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Best Budget Smartphones in India below INR 15,000 (Q1 2019)

The best of 2019 so far

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A couple of years back, excitement was at its epitome for flagship phones from companies like Samsung and LG. Now, things have changed completely and the most exciting segment is the budget range.

Competition has been aggressive in terms of pricing and features, hence every brand wants to distinguish itself. Top-tier offerings are now quickly trickling down to the budget range and the overall costs have drastically reduced.


It becomes a herculean task for a consumer to select a phone when so many options are available, so we’ve compiled a list of the best budget phones you can buy in India right now. We’ve considered various user demands like performance, battery life, cameras, and longevity.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro (INR 14,499)

This phone is practically a flagship in the Redmi series and has proven itself to be the perfect all-rounder one needs. Even though the processor remains unchanged from its predecessor, it still gets all tasks done smoothly and receives faster updates. The cameras have been lauded for their output in well-lit and low-light areas. Lastly, the battery is more than sufficient to get you through a full day on exceedingly heavy usage.

Nokia 6.1 Plus (INR 15,499)

Nokia-branded phones have made a reputation for themselves thanks to stock Android and on-time updates. If you’re looking for a phone with butter-smooth performance, the Nokia 6.1 Plus is built for you. The design is compact yet premium thanks to the sandwiched glass and metal body. In addition, the display is sharp and among the best in class, along with a pair of rear cameras that do a good job for a phone in this segment.

ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2 (INR 12,999)

The ZenFone Max Pro M2 goes a step further in terms of performance and sports a proven midrange chipset along with pure Android. Its design is radically different and genuinely looks stunning. ASUS has gone all in and added a humongous battery that’ll get you through two days of heavy usage on a single charge. For a power user, there’s no better option than this. Even the cameras have seen considerable improvement and portrait shots are among the best. 

Realme U1 (INR 11,999)

For a brand this young, the Realme U1 has been a surprise for us all. It’s powered by a new processor and can seamlessly finish any task you throw at it. The phone has a plastic design that imitates glass, which makes it exceptionally light in weight. Selfie lovers are also going to be pleased with its front camera performance. It runs on OPPO’s ColorOS for a bunch of nifty tricks like gesture support and face unlock.

Honor 8X (INR 14,999)

If you’re looking for a huge display for media consumption, this phone is built for you. It’s powered by a midrange processor and comes with Honor’s GPU Turbo technology for an enhanced gaming experience. The battery will also get you through a day and a half on heavy usage with support for fast charging. It has an average pair of rear cameras, but the design is acutely premium.

Vivo V9 Pro (INR 15,000)

This phone brings a midrange design and processor to the budget range, making it a near perfect all-rounder. The cameras are above average and the battery is enough to get you through a day’s heavy usage. Performance-wise — and this is great for gaming — the phone has 6GB of RAM, which is among the highest in this segment. 

Motorola One Power (INR 14,999)

The name itself suggests this phone is built for “power” users. The processor is capable enough, but the main selling point is its huge battery. At 5000mAh, the phone will last for days on a single charge and it also supports faster charging. It runs on pure Android and hence we expect updates to roll out quickly, as well. The cherry on top is it’s officially splash resistant.

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Redmi K20 is the next affordable flagship killer

Possible successor to the Pocophone F1

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Without a doubt, the OnePlus 7 Pro is an impressive piece of hardware. From the smooth display to the flagship-level specs, you can’t deny that it’s a seriously good deal for its price.

One person, however, had different take right after OnePlus’ launch. Xiaomi’s Global VP Manu Kumar Jain congratulated OnePlus for the launch on Twitter, but followed it up by mentioning his company’s own flagship killer:


It’s rumored that Xiaomi’s supposed “Flagship Killer 2.0” is the Redmi K20, which was already confirmed by executives to come soon. It has also been speculated that the Redmi K20 is the successor to the widely popular Pocophone F1, and may be named the Pocophone F2 in some regions.

Besides the model name and the possibility of a K20 Pro variant, not much has been revealed about the Redmi flagship. Until now, that is. Newly leaked specs provide more hype for the upcoming Redmi powerhouse.

It all starts with the Snapdragon 855 chipset, which follows up on the Snapdragon 845 of the Pocophone F1. That’s complemented by a 6.39-inch 1080p OLED display and 4000mAh battery with 27W fast charging.

While those are expected of a flagship killer, what may be more interesting is the camera setup. Not only will the K20 pair have a triple-camera setup on the rear — consisting of regular, ultra-wide, and telephoto lenses — but it’ll come with a pop-up selfie camera, as well. By extension, that would provide an all-screen front, free of notches or punch-holes.

India appears to be the initial market for the Redmi K20, similar to the Pocophone’s marketing approach. There has been no hinted pricing yet, but based on Xiaomi’s usual strategy, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a starting price hovering around US$ 400.

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OnePlus 7 series hits India with attractive prices

Taking the best from other flagships

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OnePlus is often mocked for consistently increasing the prices of its offerings. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case. The company has followed a standard cycle of launching one flagship phone in May, followed by a slightly incremented T-branded phone at year end.

This year, OnePlus has launched two phones, the OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro. The OnePlus 7 ensures the price doesn’t get any higher. It is on par with the previously launched OnePlus 6T. For those who are looking for more, the OnePlus 7 Pro is a top-tier flagship with new design and beefier internals.


Both are powered by a Snapdragon 855 processor and house 6GB RAM as the starting option. They also ship with OxygenOS based on Android 9 Pie. This is where the similarities end, however.

The OnePlus 7 Pro gets a curved 6.7-inch Quad HD+ AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate. According to OnePlus, the higher refresh rate offers a 50 percent smoother experience you’ll fall in love with. Even the design has been revamped and the back feels premium with a gradual gradient.

The rear gets a combination of 48-megapixel primary sensor, 16-megapixel wide-angle camera, and an 8-megapixel telephoto lens. The 16-megapixel front camera is housed in a motorized pop-up casing. OnePlus is confident about its robust quality. The company also touted an industry-high rear camera DxOMark score of 111.

Lastly, these internals are backed by a mighty 4000mAh battery coupled with 30W Warp Charging technology.

It starts from INR 48,999 (US$ 700) for the base variant with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. The 8GB+256GB option costs INR 52,999 (US$ 750). Meanwhile, the 12GB+256GB comes at INR 57,999 (US$ 825).

The OnePlus 7, on the other hand, gets a conventional 60Hz Full HD+ display with a water drop notch. The back has a 48-megapixel camera along with a 5-megapixel depth sensor. Powering it is a slightly smaller 3700mAh battery with 20W Warp Charging.

The base variant with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage starts from INR 32,999 (US$ 470). The other option with an 8GB+256GB configuration costs INR 37,999 (US$ 540).

Both will be available for purchase starting tomorrow via pop-up sales and later via Amazon.in, OnePlus’ website, offline Croma stores, and Reliance Digital.

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Lenovo announces an affordable smartwatch for fitness enthusiasts

It has 20 days of battery life!

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Xiaomi is known for making class-leading budget phones. However, the brand has also captured a massive wearable market in developing markets with the Mi Band. While Fitbit caters to the premium segment, there’s a huge demand for affordable fitness bands or watches.

Lenovo launched the Spectra and Cardio smart bands last year. Now, the brand is back with a new smartwatch. Dubbed EGO, it’s a digital wearable that brings fitness tracking at a budget price. The core features include a claimed 20-day battery life, heart-rate tracking, sleep monitoring, and handy notifications.


When compared to other bands, the EGO looks more rugged. It comes equipped with a classic sports watch casing. Additionally, it’s water resistant up to 50 meters. It can also be used as a swim tracker.

On the notifications side, it can display alerts about phone calls, text messages, and social networking apps. Unlike other offerings in this segment, the EGO comes with a unique remote camera operation. You can click a picture on your phone by tapping your watch.

According to Lenovo, it can detect activities like cycling and running to deliver accurate heart-rate readings. Lastly, an in-built alarm system can trigger vibrations.

The EGO pairs well with iOS and Android phones. It connects via the Lenovo Life app. It weighs just 45 grams and consists of a 42mm anti-shine band that can be easily swapped with other third-party bands.

The smartwatch costs just INR 1,999 (US$ 29) in India and will be available from May 10. For now, it’ll be selling via Flipkart and Croma retail stores.

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