A budget of Rs 20,000 provides you with extra processing muscle in smartphones for day-to-day tasks as well as gaming, 64 MP cameras, sharp displays, solid battery backup and more. Some even offer higher megapixel front cameras for selfie enthusiasts, and other interesting features. Let's go ahead and see what we have for you this time. Unfortunately, some of these phones may not be available at all pin codes. Also, a lot of these companies have caught the flash sales virus and are often available only for a few hours every week. So, take these factors into account before choosing one.
Best phones to buy under Rs 20,000 in India
The elusive Poco X2 (Review) is finally in stock (at least at the time of writing). It is an excellent all-round phone for this price in terms of features and performance. It has a 6.67-inch Full HD+ display with an elongated punch-hole for 20 MP + 2 MP dual selfie cameras. The screen has a 120 Hz refresh rate; a feature that is unheard of in this segment. The screen is protected by a layer of Gorilla Glass 5, and so is the glass back. The phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G chip that is quite powerful and good for gaming too. You get 6 GB RAM and 128 GB of internal storage here.
The Poco X2 has a quad-camera combination at the back with a 64 MP primary camera, an 8 MP ultra-wide snapper, 2 MP macro camera and a 2 MP depth sensor. The image quality is quite impressive for the segment. This phone has a 4,500 mAh battery that can go on for a day and a half of moderate usage. And the bundled 27W fast charger juices it up fully within 75 minutes, which is quite good. The phone runs Android 10 with MIUI 11 on top.
Poco X2 price in India: Rs 18,499 for 6 GB RAM/128 GB storage
Realme X2 (First impressions) manages to hold on to its position in our sub-20K list. While its 64 MP camera may have been the main attraction at launch, there's a lot more to it than just that. This phone too is powered by a Snapdragon 730G chip with 6 GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage that can be expanded further with a microSD card. This phone launched with Android Pie and Color OS 6.0 UI, but an Android 10 update with the new Realme UI has already started rolling out.
The Realme X2 has a quad-camera setup at the back consisting of a 64 MP primary camera, an 8 MP ultra-wide shooter, 2MP dedicated macro camera and a 2 MP depth sensor. The main camera supports pixel binning and captures some impressive 16 MP images in varied lighting conditions, including low light. The images have a good amount of detail along with natural colours. There's a 32 MP camera upfront for selfies and video calls.
Other key features of the Realme X2 include an elegant design with a glass back protected by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 5. And not to forget, its sharp 6.4-inch Super AMOLED Full HD+ display, again with Gorilla Glass 5 protection and an in-display fingerprint scanner. Its 4,000 mAh battery keeps the phone powered for over a day of moderate usage. But what's even better is the bundled 30W VOOC 4.0 fast charger that takes the battery from 0 to 100 percent in just over an hour.
Realme X2 price in India: Rs 19,999 for 6 GB RAM/128 GB storage
Redmi Note 9 Pro/ Pro Max
Redmi Note 9 Pro and Note 9 Pro Max (Review) are almost identical except for a couple of variations. The Pro has a 48 MP primary camera and a 16 MP selfie camera, while the Max variant flaunts a 64 MP primary shooter and a 32 MP front camera for selfies and video calls. Also, the former comes with a 18W fast charger, and the company has included a 33W fast charger in the bundle with the latter. The respective primary cameras are accompanied by an 8 MP ultra-wide camera, 5 MP macro camera and a 2 MP depth sensor. The camera performance of the Max is superior.
Redmi Note 9 Pro and Pro Max. Image: Anirudh Regidi
The phones have large 6.67-inch Full HD+ displays that can get up to 450 nits bright and are protected against scratches by Corning Gorilla Glass 5. The Redmi Note 9 Pro series is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 720 SoC with 6 GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage that can be expanded further with a microSD card. They have a 5020 mAh battery each that lasts close to a couple of days of moderate usage. The phones run Android 10 with MIUI 11.
Redmi Note 9 Pro price in India: Rs 16,999 for 6 GB RAM/128 GB storage;
Redmi Note 9 Pro Max price in India: Rs 18,499 for 6 GB RAM/128 GB storage
Motorola One Fusion+
The Motorola One Fusion+ should have been way more popular than it currently is. It is another phone with a great feature list in this segment, and the performance to match. Just like the Realme X2 and Poco X2, this phone too is powered by a Snapdragon 730G chip and is accompanied by 6 GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage. It has a 6.5-inch Full HD+ all-screen display with HDR10 support. There is no notch or cut-out on the screen and the 20MP front camera is hosted on a motorised popup mechanism.
Motorola One Fusion+
The rear camera department comprises a 64 MP primary camera, 8 MP ultrawide shooter, 5 MP macro camera and 2 MP depth sensor. Battery backup is also quite solid with a 5,000 mAh battery keeping the phone powered comfortably for over a day and a half of moderate usage. And the company has also bundled an 18-watt turbo charger to charge it quickly. It runs Android 10, and like most Motorola phones, you get a near-stock Android UI.
Motorola One Fusion+ price in India: Rs 17,499 for 6 GB RAM/128 GB storage
Samsung Galaxy M21/M31
The Samsung Galaxy M21 offers good value for money in addition to brand value. The striking features of this phone are its sharp 6.4-inch sAMOLED Full HD+ display with a drop notch and a mammoth 6,000 mAh battery that can go on for two full days of moderate usage. It offers three cameras at the back with a 48 MP primary shooter, 8 MP ultrawide camera and 5 MP depth sensor. Not to forget the 20 MP selfie camera at the front.
The Samsung Galaxy M21 is powered by an Exynos 9611 SoC, and you can purchase its 6 GB RAM and 128 GB storage variant comfortably within this budget. The phone runs Android 10 with Samsung's One UI on top. The Samsung Galaxy M31 (Review) is identical to the M21 on almost all counts except the camera department. You get four cameras instead of three on the M31 with a combination of 64 MP primary camera, 8 MP ultra-wide, 5 MP macro and 5 MP depth sensor. The front camera has been bumped up to 32 MP as well.
Samsung Galaxy M21 price in India: Rs 15,999 for 6 GB RAM/128 GB storage
Samsung Galaxy M31 price in India: Rs 17,499 for 6 GB RAM/128 GB storage