We’ve already listed and compared several smartphones under the Rs 10k and Rs 15k marks. Now, we move to the under Rs 25k segment which is arguably the most competitive segment in India where manufacturers claim to offer flagship devices at affordable prices. Let’s take a look at the different options available for anyone looking to buy a phone within this price range.
The phones in this list are not organised in any particular order. Each may appeal to a different individual and so it is better to read through all of them and decide which one is better for yourself. Click on any of the phone names for the full specifications.
The Mi 5 is the first smartphone to be launched with the Snapdragon 820 processor in India and currently still is the only smartphone in India available with the said processor. That itself puts it ahead of most others in this list in terms of processing power at least. Check out our review here.
What’s Good : The Xiaomi Mi 5 packs the latest Snapdragon 820 processor along with 3GB of RAM. The 5.15″ display with 1080p resolution offers good sunlight legibility and great user experience. It also has Corning Gorilla Glass 4 for protection at the front as well as the back. The device is quite easy to handle and has good ergonomics. There’s a 16MP camera at the back that captures good detail and also offers 4 axis Image Stabilisation. The battery life is also pretty good thanks to the 1080p screen which has good enough sharpness. It also supports DualSIM 4G LTE and has a fingerprint sensor at the front.
What’s Bad : Currently there is only the 32GB on offer in India and the device does not have a card slot which means what you get with the phone is the only storage you will have (not counting USB OTG storage). The 64GB and 128GB variants are not yet available and apart from the storage differences, the 64GB variant has a faster CPU clock speed and the 128GB variant comes with 4GB of RAM and a more scratch resistant ceramic back on top of everything the 64GB variant offers. This means that users will have to buy the 32GB variant itself at least for now.
How much does it cost? : The Mi 5 will set you back Rs 24,999 which is a bit on the higher side for the 32GB variant but it still has a lot to offer especially with the processor, camera and design. The introduction of the 64GB and 128GB models will definitely satisfy many users and may also see a tiny reduction in the price of the base 32GB model. It is available through flash sales method on Mi India website.
There’s always that special place in most Android fans for Nexus devices but most of them have always come with several shortcomings especially in terms of camera performance and battery life. The Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P were the first nexus phones to transcend those limitations and perform as well or better than the other leading models from competitors. Check out our review of the Nexus 5X here. Check out our review here.
What’s Good : The Nexus 5X has a brilliant 12.3 MP camera with Laser AF which is the same as the one found on the Nexus 6P (Save for the inferior 120 fps slow motion video) and that’s saying a lot. The fingerprint sensor and performance and buttery smooth thanks to the stock Android UI and Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor. Finally, being a Nexus device, you always get the latest updates and releases for Android faster than any other device on the market.
What’s Bad : The loudspeaker output isn’t that great and the lack of a DualSIM variant may put off some users. The Nexus 5X does not have expandable storage and for below Rs 25k, you can only get the 16GB model which might be a bit low for many users. If you want to get the 32GB variant, you will have to shell out close to Rs 30k. The phone has a USB Type-C port which is nice but the box only include a charger and a Type-C to Type-C cable. This means that any user who wants to connect his phone to a USB Type-A port on a PC/Laptop or a 3rd party charger will need to buy a separate cable or adapter at least to do so.
How much does it cost? : The exact price of the Nexus 5X keeps fluctuation but despite being launched at an original price of Rs 32k and Rs 36k for the 16 and 32GB variants respectively, the Nexus 5X is available for below Rs 25k on most websites.
The OnePlus 2 is the successor to the acclaimed OnePlus One smartphone and as a result, it had a lot to live up to in terms of expectation. While it did meet most of it, some users were still a bit disappointed claiming that it lacked the magic of the original. Nevertheless, the smartphone is still a great buy below Rs 25k especially at the new price point. Check out our review here.
What’s Good : The OnePlus 2 has a powerful Snapdragon 810 2.1 processor and 4GB of RAM. There is 64GB of on-board storage which is pretty good for most users even though it is non-expandable. The 13 Megapixel camera takes good photos and also has Laser AF as well as OIS. OnePlus did a good thing with sticking to the 1080p display and screen size of 5.5″ which is good for a phablet without sacrificing battery life or device handling. The new express covers also make it easier to change the look and feel of your device compared to the changeable covers on the OnePlus One. The device supports DualSIM and 4G LTE and has a fingerprint sensor at the front.
What’s Bad : The device has a USB Type-C port which is good in terms of port compatibility since Type-C is almost certainly the way to go. However, the port doesn’t support fast charging and also supports only USB 2.0 transfer speeds. As a result, two of the main advantages of having a Type-C port are missing. The battery life too isn’t that great especially when compared to the OnePlus One that it succeeds.
How much does it cost? : The OnePlus 2 will set you back Rs 22,999 for the 64GB variant with 4GB of RAM and Rs 20,999 for the 16GB variant with 3GB RAM.
The Lenovo Vibe X3 is a pretty unique offering in this price segment as it has some USPs that most other smartphones below 25K can’t claim to have. Check out our review here.
What’s Good : The stereo speaker experience and audio quality are really great especially considering the price point. The smartphone has a powerful Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor under the hood that allows for 4K video recording along with 3GB of RAM that also makes it good for multi-tasking. The build quality is solid and the 5.5″ 1080p display offers good quality visuals and text.
What’s Bad : The smartphone has a bit of a slippery design that is aggravated further by the heaviness of the phone itself. Some people may also be disappointed by the Hybrid DualSIM card slot and may want a dedicated microSD card slot instead. The battery life is decent but may not be enough for heavy users.
How much does it cost? : The smartphone comes in both White and Black colours and will set you back Rs 19,999 which is a good 5k lesser than the upper limit of the phones in this price list.
The YU Yutopia is Micromax’s answer to the OnePlus 2 smartphone. One paper, both the smartphones are quite similar but they are quite different in a number of important ways too. Check out our review here.
What’s Good : The Yutopia has a smaller but denser 5.2″ 1440p display compared to the OnePlus 2. The slim waistline also ensures good handling and the build quality is pretty good too. The smartphone comes with 32GB of on-board storage but has microSD card support thanks to the Hybrid DualSIM slot. The 21 Megapixel camera offers good detail and image quality. The phone supports DualSIM 4G LTE and comes with a fingerprint sensor at the back. The smartphone also supports quick charging.
What’s Bad : The software is a bit sluggish and the fingerprint scanner isn’t as efficient and effective as other implementations from competitors. The battery life isn’t very good either but at least it has fast charging.
How much does it cost? : The YU Yutopia will set you back Rs 24,999 which is practically the upper limit of phones in this post. We too feel that its high time that the smartphone receives a price cut.
The Honor 7 is a pretty good device from Huawei but one that hasn’t received as much marketing or as much recognition it deserves from the company and users respectively. In fact, it offers really good value for money at the price point.
What’s Good : The Honor 7 comes with a 5.2″ 1080p display which is quite good in terms of quality and brightness. It has a powerful Kirin 935 processor as well as fluid performance and a fast UI. The camera quality especially is quite good thanks to the large 1/2.4″ sensor with 20 MP resolution and PDAF. The front facing 8 MP camera too offers good clarity. It also has a fingerprint sensor at the back along with 4G LTE support and a microSD card support upto 128GB.
What’s Bad : The device supports only a SingleSIM which some people may not opt for since most of the devices in this list are DualSIM phones. The battery life is decent but not outstanding and the design is quite similar to most of their lower priced smartphones albeit a bit enlarged.
How much does it cost? : The Honor 7 is available in both Black and Silver variants and is priced at Rs 22,999.
Asus Zenfone 2 / Zenfone 2 Deluxe
The Zenfone 2 is famously known for being the first smartphone on the market to introduce 4GB of RAM on a smartphone. The fact that Asus did this on a smartphone priced under Rs 25,000 makes it all the more fascinating. For the sake of this list, we will be taking a look at the top end variant with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of on-board storage. Check out our review here.
What’s Good : The ZE551 ML comes in both Zenfone 2 and Zenfone 2 Deluxe variants with a Quad-Core Intel Atom processor and 4GB of RAM that performs really well. Multi-tasking and gaming are a breeze as well. The Zenfone 2 Deluxe might be the more favoured variant for those who want a more unique design. The 5.5″ 1080p display is quite good and the device has 64GB of on-board storage with a microSD card slot.
What’s Bad : The phone does support DualSIMs but the second sim is GSM only. The camera quality is not that great either and neither is the battery life. The software and UI too is more of a hit and miss as some users won’t mind it while the others will dislike it.
How much does it cost? : The ZE551ML will cost your Rs 22,999 and is available in both Zenfone 2 and Zenfone 2 Deluxe variants in different colours with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage.
The Sony Xperia Z3+ might not have been a great upgrade to the Z3 and it was most certainly overpriced at launch. However, following a recent pricecut, the smartphone is a really good bargain at the price.
What’s Good : The device has a powerful Snapdragon 810 processor under the hood along with 3GB of RAM. Despite Sony not highlighting their waterproofing abilities on phones now, this was one phone that they were proud to claim as being waterproof. The camera quality on the phone is quite good and the dedicated microSD card makes sure that you are never short on storage coupled with 32GB of on board storage. The design is also quite attractive and is available in 4 different colours – Black, White, Copper and Aqua Green.
What’s Bad : The smartphone is now receiving the update to Android 6.0 Marshmallow however since it is around 2 generations old, there are chances that this could be the last major update it will get; especially since Sony have apparently killed of the Z series and is focusing on the X series now. The Snapdragon 810 is not totally devoid of heating issues and the battery life has gone down compared to the previous generation Z3.
How much does it cost? : The Z3+ is available for slightly under Rs 25,000 on most online retailers. The price usually hovers around the Rs 24,500 mark but fluctuates most of the time.
The Moto X Play is the lower end variant in the Moto X series but is probably the handset that impressed us even more than the X Style or X Force. At the asking price, the handset offers a lot of value and a great design. Check out our review here.
What’s Good : The design of the smartphone definitely punches above its weight. The display is quite beautiful and is good to use. The phone has DualSIM 4G LTE along with a dedicated microSD card slot that is a rarity on most smartphones in this price range. The camera quality is quite good too but what is really exceptional is the video quality thanks to the great software stabilisation that creates buttery smooth videos. Another major bonus is that the smartphones runs on nearly stock Android UI that means you will get updates very fast.
What’s Bad : The Snapdragon 615 processor is a bit dated and the user gets only 2GB of RAM compared to most other offerings in this segment with 3GB or more. The speaker could’ve been a bit better and same goes for the low light camera performance which tends to be noisy.
How much does it cost? : The Moto X Play costs Rs 16,499 for the 16GB variant (16,999 with Turbo Charger) and Rs 17,999 for the 32GB variant (Rs 18,499 with Turbo Charger)
Despite being one of the earliest players from China in the smartphone segment, ZTE made a late arrival into India with the Z9 Mini. However, it does bring a wave of fresh design and aesthetics along with it. Check out our review here.
What’s Good : The design is beautiful and has good ergonomics which makes the phone stand out from rest of the competition. The screen is quite good and probably an ideal size for many at 5 inches. The phone supports DualSIM along with 4G LTE capability as well as microSD card support upto 128GB. The 16MP camera at the back and 8 MP camera at the front offer good image quality as well.
What’s Bad : There is a slight heating issue on the dated Snapdragon 615 processor and the reflective display does hamper sunlight legibility a bit. The main issue will be in regards to the after sales service which is still a bit of a question mark.
How much does it cost? : The Nubia Z9 Mini will set you back Rs 19,999.