The competition in the sub-Rs 20,000 segment remains stiff, which is good for the consumer, but choosing the right phone from many options can get confusing. That’s where we come in to shortlist the best of the lot and tell you why you should be buying a particular smartphone. You can always expect more than decent processing power, good cameras, high refresh rate displays, and more in this budget. A couple of good 5G-compliant phones are also available, so let’s start with those two.
Best phones to buy under Rs 20,000 in India
The iQOO Z3 from Vivo’s sub-brand is arguably the best 5G handset in this budget. It has an impressive set of specifications and features, with most of the bases covered. It is powered by Qualcomm’s recent mid-range Snapdragon 768 SoC, with 6 GB RAM and 128 GB of internal storage. The Z3 has a 6.58-inch Full HD+ LCD screen with a 120 Hz refresh rate and HDR10 compliance; it is sharp and smooth. A 16 MP selfie camera is located in a drop-notch at the top of the screen.
Photography is handled by three cameras at the back, starting with a 64 MP primary camera, 8 MP ultrawide shooter, and a 2 MP macro camera. The iQOO Z3 5G runs Android 11 with FunTouch 11 UI on top. The company promises two major Android updates and three years of security updates for this phone, which is great to see in this segment. Battery capacity stands at 4,400 mAh, which is good enough to keep the phone running for well over a day of moderate use. The company bundles a 55 W fast charger to recharge it in double-quick time.
The Realme 8s 5G is another good option if you are looking for an affordable 5G phone. It is powered by a Mediatek Dimensity 810 SoC, and again, you get the 6 GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage variant in this budget. It has a 5,000 mAh battery that lasts for a day and a half of moderate use and supports 33 W fast charging. The company does bundle a fast charger in the package.
You get three cameras at the back: a 64 MP primary camera, a 2 MP macro camera, and a 2 MP depth sensor. You also get a 16 MP selfie camera located in a tiny punch-hole at the top of the screen. The Realme 8s 5G has a 6.5-inch Full HD+ display that can get as high as 600 nits bright. It also has a 90 Hz refresh rate for smooth scrolling incompatible apps. The phone runs Android 11 with Realme UI 2.0 on top.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro and Note 10 Pro Max remain two of the best all-around options in this budget. They are almost identical phones except for the main camera – the Pro has a 64 MP primary camera, while the Max flaunts a 108 MP shooter. The rest of the features are pretty much the same. Each of the primary cameras is accompanied by an 8 MP ultra-wide camera, 5 MP macro camera, and a 2MP depth sensor. Both have a 16 MP front camera to handle selfies and video calls. Camera performance is impressive for the segment for both phones, with the Note 10 Pro Max understandably doing slightly better.
The phones sport large 6.67-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED displays with a rated peak brightness of 1200 nits and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection against scratches. The screens are HDR10-compliant and have a 120 Hz refresh rate: a rare combination of Full HD AMOLED display and high refresh rate in this budget. These Redmi phones are powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 732G SoC, and you get 6 GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage that can be expanded further with a microSD card. Both phones have 5,020 mAh batteries that last over a day and a half of moderate use, with a 33 W fast charger included in the bundle. The phones run Android 11 with MIUI 12.
Poco’s X3 Pro retains its position on this list courtesy of its powerful processor. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 SoC, which is almost flagship-grade. It is accompanied by 6 GB RAM and 128 GB of internal storage. Thus, you have ample processing power for any task you perform on the phone, including gaming at reasonably high settings. This phone, too, has a 6.67-inch Full HD+ display with a 120 Hz refresh rate for smooth scrolling incompatible apps, but you get an LCD screen instead of AMOLED. The screen is protected against scratches by a layer of Gorilla Glass 6.
The Poco X3 Pro has quad cameras at the back consisting of a 48 MP primary camera, 8 MP ultra-wide shooter, 2 MP macro camera, and a 2 MP depth sensor. A small punch-hole at the top of the screen hosts a 20 MP camera for selfies and video calls. The camera quality is good enough for the segment. Its 5,160 mAh battery easily lasts over a day and a half of moderate use. The bundled 33 W fast charger helps juice it up quickly. The phone runs Android 11 with MIUI 12 on top.
The Motorola G60 is a perfect option for those who like large-screen phones or stock Android UI, or both. And that’s not all – this phone, too, has a 108 MP camera at the back, along with an 8 MP ultrawide camera and a 2 MP depth sensor. You get a massive 6.8-inch Full HD+ LCD with HDR10 compliance and a 120 Hz refresh rate. A tiny punch-hole at the top of the screen hosts a 32 MP front camera that interested selfie enthusiasts.
The Moto G60 is powered by a Snapdragon 732G chip and is accompanied by 6 GB RAM and 128 GB internal (expandable) storage. Battery backup is quite solid, with a 6,000 mAh battery keeping the phone powered for around two days of moderate use. It also supports 20 W fast charging with QuickCharge 4. Lastly, stock Android user interface; if you are fond of it, you should strongly consider this phone. The G60 runs Android 11 out of the box.
Like the Redmi Note 10 Pro siblings, Motorola has a G40 model with similar specifications as the G60 but a 64 MP primary camera and a 16 MP selfie camera. The rest of the features are the same. If you have no issues with fewer megapixels, you can save a good 2000 bucks by opting for the G40 over the G60.