This segment of smartphones continues to be popular with those looking for a little extra in terms of features and performance, particularly now with 5G becoming almost standard on new phones. The big news is the addition of the OnePlus Nord CE 5G, which is now the most affordable OnePlus phone in India and offers much the same experience that its premium siblings do. The very popular OnePlus Nord is not on this list since the 6GB RAM variant is no longer being sold, but there are rumours of a new model coming up.
We’ve let a few older models slip off our list since they aren’t as good value anymore, and some others were previously featured here have fallen in price, so they’re still great but you’ll find them on our list of the best phones to buy under Rs. 20,000 now. Samsung, Xiaomi, and Realme are the main players in this segment for now, all with their own strengths and weaknesses.
The select few models that have made it to our list are definitely worth your time and money. You can also consider buying higher-specced variants of phones that made it to our sub-Rs. 20,000 list. Here are all the best phones you can buy under Rs. 25,000 in India to help you make the right choice.
Best phones under 25,000
|Phones under Rs. 25,000||Gadgets 360 rating (out of 10)||Price in India (as recommended)|
|OnePlus Nord CE 5G||8||Rs. 24,999 (8GB + 128GB)|
|Samsung Galaxy F62||8||Rs. 23,999|
|Realme X7 5G||8||Rs. 21,999 (8GB)|
|Mi 10i||8||Rs. 20,999|
|Vivo V20||8||Rs. 22,990|
OnePlus Nord CE 5G
One of the most anticipated phone launches of 2021, the OnePlus Nord CE 5G brings the OnePlus experience, especially the smooth OxygenOS UI, to a new low price point. This isn’t a premium “flagship killer”, and it lacks a few touches such as the familiar alert slider, but a lot of people will find it more than enough for their needs. The Snapdragon 750G SoC, 6.43-inch Super Amoled screen, 4500mAh battery and quick charging all make for a great experience whether you’re getting day-to-day work done or playing games.
The base variant with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage isn’t on sale yet, but luckily the middle variant with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage still falls within our budget. The top-end variant has 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and competes in a different price league altogether.
Samsung Galaxy F62
The new Samsung Galaxy F62 (Review) offers pretty much the same features as the Samsung Galaxy M51 (Review) but with a more powerful, flagship-class SoC and the latest version of Android for only a bit more money. The Galaxy F62 boasts of the same 7,000mAh battery which makes it chunky and heavy. You do get a very good Super AMOLED display, decent daytime camera performance, and excellent gaming performance at this price thanks to the Exynos 9825 SoC which is the same one used for the Galaxy Note 10+.
Since there is no such thing as the perfect smartphone, there are a few things to keep in mind about the Samsung Galaxy F62: you’ll find ads in some of the stock apps, low-light camera performance could be better, and the battery can take a while to charge even with the 25W fast charger.
Realme X7 5G
We usually list just the base variants of smartphones for each list, but the Realme X7 5G (Review) represents very good value, which we think is worth considering even under Rs. 25,000. The 8GB variant is priced at Rs. 21,999 and at this price, you get a powerful MediaTek Dimensity 800U 5G SoC which is on par with similar solutions from Qualcomm. This results is very good overall performance, be it system or gaming. We also found battery life to be excellent and you also get 50W fast charging which is impressive.
The Realme X7 5G has a light and compact body which helps with daily usability. The cameras are one department in which we think this phone could have been better. Given enough light, the sensors can produce very usable images but low-light performance is slightly weak and the aggressive post-processing holds quality back a bit. The phone did not have Android 11 yet at the time of testing, and we did notice quite a bit of bloatware.
Overall, if you can make your peace with these little issues, the Realme X7 5G is a solid offering at this price.
Xiaomi kickstarted 2021 with the launch of the Mi 10i (Review) at a very aggressive starting price of just Rs. 20,999. You get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G 5G SoC, fast charging, a 120Hz display, and a 108-megapixel primary camera — which are all mighty impressive for a phone at this price. Other than the on-paper specifications, the phone also offers plenty of other little convenient features and design touches which make usage even more enjoyable.
The 108-megapixel camera is definitely the main selling point here, but in our experience, it doesn’t quite hit the mark all the time. It’s possible that this could improve via software updates in the future. The Mi 10i is a great phone for showing off, and you certainly get very good value for money. If you aren’t too fussy about photo quality, it could be a great option under Rs. 25,000.
The Vivo V20 (Review) continues to stay on our list and has also received a neat little price cut. The Vivo V20 looks striking in its new colour options and is thin at 7.38mm. If you prioritise design over other things, the V20 should appeal to you. At the front it has a crisp 6.44-inch AMOLED display with an in-display fingerprint sensor. It has a dewdrop notch at the top. You get a glass back which feels premium to the touch.
The Vivo V20 packs in a triple camera setup at the back consisting of a 64-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera also capable of macro shots, and a 2-megapixel mono camera. It has a 44-megapixel selfie shooter with Eye Autofocus. Powering the Vivo V20 is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G processor, paired with 8GB of RAM. Rounding things off is the latest version of Funtouch OS, which is based on Android 11.