The sub-Rs. The 30,000 smartphone segment in India is packed with quality hardware. If you’re looking to upgrade from a budget smartphone, the mid-range currently offers a lot of options and a lot of value, as long as you’re willing to stretch your budget a little. In 2023, there’s little to differentiate the next-level mid-range smartphones, which are premium devices. With the exception of camera performance, most mid-range devices offer more than enough power, along with good battery life and reliable software support.
Our latest additions include the Motorola Edge 40, the Poco F5 5G, which replaces the old Poco F4 5G, and Samsung’s new Galaxy A34 5G. Also making our list is the Google Pixel 6a, which received something of a price cut after the launch of the Pixel 7a in India.
Here are Gadgets 360’s picks of top phones under Rs. 30,000 in India, in no particular order.
|Phones under Rs. 30,000||Gadgets 360 rating (out of 10)||Price in India (as recommended)|
|motorola edge 40||8||LOL. 29,999|
|Small F5 5G||8||LOL. 29,999|
|Galaxy A34 5G||8||LOL. 30999|
|Google Pixel 6a||8||LOL. 28,999|
|iQoo Neo 7 5G||8||LOL. 28,999|
|Nothing Phone 1||8||LOL. 29,999|
|Oppo Reno 8||8||LOL. 29,999|
|OnePlus Nord 2T 5G||8||LOL. 28,999|
motorola edge 40
After getting its software experience right, Motorola certainly seems to be working on its hardware game and the latest Edge 40 is proof of that. It has a stunning design that is sleek and curvy, and it screams premium on its faux leather back. With half the war already won, it tempts you with its near-standard software experience and promise to deliver years of software and security updates.
However, this Moto performs as well as it looks. There’s a 144Hz pOLED display, an IP67 rating, and included Motorola wireless charging to complete the package. Camera performance is where the Motorola Edge 40 falls a little short, though that has more to do with its Portrait mode than its low-light performance (which looks pretty good). Gaming performance with its MediaTek Dimensity 8020 SoC is pretty good too, but battery life is where this phone takes a proper hit, only lasting a day with regular use and nothing else. Fortunately, Motorola includes a 68W fast charger in the box.
Small F5 5G
The Poco F5 5G replaces its predecessor, the Poco F4 5G on this list, which was a solid mid-range competitor in this segment. The F5 5G doesn’t offer the premium feel of its predecessor, but it makes up for it when it comes to performance and offers a baseline IP53 rating for dust and water resistance. There is a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 SoC, which has a lot in common with the premium Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 SoC found in premium smartphones.
Its software is loaded with bloatware, but the hardware handles it all without breaking a sweat. Gaming performance is where it really shines, and the phone is easily capable of running demanding titles like Genshin Impact. Battery life is also rated with the Poco F5 5G lasting more than a day with heavy use. There’s no wireless charging, but you do get 67W fast charging, which takes an hour to charge its big 5,000mAh battery. The main camera’s performance is decent too, both in daylight and low light.
Galaxy A34 5G
The Samsung Galaxy A34 5G’s design is a fitting upgrade over its predecessor’s square, recycled rectangle with rounded edges. The A series has received adequate updates in terms of design over the years and this one, like the previous models, also takes inspiration from the premium Galaxy S series. In fact, Samsung has even added an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, which almost puts it on par with a premium device in terms of build quality and design.
Despite its design focus, Samsung has made an odd choice with its display, opting for a waterdrop notch that looks a bit dated. As for the rest, you get a quality 120Hz refresh rate AMOLED display, smooth software performance with One UI, and five years of software support, which is good for those who don’t update their devices that often. The camera’s performance in daylight is very good, but the same cannot be said in low light. With a MediaTek Dimensity 1080 SoC, this phone was clearly not built with gaming in mind. Charging is also relatively slow and Samsung doesn’t provide a charger in the box.
Google Pixel 6a
The Google Pixel 6a has been replaced by the Pixel 7a, which demands the same premium price as the first one launched. But the Pixel 6a now comes at a more affordable price point, making it a very attractive 5G smartphone despite its lackluster hardware when compared to the competition. That would include its now slightly outdated Google Tensor SoC and its OLED screen, which, despite offering HDR capability, runs at a standard 60Hz refresh rate.
A key factor here is the stock Android software, which is also updated to the latest Android version the day it becomes available from Google. Since it’s almost stock with some Google customizations, it also lacks the bloatware found on every other smartphone on this list. Also noteworthy for its cameras, which easily take one of the best pictures that can be taken from a smartphone in this segment. While it lacks features like wireless charging, you do get an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, which seems like a big plus given its current price.
iQoo Neo 7 5G
The iQoo Neo 7 5G gets a lot of things right. It offers best-in-class performance with excellent battery life and fast charging. The large screen and speakers also make this phone ideal for multimedia consumption. Although the software has gotten better, there is still room for improvement.
A big plus point is that the iQoo Neo 7 5G comes with the latest software. The cameras are where the iQoo Neo 7 5G isn’t very versatile, and you have better options like the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G in this segment. However, if you are a gamer and have a budget of around Rs. 30,000, the iQoo Neo 7 5G can certainly be recommended.
Nothing Phone 1
The Nothing Phone 1 might seem more about style at first, but it offers balanced performance and great features to warrant its asking price. While it is no longer the only smartphone in this segment that offers wireless charging and an IP53 rating, it still has a few other features. The Nothing Phone 1’s design really stands out with its unique LED lights that are mounted under the clear back panel and can be controlled and customized using the phone’s software.
Flashy lights and premium design aside, there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G+ SoC at the helm, which offers enough power for everyday tasks and some mid-level games. There are dual speakers and a big screen which also makes it good for entertainment. The camera’s performance, while good in daylight, isn’t as impressive in low light. Battery life is a bit of a problem, but it typically lasts a full day with casual use.
Oppo Reno 8 5G
Those who are just looking for a stylish smartphone will find Oppo’s Reno 8 5G in Shimmer Gold variant interesting. With hardware almost similar to OnePlus Nord 2T 5G, it is priced a bit higher but offers good camera performance in all kinds of lighting conditions. There’s a 90Hz AMOLED panel which feels a little low when compared to the competition, but should be enough for the non-gaming crowd.
At the helm is a MediaTek Dimensity 1300 SoC which is good for some mid-level games and more than enough for regular multitasking. Although the software is packed with third-party apps, they can be uninstalled and we didn’t face any issues in terms of overall performance either. Although the Reno 8 5G is quite thin and light, Oppo has managed to make enough space for a 4,500mAh battery that can quickly charge it with the included 80W charger.
OnePlus Nord 2T 5G
The OnePlus Nord 2T 5G is a suitable mid-range smartphone from OnePlus. It checks all the boxes when it comes to features one would expect from a mid-range device and combines it with a premium design. Just like other OnePlus smartphones, the software is pretty good as it offers a fluid experience with minimal bloatware. MediaTek Dimensity 1300 SoC ensures good software performance and can also handle games very well.
Camera performance is also very good. The phone has a similar camera setup to the Oppo Reno 8 5G and it performs just as well whether in daylight or low light. The Nord 2T 5G’s 4,500mAh gives it an excellent two-day battery life with casual use, and it can also quickly charge with the included 65W charger. The phone also received the Android 13 update.