Best Mobile Phones Under Rs.12,000

by | Jul 2, 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.

Best Mobile Phones Under Rs.12,000

1. Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1Overall Best Pick
2. Xiaomi Redmi Note 5Runner-Up Pick
3. Huawei Honor 9 LiteBest Stylish/Camera Phone
4. Moto G6 PlayHonorable mention
5. Lenovo K8 NoteGreat Value for Money Pick

1. Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1

Overall Best Pick
  • Powerful Snapdragon 636 SoC
  • 5000mAh massive battery
  • Near stock Android experience
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 feels 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.

If you don’t mind shelling a couple of thousand bucks extra for a better camera, Redmi Note 5 pro is a good choice for smartphones priced under Rs.15,000.

R
Great performance
R
Great battery life
R
True dual 4G VoLTE
Q
No protective glasses on display
Q
No USB Type C port

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
  • Power efficient Snapdragon 625 SoC
  • 4K video capability
  • Feature rich MIUI skin

Let me say this right at the beginning – Xiaomi Redmi Note 5, the much-awaited successor to Xiaomi’s best seller ever is not a major upgrade to Redmi Note 4 but it is still one of the best feature-rich smartphone out there.

Now that the confusion is over, let’s talk about the pros and cons of this budget smartphone.

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 them to 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 this 4GB 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 also 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 4GB variant of Redmi Note 5 at the moment is a powerful budget phone that destroys its competitors.

Its taller display, feel-good design, improved camera performance and great battery life makes it one of the compelling choices priced 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.

R
Great design and build quality
R
Tall 5.99-inch full view display
R
All sensors including IR blaster are present
Q
No major hardware upgrade from Note 4
Q
Hybrid SIM slot

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
  • Design resembles premium phones
  • Dual camera setup in front as well as rear
  • Capable Kirin 659 SoC
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 aluminum 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 3,000mAh 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.

R
Premium looking design
R
Amazing build quality
R
18:9 FullView display
Q
No fast charging support
Q
No Electronic Image Stabilisation

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. Moto G6 Play

Moto G6 Play - Honorable mention
Honorable mention
  • All new 18:9 budget Moto
  • Massive 4000mAh battery
  • Fast charging with supplied turbo charger
Moto fans rejoice!

The long wait for the Motorola fans out there is now over.

The company has launched the latest G series phones in India after a short break.

So was it worth the wait? Let’s find out.

The design is what received a major overhaul.

Moto has decided to jump in the 18:9 budget smartphone bandwagon with the Moto G6 Play.

In addition to the display, the glass like plastic back looks way better than its predecessors.

On the other hand, the glossy back picks up fingerprints and smudges very well.

Do remember to carry a wiping cloth if you want your phone to look spotless.

The 5.7-inch 18:9 HD+ display looks decently bright and images seems to look fine and crisp.

We expected a full HD display, but hey – not all the wishes will come true.

Moto G6 Play now has the fingerprint sensor on the back, hiding on the famous Moto dimple.

The sensor is fast, accurate and most importantly placed on a comfortable position  for your fingers to tap on.

The company has been kind to provide a dedicated SD card slot for all the storage crazy people out there.

No need to sacrifice between connectivity and storage this time around.

Stop! Speaking about sacrifice, we’ve just remembered something – the processor inside.

This phone rocks a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 SoC inside.

For a price of Rs.11,999 the 430 chipset is not just a sacrifice, we must say it’s suicidal.

Especially when similarly priced phones like Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 features a powerful Snapdragon 636 processor.

No dual camera on this one peeps!

The Moto G6 play features a single 13MP rear camera and an 8MP selfie shooter with flash.

The cameras take pictures with adequate details under optimal lighting conditions.

The camera app has been overhauled by Moto and packs quite a lot of features including a Pro mode.

If your initial excitement just died out, we’ve something to make you feel better – the 4000mAh battery.

With a 720p display and relatively under-powered processor, you can expect impressive battery life with this phone.

With the phone coming out with Android Oreo out of the box also helps in app optimizations and performance, increasing the battery backup further.

R
Elegant design with quality construction
R
Moto gestures
R
Close to stock Android
Q
Under-powered processor for the price
Q
No full HD display

Specifications

RAM3 GB
Internal Memory32 GB
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 430
Camera13 MP Primary
8 MP Secondary
Battery4000 mAh
Display5.7 inches
720 x 1440(~282 ppi)

 

5. Lenovo K8 Note

Great Value for Money Pick
  • Phone with capable dual rear camera
  • Snappy and Fluid stock Android OS
  • Massive 4000mAh battery
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 aluminum.

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.

Lenovo K8 Note has Dolby Atmos support for a better audio experience. It also brings the latest Theater Max Technology which provides Virtual Reality and 360-degree video viewing experience.

The multimedia experience it offers is pretty good for a mid range 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.

R
Solid build quality
R
Fast charging support
R
Dedicated memory card slot
Q
MediaTek processor instead of Qualcomm
Q
Heating issue is expected

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.

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