The smartphone market is divided into three core segments viz. top-end, mid-range and entry-level, but in the past few years, a new category called ‘affordable flagships’ has also emerged. This section was brought to the mainstream by OnePlus, and it hosts smartphones that offer a top-tier performance without burning a hole in the pocket of buyers and are usually priced around Rs. 30,000.
If you are planning to buy a smartphone whose cost hovers around the Rs. 30,000 margin, we have compiled a list to make the task of selecting the best smartphone in this price bracket easier for you. The smartphones included in our list have been selected after evaluating parameters like their processing power, camera performance, build quality and design as well as the user interface to name just a few. Let’s get started with the list:
10 Best Phones Under 30000 INR (July 2018)
1. Asus ZenFone 5Z
Taking the top spot on the list is the new Zenfone 5Z from Asus, which is on its way to dethrone the OnePlus 6 as the new flagship killer. The Zenfone 5Z packs in Qualcomm’s latest and greatest Snapdragon 845 processor clocked in at 2.8GHz coupled with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage. Much like most other Android flagships in the market today, the Zenfone 5Z has also adopted the dreaded notch, despite having a substantial chin at the base of the display. The smartphone sports a 6.2-inch FHD+ Super IPS+ display which gets really bright and has a modern 19:9 aspect ratio.
The Zenfone 5Z packs in a respectable 3,300mAh battery to keep the device going and features support for Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 technology for fast charging. In the camera department, the Zenfone 5Z sports a 12MP+8MP dual camera setup with OIS and EIS on the back, along with an 8MP selfie camera up front. Asus has packed in a ton of AI features, especially in the camera, which make it a great performer even in low light conditions. The device also features a hybrid SIM tray, which will allow you to expand your storage up to 2TB.
Buy from Flipkart (Rs. 29,999)
2. Honor View 10
The Honor View 10 is the flagship offering from Huawei’s Honor sub-brand, and it’s quite surprising that this device packs the same processor, RAM, and internal storage as the Mate 10 flagships which cost twice as much. The Honor View 10, which comes with an integrated NPU for enabling AI-based features, fared exceptionally well in our review, with particular praise going to its sleek metallic design and stellar build quality. Thanks to a recent update, the Honor View 10 has also gained support for Face Unlock as an authentication measure.
The Honor View 10 packs a 5.99-inch 1080 x 2160 IPS display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, and it is kept lit by a 3750mAh battery. As for the hardware, the Honor View 10 packs the powerful Kirin 970 SoC which is paired with 6GB of RAM and a hefty 128GB of internal storage which can be further expanded up to 256GB. In the imaging department, the Honor View 10 holds its own against other high-end smartphones, thanks to its capable dual rear camera set-up (20MP + 16MP) and a 13MP selfie snapper, which can click some really good quality shots with sufficient detail and vivid color output.
Buy from Amazon (Rs. 29,999)
3. Nokia 7 plus
The Nokia 7 Plus is one of the best smartphones under 30,000 INR that you can buy. The Nokia 7 Plus comes with a 6-inch IPS LCD display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, and a bezel-less design. In the camera department, the Nokia 7 Plus comes with a dual 12MP camera on the back with the primary lens set to an f/1.75 aperture, and the secondary lens set to f/2.6 which means we get a portrait mode on the Nokia 7 Plus.
The device is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 SoC with 4GB of RAM ticking alongside and 64GB of internal storage (expandable up to 256GB), while the lights are kept on by a 3800 mAh battery. The Nokia 7 Plus ships with
Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box, and is also part of the Android One Programme, so future updates should not be an issue.
Buy from Amazon: (Rs. 25,999)
4. Nokia 8
The Nokia 8 is a true flagship, and there is no other way to describe it. Launched originally at Rs. 36,999 (64 GB) which was not a bad price in itself considering the top-end hardware it offers, the Nokia 8’s price has since dropped to just Rs. 27,749, which is a steal deal right now. For that price, the Nokia 8 offers a sleek metallic build topped off with a 5.3-inch QHD display with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection. The device has recently been upgraded to Android Oreo, so you are covered on the front of software updates.
The Nokia 8 packs a dual rear camera set-up (13MP + 13MP) backed by Zeiss optics, OIS and laser autofocus for superior photography and a 13MP front camera to handle selfies. And believe me, despite the Nokia 8’s low-score on DXOMark, it’s real life camera performance is awesome, and with the imminent arrival of the Nokia Pro Camera app, the Nokia 8’s imaging output will only improve. The device is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 SoC with 4GB of RAM ticking alongside and 64GB of internal storage (expandable up to 256GB), while the lights are kept on by a 3090 mAh battery.
All in all, the Nokia 8 is undoubtedly one of the best-specced device under the Rs. 30,000 mark and there is hardly any other device that can compete with it in terms of specs and raw performance.
Buy from Amazon (Rs. 27,749)
5. LG G6
The LG G6 is another yesteryear flagship which has received hefty price cuts and is now available for a sub-Rs. 30,000 price tag on major online stores. The LG G6 is one sleek device whose eye-catching design is complemented perfectly by the top-end hardware fitted inside its metallic body. The LG G6 features a 5.7-inch 1440 x 2880 IPS display with an 18:9 aspect ratio which has been tuned to comply with Dolby Vision and HDR10 standards for superior media playback output.
The LG G6 is equipped with a Snapdragon 821 SoC, which despite being a previous generation flagship processor, still offers a lot in terms of raw processing power and can handle any task you throw at it with ease. The device packs 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, while a 3,300 mAh battery keeps things going. In the imaging department, the LG G6 employs a 13MP + 13MP dual rear camera set up with OIS onboard, and a 5MP selfie snapper that can click some really nice pictures.
Buy from Amazon (Rs. 27,690)
6. Vivo V9
Vivo V9 is one of the best budget smartphones in the market right now. Not only the smartphone packs ample power, but it also packs one of the best cameras in its price range. The phone is being powered by Snapdragon 626 octa-core processor, Adreno 506, 4GB RAM, and 64GB of internal storage. When it comes to the display, the phone packs a big 6.3-inch almost edge-to-edge display with a resolution of 1080 x 2280 pixels which gives it a pixel density of almost 400. The display is sharp and color accurate and you won’t have any complaints.
Power and specs apart, the main selling point of the Vivo V9 is its cameras. The Vivo V9 brings a dual-camera setup with a 16MP and a 5MP sensor. The smartphone takes some really stunning photos. The camera offers various features including slow motion, AI face beauty, time-lapse photography, live photo, bokeh mode, AR sticker, AR stickers, 4K video, and more. I especially love the portrait shots that I take from this smartphone as they offer very good subject identification with natural blurs in the background. The smartphone also packs a 24MP front-facing camera which is great for selfies. Whether you take pictures of others or you love taking your own selfies, this phone is not going to disappoint you.
Buy From Amazon (₹22,900)
7. HTC U Ultra
The HTC U Ultra is yet another top-of-the-line smartphone which is now available in the market for less than Rs. 30,000, making it a compelling option if you are looking to buy a powerful device. The U Ultra is HTC’s take on the phablet category, as it features a 5.7-inch QHD Super LCD5 display with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on top, and also has a secondary 2.05-inch display to showcase the notifications. The HTC U Ultra features a glass sandwich design which features Gorilla Glass on both sides, held together by a metallic frame.
The HTC U Ultra is equipped with a powerful Snapdragon 821 processor, paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage which can be expanded up to 256 GB. The device features a 12MP rear camera with OIS and laser autofocus on board, and a 16MP front camera with HTC’s UltraPixel technology. The HTC U Ultra packs a 3,000 mAh battery and runs on Android 7.0 Nougat with HTC’s Sense UI on top, however, it will be upgraded to Android 8.0 Oreo soon.
Buy from Amazon (Rs. 27,990)
8. Honor 8 Pro
The Honor 8 Pro is the second device from Huawei’s Honor sub-brand to be included in our list, and for a good reason. The Honor 8 Pro features a slim metallic body which offers superior ergonomics, but build quality is not the only thing that the Honor 8 Pro has to flaunt, because its specs are equally impressive too. The device comes equipped with a HiSilicon Kirin 960 octa-core processor, which is paired with 6GB of RAM and a category-defining 128GB of internal storage, which can be further expanded up to 256 GB.
The Honor 8 Pro features a 5.7-inch QHD display with Gorilla Glass 3 on top and boots EMUI 8.0 based on Android 7.0 Nougat, with an Android 8.0 Oreo update in the pipeline. The device is equipped with a dual 12MP + 12MP camera set-up on the rear side which can take some impressive bokeh shots, while an 8MP front camera takes care of the selfies. At its current price point of Rs. 29,999, the Honor 8 Pro is undoubtedly an impressive piece of hardware, but we’d advise you to go with the Honor View 10, provided you can purchase it in a flash sale.
Buy from Flipkart (Rs. 29,999)
9. Huawei P20 lite
If you want to show off an iPhone X in your hand but don’t have the money for it, the Huawei P20 Lite is probably the best device you can buy to achieve the same feat. Featuring a 5.84-inch bezel-less display with Huawei’s notch, the screen comes with 96% NTSC super high-colour gamut. It packs in a 2.36GHz Cortex-A53 + 1.7GHz Cortex-A53 Kirin 659 octa core processor, along with 4GB of RAM and 64GB internal memory, which is further expandable up to 256GB. But the actual star of the show with this device is the camera.
The Huawei P20 Lite features a 16+2MP dual primary camera with an F2.2 wide aperture and bokeh effects. On the front side, it has a 24MP front facing camera with a F2.0 wide aperture and 3D Portrait Lighting Effect. The P20 Lite comes with Android v8.0 + EMUI 8.0 skin on top of it.
Buy from Amazon: (Rs. 19,999)
10. Oppo F7
Oppo F7 is yet another mid-range smartphone which focuses mainly on its camera performance. That said, before we look at how the optics on this thing, let us first check out its specs. The Oppo F7 is being powered by MediaTek MT6771 Helio P60 which is an octa-core processor along with a Mali-G72 MP3 GPU. On the front, the smartphone packs a 6.23-inch display with a resolution of 1080 x 2280 pixels. The phone also adopts the modern 19:9 aspect ratio which makes it easier to handle with one hand.
Coming to the cameras, the OPPO F7 packs a whopping 25MP front-facing camera and a 16MP primary shooter. It is clear that Oppo is targeting the selfie lovers with this phone. The photos taken with this phone have nice colors, ample details, and sufficiently good dynamic range. Selfie camera aside, even the primary camera which only features a single-camera setup performs really well. Despite featuring a single camera setup at both front and the back, the phone can also capture decent portrait shots. If you love your selfies, this is the phone that you should buy.
Buy From Amazon (₹21,990)
The Best Phones Under 30000 INR You Can Buy
So, that sums up our list of the best phones under 30000 INR you can buy. While there are a lot of options to choose from, depending on which device suits you the most, there are only a handful of smartphones that can truly offer the best experience. Take for example the Nokia 8, which offers the latest and best specs for the price it commands, and is the only device you should buy if your budget can’t exceed the Rs. 30,000 limit. The LG G6 and the HTC U Ultra are good options too, however, if you can spend just a little bit more, you should straight up go for the OnePlus 5T, which is simply unbeatable in the price bracket.
What do you think of the list we’ve compiled? Did we miss a smartphone that is truly worth buying in the sub-30K category? Do let us know in the comments section below and feel free to drop any recommendations you have in mind.