n our last roundup of the best Android phones that cost less than Rs. 15,000, we had recommended the Xiaomi Mi 3 as the best phone to buy, and had been suggesting the 8GB variant of the Asus Zenfone 5 as the best value for money phone you can get. Three months have passed since then however, and a lot of new phones are in the market under Rs. 15,000. Also notable is the fact that since our last roundup, the Xiaomi Mi 3 is no longer available to buy. However, if you can get your hands on it at less than Rs. 15,000, it remains a great buy.
Some of the high profile launches since our last roundup included the three Android One phones and the fingerprint sensor equipped Xolo Q2100, not to mention the Jolla Smartphone running the Sailfish OS and the entry-level Firefox OS phone, the Intex Cloud FX. If you’re looking to buy a phone right now, then here are our top picks for smartphones under Rs. 15,000:
Best overall: Motorola Moto G (Gen 2)
The Moto G was one of the handsets responsible for creating the current interest in the under-Rs. 15,000 market, and the second generation of the device remains an excellent buy. The new Moto G (Review | Pictures) is a bit boring to look at, but does well in terms of its display, software, performance, battery life and camera, making it a really good pick.
Best value for money: Asus ZenFone 5 (8GB)
Available at under Rs. 10,000, the Asus ZenFone 5 (Review | Pictures) 8GB model remains our value-for-money pick, since you get a phone with a great camera, decent performance and looks, at a price where the competing phones come with serious compromises.
Best camera: Panasonic P81
The Panasonic P81 (Review | Pictures) launched at a fairly high price of Rs. 19,990, and at that price it wasn’t a great option at all. However, the phone has just received a huge price cut and although that doesn’t help with the boring design and average display, it certainly makes the P81 a reasonable buy today. We liked the camera on this phone even at its original price, and at approximately Rs. 11,000, it is probably the best option around with great low-light performance. In case you don’t want to go with a phablet that has a 5.5-inch screen, you could instead pick up the Moto G. That phone has a pretty good camera too, but the P81 wins in terms of low-light performance.
Best battery life: Micromax Canvas Nitro
Launched in September for Rs. 12,900, the Micromax Canvas Nitro (Review | Pictures) did not thrill us – its scores in design and software were middling, and the camera is downright bad. The phone comes loaded with bloatware, and the performance is only middling. But the battery life on the phone is unmatched in the category, and if you’re someone who’s always on the move and needs a big battery that won’t let you down, then there’s no better option than the Canvas Nitro.
Best phablet: Panasonic P81
While there are other phablets in this category, the price cut of the Panasonic P81 makes it a worthy option. You won’t get the best looking phone for your money, and the Android skin from Panasonic is crude, but the phone has good performance, a great camera, and delivers incredible value for the money it costs.