Best Smartphones Under Rs.20,000

by | Nov 5, 2018

Whether you are an amateur photographer, avid gamer or a selfie lover, a budget of Rs.20,000 can now get you a quality smartphone that match neck to neck with the flagships of smartphone world.

We have pitted the best smartphones under Rs.20,000 with these features in mind so that you can take your pick quite easily. Here are our top recommendations.

Best Mobile Phone Under Rs.20,000

1. Honor PlayOverall Best Pick
2. Xiaomi Mi A2Runner-Up Pick
3. Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 6GBBest Battery Life
4. Oppo F9 Best Selfie Cam
5. Nokia 6.1 PlusBest Build Quality
6. Motorola One PowerAndroid One Device
7. Honor 8xBest Design Pick

1. Honor Play

Overall Best Pick
Overall Best Pick
  • Systemwide AI integration
  • Gorgeous 6.3-inch display
  • Powerful processor

Honor Play is a high-end premium smartphone from Huawei that can be aptly called a flagship killer.

This device comes with a host of features that will bring many of its higher-priced counterparts to shame.

Minimal design with excellent build quality…

The Honor Play is exquisitely designed to perfection with minimal styling.

The device features a metallic unibody construction with cleverly concealed antenna lines.

The Full View display upfront blends in with the chassis very well and provides you with a very immersive experience while interacting with the screen.

Unlike the Honor 9N, Huawei hasn’t omitted the 3.5mm headphone jack this time, from this device.

The dual camera setup is placed horizontally on the rear with an AI camera branding which perfectly blends with the metallic backplate.

Top notch display… with a notch…

If you love a large screen on your smartphone, then this smartphone with a 6.3-inch FHD+ display might be your dream come true.

This panel has a pixel density of about 409 ppi and a resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels to give you a detailed output. The colour reproduction is excellent so is the brightness level.

You can further fine tune the display according to your preference from the display settings offered by the phone.

The notch is present – those who love that, rejoice. Others do continue reading. You can turn off the notch if you don’t like it. That’s cool, right.

Processor and camera…

We mentioned at the beginning that this device is a flagship killer. Yes, it is!

The Honor Play is powered by the Huawei’s latest and greatest CPU, the HiSilicon Kirin 970 that is present in many of their premium handsets like the Huawei P20 Pro.

This processor performs excellently when it comes to multitasking and app management. There is no lags or stutters even if you try hard to bring the phone into its knees.

Huawei has introduced their latest GPU turbo technology with the Honor Play.

The company claims that this feature will improve the graphics performance of this device up to 60% and decrease the battery consumption up to 30% while gaming.

Both the 13MP + 2MP rear and the 16MP front camera is powered by the Huawei’s patented AI NPU technology.

The camera samples seem promising and deliver crisp images with a lot of details.

When it comes to video recording, this phone has an interesting combination of Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) and Artificial Image Stabilization (AIS) for buttery smooth video output.

AI… AI… AI Everywhere…

Honor has heavily implemented AI features across the system in this device.

From the camera app to intelligent charging to gaming, the specially designed Neural Processing Unit (NPU) chip inside is used to its full potential to enhance the functionality of this device.

Battery life…

Usually, companies provide cutting-edge technologies on their devices and when it comes to the battery capacity, they skimp.

This time around the Honor Play sports a respectable 3750 mAh battery inside that will easily last over a day even with heavy usage.

The device comes with a fast charger in the box so that you don’t have to purchase one extra to juice up your device quickly.

End words…

The Honor Play is perhaps the flagship grade smartphone priced under Rs.20,000.

With its elegant design and flagship grade internals, it beats the competition to dust quite easily.

The big gorgeous screen and the powerful GPU and CPU combination makes this a great device to play games with.


Excellent build quality


Capable AI assisted cameras


GPU Turbo feature


No dedicated SD card slot


Operating SystemAndroid Oreo 8.1
Internal Memory64GB
ProcessorHiSilicon Kirin 970
Camera16 MP + 2 MP Rear, 16 MP Front
Display6.3 inch (1080 x 2340) 19.5:9

2. Xiaomi Mi A2

Runner-Up Pick
Runner-Up Pick
  • Best in class camera
  • Promised android updates
  • Powerful Snapdragon 660 inside

Xiaomi and Android One is a dream we all had.

Then one fine day the company announced Mi A1.

Rest is history.

The Mi A2 is the successor of the famous Mi A1 which sold like hot cakes in the Indian market.

Updated design… Minus the notch

The Mi A2 has significant improvements in design and form factor over its predecessor, the Mi A1.

The new Mi A2 comes with the now industry standard 18:9 display. The metal back is retained with this release.

However, the orientation of the camera is now vertical, resembling that of iPhone X. That said the Mi A2 resembles closely to Xiaomi’s own Redmi Note 5 Pro.

The build quality is superb with the quality material used for the construction.

Camera-centric smartphone…

Even though the USP of this smartphone from Xiaomi is its Android One tag, what makes it special is the optics used.

Xiaomi claims that this is one of the best camera phones available in the market at this price point.

The rear side of this phone features a vertically placed dual camera setup. This 12MP + 20MP setup provides some of the best shots, both in daylight as well as low light in the segment.

The 20MP shooter uses pixel binning technology to enhance the low light photos by reducing the noise of the processed image.

In the front, there is a 20MP AI camera that captures portrait selfies with excellent details and saturation levels.

A powerful processor inside…

The Snapdragon 660 is a very powerful midrange chipset that will carry out resource-intensive tasks with relative ease. ‘

Multitasking and gaming will not be a showstopper on this device for sure.

Coupled with a 4GB RAM and 64GB of storage, there isn’t much left worth asking for.

Battery and the Android One…

Xiaomi usually uses MIUI custom skin on top of Android releases with their phone.

With Android One programme, the device receives a stock Android OS with no or minimal changes from the manufacturer.

How does it benefit the end customers?

Phones under Android One programme receive updates and security patches directly from Google.

Unlike Xiaomi, which decided whether to upgrade a phone to the next Android version, Google assures that you will at least get two major OS upgrades for the device.

Newer updates mean more features and better security.

Who wouldn’t want that?

Now coming to the battery, this device packs a 3000mAh Li-ion cell inside. This will last for a day of moderate to heavy usage.

And with Qualcomm quick charge support, you can use a compatible charger and juice up this device pretty quickly.

The negatives…

The Mi A2 doesn’t have a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Yes. You heard it right.

Even though you get a USB C to 3.5mm adapter in the box, this is really a bad move from Xiaomi.

There is no way you can increase the storage size on this phone. The Mi A2 comes with a dual sim slot but no sd card slot.

Even a hybrid sim slot might have been good but somehow that’s the case – no expansion slots.


The Mi A2 is probably the best camera phone that you can purchase at this price point.

The exceptional build quality and the stock Android OS with promised Google updates makes this phone one of the most desirable piece of gadget.

If you can live with the absence of a 3.5mm headphone jack, don’t think twice.


Excellent build quality


Amazing optics


Android One device


No 3.5mm jack


No SD card slot


Operating SystemAndroid Oreo 8.1
Internal Memory64 GB
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 660
Camera12 MP + 20 MP Rear, 20 MP Front
Display5.99 inch (2160 x 1080) 18:9

3. Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 6GB

Best Battery Life Pick
Best Battery Life Pick
  • Value for money specs
  • Improved optics
  • Near Stock Android OS

The Zenfone Max Pro from Asus is a phone that is sold at an aggressive price with plenty of features loaded in.

We have earlier discussed about the 3GB/32GB and 4GB/64GB variants in our best phones under Rs.15,000 post on our website.

The Zenfone Max Pro is powered by the latest Snapdragon 636 Octa-core chipset and Adreno 509 GPU.

Design and build quality…

Speaking about the design and build quality 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. We personally liked the silver colored variant more than the black color as it gave the phone a luxurious and classy premium feel.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 inside…

This is the best performing chipset in mid range smartphones under Rs. 15,000.

This processor performs really well in terms of multitasking and gaming. With the stock android powering the device, there isn’t much of bloatware to run in the background.

This almost stock Android OS results in significantly better performance than some other custom skin loaded devices out there in the market at this price.

Since the device launches with Android 8.1 out of the box, it supports Google’s project treble.

Having Project treble on your phone simply means it will be faster for the company to issue major Android updates and you can expect them fairly quickly after Google releases it.

18:9 display is awesome..

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.

Improved Camera and increased RAM…

On the camera front, the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 6GB has got a decent bump.

The rear dual camera setup now boasts of a 16MP + 5MP shooter combo that provides much improved results when it comes to the level of details and colors in the photos when compared with the 3GB/4GB models which had a 13MP + 5MP camera.

The front camera also gets an upgrade to 16MP from the previous 8MP shooter.

Portrait mode now gives respectable output and the low light performance has seen a improvement as well.

This smartphone also has a 6GB RAM inside making it one of the few phones priced under Rs.15,000 to have it after the Oppo Realme 1.

Whopping 5000mAh battery…

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.

You can game hard or binge watch your favourite series without being afraid of the battery being drained in the middle.

The Snapdragon 636 chipset supports fast charging. With a Quick charge 3.0 certified charger, you can quickly charge this beast in a relatively less time.

Final impressions…

If you love to have a mammoth battery inside so that you can possible use the phone with a peace of mind inside, this is it.

The improved camera now delivers excellent quality images and videos. With nearly stock Android OS, there’s nothing much to blame about the software either.

With Asus promising the Android P update, this smartphone should be definitely under your radar if you planning to buy a phone under Rs.20,000.


Dedicated SD card slot


Powerful processor


Long lasting battery


Excellent camera


No Gorilla glass protection


Operating SystemAndoid Oreo 8.1
Internal Memory64 GB
ProcessorMediaTek Helio P60
Camera16 MP + 2MP Rear, 16 MP Front
Display5.99 inch (2160 x 1080) 18:9

4. Oppo F9

Aesthetically Pleasing Design
Best Selfie Cam
  • Powerful mid range processor
  • Excellent display
  • Dedicated SD card slot

Oppo stunned the smartphone world with the release of the Oppo Find X which featured an industry first motorized sliding camera.

The company is again at it with a new design ideology dubbed as the water drop notch.

The Oppo F9 is a budget mid ranger priced just under Rs.20,000 following the new design strategy and has respectable internals that makes it one of the best in the business in its class.

Design and build quality

The Oppo F9 has a very eye catchy design that looks amazing at the first look.

The back is made of polycarbonate but has a gradient glossy colour design with diamond cut texture which looks similar to those in the budget Realme devices.

The back is susceptible to scratches so do remember to use a transparent case if you want to conserve the style and that pristine look on your smartphone.

The water drop notch is very stylish and masks the ugliness of the notch (our opinion!) to an extend.


The Oppo F9 features a tall 6.3-inch TFT LTPS display with a resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels. This amounts to about 409 ppi and the visuals and text appear sharp and detailed.

Since the display is of 19:9 aspect ratio, the phone doesn’t feel too much over-sized to use with a single hand.

This display offers great contrast levels and deep blacks. The colours are much more natural and vivid as well.

This panel also gets sufficiently bright up to 530 nits which is enough for good sunlight legibility.

The water drop notch can’t be hidden via software and there isn’t actually a need for that as well.


The Oppo F9 is powered by the powerful midrange SoC, MediaTek Helio P60.

This chipset performs similar or even better than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 found on the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 and the Redmi Note 5 Pro.

With the 4GB of RAM, multitasking is great and the device breaks no sweat processing two resource intensive apps side by side.

The device comes with 64GB of inbuilt memory and has a dedicated SD card slot that takes up to 256GB in case you yearn for more space to store your photos and files.


In the rear, the Oppo F9 features a 16MP + 2MP dual camera setup of which the secondary 2MP is a depth sensor.

The pictures taken using this rear camera comes out nice in daylight and has very good details and less noise.

The front camera is a 16MP shooter which can take portrait selfies and the edge detection works just fine.

Battery life

The Oppo F9 has a 3500mAh Li-ion battery inside which delivers excellent battery life.

Under heavy usage, this phone will last over a day comfortably with enough juice to spare for a couple of hours.

Not only that, Oppo supplies a fast charger with the box, certified to be VOOC enabled, which is the companies answer to OnePlus’s Dash charge feature.

This charger charges the battery up to 56% in just under 30 minutes.


The Oppo F9 is a mid range smartphone with capable internals that justifies its price point.

What makes this device stand out from the rest is the design. The phone is definitely a stunner when it comes to the looks and is sure to turn some heads in the crowd.

Value added features such as bundling the fast charger with the device makes this a much more compelling option worth purchasing.


Bundled fast charger


Water drop notch


Excellent battery life




Operating SystemAndroid Oreo 8.1
Internal Memory64 GB
ProcessorHiSilicon Kirin 659 Octa-core
CameraDual: 16MP +2MP Rear, 16MP Front
Display6.3 inch (2340 x 1080) 18:9

5. Nokia 6.1 Plus

Best Build Quality Pick
Best Build Quality
  • Guaranteed software updates
  • USB C port
  • Solidly built smartphone

Nokia isn’t the old Nokia anymore.

With HMD making the Nokia phones rather than the Microsoft, they’ve decided to go en route Android.

With a few phones such as Nokia 7 Plus priced under Rs.25,000 creating ripples in the market, Nokia is now back with a winner – the all new Nokia 6.1 Plus.

Design and build quality

Machines out of series 6000-grade Aluminium, the Nokia phones offer the best build quality in the market. They are built solid and feels extremely durable in hand.

The Finnish design exudes confidence and stands on par with the design of any other smartphone available at this price range.

The Nokia 6.1 Plus comes with an edge to edge display that is protected by 2.5D curved Gorilla glass that blends in with the chassis seamlessly.

The back side of the chassis is adorned by a vertically placed dual camera module followed by a flash and a fingerprint scanner.

Having a USB C port for budget phones is still considered luxury by many smartphone brands, but not Nokia.

Overall, the Nokia 6.1 Plus is definitely one of the phones with the best build quality available in the market.


The Nokia 6.1 Plus is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 SoC which is one of the mid-range champions when it comes to the efficient mix of performance and battery life.

With 4GB high-speed LPDDR RAM on board, this device can blaze through apps and can handle multitasking without any sort of lags or stutters.

The Adreno 509 GPU inside lets you play even high-end games but at low graphics settings.

The built-in 64GB ROM provides you with a sufficient starting point to store all your data – be it movies or songs on the phone offline, without the fear of running out of memory too soon.

This device also comes with a dedicated SD card slot which is another luxury that we are used not to expect from budget smartphones nowadays.


The Nokia 6.1 Plus features a 5.8-inch full HD+ display with a resolution of 1080 x 2280 pixels.

This notched display has a 19:9 aspect ratio and has a pixel density of around 432 ppi.

The colours appear vivid and the contrast levels despite being an LCD display is excellent. The texts appear sharp and clear so does the images.

This being an IPS LCD, the viewing angles are great and there is no colour shift when viewed from extreme angles as well.


The Nokia 6.1 Plus comes with a dual rear camera setup which constitutes of a 16MP primary sensor accompanies by a 5MP depths sensing unit for accurate edge detection and portrait mode photos.

On the front, there is a 16MP shooter which has autofocus capabilities and an aperture size of f/2.0.

The pictures from both the front and rear cameras come out detailed and colourful in daylight conditions but suffer from oversharpening in photos shot at low light environments.

When it comes to the video, this phone does support gyro EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization) for smoother video recording with minimal shakes.

Battery life

The Nokia 6.1 Plus is powered by a non-removable 3060 mAh Li-ion battery which easily lasts over a day of moderate to heavy usage.

The Snapdragon 636 is very much an energy efficient processor and combined with the stock Android OS running on this smartphone, energy consumption is very minimal when sitting idle.


The Nokia 6.1 Plus is a great contender to the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 pro and even trumps the device in certain aspects such as running a stock Android OS.

For those who love Nokia, this device is definitely one of the best devices that the company has launched this year.

Under Android, One programme promised future updates will make this device one of the most desirable gadgets to own in its price segment.


Excellent build quality


Android One device


Elegant design


Comparatively smaller battery capacity


Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 Oreo
Internal Memory64 GB
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 636
Camera16MP + 5MP Rear, 16MP Front
Display5.8 inch (1080 x 2280) 19:9

6. Motorola One Power

Android One device
Android One Device
  • Assured 2 years software updates
  • Excellent 5000mAh battery
  • Capable processor

Motorola has been receiving a lot of flake for its pricing strategy as well as the choice of processor on their latest G6 series phones.

The company, it seems has understood the mistake and is back in business with an Android One powered device, the One power which is exclusive to the Indian market.

Design and build quality

The Motorola One Power has a metallic unibody design with a large 18.7:9 display up front.

The back side of the device resembles the Redmi Note 5 Pro from Xiaomi due to the vertical dual camera placement.

Even though the bezels are thin around the display, there is a considerable lower chin on the front which houses the Motorola brand name.

The rear mounted fingerprint has the famous Motorola logo embossed on it.

Overall the build quality feels very premium and the device doesn’t feel too much heavy.


The display on this device is a 6.2-inch IPS LCD panel with a full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2246 pixels.

The display is sharp and vivid with accurate colours. The brightness and contrast levels are excellent as well.

The 18.7:9 aspect ratio display has a huge notch in the front which some people may like and some won’t.

The pixel density of 402 ppi means the images and texts will appear sharp and less pixelated.


Motorola has been notorious for including outdated processors in their new gen smartphones and selling at exorbitant prices.

This time around, the Motorola One Power comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor which is a budget powerhouse.

Accompanied with 4GB of RAM, this device can handle multitasking very well. Games like PUBG plays smoothly and notably, without any overheating.


This device has a dual rear camera setup which constitutes of a 16MP main unit and a supplementary 5MP depth sensor for that accurate portrait mode clicks.

The front 12MP shooter lets you take good quality selfies even under low lighting conditions.

The rear camera supports 4K recording and even supports 1080p recording at 60 fps.


One of the main USP of this device is that it comes under the Android One programme.

This means that you get the stock Android experience just as on Google’s own hardware, the Pixel phones and assured software updates up to two years.


As the name suggests, the Motorola One Power is indeed a powerhouse.

Powered by a massive 5000 mAh battery, this device will last easily over two days of moderate to heavy usage, especially with the pure stock Android OS.

The company bundles the fast charger with the box always and this will let you charge the device faster than from a normal charger or from a powerbank.


It seems Motorola has got it right this time around.

With a great display on a well built chassis, powered by a powerful processor, the Motorola One power ticks almost all the right boxes for a phone priced under Rs.16,000.

The long lasting battery makes this a media consumption device without having to worry about the device getting turned off amidst your favourite show.




Great display


Moto action gestures


Notched display might not be everyone’s cup of tea


Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 Oreo
Internal Memory64 GB
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 636
Camera16MP + 5MP Rear, 12MP Front
Battery5000 mAh
Display6.2 inch (1080 x 2246 )18.7:9

7. Honor 8X

Android One device
Best Design Pick
  • 19:9 immersive notch display
  • AI integration across the system
  • Excellent battery life

The all-new Honor 8X is the latest mid-range Android smartphone from Huawei that comes with some noteworthy features rivalling the likes of Asus and Xiaomi.

This slim and elegantly crafted smartphone is perhaps the best looking device that you can purchase under a budget of Rs.15,000 in the Indian market.

Design and Build Quality

Honor phones are known to be stylish and sleek. The Honor 8X features a glass back that reflects light off from it in a distinct style.

The outer shell cover is metallic and it makes the chassis feel much more durable and tough.

The device, despite its budget pricing, is very well built and looks like a premium flagship phone.

The full view display with really narrow bezels makes the front of this phone to look like an endless slab of a display.

The back glass on this device is intrinsically designed with patterns that is only visible when light strikes the surface.

However, having glass on both the sides has its own problems. If the phone drops from your hand, there is a chance of glass breakage that wouldn’t end well with the pocket.


The Honor 8X features a large 6.5-inch LCD display that has a full HD+ resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels.

The brightness levels are excellent, so does the colour reproduction and contrast ratio. Covered by the 2.5D glass up front, the display certainly looks vivid and seamlessly integrated with the chassis.

The bezels on the sides of this 6.5-inch display are thin and unobstructive to the seamless viewing experience.

This 19:9 aspect ratio display with the notch up top gives this phone an impressive screen to body ratio of about 91%, which is quite unheard of in its segment.

The colours look very punchier straight out of the box. If you are a fan of a more natural colour tone, there is an option to adjust the colour profile built right into the EMUI skin.

Processor and Performance

The Honor 8x is powered by the latest HiSilicon Kirin 710 processor which is comparable with the Snapdragon 660.

This SoC which is built based on the 12nm architecture ensures excellent battery life and performance optimizations to the phone.

Daily apps and games run buttery smooth, thanks to the 6GB RAM and the ample 64GB storage that comes on board.

Supported by the patented turbo GPU technology from Huawei, the graphical performance of 8x is much more improved and refined than its predecessors.


Honor has been banking on its AI prowess a lot. The company has integrated AI not only to the camera app, but system-wide implementations are expected to hit more devices soon.

The rear dual camera houses a 20MP shooter accompanied by a 2MP depth-sensing camera for accurate portrait effects.

However, the quality of photos from these cameras pale in comparison with other competitors such as Mi A2 and even Realme 2 Pro.

The 16MP front camera is capable of taking some excellent snaps in good lighting conditions.

Talking about the video, even though the chipset inside supports 4K, the camera app limits the recording to a maximum resolution of full HD.

Additionally, there is no Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS), which makes the videos extremely shaky.

EMUI and Battery Life

Emotion UI is a custom skin from Huawei that has some nice tricks up its sleeve. The Honor 8X comes with the EMUI 8.0 on top of Android Oreo 8.1.

EMUI adds a lot of useful features such as ride mode and game mode that enhances the overall usability of this device.

What’s powering the Honor 8X inside is a 3750 mAh Li-ion battery. On our tests, the battery lasted easily for a day, thanks to the power efficient Kirin 710 processor.

Even with the need to push pixels on to a large 6.5-inch full HD+ display, this phone gets an average screen on time of about 10 hours.

If you’re a casual user, this phone will last for 2 days on a single charge comfortably.

Depending on your usage pattern, the battery life may vary from time to time, so take our words for it with a pinch of salt.


If you’re interested in an elegant looking smartphone with a notch design under Rs.15,000, the Honor 8X is your best bet.

This device has got the looks of a premium flagship smartphone and offer decent performance along with a gorgeous 19:9 display and excellent battery life.


Elegant glass back design


Immersive notch display


Feature-rich EMUI 8.0




Average camera quality


Operating SystemAndroid Oreo
Internal Memory64 GB
ProcessorHisilicon Kirin 710 Octacore
Camera20MP + 2MP Rear, 20MP Front
Display6.5 – inch  FHD+ 2340 x 1080 pixels

There concludes our list of the best upper mid range smartphones under Rs.20,000.

By no means, this is a complete exhaustive guide, but we believe this would help you to start making up your mind by providing some cues.

Don’t worry, the pain is real and we all know it.

Take your time and make your mind.

Meanwhile, don’t hesitate to check out our best smartphones list under every possible budget category on our website.

All the best for your next smartphone and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more such awesome buying guides.