Top 10 smartphones under Rs 30,000 in February 2022

Itching to buy a new smartphone under Rs 30,000? Check out our top 10 list here.

The Indian smartphone market has seen a flurry of launches over the last couple of years with OEMs looking to crowd almost all price segments in the country. However, in recent times, there has been a tremendous spurt in the under Rs 30,000 bracket which has not gone unnoticed. The rise of players such as iQOO has made the mid-range market enticing and quite confusing. With that in mind, here is our list of top 10 smartphones under Rs 30,000. Do note that the prices mentioned are valid as of the time of publishing, and could change.

Xiaomi Mi 11X: Rs 29,999

One of the best phones under Rs 30,000 has to be Xiaomi’s Mi 11X (review), at least when you take performance into consideration. It is the only device in the price range running on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 chipset. Apart from that, the Mi 11X also harbours a 120Hz Samsung E4 AMOLED panel with a peak brightness of 1,300 nits. While some bloatware issues persist, the MIUI interface remains smooth and user-friendly. In terms of optics, the triple-camera setup has a 48MP Sony IMX 582 sensor supported by an 8MP ultra-wide and 5MP tele-macro unit. Photos aren’t the best in class but still good for casual use. As for the battery, the 4,520mAh battery supported by 3W fast charging should last you easily for a day and juice up the battery in a jiffy.

Realme X7 Max: Rs 26,999

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The Realme X7 Max (review) is still one of the best value for money offerings that the former OPPO brand has to offer, despite the fact that it’s been out in the market for a while now. Its 6nm Dimensity 1200 chipset is optimised for handling intensive performance tasks and gaming. On Antutu, the Realme X7 Max scored high, logging a score of 708,872. Optics-wise, the device offers a 64MP Sony IMX 682 sensor which can upscale content up to 108MP resolution if required and there is also an 8MP ultra-wide shooter along with a 2MP macro sensor. The X7 Max is particularly impressive in shooting nighttime photos. On the front is an AMOLED panel with 120Hz refresh rate and also a super-fast 360Hz touch latency. The RealmeUI skin has also been improved a lot over time and the 4,500mAh battery with 50W fast charging can keep your phone running all day.

POCO F3 GT: Rs 26,999

For mobile gamers on a budget, the POCO F3 GT (review) should really work as an excellent choice. Apart from running fluidly on the Dimensity 1200 chipset, the device has physical shoulder triggers for an added advantage playing battle royale games like BGMI. POCO has provided stereo speakers with hi-res audio and Dolby Atmos support for an immersive experience. UFS 3.1 storage and LPDDR5 RAM also play a part in fast launch times and keeping games running in the background for longer durations. Apart from that, there are software-related customisations that free up the GPU to accomplish sustained gaming at high graphics for a longer time. Other aspects of the device include a crisp 120Hz AMOLED panel, a 64MP triple-camera setup (which could have been a tad better in terms of image quality), a lasting 5,000mAh battery with 65W charging, and Xiaomi’s MIUI platform.

OnePlus Nord 2: Rs 27,999

OnePlus Nord 2 offers a premium design, but the Nord 3 can do better.

The biggest USP of the OnePlus Nord 2 (review) is the fact that it uses the same primary 50MP sensor present in the much more expensive OnePlus 9. The result is excellent photography for its price range whether it is bright daylight or extreme low-light. It also has a great 8MP ultra-wide shooter which matches the colour balance and attention to detail as the main sensor. As for the display, you get a 120Hz AMOLED panel that gets plenty bright and has excellent colour calibration. OnePlus’ OxygenOS simplifies the interface for users to interact with the device effortlessly while remaining free of bloatware. On the performance part, the Nord 2 utilises the MediaTek Dimensity 1200 AI SoC, which handles most processor-heavy tasks well. Lastly, the 4,500mAh cell on the phone can easily last for more than a day on regular usage while charging is accomplished swiftly via OnePlus’ Warp Charge 65.

Realme GT Master Edition: Rs 25,999

While the regular Realme GT is an affordable flagship device in the sub-Rs 40,000 price bracket, the Realme GT Master Edition (review) is actually a pretty sweet deal in the mid-range segment. It is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778 5G processor which gives it a good performance edge. Gaming on the device is slightly under par than the smartphones present higher up in the list, but casual gamers should not have much to complain about. The phone comes with 128GB UFS 2.2 storage, along with up to 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM. There is a feature called dynamic RAM expansion which makes use of the internal storage to boost up the RAM by about 5GB more. Optics are handled by a 64MP triple-camera setup which is very common in the mid-range segment and the main sensor sways in favour of dramatic images rich in contrast. The 4,300mAh cell on the device supports 65W charging which can power up the phone from 0 to 100 percent in 27 minutes.

Mi 11i HyperCharge: Rs 26,999

Xiaomi is at the forefront of smartphone innovation in the Indian smartphone market and the Mi 11i HyperCharge (review) is somewhat a testament to that. The phone, as a whole, is pretty standard for what you can get on a sub-Rs 30,000 device. It has the backing of MediaTek’s Dimensity 920 5G SoC and up to 8GB LPDDR4X of RAM along with 128GB of UFS 2.2 internal storage. However, the most jaw-dropping feature present on the device is its ability to charge the 4,500mAh battery at 120W. As per our tests, the phone could be juiced up from 10 percent to full charge in 17 minutes flat. The rest of the specs on the device include a 108MP primary camera with sub-par low-light camera capabilities and it is supported by an 8MP ultra-wide and 2MP macro shooter. As for the device’s front, the Mi 11i HyperCharge gets a 6.67-inch AMOLED panel that can refresh at 120Hz and has an FHD+ resolution. The pricing starts at Rs 26,999 for the base version.

Realme 9 Pro+: Rs 24,999

The Realme 9 Pro+ (review) is the former OPPO sub-brand’s most expensive phone so far as part of its signature number series and there’s a good reason for it. While it is priced starting at Rs 24,999, the phone offers a flagship camera experience with the 50MP Sony IMX766 sensor shouldering the primary photo-taking responsibility. During our review of the phone, we found that the 9 Pro+ is a highly capable image capturing machine whether it is in daylight or nighttime. The rest of the camera setup includes an 8MP ultra-wide camera which is paired with a dedicated 2MP macro sensor. Realme has also implemented a 90Hz AMOLED screen on the front which we found to be extremely colour accurate for the price. As for the processing capabilities, the device has the Dimensity 920 5G chip running under the hood along with up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. It is more than proficient at day-to-day usage but for more GPU-intensive tasks like BGMI gaming, the device is not ideal. Software-wise RealmeUI 3.0-based on Android 12 is present on the phone out-of-the-box and the 4,500mAh battery can be juiced up at 60W charging speeds.

Vivo V23: Rs 29,990

The Vivo brand is renowned for delivering sleek and stylish smartphones with a focus on camera capabilities. Vivo V23 (review) is a selfie-centric device with dual front-facing cameras housed in an iPhone-like notch. Inside this notch is a 50MP wide-angle and an 8MP ultra-wide lens that delivers perhaps the cleanest selfie experience in the segment. On the back of the phone, a triple-camera setup is present with a 64MP primary shooter, 8MP ultra-wide and a 2MP macro sensor. However, the rear cameras aren’t nearly as good enough performers as the optics on the front. Display metrics on the device include a 90Hz 10-bit AMOLED panel with HDR10+ certification and brightness levels that are good enough for sunny conditions. The Dimensity 920 SoC is being used on this mid-range phone while the RAM and storage options are up to 12GB and 256GB respectively. Lastly, to accommodate the super thin 7.55mm thickness, the V23 has a smaller 4,200mAh cell that can charge at 44W to fill up the battery in less than 60 minutes. The Vivo V23 will set you back Rs 29,990 for the base variant.

OnePlus Nord CE 2: Rs 23,999

Continuing its push into multiple segments of the Indian smartphone market, Chinese giant OnePlus released the OnePlus Nord CE 2 for a starting price of Rs 23,999. The device is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 900 5G SoC, like a few other phones unveiled this year in the mid-range category. The brand’s partnership with OPPO is now more defined, and that shows in the design language. Currently, the Nord CE 2 is running OxygenOS based on Android 11 with a future update being more centred around OPPO’s ColorOS. In terms of cameras, the Nord CE 2 has a 64MP primary shooter accompanied by an 8MP ultra-wide and a 2MP depth camera. The battery capacity is a standard 4,500mAh cell with 65W Super VOOC charging technology while on the front of the phone you can find a 6.43-inch Fluid AMOLED 90Hz panel with a punch-hole on the top. 

OPPO Reno7: Rs 28,999

The OPPO Reno7 (review) is priced at Rs 28,999 and packs in respectable hardware to warrant the price tag. For starters, it has a 4,500mAh cell that can be charged at 65W which fills up the battery in about 35 minutes. Like the Nord 2 CE, the device also employs the services of the Dimensity 900 SoC and has up to 8GB RAM and 256GB of internal storage. There is the option of increasing the internal storage by up to 1TB. In terms of camera performance, you get the 64MP primary shooter which works alongside the 8MP ultra-wide and 2MP macro sensors. In fact, the only difference between the Reno7 and the Nord 2 CE is that the former has a 32MP selfie camera as opposed to 16MP on the latter. During my review of the device, the Reno7’s optical capabilities remained largely impressive in both daylight and nighttime scenarios. The display capabilities of the device are also identical to the Nord 2 CE with the same 6.4-inch AMOLED FHD+ panel that can refresh at 90Hz.