China, with its economic might, has rapidly expanded its manufacturing capacity, and as a result, is able to make electronics that are far more affordable than other those produced in other countries. But does it mean there’s nothing at par with these Chinese smartphones? Turns out, there is. While the home-grown Indian brands may not match up yet, there are a handful of brands from Korea, Europe, Taiwan and the United States that can give them a run for their money. These are the best non-Chinese smartphones to buy in India. Although the prices of the products mentioned in the list given below have been updated as of 16th May 2022, the list itself may have changed since it was last published due to the launch of new products in the market since then.
If you are thinking of buying the Redmi 8A Dual or the Realme Narzo 10A, the Galaxy M20 is is a good alternative. Manufactured by Samsung, a Korean brand, in India, it’s a little more compact with a 6.3-inch TFT display but FullHD+ resolution, which increases the PPI making the panel appear sharper. The M20 also takes a different route with the camera, which we believe is a little more useful than having a macro lens. The M20 rocks a 13MP primary camera along with a 5MP ultrawide lens. The selfie camera is also larger with an 8MP shooter. The performance is where the phone falters in the face of its Chinese competition. The Exynos 7904 is no match for the Helio G70, but it can get you through the day with casual usage. However, battery life is equally long at 5,000mAh. Going with this, you will end up sacrificing powerful performance but gain in terms of more useful camera options and a sharper display.
|Screen Size||:||6.3" (1080 x 2340)|
|Camera||:||13 + 5 | 8 MP|
|Soc||:||Samsung Exynos 7904|
The Nokia 8.1, made by HMD Global, registered in Finland challenge the Chinese stalwarts like the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max and the Realme 6 Pro, in almost all segments. It rocks a HDR10-certified 6.18-inch LCD display with fullHD+ resolution. There’s also the Snapdragon 710 SoC along with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. For the camera, Nokia offers Zeiss-certified 12MP primary camera with OIS along with a 13MP telephoto lens. On the front is a 20MP selfie shooter, and all three cameras can be used in tandem via the bothie mode.
|Screen Size||:||6.18" (1080 x 2246)|
|Camera||:||12 + 13 | 20 MP|
|Soc||:||Qualcomm SDM710 Snapdragon 710|
A good alternative to the Chinese brands in the popular mid-range segment is the Samsung Galaxy M31. You get a 6.4-inch AMOLED with FHD+ resolution and Gorilla Glass protection. It’s powered by the 10nm Exynos 9611 SoC coupled with 6GB RAM and up to 128GB RAM along with expandable storage. The camera goes toe to toe with the Chinese offerings with a 64MP quad-camera stack at the back, which includes an 8MP ultrawide lens, 5MP macro lens and a 5MP depth sensor. On the front, you get a 32MP selfie camera. The battery life is where the M31 goes well ahead of the competition with a 6,000mAh battery.
|Screen Size||:||6.4" (1080 x 2340)|
|Camera||:||68 + 8 + 5 +5 | 32 MP|
The Asus 6z is made by the Taiwanese brand known for its presence in the PC market. And it's very much a flagship offering, surpassing some of the Chinese offerings. Asus also innovated on the design. The Asus 6z brings a rotating camera module with a dual-camera setup that works as both the front and rear cameras. Inside is the Snapdragon 855 coupled with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage along with a 5000mAh battery.
|Screen Size||:||6.4" (1080 X 2340)|
|Camera||:||48 + 13 | NA|
|Soc||:||Qualcomm SDM855 Snapdragon 855 (7 nm)|
The ROG Phone II offers pressure-sensitive air triggers which give gamers an unfair advantage while gaming. The phone also offers the most granular customisations in the CPU, letting run everything at peak capacities manually. There’s also a host of alternatives.
|Screen Size||:||6.59" (1080 x 2340)|
|Camera||:||48 + 13 | 24 MP|
|Soc||:||Qualcomm SDM855 Snapdragon 855 Plus (7 nm)|
if its a more popular line of smartphones you are looking at, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite and the S10 Lite are great options to consider. Both these smartphones take cues from the premium Galaxy lineup and bring some of its own like a high-resolution 48MP camera on the S10 Lite, the S-Pen on the Note 10 Lite and a slim form factor with bright and vivid AMOLED displays.
|Screen Size||:||6.7" (1080 x 2400)|
|Camera||:||12 + 12+ 12 | 32 MP|
The high-end segment also offers the budget iPhone that launched this year. The iPhone SE (2020) turned out to be an excellent daily driver, even for power users. Apple has used the same A13 Bionic processor that’s there on the flagship iPhone 11 series but kept the design compact as the old iPhone 8. And you get the same lag-free experience that’s expected out of an Apple device. The battery life may feel a little less as compared to the Chinese counterparts which can be a bummer though.
|Screen Size||:||4.7" (750 x 1334)|
|Camera||:||12 | 7 MP|
|Soc||:||Apple A13 Bionic|
The iPhone 11 series is popular enough to not require further evangelism. But if we have to enumerate the benefits, you get the smoothest operating system for mobiles. One that’s also radically different from Android. The default iPhone 11 now offers two cameras at the back. A 12MP primary wide lens and another 12MP ultrawide lens, and both are the best in their segment for both photos and videos. There’s also a night mode that kicks in automatically when there’s low light, and like all things Apple, it just works. The A13 Bionic processor with a Neural Engine and a six-core GPU is also the most powerful processor for mobiles, surpassing even the Snapdragon 865. With such cutting edge features, the price is also on the higher side as compared to the Chinese premium flagships. And it’s totally worth the extra premium.
|Screen Size||:||6.1" (828 x 1792)|
|Camera||:||12 + 12 MP | 12 MP|
|Soc||:||Apple A13 Bionic (7 nm+)|
The Samsung Galaxy S20 series is yet another example of Non-Chinese dominance. This is one lineup which routinely sets a new benchmark for the Android ecosystem. This time, Samsung is offering high-refresh rate displays, multiple cameras and a far more optimised UI than before. The Galaxy S20 is the most affordable of the three and it offers a QHD+ 120Hz display like the OnePlus 8 Pro, a 64MP triple camera and support for wireless charging. The phone also rocks an in-display fingerprint sensor, fast 25W charging, reverse wireless charging, HDR10+ certification, and IP68 water and dust resistance.
|Screen Size||:||6.2" (1440 x 3200)|
|Camera||:||12 + 64 + 12 | 10 MP|
|Soc||:||Qualcomm SM8250 Snapdragon 865|
The Samsung Galaxy M51 is the first smartphone to house a massive 7,000mAh battery. That alone should make this lucrative in the budget segment. The smartphone rocks an AMOLED display and sports a 64MP quad camera setup at the back. Samsung is a Korean brand with factories in India to assemble smartphones. It also sources majority of the components from India itself, and plans to set up an export hub in the future under the Government's PLI scheme.
|Screen Size||:||6.7" (1080 x 2340)|
|Camera||:||64 + 12 + 5 + 5 | 32 MP|
|Soc||:||Qualcomm SDM730 Snapdragon 730|
|Best non-Chinese smartphones||Seller||Price|
|Samsung Galaxy M20||Amazon||₹ 10,499|
|Nokia 8.1||Croma||₹ 11,994|
|Samsung Galaxy M31||Tatacliq||₹ 17,989|
|Asus 6Z||Flipkart||₹ 30,999|
|ROG Phone II||Flipkart||₹ 40,999|
|Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite||Amazon||₹ 41,999|
|Apple iPhone SE 2020||Croma||₹ 42,999|
|Apple iPhone 11||Croma||₹ 45,990|
|Samsung Galaxy S20||Tatacliq||₹ 49,999|
|Samsung Galaxy M51||Amazon||₹ 19,999|