With new smartphone launches every week in the country, it can be scary to pick just one phone in your budget. Don’t worry, we are here to help. If you are looking to purchase a new mobile under Rs. 15,000, there are some great devices in this price bracket that not only provide an impressive set of specifications but also remarkable value-for-money. Thanks to the increasing consumer demand, the sub-Rs. 15,000 price-segment has emerged as the hotbed for some of the most buzzed affordable smartphones.

Asus, Realme, and Honor were some of the smartphone makers that introduced new and interesting phones recently, specifically, the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2, Realme U1, and Honor 8C. We have put these phones through their paces to figure out which phones are worth your money. The smartphones listed below have been tested by Gadgets 360 — we don’t recommend phones that we haven’t tested ourselves. So, with the formalities out of the way, here are the best mobiles you can buy under Rs. 15,000 right now.

Best phones under Rs. 15,000

Phone under Rs. 15,000Gadgets 360 rating
Samsung Galaxy M208/ 10
Xiaomi Mi A28/ 10
Asus ZenFone Max Pro M28/ 10
Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro8/ 10
Motorola One Power8/ 10
Realme U18/ 10
Realme 2 Pro8/ 10
Honor 8X8/ 10
Nokia 5.1 Plus8/ 10
Honor 10 Lite8/10

Samsung Galaxy M20

The Samsung Galaxy M20 (Review) is the newest phone in this list and with good reason. It backs a fresh design language with a big, sharp, crisp, display that’s probably the highlight of this phone. Battery life is excellent and the variant we recommend also packs 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, which will please those who love their specifications.

However, the phone gets slightly warm when stressed and has the habit of flooding you with too many promotional notifications. The camera performance also leaves some room for improvement.

Xiaomi Mi A2

A successor to Xiaomi’s much-loved Mi A1, the Mi A2 (Review) continues with the Android One platform, thus bringing stock Android goodness with a promise of timely updates. In line with that promise, the A2 has already received the Android Pie update.

The phone offers arguably the best camera performance in this price bracket. Additionally, the presence of Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 makes sure that you will get a great performance. Not everything is amazing though. The battery leaves a little to be desired and the lack of 3.5mm audio jack will certainly irk some buyers.

The Xiaomi Mi A2 has been released in two variants — 4GB of RAM with 64GB of storage and 6GB of RAM with 128GB of storage. Select colour options of the 4GB RAM variant can be found selling for as low as Rs. 14,999 in the market right now, others are however still retailing at Rs. 15,999, not for long though. The 6GB RAM version can be bought for Rs. 16,999.

Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2

Asus had some not-so-great years, but the company has been back in its full form in 2018. After an impressive showing with the ZenFone Max Pro M1 earlier this year, the Taiwanese manufacturer has followed up with an equally impressive ZenFone Max Pro M2 (Review) phone. In our review, we found the phone to be offering snappy performance and excellent battery life. The camera is a little underwhelming, so for the photography enthusiasts, it will be ideal to look for other options in the segment, like the Realme 2 Pro. On the software front, the Max M2 currently runs on Android 8.1 Oreo with stock interface and is scheduled to receive the Pie update in January 2019.

Asus India sells three variants of the phone – 3GB RAM/ 32GB storage for Rs. 12,999, 4GB RAM/ 64GB storage for INR 14,999, and 6GB RAM/ 64GB for Rs. 16,999 – in the country.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro

Xiaomi’s latest Redmi Note 6 Pro (Review) succeeds the Redmi Note 5 Pro but offers only a few upgrades in terms of overall specifications and design elements. The 6.26-inch 19:9 notched display is bigger and brighter than the one on its predecessor. The cameras have also been upgraded, with dual camera setups on both the front and the back.

We think that a refresh was necessary given competition has been building up, in the form of the Nokia 6.1 Plus and Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1. However, MIUI 10 is filled with ads and is based on the now-dated Android 8.1 Oreo. While the phone comes with Quick Charge 3.0 support, only a 10W charger is bundled in the box.

The base variant of the Redmi Note 6 Pro with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, is a good deal. However, you are better off going for other smartphones if you have the more expensive 6GB RAM/ 64GB storage variant in mind.

Motorola One Power

Motorola’s first Android One smartphone in India offers stellar battery life, a clean software package devoid of bloat, snappy performance courtesy the Snapdragon 636 SoC, and a premium glass design. The smartphone is also guaranteed minimum two years of software updates. All is not smooth sailing though. Low-light camera performance could be better and the the lack of dual 4G VoLTE might be a dealbreaker for some.

The Motorola One Power (Review) keeps things simple with a single 6GB RAM/64GB storage variant which carries a price tag of Rs. 14,999, making it one of our top picks under Rs. 15,000.

Realme U1

Introduced in late-November, the Realme U1 (Review) is the company’s attempt to target selfie-enthusiasts. However, the camera is the one area of the otherwise capable smartphone that failed to impress in our review. The smartphone packs a powerful SoC and delivers very good battery life, something that is often desired by the buyers in category. Further, the design of the mobile isn’t shabby either.

Realme offers the U1 in two variants – 3GB RAM/ 32GB storage for Rs. 11,999 and 4GB RAM/ 64GB storage for Rs. 14,499 – in the market.

Realme 2 Pro

Launched to take on the might of the current stalwarts in the category, the Realme 2 Pro (Review) offers extreme value-for-money in terms of specifications — in fact, it is the cheapest smartphone in India with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC. Other than that, it has a sharp and vivid display with a waterdrop-style notch, fast face unlock capabilities, good build quality, and solid apps and gaming performance. The overall UI’s presentation and video performance could have been better, as noted in our review.

The Realme 2 Pro starts at just Rs. 13,990 for the 4GB RAM/ 64GB storage model. The 6GB/ 64GB inbuilt storage variant is priced at Rs. 15,990, and the top-end 8GB RAM/ 128GB storage variant retails for Rs. 17,990. While Realme says it currently does not have any plans to hike the phone’s pricing, you might want to pick one up as soon as possible considering they just increased pricing for two of its other budget smartphones.

Honor 8X

Honor 8X (Review) is an attempt from Huawei sub-brand Honor to break into this premium mid-range smartphone segment with its latest in-house HiSilicon Kirin 710 SoC. It boasts of a unique dual tone design, good build quality with a glass back, and great CPU performance. However, it lacks a bit in terms of the rear camera and gaming performance, and sports a dated Micro-USB port.

Only the base variant of the Honor 8X comes under the Rs. 15,000 price point — priced at Rs. 14,999 with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of inbuilt storage. There is a 6GB RAM+64GB storage model too, priced slightly higher at Rs. 16,999, and one with 6GB RAM/ 128GB storage priced at Rs. 18,999.

Nokia 5.1 Plus

The Nokia 5.1 Plus (Review) is one of two highly value-for-money smartphones from HMD Global’s bandwagon this year. The phone has a great glass design, runs a clean Android One-based stock Android with regular updates, has excellent battery life, and its display does not disappoint despite sporting an HD+ resolution. While low-light camera performance is average and a hybrid SIM slot might bother some, there’s little to complain at that price point.

Nokia 5.1 Plus is priced at Rs. 10,999 for the sole variant that comes with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage.

Honor 10 Lite

The lower priced variant of the Honor 10 Lite (Review) is yet another smartphone in the very competitive sub-Rs. 15,000 price segment. The Kirin 710 SoC is powerful and does manage to stand up against the Snapdragon 660 SoC which is quite popular in this segment. The Honor 10 Lite features a premium design, which will make it a popular choice with buyers in this segment.

The battery life is also good, though the phone is let-down by its cameras. The heavily promoted AI features leave a lot to be desired and the overall camera performance too is average at best. The phone also lacks fast charging support which might be a dealbreaker for some.

Other good options
Honor Play (Review), Vivo V9 Pro (Review), and Nokia 6.1 Plus (Review) are three great smartphones that deserve honourable mentions here, given they are available for just Rs. 1,000 over the high-end of this price bracket.

The Honor Play is the most affordable model out there with the company’s own high-performance Kirin 920 SoC with octa-core processor. To remind you, the Kirin 920 was the 2017 flagship SoC from Huawei and a direct competitor to Snapdragon 845. The phone also offers an elegant design and a vibrant display; however, the camera performance leaves a lot to be desired.

On the other hand, the Vivo V9 Pro is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC SoC that provides good performance, but the bloated FunTouch user interface will mar the experience for some. The V9 Pro also packs a vibrant display with a decent set of cameras.

Lastly, the Nokia 6.1 Plus sports a premium glass design, an iPhone X-like notch, and is powered by the capable Snapdragon 636 SoC. it offers clean software, great performance, and a punchy and vibrant display. These advantages more than make up for its average cameras and battery life.


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