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 on features like IP rating and wireless charging on most phones. 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. Vivo X60
3. Google Pixel 4a
4. OnePlus 9R
5. Samsung Galaxy A72
6. Apple iPhone XR
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 the OnePlus 5 to the OnePlus 7T. But, now, we have phones from Xiaomi, Vivo, Samsung, and Google for its camera and there is an option for Apple fans as well.
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 cheapest offering in the Vivo X60 series, the vanilla Vivo X60 is powered by is among the first set of phones in India to be powered by a Snapdragon 870 processor. It has a gorgeous 6.56-inch flexible AMOLED FHD+ display that also supports a 120Hz refresh rate, 240Hz response time, and HDR10+ visuals. The other features of the Vivo X60 include a 4,300mAh battery but supports 33W FlashCharge. This comes along with an optical in-display fingerprint scanner.
You are getting a 48MP main camera, a 13MP portrait camera with 2x optical zoom, and a 13MP ultrawide camera. The optics are from Zeiss with Biotar style portrait, VIS 5-axis video stabilization, pixel shift ultra HD imaging, and HDR Super night shots. As for the selfie camera, it is a 32MP camera with an f/2.5 aperture. The cameras on the Vivo X60 are one of the best in the segment. But, it does suffer when it comes with battery life.
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 a 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 Google Pixel 4a review
The OnePlus 9R internally is basically the OnePlus 8T from late 2020, but with Snapdragon 870 processor. The OnePlus 9R also comes with the same good stuff and still suffers in some cases as the OnePlus 8T. Charging, performance, and Display was never an issue with OnePlus flagships and the same is the case with the OnePlus 9R as well.
The area where the OnePlus 9R falls short is in the camera department. This is where players like Vivo X60 are ahead of OnePlus. Photography is once again the weakest point of an otherwise great phone. The charging speeds are insane with a full charge taking up only 40 minutes while the OxygenOS has always been crowd favourite in India.
The Samsung Galaxy A72 is Samsung’s newest A series phone in the affordable flagship space with not so flagship processor inside. The device is powered by Snapdragon 720G chipset which we have seen on many budget phones under Rs 15,000. While the performance is decent enough, this is one thing that definitely falls short in the Rs 40,000 segment.
If you are happy with some decent performance, the Galaxy A72 does bring some good features such as a big 6.7-inch Full HD 90Hz AMOLED display, IP67 water and dust resistance rating, 64MP quad cameras, and a big 5,000mAh battery with a beautiful design. However, you get only 25W fast charging which is not the best in the segment either. Samsung has promised 3 major Android upgrades and 4 years of security updates.
If you are looking for a bigger iPhone in the sub Rs 40,000 segment, the iPhone XR from 2018 will serve you well. If you’re looking for an affordable iPhone, the iPhone XR is a strong contender boasting the latest software, enough power and surprisingly good battery life… for an iPhone. The price in India has hit an all-time low.
The person that will enjoy the iPhone XR is someone who’s due an upgrade or is struggling along with an iPhone 6S or iPhone 7, and wants to future-proof themselves a little. The camera will be an upgrade, the battery life a welcome salve and the overall design a step forward.
Read our iPhone XR review
Best smartphones under Rs 40,000 in India
|Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro||Rs 39,999|
|Xiaomi Mi 10T||Rs 35,999|
|Vivo X60||Rs 37,990 onwards|
|Google Pixel 4a||Rs 31,999|
|OnePlus 9R||Rs 39,999 onwards|
|Samsung Galaxy A72||Rs 34,999|
|Apple iPhone XR||Rs 39,999|