The prices of flagship-class smartphones have skyrocketed over the past few years, and it isn’t shocking at all to see people spend more than Rs. 70,000 for the latest iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, and Google Pixel models. Thankfully, if your budget isn’t quite so generous, you can get very nearly the same performance, features, and style for less than half as much. The sub-Rs. 30,000 category has plenty of options, and some of the recently launched models at this price level even boast of features that much more expensive flagships don’t have yet.
If you can spend up to Rs. 30,000, you can get yourself a phone that does it all. You don’t have to compromise on camera quality, battery life, or modern conveniences. Some of our picks for the best smartphones priced below Rs. 30,000 might surprise you with their features, such as the Vivo V15 Pro’s pop-up selfie camera and in-display fingerprint sensor, or the Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)’s four rear cameras.
We review hundreds of smartphones each year and put them through a number of tests to see whether they’re good enough to recommend. We check out their performance, cameras, displays, batteries, software, and physical construction quality, and we also tell you everything you need to know about how they hold up in day-to-day use. The following phones have scored the highest across the board, so you know that you’re getting the best possible bang for your buck.
Here are our current picks for the best smartphones priced below Rs. 30,000.
The Poco F5 5G is an undeniable powerhouse at this price as it delivers raw performance that comes close to Qualcomm's flagship 8 Gen series SoCs. This, coupled with the good heat management makes the F5 5G an excellent option for anyone looking for a powerful smartphone for gaming. Other areas where the F5 5G excels are its display, good battery life, and slim design. I just wished it felt a bit more premium like its predecessor did. Overall, if you're looking for a powerful gaming smartphone at around Rs. 30,000, the F5 5G is worth considering.
Some of the features of the Nothing Phone 1 that really stand out are its premium build quality, vibrant display, good primary camera, and clean Android experience. The glyph lights are a nice differentiator but you may or may not find them actually useful for daily use. The one thing that needs the most improvement right now is the secondary cameras, especially in low light. Video recording could also benefit from better stabilisation and features.
Phones such as the Xiaomi 11T Pro and iQoo 9 SE offer better specs and features for a simialr price. However, if you want a phone that looks completely unique while still having all the essential features, there's nothing quite like the Phone 1 right now.
The OnePlus Nord 2T 5G comes with minor upgrades over the previous model. Its design mostly remains the same as before, but has some minor changes around the back, which includes a new layout for the cameras.
Its processor has been upgraded to a Dimensity 1300 SoC, which brings some performance improvements. The display remains the same as before and offers a 90Hz refresh rate.
The phone offers OxygenOS 12.1 which is based on Android 12. It has minimal bloatware and comes with just one preinstalled third-party app. Software performance is smooth and it all feels fluid thanks to the 90Hz display.
Gaming performance is quite good as well. The phone still lacks a macro camera unlike the original Nord, but the primary camera can shoot decent close-up images. Low-light performance is quite good. Battery capacity remains the same as before, but OnePlus has amped up the charging to 80W.
The Pixel 6a is a big upgrade and a step up from the Pixel 4a, which was Google’s last smartphone to make it to India. It packs in plenty of upgrades over the previous model but also a higher price tag.
Its design utilises glass for the display and a plastic panel for the rear, both of which are held together by an aluminium frame. While it feels solid, it's far from premium since the plastic panel is a massive smudge and dust magnet.
Software performance does not feel as fluid because of its 60Hz refresh rate display, but you do get the latest and greatest from Google which is Android 13 with no added bloatware.
Camera performance in all kinds of lighting conditions is top-notch, but video quality seems a bit lacking. Battery life is good for a day’s worth of use but charging is quite slow.
The Realme GT Neo 3 (150W) aims to offer an improved experience over the GT Neo 2 with a focus on gaming, but ends up falling a bit short of expectations in its attempt to offer more features.
Its design remains similar to the GT Neo 2, with some minor modifications to its finish. Performance with its MediaTek Dimensity 8100 SoC seems to have taken a bit of a hit when compared to what the competition offers. Gaming performance is good but not the best in this segment.
Camera performance is good both in daylight and in low light and it’s mainly down to the new OIS-enabled sensor from Sony. But it’s not as good as what the competition offers.
The 150W model offers a 150W charger in the box which does a good job of charging the smartphone quickly, but heats up the phone quite a bit.
|Best Mobile Phones Under 30000 In India||Price in India|
|Realme 11 Pro+||Rs. 27,999|
|Poco F5 5G||Rs. 26,999|
|Motorola Edge 40||Rs. 29,999|
|Samsung Galaxy A34 5G||Rs. 25,999|
|iQOO Neo 7 5G||Rs. 27,999|
|Vivo V25 Pro||Rs. 26,450|
|Nothing Phone 1||Rs. 28,999|
|Oppo Reno 8||Rs. 26,999|
|OnePlus Nord 2T 5G||Rs. 28,295|
|Google Pixel 6a||Rs. 25,999|
|Realme GT Neo 3 (150W)||Rs. 28,499|
|Best Mobile Phones||Best Camera Mobile Phones||Best Mobile Phones Under 10000|
|Best Mobile Phones Under 15000||Best Mobile Phones Under 20000||Best Mobile Phones Under 25000|
|Best Mobile Phones Under 35000||Best Mobile Phones Under 40000||Mobile Phones between 10000 to 15000|
|Best Camera Mobile Phones Under 15000||Best Camera Mobile Phones Under 20000||Best Camera Mobile Phones Under 25000|
|Best Camera Mobile Phones Under 30000||Best 5G Mobile Phones Under 15000||Best 5G Mobile Phones Under 20000|
|Best 5G Mobile Phones Under 25000||Best 5G Mobile Phones Under 30000||Best 5G Mobile Phones Under 40000|
|Best 5G Mobile Phones Under 50000|