Although the term flagship killer smartphone has existed since the OnePlus One first took on the industry, it took off in a big way in 2016. You no longer have to break the bank to get a genuinely good, all-round smartphone that performs strongly in every department. At a time when the top-of-the-line flagship devices from traditional market-leader brands are priced at well over Rs 50,000, some brands are working to offer flagship-level features at under Rs 30,000. Also Read - OnePlus devices finally getting Google Assistant-powered Ambient ModeAlso Read - OnePlus Care loyalty program launches in India; Here is everything that you need to know
We ve taken a look at some of the best smartphones that you can buy at under Rs 30,000, and gone into the details as to what makes these phones so good for the price. If you re looking at buying a top-notch smartphone without spending a lot of money, here s our list of 2016 s best flagship killer smartphones. ALSO READ: BGR India Awards: Best Value for Money Smartphones of 2016 Also Read - OnePlus 5, OnePlus 3 series smartphones updated with latest Android security patch
#1: OnePlus 3
Without a doubt, 2016 s best flagship killer smartphone comes from the company that first popularized the concept of the flagship killer. The OnePlus 3 has got everything that makes a flagship smartphone, from an excellent all-metal build and looks, an incredible 6GB of RAM, the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC and a 5.5-inch AMOLED screen. There s even fast charging through OnePlus proprietary Dash Charge, and the company has been regular with issuing software updates based on customer feedback. OnePlus has gotten very little wrong the OnePlus 3, and at Rs 27,999, it can t be matched for pure value. The OnePlus 3T is of course available now, but with the price bumped up, it doesn t quite match the proven capability of the OnePlus 3 at the price.
#2: Honor 8
Huawei may have already given the dual-camera concept a go with the Leica-cobranded P9, but 2016 s standout product from the company comes through its Honor brand. The Honor 8 (Review) doesn t have the same Leica branding, but its dual-camera capabilities are on par with the P9. You get a combination of monochrome and RGB sensors that work together to ensure detail, light capture and color in the pictures you take, making this one of the best camera phones of 2016. The great looks and reliable performance only add to what makes this phone one of the top flagship killers of 2016.
#3: Moto Z Play
The modular smartphone concept first took off in a big way this year, although there were notable modular devices from only LG and Motorola. Although LG s modular concept didn t quite get as much praise, the Moto Z (Review) and Moto Z Play were positively received for their easier approach to smartphone modules. At Rs 24,999, the Moto Z Play is a well-built smartphone that can work with all of the existing modules designed for the Moto Z, with differences only in the form of lower-end specifications on the Z Play. You can attach any of the style covers or Moto Mods to the Z Play, giving you access to the Hasselblad, JBL and projector modules that add impressive functionality to the device. The Moto Z Play gives a taste of what we hope will be the future of smartphones without burning a considerable hole in your pocket.
Notable flagship killer smartphones of 2016: Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016) and HTC One A9
Samsung s brand identity still rules in the Indian market, and a lot of buyers choose to go with this tried and tested option thanks to its wide presence and extensive service network. For buyers who don t want to stretch their budgets too high, the Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016) offers most of what you d get from a flagship Samsung in terms of performance, build and specifications, at a reasonable price. Although there s only 16GB of storage on board, the A7 (2016) does definitely warrant mention among our list of flagship killers.
The HTC One A9 was the Taiwanese company s attempt at the sub-flagship approach, and we are impressed with it. The smartphone features all the right features, along with stunning looks and and all-metal build. It feels flagship in every way, and at no point did we feel that the One A9 was anything short of top-end. Although there are better flagship killer smartphones available at under Rs 30,000, fans of HTC will not be disappointed by the One A9.
With the year 2017 less than a fortnight away, we re excited to see what the future beholds for smartphone buyers. While the above list of smartphones is carefully handpicked by BGR India team, we d like to hear from you if you agree with our selection or if you have some of your own picks. Feel free to let us know in the comments section below or tweet away with #BGRIndiaAwards. ALSO READ: BGR India Awards: Best Budget Smartphones of 2016