Realme has finally managed to launch its youth-focused Narzo series, which complements its other offerings. Samsung has also launched a new launch with Galaxy M21. Some older models featured in April issue of this guide have been replaced by equivalent or better offers due to price changes.
If you have a budget of Rs. 15,000 to get a new smartphone, we did the research for you. After examining multiple smartphones in this segment, here are the models that are a cut above the rest, in no particular order.
The best phones under 15,000
|Telephones under Rs. 15,000||360 gadget classification (out of 10)||Price in India (as recommended)|
|Little M2 Pro||8||Rs. 13,999|
|Samsung Galaxy M21||7||Rs. 13,999|
|Realme Narzo 10||8||Rs. 11,999|
|Redmi Note 9 Pro||8||Rs. 13,999|
|Realme 6||8||Rs. 14,999|
|Redmi Note 8||7||Rs. 11,999|
|I live U20||8||Rs. 11,990|
Little M2 Pro
Little M2 Pro is intended for the budget segment. It has a premium design and packs a large 6.67-inch display just like the Poco X2. It had the standard 60Hz refresh rate instead of the higher 120Hz refresh rate of the Poco X2. Little did he use Corning Gorilla Glass 5 in the front and back and he also opted for a P2i coating on the M2 Pro, which makes it splash resistant to some extent.
This smartphone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G SoC that we have also seen in competing models such as Redmi Note 9 Pro. There are three variants of the Poco M2 Pro; 4 GB of RAM with 64 GB of memory, 6 GB of RAM with 64 GB of memory and 6 GB of RAM with 128 GB of memory. These three variants have a price of Rs. 13.999, Rs. 14,999 and Rs. 16,999 respectively.
The Poco M2 Pro packs a 5000 mAh battery and was able to last very well when we tested it. The company also supplies a 33W charger that brings the phone up to 95 percent in an hour. Little M2 Pro has a quad-camera configuration with a 48-megapixel main shooter. The phone takes good pictures in daylight, but its wide-angle camera has captured weaker colors and details. In low light conditions, the main and wide angle cameras struggled with exposure and detail. Night mode was not too effective.
Samsung Galaxy M21
We were quite surprised at how similar the new one was Samsung Galaxy M21 was at Galaxy M30s. In fact, aside from a high resolution selfie camera on the new model, both phones are practically identical. The best past is that Samsung has a lower price than the Galaxy M21 compared to the Galaxy M30, making it a better choice.
Some of the strengths of the phone include the crisp AMOLED display, low weight, excellent battery life and decent app performance. It works with Samsung’s One UI 2.0 interface on Android 10. It is powered by the widely used Exynos 9611 SoC, which is not the most powerful especially when you have more powerful SoC-based phones Qualcomm and MediaTek in the same segment. However, for general use and a little light play, it does the job.
Triple rear cameras are decent during the day but struggle a bit in low light. The 20 megapixel selfie camera is a noticeable improvement over that of the M30s, since the photos taken during the day had good details and shots in low light conditions could also be used.
The Samsung Galaxy M21 has received a price increase in June 2020 and now starts at Rs. 13,999 for 4 GB of RAM, 128 GB storage variant. The higher-end variant now has a price of Rs. 15,999, which has 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of memory.
Realme Narzo 10
Realme recently launched the long awaited Narzo series and the Narzo 10 it is a good offer for under Rs. 15,000. Realme turns here to youth demographics, focusing on style and game performance. Narzo 10 has MediaTek Helio G80, which manages games well and the overall performance of apps and multitasking is also solid. Battery life is also one of the highlights of this phone.
The main area where the Narzo 10 could have done better is its camera. Daylight performance was good with all rear and single front cameras, but low light performance left us wanting more. The camera app could have been even a little more intuitive, especially for some of its main features. Realme’s UI looks fresh and interesting, but there is still a lot of pre-installed bloatware.
There is only one configuration, with 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage space. Just Rs. 11,999, the small problems of Narzo 10 can be forgiven as there is no denying the immense value you get for your money.
Redmi Note 9 Pro
The Redmi Note 9 Pro It has been a solid recommendation from us in this price segment ever since it was launched. It features a large 6.67-inch display. We have found that the phone is bulky and heavy with 209 g in weight, but it is well designed.
It is powered by the Snapdragon 720G SoC and is available in two variants, one with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of memory and the other with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of memory. The basic variant is available for Rs. 13,999 which is a small increase from its Rs launch price. 12,999 due to the GST excursion.
The Realme 6 continues to be the only phone in Rs. 15,000 to offer a display with a refresh rate of 90Hz, similar to some flagships currently on the market. We have found that Realme 6 is well designed, but the side-mounted fingerprint scanner may not appeal to everyone. The device is slightly heavier, tilting the scale to 191 g.
The Realme 6 is powered by the Mediatek Helio G90T which is capable of offering some serious performance, especially in games. Realme offers three variants: 4 GB of RAM with 64 GB of memory, 6 GB of RAM with 128 GB of memory and 8 GB of RAM with 128 GB of memory. We found the camera quality good in daylight, producing a good amount of detail. The wide angle camera offers a wider field of view but the dynamic range is not exceptional. The output quality of the camcorder in low light conditions decreases slightly, but Night mode improves this.
Realme 6 got one price increase recently and the basic variant is now priced at Rs. 14,999 and is the only one that falls within our budget, following the second increase in prices. You will have to spend more on the other variants.
Redmi Note 8
We have seen the Redmi Note 8 retail for Rs. 10,999, after rising GST prices and which has recently been raised back to Rs. 11,999 for the basic variant. However, it’s still a good phone with decent all-around performance.
The Redmi Note 8 has a crisp Full HD + display and is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 SoC. The basic variant has 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of memory while the upper variant has 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of memory. Both are available in this price range.
Xiaomi offers a quad-camera configuration on the Note 8, with the main one a 48 megapixel shooter. It also has a wide angle camera and a macro shooter. We found that the camera’s performance is good for the price. The photos in low light conditions were noisy and stained and we had problems with autofocus in low light conditions.
I live U20
Vivo’s U series was specially created to compete with the exclusive online offers of Xiaomi and Realme. The I live U20 It is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 SoC, contains a 5,000 mAh battery and has a triple camera configuration on the back. The phone is a bit bulky because of its battery. It has a Micro-USB port at the bottom, which is somewhat disappointing since the Type C standard is now common in this price segment.
Vivo includes an 18W charger in the box which helps reduce charging times. Performance is good for the price and this smartphone can play and multitask easily. We found the cameras below average. If you plan to use this as the primary device for taking photos, you may want to consider other phones in this price range.
There are two variants of the Vivo U20: 4 GB of RAM and 6 GB of RAM. Storage space remains the same at 64 GB for both. The basic variant is now available on Rs. 11,990 while the upper variant has a price of Rs. 12,990.
What is the best-selling Vivo smartphone in India? Why didn’t Vivo make premium phones? We interviewed Vip brand strategy director Nipun Marya to find out and talk about the company’s strategy in India in the future. We discussed it Orbital, our weekly tech podcast, which you can subscribe to through Apple podcast or RSS, download the episodeor just hit the play button below.