If you are looking to purchase a new smartphone, there’s nothing better than the upcoming festive season sale. I strongly believe that buying a new smartphone during the Diwali sale is a smart choice. This is the time when the new iPhone has been announced, so the older one is available at a discount. Even the Android marketplace is filled with flagships so you get a good sense of the market.
You may be looking to upgrade your existing smartphone, and still Diwali is the best time to do it. Several online marketplaces are going to offer exchange offers on smartphones this year. You should make the most out of it. Getting mobile phones exchanged for an instant discount is a lot more convenient than selling your smartphone to a classifieds site.
In this guide we’ll talk about the best smartphones at major price points. So if you are looking for an affordable smartphone under Rs.10,000 or a high-end smartphone above Rs.30,000, we’ll try to cover as many as possible. Our list this year builds on last year’s best devices to buy during the Diwali season.
Best smartphones under ₹10,000
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3
Redmi Note 3 is one of Xiaomi’s best-selling mobile phones. It comes in two main variants: a 16GB variant with 2GB of RAM that costs ₹9,999 and a 32GB variant with 3GB of RAM that costs ₹11,999. In this price bracket we’ll discuss the former. The smartphone runs on Snapdragon 650 SoC (system on a chip), and includes an ultra-fast fingerprint sensor. Note 3 comes with a massive 4050mAh battery which is good enough to last the whole day. A metal body finish on the smartphone feels slightly premium. At this price point, the Xiaomi Note 3 is one of the finest devices you’ll find.
The Galaxy On7 smartphone may not be the latest or the greatest smartphone, but for a price tag of just under ₹9,000 the smartphone is quite a deal. Packed with a 5.5-inch display, the Galaxy On7 offers quite a lot for its price. There’s a 5MP front-facing camera, and a 13MP primary camera at the back. The smartphone comes with a 3000mAh battery and runs Android 5.1.1 out of the box. If you are in the market for a budget Android smartphone, the On7 will certainly not disappoint you.
Lenovo Vibe K5
Lenovo Vibe K5 is another smartphone that shines in the under ₹10,000 price point. Vibe K5 runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 415 SoC, and runs Android 5.1 out of the box. It includes a 13MP primary camera and a 5MP front-facing camera. The smartphone features a 5-inch 720p display. There’s a microSD card for expanding the phone’s memory. Overall, the Lenovo Vibe K5 makes a decent budget smartphone running Android at a price point of ₹7,000. Expect a deal or two on this phone during the Diwali sale.
Best smartphones between Rs.10,000-15,000
Lenovo Vibe K5 Note
Lenovo’s Vibe K4 Note is a bigger version of the K4. Priced at around ₹11,999 currently, the smartphone features a 5.5-inch display that runs at full high-definition. The IPS screen includes a Gorilla Glass coating which offers a certain level of day-to-day protection for the screen. The Vibe K4 Note is also the first smartphone to ship with TheaterMax technology and Dolby Atmos surround sound powered speakers, according to Lenovo. The phone runs Android 5.1 out of the box, and is powered by a Mediatek 64-bit chip.
Moto G Plus fourth-generation 32GB
If you are eyeing a combination of specifications and the right price, the Moto G Plus fourth-generation is a great smartphone. It runs Android 6.0.1 out of the box and is powered by the Snapdragon 617 SoC (system on a chip). The Moto G Plus features a 5.5-inch display that runs on full HD resolution. Motorola promises an all-day battery life with the 3,000mAh battery inside the phone. You can charge the phone to last six hours in just 15 minutes with TurboPower charging. If you land a good deal on the Moto G Plus fourth-generation, buy it without any hesitation.
Samsung Galaxy J7
Another good smartphone under the ₹15,000 price point is the Samsung Galaxy J7 (SM-J700F). Galaxy J7 comes with a 5.5-inch super AMOLED display running at full HD resolution. It runs Android 5.1 out of the box, and is powered by a 1.5GHz octa-core processor. There’s a 13MP primary camera with LED flash and a 5MP front-facing camera. It includes a 3000mAh battery that’s just good enough to last a whole day. All this at a price tag of ₹13,490 is pretty decent.
Best smartphones between 15,000-20,000
Lenovo Z2 Plus
Lenovo Z2 Plus is the latest offering from Lenovo with a package that’s just too good to be under the Rs.20,000 price point. Lenovo Z2 Plus comes in 32GB and 64GB variants. The former is priced at ₹17,999 while the latter is priced at ₹19,999. The smartphone is powered by Snapdragon 820 SoC, supported by 4GB of RAM. It runs Android 6.0.1 out of the box and includes a 3500mAh battery. There’s a 13MP primary camera capable of recording 4K videos and an 8MP front-facing camera. Z2 Plus comes with a 5-inch LTPS LCD display running at full HD resolution. The phone supports VoLTE and dual SIM slots. It’s hard to find a reason to not buy this under ₹20,000.
Apple iPhone 5S
The iPhone 5S may be old now, but it’s still a great entry-level device for those who would prefer iOS over Android in its price segment. Available now for just ₹20,000 (may get even lower soon) the iPhone 5S is still a great phone for this price. The 4-inch Retina Display, iOS 10 support, 8MP primary camera, and a host of usual iPhone features make the iPhone 5S a great buy at this price. If you are not willing to spend a fortune on an iPhone, and prefer the smaller screen, the iPhone 5S will be good enough for at least the next two years.
Asus Zenfone 2
Asus made sure there were plenty of Zenfone 2 variants to both please and confuse customers. Make no mistake, these are still pretty powerful phones. The Zenfone 2 we’re referring to here is the 32GB variant with 4GB RAM. It is priced at ₹15,999 (MRP ₹22,199) and is incredibly well balanced in terms of features. It comes with a 5.5-inch IPS HD display running at full HD resolution. There’s a 13MP primary camera and a 5MP front-facing camera. The phone runs Android 5.0 out of the box and is powered by a 1.8GHz Z3560 processor, supported by 4GB of RAM. The phone includes a 3000mAh battery that should be decent enough to last an entire day.
Best smartphones between 20,000-30,000
Once almost impossible to get, the OnePlus 3 now sits comfortably in our list of the best Android phones to buy below ₹30,000. The OnePlus 3 is available without any invitations. OnePlus 3 features a 5.5-inch optic AMOLED display with full HD resolution. It includes a 16MP primary camera and an 8MP front-facing camera for your selfies. The phone runs OxygenOS which is based on Google’s Android 6.0.1. The phone runs on Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor, supported by 6GB of RAM. There is a 3000mAh battery inside the phone which can be charged up to 60% in 30 minutes using Dash Charge technology. Overall, a pretty good looking package for just ₹27,999.
LeEco Le Max 2
If you want to stay close to the ₹20,000 price point and still want better specifications, the LeEco Le Max2 is worth a shot. The phone is priced at ₹22,999, available with an exchange offer on Flipkart. It comes with a massive 5.7-inch WQHD display and includes a 21MP primary camera along with an 8MP front-facing camera. The phone is powered by the Snapdragon 820 SoC, supported by 4GB of RAM. There’s 32GB of storage on board. The phone includes a 3100mAh battery.
Xiaomi Mi 5
The Mi 5 features a 5.15-inch display, running at full HD resolution. The phone is powered by Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor clocked at 1.8GHz. The phone comes in two variants: 3GB RAM with 32GB storage and 4GB RAM with 64GB storage. In our case we’re referring to the former. The one big downside of the Mi 5 is the lack of a memory card expansion slot. There’s a 16MP primary camera with OIS (optical image stabilization). Another advantage here is the availability of VoLTE which makes it easier to use Reliance Jio’s 4G network.
Best smartphones above Rs.30,000
iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
Well, it’s sort of a no-brainer to be honest. If you want the best of iOS, and are willing to spend top money on it: just get the new iPhones. The iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus are Apple’s latest flagship devices. They’re launching in India on October 7 this year. Prices begin at Rs.60,000 for the 32GB iPhone 7. In case you are wondering if you should upgrade to the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus this year, we’ve got a separate article on that here.
This year Flipkart has tied up with Apple India directly to source and sell the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in India.
iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus
Not everyone wants to spend more than Rs.60,000 on a smartphone. The iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus are quite attractive at their new price points. Official MRPs apart, you are likely to get a good deal on either of these iPhones during Diwali this year. The iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus are still quite powerful, and worth the new prices. In case you are willing to upgrade from the 5S or lower, this will be a good choice. If you are currently in the Android camp, and are looking to switch to iOS, the 6S and 6S Plus still make a great choice for you.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and Galaxy S7
For those who don’t really prefer iPhones, the Android world still offers some great devices in the high-end marketplace. The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are pretty amazing devices if you want the best of Android. The Galaxy S7 Edge comes with a 5.5-inch quad HD display with a coating of Gorilla Glass 4. The device is powered by Exynos 8890 octa-core processor in India. Galaxy S7 Edge is IP68 rated which makes it water and dust proof. One of the most talked about features of the S7 Edge is its camera. The Galaxy S7 is slightly smaller than the S7 Edge. The S7 comes with a 5.1-inch display while the S7 Edge includes a 5.5-inch display, both being super AMOLED displays. In terms of cameras, they both contain the same 12MP camera at the back and 5MP front-facing camera. On the battery front, the S7 Edge comes with a 3600mAh battery while the S7 includes a 3000mAh battery.