The Best Phone Under Rs. 40,000 You Can Buy In India

Our latest recommendations include the Nothing Phone 1, OnePlus 10R 5G Endurance Edition and the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G.
The Best Phone Under Rs. 40,000 You Can Buy In India
Highlights

You can find some flagship-grade hardware in this segment

Value-adds include slick design, high-end cameras, and fast charging

Some models are all-rounders, while others focus on a particular feature

T​his is an interesting time for premium smartphones in India. We're currently seeing prices rise across the industry due to inflation, currency fluctuations and the ongoing supply chain disruption. Phone manufacturers have now shifted their attention from the Rs. 20,000 segment to the more aspirational sub-Rs. 30,000 and sub-Rs. 40,000 price bands. The market in India is also maturing, and many people are looking to upgrade to higher-end models when it's time to upgrade.

If you have a budget of up to Rs. 40,000, you can get some excellent devices with up-to-date specifications, more than enough power for gaming, and impressive camera quality. Manufacturers have also gone to considerable lengths to stand out in terms of design, and you'll likely see features such as very quick charging and an IP rating, plus plenty of RAM and storage. These phones surprisingly also offer incredible value, when compared to their more premium counterparts.

Here are the best smartphones priced under Rs. 40,000 in India, reviewed and rated by Gadgets 360, in no particular order.

Best phones under Rs. 40,000

Phones under Rs. 40,000 Gadgets 360 rating (out of 10) Price in India (as recommended)
Nothing Phone 1 8 Rs. 32,999
OnePlus 10R 5G Endurance Edition 8 Rs. 39,999
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G 8 Rs. 34,499
Xiaomi 11T Pro 9 Rs. 39,999
iQoo 9 SE 8 Rs. 33,900
Oppo Reno 7 Pro 5G 8 Rs. 39,999
Motorola Edge 20 Pro 8 Rs. 36,999
Realme GT Neo 2 8 Rs. 31,999

 

Nothing Phone 1

If you crave a phone that breaks the mould or looks very different from everything that's currently available, the Nothing Phone 1 should be high up on your list. Its transparent design, complete with a set of intricately laid out LED light strips, will ensure that your phone stands out no matter where you go. The lights don't change colour, but will dance in sync to a ringtone, showcase the current charging status when plugged in, and even blink for notifications. This mid-ranger certainly packs a punch, mainly because its unique design is also IP53-rated for dust and water resistance. It also offers wireless charging at an unbelievably cut-throat starting price. Charging speeds aren't the fastest in its segment and Nothing does not bundle a charger in the box.

 

 

OnePlus 10R 5G Endurance Edition

The OnePlus 10R's design with its sharp edges and straight lines is quite subjective. Some may find it attractive, while others may find it very odd-looking and very different from OnePlus' usual rounded and curved designs. Regardless of which side you are on, its recent price drop makes the OnePlus 10R Endurance Edition very attractive because it's one of the few phones in this segment to offer 150W wired charging and a 160W charger is bundled in the box. Camera performance is good in both daylight and low light but it isn't best in class. Battery life is quite good and the MediaTek Dimensity 8100-Max SoC combined with 120Hz refresh rate display works well for games. If you are a OnePlus fan, we must warn you that it lacks the iconic Alert slider.

 

 

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G replaces the Galaxy A52s 5G and shares a lot of its specifications, but looks slick with design elements borrowed from the top-end Galaxy S22 series. The new Exynos 1280 SoC delivers budget-level performance, so those looking for a good gaming phone will have to look elsewhere. There's an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, which is a value add. Camera still and video performance is good in daylight but average in low light. This phone's 5,000mAh battery lasts two days with casual use. Samsung does not include a charger in the box, but the phone supports 25W fast charging.

 

 

Xiaomi 11T Pro

The Xiaomi 11T Pro doesn't stand out in terms of design, with a polycarbonate mid-frame sandwiched between two sheets of glass. However, it delivers raw performance thanks to its Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC and is a good all-rounder. Its attractive price and features make it a good deal. Its AMOLED display showcases accurate colours and is also Dolby Vision certified. You get stereo sound with Dolby Atmos support, which makes for immersive video streaming. Battery life is top notch and this phone offers up to two days of casual use on a single charge. You also get a 120W fast charger in the box. Camera performance is quite good, except for the quality of selfies in low light.

 

 

iQoo 9 SE

The iQoo 9 SE looks quite premium. There's no official IP rating, but you get high-quality stereo speakers that sound great when streaming video and playing games. The 6.62-inch 120Hz Super AMOLED display produces punchy colours and is HDR10+ certified. The software experience with Android 12 is smooth and fluid, but this phone does come with too many preinstalled third-party apps. Gaming performance with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC is top-notch, and the 4,500mAh battery lasted a day and a half on a single charge in our tests. Camera performance in daylight is impressive, but we expected better from the ultra-wide-angle camera. The iQoo 9 SE also shoots good macros, and selfies came out nicely.

 

 

Oppo Reno 7 Pro 5G

Design has always been a big talking point for the Oppo Reno series, and the Reno 7 Pro has a glass back with a laser micro-etched finish. The 6.5-inch full-HD+ 90Hz AMOLED panel delivers very good colours and contrast, plus there's Corning Gorilla 5 for scratch protection. The Dimensity 1200-Max SoC from MediaTek has custom optimisations and makes games run smoothly. You get ColorOS 12 but this is still based on Android 11, not Android 12. Battery life is solid, and charging is super-fast.

 

 

Motorola Edge 20 Pro

The Motorola Edge 20 Pro has a 6.7-inch full-HD+ AMOLED display with a 144Hz refresh rate. It's well built and has Corning Gorilla Glass 5 at the front and back plus an aluminium frame. It is IP52 rated for dust and water resistance. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 SoC is matched with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. There's a 4,500mAh battery and you get a 30W charger in the box. Motorola ships near-stock Android 12 with minor customisations. The Edge 20 Pro has a 108-megapixel primary camera, a 16-megapixel ultra-wide camera and an 8-megapixel 5X telephoto camera. Photos taken in daylight were good, especially and close-ups. The telephoto camera can be useful for shooting faraway objects. However, low-light camera performance was not upto the mark.

 

 

Realme GT Neo 2

This is a solid mid-range gaming smartphone. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 processor offers plenty of raw performance and the cooling system does a good job of sustaining that performance. The Realme GT Neo 2 is available in a bright Neo Green as well as two other subtle colours. The 5,000mAh battery easily lasts a day and half even with some gaming sessions. The dual speakers are quite loud and make for an immersive experience while gaming and watching movies. Camera performance is a mixed bag at best. While daylight performance is good, low-light shots and video weren't as impressive, which means that the GT Neo 2 is not an all-rounder.

Realme has recently launched the GT Neo 3 which we have not reviewed. The GT Neo 3 (150W) is very similar and did perform well in our tests but is priced above Rs. 40,000.

 

Is the Nothing Phone 1 worth it beyond its design choices? We discuss this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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