2019 was a great year for mid-range smartphones, where a lot of elements trickled down from the premium segment. The sub Rs 25K segment sees the best of both worlds: flagship features at an affordable price.
Along with a bunch of new launches from Oppo, Vivo and Samsung, we also see aging flagships enter this segment, thanks to price cuts.
Seeing the success of the Poco F1, Xiaomi earlier last year announced the Redmi K20 series, with prices starting at Rs 19,999. This sparked competition in the sub-Rs 25,000 smartphone segment in India. Now, the Redmi K20 faces competition from the likes of the Galaxy M50 and the Realme XT.
There are options that offer great value in the segment. If you are finding it difficult to find the best suited phone under Rs 25,000, this list will help.
- Don't need to worry about cost? Check out our best phone list
The Redmi K20 Pro replaces the K20 on this list, thanks to the aforementioned price cuts. It was Xiaomi's only flagship phone in India for all of 2019.
The Redmi K20 Pro features a glass back, a Full HD+ AMOLED display, a triple rear camera setup, a pop-up selfie camera and an under-display fingerprint sensor. The device starts at Rs 24,999 in India and is available in three attractive color options.
It's also powered by the flagship Snapdragon 855 SoC, with upto 8GB of RAM, which are uncommon specifications for the price. The non-Pro Redmi K20 offers much the same experience, with the only notable difference being the inclusion of a Snapdragon 730G chipset
Xiaomi has been delivering blockbusters upon blockbusters with its Redmi Note line up in India, and that seems to be true with the Redmi Note 8 Pro as well. After delivering massive improvements in terms of imaging with the Redmi Note 7 Pro earlier this year, Xiaomi has turned its focus to improving the gaming performance with the Redmi Note 8 Pro.
Powered by the MediaTek Helio G90T chipset, the Redmi Note 8 Pro lives up to the hype and offers fluid performance. The liquid cooling tech, a massive 4,500mAh battery, 18W fast charging and the 64MP quad cameras on the back seal the deal rather well.
Check out our Redmi Note 8 Pro hands-on experience
Realme's answer to the Redmi K20 series is an upgraded Realme XT, which brings the same gaming-centric Snapdragon 730G chipset to the sub Rs 20K segment, making it the most affordable phone in India with that spec.
Staying true to its XT roots, it sports a very capable 64MP quad-camera setup which also includes an 8MP ultra-wide shooter and a dedicated macro lens. The selfie camera is a 32MP shooter.
The Samsung Galaxy A50 has a lot going for it. The device features a glossy finish and sports an attractive display, a triple camera setup that includes a good daylight camera, and decent battery life with fast charging support all make it a phone that’s worth considering when you go out to buy a new smartphone.
While the Galaxy A50 performs well in daylight, its low-light images are not up to the mark. If you are a heavy gamer, you might want to skip this device and look at the other devices mentioned in this list.
The device is available starting at Rs 16,999 in Black, Blue and White color options.
Vivo has upped its game in the budget and mid-range segments over the last few months in India. While a few other smartphones are aimed specifically at a slightly younger audience, Vivo has tried to offer a slightly more rounded package with the Z1 Pro.
The Z1 Pro is also one of the few smartphones in this price range to sport a punch hole notch. If you are looking for a smartphone that offers really long battery life, the Z1 Pro won't let you down with its massive 5,000mAh battery. The display, camera and the glossy design round off the remaining important aspects.
The Poco F1, the only launch so far from Xiaomi’s sub-brand Poco is a feature packed mid-range device. It is the cheapest Snapdragon 845 powered device in India and with the recent price cuts, it offers even more value for your money. While the device’s design is something that the company has compromised on, the Poco F1 is durable with a sturdy plastic build.
If you prefer performance over looks, the Poco F1 is the device for you. It is priced starting at Rs 14,999 in India.
Samsung has more or less made itself relevant again in the highly competitive budget segment with the launch of the Galaxy M series earlier this year. The Galaxy M30s takes this forward with refreshed design and updated hardware.
The biggest takeaway from the Galaxy M30s is its massive 6,000mAh battery that should easily last you an entire day's worth of usage. For some users, it should be possible to extend the Galaxy M30s' battery life to two days of usage.
Coupled with the vibrant Super AMOLED display, ample storage and a triple camera setup on the back, Samsung might have another winner in the M30s.
Realme has been making a splash since its debut last year. Over the last few months, the company has aggressively expanded its portfolio of smartphones right from the entry-level to the budget segment. The Realme XT is the latest in this line and offers a versatile camera experience coupled with a vibrant display and a big battery.
The design of the Realme XT is also noteworthy, although it could be slightly over the top for people who prefer sticking to neat lines and patterns. Nevertheless, the Realme XT is a very good option in its segment.
Read our full review: Realme XT