Mid-range smartphones are extremely popular in India. There are two major aspects that differentiate the flagship and a mid-range phone – the camera performance and chipset being used.
From the past couple of years, we’ve seen companies trying to fill the bridge the gap between two segments with smart software implementations. And, thanks to the powerful SoCs from Qualcomm especially the 7 series, the mid-range segment performance has been taken to the next level. One thing you can expect from a mid-range device is good battery life, which even some flagship smartphone tend to lack.
The list of the best value for money phones under Rs 20,000 offers a good display, a big battery with fast charging, great camera performance, and more. For the first time, we are also seeing high refresh rate displays trickle down to this segment.
Selecting a phone can still be a challenging task despite the plethora of options. While some companies may have the best specs on paper in a given price range, the lack of software optimisation can make those phones a poor option when compared to others.
In this guide, we have listed some of the best value for money smartphones available under Rs 20,000 in India. In case you’d like to explore the adjoining price segments, you can also check out our other compilations.
Weight: 208g | Dimensions: 165.3 x 76.6 x 8.8 mm | OS: MiUI 11, Android 10 | Screen size: 6.67-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2400 | CPU: Snapdragon 730G | RAM: 6/8GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 4500mAh | Rear camera: 64 + 8 + 2 + 2MP | Front camera: 20MP
Very capable cameras
Poco is finally back to India, and this time, it tries to replicate the same success in the budget segment with the Poco X2. For starters, it is now the most affordable smartphone in India with a Snapdragon 730G chipset.
Not just that, it is also the cheapest phone with a 120Hz refresh rate display, with the closest alternative costing almost twice as much. This should combine well with the hardware and MiUI 11 optimizations for a very smooth experience.
Lastly, it also brings one of the most capable camera packages on any smartphone, with the new 64MP Sony IMX686 image sensor as the primary camera, and 8MP ultra-wide shooter, a 5MP macro lens and a depth sensor.
Topping it all off, the Poco X2 has a generous 4,500mAh battery with support for 27W fast charging.
Buy from Flipkart
Realme 6 Pro
Weight: 202g | Dimensions: 163.8 x 75.8 x 8.9 mm | OS: Realme UI, Android 10 | Screen size: 6.6-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2400 pixels | CPU: Snapdragon 720G | RAM: 6/8GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 4300mAh | Rear camera: 64MP + 12MP + 2MP + 2MP | Front camera: 16MP + 8MP
30W fast charging
Dual selfie camera
The Realme 6 Pro aims to be the best all-rounder in this segment, and pretty much succeeds at that. It has a smooth 90Hz display which is a rare find in this segment.
It is powered by the new Snapdragon 720G, which strikes a beautiful balance between performance, efficiency and thermals. It’s also the only one with a meaningful dual-selfie camera setup, bringing an ultra-wide sensor to the front as well. The rear cameras are extremely reliable too, and this is the only one with a telephoto shooter in this segment.
Buy the Realme 6 Pro from Flipkart
Redmi Note 9 Pro Max
Weight: 209g | Dimensions: 165.5 x 76.7 x 8.8 mm | OS: MIUI 11, Android 10 | Screen size: 6.67-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2400 | CPU: Snapdragon 720G | RAM: 6/8GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 5020mAh | Rear camera: 64 + 8 + 5 + 2MP | Front camera: 32MP
Impressive quad camera
Exceptional battery life
Ads in UI
The latest budget phone from the house of Xiaomi, the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max is a beast in all aspects. It retains the usual big display and big battery of the series and takes them to the next level to provide exceptional battery backup.
The star of the show is the new camera array, sporting a 64MP primary camera and an 8MP ultra-wide shooter. Along with a new processing algorithm, there’s also a ton of shooting modes and a very comprehensive manual mode too.
Buy from Amazon
Weight: 183g | Dimensions: 158.7 x 75.2 x 8.6 mm | OS: Android 9.0 Pie with ColorOS 6.0 | Display: 6.4-inch Super AMOLED | Resolution: 2340 x 1080 | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G | RAM: 6/8GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 4,000mAh | Rear camera: 64MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP | Front camera: 32MP
Reliable 64MP quad-camera
Lots of shooting modes
ColorOS 6 can be a little heavy
Building upon everything that was good in the XT, the Realme X2 brings upgrades across the board without pushing the price by a lot. You get a Snapdragon 730G inside, for the first time at this price, along with up to 8GB of RAM. The reliable 64MP quad-camera setup returns with a few more tricks up its sleeve now such as Video Portrait mode, ultrawide video recording, ultra-steady video and 960fps slow-motion.
The 4,000mAh battery inside is sufficient to last a day, and 30W VOOC charging will take care of the rest. One of the best budget smartphones to buy in India right now. Pricing starts at Rs 16,999.
Weight: 182g | Dimensions: 155.5 x 75.3 x 8.8mm | OS: Android 8.1 | Screen size: 6.18-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2246pixels | CPU: Snapdragon 845 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 4000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 5MP | Front camera: 20MP
The Poco F1, the only launch so far from Xiaomi’s first sub-brand Poco is a feature packed mid-range device. It is the cheapest Snapdragon 845 powered device in India and with the recent price cuts, it offers even more value for your money. While the device’s design is something that the company has compromised on, the Poco F1 is durable with a sturdy plastic build.
If you prefer performance over looks, the Poco F1 is the device for you. It is priced at Rs 17,999 in India for the 8+256GB variant.
Read our full review: Poco F1
Buy Poco F1 on Amazon | Flipkart
Samsung Galaxy M31
Weight: 191g | OS: OneIU 2.0, Android 10.0 | Screen size: 6.4-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2400 pixels | CPU: Exynos 9611 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 6000mAh | Rear camera: 64MP + 8MP + 5MP + 5MP | Front camera: 32MP
15W fast charging
Super AMOLED display
Quad camera setup
Samsung’s new M series is a breath of fresh air in the budget segment. While they aren’t the best at performance, they make up for that with brand value and other features. Take the Galaxy M31 for example, which brings a mammoth 6,000mAh battery for unmatchable battery life without getting too bulky.
The quad-camera setup is good to have, but the results were usually underwhelming. The same goes for performance. It’s not an all-rounder like the others on this list but has a very specific audience.
Buy Samsung M31 from Amazon.in
Weight: 189.6g | Dimensions: 159.53 x 75.23 x 8.13 mm | OS: FunTouch OS, Android 10 | Screen size: 6.38-inch | Resolution: 2340 x 1080 pixels | CPU: Snapdragon 712 AIE | RAM: 6/8GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 4500mAh | Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 2MP | Front camera: 32MP
Super AMOLED display
Great battery life
FunTouch OS is very heavy
UI inspired by iOS
Inconsistent performance while gaming
The Vivo Z1x comes with a beautiful 6.38-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED panel. It is powered by Snapdragon 712 AIE chipset with up to 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. It houses a 4500mAh battery and is paired with a 22.5W fast charger.
Vivo’s mid-ranger, the Z1x comes with triple camera setup at the rear which houses a 48MP f/1.8 primary camera, an 8MP ultra-wide shooter and a 5MP depth sensor. The primary camera implements the Sony IMX582 image sensor which is very similar to the IMX586.
Vivo has done a tremendous job with the Z1x with meaningful upgrades over the Z1 Pro that are sure to be appreciated by potential consumers.
Buy Vivo Z1x on Flipkart
Read our Vivo Z1x review
With the lockdown restrictions slowly easing out, we expect brands to resume their product launch cycles. On the horizon, the Realme X3 series is a notable contender under Rs 20,000.