Given how many people can afford it, the sub-Rs. 12,000 price point is essential to the Indian smartphone business. Many manufacturers have tried to get into this market over the years by releasing products with better cameras, faster CPUs, and longer-lasting batteries. Manufacturers have saturated the sub-Rs. 12,000 pricing bracket with a variety of high-quality cellphones in an effort to dominate this market.

Previously reserved for smartphones costing more than Rs. 20,000, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 is now accessible for less than Rs. 12,000. At this price category, you can also get stronger processors, such the Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 and MediaTek Helio P70, providing users with strong technology at a low cost.

Over the years, excellent camera technology has also crept down to the sub-Rs. 12,000 market, allowing users the ability to take beautiful images without shelling out a fortune for flagship smartphones. Some of the most recent smartphones in this price range include up to a 48-megapixel sensor. Choosing a smartphone might be difficult because there are so many alternatives available. However, we’ve compiled a list of the top smartphones under Rs. 12,000 just for you. We’ve limited ourselves, as usual, to phones that have performed well in our review process.

1. Realme C55

The C55 is the first smartphone in Realme’s C-series to be priced in the budget rather than the entry-level segments. With a matte polycarbonate rear panel and frame that are both effective at thwarting fingerprints, it features a modern look.

Realme has gone with the MediaTek Helio G88 SoC which limits this phone’s connectivity options to 4G bands. It’s powerful enough for some budget-level gaming, but is better suited to casual games.

The software experience is a bit messy, as the phone comes loaded with several Realme-branded apps and many third-party ones. There are also spammy notifications that appear daily from certain native apps. Software performance is quite lacking as there’s frequent stuttering and lag.

Camera performance in daylight is quite good. Low-light performance is decent when using the Night mode but this has drawbacks too. Battery life isn’t the best in class, but charging is quite quick.

Display6.72-inch, 1080×2400 pixels
ProcessorMediaTek Helio G88
Battery Capacity5000mAh
Rear Camera64MP + 2MP
Front Camera8MP
PRICE Rs 10,999

2. Lava Blaze 5G

Lava Blaze 5G is the most affordable 5G smartphone in India. Priced at Rs. 10,999, the Lava Blaze 5G comes in a single 4GB + 128GB storage option. The budget 5G smartphone comes with support for eight 5G bands in India.

The Lava Blaze 5G comes with a premium glass back design and a plastic frame. It features a 6.5-inch IPS LCD with an HD+ resolution (720×1600 pixels). The screen also supports a 90Hz refresh rate.

There is a MediaTek Dimensity 700 SoC, which is a budget 5G processor. The device packs a 5000mAh battery with 15W fast charging support. It weighs about 207g and measures 165.3×76.4×8.9mm.

The device has a triple-camera setup on the back with a 50-megapixel main camera. For selfies, there is an 8-megapixel front camera.In terms of software, the Lava Blaze 5G runs Android 12 out of the box. The company has promised to release the Android 13 update and provide two years of security support.

Display6.51-inch, 720×1600 pixels
ProcessorMediaTek Dimensity 700
Battery Capacity5000mAh
Rear Camera50MP + 2MP + 0.3MP
Front Camera8MP
PRICE Rs 10,999

3. Infinix Hot 20 5G

The Infinix Hot 20 5G is the company’s most affordable 5G smartphone at the lowest possible price. The device’s solely focussed on delivering a proper 5G experience and it does so by offering twelve 5G bands.

What it makes up in terms of 5G bands it seems to lack in overall appearance with a very basic design that is also quite heavy. Software is also a problem, where XOS does not seem to be well optimised to take advantage of the capable MediaTek Dimensity 810 SoC. The device, despite featuring a 120Hz refresh rate display, lacks the raw performance and optimisation to pull off the same.

Camera performance is far from best in class with average daylight performance and lacklustre low light performance. Despite having two rear cameras only one of them is accessible to the user. The large 5,000mAh battery delivers good battery life but charging is relatively slow.

ProcessorMediaTek Dimensity 810
Battery Capacity4500mAh
Rear Camera50MP + 2MP
Front Camera8MP
PRICE Rs 11,499

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