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 Realme GT isn’t a flagship killer but it is a premium all-rounder. Priced starting from Rs 37,999, the Realme GT lacks features like an IP rating and wireless charging but still turned out to be a good all-rounder. With its top variant available only in a Racing Yellow vegan leather finish, it is aimed at the youth who want a no-frills performance-oriented smartphone. It has a Super AMOLED display with a high refresh rate that will appeal to gamers. There’s a top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor and plenty of RAM, so this phone is more than capable of handling the most high-end games. The cameras also perform quite well for still photos and video recording. Battery life is good, and the 65W charger that’s included in the box charges this phone very quickly.
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 new design of the Oppo Reno 7 looks nice. The rounded frame and curved edges of the back gives the phone a sleek aesthetic. The Reno 7 also gets the same laser-etched pattern on the back like on the Reno 7 Pro, which looks good and does’t attract fingerprints. The 6.4-inch AMOLED display is similar to the one on the previous phone. It has a full-HD+ resolution, 90Hz refresh rate and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection.
Oppo hasn’t bothered refreshing the SoC in the Reno 7 as it’s still the MediaTek Dimensity 900, along with has 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The software experience of the Oppo Reno 7 is identical to the 7 Pro. Day-to-day performance has been solid so far with the Oppo Reno 7. The SoC is plenty powerful for handling the usual productivity and social apps. The bump in battery capacity to 4,500mAh (from 4,300mAh) seems to have made a noticeable impact on battery life.
It’s a good phone overall without any glaring faults but just know that there are better feature-packed offerings available online, that offer a lot more bang for you buck.
The Samsung Galaxy A52s is a quality mid-range smartphone with a premium price tag. This makes it a hard sell, both to a premium smartphone buyer and someone who is looking for a solid mid-range smartphone.
The Galaxy A52s is positioned higher than the Galaxy A52 because it has a faster display, a new and updated processor with better overall performance, and 5G.
While its design is identical to that of the Galaxy A52, it retains the IP67 rating which appears to be the only standout feature against its competitors. The upgraded 120Hz display keeps up with the competition and offers deep blacks, while its stereo speakers deliver loud and clear sound.
Camera performance is quite good in daylight, but low-light photos and videos leave a lot to be desired. Battery life is quite good and charging speed is average, even though some competing smartphones priced much lower do better.
The OnePlus Nord 2 5G is the successor of the OnePlus Nord. It is a part of the affordable Nord series and is affordable compared to the OnePlus 9 Series. The OnePlus Nord 2 sports a 6.43-inch AMOLED display with fullHD+ resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate. The smartphone has Corning Gorilla Glass 5 at the front and the back, giving it a premium look and feel.
OnePlus has managed to keep the weight of the smartphone down to 189g. It packs in a 4,500mAh battery and supports 65W Warp charging., the charger is bundled in the box. At the back, it has a triple camera setup, comprising of a 50-megapixel primary camera with OIS, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera and a 2-megapixel mono camera.
The Nord 2 is powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 1200AI processor and is available in 6GB, 8GB and 12GB RAM options. OnePlus offers 128GB and 256GB storage options but these aren't expandable further Just like other OnePlus smartphones, the Nord 2 also gets OxygenOS and it is running on top of Android 11. You also get two years of software updates and three years of security updates. The Nord 2 is a good performer and can handle heavy tasks and apps without any issues. The 4500mAh battery can go for a day and a half without any issues. Charging is super quick and the phone can get topped up from a drained state in just 32 minutes.
Camera performance of the Nord 2 is good for the price. Daylight photos are good but shots from the ultra-wide angle camera aren't great. The Nord 2 manages close-ups and portrait shots very well. Low light camera performance was also good and with Nightscape mode, the phone can click better shots in lowlight. Overall, the OnePlus Nord 2 is a good pick for someone on a budget.
The Poco F3 GT is a successor to the original Poco F1 and focuses on delivering performance. The Poco F3 GT has a premium build quality, it has a metal frame and a glass back. This metal frame has “maglev” trigger buttons which can be engaged by sliders on the side.
You get a big 6.67-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. It has support for HDR10+ and can reach a touch sampling rate of 480Hz while in game turbo mode. Poco has picked the Dimensity 1200 SoC to power the F3 GT and has paired it with 6GB and 8GB of RAM. You do get 128GB and 256GB storage options with this device.
Poco has managed to pack in a 5,065mAh battery and had bundled a 67W fast charger in the box. The phone can go beyond a day and a half on a single charge and did manage to score well in our HD video loop test. The supplied charger too was quick to top the big battery off very quickly.
The Poco F3 GT has a triple camera setup consisting of a 64-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera and a. 2-megapixel macro camera. The smartphone delivered average performance in daylight as well as lowlight. The macro camera managed decent details but had a lower resolution.
Overall, the Poco F3 GT is a gaming focussed smartphone that offers very good performance for the price. However, it isn’t a though all-rounder and could do with a few camera improvements.
The Poco F4 5G is a well-designed smartphone that looks and feels premium. It offers very good gaming performance, above-average battery life, quick charging, and a very nice display that supports Dolby Vision HDR playback. The IP53 rating also is a nice bonus. This phone offers better value than the Xiaomi Mi 11X (Review), which is essentially the same device but with slower charging.
Realme has launched the new X7 Max 5G shortly after the X7 Pro 5G, and this new phone offers a much more powerful SoC but at a lower starting price. The Dimensity 1200 SoC is great for gaming and general productivity. You get a 4500mAh battery and 50W fast charging, with a 65W charger unit supplied in the retail box. Battery life is excellent and you should be able to last well over a single day on each charge. The 6.43-inch Super AMOLED scren is crisp but not the best we've seen. Stereo speakers make games and movies more engaging. Realme UI's default apps do throw up some spammy notifications but there are lots of features too. The cameras are disappointing overall, especially in low light. You also might not like the plastic rear panel which doesn't feel too premium.
The Oppo Reno 6 shares a lot of features with the Pro model, such as the Bokeh Flare Portrait filter in the camera app, 65W fast charging, and a high refresh rate AMOLED display. The design gives off strong iPhone 12 vibes, but it really seems to work in its favour. The 6.42-inch AMOLED display looks very good. It has a full-HD+ resolution, Corning Gorilla Glass 5, 90Hz refresh rate, and a claimed peak brightness rating of up to 700nits.
Oppo says this is India's first phone to sport the MediaTek Dimensity 900 SoC which is plenty powerful to handle daily tasks and games at the full-HD+ resolution. The 4,300mAh battery capacity might not sound too impressive, but with day-to-day usage, I was easily averaging more than a full day on single charge. The Oppo Reno 6 misses out on the rear depth camera that the Reno 6 Pro has, but apart from this, it has the same set of sensors on the front and back.
The Xiaomi Mi 11X offers the very powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 SoC at a surprisingly low price, and the tradeoff is camera quality. While this phone is great for gaming and entertainment, it takes just about average photos and videos in the daytime, while low-light performance is quite below par. You get a big, bright vibrant 6.67-inch 120Hz full-HD+ display and a battery that will easily last you through a full day. There are also some premium touches such as Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back, an IP53 rating, and stereo speakers. You can buy the Mi 11X with 6GB or 8GB of RAM, but storage is constant at 128GB. Games run very well, and videos look great on the screen. The 48-megapixel main rear camera is serviceable and the 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera is much weaker, but the surprise standout is the 5-megapixel "telemacro" camera which allows for some very creative shots.
The Realme X7 Pro 5G looks quite similar to the Realme 7 Pro, especially the design of the rear camera module. One-handed use is quite comfortable thanks to the slim body and relatively low weight of 184g. The display is one of the highlights of the Realme X7 Pro which is a 6.55-inch full-HD+ Super AMOLED panel with an in-display fingerprint sensor, 120Hz refresh rate, Gorilla Glass 5, and support for HDR video playback.
Another feature worth noting is the use of MediaTek's Dimensity 1000+ 5G SoC which is a power-efficient SoC with strong CPU and GPU performance. The Realme X7 Pro 5G ran smoothly in the short time I had to test it. I didn't notice any unwarranted heating, system lag, or slowdowns of any kind.
The Realme X7 Pro 5G is still running Realme UI 1.0, based on Android 10. There's not much that we haven't already seen. It's still flooded with bloatware, although most of that can be removed. The Realme X7 Pro 5G posted strong benchmark numbers, and games such as Oceanhorn and Call of Duty Mobile ran effortlessly.
The Realme X7 Pro 5G has a familiar camera configuration which we've seen on some of its previous smartphones. You get a 32-megapixel selfie camera on the front, and at the back, there are four sensors which include a 64-megapixel main camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera, a 2-megapixel monochrome camera, and a 2-megapixel macro camera. Daylight performance is good but it struggles to give satisfactory results in low light.
|Best Mobile Phones Under 30000 In India||Price in India|
|Realme GT 5G||Rs. 26,999|
|Oppo Reno 8||Rs. 29,990|
|iQOO Neo 6||Rs. 29,999|
|OnePlus Nord 2T 5G||Rs. 28,999|
|Motorola Edge 30||Rs. 27,999|
|Oppo Reno 7 5G||Rs. 28,999|
|Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G||Rs. 28,499|
|OnePlus Nord 2||Rs. 27,999|
|Poco F3 GT||Rs. 28,999|
|Poco F4 5G||Rs. 27,999|
|Realme X7 Max||Rs. 25,999|
|Oppo Reno 6||Rs. 25,999|
|Mi 11X||Rs. 27,999|
|Realme X7 Pro 5G||Rs. 29,999|
|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 20000||Best 5G Mobile Phones Under 25000|