Best Smartphone Under 12000 Rupees in India - January 2021

Like we said in the ₹8,000 to ₹10,000 segment ₹10,000 to ₹12,000 is also a highly competitive price segment in the Indian Smartphone market. So there are plenty of devices available in this price segment with small differences from each other. In such a case, a lot of consumers are going to be so confused about which one to choose.

The priorities will be different for each user; this ranking list will be based upon our priority of features and specifications. Like you can see below we have given considerable advantages to devices with Full HD screens compared to other devices with HD screens. So this order might be different for your use cases. In such a case, our in-depth smartphone buying guide might help you learn new things and make it easy to pick the right one by yourself.

We will continue to update this list as new devices get launched. So you can always come back here and get the updated recommendation list.

Some General Information

Even though there are plenty of devices available in this price segment, we have only included devices that we can easily recommend to our audience. We will provide key specifications and a brief explanation about these devices.

After our recommended list of phones, we have also included some phones, which we are not quite sure about recommending, especially when we have much better options available out there. We will not provide any explanation for such devices but only provide key specifications.

Many of these devices will be platforms exclusive to Flipkart or amazon. In such cases, there are a lot of unofficial listings of these devices in other eCommerce sites with higher price tags, and you may buy this product from unofficial sellers. So we will provide a link to official sellers after every product in this list.

Processors list

There is no significant difference in terms of the processing powers of phones in this price segment. So software optimisation will have a significant impact on final performance. Still, it is always better to have a good processor. So here is a list of processors used in this price segment along with its average AnTuTu v8 Benchmark score.

ProcessorAvg AnTuTuDevices
Helio G85200KRedmi Note 9, Micromax in note 1, realme Narzo 20
Helio G80195KRedmi 9 Prime, Poco M2
Helio G70180KTecno Camon 16
Helio P70175KCoolpad Cool 6
Snapdragon 665175KOppo A5 2020
Snapdragon 662170KMoto G9, Realme 7i
Snapdragon 460145KVivo Y20i

Best Smartphone under 12000 Rupees

1. Redmi Note 9

Redmi Note 9 - Best Smartphone under 12000 Rupees in India

Redmi Note 9 has everything you can expect from a 12K rupees smartphone, So our No.1 recommendation is given to this complete package smartphone. If one thing we are not interested to see in it is plenty of ads in the User interface with small numbers of bloatware. According to Xiaomi, these make them price these devices so aggressively. 

In terms of specifications, Redmi Note 9 comes with the best processor in this price range, has one of the best camera systems, both in terms of hardware and computational photography. It offers good battery life with 18W fast charging and all other features we can expect from this price.

In terms of camera performance, we haven’t tested it, but tech videos out there from our trusted sources say due to good software optimisation, it is pretty good. But the dual 2MP on the back is just for marketing, and there is no use at all.

Key Specifications

Helio G85, 6.53 inch Full HD+ display with punch hole (left corner), 450nit, 84% NTSC, 48MP(f/1.79)+8MP Ultra Wide+2MP Macro+2MP Depth, 13MP Selfie, 5020mAh Charger, 18W Charging(22.5W Charger in the box),9W reverse charging, Gorilla Glass 5, Type-C, microSD slot, 5Ghz Wifi, BL 5.0, 199g, TPU Case included

Storage Options: 4GB+64GB ₹11,999, 4GB+128GB ₹13,499, 6GB+128GB ₹14,999

amazon product links

2. Redmi 9 Prime

Redmi 9 Prime - Best Smartphone under 12000 Rupees in India

Redmi 9 Prime will not be the second-best hardware in this list, but for its price, it offers one of the best value offering smartphones and starts at 10K rupees. Compared to Redmi Note 9, we lose many things here.

Here we get a similar Full HD display with a slightly lower maximum brightness level compared to Redmi Note 9. Cameras get downgraded in terms of primary camera, selfie camera, etc. but we get a better Macro camera than any smartphone in this list. Even though the device supports 18W fast charging the device only ships with a 10W charger in the box.

Key Specifications

Helio G80, 6.53 inch Full HD+ display, 400 nit, 13MP(f/2.2)+8MP Ultra Wide+5MP Macro+2MP Depth, 8MP Selfie camera, 5020mAh,18W fast charging(10W charger in the box), Gorilla Glass 3, Type-C, 5Ghz Wifi, Micro SD, TPU Case included

Storage Option: 4GB+64GB ₹9,999, 4GB+128GB ₹10,999

amazon product links

3. Poco M2

Poco M2 - Best Smartphone under 12000 Rupees in India

There is nothing to say about Poco M2 because it is Redmi 9 Prime’s 6GB variant with 500 Rupees more. We do not benefit from an extra 2GB RAM at this price. So picking One among Redmi 9 Prime or Poco M2 will mainly depend on the e-commerce platform and bank offers.

Key Specifications

Poco M2 = Redmi 9 Prime+2GB RAM extra

Storage Options: 6GB+64GB ₹10,499, 6GB+128GB ₹11,499

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4. Micromax in note 1

Micromax in note 1 - Best Smartphone under 12000 Rupees in India

Micromax in Note 1 seems to provide the best value among all of these smartphones by looking at the specs. Even though we only give 4 th position in this list. Because many people reported a lot of quality control issues on the device, due to that, we are not sure whether to recommend this smartphone. 

But in terms of real-life usage, the phone performs very fast, but Micromax should have to work on their RAM management. Another key selling point has a good quality FHD+(1080P) panel, but it only comes with widevine L3 certificate(SD streaming). 

Even though the camera hardware seems very promising, any reviewers who have the device are not impressed with the in Note 1 camera. Battery life, speaker quality, call quality seems to be on par with other good phones in this segment. Another area Micromax in Note 1 impresses is in terms of network performance like Xiaomi devices. 

in Note1 offers a clean Ads-free experience with Stock Android with No Bloatware. Even questions others claim to add ads to provide value for money smartphones because Micromax in note 1 is priced the same as the Redmi Note 9 price.

The charging speed is comparatively slow, and many reported the device is overheating in such situations. Overall, it is hard to recommend this device, even though, on paper, the specs look impressive for the price.

Key Specifications

Helio G85, 6.67 Full HD+ display with centre punch hole, 450 nits, 74% NTSC,48MP Primary+5MP Ultra Wide+2MP Macro+2MP depth, 16MP Selfie(Omnivision sensor), 5000mAh, 18W charging, CaiHong Glass, Type C,5GHz Wifi, BL 5.0, micro SD slot, Stock Android, No Ads, No Bloatware

Storage Options: 4GB+64GB ₹10,999 and 4GB+128GB, ₹12499

Flipkart affiliate link

5. realme Narzo 20

Realme narzo 20 - Best Smartphone under 12000 Rupees in India

realme Narzo 20 is a value proposition from realme. Its main competitor is Poco M2 or Redmi 9 Prime. Compared to them, you lose something and gain something else. realme Narzo 20 comes with an HD display(720p) display which we are not a big fan of and it makes its rank drop.

 Even though its camera hardware seems to be better than Redmi 9 Prime, Redmi 9 Prime performs better due to better software, but you can see more details in Realme’s picture due to the high Megapixel count. Compared to Redmi 9 Prime it offers more battery and an 18W charger in the box.

Key Specifications

Helio G85, 6.5 HD+ display, 48MP(f/1.8) primary+8MP Ultra-Wide+ 2MP Macro, 8MP selfie camera, 6000mAh, 18W fast charging, Type-C, 5Ghz wifi, BL 5.0, 208g, micro SD slot, Screen Protector

Storage Options: 4GB+64GB ₹10,499, 4GB+128GB ₹11,499

Flipkart affiliate link

6. realme 7i

realme 7i - Best Smartphone under 12000 Rupees in India

As the price suggests, realme 7i is a direct competitor to Redmi Note 9. But realme’s choice makes its rank drop to 5 th. They opt for an HD+ panel instead of a Full HD display to get a 90Hz refresh rate. But it doesn’t make sense to go for a higher refresh display before making the basic’s right.
The camera hardware is a little superior with a 64MP primary sensor and a popular selfie camera sensor in the market, the IMX471.

Key Specifications:
Snapdragon 662, 6.5 inch HD+ display with 90Hz refresh rate, 64MP(f/1.8) primary + 8MP ultra wide-angle + 2MP B&W + 2MP Macro(4 cm), 16MP punch-hole(left) selfie(Sony IMX471), 5000mAh, 18W quick charge, microSD slot, 5GHz Wifi, 188g, Type-C, Gorilla Glass 3, TPU Case, Screen Protector

Storage Options: 4GB+64GB ₹11,999

Flipkart affiliate link

7. Moto G9 Power

Moto G9 Power - Best Smartphone under 12000 Rupees in India

The Moto G9 Power is coming to India as a “Pro” Model to Moto G9 which is available in India for quite some time at ₹9,999. Moto G9 Power is trying to be a camera-centric smartphone as like Moto G9. So it got an impressive primary sensor in cost of HD+ display instead of FHD+. But sadly Realme 7i trying to do the same with better other specifications like the presence of the wide-angle camera, 90Hz refresh rate, etc. at the same price.

The other selling point is the pure stock android experience. But that is also provided by Micromax in Note 1 with much better Specs. If you would like more about Moto G9 Power, check out the dedicated article.

Key Specifications

Snapdragon 662, 6.8 inches HD+ display, 20W Fast Charging, 6000mAh, 64 MP+2 MP macro+2MP depth, 16 MP selfie, 5Ghz WIFI, Type-C, 221 g, Stock Android, iP52 water repellent, 172.1mm x 76.8mm x 9.7 mm

Storage Variants: 4GB+64GB at ₹11,999

Other Options

As we said earlier, there are plenty of devices in this price category. We handpicked four more options in this price range, but they are worth being in our rank list due to many reasons. There is no particular order for smartphones listed below.

A. Oppo A5 2020

Snapdragon 665, 6.5 HD+ Display, 12MP(f/1.8) + 8MP wide + 2MP depth +2MP macro, 8MP selfie, hi-res audio, 5Ghz Wifi, Type-c, 5000mAh, dolby atmos, dual stereo speakers 

Storage options: 3GB+64GB ₹10,990
(In the offer periods, it is usually available for ₹9,999 and at that price, it is worth every penny)

B. Coolpad Cool 6

Helio P70, 6.53 Full HD Display, Full Screen, 48MP+2MP+2MP, 21MP Pop Up Selfie, Micro USB, 4000mAh, no info about charging speed, 198g

Storage Options: 4GB+64Gb ₹10,999

C. Tecno Camon 16

Helio G70, 6.8 HD+ display, 64MP(f/1.73)+2MP+2MP, 16MP Selfie, micro USB, 5000mah, 18W Charging, 207g, 5Ghz Wifi

Storage Options: 4GB+64GB ₹11,499

D. Vivo Y20i

Snapdragon 460, 6.51 HD+ Display, 13MP(f/2.2)+2MP Macro+2MP depth, 8MP Selfie, 5Ghz Wifi, Micro USB, side mounted fingerprint, 5000mAh, 18W fast charging

Storage Options: 3GB+64Gb ₹11,490

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Image Credits: Xiaomi | realme | micromax | Poco | flipkart

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