Mobile phones have come a long way -- basically from small, cheap and sturdy to big, expensive and smart. OEMs are now focusing on making phones that have loads of features and does not burn a hole in your pockets. There is another faction that only considers premium devices for the sole reason that they bring new features and more stability in terms of hardware and software. However, there always remains the question of choice – which smartphone to buy when there are plenty of options available on the market in different price points. Thus, to help you narrow down your choice, here’s a list for the best smartphones of 2019 in their respective budget segments.
Xiaomi is at the forefront when it comes to featureful yet affordable handsets. It has been the top smartphone player and has shipped maximum number of devices since several quarters now. According to Anuj Sharma, Head Of Marketing - Xiaomi India, the company has sold over 100 million units of Redmi Note series around the world till now and rightly so. Our pick for this segment is the Redmi Note 8 that was launched earlier this year. It is the best budget smartphone of 2019.
The phone sports a 6.3-inch Dot Notch Display and Aura Fluid Design on the back. There is a Full HD+ TÜV Rheinland-certified display with 90 per cent screen-to-body ratio and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection on the front as well as on the back. It is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 mobile platform, is backed by a 4,000mAh battery with 18W charging over. The smartphone features a quad camera setup on the rear with 48MP primary camera and an f/1.79 aperture lens. It is coupled with an 8MP ultra-wide camera with 120-degree field-of-view, 2MP macro lens, and 2MP depth sensor like the one in the Pro variant. On the front, Redmi Note 8 is fitted with a 13MP selfie camera with an f/2.0 aperture lens.
Our second pick is Realme 5s. Realme has provided a tough competition to Xiaomi and is schooling the Chinese counterpart at its own game. In a short time since its launch, Realme is one of the major OEM players that has launched successful devices, thanks to the hardware and affordability.
The phone features a 6.50-inch display and is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor. The phone also has a rear quad camera setup with a 48MP primary sensor, an 8MP wide-angle shooter with 119-degree field of view, a 2MP macro lens, and a 2MP portrait camera. On the front is a 13MP sensor. The phone houses a 5000mAh battery and runs Android 9 Pie OS. Realme promises timely security and OS updates as well.
Another Redmi product -- the Redmi Note 8 Pro is the company’s safest bet and arguably the best smartphone under Rs 20,000. Xiaomi is always confident that its Note devices will do great. The Redmi Note 8 Pro features a 6.53-inch full HD+ HDR display with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection. The phone has an aspect ratio of 19.5:9 aspect ratio and a 91.4 per cent screen-to-body ratio. This is also the first Note device ever to house a 4,500mAh battery with 18W charger in the box.
Under the hood, the phone is equipped with an octa-core Helio G90T mobile platform and there is ‘an improved’ LiquidCool Technology to keep the phone’s temperature in check. The phone is offered with up to 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and up to 128GB of storage. Redmi Note 8 Pro is also India's first smartphone with Amazon Alexa built-in. In the camera department, the phone comes with a 64MP main camera, an 8MP ultra-wide angle lens with a 120-degree field of view, a 2MP depth sensor and a 2MP macro lens. On the front is a 20MP selfie shooter.
The Realme XT is the second best option in the above said price segment. While the phone is a little over the Rs 15,000 mark, but still it’s ‘ bang for the buck’ device. Launched in September, the Realme XT comes with a 6.4-inch full-HD+ Super AMOLED display and is equipped with a waterdrop notch and an in-display fingerprint sensor. The phone has an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 chipset at its heart and runs ColorOS 6.0 based on Android 9 Pie. The Realme XT houses a 4,000mAh battery with 20W VOOC 3.0 fast charging support. When it comes to optics, the Realme XT sports a rear quad camera module with a 64MP Samsung ISOCELL Bright GW1 sensor. The sensor is complemented by an 8MP wide-angle camera, a 2MP macro lens and a 2MP depth sensor. On the front is a 16MP shooter.
Samsung refreshed its entire non-premium smartphone line-up and changed its strategy to regain its place which it lost to Xiaomi. As a result, the company dissolved the different series and unveiled two new ones: A-Series that would have flagship features and M-Series that is targeted at the millennials in the country.
The Galaxy M40 has a 6.3-inch PLS TFT LCD display with 19.5:9 aspect ratio and a screen-to-body ratio of 84.71 per cent. Under the hood, the phone has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 chipset coupled with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. The Samsung Galaxy M40 runs on Android 9.0 Pie OS and features a triple camera setup on the back. There’s a 32MP main sensor, which is complemented by an 8MP sensor and a 5MP camera with 8x Digital Zoom. On camera front is a 16MP shooter. The phone is backed by a 3,500 mAh battery.
The second choice in this category is the Galaxy A30s. The Galaxy A30s features a 6.4-inch HD+ Super AMOLED Infinity-V display and comes with the AI powered Game Booster technology, Knox Security and Samsung Pay (card payments through NFC only). The smartphone sports a triple rear camera setup consisting of an improved 25MP main camera and an 8MP Ultra-Wide camera, and a new 5MP depth camera.
The Redmi K20 is one of the first phones to be launched with the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 SoC. It sports a 6.39-inch 19.5:9 full HD+ AMOLED horizon display with minimal bezels on all sides, and 7th generation in-display fingerprint scanner. The phone is protected by the Corning Gorilla Glass 5. The Redmi K20 features a 20MP pop-up selfie camera, and an AI triple camera setup, comprising of a 48MP main camera, 8MP telephoto and a 13MP wide-angle lens. It supports 18W fast charging and comes with 18W charger right out of the box.
The second best choice is the recently-launched Vivo V17. The phone a 6.44-inch full-HD+ E3 Super AMOLED iView Display that has 20:9 aspect ratio.The smartphone is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 chipset, which is paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. When it coems to the optics, the phone has a 48MP primary sensor, an 8MP sensor, a 2MP sensorfor bokeh effect, and another 2MP macro lens. On the front is a 32MP selfie camera with f/2.45 lens. The smartphone comes with an in-display fingerprint sensor, and packs a 4,500mAh battery.
The Redmi K20 Pro features a 6.39-inch 19.5:9 full HD+ AMOLED horizon display with 91.9 per cent screen-to-body-ratio and an in-display fingerprint sensor. The Redmi K20 Pro is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 mobile platform and is equipped with a high-res DAC that gives Redmi K20 Pro the ability to playback lossless audio (up to 24-bit, 192KHz).
The phone has a 20MP pop-up selfie camera and an AI triple camera setup comprising of a 48Mp Sony IMX586 sensor, an 8MP telephoto camera and 13MP ultra-wide camera. The smartphone is powered by 4,000mAh battery and supports 27W ‘SonicCharge’. It comes with an 18W charger in the box, with an option for users to purchase a 27W SonicCharge adapter from Mi.com.
The second best phone in the category is the Galaxy A70s. A refreshed Galaxy A70, the Samsung Galaxy A70s sports a 64MP sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide lens, and 5MP Live focus lens for portraits. For selfies, the phone has a 32MP camera. The Samsung Galaxy A70s comes with Night Mode and Super Stead Video camera features. The handset comes packed with a 6.7-inch FHD+ Infinity-U Display, and with Dolby Atmos that provide a 360 degree surround sound experience.
Under the hood, the phone has Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 processor paired with AI-powered Game Booster that is claimed to improve frame rate and gaming performance. The phone houses a 4,500mAH battery with 25W superfast charging support. The Galaxy A70s also comes with features like in-screen fingerprint sensor and Samsung Pay.
With high-end hardware and affordability, the OnePlus 7T (Review) is the most successful smartphone in the year. It sports a 6.55-inch Super AMOLED display with 90Hz refresh rate, which supports HDR10+. Under the hood, the phone comes equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ processor, which is an overclocked version of the Snapdragon 855 SoC. The phone houses a 3,800mAh battery with Warp Charge 30T support.
On the back is a triple camera setup that are housed in a circular module. The primary camera consists of a 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor that produces 12MP binned images. The second camera has a 16MP sensor with an ultra-wide angle lens and the third 12MP sensor is coupled with a telephoto lens. On the front is a 16MP sensor and it is situated in the waterdrop notch. The phone can also shoot macro images.
A surprise entry, but Google Pixel 3a (Review) is still one of the best smartphones in the Rs 30,000-Rs 40,000 bracket. Google Pixel 3a may not have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 firepower, but it offers the same camera as the Google Pixel 3 and pure Android experience. Being a Google device, it is very-well optimised and will have timely security and OS updates.
The Apple iPhone 11 Pro is the best smartphone of 2019, and has been regarded as the best camera phone present today. It sports a textured matte glass back with a polished stainless steel band. The phones carry an IP68 rating, which means that they can survive for up to 30 minutes at a maximum depth of 4 meters in water. While the iPhone 11 Pro comes equipped with a 5.8-inch HDR-enabled OLED panel with a 2 million to 1 contrast ratio. Under the hood, the iPhones are fitted with Apple’s A13 Bionic chip, which is claimed to be the fastest CPU and GPU ever on a handset. The new chip comes with the third-generation Neural Engine for an ‘improved machine learning performance’.
When it comes to the camera, one of the three cameras has a 12MP sensor with wide lens, the second 12MP sensor is paired with an ultra-wide lens that offers 120-degree field of view, and the third 12MP sensor features a telephoto lens. The upgraded camera is capable of shooting images with 2x optical zoom, and up to 10x digital zoom. On the front sits is a 12MP sensor which can record slow motion and 4K videos.
Without a doubt, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ (Review) is the second best device above Rs 40,000. The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ sports a 6.8-inch display with curved edges and a punch hole in the centre of the display. The punch hole has a 10MP 2PD AF sensor. The Galaxy Note 10 has a triple camera at the rear consisting of a 16MP sensor with ultra-wide (123-degrees view), a wide-angle 12MP sensor and an 12MP telephoto lens. It has a 4,300 mAh battery with 45W fast charging support. The phone also supports 15W fast Qi/PMA wireless charging, along with 9W reverse wireless charging called Powershare.
The Asus ROG Phone II (Review) is the best gaming phone that you can get today. It sports a 6.59-inch full-HD+ AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate. The display, which is protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 6, comes with a fingerprint sensor and 10-bit HDR support. Under the hood, the phone features the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ chipset accompanied by up to 12GB LPDDR4X RAM and 512GB of UFS 3.0 of storage. The phone also has a liquid cooling tech that keeps it cool while intense usage sessions. increase the gaming experience, the phone also comes with upgraded ultrasonic Air Triggers 2 shoulder buttons and stereo speakers with DTS: X Ultra support. It has a 48MP primary camera and a 13MP wide-angle lens with a 125-degrees field of view. On the front is a 24MP sensor. The phone houses 6,000mAh battery that supports Quick Charge 4.0 fast charging.
The second best in this category is the Black Shark II. it has a 6.39-inch full-HD+ AMOLED display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor clubbed with 12GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage. The Black Shark 2 will be fuelled by a 4,000mAh battery with support of 27W fast charging. There will be a dual rear camera setup at the back consisting of one 48MP sensor and a 12MP telephoto sensor for 2X optical zoom. At the front, there will be a 20MP camera.