It’s time to take a look at the best phones available under Rs 40,000 in India this month. Most phones from our previous list opted for inclusion, but only two managed to keep their place. We have four new options for you; Yes, we chose six phones instead of our usual five. As expected, we have phones with flagship processors, 5G compliance, high refresh rate AMOLED displays and, last but not least, excellent cameras. Time to hit the best under 40k this quarter.
Best phones to buy in India under Rs 40,000
iQOO 9SE 5G
The Vivo sub-brand has been a constant presence in several of our lists, and here’s another impressive device from iQOO. The iQOO 9 SE 5G is powered by Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 888 chip, and you can easily spare its top-of-the-line variant with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage in this few-buck budget. Its 6.62-inch HDR10+ compatible Full HD+ AMOLED display has a 120Hz refresh rate for a flicker-free experience in compatible apps and can get up to 1300 nits bright.
The rear camera department consists of a 48-megapixel primary camera with OIS, accompanied by a 13-megapixel ultra-wide camera and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. You get a handy 16MP front camera for selfies and video calls. The iQOO 9 SE 5G has a 4500mAh battery that will last for a day with moderate use, and the included 66W fast charger is said to fully charge it in less than 40 minutes. The phone runs Android 12 with FunTouch OS 12.
iQOO 9 SE 5G price in India: Rs 36,990 for 12GB RAM/ 256GB storage
Realme GT 2 / Realme GT Neo 3
We have two Realme phones for you that have far too many similarities and only two key differences that I will address first. The Realme GT 2 is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 SoC, while the newer Realme GT Neo 3 is powered by Mediatek’s flagship Dimensity 8100 chip. While the former has a 6.62-inch AMOLED display, the latter has a slightly larger 6.7-inch AMOLED screen that supports 10-bit color. Both screens are HDR10+ compatible, have a 120Hz refresh rate and Gorilla Glass 5 protection.
In this budget you get 8GB RAM variants of both phones, and while the GT 2 has 128GB of storage, the GT Neo 3 gives you a choice of 128GB and 256GB internal storage variants. The camera department is identical on both, with a 50-megapixel main camera with OIS that captures some impressive shots in a variety of modes and lighting. It is accompanied by an 8 MP ultra wide snapper and a 2 MP macro camera. The 16-megapixel front camera handles selfies and video calls quite well.
Both phones have 5000mAh batteries that will keep them going for over a day and a half with moderate use, and the included fast chargers can fully charge them in just over half an hour. Both Realme GT 2 and Realme GT Neo 3 use Android 12 with Realme UI 3.0. Now there’s another phone in India with identical specs to the GT Neo 3 but a few thousand rupees more expensive. It is commonly known as the OnePlus 10R. We thought about it for a long time and then decided against it. Read on to learn why.
Realme GT 2 price in India: Rs 34,999 for 8GB RAM/ 128GB storage
Realme GT Neo 3 price in India: Rs 38,999 for 8GB RAM/ 256GB storage
One Plus 9
The price of the OnePlus 9 has come down further, so it offers better value for money than the 10R, as well as a much better camera department. Its 8 GB RAM and 128 GB UFS 3.1 storage variant is now conveniently available in this budget. This phone is powered by Qualcomm’s previous flagship Snapdragon 888 chip. It features a 6.55-inch Full HD+ Fluid AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and HDR10+ compliance. The phone has an elegant design with a glass body protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back.
As I said before, the rear camera department is more capable than on the OnePlus 10R. Photography is handled by a 48-megapixel primary camera, a 50-megapixel autofocus ultrawide camera – one of the best ultrawide cameras out there – and a 2-megapixel mono camera. Let’s not forget the Hasselblad color calibration that makes a difference. The cameras manage to take impressive pictures in different lighting conditions with natural colors.
A 16-megapixel front camera, housed in a tiny hole at the top of the screen, does a good job of selfies and video calls. Its 4500mAh battery easily lasts a day with moderate use, and the included 65W charger juices it up in just about half an hour. The phone was launched with OxygenOS 11 based on Android 11 and Android 12 update with OxygenOS 12 is now available.
OnePlus 9 price in India: Rs 37,999 for 8GB RAM/ 128GB storage
Motorola Edge 20 Pro
The Motorola Edge 20 Pro is another impressive option in this budget and it maintains its place on this list thanks to some unique features. This phone is powered by a Snapdragon 870 chip and packs 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. Its large 6.7-inch Full HD+ OLED display offers a 144Hz refresh rate, as well as HDR10+ compliance and the ability to display over a billion shades of color. On the front and back there is a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection against scratches.
The Motorola Edge 20 Pro’s photography department is led by a 108MP main camera and has an impressive support cast to back it up. You get a 16MP ultra wide-angle camera and an 8MP telephoto camera with OIS, giving you 5x optical zoom. The 32MP front camera will impress the selfie enthusiasts. The 4500mAh battery lasts for over a day with moderate use and supports 30W fast charging. This phone runs Android 11, and like most Motorola phones, you get a clean and near-stock UI. Android 12 update has started.
Motorola Edge 20 Pro price in India: Rs 32,999 for 8GB RAM/ 128GB storage
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G
The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G is the second phone from our previous list to keep its place this quarter as well. It features a 6.5-inch Super AMOLED HDR10+ compatible display with a 120Hz refresh rate. This stylish handset has IP68 intrusion protection. It is powered by Qualcomm’s previous generation flagship chip, Snapdragon 865. You get 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. The internal memory can be further expanded with a microSD card; a rare feature in premium phones. The phone debuted Android 11 and Samsung’s One UI 3.1. Android 12 update with One UI 4.0 is available for this device.
The photo department consists of a 12-megapixel primary camera with Dual Pixel PDAF and OIS, a 12-megapixel ultra wide-angle camera and an 8-megapixel telephoto camera with OIS for up to 3x optical zoom. The camera quality is excellent in different modes, as one would expect from a Samsung S-series phone. They also have a 32MP front camera to please the selfie crowd. Its 4500mAh battery lasts well over a day with moderate use. It supports both regular fast charging and fast wireless charging.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE price in India: Rs 34,990 for 8GB RAM/ 128GB storage
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