The budget smartphone segment has completely changed since April 2020 as the new GST rates went up which resulted in higher import duties. Fast forward 2021, we have quite a few exciting phones between Rs 10,000 and Rs 12,000.
We have listed a little over half a dozen smartphones in the current list. The phones in this segment have gotten better thanks to some aggressive pricing and also some price cut on older phones.
Best phones under Rs 12,000
These phones are best suited for light to moderate regular usage as they come with chipsets that aren’t meant for heavy usage. Though we have a couple of phones with really good chipsets and also two phones with 6GB+128GB combo under Rs 12,000. We also have a few phones with a high refresh rate and as always, the budget segment offers a big battery.
The Micromax In 1 is the current leader in the segment closely followed by Redmi, Realme, Samsung, and Poco. The Moto G30 also makes the cut with its clean Android and big battery features.
In the coming days, we are expecting phones from Xiaomi and Realme to launch new phones in this segment to spice up the budget phone price bracket.
What can you expect from a Rs 12,000 phone?
- Big battery unit
- High refresh rate screen (on a few)
- Decent display and performance
One of the two phones in the segment to offer 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage, the Micromax In I is the cheapest one on the list with this combination. The device comes with competitive specs and offers one of the cleanest Android experience out there in the market.
The display claims seem to be spot on, as the large 6.67-inch screen gets plenty bright and sharp for most use scenarios. In the camera department, the device sports a 48MP f/1.79 primary lens. The other two are borderline redundant for most uses. Selfies are handled by an 8MP shooter.
The Micromax In 1 is also amongst the cheapest devices to offer the MediaTek Helio G80 chipset and handles all things well. Paired with the large 5,000mAh battery and 18W charging, it does seem to tick most of the boxes that an average consumer would look for, in this segment.
For those who want slightly better performance, the Micromax In Note 1 is available for the same price, but that’s the 4+64GB variant.
The Legendary Redmi Note series is now the 10th iteration in India and this is the best vanilla Note device we’ve seen yet. For the first time, it comes with a Super AMOLED panel which is excellent and the new Snapdragon 678 is also one of the best budget chipsets we’ve seen in a while.
As for the optics, the 48MP quad-camera setup on the back performs well in the daylight but struggles in low-light. Selfies come out just above average here. In terms of battery life, the device will easily last a day and to back that up, Redmi is now offering a 33W fast charger in the box. The new Evol design gives the phone a premium look and is light and handy to use.
One of the cheapest phones with a 90Hz screen in India at the launch, the Realme 7i is available for under Rs 12,000. It sports a 6.5-inches HD+ LCD display and the device is powered by a Snapdragon 662 which is paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage for the base variant. The phone is packed with a 5,000mAh battery with 18W fast charging support.
There is a quad-camera setup that includes a primary 64MP primary sensor with f/1.8 aperture, an 8MP ultra-wide lens followed by a 2MP macro and a 2MP Black and white portrait lens. You also get UIS support on the rear camera setup offering stabilized video recording. Selfies are handled by a 16MP shooter. The phone comes with a physical fingerprint sense housed at the rear panel.
Currently the cheapest phone in India with a 90Hz screen (after coupon), the Samsung Galaxy M12 is powered by a 7mm Exynos 850 SoC. The base variant is priced at Rs 9,999 right now and the 6+128GB is available for 12,499. The device also packs in a massive 6,000mAh battery and is paired with 15W fast charging.
Further, there is a 48MP ISOCELL GM2 main camera, a 5MP wide-angle lens followed by a 2MP macro and a 2MP depth sensor. To the front, there is a dew-drop notch that houses the selfie camera of 8MP. The phone runs on One UI 3 Core based on Android 11 out of the box.
The Realme Nazro 20 is powered by MediaTek Helio G85 octa-core SoC and is backed by a massive 6,000mAh battery unit, the biggest on any Narzo phone yet. Realme is also providing an 18W USB fast charger(Type-C) in the box.
The Realme Narzo 20 offers a 6.5-inch HD+ screen. The device comes in two storage options with 4GB of RAM and 64/128GB storage. For optics, you get the Samsung GM1 48MP primary camera with f/1.8 aperture followed by an 8MP(f/2.3) ultra-wide-angle lens and a 2MP macro shooter with f/2.4 aperture. Selfies are handled by an 8MP shooter. The fingerprint scanner is located at the rear.
The Poco M3 is the latest and one of the most affordable Poco device which offers 6GB RAM of RAM for under Rs 12,000. You get 6GB LPDDR4X RAM and up to 128GB UFS 2.2 internal storage. The key highlight of the device apart from the specs is the unique dual-tone finish with a rectangular block that sports the triple camera module and Poco branding. You get the same 6.53-inch Full HD+ display with TÜV Rheinland certified for low-light consumption and Widevine L1 certified to stream HD content.
Under the hood, the Poco M3 is Snapdragon 662 processor which offers decent performance. The Poco M3 sports a 48MP primary sensor, a 2MP macro lens and a 2MP depth. Selfies are handled by an 8MP shooter. To keep the device running there is a massive 6000mAh battery unit with 18W fast charging support.
The Moto G30 is good for its price and certainly beats out its G10 Power sibling, as a fine all-rounder. Save for its stellar battery performance and also the 90Hz screen. Apart from that you also get a stock Android experience with ThinkShield security. On the inside, the Moto G30 is packed with a 5,000mAh battery and is backed by a 15W fast charging(20W in-box). It runs on Android 11 out of the box.
The device is powered by Snapdragon 662 octa-core chipset and is paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage along with support for a microSD card up to 512GB. In terms of camera, the Moto G30 sports a 64MP main sensor with f/1.7 followed by an 8MP ultra-wide-angle lens, a 2MP macro and a 2MP depth sensor. Selfies are handled by a single 13MP shooter housed in the dew-drop notch. You also get a dedicated Google Assistant button.
The Infinix Hot 10S is the cheapest phone in India to come with a 90Hz screen refresh rate display. It has a large 6.82-inch HD+ screen. The device is powered by a MediaTek Helio G85 chipset along with a MediaTek gaming suite. You also get ample RAM and storage for the price you pay. The device will be available in two variants 一 4GB + 64GB and 6GB + 64GB along with support for expandable storage up to 256GB.
In terms of photography, the device comes with a 48MP main camera, a 2MP lens, and an AI lens in terms of camera. Selfies are handled by an 8MP shooter on the front. The Infinix Hot 10S is packed with a big 6,000mAh battery with 10W charging support and a micro USB port. Also, the Infinix Hot 10S is the first from the company to run on Android 11 out of the box.
Best smartphones under Rs 12000 in India
- Micromax In 1
- Redmi Note 10
- Realme 7i
- Samsung Galaxy M12
- Realme Narzo 20
- Poco M3
- Moto G30
- Infinix Hot 10S