Mid-range smartphones are quite popular in India, and it is easy to see why. Much like entry-level smartphones, these phones deliver value along with a few high-end features. In 2021, over a dozen of quality mid-range devices were launched. To pick the best among the lot, we will be looking at aspects such as design, build quality, performance, battery life, and user experience. On top of that, phones with premium features such as high refresh rates, quick charging tech, and smaller notches will get brownie points. With that out of the way, let’s round up the best mid-range smartphones from 2021.

Best Smartphones Under ₹30,000 (2021) – Contenders

  1. Realme 8 Pro
  2. OnePlus Nord 2
  3. Xiaomi Mi 11X
  4. Realme GT Master Edition
  5. Vivo X50

1. Realme 8 Pro – ₹17,990

Realme 8 Pro

The first handset on our list is the Realme 8 Pro. It sports a 6.4-inch Full HD+ OLED screen with a punch-hole design. The device is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 720G chipset, which pulls off a good performance. What helps this handset win a place on this list, however, is its 108MP main camera sensor from Samsung. Sure, Realme is chasing numbers here, but thankfully its results are nothing short of impressive for a budget camera phone. The main sensor is bunched up with an 8MP wide, a 2MP macro, and a 2MP depth sensor. Moving around the front, you get a 16MP selfie camera. The phone comes in 6GB and 8GB RAM variants. The dual SIM device supports 4G VoLTE, dual-band Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 5.0. The Realme 8 Pro packs in a 4,500 mAh battery with impressive 50W fast charging support. This feature-packed phone from Realme comes at a competitive price tag of Rs 18,000.

2. OnePlus Nord 2 – ₹27,999

OnePlus Nord 2 Red

OnePlus is popular for its excellent user experience and the Nord 2 delivers that at a competitive price. To keep up with its smooth software experience, OnePlus has equipped the Nord 2 with a 90Hz OLED screen. The phone comes with a competitive 50MP rear camera paired with an 8MP wide and 2MP depth sensor. It is capable of recording 4K 30fps videos with Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS). For selfies, the OnePlus offers a 32MP front-facing camera. While OnePlus mostly sticks with Qualcomm’s chipsets, the company opted for MediaTek’s Dimensity 1200 SoC (System on Chip) for the Nord 2. This 6nm chipset is powerful enough to ensure the performance we expect from OnePlus. The Nord 2 features a 4,500mAh battery with ludicrously fast 65W charging support. The phone comes in 6GB, 8GB, and 12GB variants with a starting price of Rs 27,999.

3. Xiaomi Mi 11X – ₹27,999

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    The Mi 11X packs in some serious hardware. For starters, it is powered by a flagship-grade Snapdragon 870 chipset. The phone comes in 6GB and 8GB RAM variants with 128GB UFS 3.1 storage. Moving onto the display, Xiaomi offers an excellent 6.6-inch OLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate. The panel has a peak brightness of 1,300 nits and a touch sampling rate of 360Hz. On the photography front, the Mi 11X features a triple camera setup that comprises a 48MP primary, 8MP wide-angle, and a 5MP telemacro camera. For selfies, the handset relies on a 20MP front-facing snapper. On the connectivity front, you get 5G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, and GPS. The Mi 11X comes with a 4,520mAh battery capacity with 33W fast charging. All these features are wrapped in a fancy glass sandwich design.

    4. Realme GT Master Edition – ₹27,999

    Realme GT Master Edition

    Designed by the Japanese industrial designer, Naoto Fukasawa, the Realme GT Master Edition is quite a head-turner. If its unique suitcase design is not your cup of tea, you get the option to go for a more conventional look. Moving onto specifications, the phone is quite an all-rounder. The Realme GT Master Edition comes with a 6.4-inch Full HD+ OLED screen tuned for a 120Hz refresh rate. It is powered by Qualcomm’s 6nm Snapdragon 778G chipset. The phone’s triple camera arrangement holds a 64MP main, an 8MP wide, and a 2MP macro lens. Realme has thrown in a 32MP selfie camera into the mix. The sleek device comes with a 4,300mAH battery. What it lacks in terms of capacity, the Realme GT Master Edition makes up for it with its impressively fast 65W charging.

    5. Vivo X50 – ₹29,200

    Vivo X50

    The Vivo X50 is a slim and light handset with a thin-bezel design. It features gently curved surfaces for improved ergonomics. The phone sports a 6.5-inch Full HD+ OLED screen with a tiny punch-hole to accommodate a 32MP selfie camera. Moving around the back, the Vivo X50 flaunts its quad-camera setup. The main 48MP supports OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation). At the heart of the handset is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 730 SoC (System on Chip). The mid-range chipset is coupled with 8GB of RAM. Users get to choose from 128GB and 256GB internal storage. The Vivo X50 covers 4G VoLTE, Bluetooth 5.1, and GPS. The phone draws power from a 4,200mAh battery with 33W fast charging.

    Now that we have introduced the list of worthy mid-range devices of 2021. Let’s find out which one takes the top spot.

    Winners Of Best Smartphones Under ₹30,000 Awards (2021)

    1. Gold Award Winner – Xiaomi Mi 11X

    As evident from the list, BBK has a solid line-up in the mid-range segment. However, Xiaomi has a winner on its hand in the form of Mi 11X. The phone comes with top-of-the-line components. Xiaomi has sourced top-notch E4 AMOLED panels from Samsung. Mostly seen on the flagship devices, this screen boasts of higher peak brightness and lower power consumption. Little wonder then, the Mi 11X’s screen has achieved an A+ rating from DisplayMate. The phone doesn’t let you down in terms of raw power either. Powered by Snapdragon 870 chip, this smartphone can handle any game you throw at it. To please the shutterbugs, Xiaomi has thrown in a competent triple camera setup. In the matter of connectivity, Xiaomi made the handset future-proof with the inclusion of 5G and Wi-Fi 6. The phone’s high-performance internals are paired with a premium build. All in all, the Xiaomi Mi 11X is the closest you get a high-end phone without breaking a bank.

    2. Silver Award Winner – OnePlus Nord 2

    While the Mi 11X nails it in terms of hardware, Xiaomi’s MIUI may not appeal to everyone. If you prefer a refined software experience, OnePlus’s Nord 2 has you covered with its OxygenOS. OnePlus’ Android customisation has a minimalistic design with a focus on speed. MediaTek’s Dimensity 1200 SoC (System on Chip) does a great job of delivering the pleasant user experience that helps OnePlus stand out in the crowd. The handset sports a 6.4-inch Full HD+ OLED screen. This panel is tuned for a 90Hz refresh rate. In the photography department, the Nord 2 is loaded with a 50MP main camera that delivers very good results for a mid-range device. Apart from that, you get an ancillary 8MP wide lens and a 2MP depth sensor. To please the narcissist types, the phone is equipped with a 32MP selfie camera. The OnePlus Nord 2 houses a 4,500mAh battery with impressively swift 65W charging support. Overall, with a starting price of Rs 27,999, the OnePlus Nord 2 is a great option for those who prefer a polished experience over raw power.

    3. Bronze Award Winner – Realme 8 Pro

    The Mi 11X wins you over with its specs and the Nord 2 offers a delightful user experience. However, if the camera is your priority, the Realme 8 Pro is the way to go. This mid-range smartphone features Samsung’s 108MP ISOCELL HM2 sensor. Using pixel binning and image stacking tech, the phone delivers crisp images even in low light conditions. The phone has an impressive 6.4-inch OLED screen with a tiny punch-hole to accommodate a 16MP selfie camera. The Realme UI has come a long way. In its latest iteration, it is light on resources and easy on the eyes. The phone’s Snapdragon 720G chipset shows no signs of lag. Another highlight about the phone is its 50W fast charging support. Sure, the handset is limited to 5G VoLTE and lacks 5G support. However, with a starting price of Rs 17,999, the Realme 8 Pro offers some serious bang for your buck.

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