One of the most popular and jam-packed categories this year, the budget smartphones showed us the best possible balance between price and performance. Like last year, this year too we had to stretch our price limit for the budget smartphone category to Rs 20,000 so we could accommodate some of the most popular phones in the upper echelon of the budget category. There were several key launches in the sub-Rs 20k price range which saw a trickle-down effect as more and more flagship features made it to the affordable smartphones. From 120Hz AMOLED screens to 108MP cameras, the budget category this year was packed to the brim with phones that are great to fulfil your gaming and entertainment needs.
The iQOO Z3 swept the crown for the best budget smartphone of 2021 and offers a significant bump in performance in comparison to the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max. iQOO puts performance above everything else which is why when it comes to raw performance we saw the Z3 gets really high scores in CPU and GPU performance. The general day-to-day performance of the iQOO Z3 remained lag-free and it can handle more than just a couple of rounds of your favourite battle royale game. It also surpassed its counterparts in the battery life department and has one of the fastest charging speeds in this price range. That said, the iQOO Z3 has its downsides as it misses the mark in camera performance, lacks stereo speakers and has a dated waterdrop notch that doesn’t look in line with a phone released in 2021.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is the most versatile smartphone that you can get for under Rs 20,000. It only loses some marks in performance where it is bested by the iQOO Z3 but gains significant advantage with its powerful and feature-rich 108MP quad-camera array, a beautiful and unparalleled AMOLED display that supports upto 120Hz refresh rate, stereo speakers and a larger battery to boot. That said, the performance of this phone remained a downside which had an impact on its shelf life. Also, it’s not 5G compatible, which gives way to the iQOO Z3!
Not everyone can or wants to spend truckloads of money on their smartphones. This is where the Samsung Galaxy M12, our best buy choice for the budget range comes in. The Galaxy M12 has a reasonable feature set featuring a 90Hz refresh rate IPS display, quad cameras on the back and a whopping 6,000mAh battery that is sure to last you two days. Having said that, don’t expect too much from the Galaxy M12 as it offers the basic minimum that’s expected from a budget phone launching in 2021.
About Digit Zero1 Awards 2021
With a legacy of 20 years, the Digit Zero 1 Awards is recognized as the Industry’s only performance-based awards. Digit rewards brands for putting in years of research in developing and introducing performance-driven products for their audience. All products are made to pass through a rigorous and scientific test process and compete with competitor brands in the same category. The Winner in each category is announced on the basis of their total score, post complete performance analysis done across an average of 56 tests, conducted for every category, across key performance parameters. The test process for the Zero1 Awards does not consider scores for features, price or design. The aim is to identify the very best products that money can buy, celebrate the innovations that push the industry forward, and reward the products that dare to disrupt the market.