Best Smartphones under 15000 in May (Updated) – Reviews and Buyers Guide

1. Honor Play2. Mi A23. Samsung M30





Smartphones are becoming an increasingly important part of our daily lives now, from helping us stay in touch with our loved ones to being able to capture those precious moments of life.

This is why selecting a good smartphone that can cover all your needs is very important.

Finding the best smartphone under 15000 can be a daunting task with all the various options and hundreds of models on the market these days.


Best Phones under 15000 – What to Expect?

Here at NIDM, we are going to simplify various aspects of a smartphone like the camera, the battery, the software, etc.

This will help you gain a clear understanding of what to expect and what you must look out for when buying the best smartphone under 15000. Let’s start with the key aspects of a smartphone.

1) Display

Ideal display specifications

The first thing that we see when we pick up a smartphone is its screen and that is our window into everything that we can do on our smartphones.

Being one of the most important parts of the phone, it is important to know which screen type and quality you should look for when buying the best phone under 15,000.

There are many popular types of screens like the traditional LCD panels or TFT panels which offer good quality at a lower price compared to the OLED or AMOLED panels.

AMOLED panels while being more expensive offer much deeper blacks when compared to LCD.

Because AMOLED panels are more expensive to manufacture, currently IPS LCD panels are used on smartphones in the 10,000 – 15,000 price range, designed to offer good viewing angles and quality. Which means that, while you are looking for the best mobile phone under 15000 with a good display, it is fair to expect an IPS LCD panels. 

Another important part is the screen resolution. While the screen type would decide the overall quality, things like the sharpness of text and other objects on the screen depending on the screen resolution.

A higher resolution means sharper, clearer text which is why a screen with 1080P resolution or higher is the best choice in this range as it offers the best visual quality compared to lower 720P screens.

2) Protection

Ideal protection

Smartphones are fragile pieces of technology. Being dropped from a height or falling into water can mean the destruction of your smartphone if you are not careful. When you are spending 15K on a phone, we advise you to look into this aspect closely. 

Manufacturers always try to improve the durability of a smartphone by offering protection like Corning® Gorilla® Glass that is resistant to scratches or an IP rating that certifies if the phone will be able to survive being dropped into water.

While these are great benefits, they are often not present in budget phones which is why one must invest in a good case and a screen protector to prevent scratches and keep the device away from water.

The build material of the mobile phone also plays a key role in the overall quality and cost.

Plastic is cheapest to manufacture while glass and aluminum offers a more premium feel and look to the device. It is to be noted that 50% of the phones under 15000 come with a plastic body. This is done in order to bring down the overall cost of the device.

3) Camera

Ideal camera setup

Camera technology has been increasingly getting better in smartphones. We have seen a massive improvement, especially in the budget sector when compared to the quality seen in smartphones a few years back.

These days, manufacturers have been providing good cameras ranging from 12MP to 21MP or more while having a secondary camera dedicated to one special feature such as portrait mode, low lighting, wide-angle shots, etc.

The front camera also ranges from 8MP to 21MP and can include features like AI Face Unlock or a front flash for selfie lovers.

Some cameras also provide additional features like support for 4K video recording or Optical Image Stabilisation to provide more stable videos but this is generally available only on higher-end models.

While the quality won’t be close to what you can expect from a professional camera or a flagship level device you can still get good quality photos from most smartphones in 15K as long as there is sufficient light in the scene. So depending on what you will use the camera for, go for the best smartphone under 15000 with a good camera. 

4) Processor (System on a chip – SoC)

Ideal processor setup

At the heart of everything you do on a smartphone lies the Processor (CPU) which is responsible to keep the smartphone running and is a deciding factor in how fast your smartphone operates.

There are many processor manufacturers and series such as Qualcomm Snapdragon, Kirin or MediaTek.

How many cores a processor has and the speed at which those cores are clocked at the result in how fast the processor runs.

Most smartphones in 2020 have octa-core (8 core) processors that can easily handle most tasks relatively quickly, so a smartphone in the 10-15k range will be able to handle most apps with ease.

Slowdowns will still occur if you try to multitask through multiple apps at once or try to play highly intensive games.

5) RAM & GPU

Ideal RAM and GPU setup

While the processor is extremely important in how well your phone performs it cannot do its job properly without a sufficient amount of RAM.

The RAM or Random-Access Memory which is where the phone stores information that it needs quickly.

At least 4GB RAM is standard for smartphones in 15,000 and this is a sufficient amount to run most apps in 2020 and allow you to multitask through a few apps with relative ease.

The graphics are handled by the GPU or the Graphics Processing Unit alongside the main CPU so this plays a very important role in how well games or other 3D applications run on your device.

Gaming is handled by GPUs like Adreno, MALI, PowerVR, etc.

Most games will run well on smartphones under 15,000, even intensive games on low-medium graphic settings, as long as you don’t try to play highly intensive 3D games like PubG Mobile on very high settings.

6) Storage

Ideal storage capacity

It is important to first consider the amount of storage you may need on your smartphone and then go for a higher amount especially if the device does not have a microSD card slot.

Since apps and other content that you wish to have on your smartphone are always getting increasingly larger in size, going with a higher capacity device will save you from the dreaded low storage warnings.

Currently, at least 32GB of internal storage should be considered as a minimum for most apps and other media.

It is also important to remember that your phone’s Operating System would use some of this space right out of the box.

Some models offer 64GB or more storage variants as well and if you like to store a lot of photos, music, etc. on your device then you should consider choosing a device that also has a microSD slot.

Because microSD cards have been getting cheaper and offering more capacity for less price it makes them a better more affordable way to get more storage on your phone. If you smart enough in managing the storage of your photos and files using cloud and other services, you can opt for a 32GB device.

7) Battery

Ideal battery capacity

We all want to use our smartphones as long as we can without having to charge it again and again throughout the day and no one likes the low battery warning.

While smartphones have been getting increasingly fast, this also has the side effect of requiring more power. Thus, selecting a smartphone with good battery capacity is very important.

The battery capacity of at least 3000mAh or more would ensure that the phone will last through a normal workday without having to charge it again before the day ends. But then, it depends on the apps and features you use on the phone.

There are also two types of batteries which are commonly used: Li-Ion and Li-Polymer.

The battery capacity is generally more important than the battery type as both Li-Ion and Li-Polymer perform well. Li-Ion batteries have a higher energy density and cost less while Li-Polymer batteries are lightweight but cost 30% higher on average.

8) Ports & Wireless Communication

Ideal ports and wireless

Most smartphones come with all the basic ports and wireless antennas that you will require, but there are some extra features such as wireless charging, NFC, etc. that are usually only available in high-end smartphones.

Type-C ports which are reversible and allows you to connect the plug to your smartphone either way are also getting increasingly popular on smartphones and other devices.

While limited to only high-end smartphones a few years back, these new ports now commonly available on the best smartphones under 15,000.

One thing to watch out for is the lack of the 3.5mm headphone jack that has unfortunately become quite common nowadays.

If that is the case then you would have to use a 3.5mm to Type-C adapter to listen using your wired headphones.

Some devices, however, still do offer the headphone jack alongside the new Type-C port.

9) Speakers & Sensors

Ideal speakers and sensors

Something that’s not taken into consideration often when buying a new smartphone is the quality of its speakers and the sensors that it has.

Having decently loud speaker on your smartphone not only helps give a better experience when consuming media like for example, watching a YouTube video.

The loudspeakers will also help in hearing your phone ring when you are in a loud environment like being near a road with heavy traffic.

Sensors also play a key role in features such as turning off your phone’s screen when you put it to your ear, the light sensor that can match your screen brightness to the environment, etc.

The accelerometer and gyro sensor are responsible for making motion controls in games possible and the compass can help you find directions and aids your phone’s GPS system.

There are also specialized sensors such as the fingerprint sensor or face unlock.

The fingerprint sensor, proximity sensor and the accelerometer are the minimum essential sensors that you should expect when looking for the best smartphones under 15,000.

10) Software

Ideal software setup

The software and hardware can be seen as two sides of the same coin when it comes to getting a good experience of using your smartphone.

While all smartphones in 2020 besides iPhones are running Android, it is important to know which version of Android a smartphone has and which Custom UI the manufacturer has added on top of it.

A Custom UI is like a set of additional features, improvements and changes done by the manufacturer to give a more unique Android experience to the user.

Most common Custom UIs are MIUI from Xiaomi, Samsung Experience or ONE UI from Samsung, EMUI from Huawei or Honor, ColorOS from Realme and more.

Some devices also come with Stock Android or are part of the Android One program which aims to offer the simplest Android experience possible.

If you are looking to get the easiest experience without any unnecessary additional features or unnecessary apps pre-installed then Android One devices are your best choice.

However, if you love extra features and don’t mind the occasional slow down here and there then Custom UIs like MIUI offer many great features.

Now that you are aware of all the various aspects of a smartphone, we have specially curated a list of the best 10 smartphones under 15,000 in 2020 to help you choose the device that suits you best.

Top 10 Best Smartphones Under 15000 in India (Updated May)

1. Honor Play 4+64GB

Honor PlayHonor Play specifications

The Honor Play offers one of the best price-to-performance ratios in the market right now.

The device comes packed with a Kirin 970 Processor that offers flagship grade performance, this makes the device not only great for most apps but also for gaming and other intensive tasks.

The graphics are handled by the MALI-G72 MP12 GPU with support for Honor’s GPU Turbo 2.0 available through a software update.

The device also features a decent camera with a 16+2MP dual rear camera setup that offers features like scene recognition and a 16MP front camera.

The screen is an IPS LCD display that has a resolution of 2340×1080 pixels with a size of 6.3 inches and a decently sized iPhone X style notch with an 80%+ screen-to-body ratio and 409 ppi density.

It comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB Storage that is expandable with a MicroSD slot and also has a 6GB RAM variant with the same storage amount.

The device comes with Honor’s EMUI and launched with Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box but has been updated to EMUI 9.0 based on Android 9.0 Pie.

There is a Type-C connector at the bottom and also a 3.5mm headphone jack so you will not need an adapter when listening to your favorite music using a pair of wired headphones.

The fingerprint sensor is rear-mounted and the device offers most of the essential sensors such as the accelerometer, gyro, proximity and compass.

A 3750 mAH non-removable lithium-polymer battery offers good capacity and is responsible to power up the Honor Play and this ensures that you get a good battery life that can last through a day.


2. Mi A2 4+64GBMi A2

Mi A2 specifications

A key feature of the Mi A2 from Xiaomi is the software experience.

Being part of the Android One program from Google, this device offers a clean stock experience that is free from any bloatware and unneeded features are commonly seen on Custom UIs like MIUI.

Xiaomi has also been providing the device with monthly security updates as of May 2020 and the device has also received the Android 9.0 pie update.

The design of this device may look dated for some, with its slim bezels on top and bottom but no notch and screen is 5.99inch in size with 2160×1080 resolution.

The body of this device however, is constructed with aluminum which gives the phone a solid and premium feel.

Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor and the Adreno 512 GPU, the device offers good performance for most apps or games; and with the stock Android experience, the device remains smooth and snappy.

The battery is on the smaller side with only a 3010 mAh lithium-ion non-removable unit but the device manages to last through a single day of normal use.

The Mi A2 offers a strong camera experience with its 12+20MP Dual rear cameras and a 20MP front-facing camera that also has a front facing flash.

The device has a Type-C port at the bottom but lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack which can be a big drawback for some.

However, an adapter is included inside the box if you want to connect wired earphones or headphones to the device.

This is a device for the software experience first, the specs second. But with the SD660 and 4GB of RAM, the device manages to perform fast for most tasks.

This leaves the only main drawbacks being the dated design and the lack of the headphone jack. 


3. Samsung Galaxy M30 4+64GB

Samsung Galaxy M30

Samsung Galaxy M30 specifications

The Galaxy M30 is the more premium sibling in Samsung’s new lineup of M series of smartphones aimed the young generation.

The device sports a large Super AMOLED 6.4inch screen with a resolution of 2340×1080.

Samsung has done a great job by offering a small notch at the top of the screen which does not take up too much space.

Samsung is great at making AMOLED displays and this shows in the deep dark blacks that the M30 can achieve.

The M30 is powered by an Exynos 7904 which is a Samsung made processor, offering good performance for most use scenarios and even some gaming.

This processor however is somewhat slower when compared to the likes of the Snapdragon 660 or the flagship grade Kirin 970.

The device comes with Samsung Experience as its UI based on Android 8.1 Oreo and offers a decent user experience with some added features from Samsung.

Launching with Android 8.1 Oreo in 2020, however, is a big disappointment but Samsung promises updates in the future.

The rear of the device sports a triple camera setup (13MP+5MP ultrawide+5MP depth sensor) and a 16MP selfie camera in the front but no front flash.

Overall Samsung has done a great job with the camera system on this device.

The Li-Po nonremovable battery has a huge 5000 mAh capacity to easily last you through the day and as an added tip: using a black wallpaper on an AMOLED screen can improve the battery life even more.

The device has a Type C connector on the bottom and also retains the 3.5mm headphone jack with Dolby Atmos sound support.


4. Realme U1 4+64GB

Realme U1

Realme U1 specifications

The Realme U1 is a great choice for all the selfie lovers out there with its impressive 25MP AI selfie camera built on Sony’s flagship grade IMX 576 sensor.

The rear cameras do disappoint somewhat with only a 13MP+2MP setup but there is still support for portrait lighting, bokeh effect, etc.

The device sports a 6.3inch LTPS IPS display and a resolution of 2340×1080 with Gorilla Glass 3.

The performance is quick and snappy with the fairly powerful MediaTek Helio P70 Octa Core GPU on board and the Mali-G72 GPU.

The software experience can be improved in future updates as the device launches with Android 8.1 Oreo based on Color OS 5.2.

While ColorOS offers many features, it is nowhere near as polished as Stock Android or even MIUI with some changes that are counterintuitive to the user experience.

The non-removable battery has a good 3500mAH capacity which should offer good results.

The phone covers most of the necessary sensors but has an older version of Bluetooth 4.2 instead of 5.0.

While there is a headphone jack here, we are disappointed to see that Realme opted for an older micro USB 2.0 port instead of providing Type C.

The device offers 4GB of RAM with 64GB Storage but also offers a cheaper variant that has 3GB of RAM and 32GB of Storage with support to expand the storage through a microSD card slot.

This is a fairly well-balanced device with most of the features you will need, however, Realme seriously needs to work on improving ColorOS.


5. Huawei Y9 2020 4+64GB

Huawei Y9 2019Huawei Y9 2019 specifications

The Huawei Y9 2020 tries to tick all the boxes on what makes a good smartphone and actually does manage to cover most of it.

The Kirin 710 powering the device is a powerful processor although it is not on the same level as its bigger brother the Kirin 970.

The device handles most tasks easily and comes with a large 6.5inch IPS LCD 1080P display with a 19.5:9 ratio.

The bezels are also slim and the device has an 80%+ screen to body ratio.

The device has a strong suit of sensors including the fingerprint sensor at the back, the gyro and also the compass sensor.

Huawei has gone with a large 4000mAH non-removable battery that will easily last you throughout the day.

Bluetooth 5.0 is present and so is the 3.5mm headphone jack, there’s even a microSD slot for expandable storage so we were quite disappointed to see a micro USB 2.0 port instead of Type-C in a device that is otherwise a complete package.

Huawei offers dual cameras on the back (13MP + 2MP depth sensor) and also dual cameras on the front (16MP + 2MP depth sensor) with support for HDR and video recording 1080p at 30fps.

EMUI offers a decent experience but Huawei can do some improvements and tone down some unnecessary features to give a cleaner and smoother experience.


6. Samsung Galaxy A30 4+64GB

Samsung Galaxy A30

Samsung Galaxy A30 specifications

The Galaxy A30 rocks an impressive Super AMOLED panel with a 1080p resolution and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection.

The Infinity U style display notch that does not take up a lot of space on top of the screen.

The Exynos 7904 inside the Galaxy A30 commonly seen in other Samsung’s mid-range devices as well.

This processor manages to offer good performance although it is slower than some of the competing devices in a similar price range.

The rear shows the dual camera setup with a 16MP main camera and a secondary 5MP ultra-wide shooter, although we wish Samsung would have offered another depth sensor like in their triple camera setups.

The front sports a 16MP selfie camera and no front flash which is a reasonable tradeoff for the smaller notch on the screen.

The device while offering Gorilla Glass 3 is still made of plastic for the rest of the body but manages to provide a solid feel in the hand.

A rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, accelerometer, proximity and also a compass sensor is present here along with Bluetooth 5.0 and FM Radio.

Samsung has kept the 3.5mm headphone jack while providing a Type C port on the bottom.

The battery is an impressive 4000 mAh non-removable Li-Po unit which should power through the day with ease.

Samsung Experience powers the software experience and the device is based on Android 9.0 Pie.

If 64GB storage becomes low for you then you have the option to expand it with the dedicated microSD card slot.

While the device does not have a battery capacity as big as Samsung’s other offering, the M30, it packs in a better rear camera setup which would be more important if you love taking photos.


7. Samsung Galaxy M20 4+64GB

Samsung Galaxy M20Samsung Galaxy M20 specifications

The M20 is the more affordable version of the Galaxy M30 and while it is based on the same Exynos 7904 as Samsung’s other mid-rangers.

There are also some tradeoffs done by Samsung in the process of making the device cheaper.

The 6.3inch PLS TFT display covers all the standard requirements such as the 1080×2340 resolution to the 80%+ ratio and the notch remains small.

However, Samsung opting for a TFT panel instead of AMOLED makes it very clear where the cost-cutting was done to make the device more affordable.

The device comes in two variants: 4GB+64GB or an even cheaper 3GB+32GB, although we recommend the 4GB variant.

There is a decent camera setup with a 13MP main camera and a useful 5MP ultrawide secondary option.

The front has an 8MP camera which, while not the most impressive selfie camera that we have seen, still does the job well for most use cases.

Another advantage to the selfie camera is that it is a wide lens that allows you to get more of the surrounding or people in the shot like when taking a group photo.

We are happy to see that Samsung did not cut down the Type-C port, Bluetooth 5.0 or the headphone jack and the battery also is a huge 5000mAh Li-Po non-removable unit.

The sensors also cover all the basics and then some more like the compass and the fingerprint sensor at back.

The M20 cuts down on some of the features that are offered by its more premium siblings, but it does not cut down on any essential features which makes it a good less expensive choice.

That is as long as the TFT panel instead of AMOLED is not a big issue for you.


8. Honor 8X 6+64GB

Honor 8X specifications

The Honor 8X offers one of the highest RAM capacities in this list with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of Storage, making it a great device for multitasking.

The device also offers a 6.5inch LTPS IPS LCD Display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 to ensure that you can multitask with ease.

Powering the device is the Kirin 710 octa-core processor that will handle most of the tasks you throw at it without any major slowdowns or lag.

The rear camera sports an impressive 20MP wide lens and a 2MP secondary depth sensor, with the front sporting a single 16MP wide lens.

The device is sandwiched with glass on the front and back, and the frame is made from aluminum, giving the device a premium feel.

The device has most of the essential sensors but has an older Bluetooth version (4.2 not 5.0) and there is also only a micro USB 2.0 port and not Type-C.

The battery is a decent 3750 mAH Li-Po non-removable unit offers decent battery life. However, a 4000mAH capacity would have been better here considering the lack of Type C.

The device launched with EMUI based on Android 8.1 Oreo but Honor has updated the 8X to EMUI 9.0 that is based on Android 9 pie.

Alongside the 64GB of storage the device also has a microSD card slot so you can expand your storage capacity anytime you want with ease.

With protection like Gorilla Glass 3 and the aluminum and glass combination, this device feels great in hand but we wish Honor would have opted for a Type C port for especially a smartphone in 2020.


9. Nokia 6.1 Plus 4+64GB

Nokia 6.1 Plus

Nokia 6.1 Plus specifications

Nokia once was one of the most trusted brands for mobile phones in India but they couldn’t keep up with the competition from android devices from brands like Samsung, Xiaomi, etc.

The New Nokia aims to make a comeback with a new lineup of Android smartphones under 15000 and the 6.1 Plus lives up to our build quality expectations with its glass and aluminum combo.

The glass on the front is Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and the frame is made up of aluminum, giving the device a sturdy in hand feel.

The display is on the smaller side when compared to other smartphones in this list with its 5.8inch 1080×2280 19:9 IPS LCD screen and an 80%+ aspect ratio.

While the notch isn’t as small as the ones on devices like the Galaxy M30, it still manages to be slim and not distracting while the phone is in use.

The device also is a part of the Android One program, giving us a clean stock like user experience and Nokia has been updating their devices in a timely manner with the Nokia 6.1 Plus getting the Android Pie update.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 is not as powerful as the 660 found on the Mi A2 which is also an Android One device but it is still a fairly capable processor for most tasks.

The cameras offer a 16MP + 5MP depth sensor on the back with dual led dual one flash and can record 2160p video at 30fps with Gyro-EIS.

The front camera is a 16MP unit that offers good quality images so selfie lovers will not be disappointed.

The Nokia 6.1 Plus has a type c port and also offers a 3.5mm headphone jack for everyone who uses wired earphones and covers all the essential sensors and the fingerprint reader at the back.

The battery is a non-removable 3060 mAh Li-Ion Unit which is on the smaller side but manages to give a decent battery life on normal use.


10. Motorola G7 Power 4+64GB

Motorola G7 Power

Motorola G7 Power specifications

The Moto G7 Power aims to do one thing best that is to offer the longest battery life possible with its giant 5000mAH capacity. With this spec, it has emerged to be the best smartphone under 15000 with good battery backup.

The G7 Power is made up of glass in the front (Gorilla Glass 3) and a plastic body which makes the device feel cheap in an age of smartphones with glass and metal construction.

Motorola also has done major tradeoffs to get the maximum battery life possible by opting for a low resolution 720p 6.2inch LTPS IPS screen.

The device also runs on a lower powered Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 when compared to the competition.

The cameras also don’t impress with a single 12MP shooter at the back and an 8MP shooter in the front.

The software experience is close to stock with a few features added by Motorola and the device runs the latest Android 9.0 Pie update.

You also get Type C, a 3.5mm headphone jack, most of the necessary sensors and also FM Radio but the device has the older Bluetooth 4.2 version.

The device offers 4GB RAM and 64GB Storage which, when coupled with the lower resolution screen, means the SD632 keeps the device running snappy.

With all the tradeoffs taken into consideration like the 720p screen on a mid-range device in 2020, it is clear that this is a phone aimed only at people who need the most extreme battery life.

That is of course, as long as you don’t mind sacrificing a better screen, better performance and build quality in the process.


Best Budget Smartphone under 15000 – What’s Your Pick?

With all the various choices available, which smartphone is best for you depends on your needs, your budget and the expectations you have from a smartphone.

Choosing to buy a smartphone in the mid-range at 10000-15000 will offer you with most of the modern features that you can expect from a new smartphone while cutting down on some extra features to keep the costs low and affordable.

Our guide has covered the 10 key aspects that you should keep in mind when deciding which smartphone to will be the best choice for you.

While mostly all smartphones in this price range will offer you with a good experience, some devices focus more on offering an overall value for your money while others aim at specializing in a key feature like battery life or camera.

Following our guide and choosing from our top 10 devices will help you in picking the best smartphone for you.

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