The sub-Rs. 30,000 smartphone segment just got a lot more exciting, as we’ve had two big additions from Realme and OnePlus. The Realme X3 series, which includes the standard Realme X3 and the Realme X3 SuperZoom, offers powerful specifications and impressive telephoto cameras for the price. OnePlus finally launched its much-hyped Nord smartphone, making it the company’s second attempt at selling a more affordable model (the OnePlus X being the first). Vivo also recently introduced the V19, which received a favourable rating in our review. These new phones join an existing list of great offerings under Rs. 30,000, which we have updated as well, taking into account any price changes.
Here’s our August 2020 list of some of the best smartphones you can buy under Rs. 30,000 right now.
Best phones under 30,000
|Phones under Rs. 30,000||Gadgets 360 rating (out of 10)||Price in India (as recommended)|
|OnePlus Nord||9||Rs. 24,999|
|Realme X3 SuperZoom||9||Rs. 27,999|
|Vivo V19||8||Rs. 24,999|
|Realme X2 Pro||9||Rs. 29,999|
|Redmi K20 Pro||9||Rs. 24,999|
|Asus 6Z||8||Rs. 27,999|
|Oppo Reno 3 Pro||8||Rs. 29,999|
The OnePlus Nord is a new budget offering from OnePlus, which manages to deliver a similar Android experience as the OnePlus 8, but at a more affordable price. OnePlus has kept all the staples such as the AMOLED display, Warp Charge fast charging, and a big battery in the Nord. However, it has made some cuts when it comes to the SoC and the build quality. The OnePlus Nord still has glass on the back, but instead of a metal frame, it’s plastic.
The SoC used is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G, and not an 800-series chip as we’re used to seeing. However, the Nord does support 5G, which is a cool bonus. As an overall package, it’s really hard to find fault with the OnePlus Nord. App and gaming performance is good, it captures good photos and videos in daylight, and the display supports HDR10+.
Low-light image quality suffers a bit, but that’s pretty much this phone’s only major weakness. Battery life is very good and the single speaker gets decently loud. One impressive feature of the OnePlus Nord is its ability to shoot selfie videos at 4K 60fps, which is something even the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro can’t do.
Realme X3 SuperZoom
The Realme X3 SuperZoom is a powerhouse of a smartphones. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ is more than capable of handling anything thrown its way. It has a sharp display, a big battery, and a quick fingerprint sensor embedded in the power button., The highlight feature of this model is of course its telephoto camera.
The Realme X3 SuperZoom can do 5x optical zoom and a total of 60x digital zoom, which is impressive for a phone priced under Rs. 30,000. The rest of the cameras perform well under good light too. Realme has also added a lot of night shooting modes to play with, which is a great value-add for night photography lovers. The Realme X3 is identical to the SuperZoom model in every way except for the cameras. The standard model can only do 20x hybrid zoom and has a 16-megapixel main selfie camera, instead of 32-megapixels on the SuperZoom model. Apart from these differences, both phones are identical.
Even though we haven’t reviewed this more affordable model yet, the rest of its features and performance should be very similar to what we experienced with the X3 SuperZoom, so we can say it’s worth considering if you’re on a tight budget.
The Vivo V19 is a new addition to Vivo’s V-series this year, and it boasts of good features such as a modern design, AMOLED display, and a big battery. It also takes very good selfies during the day, and in low light, it can use the brightness of the screen to help illuminate your face for better looking selfies.
The only real bottleneck is the SoC. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 SoC is not bad but at Rs. 24,990 for the base variant, it’s quite underpowered. Other than this, the V19 is a good-looking smartphone. It has dual front-facing cameras, an in-display fingerprint sensor, and a large 4,500mAh battery. The version of Funtouch OS that you get on the V19 is a big improvement over previous versions, as it fixes many of the interface niggles we’ve noticed for a while.
Overall, if you’re not into gaming or a heavy multitasker, then the Vivo V19 is still a good buy as it does well in other areas such as photography and multimedia playback.
Realme X2 Pro
The Realme X2 Pro does a little bit of everything right at a fraction of the price of a real flagship. It has a big 6.5-inch full-HD+ AMOLED display with an in-display fingerprint scanner and a 90Hz refresh rate. It is well designed and feels a lot more expensive than it actually is. Realme has also tossed in a 4,000mAh battery that delivers excellent battery life. That’s not all, this phone comes with a 50W fast charger that is capable of topping the device up in about 31 minutes.
It also gets the flagship-grade Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ SoC and has three variants: 6GB of RAM with 64GB of storage, 8GB of RAM with 128GB of storage, and 12GB of RAM with 256GB of storage. The 6GB/64GB variant was introduced post-launch and is now retailing for Rs. 29,999. Earlier, the 8GB/128GB variant was priced at Rs. 29,999, but following the GST hike, it has gone up to Rs. 31,999.
The Realme X2 Pro has a quad-camera setup and is capable of taking good photos in different lighting conditions. We had an issue with the low-light video quality of this device, and we also found that it heats up a little when subjected to load.
Redmi K20 Pro
The Redmi K20 Pro is one of a few smartphones launched with flagship-grade processors for under Rs. 30,000. A Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC powers this device, and it also packs in a 4,000mAh battery. The Redmi K20 Pro has a pop-up selfie camera which means the big 6.39-inch display doesn’t have a notch. The 20-megapixel selfie camera pops up for selfies and face recognition. The mechanism is a little slow and might need some patience on your end.
The battery life of this phone is good and it could easily go on for one and a half to two days. There is support for 27W fast charging but Xiaomi only bundles an 18W charger in the box. The Redmi K20 Pro has a triple camera setup at the back and takes good photos. We found that 4K video wasn’t great though.
The Redmi K20 Pro recently received a promotional price drop for the base model, to Rs. 24,999. This price cut was supposed to be in effect till July 13, but the phone is still selling for that much on Mi.com, which is good to see.
The Asus 6Z is the successor of the Asus ZenFone 5Z and brings a rotating camera module to the table. This camera module is unique to the Asus 6Z and lets you use the same dual-camera setup to take regular photos and selfies. Since it does not have dedicated selfie cameras, there is no notch on the front and you get a big display without any obstructions. The Asus 6Z also sports a big 5,000mAh battery which isn’t very common on flagship smartphones.
Powering the Asus 6Z is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC. There are three variants of the Asus 6Z: 6GB of RAM with 64GB or 128GB of storage, and 8GB of RAM with 256GB of storage. The Asus 6Z gave us a 14 hour 22 min loop test time which isn’t great, but the phone can offer a day and a half of use.
The Asus 6Z only has two cameras and they are quite capable. Daylight performance was impressive, and since the camera flips for selfies, these were just as good. Low-light performance was slightly disappointing. At Rs. 27,999, the Asus 6 does offer a flagship experience at a bargain.
Oppo Reno 3 Pro
Oppo Reno 3 Pro is the newest smartphone on this list. It sports a 6.4-inch AMOLED display along with an in-display fingerprint scanner. Oppo has picked the octa-core MediaTek Helio P95 SoC to power this smartphone. It also has 8GB of RAM and there are two storage options, 128GB and 256GB.
The Oppo Reno 3 Pro has a 4025mAh battery and support for 30W VOOC charging. At the back, it sports a quad-camera setup with a 64-megapixel primary sensor. At the front, this phone has a 44-megapixel selfie shooter along with a 2-megapixel depth sensor. We found photo quality to be good in daylight conditions and average in low light although there’s a night mode that helps you take better shots. Low-light video recording was a little disappointing.
Battery performance on the Oppo Reno 3 Pro was good, and the phone lasted us for about a day and a half easily before needing a charge.
Will OnePlus 8 series be able to take on iPhone SE (2020), Samsung Galaxy S20 in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.