The only new addition to our latest list is the Samsung Galaxy A52, which has recently dropped in price. The OnePlus Nord CE 2 is still one of the most affordable OnePlus smartphones currently available, replacing the original Nord CE on our list as it offers much better value and features. The Realme 9 Pro+ is another powerful smartphone with good stereo speakers and a flagship main camera.
Here are Gadgets 360’s top picks of the best phones under Rs. 25,000 in India, in no particular order. We’ve reviewed and thoroughly tested all the phones on this list, including their raw performance, camera capabilities, software and ease of use, physical design, battery life, and charging speed. There’s also the Xiaomi 11i 5G that we didn’t test, but it’s pretty much identical to the 11i HyperCharge (Review), so it’s on our list for its price.
Best phone under Rs. 25,000 to buy in India
Phone under 25,000 Gadgets 360 rating (out of 10) Price in India (as recommended) OnePlus Nord CE 2 8 Rs. 23,999 Realme 9 Pro+ 9 Rs. 24,999 Motorola Edge 20 Fusion 8 Rs. 21,499 iQoo Z5 8 Rs. 23,990 Mi 10i 8 Rs. 23,990 Xiaomi 11i 5G – Rs. 24,999 Samsung Galaxy A52 8 Rs. 24.999
OnePlus North CE 2
The OnePlus Nord CE 2 is a good update to the original and is a cheaper Oppo Reno 7 5G (Review) without the spam apps, which isn’t a bad deal. The Nord CE 2 offers a premium design, good performance, solid battery life, fast charging, and decent photo cameras. Video recording isn’t its forte; otherwise, it’s hard to complain. OxygenOS remains one of the best Android skins and is one of the reasons OnePlus smartphones are easy to use. While not everyone favors Oppo’s influence on the brand these days, the fact that OnePlus promises two years of Android updates even for its most affordable phone is all the more reason to consider it.
Realme 9 Pro+
Overall, the Realme 9 Pro+ is a high-end smartphone priced very aggressively. If you are looking for an insane value for money under Rs. 25,000, it is currently very difficult to beat the Realme 9 Pro+. In addition to the expected features such as a current generation 5G SoC, great display, and fast charging, the 9 Pro+ is one of the few (if not only) smartphones in this segment with a flagship camera sensor (Sony IMX766) along with optical stabilization. The result is great-looking photos and videos when shooting day and night. The only real annoyance, if you ask us, is that Realme UI comes with way too many apps, most of which you’ll probably never use.
Motorola Edge 20 Fusion
The Motorola Edge 20 Fusion strikes a good balance between performance and software. It has a 6.7-inch OLED display with a refresh rate of 90 Hz. It has a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, a dedicated Google Assistant button, and even an IP52 rating. This smartphone is packed with powerful hardware, plus a clean, almost stock Android UI that will appeal to Android purists. There’s little to complain about here besides the relatively average low-light camera performance. The Edge 20 Fusion is well-built, performs well, and has good battery life.
The design of the iQoo Z5 is a slight improvement over its predecessor, making it more comfortable to hold and use. It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G SoC that performs very well in games and multitasking. You get a 6.67-inch LCD with a 120Hz refresh rate and stereo speakers, which work well for watching movies and playing games. The camera performance is decent in daylight but not great in low light. The battery life is excellent, and this phone supports 44W fast charging, which is quite short. The iQoo Z5 may not be a huge improvement over the iQoo Z3, but it’s still quite a step forward and something you should consider.
Xiaomi’s Mi 10i is a little over a year old now, but it’s still on sale and quite a popular phone. There are currently two variants on offer, and both are priced below Rs. 25,000. The specifications of the Mi 10i are still very competitive. You get a powerful 5G SoC, a 108-megapixel main camera, and a 120Hz display. The phone only supports 33W fast charging, which, while still fast, isn’t as noticeable as what the competition offers. This is also a nice phone and comes in some attractive colors.
Xiaomi 11i 5G
The Xiaomi 11i 5G gets a special mention because while we didn’t review it, we did check its nearly identical sibling, the 11i HyperCharge (Review). Both phones should be similar regarding software, overall performance, gaming, and camera quality. The main difference is in the fast charging speed: the standard 11i supports up to 67W fast charging, while the 11i HyperCharge supports 120W. The battery capacity is also slightly different, but the company still promises good battery life. If you’re okay with charging a little ‘slower’ than Rs. 24,999, the 11i has many features for the price. There is a 108-megapixel main camera, 120Hz AMOLED screen, stereo speakers, a powerful 5G SoC, and a stylish design.
Samsung Galaxy A52
The Samsung Galaxy A52 has come down in price, so we switched from our sub-Rs. 30,000 list to here. Samsung is officially listing the 6GB variant for Rs. 24,999, but you can find it for less on platforms like Amazon. The phone still looks youthful and, shall we say, fashionable. It also offers excellent features such as an IP67 rating, stereo speakers, and a 90Hz AMOLED display – a combination that is hard to find in this segment. We found the overall performance solid, even though it uses a lower Snapdragon 720G SoC. There’s a bit of bloatware to deal with in OneUI, which we’re not big fans of. While solid during the day, the cameras tended to fall a bit short in low light. These issues aside, the Galaxy A52 is still attractive as you get a good set of features.