Are you looking for the best smartphones under ₹15,000? Well, you have arrived at the right place. We are heading towards the end of 2021, and it was an exciting year in the smartphone segment. There were hundreds of new products from dozens of brands across all the price segments, but only a few of them stand out and are worth our recommendation. So, without any further ado, let us have a look at some of the best smartphones that you can buy for under ₹15,000 in 2021.

Best Smartphones Under 15,000 (2021) – Contenders

  1. Xiaomi Redmi 10 Prime – ₹12,499
  2. Motorola Moto G31 – ₹12,999
  3. Samsung Galaxy F22 – ₹12,999
  4. Realme Narzo 30 – ₹13,499
  5. Realme 8i – ₹13,999
  6. POCO M2 Pro – ₹13,999
  7. Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 – ₹13,999
  8. POCO M3 Pro – ₹14,499
  9. Motorola Moto G51 5G – ₹14,999
  10. Realme Narzo 20 Pro – ₹14,999

1. Xiaomi Redmi 10 Prime – ₹12,499

Xiaomi Redmi 10 Prime

The Xiaomi Redmi 10 Prime has a 6.5-inch IPS LCD display with Full HD+ resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate. It has stereo speakers, too. The phone has a quad-camera setup at the rear, featuring a 50MP primary camera, 8MP ultrawide camera, a 2MP macro camera, and a 2MP depth camera. At the front, it has an 8MP selfie camera. The phone can record 1080p 30fps videos using front and rear cameras.

The Redmi 10 Prime is equipped with the Helio G88 processor, 4GB/6GB RAM, and 64GB/128GB internal storage. The phone is powered by a 6,000mAh battery and supports 18W fast charging. The phone has a good display and long battery life, but its processor isn’t the most powerful in this price segment.

2. Motorola Moto G31 – ₹12,999

Motorola Moto G31

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    The Moto G31 is among the few smartphones in the sub-₹15,000 process to feature a Full HD+ OLED display and a water-repellent design. The smartphone has a 50MP main camera, an 8MP ultrawide camera, and a 13MP selfie camera.

    The Moto G51 is equipped with the MediaTek Helio G85 processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB/128GB internal storage, and a microSD card slot. The phone has a side-mounted fingerprint reader, a 5,000mAh battery, and 20W fast charging. The phone has a good design, a great screen, good cameras, and long battery life, but its processor is quite average.

    3. Samsung Galaxy F22 – ₹12,999

    Samsung Galaxy F22

    The Samsung Galaxy F22 is the only Samsung phone in the ₹15,000 price segment that’s worth looking at. The device has a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display with HD+ resolution, a 90Hz refresh rate, and HDR playback. The device is equipped with the Helio G80 processor, 4GB/6GB RAM, 64GB/128GB internal storage, and a microSD card slot.

    The phone has a 48MP main camera, 8MP ultrawide camera, a 13MP front-facing camera, and 1080p video recording. It has a fingerprint reader, too. The Galaxy F22 is powered by a 6,000mAh battery and supports 15W fast charging. The phone’s processor is quite average and the screen’s resolution is below par.

    4. Realme Narzo 30 – ₹13,499

    Realme Narzo 30

    The Realme Narzo 30 has a 6.5-inch IPS LCD display with Full HD+ resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate. The phone has a powerful MediaTek Helio G95 processor that offers great gaming performance for the price. The phone has 4GB/6GB RAM, 64GB/128GB internal storage, and a microSD card slot.

    The Realme Narzo 30 has a 48MP main camera and a 16MP selfie camera. It is among the few phones in this price segment to feature 4K video recording. The phone has a fingerprint reader, a 5,000mAh battery, and 30W charging. The phone has no real disadvantage and if we nitpick, the phone could’ve had an OLED panel and a slightly more powerful processor. It is still a real contender for being the best smartphone under ₹15,000.

    5. Realme 8i – ₹13,999

    Realme 8i

    The Realme 8i has a 6.6-inch IPS LCD display with Full HD+ resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. It is equipped with the MediaTek Helio G96 processor, 4GB/6GB RAM, 64GB/128GB internal storage, and a microSD card slot. It has a 50MP rear camera and a 16MP front-facing camera. The phone is powered by a 5,000mAh battery and supports 18W fast charging. The phone has really good for gaming, but it lacks 4K video recording and its fast charging speed isn’t as fast as the others.

    6. POCO M2 Pro – ₹13,999

    POCO M2 Pro

    The POCO M2 Pro was launched last year, and it shouldn’t technically be in this list, but it’s still such a good phone and it is still on sale, so we couldn’t help ourselves but add it to this list. It has a very good design and build quality. It sports a 6.67-inch IPS LCD display with Full HD+ resolution and HDR10+ video playback capability. It uses the Snapdragon 720G processor, 4GB/6GB RAM, 64GB/128GB internal storage, and a microSD card slot.

    The phone has a 16MP front-facing camera and a 48MP+8MP+5MP+2MP quad-camera setup at the rear. It can shoot 4K 30fps videos, too. It has a fingerprint reader and a water-repellent design. The POCO M2 Pro is powered by a 5,000mAh battery and it supports 33W fast charging. At its price, it is missing an OLED or high-refresh-rate display, features which its competitors are offering.

    7. Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 – ₹13,999

    Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max

    The Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 is a strong contender to the title of the best smartphone under ₹15,000 in 2021. Although it lacks a high-refresh-rate display and a powerful processor, its unique advantage is the combination of features that it offers. It has a good-looking design, good build quality, an IP53 rating for dust and water resistance, and stereo speakers. A lot of people would appreciate its 6.43-inch Super AMOLED display with Full HD+ resolution.

    Its 48MP rear camera can record 4K 30fps videos. There is an 8MP ultrawide camera and a 13MP selfie camera. The Redmi Note 10 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 678 processor, which is neither the slowest nor the fastest in this price segment. It has a 5,000mAh battery that supports 33W fast charging. Xiaomi has used a very balanced approach with the Redmi Note 10 and offers extras like stereo speakers and an IP53 rating to make the phone more convenient and enjoyable to use on a day-to-day basis.

    8. POCO M3 Pro – ₹14,499

    POCO M3 Pro 5G Colours

    The POCO M3 Pro is almost similar to its predecessor, the POCO M2 Pro. There are a few changes, though. It has a 6.5-inch IPS LCD display with Full HD+ resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate. The phone gains a high-refresh-rate display and 5G connectivity but loses out on a water-resistant rating, ultrawide camera, 4K video recording, and 33W fast charging.

    Its Dimensity 700 processor is in the same league as the Snapdragon 720G in terms of performance. So, we don’t know whether to call the POCO M3 Pro an upgrade or a downgrade, especially since there are no 5G networks in India.

    Unless you want a high-refresh-rate display, the POCO M2 Pro is a better choice among the two. Both phones have 48MP main cameras and 5,000mAh batteries. The POCO M3 Pro has an 8MP selfie camera and maxes out at 1080p video recording.

    9. Motorola Moto G51 5G – ₹14,999

    Motorola Moto G51 5G

    The Moto G51 5G is an impressive and head-turning launch from Motorola. It has a good looking design, a water-repellant design, and a 6.8-inch IPS LCD 120Hz display with Full HD+ resolution. It uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 480+ processor, 4GB/6GB RAM, 64GB/128GB internal storage, and a microSD card slot. The Moto G51 5G has a 50MP primary camera, 8MP ultrawide camera, and 13MP selfie camera. It is powered by a 5,000mAh battery and supports 20W fast charging. On top of that, it has a side-mounted fingerprint reader and 5G connectivity.

    It offers good performance, a high-refresh-rate screen, good cameras, and long battery life. What more could one ask for? Well, we wish it had an OLED display, stereo speakers, and 4K video recording to make the package perfect for almost everyone. Still, it is a really strong contender for the place of the best smartphone under ₹15,000 in 2021

    10. Realme Narzo 20 Pro – ₹14,999

    Realme Narzo 20 Pro

    The Realme Narzo 20 Pro is yet another impressive device in the sub-₹15,000 price segment. It has a 6.5-inch IPS LCD display with Full HD+ resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate. The phone has a decently powerful MediaTek Helio G95 processor, which is good for gaming. It has 6GB/8GB RAM, 64GB/128GB internal storage, and a microSD card slot. There is a 48MP main camera, capable of recording 4K 30fps videos. It also features an 8MP ultrawide camera and a 16MP front-facing camera.

    The phone is powered by a 4,500mAh battery, which is smaller than typical 5,000 and 6,000mAh batteries seen in this price segment, but the Realme Narzo 20 Pro has a trick up its sleeve: 65W SuperDart fast charging that can top up an empty battery within 30 minutes. It has a side-mounted fingerprint reader, too. But since it was launched in September 2020 and came with Android 10 onboard, it might not receive as many Android OS updates as some other phones on the list.

    Winners Of Best Smartphones Under ₹15,000 Awards (2021)

    1. Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 – Gold Award Winner
    2. Realme Narzo 30 – Joint Silver Award Winner
    3. Motorola Moto G51 5G – Joint Silver Award Winner

    1. Gold Award Winner: Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 (₹13,999)

    Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 - Gold Award

    The Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 is our choice for the best smartphone under 15,000 for 2021 because of the balance of design, features, performance, camera quality, and battery life it offers. The combination of a 6.43-inch Super AMOLED display with Full HD+ resolution and stereo speakers make up for a great smartphone for browsing and multimedia consumption. It has an attractive design, good build quality, and an IP53 rating for dust and water splash resistance.

    Its quad-camera setup, which includes a 48MP camera and an 8MP ultrawide camera, can capture good-looking images and 4K videos. The phone has a 5,000mAh battery that can charge decently fast and last a couple of days of moderate usage. It has a fingerprint reader, too, and Xiaomi is well-known for offering long software update support (even if it’s not major Android OS version updates). Yes, the phone lacks a high-refresh-rate display and its processor is not exactly the most powerful in its segment, but the device still offers a great experience to most people in their day-to-day lives.

    2. Joint Silver Award Winner – Realme Narzo 30 (₹13,499)

    Realme Narzo 30 - Silver Award Winner

    The Realme Narzo 30 is yet another great smartphone. Yes, it lacks an OLED screen and stereo speakers, but its 6.5-inch IPS LCD display with Full HD+ resolution and 90Hz refresh rate and the powerful MediaTek Helio G95 processor offers good gaming performance. Although its triple-camera setup only has one real camera (48MP), it offers good picture quality and 4K 30fps video recording. The phone has a 5,000mAh battery and 30W charging.

    3. Joint Silver Award Winner – Motorola Moto G51 5G (₹14,999)

    Motorola Moto G51 5G - Silver Award Winner

    The Moto G51 5G is the only 5G smartphone under the ₹15,000 price segment that offers a great balance of design, performance, connectivity, camera quality, and battery life. The phone has a big, 6.8-inch IPS LCD display with Full HD+ resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. Combine that with the Snapdragon 480+ 5G processor, and it offers good gaming performance. The phone has a decent 50MP primary camera and an 8MP ultrawide camera. The phone has a 5,000mAh battery with 20W fast charging. Other features include a fingerprint reader, a water-repellent design, and 5G connectivity. Motorola also offers a clean version of Android with little to no bloatware. It lacks an OLED screen, stereo speakers, but offers 5G connectivity, which makes the phone future-proof.

    How We Chose The Best Smartphones Under ₹15,000 (2021)?

    There are dozens of smartphones in the ₹15,000 price segment, and we set a few benchmark features that a phone needs to have and the ones that go above and beyond those benchmarks were chosen as the best ones. Let us see what were the baseline specifications that we expect from a good sub-₹15,000 smartphone in 2021.

    1. Build Quality: The phone should have good build quality and a glass-based screen protection panel. 
    2. Display: 6-inch (or bigger) IPS LCD or OLED panel with Full HD resolution and at least 400 nits of brightness.
    3. Processor: A modern octa-core 64-bit processor with decently powerful graphics to be able to play casual games at high settings and popular e-sports games at low or medium graphics.
    4. RAM: 4GB or more
    5. Storage: 64GB or higher
    6. Front Camera: 8MP or higher resolution with Full HD video recording at 30fps.
    7. Rear Camera: 12MP or higher resolution with Full HD video recording at 30fps
    8. Connectivity: Dual-SIM card slot, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 4.2 (or newer), 3.5mm Headphone Jack, and USB Type-C port.
    9. Battery: 4,000mAh (or higher) capacity
    10. Charging: 18W or faster.
    11. Software: Running Android 11 (or newer) at the time of writing the article with the promise of at least one more Android OS update.
    12. Extras: Fingerprint Reader

    Most smartphones in our contender list pass all the criteria that we’ve listed above. Some phones go above and beyond and offer additional features like a high-refresh-rate display and HDR10, IP53 rating for dust and water resistance, stereo speakers, 48MP/64MP primary cameras with 4K video recording, and 5G connectivity.

    Should You Prefer Buying A 5G Smartphone In 2021?

    However, we do not think that you need to buy a 5G smartphone in 2021 since there are no 5G networks in India. You should only buy a 5G phone now if you want to stick to the same phone for 3 years. Read more about 5G in our dedicated article that explains what it is and why you don’t need a 5G smartphone in India right now.

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