2020 was the kind of year that proved how vital capable smartphones are, keeping us connected with our loved ones, and aiding with both work and play. Phone manufacturers proved incredibly adept at identifying this need as they came up with smartphone after smartphone that pushed the boundaries. Among them were capable budget phones that made sure that you got compelling features without having to spend too much. The budget smartphone segment in 2020 probably saw more premium features trickling down to affordable devices than ever before. Everything from high refresh rate displays to quad cameras to powerful processors could be found in these handsets despite their affordable prices.
Keeping all of this in mind, we’ve picked seven worthy nominees for this category, all with prices set at around Rs 20,000 and below. Just like with all the 22 award categories comprising more than 100 nominees, our team of 30 experts from the Indian tech media community has vetted each and every device before deciding upon the winner in the Indian Gadget Awards. Let’s take a look at the handsets nominated for the Best Budget Phone of 2020.
Before the X3, there was the POCO X2, which has a number of features common with the former. It offers the same 6.67-inch display with a segment-defying 120Hz refresh rate and even the same 64MP main camera, though it does have a different ultra-wide sensor in its quad camera setup. The POCO X2 boasts of a dual selfie camera assembly that includes a 20MP camera and a 2MP depth sensor. This fully-loaded budget device comes with the Snapdragon 730G chipset that ensures smooth gaming performance. The POCO X2 also features a 4,500mAh battery with 27W fast charging support, which enables it to be fully charged in just 68 minutes. Few phones can spark as much delight to a person with a small budget than the POCO X2.
Here’s yet another astonishing smartphone in this category. The Realme 7 Pro takes plenty of high-end features and puts them into an affordable package. At its incredibly low price of Rs 19,999, you get a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display with FHD+ resolution. Couple that with its stereo speaker arrangement and you get a device that’s perfect for watching movies and TV shows on the go. Worried about battery life? Don’t be, as the Realme 7 Pro can charge its 4,500mAh power pack at a whopping 65W. This phone also guarantees speedy performance with its Snapdragon 720G processor. One major aspect about the Realme 7 Pro that’s uncommon in its price bracket is that its 64MP quad-camera setup includes the highly impressive Sony IMX682 sensor.
The Samsung Galaxy M31s is one monster of a smartphone that borrows its design from the company’s flagship handsets. Its exquisite looks are complemented well by its Super AMOLED Infinity-O display with FHD+ resolution. Like the Realme 7 Pro, this handset too offers the 64MP Sony IMX682 sensor in its quad-camera arrangement. Not only does this help the phone capture beautiful photos but also impresses with its Single Take feature, which captures as many as ten different photos and videos with just one click. Two-day battery life is delivered by the phone’s 6,000mAh power pack, making it a true value-for-money offering that never stops.
The Realme Narzo 20 Pro is another phone that defied its price category by delivering premium features. Take its 6.5-inch display for instance, which offers a 90Hz refresh rate along with FHD+ resolution. Despite being priced lower than Rs 15,000, it still offers a 48MP quad-camera setup. Another aspect about the phone that we loved is the 65W fast charging capability of its battery, which allows it to charge up to 14 percent battery levels in just 3 minutes. The gaming-focused Helio G95 chipset beats at its heart, making it the perfect handset for those on a small budget who wish to indulge in demanding online games.
The Moto G 5G is your most affordable bet at being able to take full advantage of the ultra-fast connectivity 5G networks will offer, at least for now. Priced at just above Rs 20,000, it’s a great all-round handset that deserves every penny you’ll pay for it. A gorgeous 6.7-inch FHD+ display with HDR10 support sits on its front surface, while a highly capable and feature-rich 48MP triple camera setup can be found on its rear. It’s also the first phone in India with the powerful Snapdragon 750G processor at its heart. If that doesn’t sound value for money enough, it also packs a 5,000mAh battery with 20W fast charging support. The Moto G 5G is indeed a very strong contender for the Best Budget Phone of 2020 award.
Towards the start of the year, Xiaomi released the Redmi Note 9 Pro, which still remains a favourite of those who are looking for the perfect budget smartphone. The device starts at an alluring Rs 12,999 and offers the benefits of a 48MP quad-camera array with plenty of photography chops. The powerful Snapdragon 720G chipset inside it ensures that there are absolutely no hiccups in performance, whether you’re multi-tasking or playing high-end games. Battery life is also not an issue on the Redmi Note 9 Pro, as it uses a 5,020mAh unit with 18W fast charging support. This one has truly been a phone that almost all budget phone buyers have at least considered, if not bought, during the entire year.