It is a well-known fact that Indian market is dominated by budget-centric smartphones. Although, we have seen many launches in the premium category, but the year 2016 has been always about the budget offering by different companies. In the year 2016, we saw a complete overhaul in the perception of the budget segment with competition getting intense and companies like Xiaomi, Lenovo, LeEco, and more came up with smartphones that offer a premium design, power-packed hardware at a jaw-dropping price.
But in this ocean of smartphones, only the handful of them did an exceptional job by giving flagship like performance, at a price below Rs 10,000. So without further ado, here is our five pick of the best budget smartphones of 2016.
Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime
Xiaomi is known for making smartphones that boast flagship-level specs and doesn’t dig a big hole in your pocket. Although its Redmi Note 3 is still one of the best-selling phones in India, but with the launch of Redmi 3s Prime, Xiaomi completely changed our perception of a budget smartphone. The company added all the perfect ingredient required to make a perfect smartphone, moulded it with a premium design and crafted the leader of the budget segment. Whether be it aluminium body or a massive 4100mAh non-removable Lithium-ion battery, the smartphone has set a new standard for the budget segment. With some top of the line specs including Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, 13MP and 5MP rear and front camera and a massive 4100mAh battery, the smartphone makes a perfect combination for the best budget smartphone of 2016 for Rs 8,999.
Lenovo Vibe K6 Power
Before the advent of Redmi 3s Prime, it was Lenovo K5 Plus that dominated the budget segment. The smartphone was considered to the best device for media consumption as it came with TheaterMax technology coupled with some respectable specs and performance. But it still had its flaws. But with the K6 Power, the company carried the legacy of the K5 Plus and created a smartphone that comes with specs, which makes it THE phone under Rs 10,000 budget. Starting with the design language, the phone comes with a metal unibody design, which was not present in its predecessor. And under the hood, the company added some top of the line specs including a 5-inch Full HD screen, Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 procesor, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, 13MP and 8MP rear and front camera and an impressive 4000mAh battery coupled with company Pure UI running on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow gives a neck-on-neck competition to the Redmi 3s Prime and an edge over its other competitors for Rs 9,999.
With the launch of 5c, Honor delivered a smartphone that scores high marks in every aspect whether is its design or performance. What made the device stand out of crowd, was its compact form factor coupled with a brushed metal finish at the back, which gives a very distinct and premium look. The device comes with a 5.2-inch full HD display, which makes it even more likeable. The smartphone comes with HiSilicon Kirin 650 octa-core processor with 2GB RAM and 16GB of internal storage, which is sufficient to tackle any task you throw at it. One of the major highlights of the device is it camera performance with 13-megapixel primary camera with f2.0 aperture and a LED flash, coupled with an 8-megapixel is in the front for selfies. The device runs on 3000mAh battery and runs on Android Marshmallow EMUI 4.1.That said, one will not regret buying Honor 5C if the budget is around Rs 10,000.
LeEco Le 1s Eco
LeEco Le 1s Eco can be considered as your small entertainment package. The device did impress us with its sheer performance coupled with the content and services provided by the company through its LeEco Membership, through which one can enjoy movies, TV channels, songs and live streams. One of the most eye-catching features of the Le 1s is it metal unibody coupled with screw-less design, which adds a premium look to the device. The back is flat but the phone has curves at the edges, making it comfortable to hold. The Le 1s is just 7.5mm slim and weighs only 169 grams. The Le 1s impresses us with a 5.5-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) display with 500 nits of brightness, which makes the display more colour rich and vivid. For the specs, the device comes loaded with octa-core MediaTek Helio X10 (MT6795T) processor coupled with a PowerVR G6200 GPU and a 3GB of RAM. The device features a 32GB internal storage that is not expandable. On the camera front, The Le 1s sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with F2.0 aperture, PDAF and single LED flash. There is a 5-megapixel front-facing wide-angle camera for selfies and video calling. The device has all the connectivity option starting from 4G, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS. It also sports a 3000mAh battery and runs on Android 5.0.2 with company’s EUI 5.5 interface over it.
Coolpad Mega 2.5D
Coolpad made some gargantuan waves in the market when it launch Note 3 Lite with a fingerprint sensor and 3GB RAM with a price tag of Rs 6,999. And yet again, the company has managed to surprise many when it launched the Mega 2.5D phone, which boasts a unibody design coupled with an 8-megapixel front-facing camera. The device gives a premium look with a unibody design with golden rim running around the edges and a 2.5D glass covering, which is a luxury this price point. And as for the specs are concerned, the device comes with MediaTek MT6735P processor coupled with 3GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage which can expand up to 32GB. It also comes with an 8-megapixel rear camera, which is a bit led down, but otherwise, the overall performance makes it one of the most decent options available in the budget segment.
Starting with the Galaxy J2 (2016) had been in news for a while as it was the first to sport next-generation LED notification system known as Smart Glow. The phone comes with a LED ring around the rear camera which changes colour for different notifications. Although the smartphone did offer some out-of-the-box technology, but falls flat on the specs game. However, it still can be considered a good phone for Rs 9,750.
The update version of Asus Zenfone Max can be considered as one of the budget smartphones which comes with an impressive battery life, all thanks to the 5000mAh battery capacity. The company updated the processor and added more RAM and storage, which makes it a good performer at this price point. Priced at Rs 9,999, the smartphone is ideal for those who want a long battery life on their smartphone.