Looking for a mobile phone that has most of the premium features you want without a crazy high price tag? The 25,000 – 30,000 price range is a great place to get started! The smartphones in this range offer many premium features ranging from high end performance to modern pop up selfie cameras. The features may not be the most cutting edge but you can still save a lot when compared to a current-gen flagship while still getting a complete package.
Today we will look at the best smartphones in this range which offer premium features without making any compromises. This includes the likes of last year’s best smartphone – the OnePlus 6T to new launches like the Honor View20.
Buying the Best Phone under 30000 – What to look for
Here at NIDM we will simplify the various aspects of a smartphone like the camera, the battery, the software, etc. We will help you gain a clear understanding of what to expect and what you must look out for when buying the best smartphone under 30000 in India.
A display covers 70-80% of a modern smartphone and is the main method of how you interact with it. This makes it one of the most important parts of a smartphone that you should consider when making a purchase. The main aspects of a display are its size, screen type and resolution.
Screen size: Most smartphones under 30k offer a display size of 5.8-6.4inches. This when coupled with the modern 18:9 or 19:9 aspect ratio results in a phone that is easy to hold but still provides a large screen. In order to have an 80%+ screen-to-body ratio the device is likely to have a notch on top.
Screen type: There are many screen types but the most common in this price range will be an IPS LCD display. Some smartphones may have an AMOLED display as well. IPS LCD panels are well known for their viewing angels and cheaper costs. AMOLED panels provide superior colour and contrast when compared to LCDs but also cost higher.
Screen resolution: The display resolution decides how many pixels appear on a screen. The more pixels there are the sharper objects can look. 1080p (Full HD) is the most common resolution in this range and offers sharp clarity.
Smartphones are expensive and fragile pieces of technology. You don’t want to spend 30,000 on a smartphone that gets scratches easily. Luckily, there are many durability features packed into a modern smartphone. This includes scratch resistance, waterproofing, build quality etc.
Scratch resistance: Devices that have Corning Gorilla Glass protection have screens which are resistant to scratches. There are also other glass manufacturers besides Corning which also provide scratch resistance screens.
All smartphones in this range should be expected to have at least some form of scratch resistance.
Build Quality: Smartphones are built with many different materials. Some are fully plastic while others have a mix of aluminum and glass. In the 30k range you can expect glass or aluminum + glass combination resulting in a sturdy premium feeling device.
Waterproof: Water is a major threat for electronics and this is especially true for devices that are on us at all times like a smartphone. To solve this problem some devices are water-resistant or waterproof to a certain limit.
However, waterproofing is only available in top tier devices and will not be available on smartphones under 30,000.
Smartphones provide the easiest form of photography by putting a powerful camera on a device that fits inside your pocket.
While cutting edge camera features are only available on high end current gen flagships, you can still expect good performance in this range. The main aspects to consider are the rear cameras, front cameras and extra features.
Rear Cameras: The rear cameras are the main shooters of your smartphone. You can expect a dual camera system ranging between 16-20MP. Some may offer even high megapixel count.
Front Cameras: The front camera is very important for selfie lovers. You can expect an 8-20MP camera while some selfie focused phones may be even better.
Extra features: There are many features that can improve your smartphone photography experience. Devices under 30k offer features like HDR support, AI Filters, Panorama, Beauty mode etc. Some secondary lenses may offer features like ultrawide, low light mode.
Some features such as Optical Image Stabilization will not be available on most devices in this range with a few exceptions.
4) Processor (System on a chip) SoC
At the core of your smartphone lies its Processor (CPU). This chip is responsible to make everything you do on your smartphone possible. You can see it as the brain of the device. The processor plays a key role in how fast your smartphone operates.
Processor type: Most smartphones in this range offer a processor from companies like Qualcomm, MediaTek, Exynos or Kirin. If the device of choice is an iPhone then it will be running on Apple’s A series.
Cores: You can expect an octa-core (8 cores) processor for this price point. This means these processors will be highly efficient.
Speed frequency: While more cores can mean more efficiency, the performance is generally differentiated by the speed at which the cores run at. Processors that offer 2-2.5ghz speed can handle most apps with ease.
Expected performance in 30K: Performance on phones under 30k can vary widely. This is because some devices offer powerful processors for the price while others may opt for a slower one to provide other features.
That said, all devices in this range will run most apps and games without any slowdowns and lag.
5) RAM & GPU
As we explained above, the processor is one of the main parts that decide the performance of your device. However, there are some other aspects that can be a deciding factor in how well your smartphone performs. These are mainly the RAM (Random Access Memory) and the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit).
RAM: Your processor requires a fast set of memory to store data like apps and the internal storage just can’t cut it. This is why your smartphone uses RAM which is extremely fast which makes switching through apps and multi-tasking possible.
Most smartphones under 30K have at least 4GB of RAM. This means there is plenty of room for multi-tasking. Some devices also offer 6GB RAM or more.
GPU: As the name suggests, the Graphics Processing Unit is responsible for all the graphics that your smartphone can show. This can range from simple animations to full 3D graphics on games.
This makes the GPU the most important part if you want a smartphone for gaming. In this price you can expect to play all games on medium settings. Some devices will be able to play games like PubG on high settings as well.
We all love to take photos and videos especially on smartphones with great cameras. Apps are also a great way to be productive, entertained and stay in touch. All this data however, can quickly take up a lot of space which makes storage an important factor when deciding on a smartphone.
Storage amount: Choosing a smartphone with a good amount of storage is important. Consider that the Operating System of your smartphone already reserves some space and can take up as much as 10-15GB.
Apps and games are also getting increasingly larger which can take up even more storage than expected. Smartphones in this range should have at least 64GB storage which provides enough amount for most apps and data.
Expandability: If you want to store a lot of media then you should consider a phone that has a microSD slot. This allows you to easily expand the storage of your phone whenever you want.
Powering up your smartphone is its battery. You want a device that can last through a day without the low battery warning that nobody likes. The main aspects of a smartphone’s battery life are the battery capacity and the charging speed.
Battery capacity: Most devices under 30k will offer a 3000-4000mAh battery. This will provide enough capacity for a day’s use so you wouldn’t need to charge before the day ends.
Charging speed: While battery capacity is important, you don’t want to wait for ages for your smartphone to be fully charged. This is why most smartphones in this range support some form of fast charging such as Qualcomm’s Quick Charge.
8) Ports & Wireless Communications
In this modern age the wireless communication features that you phone supports are as important as its camera or gaming capability. This includes essentials such as 4G LTE, Wi-Fi to extras like NFC and Wireless charging.
Wireless comms: Smartphones in this range cover mostly all essential wireless features. This includes Bluetooth 5.0, Dual band Wi-Fi etc. Some devices however, may not have support for NFC, Wireless charging and FM Radio.
Ports: There are two main ports on a smartphone, the first is the USB port for charging and data transfers. The second is a 3.5mm jack for using a pair of wired earphones or headphones. Devices in this range have a Type-C port but some may skip on the earphone jack.
9) Speakers & Sensors
Often ignored but still important are the speakers and sensors on a smartphone. These play a key role on the overall experience of using your smartphone and also for media consumption.
Speakers: Having good speakers on your smartphone can be quite useful not only for calls but also for media consumption. Hearing your phone can be difficult in a noisy environment during traffic which can lead to missed calls if the speakers not loud.
Similarly, watching movies or YouTube also be a problem if you can’t clearly listen to the audio. Some devices offer dual speaker systems for even better sound but most devices in the range will have only one loud speaker.
Sensors: The sensors on your device make many features possible. For example, the accelerometer meter makes auto rotate possible while the light sensor can brighten your screen in sunlight and dim it when dark.
You can expect a device in this range to support all essential sensors.
The hardware quality of your smartphone decides how well it can perform and what it can do. However, the software is what makes it possible to interact with the hardware. This means, the software is an important factor in how your device operates and the features it has.
Operating System: The main piece of software that runs your device is its Operating System or OS. This is usually Android for all smartphones except for iPhones which run on iOS.
On the Android side, you should expect most devices to be running on Android 9.0 which is the latest in 2019. The device manufacturers although, may add their own features and skins on top of Android resulting in their own Custom UI.
Custom Interfaces: Most common custom UIs are Xiaomi’s MIUI, OnePlus’s Oxygen OS and Huawei or Honor’s EMUI. These offer extra features and preinstalled apps by the manufacturer which can enhance your user experience. This does not apply to iPhones as they only run iOS designed by Apple.
In some cases, however, features and apps that are unnecessary can slow down a device which is why some people may want a device that has stock Android.
Devices that have stock Android have no unnecessary features and apps that result in a clean and simple user experience.
Now that you are aware of all the various aspects of a smartphone it’s time to pick one. We have curated a list of the best 10 smartphones under 30,000 in 2019. This will help you choose the device that suits you best.
Top 10 Best Smartphones under 30000
1) OnePlus 6T (8GB+128GB)
OnePlus recently launched new 7 and 7 Pro smartphones which has made the OnePlus 6T cheaper than ever. With its Snapdragon 845 and 8GB of RAM this device is one of the fastest in this price range. This comes as no surprise as the device is also considered one of the smoothest Androids available.
Built with an aluminium frame and glass on the front and back the 6T impresses with its build quality. There is also Corning Gorilla Glass 6 present for protection.
The 6T rocks a 6.41inch Optic AMOLED display with DCI-P3 coverage and 1080×2340 resolution. This is easily one of the best displays you can get especially in the 30k price point. The device runs on Oxygen OS based on Android 9.0 Pie.
There is no microSD slot on this smartphone but with 128GB internal storage you have enough space for all your needs.
Cameras aren’t OnePlus’s strong suite but the 6T does not disappoint. The rear has a 16+20MP dual camera unit with OIS and Dual LED flash. The front is a 16MP selfie shooter.
OnePlus has packed in all essential wireless features except for FM Radio. There is also no 3.5mm earphone jack. The fingerprint sensor is in-screen and on the bottom there’s a USB 2.0 Type-C port.
The 3700mAh battery is on smaller than some of the competition but OxygenOS is highly efficient giving the device an excellent endurance.
What we loved: Powerful specs, Great software.
What we disliked: No 3.5mm earphone jack.
2) Honor View20 (6GB+128GB)
The View20 is as close as it gets to a modern flagship in this price range. Honor has packed in most of the latest cutting-edge features and is one of the first devices in this range to feature a hole punch notch.
The device has an aluminium frame and is sandwiched between glass on the front and back. For such a premium feeling device we were disappointed to see the lack of Corning Gorilla Glass protection.
The display is an impressive IPS LCD panel that is 6.4inches and has a resolution of 1080×2310. The device launched with Magic UI 2 based on Android 9.0 Pie.
The View20 performs admirably with the Kirin 980 under the hood which is coupled with 6GB of RAM and the MALI-G76 MP10 GPU. 128GB of internal storage means there is plenty of space however, the device doesn’t support SD cards.
Honor impresses us with its 48MP main camera and a TOF 3D secondary sensor at the back. The TOF sensor can help separate people from the background and is can also be used in some 3D AR games.
The front has a 25MP selfie camera which is located in a tiny hole punch notch on the top left of the screen.
Honor ticks all the boxes for wireless communications and has all necessary sensors including the rear mounted fingerprint reader. There is no FM radio support. The device has a Type-C port at the bottom which is USB 3.1 which should provide faster data transfer speeds.
The View20 is powered by a 4000mAh battery with fast charge support which means the device should easily last through a day.
What we loved: Stunning design, Plenty of storage, Powerful specs.
What we disliked: Magic UI 2 still has a lot of bloatware, Lacks Gorilla Glass protection.
3) iPhone 6S (2GB+32GB)
The iPhone 6S is a four year old smartphone at this point, which begs the question – why is it still sold?
In true Apple fashion they have kept the iPhone 6S up to date with the latest and greatest iOS 12. The device runs as smooth as most modern smartphones thanks to Apple’s excellent optimization.
Where the device does feel dated is its 4.7inch IPS LCD display with a 750×1334 resolution. This screen is quite small but as an advantage it also results in the device being quite easy to hold. It also supports 3D Touch.
Keeping the 6S running is the Apple A9 dual core processor with 2GB RAM. This is quite under powered even for an iPhone at this point. That said, the device can handle most apps without problem.
The bigger problem however, is its tiny 32GB storage. This limits you to using just the essential apps you need with all other data being moved to cloud storage.
Apple has a strong reputation for its cameras and even in 2019 the single 12MP rear camera on the 6S manages to provide clear shots. The same can’t be said for 5MP selfie camera however, it gets the job done.
The 6S has all the wireless features you would expect. There is also a 3.5mm earphone jack and a lightning USB port. The fingerprint sensor is mounted inside the home button. No FM radio present here.
The 1715mAh battery that powers the iPhone 6S is quite small. This device can last through a day of low to moderate use but don’t expect it to be a battery champ.
What we loved: Cheapest way into Apple’s ecosystem, Smooth interface.
What we disliked: Small display, Mediocre battery life.
4) LG G7 ThinQ (4GB+64GB)
The G7 ThinQ is LG’s 2018 flagship with all the high-end features that you would expect.
The device has an impressive build quality with a front/back glass and an aluminium frame. There is Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection with IP68 dust/water proof rating. The G7 ThinQ is also MIL-STD-810G compliant.
The front sports a 6.1inch IPS LCD panel with 1440×3120 resolution. The display has DCI-P3 100% coverage, HDR 10 and Dolby Vision. LG launched it with Android 8.0 Oreo but has been updated to Android 9.0 Pie.
LG’s own custom skin is one of the biggest drawbacks on this relatively powerful device with its Snapdragon 845. There is 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. There is support for microSD as well.
On the camera side the G7 ThinQ sports a dual camera setup at the back with a 16+16MP array. There is support for OIS and ultrawide. The front has a basic 8MP selfie shooter.
LG has made no cut offs in the wireless department and the device even has a headphone jack. The fingerprint sensor is rear-mounted and the bottom has a USB 3.1 Type-C connector.
The 3000mAh battery coupled with LG’s bloated UI means this device won’t break any battery life records. That said, it can last through a day’s normal use.
What we loved: Waterproofing, 1440p display with HDR 10 support.
What we disliked: LG’s UI needs improvements.
5) Nokia 8.1 (6GB+128GB)
The Nokia 8.1 is the only device in this list that runs on Google’s Android One program. This provides a clean and simple user experience with frequent software updates.
The device features an aluminium frame with glass on the front and back that has NEG protection.
The notch is quite large on this 6.18inch IPS LCD display that has a resolution of 1080×2280. Nokia launched it with Android 9.0 Pie under the hood.
Powering up the Nokia 8.1 is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710. While this is not as powerful as some other devices, the 710 is no slouch either. With 6GB RAM and 128GB this device can perform all but the most intensive tasks with ease. There is also microSD support.
The cameras on this Nokia aren’t particularly impressive with its 12MP+13MP Dual camera setup. That said, these are Zeiss optics and there is support for OIS and dual-LED dual-tone flash. The front has a 20MP selfie camera.
Nokia also hasn’t skipped on any essential wireless features. The device also keeps the 3.5mm earphone jack and has a USB 2.0 Type-C connector at the bottom. The fingerprint sensor is mounted at the back.
The 3500mAh battery powering the Nokia 8.1 may be on the smaller side but the software is well optimized giving the device a fairly good battery life.
What we loved: Android One, Good build quality.
What we disliked: Fairly large notch, Cameras could be better.