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Want To Buy A Flagship Smartphone But Cannot Afford One? Here Are Some Excellent Alternatives

The prices of these smartphones have increased due to the GST hike.

Apr 4, 2020 / 06:26 PM IST
Realme X50 Pro | The Realme X50 Pro is one of only two future-proof flagship killers on our list. The device packs the latest Snapdragon 865 chipset with a 5G modem. It also brings other flagship specs like a high refresh rate AMOLED display, super-fast charging, a premium design and finish, and a clean interface. The Realme X50 Pro features six cameras in total, including a 64-megapixel quad-camera setup on the back and a primary and ultrawide camera on the front. The cameras on the X50 Pro 5G work well in good light but tend to struggle in low light. However, most camera issues are fixable with future software updates. If you are looking for a phone for the next three years, we suggest going for the Realme X50 Pro. The phone starts from Rs 38,000.
Realme X50 Pro | The Realme X50 Pro is one of only two future-proof flagship killers on our list. The device packs the latest Snapdragon 865 chipset with a 5G modem. It also brings other flagship specs like a high refresh rate AMOLED display, super-fast charging, a premium design and finish, and a clean interface. The Realme X50 Pro features six cameras in total, including a 64-megapixel quad-camera setup on the back and a primary and ultrawide camera on the front. The cameras on the X50 Pro 5G work well in good light but tend to struggle in low light. However, most camera issues are fixable with future software updates. If you are looking for a phone for the next three years, we suggest going for the Realme X50 Pro. The phone starts from Rs 38,000.
OnePlus 7T | The OnePlus 7T might just be the best value for money OnePlus phone currently available. From all the flagship alternatives we've listed so far, the OnePlus 7T has the best overall camera performance. It is the most consistent when switching between primary and ultrawide sensors, has the best night mode, and offers both optical image stabilization and electronic image stabilization. Cameras aside, you also get a 90Hz Fluid AMOLED display, fast charging, a flagship chipset in the Snapdragon 855+, as well as one of the best software experiences you can find on an Android phone. If you aren't concerned about 5G, which isn't coming to India anytime soon, then this is the phone to buy. OnePlus 7T starts from Rs 38,000.
OnePlus 7T | The OnePlus 7T might just be the best value for money OnePlus phone currently available. From all the flagship alternatives we've listed so far, the OnePlus 7T has the best overall camera performance. It is the most consistent when switching between primary and ultrawide sensors, has the best night mode, and offers both optical image stabilization and electronic image stabilization. Cameras aside, you also get a 90Hz Fluid AMOLED display, fast charging, a flagship chipset in the Snapdragon 855+, as well as one of the best software experiences you can find on an Android phone. If you aren't concerned about 5G, which isn't coming to India anytime soon, then this is the phone to buy. OnePlus 7T starts from Rs 38,000.
Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite | If you are not interested in buying a Chinese smartphone and want a familiar brand like Samsung, then the Galaxy S10 Lite is the phone for you. Samsung utilizes the Snapdragon 855 chipset on the Galaxy S10 Lite as opposed to the Exynos 9820 on the original Galaxy S10 family. The Snapdragon chip offers big performance gain over the Exynos processor, which will make the Galaxy S10 Lite a better proposition in the long run. Moreover, the Galaxy S10 Lite also gets a very good camera setup for both photos on videos with a Super Steady mode for the latter. The Galaxy S10 Lite also boasts a big 4,500 mAh battery with support for 45W fast charging. The Galaxy S10 Lite truly seems like Samsung's first flagship killer. The device starts at Rs 39,999.
Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite | If you are not interested in buying a Chinese smartphone and want a familiar brand like Samsung, then the Galaxy S10 Lite is the phone for you. Samsung utilizes the Snapdragon 855 chipset on the Galaxy S10 Lite as opposed to the Exynos 9820 on the original Galaxy S10 family. The Snapdragon chip offers big performance gain over the Exynos processor, which will make the Galaxy S10 Lite a better proposition in the long run. Moreover, the Galaxy S10 Lite also gets a very good camera setup for both photos on videos with a Super Steady mode for the latter. The Galaxy S10 Lite also boasts a big 4,500 mAh battery with support for 45W fast charging. The Galaxy S10 Lite truly seems like Samsung's first flagship killer. The device starts at Rs 39,999.
LG G8s ThinQ | The LG G8s ThinQ is arguably one of the most impressive smartphones on our list. The G8s ThinQ is as close as you'll get to a flagship. The phone's triple camera setup on the back delivers consistent performance when capturing both photos and videos. The phone also features a premium glass and aluminium construction. The Snapdragon 855 chipset is capable of delivering excellent performance, while LG's G-OLED display is one of the brightest at this price point. Beyond offering flagship specs, the G8s ThinQ goes above and beyond with DTX:S 3D Sound with real stereo speakers as well as an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance. Apart from the software and the dated notch, there's not a lot to complain about on the G8s ThinQ. The LG G8s ThinQ starts at Rs 37,000.
LG G8s ThinQ | The LG G8s ThinQ is arguably one of the most impressive smartphones on our list. The G8s ThinQ is as close as you'll get to a flagship. The phone's triple camera setup on the back delivers consistent performance when capturing both photos and videos. The phone also features a premium glass and aluminium construction. The Snapdragon 855 chipset is capable of delivering excellent performance, while LG's G-OLED display is one of the brightest at this price point. Beyond offering flagship specs, the G8s ThinQ goes above and beyond with DTX:S 3D Sound with real stereo speakers as well as an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance. Apart from the software and the dated notch, there's not a lot to complain about on the G8s ThinQ. The LG G8s ThinQ starts at Rs 37,000.
iQOO 3 | The iQOO 3 is the most powerful smartphone on our list. The combination of the Snapdragon 865 chipset, LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage standards, make it an absolute performance beast. Moreover, it also has an advance cooling system and dedicated shoulder buttons that act as air-triggers for gaming. While the iQOO 3 offers decent camera performance in good light, it struggles in complex lighting situations with inconsistent results. In terms of display, iQOO's Super AMOLED display is bright, sharp and colour accurate, but lacks a high refresh rate. The phone also has a decent battery capacity and super-fast charging. The iQOO is the second smartphone on our list to offer 5G connectivity, but you'll have to get the top-end variant with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage that costs more than 45K. The base variant startes at Rs 37,000.
iQOO 3 | The iQOO 3 is the most powerful smartphone on our list. The combination of the Snapdragon 865 chipset, LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage standards, make it an absolute performance beast. Moreover, it also has an advance cooling system and dedicated shoulder buttons that act as air-triggers for gaming. While the iQOO 3 offers decent camera performance in good light, it struggles in complex lighting situations with inconsistent results. In terms of display, iQOO's Super AMOLED display is bright, sharp and colour accurate, but lacks a high refresh rate. The phone also has a decent battery capacity and super-fast charging. The iQOO is the second smartphone on our list to offer 5G connectivity, but you'll have to get the top-end variant with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage that costs more than 45K. The base variant startes at Rs 37,000.
Oppo Reno 10x Zoom Edition | The Oppo Reno 10x Zoom Edition is almost a year old now, but its Snapdragon 855 chipset makes it every bit as capable as the other smartphones on this list. The Reno 10x Zoom Edition also has one of the best cameras on our list, delivering photography results on par with OnePlus, LG and Samsung. In some cases, one could even argue that the Oppo Reno surpasses these phones in image capture. The Reno 10x Zoom Edition also sports a premium design and bright AMOLE display, although refresh rate is limited to 60Hz. However, the software experience on the Reno 10x Zoom Edition does leave a lot to be desired. The Reno 10x Zoom is the cheapest phone on our list and has gone on sale for as low as Rs 24,990 during a recent sale, making it an excellent value buy.
Oppo Reno 10x Zoom Edition | The Oppo Reno 10x Zoom Edition is almost a year old now, but its Snapdragon 855 chipset makes it every bit as capable as the other smartphones on this list. The Reno 10x Zoom Edition also has one of the best cameras on our list, delivering photography results on par with OnePlus, LG and Samsung. In some cases, one could even argue that the Oppo Reno surpasses these phones in image capture. The Reno 10x Zoom Edition also sports a premium design and bright AMOLE display, although refresh rate is limited to 60Hz. However, the software experience on the Reno 10x Zoom Edition does leave a lot to be desired. The Reno 10x Zoom is the cheapest phone on our list and has gone on sale for as low as Rs 24,990 during a recent sale, making it an excellent value buy.
Asus ROG Phone II | If you truly enjoy smartphone gaming and want the best mobile gaming experience, then look no further than Asus ROG Phone II. The device was the first to be powered by the Snapdragon 855+ chipset and also offered fast UFS 3.0 storage. The ROG Phone 2 can go toe-to-toe with the OnePlus 7T in almost every area, including camera performance. Additionally, the ROG Phone II has a massive 6,000 mAh battery, a 120Hz FHD+ AMOLED display, a gaming-centric design and a bloatware-free UI experience that's very close to stock Android. The ROG Phone 2 also has a strategically place second USB-C port for charging while gaming, supports reverse wired charging and capacitive shoulder buttons.  The phone's base version retails for Rs 38,000.
Asus ROG Phone II | If you truly enjoy smartphone gaming and want the best mobile gaming experience, then look no further than Asus ROG Phone II. The device was the first to be powered by the Snapdragon 855+ chipset and also offered fast UFS 3.0 storage. The ROG Phone 2 can go toe-to-toe with the OnePlus 7T in almost every area, including camera performance. Additionally, the ROG Phone II has a massive 6,000 mAh battery, a 120Hz FHD+ AMOLED display, a gaming-centric design and a bloatware-free UI experience that's very close to stock Android. The ROG Phone 2 also has a strategically place second USB-C port for charging while gaming, supports reverse wired charging and capacitive shoulder buttons. The phone's base version retails for Rs 38,000.
Lenovo Z6 Pro | Another contender for the most underrated smartphone in 2019 was the Lenovo Z6 Pro. The Lenovo Z6 Pro offered a 48-megapixel quad-camera setup with the addition of a ToF depth sensor. The Z6 Pro has all the makings of a flagship killer with its Snapdragon 855 chipset, AMOLED display, 4,000 mAh battery, decent camera setup and its reasonable price. But beyond those standard features, Lenovo's ZUI skin over Android is pretty similar to stock Android, making it one of the few Chinese flagships that perfectly balances hardware and software.  The phone's base version is available at Rs 32,000.
Lenovo Z6 Pro | Another contender for the most underrated smartphone in 2019 was the Lenovo Z6 Pro. The Lenovo Z6 Pro offered a 48-megapixel quad-camera setup with the addition of a ToF depth sensor. The Z6 Pro has all the makings of a flagship killer with its Snapdragon 855 chipset, AMOLED display, 4,000 mAh battery, decent camera setup and its reasonable price. But beyond those standard features, Lenovo's ZUI skin over Android is pretty similar to stock Android, making it one of the few Chinese flagships that perfectly balances hardware and software. The phone's base version is available at Rs 32,000.
Realme X2 Pro | The Realme X2 Pro was the first flagship smartphone by Realme. At the time of its launch, it was the best phone smartphone under 30,000 rupees. The 64-megapixel quad-camera setup was not the most consistent but did surprisingly well in bright light. The 90Hz Super AMOLED display was bright and supported HDR10+ as well as 100-percent DCI-P3 coverage. The Snapdragon 855+ chipset paired with up to 12GB of RAM and UFS 3.0 storage standard meant performance was going to be a non-issue. Lastly, Realme was the first OEM to launch a smartphone with super-fast charging speeds (0 to 100 percent in 40 minutes) in India. The Realme X2 Pro starts from Rs 30,000.
Realme X2 Pro | The Realme X2 Pro was the first flagship smartphone by Realme. At the time of its launch, it was the best phone smartphone under 30,000 rupees. The 64-megapixel quad-camera setup was not the most consistent but did surprisingly well in bright light. The 90Hz Super AMOLED display was bright and supported HDR10+ as well as 100-percent DCI-P3 coverage. The Snapdragon 855+ chipset paired with up to 12GB of RAM and UFS 3.0 storage standard meant performance was going to be a non-issue. Lastly, Realme was the first OEM to launch a smartphone with super-fast charging speeds (0 to 100 percent in 40 minutes) in India. The Realme X2 Pro starts from Rs 30,000.
Asus 6z | The last phone on our list has to be the one with the best selfie camera; the Asus 6z or Zenfone 6. Asus' innovative flipping camera mechanism on the 6z was arguably one of the best smartphone innovations in 2019. The flipping mechanism lets you use the main and ultra-wide camera modules on the 6z as selfie shooters, ensuring excellent results on par with premium phones like the Galaxy Note 10+, iPhone 11 Pro, and Huawei Mate 30 Pro. The Asus 6z also packs a massive 5,000 mAh battery, the capable Snapdragon 855 SoC, and the bloatware-free ZenUI, making the software experience every bit as good as the phone's hardware. The caveat on the Asus 6z is the lack of a telephoto camera and the use of an LCD panel. The phone starts from Rs 28,000.
Asus 6z | The last phone on our list has to be the one with the best selfie camera; the Asus 6z or Zenfone 6. Asus' innovative flipping camera mechanism on the 6z was arguably one of the best smartphone innovations in 2019. The flipping mechanism lets you use the main and ultra-wide camera modules on the 6z as selfie shooters, ensuring excellent results on par with premium phones like the Galaxy Note 10+, iPhone 11 Pro, and Huawei Mate 30 Pro. The Asus 6z also packs a massive 5,000 mAh battery, the capable Snapdragon 855 SoC, and the bloatware-free ZenUI, making the software experience every bit as good as the phone's hardware. The caveat on the Asus 6z is the lack of a telephoto camera and the use of an LCD panel. The phone starts from Rs 28,000.
Carlsen Martin
first published: Apr 4, 2020 06:26 pm

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