It has always been pretty tough to recommend a smartphone in the ₹15K to ₹20K price segment due to many options with small changes and highly competitive pricing. But currently, even though the segment is still the most competitive or sweet point of the Indian smartphone market for young consumers, the picture is very clear now. Because every device has its selling point and they are very different from each other.
Like we always said there is no single best smartphone for every consumer, So you should pick the one among many options which are more suitable for your use cases or needs.
Our job is to give you the starting point by providing a list of the best smartphones in this price segment with a short description which will provide a brief introduction to understand what kind of users should look for the particular device.
Also please note that we could not give every pros and cons in just two to three small paragraphs, so if you are interested, you can dig more about these devices online. Also if you are interested, we have a well-explained smartphone buying guide which will help to get more knowledge or will help you to choose the right one for you.
we haven’t used many of these devices ourselves. This list is based on our knowledge, opinions from our trusted reviewers(YouTubers and content writers), etc. There is no particular order for this list because it would be different for different use cases. Along with each device in this list, we will provide a small explanation, key specifications, price, storage options and product links.
Before going to the final list, it would be better to talk about software in different sections. In this list, we have Realme, Xiaomi (Redmi and Poco) and Samsung Phones. All of them are running on their custom skin over android, like Realme OS, MIUI and One UI.
Among these, Realme UI is the best skin due to the least amount of bloatware and ads. But you may end up seeing some occasional ads in some areas but our guide can easily turn it off. In terms of features, they have plenty of features and Realme UI is well optimised now.
MIUI was one of the best Android skins out there. But right now, along with plenty of ads there is a noticeable lack of optimisation in MIUI. Also, there will be plenty of unwanted notifications and some amount of bloatware too. You can control them to a greater degree by following our guide.
One UI has plenty of features, and sometimes it makes it very hard to find some things, but it is well optimised. But like MIUI here we have some level of ads. But the most annoying thing about the current One UI is there will be plenty of bloatware and plenty of unwanted notifications and promotions from Samsung apps and other third-party bloatware. Luckily we have a guide for that too.
If you read our detailed smartphone buying guide, you would probably know that the final camera performance would heavily depend upon computational photography(software) In these days. So each company has its own method of tuning, and having better hardware improves the results further.
Best Smartphone Under 20000 Rupees
Poco X3 has the best processor in this price segment; it has 120Hz refresh rate means you get a pretty smooth experience along with 240Hz touch sampling rate(better gaming experience, touch latency is low). It has the best LCD you can find in this price segment. It has great stereo speakers, excellent haptics, the best overall camera with plenty of features, an overwhelming battery life with pretty good fast charging(0-90% in 60 minutes and a full charge in 1 hour 20-30 minutes).
Considering its price it is one of the most valuable offering smartphones in the Indian market, but we are not a fan of this device!!!. Because Poco X3 is a huge, bulky device with 225gram weight. It would not be comfortable to use for a long duration. Also, the plastic back is a cheap quality one similar to one scene in the Samsung devices in this price category. Also, the back panel has significant vibration when we use speakers at high volume.
But if you are a gamer and you are ready to spend ₹17K-₹20K rupees, you should go for Poco X3. But for average users, we think the next device will be a better choice. If weight is not an issue, Poco X3 is the more value offering option. To be honest, we will be more pleased to see the global version with 5120mAh in India, because the weight will not be an issue in that model.
Poco X3 Key Specifications
Snapdragon 732G, 6.67 inch 120Hz IPS LCD, HDR10, 450nits, Gorilla Glass 5, 165.3 x 76.8 x 10.1 mm, 225 g, IP53 splash-proof, Sony IMX682 64MP Primary Camera + 13MP Ultra-wide + 2MP Macro + 2MP depth, 20MP selfie camera, stereo speakers, Fingerprint (side-mounted), 6000 mAh, Fast charging 33W, TPU case
Pricing: 6GB+64GB at ₹16,999, 6GB+128GB at ₹18,499 and 8GB+128GB at ₹19,999
Realme 7 Pro
Realme has done a lot of polls on Twitter about people’s choices, and Realme 7 Pro is the byproduct of it. First of all Realme 7 Pro is much lighter, narrower and feels much more comfortable to hold. It has a Super AMOLED display, and according to reviews, it is a pretty good OLED display with good lower and higher brightness levels and great colours. So anyone with media conception is a priority should go for this.
The performance is good, maybe 3-5% less than Poco X3. It has only a 60Hz refresh rate panel. But realme has optimised software pretty well. The GPU is not as strong as Poco X3, and also the refresh rate and touch sampling rate is lower compared to Poco X3. So if you are serious about gaming, this will not be the best one to go for.
The primary rear camera and selfie shooter was pretty good, but the wide-angle camera on the rear is below average. So the overall camera performance is not as good as Poco X3. Still, if you are a person who only uses the primary camera, then both will produce similar photos with natural colours. But in terms of camera features realme 7 pro slightly ahead.
Realme 7 Pro also has stereo speakers, but not as good as the Poco X3. Haptics quality is like other typical 20K smartphones. The battery life is good too, and the charging is super fast, just 34 minutes to fully charge the phone.
Realme 7 Pro Key Specifications
Snapdragon 720G, 6.4 inch Super AMOLED display, Gorilla Glass 3, 4500mAh battery, 65W SuperDart (0-100% in 34minutes), Sony IMX682 64MP Primary Camera + 8MP Ultra-wide + 2MP Macro + 2MP depth, 32MP selfie camera, 160.9 x 74.3 x 8.7 mm, 182g, Screen Protector, TPU case, stereo speakers, fingerprint (under display)
Pricing: 6GB+128GB ₹19,999 and 8GB+128GB at ₹21,999
Redmi Note 9 Pro Max
There is no point in buying Redmi Note 9 Pro max right now. This device does not excel in anything. But it is a good phone with above average in everything, but other options have out thrown it, and we do not see any point in buying this one.
In short, the only difference between these Poco M2 Pro and 9 Pro Max is the presence of a 64MP camera instead of 48MP, and they are asking 3,000 extra for it. Does that make any sense to you?. If the camera is your priority, you should go for Poco X3 or Realme 7 Pro.
Likewise in every segment, it has out thrown buy Xiaomi’s own Poco X3 or the Realme 7 Pro. So we would not recommend this device until Xiaomi decided to lower its price tag.
Redmi Note 9 Pro Max Specifications
Snapdragon 720G, 6.67 inch 60Hz FHD+ LCD (center punch hole), 450nit, 5020 mAh, 33W fast charging(0-100% in around 1 hour 25 minutes), 64MP primary camera( f/1.89) + 8MP ultra-wide(f/2.2，FOV 119°) + 5MP macro(2cm focus), 2MP depth, 32MP Front Camera, Splash-proof by P2i, Side-Mounted Fingerprint Sensor, Z-Shocker Haptics, Soft protective case, 165.75mm x 76.68mm x 8.8mm, 209g
Pricing: 6GB+64GB at ₹16,999 and 6GB+128GB at ₹18,999, 8GB+128GB at ₹19,999
Compared to Realme 7 Pro, Realme 7 has slightly better processor, more screen refresh rate, more battery capacity, same rear camera, slightly lower megapixel selfie shooter(but the quality is good), relatively slower charging speed(still better than Poco, redmi, or Samsung) with a cheaper LCD compared to OLED and with a lower price tag.
Suppose you are looking for the best smartphone in the 15K-16K segment. In that case, it is the best option to go for. Also if you are looking for a gaming phone under 20K, it will be the best option after Poco X3. Still, as we previously said, Poco X3 is a massive, bulky and heavy device, so if you are looking for a lighter, smaller gaming phone, this is the one to go for.
Realme 7 Specifications
Helio G95, 6.5inch 90Hz FHD+ LCD, 5000mAh battery, 30W Dart Charging(0-100% in 60-70 minutes), Sony IMX682 64MP(f/1.8) Primary + 8MP(119°, f/2.3) Ultra-Wide + 2MP Macro + 2MP B/W, Sony IMX471 16MP Selfie Camera, Protect Case, Protect Film, 162.3mm x 75.4mm x 9.4mm , 196.5g
Pricing: 6GB+64GB at ₹14,999 and 8GB+128GB at ₹16,999
Galaxy F41, Galaxy M31 and Galaxy M31s
If you are looking for an AMOLED display smartphone or a Samsung smartphone, these are the options available in this price segment. But the processing capabilities of these smartphones are comparable to other ₹10-₹12K smartphones from Redmi or Realme, So even gaming is a medium priority to you, you should stay away from these.
These are suitable for people with light use(media conception and social media) case scenario and need a smartphone with AMOLED display.
We would not recommend Galaxy M31s to anyone even though it is the best one among these because we have a much much better AMOLED display smartphone, the Realme 7 Pro at a similar price.
In case of Galaxy F41 or Galaxy M31, you should only look for these phones if you think you will not be happy with Galaxy M21 cameras because they are just Galaxy M21 with better camera system with a considerable increase in price tag. So not as value for money has M21.
Among Galaxy F41 vs Galaxy M31, the only difference is M31 has an extra 5MP macro camera. To be honest, do not ever spend 500 rupees for a useless macro camera or depth camera( So go with F41)
Galaxy F41 Key Specifications
Exynos 9611, 6.4 inch FHD+ Super AMOLED, 420 nits, Gorilla Glass 3, 64MP(f/1.8)+ 8MP (f/2.2) ultrawide) + 5 MP depth, 32MP Front, 6000 mAh, 15W fast charging(More than 2.5 Hours), 159 x 75.1 x 8.9 mm, 191 g
Pricing: 6GB+64GB at ₹16,999 and 6GB+128GB at ₹17,999
Galaxy M31 Key Specifications
Galaxy F41+5MP Macro
Pricing: 6GB+64GB at ₹17,499 and 6GB+128GB at ₹18,499
Galaxy M31s Key Specifications
Galaxy M31+ 25W fast charging(instead of 15W)+6.5 inch AMOLED(instead of 6.4)+better 12MP wide angle(instead of 8MP)
Pricing: 6GB+128GB at ₹19,499 and 8GB+128GB at ₹21,499
As you can see, many of the options mentioned in the ₹15K segment only comes with 64GB internal storage, so if you are looking for higher storage options at the ₹15K-₹16K segment, then check out our ₹12K-₹15K Best Smartphone list.
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