Whether you’re looking to upgrade from a mid-range smartphone or simply want a better camera and equally good value, the lower end of the premium smartphone segment in India is where you’ll find good options. Smartphones at sub Rs. Packing 40,000 threads in raw performance is more than enough for everyday tasks and is good enough for some high-end games as well. The designs are top-notch and are generally a huge leap over mid-range smartphones, and things like an IP68 rating are certainly an added bonus.
Our latest entrants include the OnePlus 11R 5G and Vivo V27 Pro 5G, both of which bring a solid set of premium features to the sub-Rs. Segment of 40,000 smartphones. There’s also the Motorola Edge 30 Fusion, which recently received a price cut and makes its way into this guide, offering good performance and value.
Here are the best smartphones priced below Rs. 40,000 in India that are reviewed and ranked by Gadgets 360, in no particular order.
|Phones under Rs. 40,000||Gadgets 360 rating (out of 10)||Price in India (as recommended)|
|OnePlus 11R 5G||9||LOL. 39,999|
|Vivo V27 Pro 5G||8||LOL. 37,999|
|Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G||9||LOL. 35,999|
|Motorola Edge 30 Pro||9||LOL. 34,999|
|Motorola Edge 30 Fusion||8||LOL. 37,999|
|Xiaomi 11T Pro||9||LOL. 36,999|
|Realme GT Neo 3||–||LOL. 36,999|
OnePlus 11R 5G
The OnePlus 11R 5G will appeal to many OnePlus fans who have been waiting for something similar to the OnePlus 7T to emerge – a phone with a flagship SoC under Rs. 40,000. If you play a lot of demanding mobile games and demand good battery life, the 11R 5G won’t disappoint. The main camera is also very capable, although the rest leaves a lot to be desired. I think what many people will like the most is the fact that the 11R 5G looks like the more expensive 11 5G, giving it a splurge value. The OnePlus 11R 5G could have been better in some areas, but especially after last year’s offering I think it’s a solid return.
Vivo V27 Pro 5G
The Vivo V27 Pro would be a good choice for those who want a phone that feels great in the hand. The color-changing trick is subjective, but its novelty may soon wear off. Camera performance, especially the front-facing camera, is also very good for the price. However, it tends to heat up quickly due to its thin shape. While the display alone provides a good experience and supports HDR10+ video playback, popular video streaming apps failed to detect this feature during our review. What’s an even bigger bummer is the single speaker setup on a phone at this price point. If you’re someone who doesn’t care too much about your phone’s shortcomings, this could be considered.
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G
The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G is the successor to the all-in-one Galaxy S20 FE 5G. Updates to the S21 FE 5G are mostly incremental, so the difference is mainly due to the slightly updated design and SoC. The Galaxy S21 FE 5G gets the Galaxy S22’s premium camera cutout design with flat-finish back panels and cutouts for each camera lens. It is also quite light and thin, which makes it good for one-handed use. The big upgrade here is the Exynos 2100 SoC from the Galaxy S21 series and it does a good job with games. All the good things from the S20 FE 5G have been retained in the S21 FE 5G, including wireless charging and IP68 certification for dust and water resistance, which now brings it down to sub Rs. 40,000 segments.
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
The Motorola Edge 30 Pro continues to offer great value, especially now after a recent price cut. The phone is available in a single configuration of 8GB RAM and 128GB storage but at a very competitive price. It’s no longer Motorola’s flagship, but it still has a 144Hz AMOLED display, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC, dual 50-megapixel cameras on the rear, and a 60-megapixel selfie camera. There’s a big 4,800mAh battery to ease your battery anxiety. Its design can be a little chunky compared to the newer Edge 30 Fusion, but there’s an IP52 rating for basic dust and water resistance, which seems like a bare minimum but is something. Motorola’s near-stock MyUX software experience, which comes with just a preloaded app, is the cherry on top.
Motorola Edge 30 Fusion
The Motorola Edge 30 Fusion sure ended up being a mixed bag at launch. While it looked slim and modern with its curved-edge display and premium feel, it arrived in 2023 with a rather old Qualcomm Snapdragon 888+ processor. In our review, it performed as expected and still had enough power for everyday tasks and gaming, but it’s a confusing price tag of Rs. 42,999 made little sense when compared to the older generation, the Motorola Edge 30 Pro, as it contained better hardware like a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC in a slightly beefier package.
After several price cuts, the Edge 30 Fusion currently sells for a more reasonable price of Rs. 37,999. It’s a slimmer design, packs updated cameras compared to the Edge 30 Pro, and it doesn’t get as hot as the older model either.
Xiaomi 11T Pro 5G
The Xiaomi 11T Pro doesn’t really stand out in terms of cosmetic design, although its polycarbonate frame sandwiched between two sheets of glass looks premium. However, it offers good 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 screen displays accurate colors and it is also one of the few Android smartphones with Dolby Vision certification for video streaming. You get stereo sound with Dolby Atmos support, which makes for an immersive entertainment experience. Battery life is excellent and this phone will give you up to two days of casual use on a single charge. You also get a 120W fast charger in the box. Camera performance is very good, except for the quality of low-light selfies.
Realme GT Neo 3
The Realme GT Neo 3 is all about speed. It certainly looks like the part with racing stripes on the rear panel. Then there’s the large 6.7-inch full HD+ AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The phone comes with a MediaTek Dimensity 8100 SoC which is good enough for gaming. The main improvements over its predecessor (the Realme GT Neo 2) come in the form of updated cameras that also work a lot better.
We tested the more expensive GT Neo 3 model which is equipped with a smaller 4,500mAh battery but supports faster 150W wired charging, but the regular model is no slouch with a larger 5,000mAh along with 80W charging support.