If there’s a price segment that drives smartphone volumes in India, it is the one between Rs 7,000 to Rs 15,000. In a market like India where feature phones still dominate, most people who graduate to smartphones want something affordable, but with maximum features. Budget smartphones have evolved drastically in India and 2017 is a solid example of this.
Users will no longer accept old school design or lower specifications just because they are considering a budget device. Most phones in this segment have seen their displays get bigger, offer a sturdy performance and a lot more onboard storage. Here’s our list of top budget smartphones in this price band. Once again we are only including phones the indianexpress.com team reviewed during the course of 2017.
The best budget phone of 2017: Xiaomi Redmi Note 4
The best-selling smartphone for 2017, Redmi Note 4 is the device that helped Xiaomi become the number one smartphone brand in the country, tied with Samsung. Redmi Note 4 stands out for its reliable performance and the fact that it came in three different storage variants, which included a 4GB RAM and 64GB option for Rs 12,999.
Overall, Redmi Note 4 wins because it is most popular phone in the category, which is backed up by great performance, long battery life and a metal unibody design that looks stylish. On the camera front though, the Redmi series still has scope for improvement. Read our review of the Redmi Note 4 here
Runner up in the budget category: Nokia 6
Nokia branded phones are back in the market, and Nokia 6 was the first phone to officially launch under the line. HMD Global’s Nokia 6, which went on sale in India mid-August, stood out out for its design, build quality, and overall performance. In our review, we liked the camera performance of the Nokia 6 as well, and it has a battery life that will easily last a day. Read our review of the Nokia 6 smartphone here
Best camera in the under Rs 15,000 range: Xiaomi Mi A1
Dual rear cameras are no longer limited to flagship smartphones. We saw more budget smartphones try and offer this feature in 2017, but Xiaomi’s Mi A1 stood out with the camera performance. The overall specification of the phone might not be different from other devices, especially in the crowded budget market, but the dual rear camera on this phone works really well. The ‘Portrait mode’ delivers some excellent results, especially if one considers that the current price of this phone is Rs 13,999. Read our review of the Xiaomi Mi A1 here
Best smartphone for under Rs 7000: Redmi 4A
Redmi 4A is priced at Rs 5,999 for the 2GB RAM and 16GB variant, and while it had budget specifications, the overall performance of the phone was exceptional for its price. Xiaomi later launched another version of Redmi 4A with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage for Rs 6,999 in August 2017. In our review, we liked said the phone is a value for money device and the overall performance is top notch. Read our review of the Redmi 4A here
Honor 7X is a new launch in the market, but offers all the features one expects in a 2017 phone at budget pricing. It has a 18:9, edge-to-edge display, dual rear cameras (16MP+2MP) with a wide-angle and portrait mode option and is powered by the company Kirin 650 octa-core processor coupled with 4GB RAM. Honor 7X comes in two variants: The 32GB storage version is priced at Rs 12,999 while the 64GB version is at Rs 15,999. The RAM is same on both phones. Read our review of the Honor 7X here
Moto G5 Plus
Moto G5 Plus might have come with a smaller 5.2-inch display this time, but the overall experience made this one of the better budget devices. Priced at Rs 16,999 when it launched, the phone is now retailing for close to Rs 12,900 or so. Moto G5 Plus is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, 12MP dual Pixel camera, and runs stock Android. Read our review of Moto G5 Plus here
Micromax Canvas Infinity
Micromax might no longer be among the top five smartphone manufacturers in India, but the company has not yet given up. Canvas Infinity came with an edge-to-edge display with 18:9 aspect ratio priced at Rs 9,999. The overall display and design on this phone was unique, especially in the Rs 10,000 category and the camera performance was not bad either. Read our review of the Micromax Canvas Infinity here