Thanks to the ever-increasing competition in the budget smartphone segment in India, Indian smartphone buyers have never had it this good, especially in the sub-Rs 15,000 segment. There are options from several companies if you’re looking for a good smartphone under Rs 15,000, but options under Rs 12,000 can be a little limited and confusing.
If you are looking for the best phones under Rs 12,000 in India, we have prepared a list that is tailored to your needs.
- Don’t need to worry about cost? Check out our best phone list
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro
Xiaomi’s new budget king is here
Weight: 200g | Dimensions: 161.4 x 76.4 x 8.8 mm | OS: Android 9.0 | Screen size: 6.53-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2340 | CPU: MediaTek G90T | RAM: 6/8GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 4500mAh | Rear camera: 64 + 8 + 2 + 2MP | Front camera: 20MP
Impressive quad camera
Dedicated micro SD slot with dual-SIM
18W fast charging
Ads in UI
Xiaomi has been delivering blockbusters upon blockbusters with its Redmi Note line up in India, and that seems to be true with the Redmi Note 8 Pro as well. After delivering massive improvements in terms of imaging with the Redmi Note 7 Pro earlier this year, Xiaomi has turned its focus to improving the gaming performance with the Redmi Note 8 Pro.
Powered by the MediaTek Helio G90T chipset, the Redmi Note 8 Pro lives up to the hype and offers fluid performance. The liquid cooling tech, a massive 4,500mAh battery, 18W fast charging and the 64MP quad cameras on the back seal the deal rather well.
Check out our Redmi Note 8 Pro hands-on experience
Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro
Weight: 186g | Dimensions: 159.2 x 75.2 x 8.1mm | OS: Android 9.0 | Screen size: 6.3-inch | Resolution: 2340 x 1080 pixels | CPU: Snapdragon 675 | RAM: 4GB/6GB | Storage: 64GB/128GB | Battery: 4000mAh | Rear camera: 48MP + 5MP | Front camera: 13MP
Impressive front camera
Value for money
Hybrid SIM card slot
Advertisements in MIUI
Xiaomi has been dominating the budget and entry-level smartphone segments in India for a long time now. This is no different this year either – the launch of the Redmi Note 7 Pro changed the market dynamics yet again. Offering a high-resolution, premium-grade 48MP camera at budget prices was the primary clincher for the Redmi Note 7 Pro.
As for selfies, the 20MP front camera grabs a decent amount of detail, and you can use the screen as a fill flash to brighten things up and even things out.
Read the full review: Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro
Xiaomi Mi A3
Android One for the Xiaomi fans
Weight: 173.8g | Dimensions: 153.5 x 71.9 x 8.5 mm | OS: Android 9.0 Pie | Screen size: 6.01-inch | Resolution: 720 x 1560 pixels | CPU: Snapdragon 665 | RAM: 4/6GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 4030mAh | Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 2MP | Front camera: 32MP
In-display fingerprint sensor
48MP camera with Sony IMX586 sensor
Ample memory and storage
720p Pentile AMOLED display
Xiaomi’s smartphones have been a hit in the budget segment and that trend has continued for years. However, not everyone is a fan of MIUI and Xiaomi has acknowledged that with the launch of its Android One series of smartphones.
The Mi A3 is the latest in this line of smartphones. It runs on clean, stock Android and should get updates faster than other phones. It also offers a decent camera experience, an in-display fingerprint sensor and a big battery at very aggressive prices, making it a great option if you want all these features.
Read our review: Xiaomi Mi A3
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8
Weight: 190g | Dimensions: 161.4 x 76.4 x 8.8 mm | OS: Android 9.0 Pie | Screen size: 6.3-inch | Resolution: 2340 x 1080 | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 | RAM: 4GB/6GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 4000mAh | Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP | Front camera: 13MP
Impressive quad camera
18W fast charging
Ads in system apps
Xiaomi has established itself in the entry-level and budget segments, making it the leader in the Indian smartphone industry. The Redmi Note 8 takes this tradition further by combining good design and hardware with a great price. You get a very good display, a very good set of quad cameras and a power efficient Snapdragon 665 chipset that offers smooth performance.
Overall, if you are looking for a well balanced budget smartphone under Rs 12,000, the Redmi Note 8 is a good option.
Xiaomi Redmi 8A
The best looking budget phone out there
Weight: 188g | Dimensions: 156.5 x 75.4 x 9.4 mm | OS: Android 9.0 Pie | Screen size: 6.2-inch | Resolution: 1520 x 720 | CPU: Snapdragon 439 | RAM: 23GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 5000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 8MP
Xiaomi is known for offering great value for money smartphones regardless of the price segment, and that is no different with the Redmi 8A. Although it is a very affordable, entry-level smartphone, the Redmi 8A offers hardware that was previously limited to sub-Rs 20k smartphones like the Poco F1.
Despite being targeted at the entry level segment, the Redmi 8A’s rear camera is an extremely capable snapper. It also has a massive 5,000mAh battery and supports a whopping 18W fast charging – something that many smartphones that cost twice or thrice as much don’t offer.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 7S
Solid specs, strong camera and affordable price
Weight: 186g | Dimensions: 159.2 x 75.2 x 8.1 mm | OS: Android 9.0 Pie | Screen size: 6.3-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2340 pixels | CPU: Snapdragon 660 | RAM: 3/4GB | Storage: 32/64GB | Battery: 4000mAh | Rear camera: 48MP + 5MP | Front camera: 13MP
Value for money
Good battery life
The Redmi Note 7S replaces the Redmi Note 7 and offers 48MP camera under Rs 10,000. It features the same gradient glass back design, waterdrop notch and a bright high-quality display at the same time.
When you also consider the massive 4,000mAh battery and the updated MIUI skin, the Redmi Note 7S sounds like a very good proposition.
Xiaomi Redmi 8
Doesn’t feel like a sub 10k phone
Weight: 188g | Dimensions: 156.5 x 75.4 x 9.4 mm | OS: Android 9.0 Pie | Screen size: 6.22-inch | Resolution: 720 x 1520 | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 439 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 5000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 2MP | Front camera: 8MP
Value for money
Ads in system apps
Xiaomi has a slew of options for users across several price ranges. The standard Redmi series slots in the sub-Rs 10,000 range, sometimes conflicting with the base Redmi Note phones and the entry-level Redmi A series.
Nevertheless, the Redmi 8 offers another option for buyers looking for a smartphone under Rs 12,000. The Redmi 8 sports a gradient design and a waterdrop notch, which can be an enticing set of features at a price of Rs 7,999.
The smart design, coupled with a massive 5,000mAh battery and a price tag of Rs 7,999 make the Redmi 8 an unmissable option in this range.
Samsung Galaxy M20
Weight: 186g | Dimensions: 156.4 x 74.5 x 8.8 mm | OS: Android 9.0 Pie | Screen size: 6.3-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2340 | CPU: Exynos 7904 | RAM: 3/4GB | Storage: 32/64GB | Battery: 5000mAh | Rear camera: 13MP + 5MP | Front camera: 8MP
Dual camera setup
Samsung has been trying to reinvent itself in the budget segment for a while now, and the Galaxy M series is a good testament of the company’s efforts. The Galaxy M20 offers a good balance between power, performance and battery life.
The Galaxy M20’s understated, minimalist design coupled with the waterdrop notch, a bright display and the massive battery help it get into this list. If you want a Samsung phone under Rs 12,000, the Galaxy M20 is a good option.
Weight: 175g | Dimensions: 156.1 x 75.6 x 8.3 mm | OS: Android 9.0 Pie | Screen size: 6.22-inch | Resolution: 720 x 1520 | CPU: Mediatek MT6771 Helio P60 | RAM: 3/4GB | Storage: 32/64GB | Battery: 4230mAh | Rear camera: 13MP + 2MP | Front camera: 13MP
The Realme 3 is a fabulous looking device, mostly thanks to the stunning blue and black gradient design on the back. While the bezels look a bit too thick on the front, the Realme 3 is a looker.
The camera experience is average, and some users may not take too well to ColorOS, but the Realme 3 is a noteworthy option nonetheless. The large battery coupled with a HD+ resolution display and a mid-range processor should give you a two-day battery life with normal usage.
Samsung Galaxy M10s
Weight: 169g | Dimensions: 158.4 x 74.7 x 7.8 mm | OS: Android 9.0 Pie | Screen size: 6.4-inch | Resolution: 1560 x 720 pixels | CPU: Exynos 7884B | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 4000mAh | Rear camera: 13MP + 5MP | Front camera: 8MP
Fast charging support
Average camera performance
The Galaxy M10s is a noteworthy option in the sub-Rs 12,000 price segment, especially if you are looking at alternatives for Redmi smartphones. It offers a big display and an adequate battery to go with it, while still costing fairly low.
While the Galaxy M10s may not offer the premium design that some other smartphones offer, the One UI and other Samsung features make up for it to some extent. The 4,000mAh battery and 15W fast charging support also add substance to this option.