Unlike developed markets, India’s maximum sales of smartphones happen under the INR 15,000 price slab. Hence, manufacturers have tried to offer as many options as possible to cater to the wide range of customers available.
Here we list the best smartphones in this segment, keeping in mind the requirements of every user — from phones that boast powerful batteries and can last really long to handsets that are made for photography enthusiasts!
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro (INR 13,999)
Powered by the Snapdragon 636 SoC, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro is now the best performer in the price bracket. The phone offers an excellent battery life which will last most users for two days. You also have the new taller display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, and there is now a dual-camera setup on the back that can capture good images in varied lighting conditions.
Honor 9 Lite (INR 10,999)
The Honor 9 Lite is one of the few phones in this price category to offer a glass back that looks and feels good. It may not be as robust as a metal back phone, but the phone takes exceptionally good pictures with dual-camera setups found on both the front as well as the rear. Honor has also enabled face unlocking via an OTA software update, giving the device yet another unique selling point.
Xiaomi Mi A1 (INR 13,999)
The overall specifications of the phone might not be different from other devices, especially in the crowded budget market, but the dual rear cameras on this phone work incredibly well. This device is a part of Google’s Android One initiative, meaning you’ll always get future updates on time, straight from the developers. For those who prefer a clutter-free user interface, this device is the perfect match!
Samsung Galaxy On7 Prime (INR 12,990)
While the metal-clad smartphone may not follow the bezel-less bandwagon, it does offer a sharp AMOLED display and is powered by solid hardware. Samsung’s UI has come a long way and is now more optimized than ever. This is the perfect phone for those who just want something that will keep on running smoothly for a long period of time along with Samsung’s software improvements.
Moto G5S Plus (INR 14,999)
We can safely say this device is a perfect all-rounder. It has a big screen, dual-camera optics, adequate battery life, and a near-stock Android experience. The Moto series has a good reputation of receiving updates on time while the general lifespan of its devices is great. The design isn’t very attractive or flashy, but feels premium in one’s hands.
Lenovo K8 Note (INR 10,999)
The K8 Note from Lenovo is specifically marketed to those who require a device with a big screen and huge 4000mAh battery to power it for long periods of time. Performance-wise, the device isn’t very impressive on paper but easily gets the job done in real-world usage, and the image quality of the dual cameras is pretty good for the price.
Honor 7X (From INR 12,999)
The Honor 7X is well suited for people who want a powerful phone for multimedia and gaming consumption, while still looking good from all angles. It has an 18:9 edge-to-edge display, dual rear cameras with a portrait mode, and is powered by the company’s midrange Kirin 650 processor coupled with 4GB of memory.
Apple is offering zero down payment EMIs on iPhones in India
Buying an iPhone has never been so easy in India!
iPhones have always been heavy on the pocket, but the product makes up for this hefty price tag by delivering an above-average lifespan to regular users. While Android flagships often start showing their age within a couple of years, iPhones last much longer thanks to closely controlled software.
In developing markets like India, phones under contracts are a negligible part of the industry. On the other hand, higher-end phones that are sold through channels outside of telcos are factory-unlocked by default and support a wide array of networks, but they cost at least INR 50,000 (US$ 750) up front, and can even go up to INR 100,000 (US$ 1,460).
Apple intends to push deeper into the Indian market and make the process easier for potential buyers by rolling out a special 18-month EMI plan which requires zero upfront payment.
The offer is applicable on the iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone 7 bought through Apple’s offline partners from June 15 to September 30. The offer is applicable on a range of credit cards issued by PSU (state-run) banks and private banks.
Further, there is a five percent cash back for credit cards issued by Axis Bank, Citibank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, and Standard Chartered. As per the listing, the cash back shall be credited within 120 days from the date of the business transaction
This means you can get an iPhone X (64GB) for INR 5,599 (US$ 82) per month, the iPhone 8 (64GB) would cost INR 3,999 (US$ 58) per month, and the iPhone 7 (128GB) would have a cost of INR 3,525 (US$ 51) per month.
The exact prices for all variants are available at IndiaiStore, which is Apple’s official website for India. For purchases, the portal also helps users locate a nearby Apple Premium Reseller, Apple Authorized Reseller, or multi-brand store that stocks Apple products.
OPPO RealMe 1 Moonlight Silver Limited Edition to go on sale from June 18
This one features 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage
Last month, OPPO launched a new sub-brand in India called RealMe. It aims to target the lower-midrange segment and has been in high demand since launch thanks to competitive pricing. A new variant has now been announced with 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, and a new color option of Moonlight Silver. The device will be available for purchase starting June 18, exclusively via Amazon.in.
The company originally launched the Diamond Black and Solar Red color options. Moonlight Silver will be the third option to be available in limited quantities.
“This limited edition range offers shiny designs that cater to customers’ needs. We hope that this new variant will be equally well received by the audience,” said Madhav Sheth, Chief Executive Officer, RealMe India.
As far as other specifications are concerned, the device sports a 6-inch FHD+ LCD display with a resolution of 2160 x 1080 pixels and an aspect ratio of 18:9. Powering this device is the Helio P60 SoC which has two dedicated cores for AI processing. The two variants of the phone have 3GB RAM + 32GB storage and 6GB + 128GB storage.
On the rear, it sports a 13-megapixel camera with phase detection autofocus (PDAF) and an 8-megapixel camera on the front for selfies. The device runs on ColorOS 5.0 that is built on Android Oreo 8.1. For authentication, this device lacks a fingerprint scanner but covers that up using Face Unlock. Backing all these internals is a 3410mAh battery which does not support any kind of fast charging.
It’s clear that OPPO intends to take on Xiaomi’s wide portfolio of products in India. The Redmi 5, Redmi Note 5 Pro, and the recently announced Redmi Y2 have been huge successes in the country. RealMe is trying to grab this share of the market by releasing products that fit everyone’s price bracket.
Uber Lite app unveiled for entry-level phones with slow internet speeds
Launching first in India
The list of Lite apps are slowly growing and the latest to get released is from the popular ride-hailing service Uber. The service serves both developed and developing countries, each with their own hurdles in getting the perfect experience. In the developing world, there are a number of users that still use entry-levels phones with slow internet connections. Uber wishes to address that with Uber Lite.
Uber Lite is the company’s way of reaching more people. It’s a minimal version of the main app that saves space in the phone’s storage, works on any (or most) network speeds, and, of course, runs great even on basic smartphones like Android Go-powered handsets.
The app is less than 5MB to download, which is significantly less than the regular app’s 181MB size. To achieve this, Uber had to cut some of the main features and leave only the necessities. Gone is the map that welcomes riders, but it’s still there as an option. Instead, the app immediately suggests nearby possible pickup locations based on the user’s GPS. There’s minimal searching on Uber Lite since it uses cache information before the phone went offline to know where you want to go.
The app is already available in India, which is one of Uber’s remaining markets in Asia after they sold their Southeast Asia business to Grab.
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