Best Mobile Phones Under Rs.12,000

by | May 7, 2018

If you are looking for a smartphone above Rs.10,000 and you can’t extend your budget to Rs.15,000, then the best option is to go for a smartphone under Rs.12,000. The sheer variety and competition in this segment are massive in India and almost every phone manufacturer launch a product in this price range.

In this budget, you have the choice of going for a smartphone with the dual camera setup or full HD display or 4GB RAM and 64GB ROM. So, which is the best smartphone under Rs.12,000? Who offers the best value for money as well as build quality? Let’s find out here.

1. Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1

Overall Best Pick

Finally, we have a phone to claim the title of best smartphone under Rs. 12,000 from Redmi Series! The Zenfone Max Pro touts the best processor, display and battery in any phone at this price range. And don’t forget the aggressive pricing by Asus.

A wise man once said that cutthroat competition in a market always benefits the consumer at the end. How true is that?! Here we have the all new Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 cutting the budget king Xiaomi, not just in terms of raw specs but also in pricing beating them in their own game.

The Zenfone Max Pro from Asus is a phone that is sold at an aggressive price with plenty of features loaded in. There are 3 variants of this model in the market, a 3GB/32GB variant sold at Rs. 10,999, a 4GB/64GB variant at Rs, 12,999 and a 6GB/64GB variant with a better camera than the remaining two models.

The Zenfone Max Pro is powered by the latest Snapdragon 636 Octa-core chipset and Adreno 509 GPU. This SoC is the best performing chipset in any phone under Rs. 12,000. The phone comes bundled with Android Oreo with an almost stock like feel. There is not much bloatware on this smartphone. Updates are also confirmed until Android Q.

Coming to the design and build of Zenfone Max Pro, it has a rather ordinary design with an all-metal body except for the antenna portion. The phone feels hefty in hand because of the massive battery it has but the weight distribution is really good. Buttons on the side are tactile and clicky.

The display of this phone is a 5.99-inch full view display which is really immersive and colour accurate. There are no protective glasses like Gorilla Glass here which significantly dents the overall build quality. Speakers are located on the bottom side and with the help of an NXP amplifier and 5 Magnet speaker, the audio quality is loud and impressive.

The Snapdragon 636 Chipset and Adreno 506 GPU can handle most of the tasks you throw at it with ease. The RAM management and multitasking are butter smooth on this smartphone. We recommend the 4GB RAM variant only if you’re a heavy performer, otherwise, the 3GB variant will be perfectly fine for most users.

On the camera front, the Asus Zenfone Max Pro is a decent performer. It packs a dual rear camera with single LED flash that takes some good bright light shots and portrait photos but most of the pictures are a bit oversaturated. The lowlight photos lack a lot of details as well. The front camera is an 8MP shooter that does an okayish job.

This phone packs in a gigantic 5,000mAh battery that easily last 2 days of usage which is simply amazing for many power-hungry users. Some nifty additions like 4K video recording, true dual 4G VoLTE on both the SIM cards and dedicated memory card slot are impressive.

All in all, the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 is a worthy phone to claim the title of best smartphone under Rs. 12,000 from Redmi Series after a long long time. Though we would have liked a better camera and design, the Zenfone Max Pro still has the advantage of having the best processor and battery in any phone right now and most importantly it is sold at an aggressive pricing.

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Great performance
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Almost a stock Android experience
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Great battery life
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True dual 4G VoLTE
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Promised software update till Android Q
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Dedicated memory card slot
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No protective glasses on display
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No USB Type C port
Q
Average camera performance

Specifications

RAM3GB / 4GB
INTERNAL MEMORY32GB / 64GB
PROCESSORSnapdragon 636 Octa core 1.8GHz
CAMERA13MP+5MP Primary                            8MP Secondary
BATTERY5000mAh
DISPLAY5.99 inches
1080 x 2160 18:9 (402ppi)

2. Xiaomi Redmi Note 5

Runner-up Pick

A taller full view display, feel-good design, powerful performance, improved camera and great battery life make the Redmi Note 5 a compelling choice at this price. Definitely a bang for buck device.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5, the much-awaited successor to the Redmi Note 4, their best selling smartphone in India ever has not undergone a major upgrade when compared to the previous iterations. But it is still one of the best smartphones under Rs. 12,000 in India thanks to its 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage. At this price, Xiaomi is offering a powerful phone with 5.99-inch full view display and an impressive battery life.

The Redmi Note 5 runs on Android Nougat based MIUI 9 on top of Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset and Adreno 506 GPU. Frankly speaking, we expected an upgrade here but Xiaomi stuck to the tried and tested Snapdragon 625 and Nougat OS. But we do expect that they will push the Oreo update very soon for this device. Just like the Redmi Note 4, this one is also a performance beast that works wonderfully for a budget phone.

Xiaomi has launched 2 memory variants of this device in India which are 3GB/32GB and 4GB/64GB. As expected from Xiaomi, the overall performance was superb on both the variants but if you are a heavy user we recommend the 4GB variant. Since there is no dedicated memory card slot on this device, you can run out of storage space with 3GB/32GB variant.

The major upgrade Xiaomi has done in Redmi Note 5 is its display design. It has a taller 5.99-inch full HD+ display with 1080*2160 pixel resolution. Thanks to its 18:9 aspect ratio, the large display size doesn’t make the phone bulky. In fact, the in-hand feel is a lot better because of this new form factor. The metallic build of the phone gives it a sturdy look as well.

Coming to the camera department, Xiaomi has done a good job with the camera of Redmi Note 5. Even though it doesn’t have a dual camera setup at the back, the overall performance has improved a lot. The 13 MP rear camera can click beautiful pictures in natural as well as artificial lighting conditions. But the low light performance takes a hit as the pictures are blurred out and lack details.

The 5 MP front camera on Redmi Note 5 has improved a lot from its previous iterations. They have added LED flash as well which is a welcome move for selfie lovers. But still, we felt that the front camera should have been better as more and more people are now buying phones based on front camera performance. Come on Xiaomi, you know the craze of millennials!

As always from a Xiaomi phone, the battery life of Redmi Note 5 is exceptional. It lasts a typical day even with heavy gaming and multitasking. The phone comes with a normal charger out of the box but it supports fast charging. All the necessary sensors including IR blaster are present. For videography, it even has 4K video recording capability which is not even available in the Redmi Note 5 Pro.

In conclusion, the 3GB variant of Redmi Note 5 at the moment is a powerful budget phone that offers killer specification. Its taller display, feel-good design, improved camera performance and great battery life makes it our runner-up pick under Rs. 12,000. The only thing we have to wait and see is if Xiaomi can replicate the success they have had in 2017 with Redmi Note 5.

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Great design and build quality
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Tall 5.99-inch full view display
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All sensors including IR blaster are present
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4K Video recording capability
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Improved rear camera
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Overall performance gets a boost
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No major hardware upgrade from Note 4
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Hybrid SIM slot
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No portrait mode
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Average selfie shooter

Specifications

RAM4 GB
INTERNAL MEMORY64 GB
PROCESSORSnapdragon 625
CAMERA12 MP Rear 5 MP Front
BATTERY4000 mAh
DISPLAY5.99 inch 1080 x 2160 (403 ppi)

3. Huawei Honor 9 Lite

Best Stylish/Camera Phone

The Honor 9 Lite boasts a 4 camera setup with dual cameras at the back and front respectively. The unique quad camera setup, impressive glass body design, premium look and a competent spec-sheet makes this phone a worthy contender for its price.

The Honor 9 Lite is a camera focused smartphone launched by Huawei in the budget segment. It boasts a 4 camera setup with 2 cameras at the back and front respectively. But this is not just a camera-centric phone and it has a lot more to offer at its price.

The Huawei Honor 9 Lite is powered by the HiSilicon Kirin 659 Octa-Core processor and runs on Android Oreo-based EMUI. The performance of this chipset is neck-to-neck with the Snapdragon 625 which is available in smartphones of the same price. It is launched in 2 memory variants in India, one at 3GB RAM and 32GB ROM which is sold for Rs.10,999 and a 4GB RAM and 64GB ROM variant which is sold for Rs.14,999. It has a 5.65-inch IPS LCD display with 1080*2160 pixels and the new 18:9 aspect ratio.

The standout feature of this phone is its cameras. It has a 13MP+2MP dual camera setup at the back and front. If your biggest priority is a good camera, we would highly recommend this device. The picture quality especially selfies and video quality are very good and it has a lot of additional features in the camera app to tweak and tinker the output. One weak link we found with the camera was the absence of electronic image stabilisation.

Apart from a good camera, the build quality of Honor 9 Lite is impeccable. It has the latest 18:9 aspect ratio which makes the phone easy to hold even after having a large 5.65-inch display. The glass body at the back and the aluminium frame gives it a premium look. But you have to be careful here because of the slippery glass surface.

Now coming to the battery life, this phone has a 3,000 mAh battery. On the outset, this looks like an average battery but thanks to the highly power efficient Kirin 659 chipset, the actual battery life is impressive. You can easily last a day under heavy usage. Unfortunately, there is no fast charging support for this phone. It also houses all the important sensors except the gyroscope sensor.

In conclusion, the Huawei Honor 9 Lite is a good value for money smartphone at Rs.10,999. I wouldn’t recommend the 14,999 variant because, at that price, there are plenty of better smartphones like the Note 5 Pro and Mi A1. The unique quad camera setup, impressive design, premium look and a competent spec-sheet makes this phone a worthy contender at Rs.11,000.

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Premium looking design
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Amazing build quality
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Quad camera setup
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18:9 FullView display
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No fast charging support
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No Electronic Image Stabilisation
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Hybrid SIM slot

Specifications

RAM3 GB
INTERNAL MEMORY32 GB
PROCESSORKrin 659
CAMERA13 MP+12 MP Dual Primary and Secondary
BATTERY3000 mAh
DISPLAY5.65 inch 1080 x 2160 (~428 ppi)

4. Lenovo K8 Note

Great Value for Money Pick

Lenovo K8 Note has a great camera, good performance, superb multimedia experience and decent build quality on top of features like stock android, virtual reality via theatremax technology and dedicated music player button.

Lenovo has directly launched the Lenovo K8 Note succeeding the K6 Note by skipping K7 citing that the features this phone has to offer are generations ahead! Well, that is a bold statement right? Can Lenovo walk the talk? Let’s see what are its features.

Beginning with the design, the Lenovo K8 Note packs a metal uni-body design made of aluminium. It looks and feels premium and fits nicely in your pocket. The K8 Note has a 5.5” full HD Display that can deliver a quality visual experience. There is a sizeable chunk of bezels at the top and bottom of the screen though.

When it comes to the performance, the Lenovo K8 Note has a 2.3GHz Deca-Core (10 Cores) MediaTek Helio X23 processor. This along with the 3GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage can deliver a great user experience. This processor is on par with Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor in terms of performance. You can play games that require heavy graphics flawlessly with this phone. If you need better performance then there is an option of upgrading to the 4GB/64GB variant.

This phone is running on Android v7.1.1 Nougat and Lenovo has ditched its vibe UI to make way for a stock Android experience. This will be reducing the number of unwanted apps and bloatware and increasing the speed of loading and future updates.

Lenovo K8 Note has Dolby Atmos support for a better audio experience. It also brings the latest Theatre Max technology which provides Virtual Reality and 360-degree video viewing experience. The multimedia experience it offers is pretty good for a midrange smartphone under Rs.12,000.

The K8 Note is powered by a 4000mAh battery. It lasts a day with heavy usage. For a normal user, this phone can survive 1 and half days. It also bundles a turbocharger inside the box so that you can quickly power up your device when you are in a hurry.

Coming to the camera department, the K8 note packs a dual camera setup with a 13 Megapixel one and a 5 Megapixel one. The 2 cameras combine together to produce amazing pictures. The 13 Megapixel Camera capture the subject while the 5 MP camera capture additional details to make the pictures detailed with bokeh effect. On the front, there is a 13 Megapixel camera which comes with LED flash that can click beautiful selfies.

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Rear dual camera is great
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Stock Android Nougat experience
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Superb audio quality
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Solid build quality
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Fast charging support
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Dedicated memory card slot
Q
MediaTek processor instead of Qualcomm
Q
Heating issue is expected
Q
Battery life isn’t the best

Specifications

RAM3 GB
INTERNAL MEMORY32 GB
PROCESSORMediaTek Helio X23
CAMERA13 + 5 MP Primary
13 MP Secondary
BATTERY4000 mAh
DISPLAY5.5 inches
1080 x 1920 (~401 ppi)

And that concludes our list of the best mobile phones under Rs. 12,000. We have taken a genuine effort to list out only the best smartphone in this price category. We will be updating this list when new phones that can challenge our top picks are launched. Stay tuned and subscribe to our newsletter for the latest gadget guides and buying tips.