Those looking for the best balance of value and performance from a smartphone will find the sub-Rs. 25,000 segment attractive. It is one of the most interesting segments in 2022, mainly because the new launches in this segment have gotten the maximum number of new hardware features. There are phones with good low-light camera performance and optical image stabilisation (OIS). Designs have also been the main focus of this segment, but charging speeds have improved with some smartphones on our list offering 44W, 60W and even 120W chargers in the box.
The Motorola Edge 30 recently received a price cut and now makes it to this segment. Our recent addition to the list is the Moto G82 5G. It has an IP52-rated design and a camera that also features OIS. The Samsung Galaxy A52, recently got a price drop. The Realme 9 Pro+ is yet another power-packed smartphone which offers really good stereo speakers and a flagship-grade main camera.
Here are Gadgets 360's top picks of the best phones under Rs. 25,000 in India, in no particular order. We have reviewed all the phones on this list and have tested them in depth, including their raw performance, camera capabilities, software and ease of use, physical design, battery life, and charging speed. There's also the Xiaomi 11i 5G which we haven't tested, but is virtually identical to the 11i HyperCharge (Review), so it makes it onto our list because of its price.
|Phone under 25,000||Gadgets 360 rating (out of 10)||Price in India (as recommended)|
|Moto G82 5G||8||Rs. 21,499|
|Motorola Edge 30||8||Rs. 24,999|
|OnePlus Nord CE 2||8||Rs. 23,999|
|Realme 9 Pro+||9||Rs. 22,999|
|iQoo Z5||8||Rs. 23,990|
|Xiaomi 11i 5G||-||Rs. 24,999|
|Samsung Galaxy A52||8||Rs. 24,999|
Motorola's Moto G82 5G is the most expensive G-series smartphone you can buy. Fortunately, it also packs enough value which makes it a solid offering if you are willing to stretch your budget a little beyond Rs. 20,000. That additional Rs. 2,000 gets you a capable Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 SoC, a 120Hz high refresh rate display, a large 5,000mAh battery, and an IP52-rated design which can withstand splashes of water. Camera performance is also a strong-point with the G82 5G as its primary camera packs OIS, which is good for sharper low-light photos. Of course, the cherry on the icing is its near-stock Android 12 software which has just one preinstalled third-party app.
The Motorola Edge 30 is a very slim and light 5G smartphone that measures 6.79mm in thickness and weighs just 155g. Its lightweight design can be attributed to its polycarbonate frame and acrylic rear panel which feels quite premium and is also IP52-rated for dust and water resistance. Its 6.5-inch pOLED display offers a 144Hz refresh rate and this accompanied by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G+ SoC also makes it great for gaming. Its rear camera setup offers OIS on the primary camera and also gets you a 3X telephoto. Camera performance is quite good overall but battery life is a bit worrisome as it only lasts a day on a single charge.
The OnePlus Nord CE 2 is good update to the original and is basically a lower-priced Oppo Reno 7 5G (Review) without the spammy apps, which is not a bad deal. The Nord CE 2 offers a premium design, good performance, solid battery life, very fast charging, and decent cameras for still photography. Video recording is not its strongest suit, but other than that, it's hard to complain. OxygenOS remains one of the best Android skins and is one of the reasons that OnePlus smartphones are easy to use. While not everybody is in favour of Oppo's influence over the brand these days, the fact that OnePlus promises two years of Android updates even for its most affordable phone is even more of a reason to consider it.
If you're looking for a bonkers value-for-money offering under Rs. 25,000, it's really hard to beat the Realme 9 Pro+ at the moment. Besides having the expected features such as a current-gen 5G SoC, great display, and very fast charging, the 9 Pro+ is one of the very few (if not only) smartphones in this segment to have a flagship camera sensor (Sony IMX766) along with optical stabilisation. The result is fabulous-looking pictures and video when shooting during the day and at night. The only real annoyance, if you ask us, is that Realme UI ships with way too many apps, most of which you'll probably never use. On the whole, the Realme 9 Pro+ is a high-quality smartphone that's priced very aggressively.
The iQoo Z5's design is a slight improvement over that of its predecessor, making it more comfortable to hold and use. It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G SoC which performs very well in games and when multitasking. You get a 6.67-inch LCD panel with a 120Hz refresh rate as well as stereo speakers, which worked well both for watching movies and playing games. Camera performance is decent in daylight but not great in low light. Battery life is excellent and this phone supports 44W fast charging, which is fairly quick. The iQoo Z5 might not be a major improvement over the iQoo Z3, but it's still a decent step up and something you should consider.
The Xiaomi 11i 5G gets a special mention because even though we haven't reviewed it, we did review its nearly identical sibling, the 11i HyperCharge (Review). For all intents and purposes, both phones should be identical when it comes to software, general performance, gaming, and camera quality. The main difference lies in the fast charging speed: the standard 11i supports up to 67W fast charging, while the 11i HyperCharge supports 120W. Battery capacity is also slightly different but the company still promises good battery life. If you're okay with slightly ‘slower' charging, then at Rs. 24,999, the 11i packs in a lot of features for the price. There's a 108-megapixel main camera, 120Hz AMOLED display, stereo speakers, a powerful 5G SoC, and a classy design.
The Samsung Galaxy A52 has dropped in price which is why we've moved from our sub-Rs. 30,000 list to here. Samsung officially lists the 6GB variant for Rs. 24,999, but you can find it for lesser on platforms such as Amazon. The phone still looks youthful and, dare we say, fashionable. It also offers excellent features such as an IP67 rating, stereo speakers, and a 90Hz AMOLED display — a combination that's hard to come by in this segment. We found its overall performance to be solid, even though it uses a lower-tier Snapdragon 720G SoC. There's a bit of bloatware to deal with in OneUI, which we are not big fans of. The cameras, while solid during the day, tended to fall a bit short in low light. Barring these issues, the Galaxy A52 is still a compelling offering as you get a good set of features.