The Indian smartphone market has seen a flurry of launches over the last couple of years with OEMs looking to crowd almost all price segments in the country. However, in recent times, there has been a tremendous spurt in the under Rs 30,000 bracket which has not gone unnoticed. The emergence of new players such as iQOO has made the mid-range market enticing and quite confusing. With that in mind, here is our list of top 10 smartphones under Rs 30,000. Do note that the prices mentioned are valid as of the time of publishing, and could change.
Xiaomi Mi 11X: Rs 25,490
Currently, the best phone under Rs 30,000 has to be Xiaomi’s Mi 11X (review), at least when you take performance into consideration. It is the only device in the price range running on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 chipset. Apart from that, the Mi 11X also harbours a 120Hz Samsung E4 AMOLED panel with a peak brightness of 1,300 nits. While some bloatware issues persist, the MIUI interface remains smooth and user-friendly. In terms of optics, the triple-camera setup has a 48MP Sony IMX 582 sensor supported by an 8MP ultra-wide and 5MP tele-macro unit. Photos aren’t the best in class but still good for casual use. As for the battery, the 4,520mAh battery supported by 3W fast charging should last you easily for a day and juice up the battery in a jiffy.
Realme X7 Max: Rs 25,294
The Realme X7 Max (review) is currently one of the best value for money offerings that the former OPPO brand has to offer. Its 6nm Dimensity 1200 chipset is optimised for handling intensive performance tasks and gaming. On Antutu, the Realme X7 Max actually had the highest score amongst all the phones in the list at 708,872. Optics-wise, the device offers a 64MP Sony IMX 682 sensor which can upscale content up to 108MP resolution if required and there is also an 8MP ultra-wide shooter along with a 2MP macro sensor. The X7 Max is particularly impressive in shooting nighttime photos. On the front is an AMOLED panel with 120Hz refresh rate and also a super-fast 360Hz touch latency. The RealmeUI skin has also been improved a lot over time and the 4,500mAh battery with 50W fast charging can keep your phone running all day.
POCO F3 GT: Rs 26,999
For mobile gamers on a budget, the POCO F3 GT (review) should really work as an excellent choice. Apart from running fluidly on the Dimensity 1200 chipset, the device has physical shoulder triggers for an added advantage playing battle royale games like BGMI. POCO has provided stereo speakers with hi-res audio and Dolby Atmos support for an immersive experience. UFS 3.1 storage and LPDDR5 RAM also play a part in fast launch times and keeping games running in the background for longer durations. Apart from that, there are software-related customisations that free up the GPU to accomplish sustained gaming at high graphics for a longer time. Other aspects of the device include a crisp 120Hz AMOLED panel, a 64MP triple-camera setup (which could have been a tad better in terms of image quality), a lasting 5,000mAh battery with 65W charging, and Xiaomi’s MIUI platform.
OnePlus Nord 2: Rs 27,999
The biggest USP of the OnePlus Nord 2 (review) is the fact that it uses the same primary 50MP sensor present in the much more expensive OnePlus 9. The result is excellent photography for its price range whether it is bright daylight or extreme low-light. It also has a great 8MP ultra-wide shooter which matches the colour balance and attention to detail as the main sensor. As for the display, you get a 120Hz AMOLED panel that gets plenty bright and has excellent colour calibration. OnePlus’ OxygenOS simplifies the interface for users to interact with the device effortlessly while remaining free of bloatware. On the performance part, the Nord 2 utilises the MediaTek Dimensity 1200 AI SoC, which handles most processor-heavy tasks well. Lastly, the 4,500mAh cell on the phone can easily last for more than a day on regular usage while charging is accomplished swiftly via OnePlus’ Warp Charge 65.
Xiaomi Mi 10T: Rs 21,694
The second Xiaomi phone to make the list is actually not a recent release but its current pricing does make it a worthwhile option. Powered by last year’s flagship chipset Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, the Mi 10T is not one to lag behind in performance-related tasks. It still boasts an excellent 3,262 score on Geekbench 5’s multi-core test and is adept at handling GPU-intensive tasks as well. The display is only an IPS LCD panel but it supports a 144Hz refresh rate which is one of the highest in this segment. There is a triple-camera setup on the back of the device with a 64MP primary sensor along with a 13MP ultra-wide and 5MP macro shooter. As for the battery, you are getting a big 5,000mAh battery that can be charged at 33W.
Realme X7 Pro: Rs 26,999
The Realme X7 Pro (review) was launched alongside the regular X7 as the company’s first Dimensity-powered smartphone. On the X7 Pro, you will find MediaTek’s previous flagship chipset, the Dimensity 1000, which is capable of holding its own against comparative Qualcomm silicone. The back of the device houses a 64MP primary shooter which is supported by an 8MP wide-angle and 2MP macro. Daylight photos on the device are quite nice with a good focus on details. As for the display, a 120Hz AMOLED panel that is sufficiently bright should take care of your visual needs. On the battery front, the 4,500mAh battery is supported by 65W fast charging which can juice up the phone in just about half an hour.
Realme GT Master Edition: Rs 25,990
While the regular Realme GT is an affordable flagship device in the sub-Rs 40,000 price bracket, the Realme GT Master Edition (review) is actually a pretty sweet deal in the mid-range segment. It is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778 5G processor which gives it a good performance edge. Gaming on the device is slightly under par than the smartphones present higher up in the list, but casual gamers should not have much to complain about. The phone comes with 128GB UFS 2.2 storage, along with up to 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM. There is a feature called dynamic RAM expansion which makes use of the internal storage to boost up the RAM by about 5GB more. Optics are handled by a 64MP triple-camera setup which is very common in the mid-range segment and the main sensor sways in favour of dramatic images rich in contrast. The 4,300mAh cell on the device supports 65W charging which can power up the phone from 0 to 100 percent in 27 minutes.
Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite NE: Rs 26,570
The new Mi 11 Lite NE (review) also falls in the same category of sub Rs 25,000 phones that are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778 chipset and can handle a multitude of performance-related tasks without any problem. It has most of the optics that can be found on the Mi 11X such as the 8MP ultra-wide and 5MP tele-macro but upgrades the primary shooter to 64MP. On the display side of things, you get a 10-bit AMOLED display that has a slightly slower 90Hz refresh rate but comes with Dolby Vision support for immersive viewing. The stereo speakers are quite impressive and the MIUI 12.5 skin running on the device is more user friendly than ever. To top it all off, the device has a 4,350 mAh battery that can be topped up fully in just over an hour.
Samsung Galaxy M52: Rs 27,471
The South Korean giant is known for its top-of-the-line Galaxy S series, and also its breakthroughs in the world of foldable smartphones. However, the M series has also been in the limelight for its mass appeal and attractive price point. The Galaxy M52 (review) runs is also running on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778 chipset with up to 8GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable storage. Samsung’s OneUI 3.1 skin has a lot less bloatware and more customisability than before. Then there is the stellar 120Hz 6.7-inch AMOLED panel which is a treat for the eyes. Optics are handled by the same 64MP triple-camera setup prevalent in the price bracket. In the battery department, you get a 5,000mAh cell which is slightly downgraded from the Galaxy M51 although you have the same 25W charging support.
iQOO Z5: Rs 23,990
The iQOO brand has been consistently delivering some of the best value-for-money smartphones in the affordable flagship segment recently. Now with the iQOO Z5 (review), it has expanded its wings into the premium mid-range market as well. Like many of its competitors, the Z5 is powered by the Snapdragon 778 chipset and packs in fast UFS 3.1 storage and LPDDR5 RAM. It comes with a 64MP GW3 sensor from Samsung and is supported by an 8MP ultra-wide along with a 2MP macro camera. The image taking capabilities of the device are standard though, and nothing out of the ordinary. Display-wise it has a 6.67-inch, FHD+ LCD panel that refreshes at 120Hz. Lastly, on the battery front, you get a 5,000mAh cell that can be fast-charged at 44W.