Best Smartphones Under 20000 in July (Updated) – Reviews and Buyers Guide

1. Samsung A502. Huawei P30 Lite3. Honor Play





When you are looking to buy the best phone under 20000 price range, it can be quite difficult to pick the best one for you due of the wide variety on offer.  Some mobiles are specialized for gaming while others try to offer the best camera quality.

Luckily, the best smartphones under 20000 have been increasingly getting more capable. They now offer great hardware specs while also offering a good build quality.

This means you no longer have to compromise for a premium feeling smartphone when on a budget.


Buying the Best Smartphone Under 20,000 – What to look for?

Here at NIDM we will simplify the various aspects of a smartphone like the camera, the battery, the software, etc.

We will help you gain a clear understanding of what to expect and what you must look out for when buying the best smartphone under 20K in India.

1) Display

Ideal display specifications

The main aspect of a phone and your window into the digital world is the smartphone’s screen. This plays a very important role in the experience of using the device. Making sure your smartphone has a good screen will help with everything you do on the device.

There are many types of screens, mainly LCD, TFT and AMOLED panels. While LCDs and TFTs work great and will offer you similar quality. AMOLED panels have the added advantage of offering much deeper blacks than its counterparts.

AMOLED screens however, are more expensive to manufacture. This can increase the cost of the smartphone itself. This is the reason is why LCD panels with IPS (for better viewing angles) are used most commonly.

The second more important aspect of the screen is its resolution. This decides how many pixels the screen packs into its size and so, the higher the resolution the sharper text you can see.

When looking for a smartphone in the 20,000 range while you cannot expect the same quality as the high-end flagship devices. However, you can still expect a high quality 1080p FHD+ LCD panel while some models may even offer AMOLED.

The screen’s size generally ranges at around 5.8 (on the smaller side) – 6.5inch (on the larger side). You can expect a small to medium sized notch on top of the screen.

2) Protection

Ideal protection

Smartphones are expensive and fragile so even when you are looking to buy one on a budget you want to make sure that the device is durable. Manufacturers have been adding many protections to modern smartphones like waterproofing, scratch resistant glass etc

While these are all great features to have, they are not always present on budget smartphones and only limited to the premium flagship devices. This is why you should be aware on what protection should be there.

Corning Gorilla Glass offers great scratch resistance for daily use and will be mostly available when choosing from the best smartphones under 20,000 in India.

Waterproofing however, is something that is generally only present on the expensive flagship devices right now.

Another important aspect is the material that a smartphone is built with. Plastic is cheap and affordable but not as durable as aluminium while it does not feel as premium as glass.

Some models offer a premium finish of plastic with gradient shades and reflective designs. We will still recommend a case for smartphones under 20k.

3) Camera

Ideal camera setup

There are mid-range smartphones that try to offer performance and speed that is close to flagship devices. But these usually fall behind in the camera department.

When looking for a smartphone in the 20,000 range expect to get a decent quality with some extra features like wide angle, portrait mode, etc. But there will be no high-end features like optical image stabilization.

Some devices however, offer a great camera experience for the price but there are generally other drawbacks. These devices normally cut down on some other features like build quality or processor speed when compared to other devices which aren’t camera centric.

If the camera is your priority then you can expect to see some drawbacks in other aspects of the device.

Smartphones in this range offer a dual rear camera system with resolution ranging from 12MP – 24MP on the main camera lens. Some models also offer a triple camera setup.

For the selfie lovers out there, you can expect 8MP to 21MP sensors. Some models also go as high as 32MP while others have a front flash to help with taking selfies in the dark.

4) Processor (System on a chip) SoC

Ideal processor setup

The processor is the core of your smartphone and also called “System on a chip”. This is because it combines various components for computing on a single chip.  This is also not only responsible for the CPU but also plays a key factor in the GPU type, extra features and so on.

This is why a good processor is important to having a good smartphone experience. This will also help avoid lag in the daily tasks that you may do on your smartphone and also gaming.

An octa core processor should be expected in this price range from vendors like Qualcomm Snapdragon, MediaTek, Exynos and Kirin.

Most smartphones in this range will offer a quick and snappy user experience while being good for most common tasks that you do. Some gaming-oriented models offer an even more powerful processor. This makes them ideal for intensive tasks like editing video or heavy online multiplayer games.

Most devices under 20,000 range will be able to handle popular games such as PlayerUnkown’s Battlegrounds and Asphalt 9 on low to medium settings without any heavy lag.

5) RAM & GPU

Ideal RAM and GPU setup

The RAM or Random-Access Memory of a smartphone is the second most important factor that decides how smooth a smartphone will operate. This is a specially dedicated high-speed memory that your processor uses to store apps and other android related data. This allows the processor to access the data quickly when you are multi-tasking on your phone as you go through multiple apps.

Having a low amount of RAM will cause slowdowns when opening apps and bigger apps will not stay in the background. This will cause even further slowdowns as the apps load from the start every time you open them.

You can expect at least 4GB of RAM in most sub 20k smartphones making them ideal for multitasking through most apps. However, you will not be able to have too many heavy apps in the background.

Speaking of games, The GPU or Graphics Processing Unit is responsible for all the graphics you see on a smartphone. This is especially important when using graphic intensive apps such as games. The GPU models range from Adreno, MALI, PowerVR etc.

Gaming performance will be good for most titles on the Google Play store. Although, if you try to play highly intensive games at high graphics settings then you will face lag and slowdowns.

6) Storage

Ideal storage capacity

Having enough storage space on your smartphone will keep it running smooth, free from issues like hanging. This will keep your notification panel free from the frequent low storage warnings.

Apps and other content that you keep on your device are getting larger in size. This is why you should choose a capacity that is higher than what you expect you require.

If you like to store many apps and media on your device then we recommend going with a model that has a microSD slot.

This will allow you to expand the storage capacity in a much more affordable way so you can easily store all the data that you need.

You should expect at least 64GB of internal storage which will be enough for most apps and a few games. However, a microSD slot support or even a higher 128GB capacity is recommended if you wish to have many games, photos, videos etc.

7) Battery

Ideal battery capacity

A smartphone is not very useful if the battery is empty. Nobody likes low battery warnings especially when you need to make an urgent call or find directions when travelling.

The battery capacity is calculated in mAh and you should expect a smartphone with at least 3000mAh capacity. This will make sure that the battery capacity is good enough to last at least through a day.

There are also some models which have capacities as high as 5000mAh. This makes them a great battery life champ and a good choice if you need a smartphone that lasts long.

There are also two kinds of batteries in use mostly being Li-Ion or Li-Polymer. Li-Polymer batteries are thinner than Li-Ion but are more expensive to manufacture.

These are generally non removable as they are sealed shut inside the device.

8) Ports & Wireless communications

Ideal ports and wireless

In this modern age of the internet, having all the necessary wireless features on your smartphone is important. This includes 4G LTE support, robust Wi-Fi with features like hotspot, GPS and so on.

Most of these will be available on smartphones under 20,000. However, you will miss out on a few features like NFC which are often found only on more premium devices.

The microUSB 2.0 port which has been a common part of smartphones for years has been replaced by the modern Type-C port. This brings new features like a reversible connector.

As Type-C is getting increasingly common you should expect it to be present in most devices under 20k.

You should also select a device with a 3.5mm headphone jack if you have a wired pair of earphones or headphones.

9) Speakers & Sensors

Ideal speakers and sensors

Speakers and sensors are often not given enough attention when choosing a smartphone.

More attractive features like the camera tend to take all the focus. However, speakers and sensors are a key part in the overall experience of using your smartphone.

Having a speaker that’s not loud enough will result in missed calls and messages when in a noisy environment. But dual speakers are not common and generally only available in flagship devices.

You should still expect a single good quality speaker on your smartphone in this price range.

Sensors also handle features that we are accustomed to like the fingerprint reader, the screen turning off when we put the device to our ear. There are also special features like having a compass on your smartphone.

This is why it is important to pick a smartphone that packs in all the necessary sensors.

10) Software

Ideal software setup

The hardware of the device is important but your user experience also depends on the software of the device. This makes it an important aspect to consider when buying a smartphone.

Most smartphones except for iPhones run on Android which an OS from Google. The version of Android that you get on your smartphone is often customized by the manufacturer.

Manufacturers make changes to the system and add in more features on top of Android. These versions of Android are called Custom User Interfaces (UI).

Extra features of the Custom UIs can be very useful but sometimes unnecessary too. The apps which are preinstalled often cannot be removed if you don’t need them.

The most common Custom UIs are MIUI, Samsung Experience, ColorOS, etc.

Some manufactures provide Android One devices which offer an Android experience that is simple to use and free from unnecessary apps.

Now that you are aware of all the various aspects of a smartphone it’s time to pick one. We have curated a list of the best 10 smartphones under 20,000 in 2020. This will help you choose the device that suits you best.

Top 10 Best Smartphones under 20000

1) Samsung Galaxy A50 (4GB+64GB)

Samsung Galaxy A50

Samsung Galaxy A50 specifications

The Galaxy A50 is one of Samsung’s top affordable models in the Galaxy A line-up. The front shows off Samsung’s expertise in AMOLED technology with its Super AMOLED 1080×2340 6.4inch FHD display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. You will also find a fingerprint sensor under the display.

The cameras also impress with a triple camera array at the back with a 25MP+8MP+5MP setup. On the front there is 25MP selfie shooter but no front flash support.

The notch on the device is small and doesn’t get in the way.

The device is powered by the Exynos 9610 which is made on the 10-nanometer process. This makes the processor more efficient than the previous generation. The battery life is handled with a 4000mAh Li-Po unit which will easily last through a day.

We would have loved to see a premium glass back on this device but Samsung disappoints with a plastic body. However, the device manages to feel good in the hand.

Storage offers a healthy 64GB capacity with 4GB RAM which while less than some other models remains a good capacity for most tasks. The device also has a microSD slot if you need expand the storage.

The device packs in a headphone jack, a Type-C connector and all the necessary sensors that you will need.

The fingerprint sensor on this device is under the display and not on the back. This makes it one of the most affordable android devices to have this feature.

The device comes with Android 9.0 Pie out of the box and Samsung has been cutting down on the unnecessary apps that they pack into their Custom UI.


2) Huawei P30 Lite (4GB+128GB)

Huawei P30 Lite

Huawei P30 Lite specifications

The younger sibling to Huawei’s flagship – The P30 Lite is one of the most balanced smartphones on the market in the sub 20k range. The device aims to offer a great camera experience while feeling premium without cutting down on any essential features.

The Huawei P30 Lite rocks a 6.15inch FHD display with a resolution of 1080×2312 pixels and a 415 ppi density.

The device comes with EMUI 9.0 based on Android 9.0 Pie and is powered by the Kirin 710 processor and the Mali-G15 MP4 GPU.

This ensures that this device will handle all the daily tasks that you demand from it and also some gaming.

The storage also packs in a great 128GB capacity for all your apps, games, photos and videos. You also get microSD support so you can expand the storage if needed up to 512GB.

The device also comes with 4GB RAM. This is lesser than some other models but is enough for most day to day tasks that you wish to do.

The phone looks modern with its small notch and great color options, but we were disappointed to see that it has no glass at the back or a metal construction. The device does however, still manage to feel premium.

The cameras are where the P30 Lite shines with a triple camera setup on the back with a 24MP+8MP+2MP array. There is support for wide and ultrawide options. The front also impresses with the 32MP selfie shooter but there is no front flash.

The device offers all the essential sensors including fingerprint and keeps the 3.5mm jack and has a Type-C port.

Battery life is not so impressive with its 3340 mAh Li-Po battery which is on the smaller side. The device still can last through a day of normal use.


3) Honor Play (6GB+64GB)

Honor Play

Honor Play specifications

Honor has offered us with one of the best performing smartphones in this price point. With the Kirin 970 under the hood, the Honor Play handles most tasks that you can throw at it with relative ease.

While the notch on the device is big, it does offer a metal back. This gives the phone a strong premium feel and is also impressively thin at 7.5mm.

The IPS LCD 6.3inch display offers a resolution of 1080×2340. The screen stays highly responsive for most tasks with its 6GB RAM and 64GB storage.

The MALI-G72 MP12 GPU is also a strong performer for most games so you will not have any problems with intensive gaming. However, increasing the graphic settings to very high would cause lag.

The device does not skip out on the 3.5mm headphone jack and offers the Type-C connector at the bottom. The fingerprint sensor is at the back and it covers all essential sensors.

There is a dual camera setup at the back with a 16MP+2MP array. The front offers a single 16MP camera for selfies. While the device manages to take good images, this setup makes it obvious that the device is not a camera centric phone by any means.

Performance is the Honor Play’s strong suit. The 3750 mAh Li-Po battery makes sure that the devices get through a normal work day without having to charge twice.


4) Mi A2 (6GB+128GB)

Mi A2

Mi A2 specifications

One of the fastest Android One devices on the Indian Market – The Mi A2 from Xiaomi offers a great hardware and software experience at an affordable price. This variant of the device offers 6GB of RAM and a whopping 128GB of Internal Storage.

At front we see a 5.99inch 1080×2160 LTPS IPS LCD Display with no notch. The device lacks a microSD slot but the 128GB storage variant should be sufficient for most needs.

The device is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor. When coupled with Android One UI the device offers some of the smoothest experiences in this price range. The device is also impressively thin at only 7.3mm thickness.

The design however is quite dated due to the bezels on top and bottom. While the bezels are slim, they still make the phone look old. Where it excels however, is the build quality due to its aluminium body which gives It a premium feel.

The cameras are also a strong point of this device. There is a dual camera setup on the back which offers a 12MP+20MP setup and a Dual LED flash. The front is also good with a 20MP selfie shooter with a LED flash for those selfie shots at night.

While the device comes with a Type-C connector it is lacking a 3.5mm headphone jack which is disappointment. It does offer Bluetooth 5.0.

The device also includes most of the necessary sensors like the fingerprint reader at the back.

The Li-Po battery powering the device is on the smaller side with just 3000mAh capacity. The device manages to last through a day of normal use.


5) Samsung Galaxy M30 (6GB+128GB)

Samsung Galaxy M30

Samsung Galaxy M30 specifications

The Galaxy M30 offers a large 128GB storage capacity with 6GB of RAM. You also get a huge 5000mAh battery making this device a battery champ.

The screen is 6.4inches in size and offers FHD 1080×2340 resolution. This is a Super AMOLED panel which offers deep blacks and vibrant colors. The notch is small and the thin bezels give the device a modern premium look. However, the device has a plastic body.

Samsung has gone with the Exynos 7904 processor which is slower than the 9610 seen on the A50. But with the 6GB RAM this should be good for most daily tasks and even some mild gaming.

Where this processor becomes an advantage is in battery life as it doesn’t demand too much power.

On the camera side we have a triple camera setup. There is a 13MP+5MP+5MP combination on the back and the front has a good 16MP camera for selfies, video calls etc. While the triple camera setup is nice, it is not as impressive as some other models in this range.

The device launched with Android 8.1 Oreo based on Samsung Experience UI.

The device also packs in Bluetooth 5.0, Fingerprint on the back, Dolby Atmos sound support and a Type-C connector on the bottom. There is also a MicroSD slot for expanding the storage if needed.

This is an ideal smartphone if battery life is your priority and you also require a high amount of storage capacity.


6) Honor 8X (6GB+128GB)

Honor 8X

Honor 8X specifications

The 8X is one of Honor’s best-looking offerings with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. The device sports a 6.5inch LTPS IPS LCD panel with 1080×2340 resolution and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection.

The device has a glass back and the frame is made from aluminium. This offers a premium feel when holding the device. It launched with Android 8.1 Oreo but is upgradeable to Android 9.0 Pie on EMUI 9.0.

Powering it up is the Kirin 710. This processor can handle most tasks you throw at it. The 6GB RAM gives the phone lot of space for multitasking. Storage can also be expanded with a microSD slot.

The camera sports a dual lens setup at the back with a 20MP+2MP combination that provides good images. The front offers a 16MP shooter for selfies.

Honor disappoints us by opting for a microUSB 2.0 port instead of Type-C. This makes it a big drawback in an otherwise fairly well-balanced device.

Honor however, did not miss out on any of the essential sensors and gives us a fingerprint reader at the back. There is also a 3750 mAh Li-Po battery which, while on the smaller side, will last through the day on normal use.

The device also has 3 color variants – black, red or blue version. These colors look quite striking especially due to the glass at the back of the phone.


7) Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) (6GB+128GB)

Samsung Galaxy A7

Samsung Galaxy A7 specifications

The Galaxy A7 has a slightly dated design with no notch but the device tries to make up for it extra features.

The front sports a 6.0 inch Super AMOLED screen with an FHD 1080×2220 resolution. The display offers deep blacks and vibrant colors. The device launched with Android 8.1 Oreo but has been upgraded to Android 9.0 Pie.

Under the hood lies the Exynos 7885 processor. This is lower than other processors that Samsung has offered at a similar price point. The phone however, does not lag much or have major slowdowns.

Performance isn’t the strong suit of the A7 but it tries to make up for that in the camera department.

There is a triple camera system like we have seen in other Samsung models. The device has a 24MP+8MP+5MP array at the back. The front also offers an impressive 24MP selfie shooter and also a front facing flash.

The battery is only a 3300 mAh Li-Po unit but the device manages to last through a day’s normal use.

The fingerprint reader is mounted on the side of the device making it quite ergonomic. Samsung has also included all necessary sensors.

The device keeps the headphone jack but lacks the new Type-C port and instead goes with the older microUSB 2.0 port.


8) OPPO F9 Pro (6GB+64GB)


OPPO F9 Pro specifications

The OPPO F9 Pro is one of the most complete packages that OPPO has to offer. The device comes with a 6.3inch LTPS IPS LCD panel with 1080×2340 resolution. This also has an impressive Gorilla Glass 6 protection.

The device also comes with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage that is expandable with a microSD slot.

Under the hood lies the MediaTek MT6771 Helio P60 which is a capable performer for most daily tasks. The MALI-G72 MP3 GPU isn’t the most powerful chip for gaming.

However, when coupled with 6GB RAM it should be enough for most games at low to medium settings.

The battery capacity is not very big with only a 3500mAh Li-Po unit.

OPPO’s ColorOS is not as mature as some other Custom UIs like Xiaomi’s MIUI or Honors EMUI. The device also launches with Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box and not 9.0 Pie.

The device manages to pack in all the necessary sensors like the fingerprint reader at the back. The device also supports OPPO’s VOOC Flash charge when used with a 20W adapter.

A major disappointment is the microUSB 2.0 instead of Type-C. This is a disappointment as Type-C gets increasingly popular and replaces microUSB 2.0 everywhere.

The cameras at the back are a Dual lens unit with a 16MP+2MP combination. This is not very impressive but at the front we see a 25MP selfie shooter that will make selfie lovers happy.


9) Vivo V9 Pro (6GB+64GB)

Vivo V9 Pro

Vivo V9 Pro specifications

The V9 Pro is one of the most popular mid-range offerings that Vivo has to offer. The screen is 6.3 inch in size and 1080×2280 resolution.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 under the hood has also proven to be an impressive processor at this price point. The Adreno 512 GPU handling the graphics is also good for most games.

However, Vivo’s Funtouch 4 Custom UI does not offer us with the same smoothness that we have seen on other Snapdragon 660 devices on the market.

The device will perform your day to day tasks well because of the 660’s raw power and its 6GB RAM. However, Vivo can improve the Funtouch experience quite a bit.

The cameras are disappointing with its 13MP+2MP setup at the back and 12MP shooter at the front.

The rear dual camera setup offers a Dual LED flash but this is not a phone for photography lovers. However, it gets the job done if you just need to take an image.

The device offers 64GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot if you wish to expand the storage on the device.

The battery life also won’t be that impressive because of its 3260 mAh Li-Ion unit. The bloatware added into Funtouch UI also consumes more battery.

Vivo does pack in all the necessary sensors into this device and the fingerprint sensor is mounted at the back. Type-C however is missing as we see a microUSB 2.0 port at the bottom. The device does not skip out on the 3.5mm jack to let you use wired headphones directly.


10) Nokia 7.1 (4GB+64GB)

Nokia 7.1

Nokia 7.1 specifications

The 7.1 is an Android One device from Nokia with a great front/back glass body with an aluminium frame. The smartphone lives up to the build quality expectations we have from a brand.

The device is also smaller than the competition making it easier to hold with one hand.

The screen is 5.84inch in size it does have a 1080×2280 FHD resolution with a 19:9 ratio. The screen also sports Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection and a HDR10 certification. The notch however, is not as small as other devices.

Powering the device is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 which is a bit of a disappointment. This chip will handle most of the tasks that you need to do. But it is still slower than other models in this price range.

Nokia however has kept the software up to date with and the device has been updated to Android 9.0 Pie. The experience around the UI remains smooth and snappy. The 4GB RAM and 64GB storage also gets the job done for most multitasking and data needs.

The cameras have the venerable ZIESS branding but falls back when in comes to sheer specs. There is only a 12MP+5MP dual camera array at the back and an 8MP sensor at the front. The image quality however is satisfactory.

Nokia has done no tradeoffs in the ports department keeping the 3.5mm headphone jack. There is also a Type-C connector. All necessary sensors are also present here with a fingerprint reader at the back.

The battery is on the small side with just a 3060 mAh Li-Ion unit. The device however, will last through a day of normal use.


Best Budget Smartphone under 20000 – What’s Your Pick?

With all the various choices available, which smartphone is best for you depends on your needs, your budget and the expectations you have from a smartphone. Our guide has covered the 10 key aspects that you should keep in mind when choosing which phone is best for you in this price range.

Choosing to buy a smartphone in the mid-range at 15000-20000 will offer you with most of the featured required in a modern smartphone. To keep costs affordable, some extra features like NFC or Waterproofing may be cut.

Most mid range smartphones under 20,000 will offer you with a good experience but some devices offer special advantages such as a great camera or a great gaming experience. You can choose what’s best for you based on what you wish to do on your smartphone.

Following our guide and choosing from our top 10 devices will help you in picking the best smartphone for you.

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