BEST PHONES UNDER RS 20,000 (MARCH 2019)


If you are looking for a new feature-rich phone in a modest budget, we have already covered the best under Rs 10,000 and the best under Rs 15,000 earlier this month. You may want to have a look at those. Right now, it’s time to move on to the next price slab of Rs 20,000 and shortlist the five best phones that are worth your money in that budget this March. Let’s jump straight into the action.

Best phones under Rs 20,000 in India

Poco F1

Let us start with the best performer of the lot, the Poco F1. Xiaomi released its new sub-brand Poco last year and equipped its first handset with a flagship Snapdragon 845 SoC. The price of the base variant has dropped further, making it the only smartphone with a Snapdragon 845 under Rs 20,000. Needless to say, it offers great value for money. But it is not perfect in every aspect. For instance, the design is fairly generic and the plastic body won’t please style-conscious users. But if you are willing to look past that, there’s ample on offer. The 12 MP + 5 MP dual camera setup at the back does a good job in decent lighting. It runs Android Oreo 8.1 with a Poco launcher, which is a definite improvement over MIUI.


Other than Qualcomm’s flagship SoC, the base variant of the phone comes bundled with 6 GB RAM and 64 GB storage. The storage can be further expanded up to 256 GB using a microSD card. You get a bright, 6.2-inch Full HD+ notched display and a 4000 mAh battery that provides sufficient juice for a day’s usage. If you are a performance buff or a gamer who isn’t too picky about design or camera output, the Poco F1 is the right choice for you. It lets you play PUBG and other popular games smoothly with high settings in this budget.

Poco F1 price in India: Rs 19,999 6GB RAM/64GB storage

Redmi Note 7 Pro

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 is pleasing to the eye and protected against scratches by Gorilla Glass 5 at the front as well as at the back. A 6.3-inch Full HD+ display with a drop notch makes an appearance too. Though this handset isn’t powered by a Snapdragon 845 SoC, it has a fairly powerful new Snapdragon 675 SoC that is no slouch in gaming either. You get the 6 GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage variant in this budget. The 4,000 mAh battery lasts a day of standard usage comfortably.

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 from other brands, it uses pixel binning technology that combines details from 4 pixels into one that provides more light data and helps retain finer detail in captured images. It is arguably the best phone for low light photography in this budget. There’s a 5 MP depth-sensing camera too for bokeh shots and a 13 MP AI assisted front camera for selfies. On the OS front, the new Xiaomi device runs the latest Android Pie out of the box with a MIUI 10 layer on top.

Redmi Note 7 Pro price in India: Rs 16,999 for 6 GB RAM/128 GB storage

Realme 2 Pro

The Realme 2 Pro retains its place in our list. This phone is a great combination of specifications and features at a very aggressive price. While we included its mid variant in our list of phones under 15K, you can get its top-end variant in this budget. This phone is powered by a Snapdragon 660 SoC but loaded with 8 GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage that can be expanded further. That makes multitasking a breeze.

Just like the Redmi Note 7 Pro, this too has a 6.3-inch full HD+ display with a tiny drop-sized notch. The 16MP + 2MP dual rear camera setup is quite competent in most conditions but just about acceptable in low light. A 3,500mAh battery keeps it powered for a day of moderate usage. It runs Android Oreo 8.1 with a ColorOS 5.2 layer on top. This is perhaps the only phone that offers 8GB RAM in this price bracket currently. And with a Rs 2,000 price drop, the deal is even more attractive than before.

Realme 2 Pro price in India: Rs 15,990 8 GB RAM/128 GB storage

Oppo K1

The Oppo K1 is another good looking phone that you may want to consider. This doesn’t have the processing power of the Xiaomi devices or a high amount of RAM like the Realme but the K1 is slimmer and lighter than all the phones listed here, and its ‘3D gradient body’ is bound to grab attention. It has a slightly larger 6.4-inch Full HD+ AMOLED screen with a drop-sized notch. The screen is protected by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 5. This phone too is powered by a Snapdragon 660 SoC and comes with a modest but acceptable 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage that can be expanded further.

Another set of people who would like this phone are selfie enthusiasts courtesy of its 25MP front camera. The 16MP + 2MP rear cameras do a decent job too. Like some of the flagship phones these days (eg. OnePlus 6T), the Oppo K1 has an in-display fingerprint scanner, a feature that looks cool but not something I am a fan of yet. But if you are an early adopter of newer technology, this is perhaps the cheapest phone with an in-display fingerprint scanner available in India. The 3,600 mAh battery should keep the phone running for a day before you go looking for a charger.

Oppo K1 price in India: Rs 16,990 for 4 GB RAM/64 GB storage

Honor Play

Huawei’s sub-brand, Honor had ideas similar to Xiaomi when they released the Honor Play with their then flagship Kirin 970 SoC under Rs 20,000. The performance is comparable to a  Snapdragon 845 in most areas, though it doesn’t go past it. Unlike the Poco F1, the Honor Play has a metal (Aluminium) body and elegant design. It has a slightly larger 6.3-inch Full HD+ notched display, 3750 mAh battery and runs Android Oreo 8.1 with EMUI 8.2 on top.

Photography is handled by 16MP + 2MP dual rear cameras, while there’s a 16MP sensor at the front for selfies. It comes with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB internal storage that can be expanded further with a microSD card. The Kirin 970 chip along with Huawei’s GPU Turbo technology provides enough processing muscle in gaming and other resource-intensive tasks. The price of the phone has just dropped to Rs 14,999 on Amazon and wouldn’t be a bad idea for mobile gamers to grab one before the stocks run out or the price goes up again.

Honor Play price in India: Rs 14,999 4 GB RAM/64 GB storage


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