After a few months without any significant launches thanks to the nationwide lockdown, it’s time to refresh our list of the best mobile phones in India priced under Rs. 10,000. This is a sensitive and strategic price point, where there’s usually fierce competition. These days, it’s possible to get a very strong device that isn’t compromised in terms of performance, camera quality, battery life, user experience, or even style. The dominant players in this segment are Xiaomi and Realme, however while Realme has launched its latest Narzo series, the expected Redmi refresh hasn’t happened yet.
We also have some price changes thanks to the introduction of a new GST structure, and some options which were previously affordable enough have sadly crossed the Rs. 10,000 mark. However, we have some other models which have recently seen price cuts to make up for that. Here’s our latest list of the best phones in India priced under (or very close to) Rs. 10,000 in June 2020.
Best phones under 10,000
|Phones under Rs. 10,000||Gadgets 360 rating (out of 10)||Price in India (as recommended)|
|Realme C3||8||Rs. 7,999|
|Realme Narzo 10A||8||Rs. 8,499|
|Redmi 8||7||Rs. 9,499|
|Realme 5||8||Rs. 9,999|
|Vivo U10||7||Rs. 9,990|
|Realme U1||8||Rs. 8,499|
|Samsung Galaxy M30||8||Rs. 10,035|
Realme C3 and Realme Narzo 10A
The Realme C3 (Review) is priced under Rs. 8,000 but is modern enough to compete with several other devices priced between Rs. 8,000 and 10,000. It has a relatively powerful and recent MediaTek Helio G70 processor, a 5000mAh battery, and a 6.5-inch HD screen. You get a 12-megapixel rear camera with a depth sensor, and a 5-megapixel front camera. This is one of the more stylish options on our list too. On the downside, there’s oddly no fingerprint sensor, and you have to make do with a Micro-USB port which is now outdated.
The base variant has 3GB of RAM with 32GB of storage, but there’s also an option with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage which is still well within budget. In our testing we found that modern games ran well at medium to high settings, and the cameras were decent in daylight.
Interestingly, Realme’s brand new Narzo 10A (Review) is virtually identical to the Realme C3. The rear panel has a very different style, but this model does have a fingerprint sensor and also gets a 2-megapixel macro camera on the back. It costs just Rs. 500 more than the base Realme C3, which makes it a solid recommendation if you don’t need more RAM or storage.
There’s no sign of a Redmi 9 series yet, but the Redmi 8 (Review) continues to be a good choice at its price. It has a relatively weak Qualcomm Snapdragon 439 SoC but you get 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, plus a 5000mAh battery and a 6.22-inch HD screen. One interesting touch is the modern USB Type-C port. This device looks very slick and is available in red, green, blue, and black.
This phone runs Xiaomi’s MIUI which is unfortunately riddled with ads and promotional notifications. We found its performance good enough for day-to-day use but not good enough for gaming. The cameras struggled in low light, but this is acceptable considering our tight budget.
There’s only one configuration, currently priced at Rs. 9,499.
Although this model is not the most recent, it still offers pretty good value. The Realme 5 (Review) has a distinctive crystal pattern with gradient finishes in either blue or purple on the rear, and it feels well-built. Battery life is excellent thanks to the 5000mAh capacity, and the Snapdragon 665 makes this a good workhorse. You get a 12-megapixel primary rear camera that’s reasonably good except in low light. There’s also a depth sensor, an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera, and a 2-megapixel macro camera which is fun to use but not great in terms of quality.
The base variant of the Realme 5 offers 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, and slips in just under our Rs. 10,000 cutoff. The other two variants are worth considering if you can spend more.
The Vivo U10 (Review) is not very recent, but it’s worth considering for its features and specifications. You get a Snapdragon 665 processor, 5000mAh battery, and three rear cameras. This phone runs Android 9 but an update to Android 10 with the latest version of Vivo’s Funtouch OS is expected. The 6.35-inch display is quite good and everyday tasks ran smoothly. Battery life is very good but the cameras are just average.
The base variant of the Vivo U10 with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage is available for under Rs. 10,000.
While this phone was officially launched in 2018, it can now be found for under Rs. 10,000 which makes it suitable for our guide. You’ll get a 6.3-inch full-HD screen, which is bright and crisp. Very few other options at this level have such a high resolution. The MediaTek Helio P70 SoC will get you through your daily routine, and the primary rear camera works well in the daytime. Camera features are limited and there’s only a depth sensor on the rear.
You can get this phone with 3GB of RAM and 32GB or 64GB of storage within our budget, and the top-end variant with 4GB of RAM plus 64GB of storage costs Rs. 10,499. Do keep in mind that our ratings are assigned at the time each phone is reviewed, so they might not be directly comparable with the scores of more recently launched products.
Bonus pick: Samsung Galaxy M30
The Samsung Galaxy M30 (Review) is also relatively dated but price drops have brought the base variant’s cost down to just a shade over Rs. 10,000. You get 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage plus a crisp full-HD+ AMOLED display, which is a great selling point at this price level. The processor isn’t very powerful but there’s a 5000mAh battery and three rear cameras including a 13-megapixel primary camera which performed well in daylight, and a 5-megapixel wide-angle camera.
Is Realme TV the best TV under Rs. 15,000 in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.