Best Smartphones under 15000 to Buy (Adjusted after GST Rate Hike)

Best Smartphones under 15000 to Buy (Adjusted after GST Rate Hike)

Team Digit | 02 May 2020
HIGHLIGHTS

While all of them have something good to offer, the best smartphones under 15,000 are true allrounders ensuring good performance, good cameras and long battery life.

Some mobiles under 15000 even offer stunning new designs and high-end displays.

The best phones you get under Rs 15,000 can make an expensive flagship look pointless. These are the ones we are talking about.

India is the world’s second-biggest smartphone market, but most of the action happens in the budget segment. The segment under Rs 15,000 is the hottest and there are a lot of options to choose from. While all of them have something good to offer, the best smartphones under 15,000 are true allrounders ensuring good performance, good cameras and long battery life. Some even offer new stunning designs and high-end displays. All said and done, the best phones you get under Rs 15,000 can make an expensive flagship look pointless.

A new development in the industry, however has changed things a little. The Indian Government announced a  6% hike in GST rates for mobile phones leading manufacturers to hike the prices. As a result, smartphones (the good ones) that were previously available under Rs 15,000 are now a little more expensive. Extending the budget by Rs 1.000 can open up these options for you, and we have included these in the end.  If you are in the market to pick up a mobile under Rs 15,000, these are the best options —

1. Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro is the latest addition to the ever-popular Note series from Xiaomi and is the best smartphone to pick up under Rs 15,000. It simply offers the best hardware and software combination right now, along with a new attractive design. The Note 9 Pro now features a punch-hole display that stretches all the way to the edges. It’s fairly bright indoors, but colours look faded out in the sun. But there’s Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on both sides, along with reinforced edges and an ergonomic design that’s good for texting on the go.

The Redmi Note 9 Pro is also quite powerful with the Snapdragon 720G at the heart of things. The variant under Rs 15,000 offers 4GB RAM and 64GB storage which is good enough for basic users. The Note 9 Pro also lasts well over a day thanks to a large 5020mAh battery and even tops up with an 18W fast charger which you get out of the box.

As for the camera, the Note 9 Pro uses the new Samsung ISOCELL+ GM2 48MP sensor in the primary camera with f/1.79 with good results. Images look sharp and detailed at the default 12MP resolution. Xiaomi also employs its own set of algorithms that can enhance a typical landscape shot with more vibrancy and dynamic range. Additionally, there is an 8MP ultrawide lens, a 5MP macro lens that lets you go as close as 2cm to the subject and a depth sensor. On the front, you get a 16MP camera for selfies.

In all, the Redmi Note 9 Pro is the all-rounder and the best mobiles to buy under Rs 15,000.


2. Realme 6

Realme 6

The Realme 6 is the latest addition to Realme’s Number series which is probably the only smartphone lineup that has consistently challenged the dominance of Redmi’s Note series smartphones in India. The Realme 6 is no different. It matches the hardware that the previous Redmi Note 8 Pro offers and adds a high-end 90Hz refresh rate display, which goes a long way in offering an enhanced experience. The Realme 6 is the next best alternative to the Note 9 Pro right now under Rs 15,000. What does it have to offer?

The 6.5-inch LCD display is the talk of the town. It’s the most affordable smartphone to offer a high refresh rate display at 90Hz. When turned on, the higher refresh rate makes UI elements look much smoother and games, when supported, run at up to 90FPS which results in a better visual experience.

The Realme 6 is also quite good at gaming with the MediaTek Helio G90T at the helm of things. Coupled with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage in the base variant available under Rs 15,000, it’s perfectly good for casual gamers of PUBG Mobile and Asphalt 9. There’s also a large 4300mAh battery that tops up under an hour with 30W fast charging support.

At the back is a quad camera setup led by a 64MP Samsung GW-1 sensor. The camera is decent at taking photos in the day with sharp details and good dynamic range. There’s a Chroma Boost mode which when turns on increase the vibrance and saturation in photos. There’s also an 8MP ultrawide lens, a 2MP macro lens and a 2MP B/W sensor that aids in filters and portraits. On the front, you get a 16MP selfie camera.

The Realme 6 is a great option for budding mobile gamers, that also offers a top-notch UI experience and decent camera quality.

3. Redmi Note 8 Pro

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro may be a generation old, but it hasn't lost its charm yet. The smartphone stays a viable and relevant option for power users and gamers. The Note 8 Pro also closed the past year with leading performance in the midrange segment in our Zero1 Awards 2019.

The Xiaomi Note 8 Pro is aimed at gamers with the MediaTek Helio G90T at the thick of things. It's one of the few smartphones in this segment that lets you play PUBG Mobile at HDR graphics. You get 6GB RAM and 64GB storage to go, which is great for power users.

The Note 8 Pro also rocks an attractive gradient colour design and a bright 6.5-inch LCD HDR display. A large 4500mAh battery keeps the lights on with 18W fast charging support.

The Note 8 Pro was acclaimed for being one of the first smartphones to offer a 64MP camera last year. The camera setup has been further improved over time with new updates and takes decently sharp images in the day. A dedicated night mode also assists in low light conditions while an ultrawide lens, a macro lens and a depth sensor offer more options in framing the shot.

4. Samsung Galaxy M21

Samsung Galaxy M21

The Samsung Galaxy M21 is a long-lasting smartphone that houses a 6000mAh battery ensuring two days battery easy. But it's more than just a marathon runner. The Galaxy M21 is perfect for watching back to back movies on the go and taking selfies. All this under Rs 15,000.

The Galaxy M21 rocks a 6.4-inch 1080p AMOLED display, and that's compact by today's standards. Samsung promises decent brightness levels as well, but you probably shouldn't go for a headshot in PUBG Mobile out in the sun. That said, it's perfect for finishing the Lord of the Rings marathon on a train journey without charging your phone in between.

The Galaxy M21 also sports a 20MP selfie camera housed in the U-notch on the display. The selfie camera is good for recording vlogs and of course, taking selfies. On the back is a 48MP triple camera setup that comes with a Pro Mode, Night Mode and Samsung's own AI algorithm enhancing the images you take.

The Samsung Galaxy M21 also runs on Samsung's OneUI 2.0 which is currently one of the best implementations of Android out there. You get a plethora of exclusive software features that will take you days to discover and explore. Most of them are useful when you need them.

5. Realme XT

Realme XT

While 64MP camera smartphones are becoming common in 2020, the Realme XT happens to be the first to sport the high-resolution camera sensor. Over time, Realme has issued multiple updates to improve the camera performance of the smartphone and it’s still one of the best options under Rs 15,000.

The Realme XT is powered by the Snapdragon 712 SoC and the 4GB +64GB variant is good enough for most users. The 7-series Qualcomm SoC ensures stable performance as well as high-end gaming. Combined with a 6.4-inch AMOLED display, gamers will feel right at home.

We already spoke of the 64MP primary camera. There’s also another 8MP ultrawide lens, a 2MP macro lens and a depth sensor, covering most of the options for shooting.

6. Realme 5 Pro

Realme 5 Pro

The Realme 5 Pro is a power user’s delight. Powered by a 7-series Snapdragon processor, it’s one of the most popular Realme smartphones to buy. And for good reason. It’s a well-rounder all-rounder that covers the basics and then some.

The Realme 5 Pro runs on the Snapdragon 712 SoC and offers superior multi-tasking and gaming capabilities. Games like CoD: Mobile run at the highest 60 FPS on the smartphone. The phone is also good at everyday tasks like browsing social media, reading articles and sending emails.

At the back is a well-tuned 48MP primary. The camera is especially good at taking low-light shots in the budget. As is now a standard, there’s an ultrawide lens, a macro lens and a depth sensor alongside it, making the Realme 5 Pro a wholesome mid-range camera phone under Rs 15,000.


7. Samsung Galaxy M30s

Samsung Galaxy M30s

The Samsung Galaxy M30s is a bit old now that the Galaxy M31 is here, but it hasn’t lost any of its sheen. The phone’s raison d'être is still the massive 6,000mAh battery that delivers well over a day’s battery life. The M30s is a poweruser’s favourite.

The Samsung Galaxy M30s offers a sleek and lightweight design despite the large battery, and sports a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with a waterdrop notch housing a 16MP front camera. The panel is especially good for streaming videos on the go.

At the back is a 48MP triple camera setup that includes an ultrawide lens and depth sensor as well. Samsung captures good details with sharp output in the day. The camera struggles a bit under low light with no dedicated night mode, however.

Despite, all that, the Galaxy M30s is still one of the better smartphones to buy under Rs 15,000 right now.

8. Vivo U20

Vivo U20

The Vivo U20 takes care of the basics and then adds some more. Its made for both power users and gamers with features that will suit both types of users. That includes a powerful Qualcomm mid-range SoC, a long battery life and a large, bright display.

The Vivo U20 rocks a 6.5-inch IPS LCD display with 1080p resolution, making it good for watching content on the go or playing games. It’s also ergonomic enough to use while commuting.

There’s a Snapdragon 675 SoC under the hood. Anyone familiar with Qualcomm chipsets knows it’s quite good at gaming. And we did see the results during our testing. The Vivo U20 delivers stable frame rates in PUBG Mobile, offering a good gaming experience. You can have up to 6GB RAM and 64GB storage under Rs 15,000.

At the back is a triple camera setup with a 16MP primary camera that’s good for capturing landscapes and indoor shots. The primary camera is also aided by a depth sensor for portrait shots while another ultrawide lens takes care of the sweeping, panoramic frames like a skyscraper or a beach.

Lastly, the Vivo U20 comes with a large 5,000mAh battery with support for 18W fast charging out of the box. You can easily get more than a day’s worth of battery life.

9. Motorola One Vision

Motorola One Vision

The Motorola One Vision is an Android One-certified smartphone that runs on vanilla, stock Android. While the Redmis and the Realmes in this list all sport superior hardware, the software on these smartphones leaves a lot to be desired if you are after a clean interface. An Android One smartphone like the Motorola One Vision ensures there are no ads in the UI or unnecessary duplicate apps. The One Vision is more than that, though.

There’s a tall 6.3-inch display with a punch-hole camera and 21:9 aspect ratio. It’s the aspect ratio used for watching movies, which makes the smartphone good for watching films. The panel offers 1080p resolution and Corning Gorilla Glass protection.

The One Vision is also designed to be robust and durable. It also looks good with a gradient colour design. The phone is powered by an Exynos SoC which is good enough for the basic smartphone tasks like browsing, sending emails or messaging. Not so much while gaming. But you can still play some casual games on it.

The USP of the phone is the camera at the back. With a large 48MP sensor in the primary camera combined with a wide aperture, the Motorola One Vision is one of the best smartphones for low-light imagery. There’s even a dedicated Night Mode in place that helps brighten up low-lit frames. There’s also another 5MP depth sensor that assists in portrait shots. On the front is a 25MP selfie camera.

10. Poco X2

Poco X2

The Poco X2 is actually the best smartphone you could buy under Rs 15,000 but after a recent price hike, it’s now slightly more expensive. Nevertheless, the value for money that the Poco X2 offers is still undeniable.

At the price, you get a 120Hz LCD display that’s really the only one in this segment. The high 120Hz refresh rate comes alive when you are browsing the UI. The flicks, animations and scrolls all look much smoother. Games, if and when they are supported, will also run much smoother than before.

The Poco X2 is a gamer’s delight, especially in this budget. It’s powered by the Snapdragon 730G, where the G in the name stands for gaming and such brings a lot of Qualcomm’s Elite Gaming features to the smartphone that includes HDR gaming and more.

The Poco X2 is also good for content creators and vloggers. It rocks a 64MP quad-camera setup that not only takes some incredibly sharp and well-detailed photos but also offers a lot more for TikTok users. There are dedicated filters and animations for vloggers while a wide range of shooting options (ranging from ultrawide, macro to portraits) ensures you don’t miss a frame.

Topping it up is a large 4,500mAh battery that tops up using a 27W fast charger which you get in the box. If you can increase your budget by Rs 1,000, the Poco X2 is really the best smartphone you can get right now in this segment.

List of Best Phones Under 15000 In India

Product Name Price
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro ₹12999
Realme 6 ₹13000
Redmi Note 8 Pro ₹13999
Samsung Galaxy M21 ₹14,999
Realme XT ₹15990
Realme 5 Pro ₹12990
Samsung Galaxy M30s ₹13999
Vivo U20 ₹11990
Motorola One Vision ₹14290
Poco X2 ₹15999

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