The Indian smartphone market has evolved massively with more people are buying expensive phones, but the sub-Rs 20,000 segment remains among the most popular with Indian buyers. Which is perhaps why smartphone makers have been making phones in this segment better and better.
Interestingly, despite the global chip shortage affecting supplies all over the world, smartphone companies were able to ensure there were enough and more phones in this segment. Now, 2021 may not have seen many new technologies, so to speak, in this particular segment but that doesn’t mean there weren’t enough good smartphones. These are the Indian Gadget Awards winners for the best phone of 2021 under Rs 20,000.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max was selected as the winner of the Best Phone of 2021 Under Rs 20,000 award, while the runner up is the POCO X3 Pro.
Best Phone of 2021 Under Rs 20,000 – Indian Gadget Awards 2021 Nominees
- POCO X3 Pro
- Redmi Note 10 Pro Max
- iQOO Z3 5G
- Moto G60
- Realme X7 5G
- Samsung Galaxy A22 5G
- Redmi Note 11T 5G
POCO X3 Pro
POCO started off as a sub-brand for Xiaomi, so it’s no surprise that the company is following in similar footsteps. The company’s first phone ever was priced just over Rs 20,000 and though it spent about a year in limbo, we have seen quite a few phones from POCO in the last year or so. And amongst those phones, the POCO X3 Pro may be the pick of the lot. In a way, the POCO X3 Pro is the perfect alternative to Xiaomi’s popular Redmi Note series, and the fact that it runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 chipset inside makes this an even more tempting option.
The POCO X3 Pro also has a 6.7 inch FHD+ display, with 20:9 aspect ratio and 120Hz refresh rate. It also has 6GB of RAM and 128GB storage, and it supports 33W fast charging. And if that wasn’t enough, POCO has also fitted four cameras on the back, with a 48MP primary sensor. Really, it’s a surprise that POCO offers this device at the price it does.
Redmi Note 10 Pro Max
You can’t go wrong with the Redmi Note series when it comes to buying phones priced under Rs 20,000. Xiaomi practically built this segment with its Redmi Note line, but it has come a long way from the original Redmi Note. Five years since, the Redmi Note series is one of the most popular smartphone lineups in India. Which is why the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max makes it to the list of nominees.
It’s quite similar to the POCO X3 Pro too. For instance, the Redmi Note 10 Pro has a 6.7 inch FHD display with a Super AMOLED panel and 20:9 aspect ratio. It runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G chipset though, and it has four cameras on the back as well. However, what you lose in the processor, you gain with the camera. The Redmi Note 10 Pro has a 108MP primary sensor instead of the 48MP sensor on the POCO X3 Pro.
iQOO Z3 5G
A sister concern of Vivo, iQOO was the first company to launch a 5G smartphone in India. The company has made waves in the market with affordable devices that have good specs and support 5G connectivity. And the iQOO Z3 5G is the pick of the lot. The company had dropped its price temporarily earlier, but it’s back to Rs 19,990, which is still a good price for a phone like this.
The iQOO Z3 5G has a 6.58 inch FHD+ LCD display, with a water-drop notch on the front, which holds the front camera. The screen supports a 120Hz refresh rate and a 180Hz touch sampling rate as well. It is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 768G chipset, and has 8GB of RAM with 256GB storage. And if that weren’t enough, it also has a 4,400mAh battery that lasts all day, with 55W fast-charging, for the heavy users who need a quick top-up through their day. You will also get Android 11 out of the box, with Vivo’s Funtouch OS 11 layered on top of it. There’s a triple camera setup on the back with a 64MP primary sensor, and 8MP and 2MP ultrawide and macro cameras. The front camera has 16MP resolution.
If Xiaomi popularised the sub-20k segment with the Redmi Note series, Motorola created it with the Moto G series. The Moto G60 is a good example of how the once iconic affordable smartphone has evolved, and that is why it’s amongst the nominees for the best phone under Rs 20,000 in India. It has a two-tone metallic design with a bluish camera bump on the back, and looks quite different from many of its competitors.
But more importantly, it provides decent performance for the Rs 17,999 price tag that it carries. You get a 6.8 inch FHD+ IPS LCD display with 120Hz refresh rate, and good colour balance. It also has clean stock Android software, which has been the USP of Motorola devices for the longest time.
Furthermore, the Moto G60 runs on the Snapdragon 732G chipset with 6GB of RAM and 128GB storage inside. The camera bump on the back holds three sensors, led by a 108MP primary camera. There’s a 6,000mAh battery inside that keeps the device running all day.
Realme X7 5G
You could call the Realme X7 5G’s design a little tacky, but there’s no arguing the fact that many do like this kind of a shine on their smartphone. The phone has a 6.4 inch FHD+ AMOLED display, but with only 60Hz refresh rate, which might be a bummer for many users. But even so, the goodness of AMOLED is somewhat hard to deny. The display produces rich and vibrant colours, and the phone is priced at Rs 19,999.
On the other hand, where the Realme X7 5G really shines is the MediaTek Dimensity 800U chipset inside, which gives Snapdragon counterparts a run for their money. The phone has 6GB RAM inside and the overall performance is comparable to phones like the Xiaomi Mi 10i, which is something worth appreciating. In fact, it’s what got this phone the nomination for the best phone under Rs 20,000 for the Indian Gadget Awards this year.
The phone also has a 4,300mAh battery, supports 65W fast charging, and has a quad-rear camera setup on the back.
Samsung Galaxy A22 5G
The Galaxy A series may have started off in the more premium price range, but the Galaxy A22 5G can give almost any phone in the more affordable ranges a run for their money. You can buy this one for around Rs 18,000 online.
The Samsung Galaxy A22 5G has a 90Hz 6.6 inch FHD+ Super AMOLED display, with 399ppi pixel density and 20:9 aspect ratio. Which means you get AMOLED’s rich and vibrant colours, along with the smoothness of a fast refresh rate display. Yes, 120Hz would have been better on paper, but no one can deny that 90Hz will feel just as good to most users as well.
On the other hand, the MediaTek Dimensity 700 does a good job handling games and regular app usage, while there’s 6GB RAM and 128GB storage inside that ensures longevity as well. You also get a triple-rear camera setup on the back with a 48MP sensor leading the pack.
Redmi Note 11T 5G
It may be last on the list but the Redmi Note 11T 5G is no slouch. In fact, you can tell Xiaomi’s superiority in this space simply by the fact that there are two Redmi Note devices on this list. The Redmi Note 11T 5G is one of the many Redmi Note devices that Xiaomi sells in the sub-20k segment, and it has much of the same USPs as the others.
Like most phones on this list, the Redmi Note 11T 5G also has a 6.6 inch display and FHD+ resolution. It supports 90Hz refresh rate like the Galaxy A22 5G above, and sports a dual-camera setup on the back, led by a 50MP primary sensor.
In addition, you get MediaTek’s Dimensity 810 and a single 16MP camera on the front.