Have you ever felt like the world of smartphones has just become too… pricey? With bigwigs like Apple and Samsung constantly in the spotlight, it might feel like affordable is now a rare adjective in the smartphone dictionary — even in a budget-conscious smartphone market like India.
Well, not for long. We're here to shift gears and focus on India’s hidden gems: smartphones under a humble ₹5,000. Trust us; these budget heroes might just be the perfect secondary phone you’re looking to pick up just before the busy festival season.
Budget Wonders: A Read of the Market in India
Now, while we were swooning over swanky, high-end phones, brands were witnessing a triple-digit sales growth in handsets priced over ₹30,000 this June. But as Diwali's festive vibes start setting in, they're returning to their first love: affordable phones.
The cherry on this budget-friendly cake? Brands are racing to provide 5G support at a delicious ₹10,000-13,000 price range. Thanks to tech lords like Qualcomm and MediaTek who’ve decided to lower chipset prices now that their pockets are well-lined.
Why this budget race? Simple. Only a tiny 6% of India’s massive 200 million phone users have upgraded to 5G.
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That said, budget smartphones with good-old 4G support aren’t going away anytime soon and that’s great if you’re in the market for the basic smartphone. Basic 4G phones that have long been priced in the ₹6,000 – 8,000 price points are set to get cheaper as newer, budget 5G options begin flooding the market. So, if you’re one of those on the lookout for value-for-money in the tech maze or just someone not ready to burn a hole in their pocket, keep reading. We’re going treasure-hunting in the budget smartphone world!
Best Smartphones Under ₹5,000
The POCO C50 emerges as a promising contender in the entry-level smartphone category. Several reviews deem it an “excellent budget smartphone” tailored mainly for basic use. But what makes it tick?
- Affordability: With a price tag of just ₹5,000, it serves as a clear example of value for money.
- Great Battery life: With a beefy 5,000 mAh battery unit inside, the POCO C50 should easily provide you with enough juice to run through a busy day.
- Optimized for Basic Use: Sporting Android Go, the POCO C50 is a good choice for users who don’t need high-end specifications and are just looking for reliable, lag-free day-to-day performance.
- Not for Power Users: Those seeking advanced functionalities or robust gaming might find it lacking.
- Hardware Limitations: Given its price point, expect some compromises on camera quality, speed, and storage.
Who is it for?
First-time Android Users: This phone is ideal for newcomers looking to experience Android on a budget.
Backup Device: For individuals requiring an emergency backup or secondary phone.
Elderly & Kids: Given its basic feature set and affordability, it’s apt for seniors who aren’t tech-savvy or kids getting their first smartphone.
In conclusion, while the POCO C50 won’t win any “Phone of the Year” awards, it surely cements its place in the “Best for the Buck” category. If you’re on a tight budget and need a reliable phone for basic tasks, the POCO C50 should be on your radar.
The Realme C30 emerges as a budget-friendly smartphone that offers a blend of commendable features and areas of improvement.
- Battery Life: One of its standout features is the long-lasting 5,000mAh battery, ensuring users don’t frequently scramble for the charger.
- Display: The phone boasts a large 6.5-inch display, which is a treat for binge-watchers and casual gamers. Daylight visibly is an added bonus here thanks to the 400 nits of peak brightness that the Realme C30
- Design: The striped design on the back adds a touch of elegance, making it visually appealing.
- Storage: With its fast storage capabilities, users can expect smoother multitasking and quicker app launches.
- Camera Performance: While satisfactory for its price range, the camera struggles in low-light conditions.
- Bloatware: The device comes with pre-installed apps, some of which might be considered bloatware by users.
- Performance: The Realme C30, being a budget phone, isn’t designed for heavy gaming or resource-intensive tasks.
Who is it for?
The Realme C30 is ideal for everyday tasks such as browsing, streaming, and social media. Its impressive battery life makes it suitable for users who are on the move and don’t have frequent access to charging. Moreover, the large screen size enhances the video streaming experience.
The Itel A27 is a smartphone that has garnered attention in the budget segment, especially given Itel’s positioning as an Indian brand.
- Storage: The device offers 32GB of storage, which is commendable for its price range.
- Unboxing Experience: Several unboxing videos suggest that the device comes with essential accessories and has a decent first impression.
- Barebones OS: The Itel A27 comes with a mostly bloat-free Android Go experience built on top of Android 11.
- Performance: Much like most of the other phones in this price range, the performance of the phone might leave you wanting if you intend to multitask on the phone.
- Camera: The 5MP main camera doesn’t perform all too consistently, even in most well-lit situations.
- Battery: Unlike the POCO C50 and the Realme C30 on our list, the Itel A27 only gets a 4,000 mAh battery.
Who is it for?
The Itel A27 is ideal for basic tasks such as calling, texting, browsing, and using social media apps. It can serve as a secondary phone or be suitable for first-time smartphone users, especially those who are budget-conscious.
The JioPhone Next emerges as a promising contender in the budget smartphone arena, aiming to provide essential features without breaking the bank.
- Software Experience: The JioPhone Next boasts a clean, stripped-down software experience, thanks to its customized Android version, Pragati OS. The inclusion of “go” branded Google and Jio apps ensures users have access to essential applications without overwhelming the system.
- Design: The phone’s design, reminiscent of Nokia's Asha series from the mid-2010s, is both modest and functional. With colour options in blue or black, it caters to individual aesthetic preferences.
- Camera: Despite its affordable price tag, the JioPhone Next impresses with its camera setup. An 8-megapixel front-facing camera with autofocus and a 13MP rear camera offer decent photography capabilities. The collaboration between Google and Jio in optimizing these cameras ensures users get quality photos, a rarity in this price segment.
- Battery Performance: While the 3500 mAh battery is commendable for its segment, its real-life performance remains to be seen. Users might need to test its longevity in daily scenarios.
Who is it meant for?
The JioPhone Next is tailor-made for individuals venturing into the smartphone world or those seeking a secondary device. Its balance of affordability and essential features makes it an ideal choice for budget-conscious consumers, especially in emerging markets where the demand for cost-effective yet functional smartphones is high.
In conclusion, the JioPhone Next is a testament to the fact that affordability doesn’t necessarily mean compromising on essential features. It’s a strong contender in the entry-level smartphone market.
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Gionee F8 Neo
The Gionee F8 Neo steps into the budget smartphone arena with a clear objective: to offer essential features without burning a hole in the user’s pocket.
- Affordability: Priced at ₹5,499, the F8 Neo is a wallet-friendly option for many, especially in a market flooded with expensive alternatives.
- Design and Display: With a contemporary design and an HD+ display, the phone ensures a decent viewing experience, suitable for casual browsing and media consumption.
- Storage: The phone offers 32GB of storage, catering to the basic needs of average users.
- Performance: Powered by a Unisoc chipset and 2GB RAM, the F8 Neo can handle everyday tasks. However, users might experience performance issues with demanding games or multitasking.
- Camera: The 8MP rear camera is modest. While it’s adequate for casual photography, it won’t satisfy those looking for high-quality shots.
Who is it meant for?
The Gionee F8 Neo is designed for individuals who prioritize functionality and affordability over high-end features. It’s an excellent choice for first-time smartphone users, elderly individuals, or those seeking a secondary device for basic tasks.
In conclusion, the Gionee F8 Neo stands its ground in the budget segment, offering a blend of essential features at a competitive price. While it doesn’t boast of premium specifications, it delivers on its promise of being a reliable, no-frills phone.
Nokia C01 Plus
The Nokia C01 Plus emerges as a reliable contender in the entry-level smartphone segment, staying true to Nokia’s legacy of durability and user-centric design.
- Build Quality: With its textured plastic body, the Nokia C01 Plus exudes sturdiness, assuring users of its longevity.
- Camera Design: The single rear camera, complemented by an LED module, sits flush with the phone’s body, ensuring a sleek and unobtrusive design.
- Storage Options: Users get the flexibility to choose between 16GB and 32GB storage variants, both paired with 2GB RAM, catering to different storage needs.
- Software: The device runs on Android 11 (Go Edition), a version optimized for budget smartphones, ensuring a smooth and efficient user experience.
- Performance: With 2GB RAM, the device might not be suitable for heavy multitasking or demanding applications.
Meant For: The Nokia C01 Plus is tailored for individuals who prioritize reliability and essential features over high-end specifications. It’s an ideal choice for first-time smartphone users, elderly individuals, or those looking for a secondary device for basic tasks.
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