Best Budget Smartphones of April 2017
Best Budget Smartphones of April 2017

Since the launch of the original MOTO G by Motorola in 2013 there is no excuse for a sub-standard budget smartphone now, the handset rewrote the principles for its segment and raised the standard of expectations. This was followed by Chinese companies like Xiaomi, OPPO, Vivo, Huawei and OnePlus aggressively expanding out of the subcontinent. Now four years later, Motorola has changed hands, the Nexus line has been put on hold by Google but the budget segment has continued to thrive and throw up some of the best options for users out there.

Best Budget Smartphones of April 2017

1Moto G5 Plus

The MOTO G5 Plus

Motorola now under Lenovo’s banner has released the fifth iteration of its MOTO G series smartphone. The brand that started the budget smartphone craze with respectable specifications, stock as can be flavour of Android and great UI now updated. It comes with the following specifications,

ProcessorQualcomm SD 625 (14 nm) octa-core @2.0GHz and Adreno 506 GPU
Memory and storage3 GB / 4 GB RAM with 16 GB / 32 GB memory, expandable via microSD
CameraRear: 12 megapixel, f/1.7, PDAF support, dual-LED flash, face-detection and Auto-HDR, full-HD video recording @30fps

Selfie: 5 megapixel, f/2.2, face-detection

Battery3000mAH Li-Ion (non-removable)
Display5.2-inch full-HD (1080 x1920) IPS display, 16 million colours
AndroidStock v.7.0 Nougat with a few MOTO apps
MiscellaneousBluetooth v4.2, GPS, 4G VoLTE, NFC

The smartphone carries an impressive spec-sheet with a close to stock flavour of Android. Currently exclusive to flipkart, you can only pick up the 4 GB variant as of now.

Find out how you can make this device even more awesome by following our how to unlock its bootloader. Although the device is wonderful and flipkart even claims it to be the fastest selling device in its segment, some might find it a bit too expensive at ~16,999/- asking price which rolls neatly onto our follow on devices…

2Huawei Honor 6X

Honor 6X

 

Huawei is a well known Chinese OEM which really got into the limelight when it designed and produced the last flagship Nexus, the 6X. It is a popular brand in its home-country China and manufactures its own line of System-on-chip designs called Kirin.

The Honore 6X is a budget smartphone by the Chinese company to compete in the sub-20,000 category, it features a good mix of hardware and software which are,

ProcessorHi Silicon Kirin 655 octa-core up-to 2.1GHz and Mali-T830MP2 GPU 
Memory and storage3 GB / 4 GB RAM with 32 GB / 64 GB memory, expandable via microSD
CameraRear: 12 megapixel + 2 megapixel dual camera, PDAF support, LED flash, face-detection and Auto-HDR, panorama full-HD video recording @30fps

Selfie: 8 megapixel full-HD capable sensor

Battery3340mAH Li-poly (non-removable)
Display5.5-inch full-HD (1080 x1920) LTPS IPS display, 16 million colours
AndroidEmotion UI skinned v.6.x, Marshmallow, promised update to v.7.0, Nougat
MiscellaneousBluetooth v4.1, GPS, DTS Audio, 4G VoLTE

The Huawei Honor 6X

The phone is available exclusively via Amazon India. The hardware is right up there to go toe-to-toe with the more expensive MOTO G5 Plus but the phone falls behind in the software department running an older flavour of Android under a skin.

Priced cheaper though and with a superior battery size and screen size, the phone is definitely worth considering. For a complete low down on the device, check our review here.

3Xiaomi Redmi Note 4

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4

Xiaomi was one of the original Chinese OEM’s that made the jump early into the Indian market. This has not only made the brand recognisable but has allowed them to corner a significant market share. So it is no surprise that their latest budget phablet device had to make the cut.

ProcessorQualcomm SD 625 (14 nm) octa-core @2.0GHz and Adreno 506 GPU
Memory and storage2 GB or 3 GB / 4 GB RAM with 32 GB / 64 GB memory respectively, expandable via microSD
Camera

Rear: 13 megapixel, f/2.0, PDAF support, dual-LED flash, face-detection, Auto-HDR, panorama and full-HD video recording @30fps or HD recording @120fps

Selfie: 5 megapixel full-HD capable sensor, f/2.0

Battery4100mAH Li-poly (non-removable)
Display5.5-inch full-HD (1080 x1920) IPS display, 16 million colours
AndroidMIUI skinned v.6.x, Marshmallow
MiscellaneousBluetooth v4.1, GPS, 4G VoLTE

The Xiaomi Note 4 starts at ~₹9,999 for its base 2 GB / 32 GB variant. It is an impressive device in its own right, with a brilliant display and an almost inexhaustible battery reserve. The only catch with the device being, availability.

Since starting out, Xiaomi has stuck with a flash sale model which makes acquiring their devices a fair bit tedious and thus the Note 4 finds itself ranked middle of the pack. If you want to know more about the device, head over to our review of the same.

4OPPO A57

OPPO A57

OPPO is another of the massive players in the Chinese market that decided to diversify and enter the India market to. This was in a bid to improve their revenue sources and create a larger fanbase apart from the almost saturated Chinese market.

They initially had started out with the promise of releasing budget flagships but since have pivoted to a more camera focussed philosophy. The specifications of the A57 are as follows,

ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 435 @1.4GHz with Adreno 505 GPU
Memory and storage3 GB RAM with 32 GB memory
CameraRear: 13 megapixel, PDAF support, LED flash, face-detection and Auto-HDR, panorama and full-HD video recording @30fps

Selfie: 16 megapixel full-HD capable sensor, f/2.0

Battery2900 Li-Ion (non-removable)
Display5.2-inch HD (720 x1280) IPS display, 16 million colours
AndroidColour OS 3.0 skinned v.6.x, Marshmallow

As we can see, the OPPO phone dials down on the raw hardware specifications while going for the highest megapixel count in any of the selfie cameras till now. The OS is a bit dated along with a non full-HD display which has the advantage of being a 2.5D curved design.

But overall for an its asking price on Amazon India the phone should only interest those who want a phone for capturing selfies in a relatively fashionable chassis.

5Xiaomi Redmi 4A

The Xiaomi Redmi 4A

The final phone on our list is a rather new release once again by Xiaomi. The Redmi series of phones are Xiaomi’s most prolific SKU’s in the Indian market. Cheap, robust and superior to the competition in hardware. Let us find out what the 4A is packing in its petite chassis,

ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 425 octa-core @1.4GHz and Adreno 308 GPU
Memory and storage2 GB  RAM with 16 GB or 32 GB memory, expandable via microSD
Camera

Rear: 13 megapixel, f/2.2, PDAF support, LED flash, face-detection, Auto-HDR, panorama and full-HD video recording @30fps

Selfie: 5 megapixel, f/2.2

Battery3120 Li-Ion (non-removable)
Display5.0-inch HD (720 x1280) IPS display, 16 million colours
AndroidMIUI skinned v.6.x, Marshmallow
MiscellaneousBluetooth v4.1, GPS, 4G VoLTE

As we can see, the Xiaomi Redmi packs in the basest of the specifications but it should be more than capable of handling a first-time Android user or being used as a stand-by device. The phone also is one of the cheaper units with 4G VoLTE support making it adequate for Jio users.

We can also see how budget smartphone demographics have changed over the past few years, large, crisp, full-HD displays are pretty much the norm as are fingerprint scanners in all but the most frugal of devices. Most companies are releasing smartphones with relatively fresher flavours of Android and then maintaining the same. We can also note that companies are also tailoring their devices along specific segments such as selfie enthusiasts (OPPO), stock Android lovers (MOTO) and just overall good performers (Xiaomi).

Thus, to close this edition of the budget smartphone round up. There are many other worthy contenders that have not made the cut due to various reasons, none of them being that they are bad devices, just that now there are better options available in the same price-band with more up-to date hardware and software.

To round off the list, following is a grace list of budget smartphone’s in no specific order that did not make it to the list.

  • MOTO G4 Play
  • Samsung On7
  • MOTO E3 Power
  • Lenovo Vibe B
  • ASUS Zenfone Selfie

What do you think of this list, what would you have put in place of the devices, share with us in the comments below.

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Abhay Masand
Rationalist. Idealist. Cynic. Human. PC enthusiast and gamer. Can be found reading books, listening to casts and babbling. Runs on dopamine. I do the news, sometimes.

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