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Best budget smartphone for every user

By Hardik Singh | Published 03 Feb 2017
Best budget smartphone for every user
HIGHLIGHTS
  • We list down the best smartphones under Rs. 15,000 according to user priorities and preferences

Budget smartphones have come a long way from being laggy and feature-less touch screen phones to their current state. Now you can buy a budget smartphone with dependable battery life, brilliant displays, capable cameras, and some will also churn out flagship class performance. While there are plenty of options to choose from in the budget category, there are only a few, which are worth recommending. 

To make things easier for you the reader, we have subdivided the budget category according to requirements and priorities. We considered smartphones under Rs. 15,000 and these are your best options among the lot. 

The affordable option
Xiaomi Redmi 3S
Price: Rs. 6,999

When you want a smartphone which doesn't hurt your pocket and still works without much hassle, the Xiaomi Redmi 3S is your best option. The phone offers a good combination of dependable battery life and reliable performance, beating every other phone in its price range. It also has one of the best displays and build quality we have seen from a 7K phone in recent times. 

Specs:
Display: 5-inch, 720p
SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 430
RAM: 2GB
Storage: 16GB
Camera: 13MP, 5MP
Battery: 4100mAh
OS: Android 6.0

The Redmi 3s is also available as 3s Prime with more RAM and storage, and also, a fingerprint scanner. The 3S Prime is currently available for Rs. 8,999

Best battery life on offer
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4
Price: Rs. 9,999, 10,999, 12,999

Available in three different RAM and storage combinations, the Redmi Note 4 offers the best battery life among budget smartphones. It is the successor to the much loved Redmi Note 3. However, unlike its predecessor, the phone's does not trump its competitors in performance, but rather settles for a less powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset. This new SoC still churns commendable performance, and is the main reason behind the improved battery life. Xiaomi has also improved the rear camera and the overall build quality.

Specs:
Display: 5.5-inch, 1080p
SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 625
RAM: 2/3GB
Storage: 16/32/64GB
Camera: 13MP, 5MP
Battery: 4100mAh
OS: Android 6.0

Best camera phone in a budget
Nubia Z11 Mini
Price: Rs. 12,999

The Z11 Mini takes brilliant images in all lighting situations and has a well equipped Pro mode as well. The build quality and battery life are just fine, but the older Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 powered device does lag a fair bit while gaming and switching between apps. The Nubia Z11 Mini may not be the best performer in the budget category, but it's camera makes up for what it lacks in performance. The 16MP rear camera on this phone is a close competitor to the camera of the OnePlus 3T. It is also one of the best looking devices in the budget segment.

Specs:
Display: 5-inch, 1080p
SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 617
RAM: 3GB
Storage: 32GB
Camera: 16MP, 8MP
Battery: 2800mAh
OS: Android 5.1

When performance is a priority
Lenovo Z2 Plus
Price: Rs. 14,999

With a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 inside, the Z2 Plus from Lenovo hardly has any competition. The phone glides through all tasks you throw at it. The performance of the phone is at par with the One Plus 3, making it one of the most affordable flagship devices available today. The build quality and the rear camera on the other hand leave room for much improvement, but if your priority lies in getting the best performance, this should be your only option.

Specs:
Display: 5-inch, 1080p
SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
RAM: 3GB
Storage: 32GB
Camera: 13MP, 8MP
Battery: 3500mAh
OS: Android 6.0

The Z2 Plus is also available with 4GB RAM and 64GB of storage at slightly higher price of Rs. 17,499

Large screen for the ultimate movie watching experience
Lenovo Phab 2 Plus
Price: Rs. 14,999

Big screen and a big battery. That’s all you want on a long trip to binge watch your favorite TV shows, and that is exactly what the Lenovo Phab 2 Plus provides. The phone / phablet has a 6.4-inch display, with a 1920 x 1080p resolution. Performance is good enough for media consumption, but it is no great shakes beyond that. Performance aside, the device is well built and is quite sturdy.

Specs:
Display: 6.4-inch, 1080p
SoC: MediaTek MT8783
RAM: 3GB
Storage: 32GB
Camera: Dual 13MP, 8MP
Battery: 4050mAh
OS: Android 6.0

If you are only looking for a phablet, the better option is the Xiaomi Mi Max, but at the time of writing this, it was not in stock. 

Take pictures in ‘Bokeh’
Honor 6X
Price: Rs. 12,999

Dual camera smartphones are a rage these days and currently if your budget is limited, the Honor 6X is your best option. The camera quality of the phone is not at par with the Nubia Z11 Mini, but it does provide you with that Bokeh effect. In addition to that the phone is quite good looking, well built and provides a decent performance. The display is certainly one of the best we have seen among budget smartphones and the battery life is commendable, as it lasted us the whole day during our testing.

Specs:
Display: 5.5-inch, 1080p
SoC: HiSilicon Kirin 655
RAM: 3GB
Storage: 32GB
Camera: Dual 12MP + 2MP, 8MP
Battery: 3340mAh
OS: Android 6.0

When you need a stock like Android experience
Moto G4 Plus
Price: 13,999

If you like Android OS and want the stock Android experience on your phone without spending an obscene amount of money on the new Pixel smartphone, the Moto G4 Plus is the best budget friendly option. It is not as powerful as the Coolpad Cool 1 or even the new Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, but it does have a decent battery life and a good 16MP rear camera. However, the main USP of the phone remains its unadulterated OS, which will get updated to Android 7.0 gradually.

Specs:
Display: 5.5-inch, 1080p
SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 617
RAM: 3GB
Storage: 32GB
Camera: 16MP, 5MP
Battery: 3000mAh
OS: Android 6.0

For Selfie aficionados
Nubia N1
Price: 11,999

The Nubia N1 is the best option if you are looking for a smartphone, which could take good selfies. The 13MP front facing shooter on the phone has a f/2.2 aperture and features PDAF (phase detection autofocus). In addition to that the beautify feature on the phone does not make you look artificially beautiful. As far as performance is concerned, Nubia has tried to make the MediaTek Helio P10 work and has succeeded for the most part, but it still falls short compared to the competition. Unfortunately, the rear camera is not as good as the one we saw on the Z11 Mini, but you do get a decent battery life.

Specs:
Display: 5.5-inch, 1080p
SoC: Mediatek Helio P10
RAM: 3GB
Storage: 32GB
Camera: 13MP, 13MP
Battery: 5000mAh
OS: Android 6.0

Jack of all trades
Coolpad Cool 1
Price: 13,999

Different people have different priorities when buying a smartphone, but if you want a well balanced smartphone in the budget segment, the Coolpad Cool 1 is the phone to have. Made on the powerful LeEco Le 2 platform, the Cool 1 offers good performance, thanks to the Snapdragon 652 SoC. It has a sturdy metal built, a beautiful display and a well executed dual camera setup at the rear. The phone even has a good battery life, which lasts more than a day of usage quite easily.

Specs:
Display: 5.5-inch, 1080p
SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 652
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 32GB
Camera: Dual 13MP, 8MP
Battery: 4000mAh
OS: Android 6.0

Hardik Singh
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Tags:
Xiaomi Redmi 3S Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 Nubia Z11 Mini Lenovo Z2 Plus Lenovo Phab 2 Plus Honor 6X Moto G4 Plus Nubia N1 Coolpad Cool 1 best smartphones under Rs. 15 000
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