For all intents and purposes, a budget of Rs 30,000 is not small by any means for a smartphone. A large part of this is due to credit to smartphone manufacturers, which have come up with some of the best devices that this price segment has ever offered buyers. In essence, what you get in this segment can almost make you feel that you do not always need an outright flagship smartphone.
Today, the best smartphones under Rs 30,000 offer a wide range of impressive specifications. You get 120Hz refresh rate displays that can produce super smooth gameplay, no matter what game you choose. They offer high-resolution sensors that are part of triple or quad camera configurations and top it all off with impressive fast charging standards, too.
With this in mind, the prestigious jury of the Indian Gadget Awards 2021 has voted for the very best devices that were launched through the year priced between Rs 20,000 – Rs 30,000. Here are the winners.
The OnePlus Nord 2 was selected as the winner of the Best Phone of 2021 Under Rs 30,000 award, while the runner up is the Xiaomi Mi 11X.
Best Phone of 2021 Under Rs 30,000 – Indian Gadget Awards 2021 Nominees
- iQOO Z5 5G
- Realme X7 Max 5G
- OnePlus Nord 2 5G
- POCO F3 GT
- Samsung Galaxy M52 5G
- Realme GT Master Edition
- Xiaomi Mi 11X
- Motorola Edge 20
- Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G
iQOO Z5 5G
The iQOO Z5 is one of the most well rounded offerings at under Rs 30,000, all things considered. Ever since its inception, iQOO has played an interesting balance of specifications, design and value, and the iQOO Z5 has further continued on it. You get the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G 5G SoC, which offers performance that’s comparable to flagship chipsets for many users.
You also get up to 12GB RAM and 256GB storage, a 64MP triple rear camera setup, and a 5,000mAh battery with 44W fast charging – which claims to juice up the smartphone to 50 percent battery power, in just 25 minutes. All of this is topped by a 6.67-inch, 120Hz display – packed into a sleek, 8.5mm body.
Realme X7 Max 5G
The Realme X7 Max is an interesting proposition for fans of flashy smartphone designs. It’s designed to look livelier than the average smartphone, but whether it’s up your alley or not would be a personal call. Objectively speaking, though, this is an excellent smartphone on overall terms.
Powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 1200 SoC, the Realme X7 Max offers up to 12GB RAM, and packs in a 6.43-inch super AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate. The rear of the smartphone features a 64MP triple rear camera setup, and there’s an under-display fingerprint sensor, too. The 4,500mAh battery offers 50W fast charging that produces 50 percent power in just about 15 minutes!
OnePlus Nord 2 5G
OnePlus built its lofty reputation based on offering incredible value for money – with a flagship smartphone experience that does not cost a bomb. The latest edition of the brand’s old ‘flagship killer’ philosophy is the OnePlus Nord 2. The latter now has far more competitors than what it did before, but that doesn’t mean it’s a pushover of any sort.
The Nord 2 features a 90Hz fluid AMOLED, Full HD+ display, and is powered by the Dimensity 1200 SoC. There’s up to 12GB RAM onboard, along with up to 256GB storage. You get a 50MP triple rear camera setup, and the overall design takes cues from its more expensive, flagship OnePlus 9 lineup. You also get a 4,500mAh battery with 65W fast charging that can go from zero to 100 percent power in 30 minutes flat.
POCO F3 GT
The POCO F3 GT was billed as one of the first, budget centric ‘gaming’ smartphones in India, offering gamer features that were largely reserved for expensive, flagship segment phones. Case in point – physical shoulder triggers that mimic the layout of a gaming controller are available on the POCO F3 GT.
It’s not just about that, though. The POCO F3 GT offers ample performance with the Dimensity 1200 SoC, 8GB RAM and 256GB storage. You also get a 64MP triple rear camera setup, a 6.67-inch AMOLED 120Hz display, and a 5,065mAh battery with 67W fast charging that offers 100 percent power in just over 40 minutes.
Samsung Galaxy M52 5G
In a world of smartphones that look all hyped up to get you gaming, the Samsung Galaxy M52 5G is like the calm after a storm. It features a simplistic design language that’s actually not too far away from Samsung’s flagship phones. At 7.4mm, it’s rather slim, too.
The Galaxy M52 is powered by the Snapdragon 778G SoC, along with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. You get a 6.7-inch Super AMOLED Plus display with 120Hz refresh rate, a 64MP triple rear camera setup, and a rich, 32MP front snapper as well. There’s also a 5,000mAh battery with 25W fast charging, giving you a reliable set of specs without exaggerating on style.
Realme GT Master Edition
The Realme GT Master Edition is a unique smartphone, standing out for its different take on the overall styling. While it’s not exactly a collector’s edition item, it still has the air of trying to stand out in a standardised world.
The specifications aren’t compromised, either. You get the Snapdragon 778G SoC, up to 8GB RAM and 256GB storage, a 6.43-inch Super AMOLED 120Hz display, a 64MP triple rear camera, and a 4,300mAh battery with 65W fast charging that brings 100 percent power in 33 minutes.
Xiaomi Mi 11X
The Mi 11X by Xiaomi takes things one notch ahead by using a flagship grade SoC, instead of an almost flagship one. Its design is in line with Xiaomi’s new design language, which is far from disappointing.
At its heart is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 SoC, which for all intents and purposes is a flagship a chipset sitting just below the Snapdragon 888. This is paired with 8GB RAM, 128GB storage and a 6.67-inch, 120Hz AMOLED panel. You get a 48MP triple rear camera setup too, as well as a 4,520mAh battery with 33W fast charging.
Motorola Edge 20
You’ve probably spotted the Motorola Edge 20 smartphone for its rather statement-making frosted emerald finish, which does look quite different from all other smartphones around. At 7mm and 163g, it is also one of the sleekest and most appealing phone designs in this category.
Specs wise, it’s all there. You get the Snapdragon 778G SoC, 8GB RAM, 256GB storage, and impressively, an OLED panel with 144Hz refresh rate – outperforming all other devices in this segment. There’s also a 108MP triple rear camera setup, while the 4,000mAh battery comes with 30W fast charging as well.
Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G
The Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G is a sleek smartphone, measuring just 6.8mm in diameter and weighing 158g. In fact, it is the lightest smartphone among our nominees — although the Edge 20 does come quite close.
This doesn’t mean it has skipped on specs. You get the Snapdragon 778G SoC, 8GB RAM, 256GB storage, a 64MP triple rear camera setup, a 6.55-inch AMOLED display with Dolby Vision and 90Hz refresh rate, and a 4,250mAh battery with 33W fast charging in tow.