Some of the phones in this list carved out a new niche for themselves and made premium smartphone brands alter their course in the Indian market. It’s simply amazing what one can get in this budget today as compared to maybe six months ago. And it’s not just a handset or two but quite a few of them, so much so that I broke into a sweat when I had to choose the best five from the lot.
So let’s see which ones made it to our list of best phones under Rs 30,000 this month. In case you are on a tighter budget, you may want to go through our list of best phones under 20K or check out the best options under Rs 15,000.
Best phones under Rs 30,000 in India
Looks like OnePlus produced surplus stocks of their 6T model and couldn’t clear it before the release of the OnePlus 7 . But that’s not such a bad thing as the phone has received a major price cut. The 8 GB RAM + 128 GB storage variant now sells for just Rs 27,999; a good 5K lower than the 6 GB/128 GB variant of the OnePlus 7. The OnePlus 6T, despite being a generation old, ticks most of the boxes for a high-end device — good design, Qualcomm’s previous flagship Snapdragon 845 SoC, good cameras, ample RAM and storage and a large AMOLED display with a tiny notch. The only thing missing here is a 3.5 mm headphone jack.
The 16 MP + 20 MP dual cameras at the back do a great job in most lighting conditions and are loaded with features. You get optical image stabilisation to compensate for your shaky hands and the phone can shoot super slow-mo HD videos at 480 fps and full HD videos at 240 fps. Its 3,700 mAh battery is an improvement over its predecessor and comfortably lasts over a day of moderate usage. Even better, the bundled Dash charger charges it fully in just an hour or so. The phone runs Oxygen OS based on Android Pie. All things considered, you totally get your money’s worth.
OnePlus 6T price in India: Rs 27,999 for 8 GB RAM/128 GB storage
Asus Zenfone 5Z is another Snapdragon 845 phone priced well under Rs 30,000 in India. At launch, its base variant used to sell for a Rupee under 30K. Now, the top variant is available for Rs 25,999. I am talking about the one with 8 GB RAM and 256 GB storage. It lets you expand the storage further up to 2 TB with a microSD card. The glass and aluminium body makes the phone look elegant and has a premium feel about it. The 6.2-inch Full HD+ notched display is sharp and feels just the right size.
The 12 MP + 8 MP dual rear cameras do an impressive job in most lighting conditions courtesy of f/1.8 bright 24 mm wide angle lens with large pixel size and 4-axis optical image stabilisation. It can also record 4K videos at 30 FPS and slow-motion videos at 1080p and 720p resolution at 120 and 240 FPS respectively. The Asus Zenfone 5Z is a solid all-round phone with premium looks, very good cameras, a very powerful SoC and now at an even better price. The phone runs Android Pie. If you feel that 8 GB RAM and 256 GB storage is a bit too much, you can opt for the 6 GB RAM and 128 GB storage variant and save another Rs 4,000. It has all the other goodies mentioned above.
Asus Zenfone 5Z price in India: Rs 21,999 for 6 GB RAM/128 GB storage; Rs 25,999 for 8 GB RAM/256 GB storage
Here’s the third phone in the list with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 SoC. Just like the Asus Zenfone 5Z, you can get the top end variant of the Poco F1 with 8 GB RAM and 256 GB storage in this budget. You can add another 256 GB to it using a microSD card. The design isn’t remotely as classy as the Asus or the OnePlus but the performance is very much at par. Also, you get a larger 4,000 mAh battery that lasts longer.
In addition to that, you get a 6.18-inch full HD+ notched display and a 12 MP + 5 MP dual camera setup at the back that does a good job in average to good lighting. It doesn’t come with premium features like optical image stabilisation but the image quality is pretty good. There’s also a more than decent 20 MP selfie camera up front. The Poco launcher is a better alternative to MIUI that you get on most Xiaomi phones.
While the company has reduced the prices of its 6 GB RAM variants of the Poco F1, the price of the 8 GB RAM + 256 GB storage variant is still Rs 27,999 and that’s higher than that of the Asus Zenfone 5Z with similar RAM and storage and exactly the same as the OnePlus 6T (8 GB/128 GB). In that case, there’s absolutely no reason to buy the Poco F1. The 5Z is a far better device overall and if it’s available for a couple of thousands lower, it’s a no brainer.
Poco F1 price in India: Rs 20,999 for 6 GB RAM/128 GB storage
Vivo V15 Pro isn’t powered by a Snapdragon 845 chip but offers some interesting features like a pop-up front camera, a notch-less display and an in-display fingerprint scanner. Not that we haven’t seen these features before but now having all of them together in this budget is the cool part. The feature set doesn’t end there. The phone boasts of over 90 percent screen to body ratio courtesy of its 6.39-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED notch-less display.
While its 32 MP pop-up front camera grabs most of the attention, the 48 MP + 8 MP + 5 MP triple camera setup at the back does all the heavy lifting to deliver good images in most lighting conditions. There’s ample processing power available here too thanks to a Snapdragon 675 SoC coupled with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage. Its 3,700 mAh battery keeps the phone powered for a day of moderate usage. The phone runs Android Pie.
Vivo V15 Pro price in India: Rs 26,990 for 6 GB RAM/128 GB storage
Do you like phones with huge displays? If the answer is yes, then Samsung Galaxy A70 is just the phone for you. It has a massive 6.7-inch Super AMOLED Full HD+ screen with a drop notch and a resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels. The display is sharp and vibrant with good sunlight legibility too. On the subject of massive, it has a 4,500 mAh battery that lasts over a day and a half of moderate usage. Contributing to the long battery life is an efficient Snapdragon 675 SoC that’s also reasonably powerful for most tasks. It is accompanied by 6 GB RAM and 128 GB of internal storage that can be expanded further up to 1 TB.
There’s a triple camera setup at the rear to handle your photography requirements. You get a combination of 32 MP f/1.7 primary sensor, 8 MP 12 mm ultra-wide lens and a 5 MP depth sensor. They do an excellent job in bright conditions but the low light output is average. There’s another 32 MP sensor up front that will have the selfie enthusiasts excited. The Samsung Galaxy A70 runs Android Pie with One UI on top.
Samsung Galaxy A70 price in India: Rs 28,990 for 6 GB RAM/128 GB storage