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Best Budget Smartphones in India

Best Budget Smartphones

Budget phones are one of the most popular smartphone genres in India. They are affordable and offer all the features one needs in their device. With a significant part of India still using feature phones, budget smartphones are a plausible upgrade. They are slightly costly than feature phones and offer way more functionality.

Also, over the years, budget smartphones have grown stronger and now are capable of rivalling even mid-rangers

The budget market for the phone has been one of the most heated sectors of the smartphone market. There is a new phone almost every month, making it difficult for manufacturers to keep up. But that can be highly confusing for the buyers. Though the differences are sometimes minimal, they can cause considerable shifts in the performance of the device. 

Therefore, identifying and buying the correct smartphone is extremely important for buyers.

To make this clear for them, we have brought the list of the Best Budget Smartphones in India. 

Common questions that generally may arise in your mind:

  • Which is the best smartphone in mid-range budget?
  • What are the most popular smartphones in India?
  • Which is the best smartphone with a quality camera?
  • Which smartphone has the best processor ?
We have your answers! 

Reference:

Know the Best Budget Smartphones in India in this article. We have jotted down all the details for a complete comparison.

Also Check : 7 Unique ways to use your Smartphones

5 Best Budget Smartphones in India

Here’s a list of Top 5 Best Budget Smartphones in India in 2021.

01. Redmi 9A


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Xiaomi, with its sub-brand Redmi, kickstarted the popularity of budget and mid-range smartphones in India. 

Key Highlights:
13MP primary camera 

5000 mAH battery, expandable storage

MediaTek Helio G25

6.33-inch HD display and a Splash-proof design

The Redmi 9A is one of the best affordable budget phones in India right now. The phone offers a lot considering its price while blowing the competition out of the water.

Smart Features:
Processor: 

Redmi 9A comes with the newly launched MediaTek Helio G25. The processor is powerful enough to run all the mobile games out there. Still, as it is an entry processor, the graphics need to be on the lower side. 

When it comes to day to day usage, the processor performs quite well. The performance is smooth, though you can face lag at times. The CPU clock speed of the Helio G25 is good too, at 2GHz.

Display:

The device has a 6.53 inchHD+ display with a resolution of 1600 x 720 pixels.
The screen has a pixel density of 268 PPI and a 20:9 aspect ratio. Though the performance is good indoors, it struggles under the sun. 
 
RAM and Storage:

The Redmi 9A is offered in two RAM options- 2GB and 3GB RAM with 32GB of storage. You also get an option to expand your storage to 512GB. 

Battery: 

One of the aspects that makes it a contender for the best budget smartphones is its battery. The 9A offers a massive battery of 5000mAH paired with a 10W charger. Along with its battery efficient processor, this device promises more than a day of battery backup.

Cameras: 

The device is basic in terms of cameras, with a 13MP rear camera and a 5MP front camera. Still, it offers few features like the AI portrait, AI scene recognition, Pro mode and HDR. The camera performance is average, with terrible low light performance. 

Software: 

The Redmi 9A comes with Android 10 and the MiUi 11 skin on top. Software is a headache with all the ads and bloatware.

Weighing at 194g, the device is on the heavier side. But it also comes it a 5000 mAH battery, so that’s understandable. At a starting price point of Rs.6,999, the Redmi 9A is a good deal for anyone venturing into the market for an entry-level smartphone.

Pros

  • 1-year warranty
  • Dual sim
  • Face unlock

Cons

  • Laggy performance at times
  • 2 GB RAM version is not recommended
  • Ads in UI

02. Samsung M21

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Samsung recently upped its mid-range game by introducing the M-series. While this has affected the A-series, its a win for customers as you get more for less. 

Key Highlights:
AMOLED Display

6000 mAH battery

Exynos 9611

Triple camera setup

Samsung M21 is the brand’s best budget smartphone in India. It is a feature-rich offering at an optimal price tag. Though you can get better alternatives if you want to game, as a whole, this is the best all-around device.

Smart Features:
Processor:

The only frustrating aspect of the M-series is the Exynos 9611. However, it is the best processor for the M21, considering its price point. While it is suitable for daily usage, gamers should stay miles away. Using it daily is a breeze, but push it hard and you will see the Exynos effect creeping in.

Display: 

The M21 is the only budget smartphone to offer an AMOLED screen, and it is a treat to the eyes. The device has a 6.4-inch Infinity U Cut display with an FHD+ resolution (2340 x 1080) and a 404 PPI pixel density.
It performs well outdoors too, which is not a surprise considering the peak brightness of 420 nits. 

RAM and Storage:

M21 is offered in two storage variants: 64 GB and 128GB, paired with 4 GB of RAM. 
You also get an option to expand storage to 512 GB with a micro SD slot.
The RAM feels enough for now, but Samsung has a bad history with long-term usage. So, you may face problems in the future.

Battery: 

Samsung says that the M21 comes with a 'Monster battery'. Well, I wouldn't question that. With a mammoth 6000 mAH capacity and a 15W fast charger, you will get more than a day or even two days of battery backup.

Cameras:

The M21 has a triple camera setup, and for once, it is actually usable. 
There's a 48MP (F2.0) primary camera with an 8MP (F2.2) ultra-wide lens and a 5MP(F2.2) depth lens. A 20MP shooter makes up the front camera module. 

The device shines when there is sufficient light, but struggles in indoor and dark lighting conditions. However, the video output is surprisingly good with an aorta of features like Hyperlapse, Slow-mo and 4K video support.  

Software: 

The M21 runs the OneUi 2.0 on top of Android 10. The OneUI is a joy to use and has a plethora of features. You get pre-installed apps at the first boost, and there is a significant amount of bloatware.
 

The M21 is lightweight considering the huge battery, but that is because of the plastic build. You still get a headphone jack and all the standard sensors. At Rs.13,999, the M21 is the best budget smartphones in India if you are looking for the perfect media consumption phone.

Pros

  • 1-year device warranty , Dual sim
  • Fingerprint scanner and face unlock

Cons

  • Charging the device to 100% takes 3 hours
  • Not for gaming

03. Redmi 9 Prime

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We already saw the Redmi 9A in the list. And now, it’s the sibling, the Redmi 9 Prime. This goes to show Redmi’s dominance in the market. 

Key Highlights:
MediaTek Helio G80

Full HD+ IPS display 

Quad camera setup

5020 mAH battery

Redmi had not released a ‘Prime’ version of their smartphones for a while now. The Prime series undercuts the Note series while providing all the necessary features. Because of this, Redmi 9 Prime is one of the best budget smartphones in India.

Smart Features:
Processor: 

We see the MediaTek G80 in action again, which though not the best for gaming, gets the job done as a daily driver. One can game with the Mi 9 Prime, but do not expect an extraordinary performance. 

Display: 

The Redmi 9 Prime gets a 6.53-inch FHD+ display with a resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels and a 394 PPI pixel density. The tear-drop notch houses the front shooter. 

The screen does not get a variable refresh rate which is a downer. However, on the whole, the display performance is good.

RAM and Storage: 

The device is offered in two storage variants- 64 GB and 128 GB. The RAM remains constant on both variants at 4GB.
Like others, the storage can be expanded to 512 GB via an SD card.

Battery:

The battery voes are sorted on almost all budget smartphones. The presence of 5020 mAH along with a 10W charger proves that. With a company claim of 185 hours of music playback backup, 31 hours of calling and 19-hours of navigation, the 9 Prime is a solid contender for the best budget smartphone in India.

Cameras:

The Redmi 9 Prime rocks a 13MP rear, an 8 MP ultra-wide, a 5MP macro, and a 2MP portrait shooter. An 8MP front camera handles the selfies.

The daylight photos on the 9 Prime blow the competition away. The ultra-wide and other lenses perform average, with an acceptable dynamic range.
Features on offer include AI scene recognition, HDR and Pro mode.

Software:

The Mi 9 Prime runs on Android 10 with MiUi 11 skin on top. The skin has unwanted apps installed at the start alongside other bloatware. Redmi's most frustrating factor- Ads are also present in the 9 Prime.

At 198g, it is a bit on the heftier side. But again, the battery makes it worth it. The Redmi 9 Prime is one of the best budget smartphones under the 10k price bracket. It starts at Rs.9,499 and offers exceptional value at its price point.

Pros

  • 1-year device warranty
  • Splash-proof design, IPS display
  • Supports 18W fast charging

Cons

  • The 10W bundled charger takes a long time to charge
  • System bloatware cannot be uninstalled
  • Ads in the UI

Personally recommended by me. I have been using this for long with no issues But be sure about the features that it comes with.

Rest everything is fine. Cheers!!!

04.  Samsung Galaxy M01 Core

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The M01 Core is Samsung’s offering in the Android Go range of phones. It also marks the brand’s entry into the smartphone market. 

Key Highlights:
8MP (F2.2) rear camera

HD+ display

3000 mAH battery 

MT6739WW processor

The M01 Core is the best cheapest smartphone in India. It gets all the basic features that a smartphone has. However, one should look at it with respect to its price.

Smart Features:
Processor: 

The MediaTek MT6739 is an entry-level processor that does not offer a lot on its own. But pairing it with Android Go makes it stronger. MT6739 is a quad-core processor clocked at 1.5 GHz. The daily performance has a bit of lag, but it isn't unusable. 

Display: 

The device sports a 5.3-inch TFT LCD HD+ display with a resolution of 1480 x 720 pixels and a 310 PPI pixel density. The display has good contrast but could have been brighter.

RAM and Storage: 

M01 Core is offered in two variants- 1 GB RAM + 16 GB storage, and 2 GB RAM + 32 GB storage. You do get a micro SD slot which allows the storage to be upgraded to 512 GB.

Battery: 

Though the device sports a relatively tiny battery of 3000 mAH, it is enough for it, as the components are not power-hungry. The charging adapter bundled in the box is rated at 7W, which is quite less. 

Cameras:

The device has a single camera at the back- an 8MP (F2.2) lens. At the front, you get a 5MP (F2.4) shooter. The pictures are average at best. In short, do not get this phone if you want good cameras.

Software:

Android Go is used in the M01 Core, as it is a lighter version of Android. The software has its own version of applications too. It is meant for phones with and less than 2 GB of RAM. As it is way lighter than stock Android, the components need not be as high performing as other phones. Overall, the software is the perfect match for the phone.

The Samsung M01 core weighs a mere 150g and is also pretty compact.

At a starting price of Rs.5,999, the phone is the best entry-level budget smartphone in India. But considering the price, you do get value on each rupee spent. 

Pros

  • Light and compact, Dual sim
  • Good battery backup
  • 1-year device warranty

Cons

  • No fingerprint scanner
  • 1 GB RAM version is not recommended
  • An older design

05. Samsung M11

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The younger sibling of the M21 is an equally capable phone. While it is a downgrade in features, you also get a downgraded price. But still, this has its share of the customer base.

Key Highlights:
Triple camera setup

Qualcomm SDM450-F01 octa-core processor

5000 mAH battery

Infinity-O display

1-year device warranty, Dual sim

The M11 fills the gap of an entry-level, yet feature-rich smartphone in Samsung’s lineup. It strikes a balance between budget and mid-range quite well, making it one of the best budget smartphones in India.

Smart Features:
Processor: 

The Qualcomm SDM450-F01 is a budget processor, and it performs accordingly. If you want to game on it, you are pushing your luck. It is best for everyday usage, but nothing other than that. Multi-tasking is also kind of a long shot. But for an average user, the SDM450-F01 will be just fine.

Display: 

While its older brother got an AMOLED display, the M11 only gets an HD+ display. It is a 6.4-inch Infinity-O display with 720 x 1520 pixels resolution and a 270 PPI. Although it does the job, Samsung should have provided a Full HD+ display. 

RAM and Storage: 

M11 is offered in two variants- 3 GB RAM + 32 GB ROM, and 4 GB RAM + 64 GB ROM. You do get an SD card slot to expand the storage to up to 512 GB.

Cameras: 

The M11 houses a triple camera setup consisting of a 13MP (F1.8) primary camera, a 5MP (F2.2) ultra-wide lens and a 2MP (F2.4) depth camera.
The rear setup gives good pictures, but the photos from the 8MP (F2.0) front-facing camera lack detail. 

Software:

You get the OneUI 2.0 skin on top of Android 10. The device will also get the OneUI 3.0 update. 

Weighing a mere 168g, the M11 is light considering the huge battery it houses. Also, at a price point of Rs.10,999 for the 64 GB variant(which you should get), the phone will be a decision you won’t regret.

Pros

  • Good battery backup
  • Fast charger included in the box

Cons

  • Mediocre processor
  • Below average display

Conclusion on the Best Budget Smartphones in India

The budget market in India has picked the pace over the years. Now, it is no longer a category ignored by the manufacturers. But selecting phones in this category is equally challenging. 

The devices are so popular because they offer sheer quality for the price you pay. And manufacturers seem to have cracked that formula.

 Related article: Only Smartphone Buying Guide You Need

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