While 2018 saw some very good smartphones being launched above Rs 30,000, most smartphone makers left the Rs 20-30,000 segment open to be exploited. While the Asus Zenfone 5Z was often available at sub-Rs 25,000 prices, it lost the battle to the highly popular Poco F1.
Seeing the success of the Poco F1, Xiaomi announced the Redmi K20 series, with prices starting at Rs 21,999. This sparked competition in the sub-Rs 25,000 smartphone segment in India.
There are options that offer great value in the segment. If you are finding it difficult to find the best suited phone under Rs 25,000, this list will help.
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Display: 6.39-inch full-HD+ (1080×2340 pixels) AMOLED panel | OS: MIUI 10 based on Android 9 Pie | Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 SoC | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 64/128GB internal | Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 13MP | Front camera: 20MP | Battery: 4000mAh
Powerful 48MP rear camera
Pop-up selfie camera
Large screen size
Ads in system apps
The Redmi K20, the recently launched mid-range smartphone from Xiaomi’s Redmi brand has been designed keeping in mind the criticisms the company faced with its affordable flagship device, the Poco F1. With the device, the company has offered a premium device at an affordable price to take on the increasing competition in the smartphone segment.
The Redmi K20 features a glass back, a Full HD+ AMOLED display, a triple rear camera setup, a pop-up selfie camera and an under-display fingerprint sensor. The device starts at Rs 21,999 in India and is available in three attractive color options.
You can also score the Redmi K20 Pro under Rs 25,000 during the Diwali with Mi sale.
Redmi Note 7 Pro
OS: Android 9 Pie with MIUI 10 | Processor: Snapdragon 675 octa-core SoC with 4GB/6GB RAM | Display: 6.3-inch FHD+ LTPS in-cell display with dot notch | Rear Camera: 48MP + 5MP | Front camera: 13MP | Battery: 4000mAh
Larger, attractive display
Has QuickCharge 4.0
Powerful 48MP camera
Screen size may not work for everyone
Colour reproduction tends to be on the cooler side
Xiaomi has dominated the budget and entry-level smartphone segments 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.
Apart from its imaging capabilities, the Redmi Note 7 Pro offers a great bang for your buck thanks to the great display, a well-balanced chipset and battery life that we’ve all grown to expect from Xiaomi’s Redmi Note series.
Topping it all off is the glass design which gives it a premium look.
It has a great value for money quotient which is why the Redmi Note 7 Pro is the phone to buy.
OS: Android 9 Pie with ColorOS 6 | Display: 6.53-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display | Resolution: 2340 x 1080 | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 SoC | RAM: 4/8GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 3765mAh | Rear camera: 48MP + 5MP | Front camera: 16MP
Runs Android 9 Pie
Great battery life
No ultra-wide camera
The Realme X is another device that offers excellent value for money in the sub-Rs 25,000 segment. It features a pop-up selfie camera and comes with a gradient back design. The company has offered a near bezel less display with the device, giving it a premium look.
Along with the pop-up selfie camera, the device also sports an in-display fingerprint sensor, making it one of the most affordable devices to feature these two technologies. It has a starting price tag of Rs 16,999 and is available in three color options.
Samsung Galaxy A50
Display: 6.4-inch Full HD+ (2340 x 1080 pixels) Super AMOLED notched panel | OS: Android 9 Pie with OneUI | Processor: Exynos 9610 with Mali-G72 MP3 GPU | RAM: 4GB/6GB RAM | Storage: 64GB | Rear camera: 25MP+5MP+8MP | Front camera: 25MP | Battery: 4000mAh
Unimpressive low-light camera
UI feels sluggish when in use
The Samsung Galaxy A50 has a lot going for it. The device features a glossy finish and sports an attractive display, a triple camera setup that includes a good daylight camera, and decent battery life with fast charging support all make it a phone that’s worth considering when you go out to buy a new smartphone.
While the Galaxy A50 performs well in daylight, its low-light images are not up to the mark. If you are a heavy gamer, you might want to skip this device and look at the other devices mentioned in this list.
The device is available starting at Rs 18,490 in Black, Blue and White color options.
Vivo Z1 Pro
OS: Android 9.0 Pie with Funtouch OS 9 | Display: 6.53-inch Full HD+ IPS LCD panel | Resolution: 1080 x 2340 pixels | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 SoC | RAM: 4/6GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 5000mAh | Rear camera: 16MP + 8MP + 2MP | Front camera: 32MP
Hole punch notch display
Decent daylight camera
LCD panel instead of AMOLED
Poor low light camera
Software optimizations needed
Vivo has upped its game in the budget and mid-range segments over the last few months in India. While a few other smartphones are aimed specifically at a slightly younger audience, Vivo has tried to offer a slightly more rounded package with the Z1 Pro.
The Z1 Pro is also one of the few smartphones in this price range to sport a punch hole notch. If you are looking for a smartphone that offers really long battery life, the Z1 Pro won’t let you down with its massive 5,000mAh battery. The display, camera and the glossy design round off the remaining important aspects.
Display: 6.18-inch FHD+ (1080 x 2246) notched panel | OS: Android 8.1 Oreo with MIUI 10 | Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC | RAM: 6GB/8GB | Storage: 64GB/128GB | Rear camera: 12MP+5MP | Front camera: 20MP | Battery: 4000mAh
Large, vivid display
Good battery life
A few bugs
The Poco F1, the only launch so far from Xiaomi’s sub-brand Poco is a feature packed mid-range device. It is the cheapest Snapdragon 845 powered device in India and with the recent price cuts, it offers even more value for your money. While the device’s design is something that the company has compromised on, the Poco F1 is durable with a sturdy plastic build.
If you prefer performance over looks, the Poco F1 is the device for you. It is priced starting at Rs 17,999 in India.
OS: Android 8.1 Oreo with EMUI 8.2 | Display: 6.3-inch FHD+ notched panel | CPU: Kirin 970 SoC | RAM: 4GB/6GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3750mAh | Rear camera: 16MP+2MP | Front camera: 16MP
Single storage option
No wireless charging
The Honor Play, as the name suggests was launched keeping in mind the gamers. The device’s powerful internals coupled with a huge screen and a premium look makes for an all-round impressive device.
If you are looking for a gaming phone or a secondary phone, the Honor Play with its affordable price is worth looking into. The device is priced starting at Rs 12,999 in India.
Weight: 183g | Dimensions: 158.7 x 75.2 x 8.6 mm | OS: Android 9.0 Pie with ColorOS 6.0 | Display: 6.4-inch Super AMOLED | Resolution: 2340 x 1080 | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 | RAM: 4/6/8GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 4,000mAh | Rear camera: 64MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP | Front camera: 16MP
Vibrant Super AMOLED display
Versatile camera performance
20W fast charging
ColorOS needs work
Realme has been making a splash since its debut last year. Over the last few months, the company has aggressively expanded its portfolio of smartphones right from the entry-level to the budget segment. The Realme XT is the latest in this line, and offers a versatile camera experience coupled with a vibrant display and a big battery.
The design of the Realme XT is also noteworthy, although it could be slightly over the top for people who prefer sticking to neat lines and patterns. Nevertheless, the Realme XT is a very good option in its segment.
Read our full review: Realme XT