It’s no secret that Xiaomi has seemingly taken India’s budget and lower mid-range smartphone segment by storm. Although the company is yet to replicate the success of its budget and lower mid-range smartphones in the more premium price segment — Xiaomi’s last flagship phone in India, the Mi Mix 2 although it was straight out of the future, failed to set cash counters ticking — the contribution of Xiaomi to the price sensitive market like India has been nothing short of phenomenal. This is because the price segment — under Rs 20,000 — that Xiaomi has been able to crack, drives the volumes game.
Every list and feature that talks about the best phones to buy under Rs 20,000 off-late starts with a Xiaomi phone and ends with a Xiaomi phone. That’s saying a lot about Xiaomi, a company that’s still fairly new in India. But growing phenomenally. On the back of value for money phones at rock bottom prices. The following phones are a classic example.
Best entry-level option: Xiaomi Redmi 5A
Xiaomi’s ‘Desh ka Smartphone’ aka the Redmi 5A is the best entry-level phone that you can buy in the Indian market right now. The Redmi 5A starts at Rs 5,999 for the base 2GB RAM/16GB storage version while the top-end version with 3GB RAM/32GB storage costs Rs 6,999.
The Redmi 5A is an entry-level phone designed for feature phone users looking to make a switch to a smartphone. But just because it is an entry-level phone, it doesn’t mean that it makes a lot of compromises in terms of hardware specs. In fact, at its price point, the Redmi 5A is the most powerful phone that money can buy, and a build quality to match.
It comes with an all-plastic body with a smooth metallic finish on the back and is available in as many as three colours:Dark Grey, Gold and Rose Gold.
In terms of hardware specs, the Redmi 5A comes with a 5-inch HD IPS display with a 720p resolution. It is powered by a 1.4GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor coupled with Adreno 308 GPU, up to 3GB RAM and up to 32GB of internal memory which is further expandable by up to 128GB via a dedicated micro-SD card slot. The dual-SIM phones runs Android Nougat-based MIUI 9 out-of-the-box and supports 4G LTE (VoLTE-ready) connectivity.
On the camera front the Redmi 5A comes with a 13-megapixel camera on the rear with f/2.2 aperture along with Phase Detection Autofocus and an LED flash. On the front you get a 5-megapixel snapper. The phone is backed by a 3,000mAh battery which is non-removable and is claimed to offer up to a whopping 8-days of battery life on stand-by on a single charge.
Best budget option: Xiaomi Redmi 5
The Redmi 5 is the best phone to buy around Rs 10,000. Even more so than the Redmi Note 5. Because it offers much of the same deal in a slightly more affordable package. The Redmi 5 is available for buying at a starting price of Rs 7,999 for the 2GB RAM and 16GB storage version going all the way to Rs 10,999 for the top end 4GB RAM and 64GB storage version. The Redmi 5 is also available in 3GB RAM and 32GB storage version for Rs 8,999.
The most striking aspect of the Redmi 5 is the fact that it’s the most affordable bezel-less phone with an 18:9 aspect ratio in the Indian market right now. Also, it’s the cheapest phone in the Indian market, right now, to come with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor.
The Redmi 5 comes with a metal body with reinforced corners and a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. There’s 2.5D curved glass on the front and on-screen keys for navigation. It is available in as many as four colours: black, gold, rose gold and blue.
In terms of hardware specs, the Redmi 5 comes with a 5.7-inch ‘full-screen’ HD+ IPS LCD display. It is powered by a 1.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor clubbed with up to 4GB of RAM and up to 64GB of storage which is further expandable by up to 128GB via a hybrid micro-SD card slot. The dual-SIM phone runs Android 7.1.2 Nougat-based MIUI 9, and supports 4G LTE (and VoLTE) connectivity.
The Redmi 5 ships with the same camera credentials as the more expensive Redmi Note 5. While on the rear, the Redmi 5 comes with a 12-megapixel sensor with f/2.2 aperture, phase detection autofocus and a dual-LED (dual-tone) flash, on the front it comes with a 5-megapixel sensor with LED flash. Both the cameras are capable of recording 1080p videos.
The phone is backed by a 3,300mAh battery which is claimed to offer up to 17 days of battery life on stand-by on single charge.
Best lower mid-range options: Xiaomi Redmi Y2, Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro
The Redmi Y2 and The Redmi Note 5 Pro are the best lower mid-range phones to buy in the Indian market right now. The Redmi Note 5 Pro starts at Rs 14,999 for the base 4GB RAM and 64GB storage version, while the top-end version with 6GB RAM and 64GB storage is available for buying for Rs 16,999. The Redmi Y2, on the other hand, starts at Rs Rs 9,999 for the base 3GB RAM and 32GB storage version going all the way to Rs 12,999 for the top-end 4GB RAM and 64GB storage version.
The Redmi Note 5 Pro which spiritually succeeds the Redmi Note 3 was globally launched in India in February. Not only that, the Redmi Note 5 Pro also marked the global debut of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 636 processor. The Redmi Note 5 Pro, more specifically, is powered by a 1.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor clubbed with up to 6GB of RAM and up to 64GB of storage which is further expandable by up to 128GB via a hybrid micro-SD card slot. The dual-SIM phone runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat-based MIUI 9, and supports 4G LTE (and VoLTE).
It comes with a dual camera system on the rear consisting of one 12-megapixel sensor with f/2.2 aperture and another 5-megapixel sensor with f/2.0 aperture. While the primary sensor has a 1.25um size to capture more light, the secondary sensor assists in portrait shots or photos with shallow depth of field. The dual camera system, in the Redmi Note 5 Pro, further comes with phase detection autofocus and a dual-LED (dual-tone) flash.
On the front, the Redmi Note 5 Pro, sports a 20-megapixel camera with LED flash.
Elsewhere, the Redmi Note 5 Pro comes with a 5.99-inch ‘full-screen’ FHD+ display with a 2160x1080p resolution and a 4,000mAh battery under the hood.
The Redmi Y2, on the other hand, is the successor to last year’s Redmi Y1. Just like the Redmi Y1, the Redmi Y2 is also a phone that is chiefly targeted towards the youth looking for a big screen and what is supposedly the best selfie experience, on a budget. It’s the best all-rounded camera phone that you can buy in the Indian market right now.
In terms of hardware, the Redmi Y2 comes with a 5.99-inch ‘full-screen’ HD+ display with a 1440x720p resolution. It is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor clubbed with Adreno 506 GPU, up to 4GB RAM and up to 64GB storage which is further expandable by up to 256GB via a dedicated micro-SD card slot. The dual SIM phone runs Android 8.0 Oreo-based MIUI 9.
The Redmi Y2 has a dual camera system on the rear — 12MP+5MP — with the secondary camera especially meant for taking portrait shots or photos with shallow depth of field. This setup uses AI to apparently help your portrait shots look better. On the front, the Redmi Y2 comes with a 16-megapixel camera with ‘soft’ LED flash
Elsewhere, the Redmi Y2 is backed by a 3,080mAh battery.