Best smartphones under Rs 10,000 in India 2021

There’s never a shortage of good smartphones in any category in India, especially in the range of Rs 10,000 where the country gets the bulk of its buyers. However, with the government recently introducing increased GST taxes on phones, there have been some changes in low-priced categories including the sub Rs 10,000. So, we’ve gone ahead and added our picks of the best phones you can get under Rs 10,000 from November 2020. Note that the first five are the best value-for-money picks while the last few are their cheaper alternatives. The reasons are explained in the choices below. So, here we go.   

Redmi 9 Prime (4GB + 64GB) – Rs 9,999

The Redmi 9 Prime is a relatively new phone launched just a few weeks back and it is arguably the best you can get in this price range at this point. It is powered by a MediaTek Helio G80 which is an octa-core 12nm CPU. This is pretty much the same chip as the Helio G85 within the Redmi Note 9 and the only difference is the GPU clock. It is well capable of handling daily tasks and even light gaming. Some popular titles like PUBG can also be played but with lower resolution and graphics. 

It also has a big 6.5-inch 1080p LCD with a waterdrop-style notch on the top as well as a massive 5,020mAh battery. Moreover, its camera setup is also decent as a 13MP sensor is accompanied by an 8MP ultrawide lens at the back. The base model has 4GB + 64GB of RAM and storage combo. Let’s just say, this is some of the best you can get under Rs 10,000 for now. 

Redmi 9 Prime Specifications
Display 6.5-inch FHD LCD
Processor MediaTek Helio G80
Camera 13MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP

13MP selfie shooter

Battery 5,000mAh (18W)

Pros: FHD display, bigger storage, good battery life

Cons: MIUI software, flash sales

Realme Narzo 20A (3GB + 32GB) – Rs 9,145

The Narzo 20A is one of the biggest competitors of the Redmi 9 Prime. If you’re not very comfortable using MediaTek chips, then the Realme Narzo 20A is one of the best bets in this category. It comes with the 11nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 chipset – a slight upgrade over the 12nm MediaTek Helio G70 inside the Narzo 10A. We say slightly because there’s little difference between the two in terms of performance. However, it is a tried and tested processor and will be a reliable workhorse, as long as you expect realistic meaningful results from it. You won’t be able to do heavy-duty gaming on this one. 

It does have a slightly low-res 720p display, ample 5,000mAh battery and a decent 12MP camera, but that’s the trade-off you make for a Qualcomm processor in this circumstance. This along with the Redmi 9 Prime are among the best available right now. 

Realme Narzo 20A Specifications
Display 6.5-inch HD+ LCD
Processor Snapdragon 665
Camera 12MP + 2MP + 2MP

8MP selfie shooter

Battery 5,000mAh (10W)

Pros: Reliable Snapdragon chip, great battery life

Cons: Low storage and RAM, low-res display, no ultrawide lens  

Realme C15 (3GB + 32GB) – Rs 9,800

If you value battery life overall else than the Realme C15 should be on the top of your list. It has a massive 6,000mAh battery, the best in the category powering a very efficient 6.5-inch HD+ display. You also get a bundled 18W fast charger as a bonus. With such specifications, this should easily last you a day, even two for casual users. 

However, you’ll have to settle for a slower processor with the MediaTek Helio G35 powering the Realme C15. It is the same CPU as the Redmi 9, but it isn’t as snappy as the above-mentioned models, and you will still be able to do some casual gaming as well but only with lowered graphics settings. The Realme C15 has a 13MP primary camera along with an 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera, a 2MP monochrome camera, and a 2MP retro lens. It has an 8MP selfie shooter. 

Realme C15 Specifications
Display 6.5-inch HD+ LCD
Processor MediaTek Helio G35
Camera 13MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP

13MP selfie shooter

Battery 6,000mAh (18W)

Pros: Huge battery, fast charging

Cons: Slower processor

Motorola G9 (4GB + 64GB) – Rs 9,999

The Motorola G9 in this list is for users who value a bloat-free stock Android experience over everything else with no headache of ads plaguing the UI. Despite that, you will get Android 9 Pie which isn’t ideal considering everything on this list has Android 10. That’s not all, the Motorola G9 can, more or less, match the performance of the Realme Narzo 20A with its Snapdragon 662 SoC. It has a 6.5-inch LCD with HD+ resolution and a tall 20:9 aspect ratio.  

Moreover, it has a triple camera setup consisting of a 48MP primary sensor with an f/1.7 aperture, a 2MP macro camera, and a 2MP depth sensor. It misses an ultra-wide lens though. It does have a decent-sized 5,000mAh battery. 

Motorola G9 Specifications
Display 6.5-inch HD+ LCD
Processor Snapdragon 662
Camera 48MP + 2MP + 2MP

8MP selfie shooter

Battery 5,000mAh (20W)

Pros: Stock Android, good 48MP main camera, fast charging

Cons: Android 9, no ultrawide lens

Vivo U10 (3GB + 32GB) – Rs 9,990

The Vivo U10 is another great offering because it also offers a powerful Snapdragon 665 SoC, thanks to fast 2.0GHz performance cores and an Adreno 610 GPU. It has a 6.35-inch IPS LCD panel and a large 5000mAh battery (with an 18W fast charger) helps keep the lights on. Its triple camera setup is similar to the Narzo 20A as it offers a 13MP main shooter, an 8MP ultrawide sensor, and a 2MP depth sensor. 

It must be noted here that none of these top phones offers 4GB RAM + 64GB storage along with Full-HD+ resolution except for the Redmi 9 Prime. 

Vivo U10 Specifications
Display 6.35-inch HD+ LCD
Processor Snapdragon 665
Camera 13MP + 8MP + 2MP

8MP selfie shooter

Battery 5,000mAh (18W)

Pros: Attractive gradient design, good storage

Cons: Older model

Samsung Galaxy M11 (3GB + 32GB) – Rs 9,999

The Galaxy M11 isn’t one of the ideal choices here, however, for people that like to choose an established brand, the Galaxy M11 is one possible offering. It has a Snapdragon 450 12nm SoC which is a pretty barebones CPU running at 1.8GHz. You can’t expect it to do much more than casual stuff and very light gaming. 

Rest of the spec-sheet is decent and on par with other offerings in the range. The Galaxy M11 offers a 13MP main camera along with a 5MP ultrawide lens and an 8MP selfie shooter, and it is powered by a 5,000mAh battery.  You also get a hole-punch 6.4-inch HD+ display that isn’t on any other models in the list. And there’s also OneUI 2.0 that comes free of ad-ware and bloat.  

Samsung Galaxy M11 Specifications
Display 6.4-inch HD+ LCD
Processor Snapdragon 450
Camera 13MP + 5MP + 2MP

8MP selfie shooter

Battery 5,000mAh (15W)

Pros: Hole-Punch display, One UI, good battery

Cons: Old model, slow processor

Galaxy M01 (3GB + 32GB) – Rs 7,499

The Galaxy M01 is the cheaper route for those looking to buy a Samsung phone. It costs less than Rs 8,000. However, to get that price, there are trade-offs obviously. For one, the CPU is an old entry-level Snapdragon 439 SoC which is far from the ideal options mentioned here, in terms of performance.   

Other hardware components include a 13MP + 2MP camera combo, a 4,000mAh battery, and Android 10 running on One UI 2.0. Do note that this should be the last option on the list for buyers looking to scoop a value-for-money phone.

Samsung Galaxy M11 Specifications
Display 5.7-inch HD+ TFT
Processor Snapdragon 439
Camera 13MP + 2MP

5MP selfie shooter

Battery 4,000mAh

Pros: Cheap, One UI 2.0, TFT display

Cons: Old processor, not very attractive, small battery 

Redmi 9A (2GB + 32GB) – Rs 6,999

The Redmi 9A comes from the same Redmi family as the Redmi 9 Prime, however, it is the most affordable and timid phones of the series. For those on a tight budget, it comes with a MediaTek Helio G25 SoC, a 6.5-inch IPS HD display, a 13MP rear camera, and a 5,000mAh battery. 

If you really want to save some bucks then the 2GB + 32GB model costs Rs 6,999. Other options that offer some savings are also below. 

Redmi 9A Specifications
Display 6.5-inch HD+ LCD
Processor MediaTek Helio G25 SoC
Camera 13MP

5MP selfie shooter

Battery 5,000mAh (10W)

Pros: Very affordable, big display, big battery

Cons: Low storage and RAM, MIUI, weak camera

Poco C3 (3GB + 32GB) – Rs 8,150

The Poco C3 is one of Poco’s newest and most affordable phones. Having a MediaTek Helio G35 SoC it is somewhat better than the Redmi 9A. However, in any case, don’t expect to do more than casual day-to-day stuff and light gaming on any of these phones. 

The Poco C3 also has a 6.4-inch HD+ LCD powered by a 5,000mAh battery and a 13MP main camera along with a 5MP selfie shooter. Consider this phone only if you want to save money. 

Poco C3 Specifications
Display 6.4-inch HD+ LCD
Processor MediaTek Helio G35 SoC
Camera 13MP + 2MP + 2MP

5MP selfie shooter

Battery 5,000mAh (10W)

Pros: Decent overall phone, good battery life

Cons: Low storage, no fast charging, no ultrawide lens

Realme C3 (3GB + 32GB) – Rs 8,640

The Realme C3 would be our pick for a budget phone if you want to save money doing it. It costs Rs 8,640 on Amazon. It’s not the best on this list, but for the price, it has a processor known for its gaming prowess. This is something that you won’t get on other similar priced phones such as the Poco C3 or Redmi 9A. 

Besides, it matches other specifications of its competitors such as a 5,000mAh battery, a 12MP main camera, and a 6.5-inch HD+ screen. 

Realme C3 Specifications
Display 6.5-inch HD+ LCD
Processor MediaTek Helio G70 SoC
Camera 12MP + 2MP

5MP selfie shooter

Battery 5,000mAh (10W)

Pros: Good processor, relatively cheaper

Cons: Low  storage, no fast charging, no ultrawide lens

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