Smartphones in the entry-level segment are still primarily about two things – big displays and long battery life. But in 2023, we have begun to see manufacturers going above and beyond, with some even trying to cram in 5G connectivity and high-refresh rate displays. Indeed, it's not a rosy picture through and through, as most budget smartphones launched in 2023 or prior, usually struggle with getting the basics right. Camera quality isn't the best even on the most highly-rated smartphones on our list, in fact even getting smooth running software is something of a rarity in this segment.
While most of us would prefer to spend a bit more and get something from our sub-Rs. 15,000 guide, there are many users who are just transitioning to their first smartphone or even buying their first ever mobile phone. The Rs. 10,000 segment is also for those who basically need a smartphone for placing calls (audio/video) or for just basic messaging apps.
Our newest additions to this guide include the Poco C51, the stylish Realme Narzo N53 and even the Lava Blaze 5G. Here are the best smartphones priced under Rs. 10,000 in India that are reviewed and rated by Gadgets 360, in no particular order.
|Phones under Rs. 10,000||Gadgets 360 rating (out of 10)||Price in India (as recommended)|
|Poco C51||7||Rs. 6,999|
|Realme Narzo N53||7||Rs. 8,999|
|Lava Yuva 2 Pro||7||Rs. 8,999|
|Realme C55||7||Rs. 10,999|
|Moto E13||8||Rs. 6,799|
|Lava Blaze 5G||8||Rs. 10,999|
The Poco C51 is the most affordable device on our list with prices starting at just Rs. 6,999. Even at this price, Poco has managed to cram in a healthy 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. There's a large 5,000mAh battery and a MediaTek Helio G36 processor which has just enough power to run the underlying software.
While its price is as low as it can get for the entry-level segment, you have to keep in mind that the Poco C51 is powered by Android 13 Go Edition. It may not be the smoothest software interface out there, but it has a small footprint which takes up less internal storage (compared to the standard Android 13 OS) and also has lighter apps which take up less space and are easier to run. This one's clearly for those who want a “smartphone” with good battery life for placing calls and running basic apps as it can easily last two days on a single charge with casual use.
The Realme Narzo N53 is an entry-level smartphone that is high on style, but also manages to offer decent value because it comes with a 90Hz refresh rate display. The phone focuses primarily on style and design and is a breath of fresh air in a smartphone segment which is primarily stuck on delivering the basics.
While you won't be gaming with that high-refresh rate display, the phone's Unisoc T612 SoC offers enough grunt to run basic apps and the software interface smoothly. This is mainly down to Realme's use of its Realme UI T-edition, which is less resource heavy. Ironically, the company has also loaded this device to the brim with bloatware and third-party apps. Thankfully, you get decent camera performance and good battery life with its 5,000mAh battery. Charging is also pretty quick thanks to the bundled 33W charger.
The Lava Yuva 2 Pro, like the Realme Narzo N53, is all about looks. It has a slim profile with a very iPhone-like rear camera module. There's also a glass-rear panel, which is a rare find in this segment. However, this is still a fairly large phone with a 6.5-inch HD+ IPS LCD panel, so it may not fit small or medium-sized hands despite its slim profile.
At its core is a MediaTek Helio G37 SoC, which is good enough for basic, routine tasks but not recommended for gaming. Software isn't its best foot forward as it is stuck on Android 12. While, software performance is palatable, the phone offers a rather stock Android interface, which is free from spammy notifications, but you do get some preinstalled third-party apps. There's also a side-mounted fingerprint scanner if you are looking for one. Camera performance is average for this segment but it should deliver two days worth of battery life.
The Realme C55 attempts to take things a notch higher than the Narzo N53 on this list, but does not really succeed in doing so overall. While the phone will go down in history as the only Android smartphone that attempted to mimic the Apple iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island feature, this attempt fell horribly short of expectations as the built-in LED notification light turned out to be more useful. Gimmicky features aside, the phone packs a MediaTek Helio G88 SoC, which surprisingly wasn't powerful enough to keep its Android 13 software running smoothly.
Thankfully its speedy 90Hz refresh rate display, premium-looking design and good daylight imaging make up for its slightly higher Rs. 10,999 asking price.
The Moto E13 is another Android 13 Go Edition device that's the most affordable smartphone in our list because its Rs. 6,799 sticker price only gets you 2GB of RAM. The phone features an ergonomic design and also offers an IP52 rating for basic dust and water resistance.
The 4GB RAM variant with the Unisoc T606 SoC offers decent software performance for everyday tasks, and you even get dual-band Wi-Fi. The phone offers a Type-C USB port and FM radio. As with all Motorola devices, software is its strong-point despite packing a Go Edition of Android 13. The company's MyUX manages to pack in enough customisation options and offers a bloatware-free software experience save for a few preinstalled third-party apps, which can also be uninstalled. Battery life, sadly, is only decent and will only last a day on a single charge.
The Lava Blaze 5G is the only phone in this guide which managed a good rating overall and this is mainly because its priced at a slightly higher at Rs. 10,999. The phone offers good build quality with a rear panel that's made of glass. There's also a convenient Type-C USB port on the bottom. It is powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 700 SoC which also enables 5G connectivity. Its software is stuck on Android 12, but our experience with it was quite good with no lag. The phone also offers a side-mounted fingerprint scanner which works as expected.
Camera performance with its 50-megapixel main camera does a good job in daylight, but is mostly an average performer in low light. Video quality is also quite good with the phone capable of capturing 2K footage as well. Its 5,000mAh battery easily lasted more than a day with a single charge, but charging is quite slow with the bundled 12W charger.