We have already shortlisted the best phones under Rs 10,000 and Rs 15,000 this month. It's time to loosen the purse a bit more and move into the upper half of the midrange category.
The list of phones under Rs 20,000 this month has undergone a massive change from the one that we put up last quarter, courtesy of new arrivals and price cuts. Let's look at the best you can get in this budget.
Best phones under Rs 20,000 in India
The Poco F1 in Rosso Red. Image Twitter/ Poco India
As if the Poco F1 (Review) wasn't already offering great value for money at Rs 19,999, Xiaomi has decided to cut its price further by 10 percent and make the deal even sweeter. It is powered by the last generation Qualcomm flagship Snapdragon 845 SoC and we have included the 6 GB RAM + 64 GB storage variant in this list. The storage can be further expanded up to 256 GB using a microSD card. This phone is not meant for the style conscious users but its performance is better than anything you can get in this budget.
In addition to that, the 12 MP + 5 MP dual camera setup at the back does a good job in decent lighting. The phone now runs Android 9 Pie. You also get a bright 6.2-inch Full HD+ notched display and a 4,000 mAh battery that provides sufficient juice for a day's usage. If you are a performance buff or a gamer who doesn't overly care about design or camera output, the Poco F1 is one device that lets you play PUBG and other popular games smoothly with high settings well under Rs 20,000.
Poco F1 price in India: Rs 17,999 for 6 GB RAM/64 GB storage
Redmi Note 7 Pro
The highlight of the Redmi Note 7: The 48 MP primary camera along with a 5 MP depth sensor PS. You may mind the camera bump though. Image: tech2/Shomik
Where the Poco F1 lacks in style, the Redmi Note 7 Pro more than makes up for it on that front and more. The glass-clad Redmi Note 7 Pro (Review) is pleasing to the eye and protected against scratches by Gorilla Glass 5 at the front as well as at the back. You also get a 6.3-inch Full HD+ display with a drop notch. Though this handset isn't powered by a Snapdragon 845 SoC, it has a fairly powerful Snapdragon 675 SoC that is a good all-round chip. You get the 6 GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage variant in this budget. Just like the Poco F1, this too has a 4,000 mAh battery that easily lasts over a day of moderate usage.
Another major talking point of the Redmi Note 7 Pro is its 48 MP rear camera with a Sony IMX586 sensor. Like some of the flagship devices these days, it uses pixel binning that combines information from four pixels into one to provide more light data and retain finer details in captured images. This Xiaomi device runs the latest Android 9 Pie out of the box with MIUI 10 layer on top. Long story short, it ticks most of the important boxes in this budget.
Redmi Note 7 Pro price in India: Rs 16,999 for 6 GB RAM/128 GB storage
Realme 3 Pro
The Realme 3 Pro. Image: tech2
Just like the Redmi Note 7 Pro, Realme's latest handset is another stylish phone that offers a lot of all-round goodness. The curved edges and dual tone back make the Realme 3 Pro (Review) look classy and the wavy pattern at the back makes it eye-catching and unique. There is a layer of Gorilla Glass 5 on the 6.3-inch Full HD+ screen to protect it from scratches. It is powered by a Snapdragon 710 chip with a slightly more powerful GPU than the one found on the Redmi Note 7. The 16 MP rear camera is fitted with a Sony IMX519 sensor, the same one that you get on a OnePlus 6T. There's a 5 MP depth sensing secondary camera and 25 MP front shooter for selfies. All the cameras do a good job in varied lighting conditions
The Realme 3 Pro has a 4,045 mAh battery that lasts reasonably long. And in case it is running low at a crucial time, the company has bundled a 20W VOOC quick charger in the bundle. It charges the battery from 0 to 100 in under 75 minutes and if you are in a hurry, you can charge a third of it in just 20 minutes. ColorOS 6.0 based on Android 9 Pie is a refreshing change. The new design language and colour schemes along with the presence of an app drawer make the UI look cleaner and a lot less clunky as compared to its previous versions.
Realme 3 Pro price in India: Rs 16,999 for 6 GB RAM/128 GB storage
Nokia 8.1 (Review) has received a major price cut in recent weeks and its 4 GB RAM + 64 GB storage variant now sells well under Rs 20,000, and that's a pretty good deal. The storage can be expanded further by 400 GB with a microSD card. The phone has the trademark Nokia metal and glass design with dual-tone anodised metal frame that users loved in the Nokia 7 Plus. It has a sharp 6.18-inch Full HD+ notched display that's HDR10 compliant. The colour reproduction is excellent and the sunlight legibility is pretty good too.
Nokia 8.1. Image: Nokia
Just like the Realme 3 Pro, the Nokia 8.1 is powered by Qualcomm's upper mid-range Snapdragon 710 chipset which is a good choice in this segment. While the Realme offers 50 percent extra RAM and double the storage, this Nokia device trumps it on design and camera front.
A 12 MP + 13 MP dual camera setup at the back boasts of Zeiss optics, dual pixel auto-focus and optical image stabilisation. The cameras produce some vibrant photos with the right amount of sharpness and detail. The Live Bokeh (portrait) mode here saves the depth data and lets you tweak the photos in Google Photos app after you shoot them. Like most Nokia phones these days, the 8.1 is also a part of the Android One program. The phone runs Android 9 Pie with stock Android UI and one can expect regular OS and security updates till the end of 2020 at least.
Nokia 8.1 price in India: Rs 18,599 for the 4 GB RAM/64 GB storage variant
Samsung Galaxy A50
The refracting back on the Samsung Galaxy A50. Image: tech2
The Samsung Galaxy A50 (Review) is a solid mid-range phone in terms of display, design, features and performance. You get one of the best displays in this budget with the 6.4-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED screen with a tiny drop notch, or Infinity U display as the company likes to call it. It's not just sharp but the colour accuracy is excellent too. The phone is powered by Samsung's new mid-range Exynos 9610 SoC and you get 4 GB RAM and 64 GB (expandable) storage. This too has a 4,000 mAh battery that lasts over a day of moderate usage.
You get the latest Android 9 Pie OS with Samsung's new OneUI on top, which is a big improvement over its predecessor, Experience UI. The Galaxy A50 boasts of a triple-camera setup that includes a 25 MP primary sensor, an 8 MP ultra-wide lens and a 5 MP depth sensor. The ultra-wide lens on the phone offers a 123-degree field of view. The camera output is pretty good for the segment but it would be foolish to expect flagship S-series level performance in this budget. All and all, Galaxy A50 is a solid offering from Samsung under Rs 20,000.
Samsung Galaxy A50 price in India: Rs 18,490 for 4 GB RAM/64 GB storage
Vivo V15 (Review) makes it to our list, courtesy of some impressive features like a notchless display, a pop-up selfie camera and triple cameras at the back. Less than a month ago, these features were limited to phones priced way beyond this budget and it's a pleasant surprise to find one with all of those under 20K. The Vivo V15 sports a 6.53-inch Full HD+ display with an aspect ratio of 19.5:9 and protected by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 5. It is powered by a capable MediaTek Helio P70 SoC with 6 GB RAM and 64 GB expandable storage.
The camera department is as interesting as the screen. There is a triple camera setup at the rear with a combination of 24 MP f/1.8 primary sensor with dual pixel auto-focus, an 8 MP 13 mm ultrawide lens and a 5 MP depth sensor. Last but by no means the least, a 32 MP pop-up selfie camera. The cameras do a pretty job for this segment in most lighting conditions, and selfie enthusiasts will particularly enjoy the front camera on this phone. There's a 4,000 mAh battery that keeps the phone running for over a day of moderate usage. The phone runs Android 9 Pie with FunTouch OS 9 layer on top.
Vivo V15 price in India: Rs 19,990 6 GB RAM/64 GB storage variant