Best Android phones in India: March, 2018 edition
The market is full of great and exciting smartphones, but still choosing a new phone can be a daunting task. In order to help you in your next smartphone buying decision, we have compiled a list of the best Android phones that are currently available in the Indian market.
This list is divided into various price segments to showcase the best phones in every category.
Let’s start with the premium Android phones.
Best Android phones (INR 40,000 and above)
This segment includes smartphones that are crème de la crème of the Android smartphone industry – the flagship models from different manufacturers. Since most smartphone makers release one (or at most two) flagships a year, there is not much movement in this list.
Google Pixel 2/ Pixel 2 XL
Although pricey, Google’s Pixel 2 smartphones remain the best Android phones of the year. With amazing cameras and industry-leading performance, you simply can’t go wrong these two phones. If you like smaller phones – Pixel 2 is the right choice for you. Pixel 2 XL, on the other hand, is great for big-screen lovers. Also, we are now hearing that the recently produced Pixel 2 XL units feature better display panels, which don’t have that drastic blue-tint and other small issues that plagued the initial batches of the phone.
Quick specs: 5-inch 1080p FHD screen/ 6-inch 1440p QHD screen, Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage and Android Oreo
Google Pixel 2 Price
Starting INR 61,000
Google Pixel 2 XL Price
Starting INR 73,000
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Apart from the Pixel 2 XL, if any other large-screen smartphone that has garnered universal praise, it is Samsung Galaxy Note 8. It is a complete package from an amazing screen to a great camera. The presence of the stylus support is a bonus and even if you don’t use stylus, Note 8 remains a great device.
Quick specs: 6.3-inch 1440p QHD screen, Exynos 8895, 6GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, 3300 mAh battery, Android Nougat-based Samsung UX and S-Pen
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Price
HTC maybe a company staring at its demise, but that hasn’t stopped it from making great smartphones. HTC Android flagships aren’t always amazing, but U11 is a phone where HTC gets a lot of things right. The phone is not as expensive as Google’s Pixel 2 or Samsung’s Note 8, but it still includes comparable quality features. It has a good camera, great build quality, nice display and no-nonsense performance.
Quick specs: 5.5-inch 1440p QHD screen, Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage, 3000 mAh battery and Android Oreo-based HTC Sense
HTC U11 Price
Other notable phones in the category: Samsung Galaxy S8/ S8 Edge (Almost a year-old, but still a great option) and LG V30+ (great sound, but sub-par display and camera)
Best Android phones (INR 25,000 to INR 40,000)
The flagship models may get a lot of praise, but this price-category has the best value-for-money high-end Android phones. The smartphones in this segment don’t break the bank, but are still able to offer pretty much all the flagship-level specifications. Sure, you won’t get the Pixel 2-level of camera or Note 8-like amazing screen, but then you are also not paying INR 50K or 60K.
OnePlus is the champion of this segment. Over the last few years, OnePlus has become the expert in producing flagship-level phones in almost half the cost of the flagship phones. Just a few months old, the OnePlus 5T is a no-brainer for most consumers. It provides great performance, a decent display, an elegant design and superb build quality. It may not have the most awe-inspiring camera, but everything else is quite good.
Quick specs: 6.01-inch 1080p FHD+ screen, Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, 6GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, 3300 mAh battery and Android Nougat
OnePlus 5T Price
INR 32,999; you can spend INR 5,000 more to get 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage
Honor View 10
OnePlus maybe the reigning champion of this category, but it seems Honor, the e-brand of Huawei, is ready to challenge the company with phones like the View 10. With even more aggressive pricing, the View 10 isn’t planning to just sit around and wait. The View 10 offers great build quality, decent camera and good performance.
Quick specs: 5.99-inch 1080p FHD+ screen, HiSilicon Kirin 970, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage, 3750 mAh battery and Android Oreo-based EMUI
Honor View 10 Price
Samsung Galaxy A8+ (2018)
One of Samsung’s latest launches in the Indian market, Samsung Galaxy A8+ is a great option in this price-bracket. It has got an amazing design and build quality as well as Infinity display. Other features of the phone are also at par with the best this segment has to offer. Normally Samsung used to mess up the pricing for such phones, but with A8+ (2018), the company has hit the right spot.
Quick specs: 6-inch 1080p FHD+ screen, Exynos 7885, 6GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, 3500 mAh battery and Android Nougat-based Samsung UX
Samsung Galaxy A8+ (2018) Price
Other notable smartphones in this category: Samsung Galaxy S7 (despite being slightly older, it can put put many new phones to shame) and Nokia 8 (everything is great except the camera)
Best Android phones (INR 11,000 to INR 25,000)
This is the most active price-segment in the country and filled with plethora of options. However, due to the lack of manufacturers’ imagination, most of these phones are very similar. Thankfully, there are a few that stand out. Take a look at them.
When Google originally introduced Android One initiative a few years back, everyone was very excited, but first generation was a massive disappointment. So, when I heard about Google reinvigorating the Android One platform last year, I was very skeptical. But Xiaomi’s first Android One smartphone Mi A1 has turned out to be a big surprise, mostly because of Xiaomi’s efforts and the company’s usual aggressive pricing. Mi A1 has garnered universal praise and it is on everyone’s list of the best phones to buy in the mid-range price-segment. If you are looking to get an Android phone in this price category, you can’t go wrong with Mi A1.
Quick specs: 5.5-inch 1080p FHD screen, Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, 3080 mAh battery and Android Oreo.
Xiaomi Mi A1 Price
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro (4GB)
Xiaomi’s successor to the much-loved Redmi Note 4, the Redmi Note 5 Pro offers great value-for-money. It keep the best aspects of the Note 4 and improves on the other to be inline with the latest smartphone trends like 18:9 screen and dual-camera setup. The inclusion of the new Snapdragon 636 SoC with octa-core Kryo 260 CPU and Adreno 506 GPU is another positive.
Key specs: 5.99-inch full HD+ display, Snapdragon 636 SoC, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, MIUI 9, dual rear cameras, and 4000 mAh battery
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro Price
Starts INR 13,999
Motorola Moto G5S Plus
Moto G-series has been a consumer favorite for the last many years and rightly so. It is Motorola that really fired up the INR 10K to INR 20K price-segment in India with the original Moto G phone and even though the company has changed hands since then, the Moto G-series continues to stay strong. Moto G5S Plus is not different. The phone gets slightly eclipsed by Xiaomi Mi A1, but G5S Plus is also an amazing mid-range phone.
Quick specs: 5.5-inch 1080p FHD screen, Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, 3000 mAh battery and Android Nougat
Moto G5S Plus Price
The rate at which Huawei has turned around the Honor brand is simple astonishing. The original few Honor phones were lacklustre, but last year, the Honor team surprised everyone by continuously churning out great devices one after another. Honor 7X is an example. Even though it packs the not-so-loved EMUI, Honor 7X is a strong competitor to both Mi A1 and Moto G5S Plus.
Quick specs: 5.93-inch 1080p FHD+ screen, HiSilicon Kirin 659, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, 3340 mAh battery and Android Nougat-based EMUI
Honor 7X Price
INR 12,999; you can spend INR 3,000 more to get 64GB of internal storage
Other notable smartphones in this category: Samsung Galaxy On7 Prime, Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro (for selfie lovers), Samsung Galaxy On Max and Moto X4.
Best Android phones (Under INR 11,000)
Just a few years back, it was really hard to find good affordable Android phones. If you wanted a capable phone with comparably lower price-tag, you had to spend over 10 or 15K, but situation has improved quite a lot since those days. Now, the budget segment is buzzing with new launches every week and while not all of the launches are amazing, there are a few capable smartphones.
Honor 9 Lite
As I wrote earlier in this article, Honor has released some very impressive smartphones in the last one year and Honor 9 Lite is one of those phones. It is the first phone in this price-bracket that is true competitor to Xiaomi’s massively popular Redmi Note 4 phone in terms of almost every aspect, except probably the user-interface. But the presence of Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box negates most of what is wrong with EMUI. As of today, Honor 9 Lite is the probably the best smartphone that you can order under INR 11,000.
Quick specs: 5.65-inch 1080p FHD+ screen, HiSilicon Kirin 659, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, 3000 mAh battery and Android Oreo-based EMUI
Honor 9 Lite Price
INR 10,999; you can spend INR 4,000 more to get 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5
If you don’t want to spend INR 14,000 on the Redmi Note 5 Pro, the Redmi Note 5 is also a good option. It is not a huge upgrade over the Redmi Note 4, but it does bring the 18:9 screen and a slightly better camera with a larger pixel size.
Key specs: 5.99-inch full HD+ display, Snapdragon 625 SoC, 3/ 4GB of RAM, 32/ 64GB of internal storage, MIUI 9, 12MP f2.2 rear camera, and 4000 mAh battery
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Price
Starts INR 9,999
Lenovo K8 Plus
Lenovo’s K8 Plus may not be a perfect smartphone, but for the stock Android lovers, it will probably be the best phone in this price-segment. It offers good performance, a large 4000 mAh battery and good camera performance. It is often overshadowed by Redmi Note 4, but it is not an inferior smartphone. If you looking to buy a phone in this price bracket, this should be on your shortlist.
Quick specs: 5.2-inch 1080p FHD screen, MediaTek MT6757, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, 4000 mAh battery and Android Nougat
Lenovo K8 Plus Price
INR 8,999; you can spend INR 2,000 more to get 4GB of RAM
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
For anyone looking to buy a smartphone under INR 5,000, there aren’t many good choices. Sure there are lots of smartphones from a number of smartphone makers, but none of them offer an all-round package like Redmi 5A. This Xiaomi smartphone has garnered universal praise for its value-for-money proposition and is selling like hotcakes.
Quick specs: 5-inch 720p HD screen, Qualcomm Snapdragon 425, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, 3000 mAh battery and Android Nougat-based MIUI
Xiaomi Redmi 5A Price
INR 4,999; you can spend INR 2,000 more to get 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage
Other notable smartphones in this category: Xiaomi Redmi Y1 and Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie