The premium mid-range – or value flagship as some tend to call it – is one of the fastest growing and hotly contested segments of the Indian smartphone market. Ever since OnePlus changed the game with the OnePlus One back in 2014, the very definition of a flagship has been changing constantly – with top of the line specifications and features percolating down the price ladder. But Smartphones below Rs 30,000 are no longer full of compromises. They are now capable of challenging top of the line flagships in many ways. For a proper comparison, we’ve restricted ourselves to only the phones that have been reviewed by Gadgets 360, and put through our stringent tests. With that in mind, here are our picks for the best phones under Rs 30,000.
|Honor View 10||8/ 10|
|Nokia 8||9/ 10|
|Motorola Moto Z2 Play||8/ 10|
|Honor 8 Pro||8/ 10|
|Motorola Moto X4||8/ 10|
|LG G6||9/ 10|
|Samsung Galaxy A8+||7/ 10|
Honor View 10: The power of artificial intelligence
The Honor View 10 (review) is one of the most value for money offerings in the market right now. Not only does the smartphone come with powerful internals and a crisp bezel-less display, it is packed to the rafters with nifty artificial intelligence features such as an AI accelerated translator and nature language processing.
The smartphone runs on Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box with Huawei’s EMUI skin on top and is powered by the Kirin 970 processor paired with 6GB of RAM and a 3750mAh battery. Thanks to AI-powered scene recognition, the Honor View 10’s colour+monochrome rear camera setup is one of the best in its class.
Nokia 8: Elegant and refined
With a sleek minimalist design, clean and fluid software, the Snapdragon 835 processor under the hood, and highly capable ZEISS powered cameras – the Nokia 8 (review) is one of the best smartphone deals around.
From the simple yet classy design to the light and minimal version of Android – the Nokia 8 comes across as refined and elegant from the inside out. The fact that it comes with the promise of timely updates – both yearly Android versions and monthly security updates – is just icing on the cake.
Moto Z2 Play: The modular smartphone
Thanks to the launch of the Moto Z2 Force, the underrated Moto Z2 Play (review) is now available for as low as Rs 22,000 online. Thanks to the efficient Snapdragon 626 chipset under the hood, the smartphone has excellent battery life and good – if not flagship level – performance.
Motorola’s software package is fast and fluid and devoid of any extraneous bloat and the AMOLED display up front is crisp and vibrant. What sets the Z2 Play apart from the hordes of smartphones out there is the ability to expand its capabilities via Moto Mods. The most practical and successful implementation of the modular concept yet – Moto Mods simply snap on to the back of the device via magnets and add extra functionality.
Honor 8 Pro: The all-rounder
The Honor 8 Pro (review) might have been usurped by the Honor View 10, but it is still a mighty capable smartphone thanks to its powerful internals, excellent battery life, all-metal build, and sheer value for money proposition.
While the competition makes do with full-HD panels, the Honor 8 Pro has a pixel dense quad-HD display that is bright and punchy to boot. The smartphone also has one of the best rear camera setups in this price range.
Moto X4: The water-proof option
The much awaited return of the Moto X series brings with it a premium glass and metal design, the ability to stream audio to up to 4 Bluetooth devices simultaneously, capable internals and a pretty decent dual camera setup that allows for the capture of bokeh shots and wide-angle images.
The Moto X4 (review) is also IP68 dust and water resistant – a feature rarely found in this price range. As a result, the smartphone can be dunked in in up to 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 minutes without any worries. The fact that the smartphone runs on a near stock build of Android 8.0 Oreo adds to its appeal.
LG G6: For multimedia enthusiasts
Thanks to Samsung’s marketing prowess and brand value, the LG G6 (review) – a severely underrated phone – was completely overshadowed by the Samsung Galaxy S8 last year. As a result, the LG G6 has seen several price revisions since its launch in April 2017.
At Rs 29,999, the LG G6 makes for a great buy thanks to its stellar cameras that allow for the capture of wide-angle images as well as bokeh shots, bezel-less design, Quad DAC, great battery life and excellent display. Buying a one year old phone does bring with it certain caveats such as limited software support and an outdated processor – but those trade-offs are worth it if you want the best multimedia experience under Rs 30,000.
Samsung Galaxy A8+: Strictly for Samsung fans
Right off the bat, the Samsung Galaxy A8+ (review) is not the best smartphone in this price segment. It is bulky, the software package on board is slightly bloated and the cameras are decent at best. However, it is the best mid-range Samsung smartphone and that is enough for a lot of people.
The A8+ has its fair share of merits – it has a gorgeous sAMOLED display, a fairly powerful processor, oodles of RAM, a gorgeous design that mimics its elder brother – the Galaxy S8+ and excellent battery life.