Top 5 smartphones to buy under ₹20,000

The world has come to a point where almost everything can be done with a tap on the screen of smartphones. Some call it a digital age, the others call it addiction and dependency. Nevertheless, smartphones have become a necessity of life. Soon their will come a time when smartphones will not only be capable of ordering food for the users but feeding it to them as well. And to give users the premium experience at a not-so-costly rate, companies are launching new smartphones at budget friendly rates very rapidly.

The smartphone market today is dominated by mid-range phones offering premium features. And let us consider the market trends of the previous year. Xiaomi was India’s leading smartphone brand, followed by Samsung, Vivo, Realme, & Oppo. Oneplus has turned out to be a big competitor, especially for premium smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung and Apple.

Most of the phones sought after belong to the mid-range, i.e. from ₹10,000 to ₹35,000. This range is the one which brands like Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo, Samsung, and Realme cater to the most. It is very clear with Xiaomi being India’s no. 1 brand, that people look for the most features in the least price. Let us consider for example, the notch. The iPhone X came with a notch design which became the latest design trend but with a cost of ₹90,000 and no later it was that the notch was adopted by other companies manufacturing phones in the mid-range.

Considering this boom of the mid-range smartphones and the increase in demand for the latest features with the least price, the following is the list to give users some information about the current budget-friendly smartphones in the market to buy under ₹20,000 in April 2019.

Redmi Note 7/ Note 7 Pro (Rs. 13,999)

Redmi n7

With a 2.0 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, and that too for a fiercely competitive price of Rs. 13,999, the Redmi Note 7/ 7 pro is one of the best phones in the market in today’s date.

Processor –Owning a phone with Snapdragon 675 in a price range below Rs.20,000 is in itself a big achievement, and the Redmi Note 7 Pro gives you that, and a lot more. The functioning is smooth and the phone can support technology like fast-charging and HD quality pictures easily. Even after opening as much as 25-30 applications, the phone does not show even a little bit of lag.

For gamers looking for a phone in this price range, the Note 7 pro is the best choice in this list undoubtedly. It treats huge games such as PUBG Mobile and Asphalt 9 like child’s play, and gives more than just a good gaming experience.

The phone also packs a battery life of 4000 mAH, which lasts not less than one day even after excessive heavy use.

Camera – The 48 megapixel + 5 megapixel dual sensor by Sony is capable of clicking pictures par excellence. Some of the camera samples can be found below.

Daylight Image Sample
Lowlight Image Sample
Portrait Mode Sample

As can be seen, the camera is capable of clicking really high-quality low light images as well as portrait mode images. The camera packs a number of other features as well, which include an option to click multiple number of pictures in low light to create a single one with the minimum amount of noise in it. The phone has a selfie-flash and can record slow motion videos of high quality. It also offers front camera portrait mode, where it uses a front camera of 13 mp.

Design and build quality – the phone looks stylish as ever, featuring a glass back and sturdy build quality. It has a full screen 6 inch display with and 18:9 aspect ratio and looks almost bezel-less. It features a notch in the centre and the on screen navigation buttons on the phone can be replaced for the gestures as well, which enable one to navigate using gestures, just like the iPhone X.

Software – The phone features Android Pie, along with its own skin of MIUI 10. Soon, the upgrade for MIUI 11 will be out for the phone adding more features to it. The MIUI 10 enables skin customizations and adds to the phone a number of features like 3-finger screenshot, scrolling screenshot, gesture mode, second space, the ability to turn on wi-fi and hotspot at the same time, etc.

All in all, the Redmi Note 7 pro is worth a shot, and undoubtedly one of the best phones in the list.

Motorolla G7 (Rs. 16,999)


The moto G7 is another of the most excellent phones on this list, coming for a price of Rs. 16,999. Launched quite recently, it is just like every other moto phone – it’s beautiful, it’s fast, and it’s stock android, with only a few of moto’s own apps.

Processor – The Moto G7 packs a Snapdragon 632, which performs incredibly. The processor is put to its maximum use because of the clean software experience of the Moto devices, coming with stock android apps. The processor gives a smooth performance in day to day functioning and the phone does not show any lags whatsoever.

Gamers looking for high quality gaming will not be disappointed, however, better experiences can be obtained using phones like the Redmi Note 7 pro.

The phone packs a 3000 mAH battery, which will last a day or likely more. However, in case of excessive usage, like that of PUBG Mobile, the phone will usually run out of battery by the end of the day.

All in all, the processor gives a good performance with regards to the price range.

Camera – The phone packs a camera of 12mp + 5mp with and 8mp front camera. Some of the camera samples follow.

Daylight Image Sample
Low Light Image Sample
Portrait Mode Image Sample

The camera packs a number of features such as slow motion and time lapse. It has good hardware and the depth sensors perform a good job of detecting the edges of an object. The camera software also comes with a number of other features wherein it can replace the backgrounds of the objects with other landscapes and solid colours. The camera performs suitably well in low light and creates good quality photos, with only a little noise. For a price of Rs. 16,999 , the camera offers good imagery.

Design and Build Quality – The phone comes with a glass back and a drop-notch design. The 6.2 inches panel offers a standard and colourful display. `The camera setup looks very premium and stylish and all in all, the phone design and in-hand feel are all very premium.

As for the build quality, the phones is very sturdy and well built. It is balanced in the distribution of weight, with a slight inclination towards the upper half of the body. The phone’s build quality is exceptionally good and at par with the good build quality phones like the ones offered by Apple or Samsung.

Software – The phone comes with a stock android skin. Only a few moto apps have been pre-installed. Other than those, the phone offers a clean and pure android experience, which is as graceful as it gets. Usually, phones in this range offer custom software, such as those available on the Vivo, Oppo, Redmi phones. However, a clean and pure android experience, such as the one offered by the Google Pixel series, to get in this range is a feat in itself.

The phone is of a great quality and Moto has doe a really good job with this phone. With a few tweaks in the processing speed of the phone, this can be one of the best phones the smartphone industry has to offer in this range.

Samsung Galaxy A50 (Rs. 19,990)


This phone, one of the few of its kind in the market, is also one of the best phones in the market right now for the price of Rs. 19,990. Undoubtedly, it is one of Samsung’s best creations under the price range of Rs. 20,000. Offering revolutionary features such as the triple camera setup and live background (which as of now is only offered by one other company – Apple), this phone packs in more than what you asked for, and it packs it in with style.

Processor – Sporting the Exynos 9610 processor, which is more or less equivalent to Snapdragon 675, this phone is filled with power. Obviously, to run a triple camera setup, a processor with power is required. The Exynos does that job and does it well. This phone shows no lag and constant fluidity in functioning, although at times Samsung’s own heavy skin may lead one to believe that the functioning is slow. But believe it or not, the Exynos processor is better than most others offered in this price range.

The phones smoothly runs heavy applications like PUBG Mobile and Asphalt 9, and on top of that offers high quality display in both, which phones in this price range generally do not. The experience of PUBG Mobile, smooth as it is, combined with the phone’s colourful Super AMOLED display is as enchanting as ever.

The phone shows good performance and no lags generally in normal day to day usage. It has 4 gb ram and the processor functions well.

It features a 4000mAH battery.

Camera –  With a 25 mp low light camera, the phone clicks simply magical pictures in low light. Implied from that, the pictures in broad daylight and magical pieces of art. The phone also has an 8mp ultra wide camera and a 5mp live focus camera, which enables live background. The triple camera setup not only offers good photo production, but also ultra wide clicking capacity, which has the ability to take in a lot more detail than a standard camera or even dual camera setup. Some of the few samples are attached below –

Daylight Image Sample
Lowlight Image Sample
Portrait Mode Image Sample

The camera offers high quality low light photography and captures a lot of detailing. As if visible in the above sample (Figure 8), the noise in the low lighting conditions is almost none. With regards to the camera, it can be said that the A50 offers one of the best, if not the best photography experience in this price range.

Design & Build Quality –  The phones is delicately built and offers a lightweight premium feel. However, it is quite fragile in nature and would in rare cases survive a drop. This is because Samsung phones are usually lightweight to give a premium in hand feel, wherein usually the strength of the phone has to take a step backwards. However, if handled carefully, this phone can give a very good feel. The camera layout is vertical and the phone features a drop notch on the top. The phone looks as good as it clicks, which is, excellent.

The screen size is 6 inches and the display is almost bezel less. It offers a better display and screen than most of the phones priced above it as well. Also, Samsung has been known for it’s display. This phone is no different. A bright colourful display lights up the screen and the default wallpapers are all set to hide the notch. Vivid colours decorate the screen and one can rest assured that the design of this phone will not disappoint.

Software – The software of the phone comprises of Android 9 plus Samsung’s own custom skin which shows icons in a very elegant style. Although the software looks amazingly good, it is heavy as well, which makes the phone feel slow despite it being not. Most of the processor power is consumed by Samsung’s software. However, if one is ready to compromise lightning fast speeds for a graceful array of icons, this phone is the one to go for.

The phone, on top of it all, has an in-display fingerprint scanner which makes it feature one more revolutionary technology. It is a good phone overall and can be bought if one’s preferences are in sync with the features offered.

Oppo K1 (Rs. 16,990)


Another phone to feature an in-display fingerprint scanner, the Oppo K1 is also an excellent choice for those looking to buy a phone under Rs. 20,000. For a fiery price of Rs. 16,990, this phone packs it all – from AMOLED displays to Snapdragon 660. Undoubtedly one of the greatest choices in this price range, the Oppo K1 offers more than what we bargained for.

Processor – The Oppo K1 features a Snapdragon 660, which in this price range is again a luxury that people can enjoy. For a slashing price of Rs. 16,990, the Snapdragon 660 is one of the best processors that one can enjoy in this price range. Not only that. With a combination of the processor and the 4gb ram, the phone functions as smoothly as anything. The processor supports various picture and video formats and offers a bunch of great features in the functioning of the phone. One sad point in this one is that VOOC charging, the Oppo fast charging, is not available on this phone. The phone also lacks in the speed and responsiveness of the fingerprint sensor.

The battery power is 3600 mAH and lasts a good long day without any problems.

Camera – the phone’s camera is one of its major highlights. However, not in a positive way.

Daylight Image Sample
Lowlight Image Sample
Portrait Mode Image Sample

As can be seen, the camera functions averagely, which was not expected of a phone to be under the pricing of almost Rs. 17,000. The low light photography lacks details and the portrait mode does a good job at background separation but has to function on the edges a bit more. However, considering the hardware of the camera, i.e. 16mp + 2mp on the rear, it can be said that software tweaks can help improve the camera performance.

The good side – the selfie camera of the Oppo K1 functions excellently. It offers a 25mp AI enabled camera which enables the user to click good selfies. However, other than that, the camera performance is just slightly above average and can be improved a lot.

Design & Build quality – The Oppo K1 has a glass back finish on the back with the traditional horizontal camera setup for its dual camera layout. This looks comparatively older as compared to the vertical camera setup seen in almost all the phones nowadays, from the iPhone X to the Redmi phones. However, it is a matter of personal choice and preferences as well. The design and build quality otherwise is fairly good and the phone does have a tank-like sturdy body. Yet again the colour contrasts that it offers on the body can be improved quite a little, considering the contrasts on the F series Oppo phones.

Software – The phone needs tremendous software updates and tweaks to be the phone we imagined it to be. However, it still does not perform bad and is on the other hand better than many other phones. But considering the phones on this list, we are expecting something out of the K1 as well. All the twitchy and laggy software that is on the Oppo K1 can be improved and we sure hope that that is exactly what happens. However, until that actually does happen, we can surely hope for a performance that is average and more or less satisfying rather than mind blowing.

Oppo F9 Pro (Rs. 17,990)

Top 5 smartphones to buy under ₹20,000 21

Well, here’s something from Oppo again that is quite good, as compared to the K1 presented earlier. The Oppo F9 pro at a price Rs. 1000 more than that of the Oppo K1, amounting to Rs. 17,990, is a deal breaker. Decorated with the drop notch, this phone can do wonders with it’s processor and functioning. Definitely one of the best phones in this list with regards to the overall performance and design, this phone has all that you bargained for, and more. Let’s have a look at it.

Processor – Powered by the Mediatek Helio P60 Octacore 2.0 GHz processor, this phone is one of the most powerful phones in this list. It would not be wrong to claim that it is more powerful than the all rounder Redmi Note 7 pro as well in terms of processor speed. The same can be seen through it’s daily usage, which shows no lag whatsoever. The smoothness with which the apps function, as well as the fluidity of the phone is excellent.

The highlight of the phone during it’s launch was the fluidity of PUBG Mobile on this handset. It’s simply enchanting. In this price segment, no other phone can run PUBG Mobile as smoothly and for as long as this Oppo f9. The Redmi Note 7 pro is a close competitor, rather a very close one. But the only point where the Redmi is defeated is the charging speed. The Note 7 pro supports fast charging. However, the company still gives a standard charger with the phone. Oppo on the other hand provides VOOC support on this one, which is just like OnePlus’ dash charging – exceedingly fast. Hence, imagine, if you’re playing PUBG mobile and your phone needs a quick charge, which one would be more beneficial. The Note 7 pro packs a bigger battery, a 4000mAH as compared to the 3500mAH of the Oppo F9 pro. But the charging on this one is as quick as it gets. A mere 5 minutes of charging offers upto 2 hours of talktime.

Note – This phone has 6gb of ram, as compared to all the other phones on this list which have 4gb of ram.

Camera – The camera on this one is a highlight as well, but only positively this time. Here are a few image samples from the Oppo F9 pro.

Daylight Image Sample
Lowlight Image Sample
Portrait Mode Image Sample

The camera gives a powerful performance with high contrasts and great daylight performance. For that matter, the night light does not disappoint at all. The Oppo F9 Pro takes it with great strengths. The camera on this one simply does not have limitations. The selfie camera performs greatly as well. It has the same specifications as the Oppo K1. However, the software on this camera performs par excellence.

Design & Build quality – Have a look at the phone and you cannot say that you don’t like anything about it. The smooth curvy edges, the smooth and fluid transition of the drop notch, the colour contrast and the vector design on the back, all look very premium. To have a phone like this under the range of Rs. 20,000 is no less than a blessing. The build quality is also strong and the phone is very sturdy. Thus, powerful body with a powerful functioning, the Oppo F9 packs a great deal of what all of us look in a mobile phone.

Software – Software is the one element where we can say that the Oppo phone functions at par with the others in this segment. There is nothing special about it. The Oppo Color OS 5.2 does give the screen a bright and colourful look, but that is all. However, one is not disappointed by it. The custom software actually includes a number of customization features as well, which give it an edge over the stock android ones. The software is clean and shows no lags, and combined with the processor and 6gb ram, functions wonderfully.

All in all, the Oppo F9 pro is a wonderful phone with quick and responsive sensors and functioning. It is indeed a worthy buy, considering the price segment and the features it offers.

With this we conclude the list and hope we made it easy for you to select a phone according to your budget and feature preferences. Hope you liked it.

Thank you.

Vikram Bhaskar
Vikram Bhaskar
Law student at Symbiosis Law School Noida. Passed 12th from Seth Anandram Jaipuria School, Vasundhra. Age - 19. Hobbies include listening to music, playing video games, writing lyrics, and reading novels. Like debating and deliberating on various topics. Stay tuned for interesting articles on technology, movies, music, food, travel, politics, education, and more.

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