This is an interesting time for premium smartphones in India. We’re currently seeing prices rise across the industry due to inflation, currency fluctuations and ongoing supply chain disruption. Phonemakers are finding it tough to keep raising the bar, and attention has shifted from phones priced well below Rs. 20,000 to the more aspirational sub-Rs. 30,000 and sub-Rs. 40,000 price bands. The market in India is also maturing, and many people are looking to upgrade to higher-end models when it’s time to replace what they are currently using.
If you have a budget of up to Rs. 40,000 you can get some excellent devices with up-to-date specifications, more than enough power for gaming, and impressive camera quality. Manufacturers also go to considerable lengths to stand out in terms of design, and you’ll likely see features such as very quick charging and an IP rating, plus plenty of RAM and storage.
Here are the best smartphones priced under Rs. 40,000 in India, reviewed and rated by Gadgets 360, in no particular order.
Best phones under Rs. 40,000
|Phones under Rs. 40,000||Gadgets 360 rating (out of 10)||Price in India (as recommended)|
|Samsung Galaxy A53 5G||8||Rs. 34,499|
|Xiaomi 11T Pro||9||Rs. 39,999|
|iQoo 9 SE||8||Rs. 33,900|
|Oppo Reno 7 Pro 5G||8||Rs. 39,999|
|Vivo V23 Pro||8||Rs. 38,990|
|Motorola Edge 20 Pro||8||Rs. 36,999|
|Realme GT Neo 2||8||Rs. 31,999|
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G replaces the Galaxy A52s 5G and shares a lot of its specifications, but looks slick with design elements borrowed from the top-end Galaxy S22 series. The new Exynos 1280 SoC delivers budget-level performance, so those looking for a good gaming phone will have to look elsewhere. There’s an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, which is a value add. Camera still and video performance is good in daylight but average in low light. This phone’s 5,000mAh battery lasts two days with casual use. Samsung does not include a charger in the box, but the phone supports 25W fast charging.
Xiaomi 11T Pro
The Xiaomi 11T Pro doesn’t stand out in terms of design, with a polycarbonate mid-frame sandwiched between two sheets of glass. However, it delivers raw performance thanks to its Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC and is a good all-rounder. Its attractive price and features make it a good deal. Its AMOLED display showcases accurate colours and is also Dolby Vision certified. You get stereo sound with Dolby Atmos support, which makes for immersive video streaming. Battery life is top notch and this phone offers up to two days of casual use on a single charge. You also get a 120W fast charger in the box. Camera performance is quite good, except for the quality of selfies in low light.
iQoo 9 SE
The iQoo 9 SE looks quite premium. There’s no official IP rating, but you get high-quality stereo speakers that sound great when streaming video and playing games. The 6.62-inch 120Hz Super AMOLED display produces punchy colours and is HDR10+ certified. The software experience with Android 12 is smooth and fluid, but this phone does come with too many preinstalled third-party apps. Gaming performance with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC is top-notch, and the 4,500mAh battery lasted a day and a half on a single charge in our tests. Camera performance in daylight is impressive, but we expected better from the ultra-wide-angle camera. The iQoo 9 SE also shoots good macros, and selfies came out nicely.
Oppo Reno 7 Pro 5G
Design has always been a big talking point for the Oppo Reno series, and the Reno 7 Pro has a glass back with a laser micro-etched finish. The 6.5-inch full-HD+ 90Hz AMOLED panel delivers very good colours and contrast, plus there’s Corning Gorilla 5 for scratch protection. The Dimensity 1200-Max SoC from MediaTek has custom optimisations and makes games run smoothly. You get ColorOS 12 but this is still based on Android 11, not Android 12. Battery life is solid, and charging is super-fast.
Vivo V23 Pro
The Vivo V23 Pro is a slim and light smartphone with a unique colour-changing back panel. It offers a capable set of cameras too but falls a bit short when it comes to the basics. Build quality feels premium, with a polycarbonate frame sandwiched between two sheets of glass with curved sides. However, the medium-sized notch on the display makes it looks dated. The phone performs well enough when it comes to software and gaming but some similarly priced smartphones offer better hardware. Still camera performance is quite good and the phone captures good selfies. Low-light camera performance is not bad, but the competition offers better. Battery life is quite good for a slim and light smartphone but don’t expect multi-day battery life. Power users can steer clear of this one.
Motorola Edge 20 Pro
The Motorola Edge 20 Pro has a 6.7-inch full-HD+ AMOLED display with a 144Hz refresh rate. It’s well built and has Corning Gorilla Glass 5 at the front and back plus an aluminium frame. It is IP52 rated for dust and water resistance. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 SoC is matched with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. There’s a 4,500mAh battery and you get a 30W charger in the box. Motorola ships near-stock Android 12 with minor customisations. The Edge 20 Pro has a 108-megapixel primary camera, a 16-megapixel ultra-wide camera and an 8-megapixel 5X telephoto camera. Photos taken in daylight were good, especially and close-ups. The telephoto camera can be useful for shooting faraway objects. However, low-light camera performance was not upto the mark.
Realme GT Neo 2
This is a solid mid-range gaming smartphone. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 processor offers plenty of raw performance and the cooling system does a good job of sustaining that performance. The Realme GT Neo 2 is available in a bright Neo Green as well as two other subtle colours. The 5,000mAh battery easily lasts a day and half even with some gaming sessions. The dual speakers are quite loud and make for an immersive experience while gaming and watching movies. Camera performance is a mixed bag at best. While daylight performance is good, low-light shots and video weren’t as impressive, which means that the GT Neo 2 is not an all-rounder.
Realme has recently launched the GT Neo 3 which we have not reviewed. The GT Neo 3 (150W) is very similar and did perform well in our tests but is priced above Rs. 40,000.