked the budget smartphone industry with the launch of the Poco F1.

Finally, after a wait of 3 years, Poco has released a mid-range affordable smartphone with a flagship-level chipset and is priced at just Rs.20,999 which is even two thousand bucks less than the Poco F1.

Design and Build Quality

The exterior of the Poco X3 Pro is the same as Poco X3 – it has a plastic back that has a giant POCO branding on top with hatch lines above.

The camera design is not even a bit different from its predecessor model and to be honest, it has become less appealing since its inception. 

This smartphone has a thickness of 9.4mm and it weighs 213 grams. It feels hefty in hand and you can not use it for long with a single hand.

The fingerprint sensor is embedded in the power button and it works fast and flawless as expected.

The Poco X3 Pro has a hybrid sim slot, meaning you can either use two SIM cards at a time or a SIM card and an SD card. 

The IR blaster is placed on top and with the help of that, you can control your AC, TV, and other electronic devices.

This smartphone has IP53 splash-proof protection so exposure to drizzles and water splashes won’t be a problem. 

Display

The Poco X3 Pro comes with a big 6.67-inch 120Hz Full HD+ LCD with a resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels.

The 120Hz refresh rate of this panel will give you the best ultra-smooth visuals experience when it comes to the UI as well as games.

What’s more, is that it has a 240Hz touch sampling rate so whenever you click on the display to open the app or just scroll through a web page it will respond much faster compared to the other standard smartphones.

The display also has a TÜV Rheinland low blue light certification making sure your eyes won’t get too stressed while reading a digital book on Kindle or any other app.

The colour reproduction is amazing as well although it’s not as good as the AMOLED panel the overall media and user experience are good.

Processor and Performance

This device is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 octa-core processor designed on 7-nm architecture and has a clock speed of 2.96GHz.

This SoC is paired with the 8GB RAM which helps it to deliver smooth and lag-free performance no matter what you throw at it. 

You can play modern AAA games at 60fps minimum and notice no lag and while gaming, the device has liquid cooling technology that works well to control the internal temperature from shooting up.

The 128GB UFS 3.1 storage enhances the overall smartphone performance with quicker read/write speeds.

The OS you get to see on this device is Android 11 but layered on top with MIUI 12 which surprisingly has no ads so the user experience is clean.

Camera

This is where Poco did the cost-cutting. This device has a quad-camera setup at the back consisting of a 48MP primary lens, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP macro, and 2MP depth sensor.

The 48MP main camera takes decent images in natural sunlight. The primary sensor captures photos with good colours but it lacks details and sharpness.

Ultrawide sensor is useful for taking group photos and delivers above-average quality photos.

What is interesting about the camera is Pro Mode – it has a lot of functions to play with so that you can manually control different variables such as ISO, focus, white balance etc.

You can record videos in 4K 30 fps or if you need a smooth video recording you can switch to 1080p/60fps.

The 20MP selfie camera captures good photos in daylight condition with good enough details, the colours are vivid and the contrast is great.

Battery Life

The Poco X3 Pro is powered by a 5120mAh battery and lasts for a day if you just use it for casual use but since it is a performance-oriented phone you are most likely to game or use it heavily therefore expect the screen on time to be around 7-8 hours. This is good in our opinion as you are also using the panel at 120Hz.

Don’t worry about the charging, the bundled 33W fast charger will juice up the battery in just 1 hour 10 minutes.

Verdict

Yes, this smartphone is a true successor of Poco F1. The performance is on par when compared with any other smartphone that is available under Rs.25,000.

Specifications

Operating System/UIAndroid 11
Internal Memory128 GB
RAM8 GB
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 860
Camera48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP Rear, 20MP Front
Battery5160mAh
Display6.67-inch 120Hz Full HD+

3. OnePlus Nord CE

OnePlus Nord CE 5G

Value for Money Smartphone

  • Lightweight Oxygen OS
  • 4500mAh Li-ion battery
  • 6.4-inch AMOLED display
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Pros

90Hz smooth refresh rate

In-screen fingerprint sensor

Affordable

Cons

Downgrade of chip

No OIS

The Oneplus Nord CE is the latest update to the Nord lineup by Oneplus. The CE in the new Nord stands for Core Edition and brings with it some changes that might divide the fanboys.

The brand new Oneplus Nord CE retails for Rs.27,999 in the Indian market. 

Build and Design 

Initially, at first glance, the Oneplus Nord CE looks similar to the original Oneplus Nord in terms of its design. But Oneplus has brought in many changes to this smartphone which we will go through.

When it comes to the build quality, the Oneplus Nord CE has the same sandwich design as its predecessor however there are some changes in the materials used. The Nord CE features a plastic back and frame unlike the glass back found in the original Nord.

This was done to cut cost, this reduces the premium feel of the device. 

Another loved feature found on all Oneplus smartphones is missing on the Nord CE, which is the alert slider. The alert slider is one of the most sought-after features on a Oneplus device and it is sad to see that Oneplus has removed it from the Nord CE.

At the rear, the smartphone hosts a triple camera setup and in the front is the hole punch selfie camera.

However, Oneplus has still retained the 3.5mm jack on the Nord CE which is appreciated. 

Performance 

When it comes to performance the Oneplus Nord CE features a slightly downgraded processor which is the Snapdragon 750G. Although downgraded, it should still be capable of running all the games which previously ran on the 765G on its predecessor without a problem.

The Oneplus Nord CE runs on the latest version of Oxygen OS running on Android 11. This is one of the skins on smartphones that is closest to the stock android experience. 

Equipped inside the Oneplus Nord CE is a whopping 12GB of RAM and 25GB of UFS 2.1 storage. There is no support for a memory card on the Oneplus Nord CE. 

Display 

The display of the Oneplus Nord CE is identical to its predecessor. It sports the same 6.4-inch AMOLED display minus the dual hole-punch camera and the Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection. 

What does remain is the smooth 90Hz refresh rate that makes gaming on the smartphone a smooth experience. 

The Oneplus Nord CE still boasts the in-screen fingerprint sensor which is nice to have. The sensor is the same and there is no change when it comes to the speed. 

Camera

The cameras on the Oneplus Nord CE have changed, in the rear, the camera features a 64MP, 2MP, and 8MP sensor. 

The main sensor of the camera is now an Omnivison sensor while the previous one on its predecessor was the 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor. 

Oneplus has also removed optical stabilization from the cameras which is another disappointment. 

At the front is the 16MP selfie shooter which takes decent pictures. As mentioned before there is no dual-camera on the front. 

When it comes to recording capabilities, this smartphone can record videos at 4K 30 fps which is pretty decent for a budget smartphone. 

Battery Life 

The Oneplus Nord CE has a small bump in battery life compared to its predecessor. This smartphone has a 4500mAh Li-ion battery which should easily provide a day’s charge on normal usage.

However, the charging speed of the phones remains the same. The Oneplus Nord CE also supports 30W fast charging. 

Verdict 

The Oneplus Nord CE is no doubt a good smartphone, however, Oneplus has cut corners on almost all aspects of the smartphone which might be disappointing for some. But when it comes to gaming there shouldn’t be much problem and you also get the additional RAM.

Specifications

Operating System/UIAndroid 11
Internal Memory128 GB
RAM8 GB
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 750G 5G
Camera64MP + 8MP + 2MP rear, 16MP front
Battery4500mAh
Display6.43-inch FHD+ 90Hz fluid AMOLED

4. Mi 10i 5G

Mi 10i 5G

Budget 5G Smartphone in India

  • Powerful Snapdragon 750G processor
  • 120Hz refresh rate FHD+ display
  • 108MP quad-camera setup
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Pros

33W fast charger in the box

Dual stereo speaker

Guaranteed software updates

Cons

No dedicated SD card slot

Mi 10i 5G is Xiaomi’s first launch in 2021 and with the specs on board, it seems that the company has a winner in their hands. 

The Mi 10i 5G pricing starts at just Rs.21,999 but we are discussing the 8GB/128GB variant retailing for Rs.23,999 at present in the Indian market. 

Design and Build Quality

Following the footsteps of premium Android smartphones out there, the Mi 10i 5G features a glass sandwich design with a plastic frame in between.

Both the front and back glass is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5 to save this gorgeous looking device from accidental scratches. 

The square-shaped camera set up inside the circular enclosure somewhat reminds us of the POCO X3 design. 

Baring the camera bump, the backside of this smartphone is clean. The fingerprint scanner is located on the power button and is easily accessible even for those with small hands. 

Even though this smartphone weighs 215g, the weight distribution is done uniform making this smartphone quite easy to hold in hand without tipping off.

The dual stereo speakers on the Mi 10i 5G is a welcome addition, where most of the manufacturers skimp on the audio department to cut costs.

Display

The Mi 10i 5G smartphone features a 6.67-inch Full HD+ 120Hz punch-hole display with a resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels.

Thanks to the high refresh rate panel, the visuals feel extremely smooth and fluid. System-wide animations and transitions now feel all the more delightful and intuitive than they used to be with a standard 60Hz panel. 

Note that this is an IPS LCD and not an AMOLED display. Even if it isn’t an OLED panel, the colours look vibrant and vivid and the dynamic range is excellent. 

This 20:9 aspect ratio display has a 395ppi pixel density, providing sharp, detailed visuals and text. 

This LCD panel can get as bright as 450nits, which is good enough for fair outdoor usability.

Processor and Performance

The Mi 10i 5G is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G 5G capable octa-core processor.

As the name suggests this smartphone has the 5G radio built-in which will be useful once the networks in India start supporting the 5G infrastructure.

This mid-range processor from Snapdragon is powerful enough to handle gaming, multitasking and the normal day to day tasks with ease. 

The 8GB RAM and the faster UFS 2.2 128GB storage helps the processor to unleash its full potential without any bottlenecks. 

With regards to the storage expansion, the Mi 10i 5G has a hybrid slot where you can either use it with two SIM cards or a SIM card and an SD card at once. 

This device runs on Android 10 with MIUI 12 skin on top and the users can expect the latest Android 11 with MIUI 12.5 update to hit soon. 

Camera

The Mi 10i 5G features a quad-rear camera setup of which the 108MP sensor is touted as the star of the show. 

The 108MP sensor with an aperture size of f/.8 captures excellent quality photos in the daylight as well as night, with a good amount of details and colour accuracy. 

The noise in the photos is considerably low compared to other devices in the same price segment. 

The 8MP ultra-wide camera covers 120 degrees in the frame, allowing for wide-angle shots with a lot of subject in focus. 

The 2MP macro camera clicks decent close-up shots but lacks in details whereas the 2M depth sensor helps the primary camera to click portrait mode shots with decent edge detection and background blur. 

There is no OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) with any of these sensors but the phone does provide gyro-EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization). The rear camera can record 4K videos at 30fps. 

Coming to the front, the Mi 10i 5G features a 16MP wide-angle sensor which performs well in good lighting conditions.  

Battery Life

The Mi 10i 5G is powered by a 4820mAh battery inside which will last for a day of heavy use on a single charge at a 120Hz refresh rate. 

You can expect the phone to last for a day and a half with the standard 60Hz refresh rate. 

The Mi 10i 5G supports dual split fast charging with which the bundled 33W fast charger juices up the phone from zero to a hundred per cent in just one hour and five minutes. 

Verdict

The Mi 10i 5G is one of the cheapest 5G enabled smartphones to launch in India this year. 

This device packed with features to the brim is well worth the asking price, considering the overall performance and the build quality.

Specifications

Operating System/UIAndroid 10.0 Q
Internal Memory128 GB
RAM8 GB
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 750G 5G
Camera108MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP Rear, 16MP Front
Battery4820mAh
Display6.67-inch Full HD+ 120Hz

5. Samsung Galaxy F62

Samsung Galaxy F62

Best Battery Life

  • Powerful Exynos CPU
  • Gorgeous OLED display
  • Intuitive One UI
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Pros

Decent quad cameras

Robust build quality

Side-mounted fingerprint scanner

Cons

Bulky

The Galaxy F62 is the second smartphone offering from the Samsung F series lineup after the much-praised F41.

Priced under Rs.25,000, the Samsung Galaxy F62 competes with the premium mid-range smartphones from Xiaomi and Realme.

Design and Build Quality

The Samsung Galaxy F62 has a glass front with a plastic frame and plastic back construction.

The sleek design of this smartphone makes it look and feel premium in hand. The laser gradient design is unique from the rest of the smartphones in this price bracket.

Weighing at 218g, the Samsung Galaxy F62 is not at all a lightweight smartphone. The mammoth 7000mAh battery inside makes this device feel like a brick in hand.

The rear section has the square camera bump which houses the quad cameras and an assisting LED flashlight.

The volume rockers and the power button is positioned on the right side of the plastic middle frame. The power button doubles up as the fingerprint scanner, even though this smartphone comes with an OLED display.

Fortunately, Samsung has retained the 3.5mm headphone jack on this smartphone.

Display

Displays are always the strong forte of Samsung smartphones.

The Samsung Galaxy F62 features a 6.7-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED Plus panel with a resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels.

This is perhaps one of the best smartphone displays in the sub. Rs.25,000 price segment. The colours look vibrant and vivid and the blacks appear inky deep.

This is a standard 60Hz refresh rate panel which is a bit of a letdown considering some other manufacturers market their smartphones half the price with high refresh rate panels.

With a peak brightness level of 420 nits, this gorgeous OLED panel is a joy to use indoors and is fairly visible outdoors, under direct sunlight as well.

Processor and Performance

The Samsung Galaxy F62 packs the Exynos 9825 octa-core processor clocked at 2.7GHz. This CPU is built on the energy-efficient 7nm process that ensures uncompromised performance without being too much of a sucker for power.

The 6GB RAM on board makes sure that everything runs fine without any sort of lags or stutters. Even with multitasking, the Samsung Galaxy F62 provides a pleasant experience.

Be it gaming or any other resource-intensive apps, the Galaxy F62 manages to run them without breaking a sweat.

The 128GB storage makes sure that there is enough free space to save media files and miscellaneous content.

The Samsung Galaxy F62 runs on the latest Android 11 OS with the latest One UI 3.1 on top.

Camera

This premium mid-range smartphone from Samsung comes with a quad rear camera setup consisting of the 64MP primary camera accompanied with 12MP ultrawide, 5MP macro and a 5MP depth sensor.

The photos from the primary camera turn out to be detailed and colour accurate. The dynamic range is wide and well articulated in the photos. The ultrawide shooter fares reasonably well in terms of colour accuracy and saturation.

The depth sensor helps the primary camera to take good quality portrait mode photos with bokeh effects whereas the macro sensor allows to click photos much closer to the subject.

Both the front and rear cameras are capable of recording 4K videos at 30fps.

The 32MP punch hole camera up front captures excellent selfie shots with good skin tones and details when shot under adequate lighting conditions.

Battery Life

The Samsung Galaxy F62 packs in a huge 7000mAh battery inside that will last for two days even with heavy usage.

The included 25W charging brick juices up this battery within 2.15 hours.

Thanks to the mammoth battery inside, this smartphone supports reverse charging. You can charge your other devices from this phone by using a compatible cable.

Verdict

Looking for a non-Chinese smartphone with excellent performance and a gorgeous OLED display? The Samsung Galaxy F62 checks almost all the right boxes if your budget is around Rs.25,000.

Specifications

Operating System/UIAndroid 11
Internal Memory128 GB
RAM6 GB
ProcessorExynos 9825
Camera64MP +12MP + 5MP + 5MP Rear, 32MP Rear
Battery7000mAh
Display6.7-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED Plus

6. Realme X7

Realme X7

Feature-rich Smartphone

  • Powerful MediaTek Dimensity chipset
  • Gorgeous OLED display
  • 5G connectivity 
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Pros

Fast charging support

Excellent RAM management

In-display fingerprint scanner

Cons

Average selfie camera

Realme is a Chinese smartphone manufacturer that gives a tough competition to Xiaomi in terms of providing customers with affordable feature-rich Android smartphones.

The all-new Realme X7 is a mid-range smartphone packed with a lot of useful features retailing in the Indian market for just Rs.19,999.

Design and Build Quality

Realme is no stranger to using flashy colours and accents on their budget smartphones.
The Realme X7 is one of the most flashy Android smartphones available in the Indian market as of now.

Weighing at just 176g, this smartphone is 8.1m thick and feels comfortable in the hand. You can carry this device in your pocket without even noticing it is there.

Unlike most other smartphones in the market, the Realme 7 flaunts the volume rockers on the left side of the frame and the power button on the right. The fingerprint scanner is tucked underneath the display.

Unfortunately, there is no audio jack on this smartphone but a single USB Type-C port for charging and data syncing. Realme has provided a Type-C to 3.5mm converter in the box if that’s of any use.

Display

The Realme X7 features a 6.4-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels.

Surprisingly, this smartphone has a standard 60Hz refresh rate but comes with an enhanced 180Hz touch sampling rate for precise touch input response.

Being an AMOLED panel, the blacks appear dark and the colours seem to pop out bright and vivid. Thanks to the higher pixel density count, the visuals appear sharp and detailed without any kind of pixelation.

With a peak brightness of 600nits, this display fares excellently indoors and fairly decent under direct sunlight as well.

Processor and Performance

The Realme X7 has the brand new MediaTek Dimensity 800U SoC with 5G radio support on board.

The new Dimensity series processors from MediaTek has significantly reduced the gap between competing Snapdragon processors in terms of performance.

The 8GB LPDDR4X RAM onboard assists the processor to handle daily chores and resource-intensive tasks like a champ, without breaking any sweat.

Thanks to the 128 UFS2.1 storage, the apps load pretty snappily and the data transfer speeds are commendable as well.

You will be able to run almost all of the modern gaming titles on this smartphone without a hitch.

Camera

The Realme X7 houses a triple rear camera setup consisting of a 64MP primary camera, an 8MP ultrawide and a 2MP macro lens.

Photos clicked in daylight turn out pretty good with a good amount of details and colour accuracy. The green seems to be a bit oversaturated but it is a software issue and can be fixed with an OTA update nevertheless.

The ultrawide sensor captures a lot of subjects when compared to the primary shooter. The colours and details from this sensor are better than what we had expected.

The 16MP front shooter delivers average quality selfies with a softer skin tone.

Battery Life

Realme X7 is powered by a 4310mAh battery that will easily last for a day and a half with moderate usage.

The bundled 50W super dart charger juices up the battery from 0-50% in just 18 minutes, which is mindblowing, to be honest.

Verdict

The Realme X7 is one of the best budget smartphones offering a mix of great performance and feature completeness for a budget under Rs.25,000.

Specifications

Operating System/UIAndroid 10.0 Q
Internal Memory128 GB
RAM8 GB
ProcessorMediaTek Dimensity 800U
Camera64MP + 8MP + 2MP Rear, 16MP Front
Battery4310mAh
Display6.4-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED

ALSO READ: Best Smartphones Under Rs.20,000

7. Redmi Note 10 Pro Max

Redmi Note 10 Pro Max

Affordable Smartphone

  • 120Hz sAMOLED FHD+ display
  • Power-efficient Snapdragon 732G processor
  • Good battery life and fast charging
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Pros

Side-mounted fingerprint scanner

IP53 dust and water-resistant

Dual stereo speakers

Cons

Average ultrawide camera

Redmi Note series has been a major success for the Chinese company Xiaomi in the Indian market. 

The Note 10 Pro Max is the latest flagship Note series smartphone from Redmi that is currently on sale in the Indian market for a budget under Rs.25,000.

Design and Build Quality

The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max comes with a glass sandwich design with a plastic frame in the middle. 

Certified IP53 rated, this smartphone can withstand dust and water splashes without any issues whatsoever.

Weighing at 192g, this smartphone feels comfortable to hold in hands, at least better than that of its predecessor Redmi Note 9 Pro Max. 

The Z-axis vibration motor inside this device gives impressive haptic feedback on typing, gaming, and while consuming media content.

Xiaomi cut no corner when it comes to the device’s physical appearance. The fingerprint is doubled with the power button which works snappy.

At the top, there is an IR blaster, noise cancellation mic, and audio output. This device has dual speakers one at the top and another one at the bottom.

Display

The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max features a 6.67-inch 120Hz Full HD+ Super AMOLED punch-hole display with a resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels.

This is for the first time that Redmi has included an AMOLED panel on its Redmi Note series smartphones. 

With a peak brightness of 1200 nits, this panel is convenient to use indoors as well as outdoors.

This is an OLED panel and has a higher 120Hz refresh rate, which was not available in the previous Redmi Note 9 series so yes it is a big improvement from its predecessor model.

You can stream OTT content in Full HD resolution as the panel has widevine L1 certification, and also the panel is HDR10 certified.

The colour reproduction is remarkable, every visual on the panel will look vivid and punchy.

The higher refresh rate will provide an ultra-smooth experience and with that 240Hz touch sampling rate, the user experience will be even smoother.

Processor and Performance

The showrunner of the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G octa-core SoC designed on 8-nm architecture.

The 8GB RAM inside this smartphone ensures a lag-free intense multitasking experience and even with gaming, the performance is buttery smooth.

This power-efficient chipset will provide a decent gaming experience and with heavy games like COD Mobile, you can get 40-45 fps.

The 128GB UFS 2.2 storage onboard is fast and improves the overall performance significantly.

The device comes pre-installed with MIUI 12 based on Android 11. 

Camera

The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max has a quad-camera setup on the back.

It has a large 108MP Samsung HM2 main camera unit along with an 8MP ultrawide lens, 5MP macro sensor, and 2MP depth sensor.

The main camera of this smartphone works fine. The photos taken in daylight conditions are detailed and sharp. The colour reproduction is okay and the quality of photos from the macro camera has also improved.

However, the colour looks muted when you take photos from the ultrawide lens which can be a letdown for many.

The portrait from this smartphone comes out decent, the edge detection is good but improvement required in skin tones.

The camera app is full of features – you can record slow-motion videos, shoot vlogs, apply filters right from the main camera app, and more.

The photos taken at night using night mode are quite usable when compared with that of its predecessor. 

The 16MP front shooter captures decent selfie images. The images have a slightly greenish tint and the scenario in the portrait selfies is not much different.

Battery Life

The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is powered by the 5020mAh lithium-ion battery that will give backup for a day on normal to heavy use.

The bundled fast 33W charger will recharge the battery levels from zero to a full in 1 hour 15 minutes.

Verdict

The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max can give you the best budget smartphone experience, thanks to the gorgeous OLED display and the powerful processor inside.

Specifications

Operating System/UIAndroid 11
Internal Memory128 GB
RAM8 GB
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 732G
Camera108MP + 8MP + 5MP + 2MP Rear, 16MP Front
Battery5020mAh
Display6.67-inch 120Hz Full HD+ Super AMOLED

8. Samsung Galaxy M51

Samsung Galaxy M51

Best Non-chinese Smartphone

  • Powerful and efficient Snapdragon 730G processor
  • Long-lasting 7000mAh battery
  • Vivid and punchy sAMOLED Plus display
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Pros

Reverse charging feature

Intuitive One UI

Non-Chinese smartphone

Cons

Plastic back

Samsung M series devices are online exclusive smartphones that are priced aggressively to compete with the Redmi and Realme devices in the market.

The all-new Galaxy M51 has many firsts in the segment and for the first time features a Qualcomm processor instead of the homebrew Exynos chipset.

Design and Build Quality

The Samsung Galaxy M51 comes with a glass front and plastic back, which is not uncommon for smartphones in this price range.

The plastic back on this device looks and feels similar to the glass, but makes it lightweight and less brittle in case of an accidental fall.

This smartphone from Samsung weighs just 213g, and considering the massive 7000mAh battery inside this device is surprisingly lightweight.

The single speaker, USB type C charging port and the 3.5mm headphone jack is present in the bottom portion of the phone while the right side has the fingerprint sensor embedded into the power button and the volume rockers on top.

The Samsung Galaxy M51 features a 2+1 SIM configuration meaning you can insert two SIM cards and a dedicated SD card for storage expansion. 

Display

The Samsung Galaxy M51 boasts of a 6.7-inch FHD+ sAMOLED Plus display with an effective resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels.

The company claims that the sAMOLED Plus panel is thinner and lighter than the conventional AMOLED panels found on other M series devices from the past.

This display is protected by the Corning gorilla glass 3 to prevent accidental scratches.

With a punch-hole camera upfront, this display with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio display has a pixel density of 385ppi.

The colours look very vivid and punchy and the contrast levels, being an OLED display is outstanding.

Speaking of the brightness levels, this display gets adequately bright indoors as well outdoors.

Processor and Performance

As we mentioned earlier, Samsung has decided to go the Qualcomm route with this device.

The Samsung Galaxy M51 is powered by the Snapdragon 730G octa-core processor clocked at 2.2GHz and is assisted by the Adreno 618 GPU.

The 730G is one of the power-efficient processors with exceptional performance metrics in this price segment.

Together with the 6GB RAM and 128GB UFS 2.1 storage, this smartphone will deliver buttery smooth performance no matter what you throw at it. 

The One UI 2.0 on top of Android 10 is optimized very well not to create any sort of performance bottlenecks whatsoever.

Camera

This premium mid-range smartphone comes with a quad rear camera setup with a primary 64MP Sony sensor accompanied by a 12MP ultra-wide, 5MP macro and 5MP depth-sensing unit.

The images and videos that come out of these cameras look very rich in details and colour accuracy. 

You can record 4K videos at 30fps with the rear camera while the front camera maxes out at 1080p @ 30fps.

The front camera is a 32MP shooter with HDR support and an aperture size of f/2.0 for good daylight selfies and decent low light photos.

Battery Life

Samsung Galaxy M51 is powered by a gigantic 7000mAh battery inside.

This monstrous battery helps this smartphone to last easily for two days even with heavy usage. 

Samsung has also added support for reverse charging. With this feature, you can use the M51 to charge other devices in the vicinity via the supplied USB type C cable.

The company has also included a 25W fast charger in the box which will completely juice up this battery from zero to a hundred per cent within two hours.

Verdict

The Samsung M51 is one of a kind smartphone for those who want a battery monster device without any compromise on performance.

The AMOLED display and the non-Chinese brand factor is also a big factor worth considering while purchasing this device.

Specifications

Operating System/UIAndroid 10.0 Q
Internal Memory128 GB
RAM8 GB
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 730G
Camera64MP+12MP+5MP+5MP Rear, 32MP Rear
Battery7000mAh
Display6.7-inch Full HD+ sAMOLED

9. Oppo F19 Pro+ 5G

Oppo F19 Pro+ 5G

Best All-rounder Performer

  • Up to 180Hz touch sampling rate
  • MediaTek Dimensity 800U 5G chipset
  • Gorgeous Super AMOLED display
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Pros

Under display fingerprint scanner

50W fast charger

Thin and lightweight design

Cons

No high refresh rate

Oppo F19 Pro+ 5G is the recently released premium mid-range Android smartphone that stacks up against the similarly priced smartphones from Redmi, Realme, and Vivo. 

Priced just around Rs.25,000 in the Indian market, the Oppo F19 Pro+ offers a reasonable mix of features, powerful performance, and build quality.

Design and Build Quality

The design of this smartphone is very minimalistic. It has a mirror back with a trendy camera module design and the minimal branding of OPPO at the bottom right.

The F19 Pro+ is one of the best looking smartphones in its segment, period. Weighing at just 173g, this slim and lightweight smartphone is a delight to use with a single hand. 

Unlike other smartphones, the volume rockers on this device are located on the left frame and the right frame houses the power button.

We almost forgot to tell you that the camera bump is a little high so make sure to put a case cover on the device otherwise the device will not rest properly on the flat surfaces.

Since this is a device with an AMOLED display, the fingerprint scanner is tucked underneath the panel, similar to that of many other smartphones in this segment.

Display

The Oppo F19 Pro+ features a 6.42-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED punch-hole display with a resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels.

This display has a pixel density of 409ppi, making the visuals and text look sharp and detailed.

This AMOLED panel has excellent colour reproduction and the peak brightness level of 800 nits makes it comfortable for you to use it outdoors.

One thing to note here is that this is a standard 60Hz panel. However, the touch sampling rate is 180Hz which ensures good click response during normal use as well as gaming. 

Processor and Performance 

What runs the show on Oppo F19 Pro+ is MediaTek Dimensity 800U 5G octa-core CPU clocked at 2.4GHz.

This is a 5G ready smartphone however, the Indian infrastructure is about to adapt to the 5G network which will probably take a year or two so having 5G will be considered as an add-on facility.

Back to the performance, the device has an 8GB LPDDR4x RAM that will provide fluent performance on everyday use and is capable of handling multitasking without any problem.

The built-in 128GB UFS 2.1 storage will be sufficient for storing documents, photos, and videos.

Out of the box, the Oppo F19 Pro+ comes pre-installed with the ColorOS 11.1 based on Android 11.

The ColorOS is getting well-optimized day by day and the UI works flawlessly.

Camera

The Oppo F19 Pro+ has a quad-camera setup consisting of a 48MP primary sensor, an 8MP ultrawide lens, a 2MP macro, and a 2MP depth sensor.

The photos captured from the primary camera look well balanced with good colour saturation, and ample details.

The macro lens is above average and the depth sensor performs well while clicking portrait photos.

There is an AI night mode in video and to be honest, it takes very good videos at night.

The AI on this device is probably the best and you can also see views taken from the rear camera and front camera at once, it’s the same feature introduced in Samsung flagship S21 series as a director’s view.

The 16MP front shooter takes remarkable selfie photos. The colour reproduction is on par with enough details and sharpness.

Battery Life

The Oppo F19 Pro+ is powered by the 4310mAh lithium polymer battery that will last about a day if used normally for calling, multimedia applications, and social media.

The 50W fast charger will level up the battery percentage from 0-100 in less than an hour.

Verdict

The Oppo F19 Pro+ is one of the best all-rounder performers in its price segment.

 This smartphone delivers a good performance on gaming, daily use as well as on-camera and videography.

Specifications

Operating System/UIAndroid 11
Internal Memory128 GB
RAM8 GB
ProcessorMediaTek Dimensity 800U
Camera48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP Rear, 16MP Front
Battery4310mAh
Display6.42-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED

10. Vivo V21e 5G

Vivo V21e 5G

Best Camera-centric Smartphone

  • Excellent camera performance
  • MediaTek Dimensity SoC
  • AMOLED FHD+ display
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Pros

Indisplay fingerprint scanner

Funtouch OS 11 based on Android 11

Fast charging support

Cons

No dedicated SD card slot

The Vivo V21e is the latest addition to the much acclaimed V series smartphones from the company. 

The Vivo V21e is a 5G supported camera-centric smartphone priced at Rs.24,990 with an attractive design and good everyday performance.

Design and Build Quality

The design of the Vivo V21e 5G looks similar to that of the IQOO Z3 5G but the colour scheme used is dark which gives this device a premium look.

We were expecting a glass back considering the price but it’s high-quality polycarbonate material. The back that catches dust particles and fingerprint smudges, so using this device with a case is desirable.

Vivo even beats the Oppo at weight optimization, the Vivo V21e 5G weighs 167 grams and you can use it with one hand comfortably.

The right side of the frame houses the power and volume rocker buttons which are easily accessible. The bottom frame consists of an audio jack and USB-C port.

There is also a secondary noise canceling microphone at the top frame that offers you a decent voice calling experience.

Display

The Vivo V21e 5G features a 6.44-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with a resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels.

This panel has a peak brightness of 600 nits so you can use the smartphone indoors as well as outdoors effortlessly. 

This display produces vivid and punchy colours and minimal bezels on sides offers an amazing wide viewing experience.

What Vivo misses here is that high refresh rate. This panel has the standard 60Hz which is a bit of a letdown considering most other smartphones in this price segment have high refresh rate panels.

The visual quality is sharp and clear, thanks to its higher resolution and rich pixel density.

Processor and Performance

The Vivo V21e 5G is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 700 5G octa-core processor designed on 7-nm architecture.

The 8GB RAM onboard paired with this CPU offers excellent performance in everyday use, and while gaming/multitasking you will not find any jitters or lags.

To make sure performance remains ultra-smooth Vivo has also implemented the virtual RAM increment technology which allows you to increase the RAM up to 3GB.

The 128GB UFS 2.1 internal storage should be adequate for most of the users and this UFS storage is much faster than eMMC, it’s like having an SSD inside a smartphone. However, there is no dedicated SD card slot for memory expansion but a hybrid SIM slot.

With its incredible read and write speed, applications will load faster and the phone boot-up time will be minimal.

As for the OS, the device comes pre-installed with the FunTouch OS 11 based on Android 11 OS.

Camera

The Vivo V21e 5G has only a dual camera at the back which is quite rare these days in the smartphone.

The device has a 64MP main sensor and 8MP ultrawide shooter.The main camera takes outstanding photos in broad daylight with excellent details and colour accuracy.

The 8MP ultrawide lens also takes good photos however, minor improvement in sharpness is required otherwise dynamic range and details are on point.

The 32MP selfie camera takes sharp photos as expected from Vivo, if you are a selfie geek then you won’t be disappointed by this smartphone front camera.

Battery Life

The Vivo V21e 5G is powered by a 4000mAh lithium-polymer battery that will provide power backup for up to 12 hours with normal use.

The bundled 44W charger juice up the battery levels up to 72% in just 30 minutes and within hours it will charge up to 100%.

Verdict

The Vivo V2e 5G is a classy mid-range Android smartphone with an attractive design and decent performance.

If you are looking for a slim and lightweight Android phone with excellent one-hand usability this should be it.

Specifications

Operating System/UIAndroid 11
Internal Memory128 GB
RAM8 GB
ProcessorMediaTek Dimensity 700
Camera64MP + 8MP Rear, 32MP Front
Battery4000mAh
Display6.44-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED

11. Samsung Galaxy M42

Samsung Galaxy M42

Honourable Mention

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G 5G SoC
  • Super AMOLED panel
  • Good camera performance
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Pros

In-display fingerprint sensor

USB-C port support

Attractive and ergonomic design

Cons

No FHD+ panel

The M series devices are online-only smartphones from Samsung released to give a tough fight to the affordable smartphones from companies such as Xiaomi and Realme. 

The Samsung Galaxy M42 powered by the powerful Snapdragon 700 series 5G ready SoC retails for Rs.22,000 in the Indian market at present.

Design and Build Quality

Designwise the Samsung Galaxy M42 is much more similar to the Galaxy F62 model but with four different gradient colour finish on the rear plastic backplate. 

The top portion which includes the camera module has a plain finish and the rest of the three portions has a small square textured-like design.

Speaking of ports and buttons, this smartphone has volume adjustment keys along with the power keys located on the right side of the frame.

The USB-C and an audio jack are provided at the bottom. You will also get a noise cancellation mic at the top and the SIM tray is placed on the left side.

This device has an in-display fingerprint scanner for unlocking the screen. 

Display

The Samsung Galaxy M42 features a 6.6-inch HD+ Super AMOLED Infinity-U notch display with a resolution of 1600 x 720 pixels.

It is quite shocking that Samsung decided to go with just an HD+ panel in this price range. 

The colour calibration of the panel is excellent as it is an AMOLED panel but the HD+ resolution is a letdown.

However, the visuals and text look reasonably sharp and thanks to the OLED panel, the colours look vivid and punchier.

The bezels on the sides and from the top are very minimal and the bottom chin is not that thick as well, that said, the viewing experience is still enjoyable. 

Processor and Performance

The Samsung Galaxy M42 has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G 5G chipset inside which is an octa-core processor clocked at 2.2GHz.

The smartphone has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage. The everyday performance with this smartphone is assured to be buttery smooth, be it with gaming or with casual use. 

The One UI 3.1 based on Android 11 OS is what you get out of the box and Samsung is very consistent with the updates so you get to taste the latest features and security updates in time. 

There are some unnecessary pre-installed apps from Samsung but they can either disabled or uninstalled to free up some space.

Camera

The Samsung Galaxy M42 houses a quad-camera setup at the rear. There is a 48MP wide-angle lens, 8MP ultrawide, and dual 5MP lens which is for macro and depth sensor.

The image processing of this phone is best, to be honest. In this price segment, this smartphone takes vivid photos with excellent dynamic range and sharpness.

Even in low-lit conditions, you can expect to capture images without noticing much digital noise. 

While taking portrait photos, the edge detection is good but the colours of the background look a tad bit soft which mostly happens in indoor use cases.

There is a 20MP lens on the front which takes excellent selfies photos, be it normal or portrait ones.

Battery Life

When it comes to Samsung, you don’t have to worry about battery life. The Samsung Galaxy M42 is powered by a 5000mAh battery that will easily last for a day with normal to heavy use.

However, the 15W charger takes almost 2 hours to juice up the battery life and in our opinion, it’s high time that Samsung should start providing higher wattage chargers with their smartphones.

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy M42 is a 5G ready smartphone that houses a powerful mid-range chipset and delivers an impressive battery life.

Specifications

Operating System/UIAndroid 11
Internal Memory128 GB
RAM6 GB
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 750G 5G
Camera48MP + 8MP + 5MP + 5MP Rear, 20MP Front
Battery5000mAh
Display6.6-inch HD+ Super AMOLED

And this concludes our list of the eleven best smartphones under Rs.25,000 available in India.

In case you are on a tight budget but can’t afford to skimp on features, there are some great smartphones priced under Rs.20,000 that offer neck to neck competition with the models listed above.

We will make sure to update this list when new phones that can dethrone our top picks enter the market.

If you have any suggestions or queries regarding this article, let us know in the comments section below. Thanks for your time and have a great day!

2 thoughts on “Best Smartphones Under Rs.25,000 (July 2021)”

  1. Very Good Reviews and I bought the Realme X50 Pro 5G on the basis of your list provided, and it is indeed a superior choice. Thanks a lot for your time and work in putting up excellent reviews.

    Reply
    • Hi Yedu!

      Glad to know that our content was useful to you. Keep coming back for more such awesome best buying lists and product reviews.

      Reply

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