The sub-Rs. 15,000 smartphone segment has witnessed a 5G-awakening of sorts after the pandemic. A majority of manufacturers rushed to launch 5G-ready devices back then, but a few of these actually managed to offer good value. The easiest trick in the book was to reduce the number or quality of cameras, and so, getting a decent camera at this price point soon became a problem. However, 4G smartphones continued to launch, and this was mainly because most 4G devices in this segment seemed to offer unmatched value by offering features such as splash resistance, stereo speakers and more.
While the “5G tax” has gradually eroded over time, there are still some manufacturers like Motorola and Realme which have recently announced new 4G devices, even though 5G services have been up and running in major cities and towns.
Unfortunately, even some recently launched 4G devices such as the Realme C55 did not make it to our list due to its lacklustre software performance. While we would normally recommend buying a 5G smartphone as a means of future-proofing your experience, we have still retained several 4G smartphones in this list as most of the newer 5G devices that we reviewed simply did not make the cut.
So, here's our list of some of the best phones to buy under Rs. 15,000 in India right now, in no particular order.
|Phones under Rs. 15,000||Gadgets 360 rating (out of 10)||Price in India (as recommended)|
|Infinix Hot 30 5G||8||Rs. 14,999|
|iQoo Z6 Lite 5G||8||Rs. 13,999|
|Moto G52||8||Rs. 12,999|
|Redmi 10 Prime||8||Rs. 12,999|
|Realme Narzo 30 5G||8||Rs. 14,999|
|Samsung Galaxy F22||8||Rs. 11,499|
|Redmi Note 10S||8||Rs. 14,999|
The Infinix Note 30 5G can best be described as the "jack of all trades". It's one of the only recently launched 5G smartphones that not only has good value but also performs as expected. Priced from Rs. 14,999 for the 4GB RAM model, and Rs. 15,999 for the 8GB RAM model, this budget smartphone offers enough raw performance with its MediaTek Dimensity 6080 SoC for casual use and for some mid-level gaming.
Camera performance with its 108-megapixel camera is also quite good for its segment and manages impressive still images in daylight and in low light. There's a 45W charger in the box and it is rather quick to charge that large 5,000mAh battery. The phone also has an IP53 rating. While all of the above sounds impressive for a budget smartphone, its bloated XOS 13 software which also has a mild learning curve, might not be for everyone.
The iQoo Z6 Lite 5G gets you reliable camera performance and a good-looking design at an attractive price. As its name describes, there are 5G radios as well, even though it's just two 5G bands. iQoo decided to go with a 120Hz refresh rate LCD display which also makes this smartphone good for gaming. The combination of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 SoC and a large 5,000mAh battery also makes it good for entertainment as the bottom-firing speaker in our testing turned out to be sufficiently loud. While this phone seems to check all the right boxes, you need to keep in mind that it does not include a charger in the box. Also, its software experience isn't the best in class.
The Moto G52 lacks 5G radios. This may be a problem for those looking forward to making the switch to 5G networks. The G52 is solely for those who have no plans to jump onto the 5G bandwagon right away but are more interested in value. With that in mind, the Motorola Moto G52 is focused on entertainment with a 90Hz refresh rate pOLED display, and stereo speakers with support for Dolby Atmos. The Qualcomm's Snapdragon 680 SoC is not a beast, but it surely gets daily tasks done (along with some light gaming) and this is partly thanks to Motorola's near-stock Android software. The phone also packs a large 5,000mAh battery and comes with a 33W charger in the box. While the phone looks attractive, it also packs an IP52 rating for mild dust and water resistance.
The Redmi 10 Prime carries the family look and sports a big 6.5-inch full-HD+ display with a 90Hz refresh rate. It has a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, a plastic frame, and a quad-camera system at the back. This smartphone is powered by the MediaTek Helio G88 SoC, along with a large 6,000mAh battery with support for 18W fast charging. Daylight camera performance is average, despite having a 50-megapixel primary camera. Low-light image quality is also a bit underwhelming, which is one of the main downsides of this phone. While it doesn't have the same impact that its predecessor did, it does deliver better performance so if that's important to you, the Redmi 10 Prime will suit your needs.
We also reviewed the Redmi 11 Prime 5G which as its name implies, adds 5G to the mix, but you should go for this one only if 5G connectivity is high up on your list of priorities.
The Realme Narzo 30 5G is a slim and stylish 5G smartphone with a 90Hz refresh rate display, great battery life, and mid-level gaming performance. The cameras are a bit disappointing for both stills and video and to make matters worse, there's no ultra-wide camera. You get Realme UI plus several preinstalled apps that can spam you with unwanted notifications. That slim design surprisingly packs a 5,000mAh battery but charging is a bit on the slower side. However, if you want 5G and you have a tight budget, the Narzo 30 5G is a good phone to consider.
Samsung's Galaxy F22 is a rather basic budget smartphone that goes big on battery life. It has a vibrant 6.4-inch 90Hz HD+ Super AMOLED display, but cuts down on everything else. The big 6,000mAh battery easily lasts two days, but takes a long time to charge. The camera performance is quite average for its segment, but daylight video quality is good, despite being limited to 1080p. The Galaxy F22's design can be best described as practical, with a display that uses Gorilla Glass 5 for protection and a plastic unibody. The phone lacks 5G radios that are available in the newer Galaxy F23 5G, but if a vivid display and strong battery life are priorities, the Galaxy F22 fits the bill.
The Redmi Note 10S, despite being quite old, is still a solid offering in this segment. It has been replaced by the Redmi Note 11S (which adds 5G radios and 108-megapixel primary camera) which is priced higher. For an older device, it still packs a punch in terms of specifications and also has an IP53 rating for dust and water resistance. There's a 6.43-inch AMOLED display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3. It has stereo speakers and an IR emitter, which are both uncommon on budget smartphones. The Note 10S packs a MediaTek Helio G95 SoC along with 6GB of RAM, and you can choose between 64GB and 128GB of storage. The phone does have a lot of preinstalled apps that occasionally push spammy notifications. Xiaomi offers a quad-camera setup on the Redmi Note 10S with a 64-megapixel primary sensor.