E-commerce companies are expected to once again start delivery of smartphones in India from next month. While the lockdown has put a roadblock in their delivery chain, the smartphone makers and e-commerce companies are gearing up for deliveries next month. OnePlus has revealed the price of the OnePlus 8 Series in India and confirmed the May 2020 delivery date. Realme, on the other hand, might announce the Narzo series tomorrow. For consumers, the question right now is, which smartphone should they buy after the lockdown? So, here is a look at the best smartphones under Rs 20,000 in India right now. Also Read - Realme 6 Review: A mid-range cake with some flagship cherries
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro
With Redmi Note 9 Pro, Xiaomi shows that it has mastered the art of iterative updates. The Redmi Note 9 Pro is all about fast performance, updated design and great cameras put together in a beautiful package. Priced starting at Rs 12,999, it is cheaper than its predecessor but does not cut many corners. It is powered by the Snapdragon 720G mobile platform and offers 4 or 6GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB storage. The camera is the big area of improvement this year. The main 48-megapixel camera with Samsung ISOCELL GM2 captures crisp images with good details and dynamic range. Also Read - Realme C3 Review: A good mix of value and features
The portrait mode continues to improve and now has an option for movie mode as well. The ultra wide-angle and macro cameras also perform well. Night mode is one area where Redmi Note 9 Pro needs some work. Xiaomi has also added new video modes to make this camera a creators-centric one. There is Gorilla Glass 5 at the front as well as rear and it definitely looks premium. The 6.67-inch Full HD display with 16-megapixel punch-hole selfie camera may lack 90Hz or 120Hz refresh rate but it isn’t a deal breaker. It runs MIUI 11 based on Android 10, has a large 5,020mAh battery with 18W fast charging and a side-mounted fingerprint sensor. Also Read - Vivo Z1x Review: A well rounded device for the price
If you want a smartphone with a display supporting faster refresh rate then look at the Realme 6 Series. Realme 6 starts at Rs 12,999, making it the cheapest smartphone with higher refresh rate display. It features a 6.5-inch display with Full HD+ resolution, a hole punch cutout. With a 90Hz refresh rate, the display is much smoother than the 60Hz panel seen in this price segment. It is powered by MediaTek Helio G90T processor, same as the one seen on Redmi Note 8 Pro. The base model comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. There are also 6GB and 8GB RAM variants with 128GB storage. For imaging, Realme 6 uses a 64-megapixel main camera with an 8-megapixel ultra wide-angle camera, a 2-megapixel macro and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. For selfies, you get a single 16-megapixel shooter. There is a side-mounted fingerprint sensor and a 4,300mAh battery with 30W fast charging. It runs Realme UI based on Android 10 and comes in white or blue color.
Realme 6 Pro
Realme 6 Pro is an impressive smartphone with 6.6-inch display, pill-shaped cutout and 90Hz refresh rate. Like the Redmi Note 9 Pro, it is also powered by Snapdragon 720G chipset and you get 6GB or 8GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB storage. It relies on the tried and tested 64-megapixel Samsung ISOCELL GW1 sensor for the main camera.. This sensor shoots decent images with good colors but saturation is suited for social media posts. It also has a dedicated 12-megapixel telephoto camera, which is a welcome addition in this price segment. There is also an ultra wide-angle and macro camera. Realme 6 Pro also gets a 16-megapixel selfie camera paired with a second 8-megapixel ultra wide-angle camera. It may not be useful at this time when you cannot go to large gatherings but it will come handy when you meet friends after this lockdown. It has a side-mounted fingerprint sensor and a 4,300mAh battery with 30W fast charging.
Poco X2 has been overshadowed by Realme 6 Pro and Redmi Note 9 Pro but it is one impressive piece of hardware. From a 120Hz display to a Snapdragon 730G mobile platform, this phone checks a lot of boxes. The fact that it is a rebranded Redmi K30 was controversial at first but the device has risen past the controversy. It has a beautiful glass back design but it feels heavy. Powered by Snapdragon 730G mobile platform, it comes in three storage variants. The model with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage is uniquely positioned in the market with a retail price of Rs 19,999. It is the first smartphone with 64-megapixel Sony IMX686 sensor. We really liked clicking pictures with the Poco X2 which has very good color reproduction. It also has ultra wide, macro and depth cameras. For selfie, there is a 20-megapixel main shooter with a depth sensor. It packs a 4,500mAh battery, runs Android 10 and has a side-mounted fingerprint sensor like others. The icing on the cake is the 6.67-inch 120Hz display which makes the UI buttery smooth. However, there is still no clear advantage of this higher refresh rate.
Realme is at the forefront of bringing great value for money smartphones right now. The Realme C3 is the biggest example of that ideology. It has a plastic frame and plastic back but it does not look outdated. There is a 6.5-inch display, MediaTek Helio G70 SoC, 3GB or 4GB of RAM, 32GB or 64GB of storage. In comparison to previous C-series models, this device comes in perfect configuration. One camera is not good enough these days and Realme C3 gets dual rear cameras. The main camera is a 12-megapixel shooter with f/1.8 lens and a 2-megapixel sensor to capture portraits. There is also a 5-megapixel sensor for selfies. It runs Realme UI based on Android 10 and packs a 5,000mAh battery. It also comes in red color, which is one of the best colors on any budget device.
Samsung Galaxy M31
Samsung struck gold with the Galaxy M30 and it has come with its successor, the Galaxy M31. The smartphone is aimed at those who want the biggest battery. It has a 6,000mAh battery and supports 15W fast charging. There is neither premium looking nor comes with best hardware but that battery is the showstopper. You get a 6.4-inch display with Full HD+ resolution and 19.5:9 aspect ratio. Unlike other devices, it uses a Super AMOLED display which should help with watching content. It is powered by Exynos 9611 and comes with 6GB RAM and 64GB or 128GB storage. It also has a 64-megapixel main camera, an 8-megapixel ultra wide, a 5-megapixel depth and 5-megapixel macro. There is a 32-megapixel selfie camera, rear-mounted fingerprint sensor and runs One UI 2.0.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro Max
Xiaomi calls Redmi Note 9 Pro Max as the maximum smartphone in the sub-Rs 20,000 price segment. While we haven’t used the device to offer a clear verdict, we can get into the specifics. It shares the same design language that we liked on the Redmi Note 9 Pro. The smartphone packs the same 5,020mAh battery and Snapdragon 720G mobile platform. In other words, the battery life should be identical. The display is also the same at 6.67-inches with punch-hole mechanism. The area where Redmi Note 9 Pro Max might beat its sibling is in the selfie camera department. It houses a 32-megapixel shooter, which might be capable of capturing more details. The main camera on the back is 64-megapixel ISOCELL GW1 and we have to test it to know how it performs in the real world.
Samsung Galaxy M21
Samsung Galaxy M21 is the newest budget offering from the Korean company in the Galaxy M-series. It features a 6.4-inch Full HD+ display, Samsung’s own Exynos 9611 SoC, 4GB or 6GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB storage. The smartphone is available online via Amazon India. It runs One UI 2.0 based on Android 10 and packs a 6,000mAh battery. This is for the road warriors who want a beefy battery pack. For imaging, the Galaxy M21 relies on a 48-megapixel main camera, an 8-megapixel ultrawide and a 5-megapixel depth sensor. There is a 20-megapixel selfie camera as well.
The smartphone evolution is not happening at the same pace as it was a few years back. As a result, an older smartphone at discounted price is a far better bet than a new model with launch price. Vivo Z1x tops our list in that category. The 8GB RAM and 128GB storage variant is available for Rs 18,990. It features a 6.38-inch Full HD+ display, Snapdragon 712 SoC, 4GB or 6GB or 8GB of RAM and 128GB internal storage. It has a 48-megapixel main camera paired with an 8-megapixel ultrawide and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. There is also a 32-megapixel front camera for selfies and video calling. Under the hood, there is a 4,500mAh battery with 22.5W fast charging. It runs Android Pie and comes in blue or purple colors.
We know that you cannot buy a new smartphone right now. In fact, health and safety is more important than buying a new smartphone. However, once the lockdown gets lifted, you might have to spend money and get yourself a new device. In that case, these are the best smartphones under Rs 20,000. With the refresh cycle going down with every new launch, it makes sense to buy the newest smartphone in the block. Regardless of your budget, you cannot go wrong with any of the devices mentioned above. Stay home and invest wisely on your next mid-range smartphone.
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