Expensive smartphones are often more interesting from a feature and specification viewpoint, but the real volumes flow in the budget segment. With mobile data becoming more affordable, many more Indians can now afford to get onto the smartphone bandwagon. These days, even affordable smartphones come with all of the features you’d expect to see on more expensive devices, including high-resolution screens, good cameras, fingerprint sensors and 4G connectivity. We’ve put together a list of some of the best affordable smartphones – priced at under Rs. 10,000 – that you can buy today.
Although there have been some interesting recent launches such as the Realme 3, some of the best options in this price category have been around for a few months already. We’ve compiled a list of the best smartphones you can buy today at under Rs. 10,000, which includes options from brands such as Asus, Nokia, Honor, Lenovo and Infinix, to name a few. We’ve restricted this list to phones priced at between Rs. 7,000 and Rs. 10,000, and have been reviewed by us here at Gadgets 360.
Take a look at our picks for the best phones under Rs. 10,000 below.
Micromax In 2b
The Micromax In 2b may not be a jack of all trades, but it’s good at a few things, which increases its value over competing smartphones. The phone’s back is made of plastic but is practical in terms of design and does not gather fingerprints and smudges. Its display is sufficiently bright and shows decent colors, keeping in mind its entry-level price tag. In terms of hardware, it goes with the basics, but offers a Unisoc T610 SoC, which has only made it to a few smartphones globally. Surprisingly, the processor turned out to be quite the performer, doing well not just in regular use, but also for some budget gaming, which is unheard of in the entry-level smartphone segment. With Android 11 and no third-party apps and bloatware, the software experience was quite smooth. Camera performance was strictly average and the same can be said about video. The 5,000mAh battery easily got me one and half days’ worth of use with some gaming, which is quite good. Charging was a bit too slow with the bundled 10W charger, and it took over 3 hours to complete the charge.
Realme Narzo 30A
The Realme Narzo 30A has a dual pattern of sorts with the bottom two-thirds having diagonal lines, while the upper section is plain. You also get a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner that is well-positioned and easy to reach. The side-mounted power and volume buttons are conveniently placed too.
The Realme Narzo 30A gets a decently big 6.5-inch display with a tall 20:9 aspect ratio. It has the SIM tray on the left side of the frame and has two Nano-SIM slots and a dedicated slot for storage expansion. The Narzo 30A tips the scales at 207g and is noticeably heavy since it packs in a big 6,000mAh battery.
You get a 18W charger which is a neat addition.The Realme Narzo 30A is available in two color options: Lazer Black and Lazer Blue. You get a more powerful MediaTek Helio G85 SoC that’s paired with either 3GB or 4GB of LPDDR4X RAM, depending on which variant you choose. These variants are paired with 32GB and 64GB of storage respectively. Storage is expandable further upto 256GB using a microSD card.
If this is what your typical usage pattern looks like, then the Narzo 30A should not disappoint. The rear-mounted fingerprint scanner was quick at authentication, and face recognition too did not need more than a single attempt to unlock the smartphone. The Realme Narzo 30A sports a 13-megapixel primary camera and a monochrome portrait camera with an unspecified resolution. At the front, it has an 8-megapixel camera for selfies. The rear camera performance was average in most shooting conditions but the phone did deliver good selfies.
Motorola Moto E7 Plus
An affordable smartphone from the Motorola E series, the Moto E7 Plus offers some good hardware while delivering clean software. The Moto E7 Plus sports a 6.5-inch display with a dewdrop notch that houses the selfie camera. It has a tall display with the new 20:9 aspect ratio.
The Motorola Moto E7 Plus is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 460 SoC. It is an octa-core processor that is paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. The Moto E7 Plus has a dual-camera setup with a 48-megapixel primary camera and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. It delivers good camera performance in daylight but the performance is average in lowlight. The dedicated light mode does a much better job in low light.
The Moto E7 Plus packs in a 5,000mAh battery and has a Micro-USB port. It does not have support for fast-charging and gets a 10W charger in the box, which is slow to charge the phone completely. Motorola ships the phone with Android 10 with its custom My UX UI on top. The UI is very minimalistic and has only useful features loaded on top. There are no preloaded apps which makes the user experience better.
Infinix Smart 5A
The Infinix Smart 5A is a big smartphone sporting a 6.52-inch display with a dewdrop notch. Infinix offers a dual flash setup at the front with two LED flashes which is unique. The Smart 5A has a plastic body which is acceptable for its price range.
Infinix has picked the MediaTek Helio A20 SoC to power the Smart 5A. You only get 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage which is further expandable.
In terms of software, the Smart 5A runs XOS 7.6 on top of Android 11 (Go Edition). The UI has a few customisations along with a fair number of preinstalled apps some of which push notifications every day. Performance on the Smart 5A is acceptable given its budget price.
The camera setup is very basic, a dual-camera setup consisting of an 8-megapixel primary camera and a secondary AI (depth) camera. Camera performance is average in daylight as well as low light and this shouldn’t be your first pick if cameras are a priority.
There’s usually nothing iconic or groundbreaking about budget smartphones, and the Realme C25 makes no attempt to break that mold. It offers a sturdy plastic unibody that’s chubby, yet easy to grip. As with every budget smartphone, there is a bit of give and take. What the Realme C25 gains in terms of processing power with the MediaTek Helio G70 processor, it also loses by not having an ultra-wide-angle camera like its predecessor, the Realme C15. Battery life is stellar but that’s also something that most smartphones in this segment already offer. Camera performance is passable and seems good enough for a phone that is meant to cater to those who simply want to run apps and get their day-to-day work done. All in all, the Realme C25 will appeal to those who are on a tight budget and who want battery performance over everything else.
Infinix Smart 5
The Smart 5 is a budget offering from Infinix with a big 6.82-inch HD+ display with a dewdrop notch. It also has a selfie flash that is common on Infinix smartphones at the front. The Smart 5 is heavy and has a 207g because of its big 6,000mAh battery. It has a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner that’s slightly higher than ideal.
It is powered by the MediaTek Helio G25 octa-core processor paired with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. The performance might disappoint heavy users while casual users should not face any issues with the device performance. The phone runs Android 10 with Infinix’s custom OS 7 UI on top.
You get a dual camera setup with a 13-megapixel primary camera and a depth sensor. Photo quality is strictly average for the price. Low Light camera performance lacked sharpness and color accuracy. Overall, the Smart 5 is for those with casual usage and a strict budget.
The Realme C12 weighs around 209g and is quite a chunky phone. There’s a ‘trapezium gradient’ design on the back which looks nice and doesn’t attract a lot of fingerprints. The Realme C12 is said to have a fire-resistant back cover and is also splash resistant. The Realme C12 has a 6.5-inch HD+ LCD screen, with a resolution of 1600×720 pixels and an unspecified version of Corning’s Gorilla Glass. Colors looked decent to me, but the quality of the panel is pretty average.
Realme has used the MediaTek Helio G35 SoC in the C12, which is not the most powerful processor in this price segment. The Realme C12 is only available in one configuration, with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage priced at Rs. 8,999. Games ran decently, as long as I stuck to simple titles or lowered the graphics quality. The main selling point here is the large 6,000mAh battery. Battery life is excellent, but the C12 doesn’t support fast charging.
The C12 has a 2-megapixel monochrome camera and a 2-megapixel macro camera, in addition to the main 13-megapixel primary camera. There’s a 5-megapixel selfie camera. Image quality was strictly average when shooting during the day and quite poor in low light.
The Realme C15 weighs around 209g and is quite a chunky phone. There’s a ‘trapezium gradient’ design on the back which looks nice and doesn’t attract a lot of fingerprints. The Realme C15 is said to have a fire-resistant back cover and is also splash resistant. The Realme C15 has a 6.5-inch HD+ LCD screen, with a resolution of 1600×720 pixels and an unspecified version of Corning’s Gorilla Glass. Colors looked decent to me, but the quality of the panel is pretty average.
Realme has used the MediaTek Helio G35 SoC in the C15, which is not the most powerful processor in this price segment. The Realme C15 is available in two configurations, with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, or 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Games ran decently, as long as I stuck to simple titles or lowered the graphics quality. The main selling point here is the large 6,000mAh battery. Battery life is excellent, and the C15 supports 18W fast charging.
The C15 has a 2-megapixel monochrome camera and a 2-megapixel retro camera, in addition to the main 13-megapixel and 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle cameras. There’s a 8-megapixel selfie camera. Image quality was strictly average when shooting during the day and quite poor in low light.
The Realme C11 is a budget phone that fits into the slot that the Realme C3 has been priced out of, thanks to recent factors affecting the economy. This is undoubtedly a low-end phone, with a relatively weak MediaTek Helio G35 processor and only 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. Overall performance is definitely sluggish, and you shouldn’t expect to play heavy games. The 6.5-inch screen is fairly decent, and is good enough for games and videos. You get Android 10 with Realme UI, which offers quite a lot of customisation options but has a lot of preloaded apps. The 13-megapixel rear camera takes decent shots, and there’s also a depth sensor for portraits. Battery life is excellent in all situations.