Finding the very best smartphone under Rs. 15,000 in the crowded smartphone market is difficult. While the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S8, iPhone X, LG V30 and Google Pixel 2 steal show around the world when it comes to flagship smartphones, there’s a lot of intriguing options available in the world of budget phones.
Sadly though, smartphone innovation isn’t cheap – and most of it is reserved for high-end phones. Still the technology that was once impossible to imagine on budget phones is now available at cheapest possible prices, thanks to the competitive market trends and Chinese manufacturers, who have changed the fate of affordable smartphones in India.
Here’s a selection of the best phones priced under Rs 15,000.
- Don’t need to worry about cost? Check out our best phone list
Xiaomi Mi A1
Weight: 165g | Dimensions: 155.4 x 75.8 x 7.3mm | OS: Android 7.1.2 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 | CPU: Snapdragon 625 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3080mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP | Front camera: 5MP
Best dual camera system on a budget
Google’s software with timely updates
The result of Xiaomi’s partnership with Google, the Mi A1 is supported by the Search giant’s Android One program. It is aimed at users who want a premium smartphone experience at low prices. The Mi A1 reboots Google’s Android One program, which was at first created for budget phone makers. With its reboot, Google has tweaked that and will not focus more premium smartphones.
The Mi A1 features a full HD 5.5-inch IPS display and is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor, backed by 4GB of RAM and an onboard storage of 64GB which can further be expanded with the help of a microSD card. The Mi A1 has a dual camera setup and houses twin 12-megapixel camera modules, one wide-angle, f/2.2 aperture and a telephoto f/2.6 camera. On the front, there is a 5-megapixel selfie camera as well. As the smartphone is associated with Android One, it runs on stock Android 7.1.2 with promised update to Android 8.0 Oreo and even Android P. The Mi A1 draws power from a 3,080 mAh battery which supports fast charging.
Read the full review: Xiaomi Mi A1
The phone with two day battery life
Weight: 149g | Dimensions: 142.5 x 69.3 x 8.1mm | OS: Android 7 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2160 | CPU: Snapdragon 435 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 3000mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP
Back gets scratched
No fingerprint sensor
Unofficially titled the “LG G6 mini”, the Q6 is an impressive midrange phone on its own. While it lacks certain flagship features, the FullVision display and rear-facing camera are stand-out inclusions that you probably won’t find elsewhere for these prices.
After a long wait, the Q6 is one budget device from LG that has amassed deserved mentions in Indian market. The phone sports an impressive 12MP rear sensor, which can click some impressive day light shots. The also adds up to the overall look from the front, however, the plastic back is prone to scratches over time.
For its price, the phone offers tons of alluring features for any smartphone under the 15k price segment.
Read the full review: LG Q6 review
Moto G5 Plus
The best Moto G out there
Weight: 155g | Dimensions: 150.2 x 74 x 7.7mm | OS: Android 7 | Screen size: 5.2-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 | CPU: Snapdragon 625 | RAM: 3/4GB | Storage: 32/64GB | Battery: 3000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 5MP
The Moto G5 Plus is one of the best smartphones under Rs. 15,000. Dominating the sub 20K category, the Moto G5 Plus was launched in two storage variants – 3GB RAM/16GB internal storage and 4GB RAM/32GB internal storage. However, only the 3GB/16GB variant falls under the 15K price segment.
It is the first G series phone to come with a metal build and looks very fresh and premium. Another highlight of the phone is its camera, which has sustains the standards set by its sibling, the Moto G4 Plus and improves upon them. The Snapdragon 625 chipset does a great job and 3GB RAM makes it good enough for multitasking.
Read the full review: Motorola Moto G5 Plus
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4
Solid specs, strong camera and superb price
Weight: 165g | Dimensions: 151 x 76 x 8.5mm | OS: Android 6 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 | CPU: Snapdragon 625 | RAM: 2/3/4GB | Storage: 32/64GB | Battery: 4100mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP
Value for money
Good battery life
Limited to Android Marshmallow
Rear camera struggles in low light
For just Rs 15,000, the Redmi Note 4 has redefined the hardware capabilities on an affordable handset. It looks and feels much more solid, with an attractive good-looking aluminium build, smooth performance and great battery life.
Its camera is capable of taking decent shots, its fingerprint sensor works well, and MIUI UI is a genuinely decent enhancement of the stock Android operating system.
Read the full review: Redmi Note 4 review
The best of Motorola’s budget line
Weight: 145g | Dimensions: 144.3 x 73 x 9.5mm | OS: Android 7.0 | Screen size: 5-inch | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | CPU: Octa-core 1.4 GHz | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 16GB w/ microSD | Battery: 2,800mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP
Bright, crisp display
Launched alongside the Moto G5 Plus, the Moto G5 is for those looking at even cheaper smartphones. With a Snapdragon 430 processor and 3GB of RAM, the smartphone does make some compromises, but provides decent day-to-day performance. Having the latest version of Android out-of-the-box makes it rare among its competitors.
The 13MP rear shooter is quite dependable for the sub-15k mark. If you want to be able to take good photos but can’t afford to buy a high-end phone, this is a phone you should consider.
The missing fingerprint reader and a flush metal design is an incremental upgrade over its predecessor.
Read the full review: Moto G5
Honor updates one of its best to Android Nougat
Weight: 165g | Dimensions: 156.5 x 75.3 x 7.6 mm | OS: Android 7 | Screen size: 5.93-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2160 | CPU: Kirin 659 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32/64GB | Battery: 3340mAh | Rear camera: 16+2MP | Front camera: 8MP
Vibrant 18:9 display
No USB Type-C
The Honor 7X brings an 18:9 aspect ratio to the mid-range segment, along with dual-camera setup. Other than that, the camera onboard the 7X is a pretty good snapper while the slick metal unibody makes it feel like a premium smartphone.
It runs on the Kirin 659 chipset, which is claimed to be a tough competitor to the Snapdragon 625 backed by 4GB of RAM. It comes in two storage variants – 32GB and 64GB. Only the 32GB variant falls under the 15K category. It is still a good choice for those who like playing with smartphone cameras but can’t afford more expensive phones.
Read the full review: Honor 7X
Xiaomi Mi Max 2
The best gets even better
Weight: 211g | Dimensions: 174.1 x 88.7 x 7.6 mm | OS: Android 7.1.1 | Screen size: 6.44-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 | CPU: Snapdragon 625 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32/64/128GB | Battery: 5300mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 5MP
Humongous display to consume content
Amazing battery life
Average front-facing camera
Xiaomi’s big-screen smartphone series, the Mi Max 2 got a second iteration this year, which makes it one of the best big-display phones around. The 6.44-inch display is great to watch videos and consume other content. That being said, it isn’t anywhere near as bulky as you would expect from such a size. At just 7.6mm, it fits in the hand quite well and the aluminium casing gives it a robust and premium feel.
The Snapdragon 625 is one of the best available mid-range processors around and it’s coupled with 4GB of RAM here. There are two storage variants: 32GB/64GB.
Speaking about its imaging capabilities, the 12-megapixel snapper is decent, but the front-facing camera is average.
What’s amazing about the Mi Max 2 is the battery life. It lasts for a full day easily, despite the large display.
Read the full review: Mi Max 2