This list is for those with deep pockets who are willing to splurge close to 50K on a smartphone. It would be fair to expect some classy designs, top of the line features and processing power, along with ample storage. Some may even expect great value for money in this segment, and we have them covered as well. So let's look at your best options this month under Rs 50,000.
Best phones to buy under Rs 50,000 in India
We recently reviewed the OnePlus 8 and found it to be a much better phone than it seemed on paper. Though it cannot match the value for money offered by its predecessor OnePlus 7T (Review) (which is also a great option to consider), it does offer plenty of all-round goodness. The design and feel are excellent and so is the display quality. The performance of the device is as good as it gets currently, and the battery life has improved. Oh, and the OnePlus 8 is 5G ready too.
To shed some light on its specifications, the OnePlus 8 is powered by Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 865 SoC and you get 6 GB and 8 GB RAM options with 128 GB internal storage. There's a 12 GB RAM variant too with 256 GB storage, but I wouldn't recommend that at its current price. The phone has an excellent 6.55-inch Fluid AMOLED display with a resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels and 90 Hz refresh rate with Corning 3D Gorilla Glass protection, that also extends to its glass back. The phone also supports Dolby Atmos along with AptX, AptX HD and LDAC codecs for better throughput over Bluetooth.
The photography department isn't as versatile as its predecessor but you still get three cameras at the back with a more than decent 48 MP primary camera with OIS (optical image stabilisation) that captures some crisp shots in good to average lighting. You also get a 16 MP ultra-wide camera that's better than most of its kind, and there's a 2 MP macro camera that could have been replaced with something better. The 16 MP punch-hole selfie camera does a good job. The battery capacity has been bumped up to 4,300 mAh and does last in excess of 30 hours on a single charge. A 30W Warp charger gets it fully charged in just over an hour. The OnePlus 8 runs Android 10 with OxygenOS 10 on top, arguably the best Android UI around.
OnePlus 8 price in India: Rs 41,999 for 6 GB RAM/ 128 GB storage; Rs 44,999 for 8 GB RAM/ 128 GB storage
OnePlus 7 Pro/ OnePlus 7T Pro
If you do not care about 5G yet or the extra performance boost that the Snapdragon 865 delivers, and would rather trade them for better cameras, you should strongly consider the Pro variants of OnePlus from previous generations that sell in the same price range or lower. I am talking about OnePlus 7 Pro (Review) or 7T Pro (Review) with 8 GB RAM and 256 GB storage. You get a 6.67-inch higher resolution 1440p Fluid AMOLED display with a 90 Hz refresh rate and HDR10+ support on each of those phones. There's a 16 MP camera hosted on a pop-up mechanism for selfies. The design is equally stylish with a metal frame and a glass body protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5 at the front and back.
You get a triple camera setup comprising of a 48 MP primary camera with OIS, a 16 MP ultrawide camera with autofocus and an 8MP telephoto camera with OIS that gives you 3X optical zoom. The cameras manage to shoot some impressive images in different modes and lighting conditions. The OnePlus 7 Pro and 7T Pro are powered by Qualcomm's previous flagships Snapdragon 855 and 855+ chips respectively. Their 4,000 and 4,085 mAh batteries last for a day of moderate usage comfortably. They too run Android 10 with OxygenOS 10 on top.
OnePlus 7T Pro. Image: tech2/Abhijit Dey
OnePlus 7 Pro price in India: Rs 42,999 for 8 GB RAM/ 256 GB storage
Moving away from OnePlus, if you still want the power of the Snapdragon 865 chip but at the significantly lower cost, you have iQOO 3 (Review) from the Vivo sub-brand. It flaunts an equally impressive spec-sheet, starting with the latest Qualcomm flagship SoC. You get 8 GB RAM with 128 GB and 256 GB internal storage options for a good Rs 7,000 to Rs 10,000 cheaper than the OnePlus 8. The iQOO 3 packs a sharp 6.44-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED screen with HDR10+ support and Corning Gorilla Glass 6 on top, but without the 90 Hz refresh rate feature.
The camera department is more versatile here with a quad camera setup at the back that has a combination of 48 MP primary camera with PDAF, 13 MP ultrawide camera with autofocus, 13 MP telephoto camera that provides 2X optical zoom and a 2MP depth sensor. It has a 16 MP punch-hole selfie camera too. Its 4,400 mAh battery does a good job of keeping it powered for over a day, and the company also bundles a 55W fast charger to recharge it in double quick time. The iQOO 3 runs Android 10 with their custom UI on top.
A 5G variant of this phone with 12 GB RAM and 256 GB internal storage is also available under 45K, just in case you are interested in being extra future-proof.
iQOO 3 price in India: Rs 34,990 for 8 GB RAM/ 128 GB storage; Rs 37,990 for 8 GB RAM/ 256 GB storage. iQOO 3 (5G) price in India: Rs 44,990 for 12 GB RAM/ 256 GB storage
Non-Chinese brand Smartphones under Rs 50,000 in India
Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite
Samsung is looking to compete hard in this segment too, courtesy of a new member of their flagship S series, the Galaxy S10 Lite (Review). The phone has a large 6.7-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED Plus Infinity-O display that supports HDR10+. Despite the Lite suffix in the name, Samsung has opted for a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chip at its heart. It is accompanied by 8 GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage that can be expanded further using a microSD card. You also get a 512 GB internal storage variant of this smartphone, in case you don't want to bother with a memory card.
Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite
Photography department consists of a 48MP primary camera with OIS, a 12MP ultrawide camera and a 5MP dedicated macro camera. There's a 32MP camera at the front to have the selfie enthusiasts interested. Another key aspect of this phone is its 4,500 mAh battery that lasts well over a day of moderate usage, and the bundled fast charger does a good job of juicing it up quickly. The Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite runs Android 10 with One UI on top.
Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite price in India: Rs 42,999 for 8 GB RAM/ 128 GB storage; Rs 47,999 for 8 GB RAM/ 512 GB storage
Apple iPhone SE (2020)
I know you have been waiting for this one. The long rumoured successor to the iPhone SE is finally a reality, and it's called, well, iPhone SE. Let's add 2020 at the end to differentiate it from its predecessor, though the two have very little in common, except a competitive price tag. The new SE borrows its looks and a lot of specifications from the iPhone 8, except the processor, which is the same as that on all iPhone 11 series phones. It is powered by Apple's latest A13 Bionic chip. So think of it as an Apple iPhone 8 with a faster processor.
It has a 4.7-inch Retina LCD display with the typical 326 PPI pixel density. You get Apple's ever reliable 12 MP camera at the back with OIS and a 7 MP selfie camera up front. The phone is IP67 rated dust and water resistant and runs iOS 13; it is very much upgradable to the recently announced iOS 14. You get three storage variants of the new Apple iPhone SE and two of them are priced within our budget. Now with a new iPhone selling in this budget, a lot of potential Android buyers may think of switching their loyalties to get a taste of the forbidden fruit.
Apple iPhone SE (2020) price in India: Rs 42,500 for 64 GB storage; Rs 47,800 for 128 GB storage