Gone are the times when one had to spend tens of thousands of rupees to get a powerful smartphone with the latest and greatest features. The rise of Chinese smartphone companies and the competition they created in the industry have brought devices with incredible features at extremely affordable prices.
And with online retailers holding massive price drops during festivals, this Diwali seems to be the perfect time to grab a new smartphone for 2019. That said, this list is just a helpful guide to make sure you spend your money in the right place.
6GB RAM + 64GB Storage – Rs 14,999
6GB + 128GB – Rs 15,999
8GB + 256GB – Rs 18,999
Xiaomi’s Poco F1 was dubbed a flagship killer when it released in August 2018, and even more than a year later, it remains as the best value phone that money can buy, especially since retailers are now selling it at just Rs 14,999 for the base variant that comes with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. The snapdragon 845 chip inside is far more powerful than any midrange chip offered in smartphones, and the Adreno 630 GPU crushes any games thrown at it.
The phone does have a rather large notch and bottom chin with a polycarbonate back, but if you can look past that, the 6.18-inch FHD+ display is beautiful, and the notch houses a second speaker and a secure IR face unlock, features that are unheard of at this price point. The substantial 4000 mAh battery will last for an entire day on a single charge, and the dual rear camera is more than capable of casual photographers. If you've got around Rs 15,000 as your budget, then this is the phone to buy, unless it's outdated design alone is a dealbreaker for you.
4GB RAM + 64GB Storage – 11,999
6GB RAM /64GB Storage – 12,999
The Honor Play is Huawei's gaming-focused smartphone released around a year ago. Since then, it has had a significant price drop, presently retailing at about Rs 11,999 for the base model with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. The internal processor is Huawei's last generation flagship HiSilicon Kirin 970 AI, which, although it isn't as fast as Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845, is much faster than the other chips at this price point, powering through games and productivity tasks without breaking a sweat.
The phone's display is a 6.3 inch FHD+ LCD panel with a notch, and the device unlocks with a fingerprint scanner on the rear of the all-metal unibody. The rear 16MP primary sensors with a secondary 2MP depth sensor and supports 4K video recording with electronic image stabilization. The 3750 mAh battery is not the largest in the segment but pulls the phone through a day of use with a single charge.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro
6GB RAM + 64GB storage – Rs 14,999
6GB RAM + 128GB storage – Rs 15,999
8GB RAM + 128GB storage – Rs 17,999
The Redmi Note 8 Pro is the latest offering from Xiaomi in its mid-range category, with the base variant starting at Rs 14,999. The device looks and feels premium, with a dot-notch display, and Gorilla glass covering the massive 6.53 inch FHD+ LCD display (which supports HDR content) and the back of the device, supported by a sturdy plastic frame that doesn't make it look any less polished but adds a layer of protection to the phone.
It is also the first phone in India to come with Amazon's Alexa built-in and is powered by the gaming-oriented Mediatek Helio G90T chip, which isn't as powerful as it's Qualcomm counterpart, but most users wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
The Redmi Note 8 Pro comes with an 18W USB C fast charger, and a huge 4500 mAh battery, enough to get you through a day and a half of medium to heavy usage on a single charge. The rear camera is a quad-camera setup with a 64MP sensor from Samsung that is capable of native pixel binning, which should help in capturing very high-resolution shots during the day and brighter images with reduced noise under low light conditions.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro
4GB RAM + 64GB Storage – Rs 11,999
6GB RAM + 64GB Storage – Rs 13,999
6GB RAM + 128GB Storage – Rs 14,999
Although it has been succeeded by the Note 8 Pro, the Redmi Note 7 Pro is still an extremely capable smartphone that can hold it's own in the sub Rs 15,000 segment. The phone sports a 6.3-inch FHD+ dot notch display with Gorilla Glass 5, and a rear fingerprint sensor. The Snapdragon 675 SoC is still a powerful mid-range chip, while the 4000 mAh battery is more than sufficient for a day's use on a single charge. The device has a 48MP dual-camera system with the Sony IMX586 camera sensor that is capable of taking fairly good pictures under most lighting conditions.
Nokia 6.1 Plus
4GB RAM + 64GB Storage– Rs 11,999
6GB RAM + 64GB Storage – Rs 14,999
Nokia 6.1 Plus was not specced to the best at the time of its release, and now it's even more outdated in terms of pure performance. However, the device has two features in its favor that for many people might just make it their go-to choice. The phone comes under the Android One program, which ensures immediate updates from google before they reach any other non-android one device for at least another year. This also means that the phone comes with a clean android software experience with negligible bloatware and no UI skin that forces the user to see ads with every app install (looking at you MIUI).
The phone also has the excellent build quality, with the glass back and aluminium frame giving it a very premium feel that doesn't use any outlandish design choices yet stands out in a crowd. The device has a 5.8 inch FHD+ LCD notched display that, because of it's smaller form factor, will appeal to a lot of smartphone users that have normal to smaller sized hands and want to use their phone with a single hand. On the inside is a Snapdragon 636, a decent chip that is efficient in multitasking, everyday work, and even gaming, but the 3060 mAh battery capacity is rather unimpressive.
The rear dual-camera setup has a 16MP primary sensor with a 5MP monochrome sensor. For the most part, this is still a very good smartphone, which at Rs 11,999 for the base model is hard to beat.