Ever since OnePlus arrived on the scene with OnePlus One way back in 2014, it has been providing flagship features at almost half the price. It created a new segment of smartphones right in the middle of relatively inexpensive budget phones and the really expensive flagships. Staying true to their motto of introducing dream phones with a sweet balance between flagship features and price, they released the OnePlus 6 in May this year.
As expected, it blew the minds of the tech reviewers. A feature-packed device without any significant jump from the previous model is unfathomable. Geekbench scores placed the device as being faster than the Samsung flagship Galaxy S9, which is costlier by about Rs.20,000.
Although, with brands like Xiaomi, Asus and likes are hell-bent on conquering the budget phone segment. They are adamant about creating feature-packed smartphones at a much lower price. Basically emulating what OnePlus did to the flagships, at an even lower price.
Here are some of the best choices available in the budget smartphone segment, in case OnePlus is slightly off-budget for you, in no particular order.
1. Xiaomi Redmi Note Pro 5
Xiaomi is the perfect underdog which now has the budget smartphone market share at its feet. It is leading the charge of making stunning phones which are light on the pocket.
Announced this February, the Redmi Note Pro 5 boasts of a mega screen at 5.99 inches, a Snapdragon 636 chipset, 4 or 6 GB of RAM, expandable storage of up to 256 GB and a massive 4000 mAh battery. It includes a dual camera primary setup with a 12 MP + 5 MP sensor at the back. It packs a whopping 20 MP front-facing camera.
Starting at Rs.14,999 for the 4GB RAM + 64 GB storage model, it takes the cake for a smartphone in this price range.
2. Xiaomi Redmi 5
This is the true budget smartphone and a prime example of innovation at the lower end of the price spectrum. Xiaomi calls this a “compact powerhouse” and rightly so.
Priced at only Rs.7,999, it packs in a 5.7” screen with an 18:9 full-screen display, Snapdragon 450 octa-core processor, a 3300 mAh battery (the same as a Rs.40,000 OnePlus 6), a 12 MP rear camera and a 5 MP front-facing camera. The 32 GB storage model comes with a 3/4 GB RAM.
3. Xiaomi Mi Max 2
Xiaomi’s third impressive entry into our list, the Mi Max 2 (not to be confused with the Mi Mix 2) has a spectacularly massive 6.44” screen with an equally impressive and massive 5300 mAh battery.
It also has 4GB RAM and an Octa-core Snapdragon 625 processor, dual speakers. It is priced at only Rs.13,999, an astoundingly budget-friendly price for the massive features.
4. Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1
In spite of Xiaomi’s dominance in the budget smartphone segment, Asus has a respectable visibility as well. Asus has a few Zenfone series phones that were in a competitive neighborhood of the Redmi series phones.
One of those is the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1. The name is not a selling point for sure. But the phone itself has a decent specification. It comes with a 5.99” screen, Snapdragon 636, 4GB RAM, a massive 5000 mAh battery, a 13 MP + 5 MP dual camera primary setup and an 8 MP front camera.
Priced at Rs. 12,999, it sure seems like a good deal.
5. Moto G6
The Moto G series is one of Motorola’s most popular lineup of smartphones in the Rs.10,000 – Rs.15,000 price segment. Moto G6, the latest entrant, seems like an underpriced phone.
The standard G6 has a 5.7” Full HD screen with 18:9 aspect ratio, an 8MP studio-quality portrait shooter at the front and a 12MP + 5MP dual camera setup at the back. It comes in with the Snapdragon 450 processor.
Priced at Rs. 15,999, the G6 also comes with the TurboPower fast-charging and a water-repellent coating to protect from minor splashes.
6. Honor Lite 9
Honor’s budget offering has a unique USP. Honor Lite 9 includes a first of its kind quad-camera setup. It includes a 13MP + 2MP front camera which provides a hardware level bokeh effect and gesture controlled shooting. It also includes the same 13MP + 2MP rear dual camera setup with PDAF fast focus. If you’re a shutterbug, you’ll clearly enjoy this budget-friendly option.
Besides the cameras, it also has a5.65” Full HD screen with the standard 18:9 aspect ratio, the Kirin 659 Octa-core processor and 3GB of RAM, a 3000 mAh battery. It also has an almost imperceptibly fast fingerprint identification technology at 0.25 seconds for the entire process.
This is priced at Rs.14,999 for the 64GB version.