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Pocket-friendly: Best smartphones under Rs. 20,000
Prasad Naik
May 08, 2012
First Published: 15:33 IST(8/5/2012)
Last Updated: 12:27 IST(10/5/2012)
The Samsung Omnia W is a great Windows Phone available at under Rs 20,000. The operating system is sure to impress even the hardest of critics. Plus, the phone is very snappy to use.
These days, every other day we hear about a company releasing a premium smartphone. We all enjoy reading about them, using them and aspire to own them. But the truth is, not all of us can afford to spend upwards of Rs. 30,000 on these phones. In fact, for most people, Rs. 20,000 is the most that they would ever spend on a mobile phone.

Fortunately for such people, there is no shortage of good smartphones under this price barrier. Today, we shall be looking at some of the mid-range smartphones that you can purchase within the price range of Rs. 10,000-20,000. Also, instead of simply listing models, we have tried to cover some of the popular needs that buyers usually have.

Slim and light

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Big, heavy smartphones are not everyone’s cup of tea. Some people like something that actually fits their hand and pocket and won’t make them look ridiculous while talking on them. For such people, we would recommend the Sony Ericsson Xperia ray.

Mid-level mobiles could be 'best phones'

The Xperia ray is a very petite smartphone that is amazingly thin and light. It’s also very narrow, which makes it fit perfectly in your hand. But don’t get fooled by that diminutive size, the Xperia ray has enough features to match bigger and more expensive smartphones.


It has a high resolution, 854 x 480 resolution display, which due to its smaller 3.3-inch size is incredibly sharp. There is also an 8 megapixel camera on the back that can capture 720p HD videos. On the inside there is a 1GHz processor and Android 2.3 Gingerbread, which shall soon be updated to Android 4.0.

Although the official price of the phone is somewhere around the Rs. 18,000 mark, you can get it for less than Rs. 14,000 online. For someone who wants a thin and light smartphone, this is the perfect option.

Rugged build

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Maybe you don’t want something thin and light. Maybe you want something that is rugged and built to last, something that can take the rough and tumble of your daily life. A phone that you would not have to worry about damaging if you drop it or if it gets wet. In that case, you need something like the Motorola DEFY+.


With the Motorola DEFY+ you get a phone that is shockproof, waterproof and dust proof. Even the Gorilla Glass on the front is highly scratch resistant. You can drop it from a normal height without worrying about breaking it or submerge it completely under water without the phone getting damaged. It’s a phone that you can use without having to handle it like a newborn baby.

And it’s not just tough, too. There is a 1GHz processor inside along with Android 2.3 Gingerbread. On the back there is a 5 megapixel camera that can do 720p HD video.
The Motorola DEFY+ is the most rugged phone around and can be purchased for around Rs. 15,000.

Camera phone

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It’s hard to believe that it has been almost two years since this phone has come out, mostly because we are still to see a phone that can match the N8 in terms of camera performance. A lot of attempts have been made recently by almost every major OEM but none have succeeded.

Top budget phones you can buy

The main reason for the phenomenal camera performance on the N8 is the sensor that it uses, which is even today the biggest camera sensor on any mobile phone out there. The only phone with a bigger sensor is the upcoming Nokia 808 PureView, which is so far the only phone that seems capable of dethroning the N8.

>BR>This large sensor allows the N8 to capture a lot more light. Most cell phones cameras out there need heavy handed image sharpening and noise reduction through software tweaks performed by the camera but the N8 can churn outincredibly detailed and low noise images simply by using its massive sensor.

Truly, the N8 has the best camera on the market today, which should make the Rs. 18,000 price tag seem like a steal. The rest of the phone may be tethering on the edge of being outdated but it is still a capable smartphone. Overall, if you want a camera phone, it doesn’t get better than this.

Something different

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These days, Android phones have become common place. If someone you know has a smartphone, there is a good chance that it will be running on Android. So what do you get if you want to stand out from the crowd, or if you used Android and didn’t like it or simply because you’re bored of seeing one all the time? Well, in that case, you get a Windows Phone.

Android smartphones: The big fight

Windows Phone has been around in India for quite a while now but hasn’t been quite successful due to the lack of sufficient choice and marketing. It’s only when Nokia started marketing its Lumia range of phones did people became aware of them. One of these phones is available under Rs. 20,000, but we won’t be talking about that today. Instead, we would recommend to you the Samsung Omnia W.


Although on paper it is virtually identical to the Nokia Lumia 710, it has some crucial advantages, such as a superior Super AMOLED display instead of LCD, front facing camera for video calls and at least according to us, better looks. What you get with the Lumia 800 is the beautiful and silky smooth Windows Phone operating system, along with features like Facebook and Twitter integration, built-in Microsoft Office for creating and editing documents and a pretty solid email experience. The interface is also very simple, especially to those who are intimidated by Android. The Live tiles don’t just look pretty but can also display information such as weather and missed calls and messages for viewing at a glance. Then you also have features like 1GHz processor, 8GB storage, 5 megapixel camera and 720p video recording.

Priced at around Rs. 15,000, the Samsung Omnia W is good option for those who would like to try something different.

The all-rounder

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Sometimes you just want a phone that can do everything well. A jack of all trades of sorts. Sure, you’d like to be good at everything it does but you don’t expect it to be the best at everything. One such phone is the newly launched HTC One V.


Sporting an aluminum unibody design, the One V looks as great as it is sturdy. The 3.7-inch Super LCD is pretty and the camera takes good quality photos and videos. There is also plenty of horsepower under the hood. Lastly, the phone comes with the latest version of Android – Ice Cream Sandwich – a claim that few Android phones can make today (it’s sad but true).

For around Rs. 18,000, the HTC One V is one of the most all round phones available in the market today at any price.

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