Best Phones to Buy under Rs 12,000


Both the online and offline fragments of the Indian Smartphone market have coexisted and seen healthy growth over the last few years. This year, however, we saw unprecedented growth in the online competition.

Even offline majors like vivo jumped in with their online exclusives and injected fresh vigor in the affordable phone segment. As a result, there are now quite a few interesting buying options in the sub-12k budget and if you have been looking to buy, here are the best phones you may consider. 

vivo U20

vivo U20 offers amazing value for a remarkable starting price of Rs. 10,990. The handset employs Qualcomm’s powerful AI-enabled Snapdragon 675AIE octa-core chipset and houses an assuring 5000mAh battery. Up to 6GB LPDDR4x RAM option, high-quality UFS 2.1 which is expandable up to 256GB and vivo’s Ultra Game Mode further makes it an excellent choice for mobile gaming.

The vivo U20 is one of the rare few phones in its class to support fast charging (18W Dual-Engine Fast Charger). The phone has the Widevine L1 certificate and you’d be able to enjoy HD content from Netflix and Amazon Prime on its gorgeous 6.53-inch FHD+ screen. The display is protected by Panda MN228 glass that scores 700 on the Vickers Hardness Test, which is better than Gorilla Glass 5 (638) and Gorilla Glass 3 (649).

All of this technology is housed within a slick and stylish casing that comes in two attractive colors – Racing Black and Blaze Blue. Other prominent features include AI Triple Rear Cameras, Android 9.0 Pie-based software, and rear-mounted fingerprint sensor.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8

Apart from the Pro variant, Xiaomi also launched a regular 8th generation Note that costs lesser. The Redmi Note 8 is powered by Snapdragon 665 chipset coupled with Adreno 610GPU. The handset has an IPS LCD display that is slightly smaller than the U20 screen at 6.3-inches but has the same Full HD+ resolution.

The Redmi Note 8 is backed by a 4000mAh battery and comes with an 18W fast charger in the box. On the software front, the Redmi Note 8 runs feature-rich MIUI but the system level ads drag the overall experience down.

Samsung Galaxy M30

Samsung Galaxy M30 has a 6.4-inch FHD+ AMOLED panel wherein the display stretches to an 84.2-percent to the body. Up top within the U-slit lies a 16-megapixel selfie snapper. Samsung also offers a triplet at the back with a 13-megapixel sensor leading the way.

This runs on top of 14nm-based 1.8GHz Exynos 7904 silicon, which is dated and dull if you pit on performance fronts with Snapdragon thoroughbreds. The internals includes up to 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. On a side note, it’s better not to go with the 3+32 gigs variant, considering long-term requirements. It shares the 5000mAh battery size with some other peers on this list but the fast charging maxes at just 15W.

Realme 5s

Realme 5s is another Snapdragon 665 driven option that retails in the same price bracket. The HD+ screen on the phone isn’t as sharp as what you’d get on the other three options mentioned above, but colors are reasonably well balanced.

The 5s also packs a 5000mAh battery inside but ships with only a 10W charging adapter. RAM options go up to 4GB RAM. Other highlights include quad-rear cameras, Android 9.0 based software, and a 13MP selfie camera. 

Lenovo K10 Note

Lenovo K10 Note comes with a 6.3-inch IPS LCD screen that’s FHD+ in resolution and 83.7% display-to-body ratio. Unlock the phone using the front camera or the rear fingerprint scanner to interact with ZUI 11, which is a lesser-known Android (9.0 Pie) skin. Coming to the cameras, the front one is a 16MP one, while the back houses a 16MP+8MP+2MP trio.

The phone ticks on a Snapdragon 710 chipset paired with up to 6GB RAM and 128GB ROM. The phone has a hybrid card slot, which is to say that you pick your poison between either 2 SIMs or one SIM plus one SDcard. K10 note draws power from a slightly trimmed 4050mAh battery that’s backed by an 18W charger.  There is no DRM L1 certification for HD streaming on Amazon Prime videos and Netflix.

Honor 20i

Honor 20i has an IPS LCD display that covers 6.21-inches diagonally with an 83.1% screen-to-body ratio. This display lacks HD streaming support, however. The front is bare save for a small U-shaped cutout, which is home to a 32MP shooter. At the back, you get a triple camera setup with a 24MP primary sensor.

Inside, there is a Kirin 710 processor, roomed with a max 128GB storage and 4GB RAM only. The expandable storage depends on a hybrid slot. Honor has Scrooged with the 3400mAh battery size and a 10W charging support. Another point of contention could be with the software situation in the long run. That said, phones within current upgrade cycles are likely not to be affected at least for the foreseeable future. Still, nothing can be said with certainty for now.



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