The best phone you can buy under Rs. 30,000

As buyer tastes become more sophisticated and people start upgrading their first Android smartphone, demand has increased in sub-R. 25,000 and under – Rs. 30,000 segments in India. Furthermore, it is also true that prices in general, across markets and industries, have increased over the past year or so, and so even value-conscious buyers are looking at higher budgets than before. If you want to spend less than Rs. 30,000, you can now get a variety of high-performance smartphones with high-end features, modern hardware and versatile cameras.

Here are Gadgets 360’s picks of the best phones under Rs. 30,000 in India, in no particular order. We’ve reviewed all the phones on this list and tested them thoroughly, including their raw performance, camera capabilities, software and usability, physical design, battery life and charging speed.

Best phone under Rs. 30,000 to buy in India

Telephone less than 30,000 Rating Gadgets 360 (out of 10) Prices in India (as recommended)
Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge 5G 8 Rs. 26,999
Motorola Edge 20 8 Rs. 29,999
Realme GT Master Edition 8 Rs. 27,999
Oppo Reno 7 5G 8 Rs. 28,999
OnePlus Nord 2 8 Rs. 27,999
Poco F3 GT 8 Rs. 26,999
Mi 11X 8 Rs. 29,999
Realme X7 Max 5G 8 Rs. 26,999
Samsung Galaxy A52 8 Rs. 26,499

Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge 5G

Xiaomi certainly knows how to stand out – the 11i Hypercharge 5G lives up to its name with 120W fast charging, meaning its 4,500mAh battery can go from zero to 100 per cent in around 20 minutes. Of course, you’ll have to carry its rather bulky charger with you if you need that fast charging outdoors. Beyond that, the Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge 5G looks smart with its matte glass back panel, but is relatively heavy at 204g.

You get the MediaTek Dimensity 920 SoC and either 6GB or 8GB of RAM, depending on which variant you choose. There’s 128GB of storage, a 6.67-inch Full HD+ 120Hz AMOLED display, stereo speakers, and an IR emitter. You get MIUI 12.5 running on Android 11. The 120W no-charge Xiaomi 11i costs a little less and is otherwise nearly identical, so you’d pay a premium for this feature, if you think it’s important enough.

Motorola Edge 20

Motorola’s Edge series has made quite a mark in the Indian smartphone market, and the Motorola Edge 20 might hit the sweet spot in price and performance. It features a powerful SoC, a very smooth 144Hz refresh rate display, a versatile set of cameras, and an IP52 rating for dust and water resistance. Motorola also uses a near-stock Android UI and promises timely software updates. This phone looks great, it’s thin and light, but as a result, its relatively low capacity battery requires frequent charging. If you’re looking for a slim smartphone or a bloatware-free Android, the Motorola Edge 20 is worth considering.

Realme GT Master Edition

Realme’s GT Master Edition comes competitively priced with a unique suitcase-like design. This Master Edition model from the first GT series packs a punch even if it’s not quite versatile. The high-quality 120Hz refresh rate Super AMOLED display is ideal for gaming and watching movies. You don’t get stereo speakers, but this phone does have a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G processor powers the gaming experience on the Realme GT Master Edition, which is a worthy upgrade from the 768G and is on par with MediaTek’s Dimensity 1200. Camera performance is quite good in daylight, but low-light performance is only recorded by Night mode. Battery life is pretty good for a slim mid-range smartphone, and it charges fairly quickly too, going from zero to 100 per cent in around 35 minutes.

Oppo Reno 7 5G

Although very similar to its predecessor, the Reno 6, the new Oppo Reno 7 5G has a few updates that keep it on our list. It’s thin and light, and the new laser-etched design on the back looks great, but the whole body is plastic. The Reno 7 uses the same MediaTek Dimensity 900 SoC as the Oppo Reno 6, and this phone is only available with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The 4500mAh is slightly larger than that of the previous model. It runs ColorOS 12 based on Android 11. The 64-megapixel main camera, 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, and 2-megapixel macro camera are also pretty much the same as the Reno 6. It’s a good phone overall and it performed well in our review, but some others at this price point offer better features, and the nearly identical OnePlus Nord CE 2 starts at a lower price.

OnePlus Nord 2

The OnePlus Nord 2 is the successor to the OnePlus Nord. It sports a 6.43-inch AMOLED display with Full HD+ resolution and 90Hz refresh rate. It packs a 4,500mAh battery and supports 65W Warp Charging. The Nord 2 is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 1200AI processor and comes in 6GB, 8GB, and 12GB RAM options. Like most other OnePlus smartphones, the Nord 2 uses OxygenOS.

The Nord 2’s camera performance is good for its price. Daylight photos are crisp, but photos taken with the ultra-wide-angle camera aren’t great. The Nord 2 handles close-ups and portraits very well. Low-light camera performance is also good, especially with Nightscape mode. Overall, the OnePlus Nord 2 is a good budget choice.

Poco F3 GT

The Poco F3 GT is designed around functionality and gaming performance. This new model has a premium body with a metal frame and a glass back. There are “maglev” trigger buttons which can be activated using sliders on the side. You get a large 6.67-inch AMOLED HDR10+ display with a 120Hz refresh rate and up to 480Hz touch sampling rate in Game Turbo mode. Poco chose the Dimensity 1200 SoC to power the F3 GT and you can get this phone with 6GB or 8GB of RAM.

The Poco F3 GT has a triple-camera setup consisting of a 64-megapixel main camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle, and a 2-megapixel macro camera. It captured average quality photos in daylight as well as low light. On the plus side, the Poco F3 GT offered an excellent gaming experience for the price.

Mi 11X 5G

Pricing for the Mi 11X 5G starts just under Rs. 30,000, and it packs plenty of power thanks to the near-flagship-grade Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 SoC. We like that the Mi 11X 5G looks refreshingly simple, with no elaborate frills and no overdone branding unlike some of its competitors. Overall and gaming performance is great, and content looks great on the 120Hz AMOLED display. Small touches like fast charging, IP rating, and stereo speakers add to the overall enjoyable experience .

MIUI showed lots of spam notifications during our review period. We also noticed that the Mi 11X got abnormally hot when charging. Overall camera quality was pretty average, although its “telemacro” camera was able to deliver some great shots. Ultimately, the Mi 11X 5G isn’t the best all-rounder, but it’s a strong contender, especially if you’re looking for a powerful enough SoC for gaming.

Realme X7 Max 5G

The Realme X7 Max 5G replaced the Realme X7 Pro 5G shortly after its launch, and that too with a much more powerful SoC and some improved features at a lower starting price. The Realme X7 Max 5G can be considered a “flagship killer” and is ideal for gaming thanks to its MediaTek Dimensity 1200 SoC, 5G support, stereo speakers, long battery life and fast charging. It has a decent enough set of cameras for daytime shooting.

Realme has made the rear design relatively subtle, but the basic finish makes it look like a much cheaper phone. It has a 3.5mm headphone jack which its predecessor did not have. The cameras don’t work very well in low light and the macro camera isn’t very useful at all. If you can look past these shortcomings, you’ll find that the Realme X7 Max 5G offers great value for money.

Samsung Galaxy A52

The Samsung Galaxy A52 turned heads when it launched, thanks to an all-new design for the A-series. It looks youthful and, dare we say, fashionable. It also offers great features such as an IP67 rating, stereo speakers and a 90Hz AMOLED display – a combination that is hard to find in this segment. We found its overall performance to be solid, even though it uses a lower-tier Snapdragon 720G SoC. The Samsung Galaxy A52 comes with the latest One UI skin, based on Android 11. There’s a bit of bloatware to deal with, which we’re not big fans of. The cameras, while solid during the day, tended to be a bit short in low light. Those issues aside, the Galaxy A52 is still a compelling deal because you get a good set of features.

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