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From Realme 6 Pro to Galaxy M31: Here are our picks for best camera smartphones under Rs 20,000

Realme and Xiaomi reign supreme in the under Rs 20,000 smartphone market.
Apr 17, 2020 / 03:41 PM IST
Poco X2 | 64 MP, f/1.9 + 8 MP, f/2.2 (Ultrawide) + 2 MP, f/2.4 (Macro) + 2 MP, f/2.4 (Depth) | 20 MP, f/2.2 + 2 MP, f/2.4 (Depth) | The Poco X2 is our pick for the smartphone with the best set of cameras, both on the front and back. The Poco X2's 64-megapixel Sony IMX686 sensor is one of the main reasons for its triumph. The dynamic range is fairly good with shadows, retaining a lot of details. The natural-looking colour processing is a big plus and output is excellent in bright light. The ultrawide lens on this camera does a superb job at distortion correction and is one of the best of any smartphone on our list. Portrait mode and selfies come out good due to the dedicated depth sensors on the front and back of the phone. The Poco X2 also captures crisp-looking footage with decent electronic video stabilisation.
Poco X2 | 64 MP, f/1.9 + 8 MP, f/2.2 (Ultrawide) + 2 MP, f/2.4 (Macro) + 2 MP, f/2.4 (Depth) | 20 MP, f/2.2 + 2 MP, f/2.4 (Depth) | The Poco X2 is our pick for the smartphone with the best set of cameras, both on the front and back. The Poco X2's 64-megapixel Sony IMX686 sensor is one of the main reasons for its triumph. The dynamic range is fairly good with shadows, retaining a lot of details. The natural-looking colour processing is a big plus and output is excellent in bright light. The ultrawide lens on this camera does a superb job at distortion correction and is one of the best of any smartphone on our list. Portrait mode and selfies come out good due to the dedicated depth sensors on the front and back of the phone. The Poco X2 also captures crisp-looking footage with decent electronic video stabilisation.
Realme 6 Pro | 64 MP, f/1.8 + 8 MP, f/2.3 (Ultrawide) + 12 MP, f/2.5 (Telephoto) + 2 MP, f/2.4 (Macro) | 16 MP, f/2.1 + 8 MP, f/2.2 (Ultrawide) | While the Realme 6 Pro has the same number of cameras as the Poco X2, Realme has a telephoto (On the back) and an ultrawide (On the front) sensor as opposed to two depth sensors on the Poco X2. The Realme 6 Pro has a more complete camera setup than any smartphone on our list. The main camera is tuned to boost sharpness with decent amounts of detail. Dynamic range is not too shabby, while HDR works quite well. However, white balance is off when switching between ultrawide and telephoto camera modes. In terms of selfies, this is the only phone to offer a second ultrawide selfie shooter, which lacks details as compared to the primary selfie camera, but results are great in bright outdoor light. The Realme 6 Pro offers the most versatile front camera setup on our list.
Realme 6 Pro | 64 MP, f/1.8 + 8 MP, f/2.3 (Ultrawide) + 12 MP, f/2.5 (Telephoto) + 2 MP, f/2.4 (Macro) | 16 MP, f/2.1 + 8 MP, f/2.2 (Ultrawide) | While the Realme 6 Pro has the same number of cameras as the Poco X2, Realme has a telephoto (On the back) and an ultrawide (On the front) sensor as opposed to two depth sensors on the Poco X2. The Realme 6 Pro has a more complete camera setup than any smartphone on our list. The main camera is tuned to boost sharpness with decent amounts of detail. Dynamic range is not too shabby, while HDR works quite well. However, white balance is off when switching between ultrawide and telephoto camera modes. In terms of selfies, this is the only phone to offer a second ultrawide selfie shooter, which lacks details as compared to the primary selfie camera, but results are great in bright outdoor light. The Realme 6 Pro offers the most versatile front camera setup on our list.
Samsung Galaxy M31| 64 MP, f/1.8 + 8 MP, f/2.2 (Ultrawide) + 5 MP, f/2.4 (Macro) + 5 MP, f/2.2 (Depth) | 32 MP, f/2.0 | Samsung does a fairly good job of keeping up with mid-rangers from Realme and Xiaomi with the Galaxy M series. The Galaxy M31 has the best camera setup of any Samsung phone at this price range and can easily go head-to-head with any smartphone on our list. The 64-megapixel primary sensor delivers excellent image quality in daylight with good colour accuracy, dynamic range, and detail. The ultrawide camera is capable of delivering decent results in the right light. Low light photos are good on the main sensor but start to deteriorate when you switch to the ultrawide camera. The Galaxy M31 is the only smartphone on our list that can capture 4K video on the front camera as well. Selfie performance on the front camera is pretty decent but do tend to suffer in low-light.
Samsung Galaxy M31| 64 MP, f/1.8 + 8 MP, f/2.2 (Ultrawide) + 5 MP, f/2.4 (Macro) + 5 MP, f/2.2 (Depth) | 32 MP, f/2.0 | Samsung does a fairly good job of keeping up with mid-rangers from Realme and Xiaomi with the Galaxy M series. The Galaxy M31 has the best camera setup of any Samsung phone at this price range and can easily go head-to-head with any smartphone on our list. The 64-megapixel primary sensor delivers excellent image quality in daylight with good colour accuracy, dynamic range, and detail. The ultrawide camera is capable of delivering decent results in the right light. Low light photos are good on the main sensor but start to deteriorate when you switch to the ultrawide camera. The Galaxy M31 is the only smartphone on our list that can capture 4K video on the front camera as well. Selfie performance on the front camera is pretty decent but do tend to suffer in low-light.
Realme X2 | 64 MP, f/1.8 + 8 MP, f/2.3 (Ultrawide) + 2 MP, f/2.4 (Macro) + 2 MP, f/2.4 (Depth) | 32 MP, f/2.0 (Depth) | Realme continue their domination on this list of best cameras on smartphones with the Realme X2. The phone offers very reliable camera performance and delivers excellent social media-ready photos. With the right light, pictures on the primary camera have vibrant colours, high dynamic range and punchy contrast. There is a fair bit of colour parity between the primary and ultrawide shooter. However, contrast and colour temperature can take a beating in certain lighting conditions. Still, this is one of the better ultrawide cameras on our list. The selfie shooter on the Realme X2 also delivers decent results.
Realme X2 | 64 MP, f/1.8 + 8 MP, f/2.3 (Ultrawide) + 2 MP, f/2.4 (Macro) + 2 MP, f/2.4 (Depth) | 32 MP, f/2.0 | Realme continue their domination on this list of best cameras on smartphones with the Realme X2. The phone offers very reliable camera performance and delivers excellent social media-ready photos. With the right light, pictures on the primary camera have vibrant colours, high dynamic range and punchy contrast. There is a fair bit of colour parity between the primary and ultrawide shooter. However, contrast and colour temperature can take a beating in certain lighting conditions. Still, this is one of the better ultrawide cameras on our list. The selfie shooter on the Realme X2 also delivers decent results.
 Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro Max | 64 MP, f/1.9 + 8 MP, f/2.2 (Ultrawide) + 5 MP, f/2.4 (Macro) + 2 MP, f/2.4 (Depth) | 32 MP | The Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro Max has a pretty versatile camera setup for its price. You get the same 64-megapixel Samsung sensor that is prevalent on most phones on our list. In bright light, this camera should be capable of delivering rather good results. But we are not too confident about consistency between the main and ultrawide shooters. The 32-megapixel camera on the front will also be able to hold its own against other devices on our list. However, we are not too confident in the phone's low light capability.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro Max | 64 MP, f/1.9 + 8 MP, f/2.2 (Ultrawide) + 5 MP, f/2.4 (Macro) + 2 MP, f/2.4 (Depth) | 32 MP | The Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro Max has a pretty versatile camera setup for its price. You get the same 64-megapixel Samsung sensor that is prevalent on most phones on our list. In bright light, this camera should be capable of delivering rather good results. But we are not too confident about consistency between the main and ultrawide shooters. The 32-megapixel camera on the front will also be able to hold its own against other devices on our list. However, we are not too confident in the phone's low light capability.
Xiaomi Redmi K20 | 48 MP, f/1.8 + 8 MP, f/2.4 (Telephoto) + 13 MP, f/2.4 (Ultrawide) | 20 MP, f/2.2 | Xiaomi's Redmi K20 has arguably the best camera setups on a smartphone under 20,000 rupees. The Redmi K20 has the same camera setup (With a different primary sensor) as its Pro counterpart and is one of the few phones under 20,000 to offer a telephoto shooter. Image quality on the Redmi K20 is quite impressive with decent dynamic range and noise reduction. The phone also does a great job with portrait shots. The wide-angle and telephoto cameras deliver good results, but there is a lack of consistency across all three sensors. However, low-light photos and selfies leave a lot to be desired.
Xiaomi Redmi K20 | 48 MP, f/1.8 + 8 MP, f/2.4 (Telephoto) + 13 MP, f/2.4 (Ultrawide) | 20 MP, f/2.2 | Xiaomi's Redmi K20 has arguably the best camera setups on a smartphone under 20,000 rupees. The Redmi K20 has the same camera setup (With a different primary sensor) as its Pro counterpart and is one of the few phones under 20,000 to offer a telephoto shooter. Image quality on the Redmi K20 is quite impressive with decent dynamic range and noise reduction. The phone also does a great job with portrait shots. The wide-angle and telephoto cameras deliver good results, but there is a lack of consistency across all three sensors. However, low-light photos and selfies leave a lot to be desired.
Nokia 7.2 | 48 MP, f/1.8 + 8 MP, f/2.2 (Ultrawide) + 5 MP, f/2.4 (Depth) | 20 MP, f/2.0 | The Nokia 7.2 might not be capable of ditching out comparable performance as the other phones on this list but in terms of camera capability, isn't far behind the competition. Colours look nice and natural, while vibrant subjects tend to stand out on that 48-megapixel sensor. The dedicated night mode helps with low light, delivering decent results. Portrait mode is not the best but still pretty good with Nokia offering a few Zeiss branded effects. However, colours and details suffer on the ultrawide, while results in low light are also sub-par. Details in videos are nice and sharp, but there is a complete lack of stabilization. The selfie camera on the Nokia 7.2 is also quite capable.
Nokia 7.2 | 48 MP, f/1.8 + 8 MP, f/2.2 (Ultrawide) + 5 MP, f/2.4 (Depth) | 20 MP, f/2.0 | The Nokia 7.2 might not be capable of ditching out comparable performance as the other phones on this list but in terms of camera capability, isn't far behind the competition. Colours look nice and natural, while vibrant subjects tend to stand out on that 48-megapixel sensor. The dedicated night mode helps with low light, delivering decent results. Portrait mode is not the best but still pretty good with Nokia offering a few Zeiss branded effects. However, colours and details suffer on the ultrawide, while results in low light are also sub-par. Details in videos are nice and sharp, but there is a complete lack of stabilization. The selfie camera on the Nokia 7.2 is also quite capable.
Realme 6 | 64 MP, f/1.8 + 8 MP, f/2.3 (Ultrawide) + 2 MP, f/2.4 (Macro) + 2 MP, f/2.4 (Depth) | 16 MP, f/2.0 | The Realme 6 is the cheapest smartphone on our list, but still offers a versatile camera setup for its price. The primary camera captures images with good details, less noise, accurate colours and wide dynamic range. In bright weather, results on the main camera are surprisingly good, especially considering the price of this phone. Realme has improved performance on the ultrawide camera, allowing it to hold its own against the competitors on this list. Photos taken in low light are unusable at times. Selfies taken on the front camera are pretty impressive as well. You can also capture good 4K video at 30 fps and 1080 video at 60 fps.
Realme 6 | 64 MP, f/1.8 + 8 MP, f/2.3 (Ultrawide) + 2 MP, f/2.4 (Macro) + 2 MP, f/2.4 (Depth) | 16 MP, f/2.0 | The Realme 6 is the cheapest smartphone on our list, but still offers a versatile camera setup for its price. The primary camera captures images with good details, less noise, accurate colours and wide dynamic range. In bright weather, results on the main camera are surprisingly good, especially considering the price of this phone. Realme has improved performance on the ultrawide camera, allowing it to hold its own against the competitors on this list. Photos taken in low light are unusable at times. Selfies taken on the front camera are pretty impressive as well. You can also capture good 4K video at 30 fps and 1080 video at 60 fps.
Carlsen Martin
first published: Apr 17, 2020 03:41 pm

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