Buying a smartphone above 20k isn’t that cool anymore - Here’s why

Buying a smartphone above 20k isn’t that cool anymore – Here’s why

Everyday, millions of smartphones are sold in India. With the technology evolving almost every other day, majorly in the smartphone industry, it is very difficult to choose a smartphone that fits all your needs.

Because of such evolving technology, many features that were available in premium devices till 2018 are now available in devices priced below Rs. 20,000. You can get an AMOLED screen, 2018 flagship level processor, a 64 MP camera, all under Rs. 20,000, the only downside being that it is not available in a single device. You will have to buy different devices on the basis of the feature you want. Nonetheless, getting these features under 20k is in itself a great thing. This, on the other hand also shows that brands are now more customer-centric and are willing to provide the best of the products at the lowest prices possible. Let’s look at the various aspects of a smartphone that makes it a smartphone in actual.


One of the most important aspect of a smartphone is the processor. Back when smartphones were introduced, single core processors were there to do all the work which included basic tasks such as setting alarm as well as very resource hungry tasks such as playing 3d games. Since then, things have only gone crazier, from the time when we used to play Temple Run to now playing PUBG Mobile, everything has improved drastically. The processors have only become stronger than ever. Nowadays, if you are an avid gamer, then you can play all your favourite games in a smartphone priced at Rs. 15k i.e. the one and only Redmi Note 8 Pro. The processor in this device is very good and can suffice your gaming needs pretty easily. The Antutu benchmark score of Redmi Note 8 Pro is around 280k which is really high at this price as other phones at such price can offer you antutu benchmarks of upto 180k maximum that is, though high, still is lesser than Redmi Note 8 Pro’s score. Now, that ticks off our first criteria that proves that phones not even crossing Rs. 15k mark.


Camera is a department where many flagship devices race ahead of any other lower priced devices. Till date, cameras of Apple’s iPhones and Google’s Pixel devices are considered to be the best, mostly because of the software optimization. The fact that best cameras are available on flagship devices doesn’t mean that budget devices have shitty cameras. The best example for this is Redmi Note 7 Pro and OnePlus 7 Pro, both of these devices have the same Sony camera sensor i.e. IMX586 and funny thing is that Redmi Note 7 Pro comes at a price less than half of the Oneplus device having the same camera sensor. Also, with the likes of Realme X2 and Redmi Note 8 Pro, the image quality is even better with the new 64 MP named GW1, all at a price of less than Rs. 20,000. Along with these things, it is important to note that Megapixels are not the only thing to focus. It is important to know that lighting also matters as much as the camera, more of it is discussed in this article.


Display is also an important aspect which is often overlooked by casual users, however, people who are aware of the display quality take care of the same while buying a new smartphone. Coming from the times when displays were plain black and green, we have come a long way, displays on today’s smartphones are just a few steps behind the displays found on TVs in terms of quality. Smartphones nowadays come with IPS LCD as well as AMOLED displays. Out of the two mentioned, AMOLED displays are the superior ones as they use the latest technology that saves a huge amount of power by lighting up only those pixels that need to show colours. Getting such an awesome technology was only possible when you bought a high-end device a few years ago. This aspect of smartphone has also seen a similar fate as the above discussed ones. AMOLED displays is still the technology to beat in smartphone industry. When we talk of the budget smartphones, you can get an AMOLED display on a smartphone priced as low as Rs. 15,000. Below Rs. 20K, Samsung, Realme and Xiaomi provides 7-8 devices with AMOLED display which is simply amazing. Devices such as Realme X, Realme XT and Realme X2 has AMOLED displays, all below Rs. 20K, Moreover, Realme 6 has 90Hz display which gives a smoother viewing experience due to its higher framerate.

Quick Bits: Xiaomi’s sub-brand, POCO, just launched a new device named Poco X2 Pro with a 120Hz display at a price of Rs. 15,999! Within a span of 1 month of writing this article, 4 more smartphones have been launced within 20k i.e. Realme 6, Realme 6 Pro, Redmi Note 9 Pro, Redmi Note 9 Pro Max which further strengthen the reasons mentioned in this article.

Build and Design

Build and design is a very important aspect that must not be ignored as many people in our country give importance to it while buying a new smartphone, so much that they sometimes ignore the specs and buy a smartphone which looks good in their hand. Smartphones have not seen a radical change in design for a long time, we have been using the same candy bar shaped phones for the past 10 years. The latest change in design have been the foldable smartphones which still has a long way to go. Along with the design, the build of the device also matters a lot. Back in 2010, when iPhones were blooming, glass back was a thing we only got at a flagship price, even the competitor Samsung was not able to provide the same glass design even in it’s flagship devices. But things have changed now, you can easily get a smartphone with a glass back at a price as low as Rs. 10,000. Moreover so, there are devices with metal as well as plastic backs too. The one with plastic and glass backs come with various designs and patterns on the back giving the device a cooler look than a device with a simple and shiny back.


Battery is one department where flagships have almost always have been lagging behind irrespective of the brand of the flagship device. The budget devices have aced this department. Bigger batteries have always been the feature that people buying budget devices love more than the people buying flagship devices. While the Samsung flagship, i.e. Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, is stuck at 4100 mAH, budget phones of the same brand, i.e. Samsung M30s, has a mammoth battery of 6000 mAH at just Rs. 13,999. This clearly shows that the elite buyers of the brand do not care as much about the battery as the budget buyers do. So, in case you are looking for a smartphone that can last more than a day without any charge then going above 20k is not a very wise thing to do.

Audio experience

One thing that most of the budget phone still have and flagships often skip is the 3.5mm headphone jack. While Samsung has retained it in its latest flagship devices, Apple in its new iPhone 11 series and Oneplus in it Oneplus 7 series smartphones have omitted the same. This is not the case when it comes to budget devices, almost every device below Rs. 20k comes with a headphone jack except the Mi A2 which is fairly old now and has been replaced by Mi A3 which has the 3.5mm headphone jack as well as the AMOLED display as well as the 48MP camera which are features that have already been discussed above. The 3.5mm jack is considered so important because of it’s ability to provide a high quality audio experience than it’s wireless  counterparts. Even budget 3.5mm jack earphones can provide a pretty good audio experience as discussed here.

Concluding words

As you can see from the points discussed above, there are many boxes that budget smartphones tick off similar to the flagships. It seems that I have put my points fairly enough now. If you want a smartphone only for the features then there’s literally no point in spending more than Rs. 20K.

However, if you simply want a premium device and can actually spend lots of money on a smartphone then you can buy a flagship device which promises you a no compromise experience, except the features such as 3.5 mm headphone jack, bigger battery and a higher FPS display.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article. You can share your views and thoughts in the comments section below. I am always ready for a healthy discussion.

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