If you are looking to upgrade from a mid-range smartphone, or simply crave a better camera and equally good value, then the lower end of the premium smartphone segment in India is where you are bound to find good options. Smartphones in the sub Rs. 40,000 segment pack in more than enough raw performance for everyday tasks and are good enough for some high-end gaming as well. Designs are top-notch and are usually a big leap from mid-range smartphones, and things such as an IP68 rating is surely an added bonus.
Our latest entrants include the OnePlus 11R 5G and the Vivo V27 Pro 5G, both of which brings along a solid set of premium features to the sub-Rs. 40,000 smartphones segment. There's also the Motorola Edge 30 Fusion which recently received a price cut and makes it into this guide, offering good performance and value.
Here are the best smartphones priced under Rs. 40,000 in India that are reviewed and rated by Gadgets 360, in no particular order.
|Phones under Rs. 40,000||Gadgets 360 rating (out of 10)||Price in India (as recommended)|
|OnePlus 11R 5G||9||Rs. 39,999|
|Vivo V27 Pro 5G||8||Rs. 37,999|
|Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G||9||Rs. 35,999|
|Motorola Edge 30 Pro||9||Rs. 34,999|
|Motorola Edge 30 Fusion||8||Rs. 37,999|
|Xiaomi 11T Pro||9||Rs. 36,999|
|Realme GT Neo 3||-||Rs. 36,999|
The OnePlus 11R 5G will appeal to many OnePlus fans who have been waiting for something similar to the OnePlus 7T to come along — a phone with a flagship SoC under Rs. 40,000. If you play a lot of demanding mobile games and require good battery life, the 11R 5G will not disappoint. The main camera is also very capable, although the rest of them leave a lot to be desired. I think what many people are going to like most is the fact that the 11R 5G looks just like the more expensive 11 5G, giving it flaunt value. The OnePlus 11R 5G could have been better in few areas, but especially after last year's offering, I think it's a solid comeback.
The Vivo V27 Pro would be a good choice for those who want a phone with an excellent in-hand feel. The colour-changing trick is subjective but its novelty might wear off soon. The camera performance, especially the front camera, is also quite good for the price. However, it tends to feel warm quickly due to its slim form factor. While the display by itself offers a good experience and supports HDR10+ video playback, popular video streaming apps weren't able to detect this capability during our review. What's an even bigger bummer is a single speaker setup in a phone at this price. If you are someone who does not care much about the phone's shortcomings, it can be considered.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G is the successor to the do-it-all Galaxy S20 FE 5G. Upgrades to the S21 FE 5G are mostly incremental, so the difference is mainly down to the slightly refreshed design and SoC. The Galaxy S21 FE 5G gets the premium Galaxy S22's contour cutout camera design with flat-finished rear panels and cutouts for each camera lens. It's also quite light and thin which makes it good for one-handed use. The big upgrade here is the Exynos 2100 SoC from the Galaxy S21 series and it does a good job with gaming. All the good stuff from the S20 FE 5G has been retained on the S21 FE 5G including wireless charging and an IP68 certification for dust and water resistance, which it now brings to the sub Rs. 40,000 segment.
The Motorola Edge 30 Pro continues to offer great value, especially now after a recent price cut. The phone is available in a single 8GB RAM and 128GB storage configuration but at a very competitive price. It's no longer the flagship for Motorola, but still has a 144Hz AMOLED display, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC, two 50-megapixel cameras on the back, and a 60-megapixel selfie camera. There's a large 4,800mAh battery to alleviate your battery anxiety. Its design may be a bit chunky in comparison to the newer Edge 30 Fusion, but there is an IP52 rating for basic dust and water resistance, which seems like the bare minimum, but it's something. Motorola's near-stock MyUX software experience which comes with just one preloaded app is the cherry on top.
The Motorola Edge 30 Fusion sure turned out to be a mixed bag at launch. While it appeared slim and modern with its curved-edge display and premium feel, it arrived in 2023 with a rather dated Qualcomm Snapdragon 888+ processor. In our review, it performed as expected and still had enough power for everyday tasks and for gaming, but it's confusing price tag of Rs. 42,999 made little sense when compared to the older generation, Motorola Edge 30 Pro, as it packed in better hardware like a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC in a slightly chunkier package.
After several price cuts, the Edge 30 Fusion currently retails at a more sensible Rs. 37,999. It's a slimmer design, packs updated cameras compared to the Edge 30 Pro and does not heat up as much as the older model as well.
The Xiaomi 11T Pro doesn't stand out in terms of cosmetic design, even though its polycarbonate mid-frame sandwiched between two sheets of glass feels premium. However, it delivers good raw performance thanks to its Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC and is a good all-rounder.
Its attractive price and features make it a good deal. Its AMOLED display showcases accurate colours and is also one of the few Android smartphones with a Dolby Vision certification for streaming video. You get stereo sound with Dolby Atmos support, which makes for an immersive entertainment experience. Battery life is top notch and this phone offers up to two days of casual use on a single charge. You also get a 120W fast charger in the box. Camera performance is quite good, except for the quality of selfies in low light.
The Realme GT Neo 3 is all about speed. It surely looks the part with racing stripes on the rear panel. Then there's the large 6.7-inch full-HD+ AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The phone comes with a MediaTek Dimensity 8100 SoC which is good enough for gaming. The major improvements over its predecessor (the Realme GT Neo 2) comes in the form of upgraded cameras which perform a lot better as well.
We did test out the more expensive model of the GT Neo 3, which is equipped with a smaller 4,500mAh battery but supports faster 150W wired charging, but the regular model is no slouch either with a larger 5,000mAh along with 80W charging support.