The contribution of premium segment smartphones to the Indian smartphone market share is gaining momentum with each quarter, as brands are bringing their flagship smartphones to the under Rs 40,000 segment.
If you buy a smartphone that costs Rs 40,000 in India today, you get a real flagship smartphone in terms of the chipset, premium design, a high refresh rate display, fast charging speeds, and more. In this segment, you are most likely to miss out of features like IP rating and wireless charging. Apart from these two features, you get everything that a premium flagship offers.
Best phones under Rs 40,000 in India
1. Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro
2. OnePlus 8
3. Google Pixel 4a
4. iPhone SE (2020)
5. Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite
6. Oppo Reno 5 Pro
Our current list of the best smartphones under Rs 40,000 includes flagships from competitive brands as well as last-gen flagships which are now subject to price drops. We’ve tried to include phones that are specialists at gaming and photography, as well as all-rounders that can be recommended to everyone.
Previously, the list of dominated by OnePlus starting from OnePlus 5 to onePlus 7T. But, now, OnePlus has moved more further in the premium segment, which gives opportunities to players Xiaomi, Oppo, Samsung, and Google while Apple offers the iPhone SE(2020).
The Mi 10T Pro is not exactly the successor to the Mi 10, it is one of the best affordable flagships of the season. The Mi 10T Pro is the top of the line flagship device while Xiaomi also offers Mi 10T at the much lower price point.
Both Mi 10T and Mi 10T Pro offer a 6.7-inch IPS LCD with a Full HD+ resolution and 144Hz refresh rate. A new AdaptiveSync technology helps the display smartly vary its refresh rate between 30, 48, 50, 60, 90, 120, and 144Hz based on the content being viewed. Both devices are powered by Snapdragon 865 processor and paired with up to 12GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage.
The bigger 5,000mAh battery puts the Mi 10T Pro in a space where few recent flagships have reached, providing very reliable battery life. The Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro is the cheapest smartphone in India with a 108MP camera and the vanilla Mi 10T sports a 64MP camera setup. Overall, it is one of the best camera experiences for the price, beating the likes of OnePlus by a bit.
Read our Mi 10T Pro review
The OnePlus 8 makes a strong case for itself with segment-leading display and design. Performance and fluidity are top-notch too, as you’d expect from an OnePlus phone. The camera onboard is just average. In typical OnePlus way, the phone offers excellent hardware and software, and so-so camera performance. Battery life is on par with most flagships.
Also, for under Rs 40,000, you are getting the base variant with 6GB RAM and 128GB. If you want the 8GB variant, it’ll cost you Rs 41,999 and for Rs 42,999, you can get the newly launched OnePlus 8T which makes more sense. While OnePlus 8 offers 30W fast charging, the OnePlus 8T offers 65W fast charging and also the camera on the OnePlus 8T is better than the OnePlus 8.
Google Pixel 4a was launched in India for an introductory price of Rs 29,999 during the festive season. Now that the festive season is done, the Google Pixel 4a is now available for Rs 31,999. Even with the slight price bump, the Google Pixel 4a is worth it if you are looking for one of the best cameras in this segment, Stock Android, and relatively smaller form factor phone.
With the Google Pixel 4a, you are looking at a 5.8-inch Full HD+ display. It is a pretty standard device with a 60hz refresh rate, a Snapdragon 730G chipset, mediocre battery life, etc. Be vary of the cheap-feeling plastic back as well. The Google Pixel 4a also comes with the latest features that Android has to offer and will be first in line for OS updates.
Read our full Google Pixel 4a review
For those of you who want to jump to the Apple ecosystem, the iPhone SE 2020 is probably the easiest way to get in. This is also for those who are looking for a really small phone. The iPhone SE 2020 offers decent but not top-end performance, it has a good camera.
However, the battery life on the phone and display could have been better, the headphone jack is also missing here. But, for the price, this is the best iPhone you can buy and of course, you’ll be getting software for a few years which will make this a long-lasting phone.
The only Samsung flagship with a Snapdragon chipset in India currently in the S series, the S10 Lite is an admirable smartphone which doesn’t break the bank. It brings a basic design with a polycarbonate back and a flat display. The device is backed by a 4500mAh battery with 45W fast charge support(25W in-box). It can easily last for a day.
You get a 6.7-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED Plus screen and the HDR10+ capabilities. It has a very capable triple camera setup with 48MP primary shooter, a 12MP wide-angle lens, and a 5MP macro camera. Over to the front, you get a 32MP selfie shooter. The camera is one of the best in the segment with excellent dynamic range, accurate colour saturation and temperature and a fair amount of detail.
Read our Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite review
The Oppo Reno 5 Pro is the first phone in India to be powered by a MediaTek Dimensity chipset. It is powered by Dimensity 1000 Plus SoC which is an eight-core chipset built on 7nm process. It also supports dual SIM 5G with theoretical download speeds of 4.7Gbps. The device is available in sole 8GB + 128GB variant in India.
The Oppo Reno 5 Pro offers a curved 6.5-inch Super AMOLED 90Hz screen with a Full HD+ resolution. The Oppo Reno 5 Pro is just 7.6mm thick and 173 grams in weight and manages to pack in 4,350mAh battery. It also supports 65W Super VOOC charging. There’s also an in-display fingerprint reader. As for the optics, the Oppo Reno 5 Pro sports a quad-camera array on the back consists of a 64MP primary sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide shooter, a 2MP macro lens and a mono camera. On the front is a 32MP selfie shooter
Read our Oppo Reno 5 Pro review
|Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro||Rs 39,999|
|Xiaomi Mi 10T||Rs 35,999|
|OnePlus 8||Rs 39,999|
|Google Pixel 4a||Rs 31,999|
|iPhone SE (2020)||Rs 34,999|
|Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite||Rs 36,400|
|Oppo Reno 5 Pro||Rs 35,990|