Finding the very best smartphone under Rs 15,000 in a crowded market is difficult. The market was initially dominated by the Chinese tech giant Xiaomi, but the game changed during the late 2018 and early 2019. Asus has made a decent comeback and so has Honor and Samsung. With so many phones, everyone has got something that suits their need.
Sadly though, smartphone innovation isn’t cheap – and most of it is reserved for high-end phones. However, the technology that was once impossible to imagine on budget phones is now available at cheapest possible prices, thanks to the competitive market and Chinese manufacturers, that hold a massive market share in India.
We have used a lot of them, and many have actually impressed. Right now, there are some really good choices under Rs 15,000 range. If your budget is close to what we just mentioned, then we have some recommendations.
Asus Max Pro M2
Weight: 175g | Dimensions: 157.9 x 75.5 x 8.5mm | OS: Android 8.1 | Screen size: 6.26-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2280 pixels | CPU: Snapdragon 660 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 5000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 5MP | Front camera: 13MP
Micro-USB port for charging
The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 brings all the necessary elements to the table and it’s a powerful mid-ranger. It’s a balanced phone with a steady performer that can handle both day to day tasks and games like PUBG Mobile. On top, its 5000mAh battery ensures more than a day of battery life. The Max Pro M2 has all the elements of a reliable mid-ranger.
Honor 10 Lite
Affordable smartphones never looked so good
Weight: 162g | Dimensions: 154.8 x 73.6 x 8mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.21-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2340 pixels | CPU: Kirin 710 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3400mAh | Rear camera: 13MP + 2MP | Front camera: 24MP
Striking design for the price
Runs Android 9
Micro USB port is dated
Camera images overly processed
The Honor 10 Lite is one of the best looking smartphones in its range. It is unarguably a good phone for the price as it offers a balance of decent cameras, sub-par performance, great design and lively display. What it lacks is a smooth UI experience and a seamless 3D gaming experience.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro
Weight: 182g | Dimensions: 157.9 x 76.4 x 8.3mm | OS: Android 8.1 | Screen size: 6.26-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2280 pixels | CPU: Snapdragon 636 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 4000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 5MP | Front camera: 20MP + 2MP
Impressive front camera
The Redmi Note 6 Pro is a successor to the Note 5 Pro, but without major changes. There’s a new notch design that results in more screen area and a dual front camera for better selfies. Rest remains the same, which is convincing as the Redmi Note 5 Pro offers enough power for the price already. The only reason not to recommend would be its design as once again it’s an iterative upgrade.
Overall, it’s a good value for money phone.
Samsung Galaxy M20
A promising budget phone from a reliable name
Weight: 186g | Dimensions: 156.4 x 74.5 x 8.8mm | OS: Android 8.1 | Screen size: 6.3-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2340 pixels | CPU: Exynos 7904 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 4000mAh | Rear camera: 13MP + 5MP | Front camera: 8MP
Underwhelming low-light performance
No 5GHz Wi-Fi support
Samsung’s Galaxy M20 is a good phone for those who are prefer a neat custom UI with a decent chipset. Additionally, it offers more than a days power, a good display, handy design and Samsung’s fast charging. What makes it stand out is its wide angle camera, which is a rare in this segment.
It’s a good buy if you want to upgrade from your old J-series or On-series phone with a new Samsung device.
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1
The comeback phone for Asus?
Weight: 180g | Dimensions: 159 x 76 x 8.5 mm | OS: Android 8.1 Oreo | Screen size: 5.99-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2160p | CPU: Snapdragon 636 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 5000mAh | Rear camera: 13MP + 5MP | Front camera: 8MP
Mediocre camera quality
One of the most sensible phones that Asus has made in years. Yes, that’s the kind of response the phone is getting after release. And the company has released the latest update that brings security patches and fixes performance.
It has everything that the Redmi Note 5 Pro has and it offers slightly better battery life, plus, a stock Android experience. The camera is where the device looses some points, it doesn’t impress in comparison to the Note 5 Pro, which is the only issue.
Read the full review: Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1
Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro
The first notch toting phone from Xiaomi
Weight: 178g | Dimensions: 149.3 x 71.7 x 8.8 mm | OS: Android 8.1 Oreo | Screen size: 5.84-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2280p | CPU: Snapdragon 625 | RAM: 3/4GB | Storage: 32/64GB | Battery: 4000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 5MP | Front camera: 5MP
Value for money
Impressive battery life
Build is dated
The Redmi 6 Pro is the latest addition to the Redmi line-up of phones from Xiaomi. It’s also the first Redmi phone to tout a notch on top of the display. Like most Xiaomi phones it has a reliable hardware for day to day tasks ranging from basic to aggressive. Of course, you can’t do intensive gaming on this one, but it does handle games like PUBG on lower graphic settings.
Moreover, you get a decent set of cameras and a long-lasting battery life. All-in-all, it’s a very well balanced and value for money phone but there’s nothing that makes it stand out of the league.
Nokia 5.1 Plus
Weight: 160g | Dimensions: 149.5 x 72 x 8.1 mm | OS: Android 8.1 | Screen size: 5.86-inch | Resolution: 720 x 1520 | CPU: Mediatek Helio P60 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3060mAh | Rear camera: 13MP + 5MP | Front camera: 8MP
Great design and built
Google software with timely updates
Nokia under HMD Global has turned out to be a promising name in the smartphone industry. It’s still not the top seller in India, but the new portfolio shines bright when compared to competition. The Nokia 5.1 Plus is among the best in the portfolio, and is priced nominally at Rs 10,999.
The phone comes packed in a premium looking glass and aluminum shell like the Nokia 6.1 Plus. It’s a handy phone with minimal bezels on front, thanks to the notch design. It runs Mediatek’s reliable Helio P20 chipset with 4GB RAM to ensure balance performance for basic day to day tasks and the dual camera setup ensures social media friendly shots without a hitch. Compared to the Redmi Y2 or the Redmi 6 Pro, this one definitely leads in the design, display and battery department.
Realme 2 Pro
Weight: 174g | Dimensions: 156.7 x 74 x 8.5 mm | OS: Android 8.1 Oreo | Screen size: 6.3-inch | Resolution: 2340 x 1080 pixels | CPU: Snapdragon 660 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3500mAh | Rear camera: 16+2MP | Front camera: 16MP
Full HD+ display is great for watching videos
Value for money
Cameras need fine tuning
The Realme 2 Pro comes bearing a 6.3-inch full HD+ display with a tiny ‘dewdrop’ notch which provides a huge 90.8% screen-to-body ratio to the users. Using the phone is a breeze as it is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor along with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage. The cameras on the Realme 2 Pro are pretty good in optimal lighting conditions but one should not expect flagship grade pictures from it. Having said that, the 3,500mAh battery powering the phone is sure to give users a day’s worth of usage on single charge.
Xiaomi Redmi Y2
Weight: 170g | Dimensions: 160.7 x 77.3 x 8.1 mm | OS: Android 8.1 | Screen size: 5.99-inch | Resolution: 720 x 1440 | CPU: Snapdragon 625 | RAM: 3/4GB | Storage: 32/64GB | Battery: 3080mAh | Rear camera: 12+5MP | Front camera: 16MP
Good front camera
No USB Type-C
The Redmi Y2 is the second iteration of Xiaomi’s youth-focused Y-series. Of all the phones Xiaomi has launched till July 2018, the Y2 seemed like the biggest upgrade to its predecessor. Despite being a successful phone, the Redmi Y1 lacked the strength to be compared with the Redmi Note series, but the Y2 has a different story. Overall, the Y2 has proved to be a better composition of specifications and features than the Redmi Note 5.