The premium smartphone segment is a tough nut to crack for most manufacturers. This is because smartphones are expected to work on all fronts. There’s also no room for gimmicky features. The software is expected to be fluid, as is the gaming performance of a device. Cameras must be more than capable of taking pictures in low light, with higher expectations for video quality as well. People who are spending large amounts of money still want great value. Maybe that’s why traditional brands take a long time between releases to get things right. In fact, several of the smartphones in this segment are high-end premium models that have received a price cut.
Our latest additions to this premium smartphone guide include some really capable camera-centric smartphones like the Google Pixel 7a and now also the Pixel 7. Available at Rs. At 49,999, the Pixel 7 is clearly the better of the two, as we concluded in our Pixel 7a review, but the Pixel 7a will find its buyers because it’s packed with new features. Also on our list is the Xiaomi 12 Pro, which launched as a top-of-the-line premium handset but has now received several price cuts following the introduction of its successor, the Xiaomi 13 Pro.
Here are Gadgets 360’s picks of top phones under Rs. 50,000 in India, in no particular order.
|Phones under Rs. 50,000||Gadgets 360 rating (out of 10)||Price in India (as recommended)|
|Google Pixel 7a||8||LOL. 43,999|
|Google Pixel 7||9||LOL. 49,999|
|Xiaomi 12 Pro||9||LOL. 44,999|
|Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G||9||LOL. 45,999|
|Realme GT 2 Pro||9||LOL. 49,999|
|OnePlus 10T 5G||8||LOL. 49,999|
|Apple’s iPhone 11||9||LOL. 38,999|
Google Pixel 7a
The Google Pixel 7a is one of the newer models to go straight into the sub-Rs. Segment of 50,000 smartphones. It offers a plethora of features and builds on the Pixel 6a which was also launched at the same Rs. Priced at 43,999, but with underwhelming hardware.
The Pixel 7a’s design looks premium and more in line with the latest Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro smartphones, which belong to the high-end premium segment. It’s also the first Pixel A series device to get 8GB of RAM and wireless charging. Performance is excellent thanks to the Tensor G2 SoC, available in other premium Pixel products. This processor also enables some new camera features that were previously unavailable on Pixel A series devices, such as Fast Night Sight mode, Long Exposure mode, and the new Photo Unblur editing tool. If software updates and good image quality are high on your wish list, then the Pixel 7a should be an ideal choice.
Google Pixel 7
Priced at Rs. 59,999 at launch, the lower price of the Google Pixel 7 has been fluctuating wildly. At Rs. 49,999, it’s an attractive alternative to the new Pixel 7a, even though it’s over six months old.
What do you get for additional Rs. 6,000 is easily justified when it comes to its overall build quality, which we found lacking in our Pixel 7a review. Camera quality is also better thanks to hardware features like multidirectional PDAF and laser autofocus. The Pixel 7 includes HDR10 recording capability that the Pixel 7a lacks. Also better with the Pixel 7 is battery life. So we only recommend the Pixel 7a if you’re on a tight budget.
Xiaomi 12 Pro
The Xiaomi 12 Pro is probably the most premium smartphone currently available in the sub-Rs 50,000 smartphone segment. This is mainly because it was released as a high-end model to begin with. It offers an impressive array of cameras.
Despite the lack of two notable premium features, wireless charging and an official IP rating, the Xiaomi 12 Pro still stands out because of its premium build quality and impressive camera performance. It is capable of taking high quality pictures in any lighting conditions. There’s a big, vibrant WQHD+ (LTPO 2.0) 120 Hz AMOLED resolution and a unique four-speaker setup that makes it quite entertaining, as well as Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support. The phone is also quite capable when it comes to gaming and can handle most fast-paced 3D games without breaking a sweat. Battery life is pretty solid too. The included 120W charger takes just 27 minutes to fully charge.
Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G
The Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G is currently the brand’s most expensive non-foldable smartphone for sale in India. While it has core hardware that has more in common with mid-range smartphones priced below Rs. 40,000, makes up for it with its premium build quality and a fluid software experience.
Design is at the forefront here, and its high-quality 120Hz AMOLED panel with slim bezels certainly helps it stand out. The camera’s performance, while up to par in daylight, isn’t the best in low light. Gaming performance, on the other hand, is excellent. Battery life is one of the strong points of the Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G and the same goes for charging, which is quite fast at 80W.
Realme GT 2 Pro
The Realme GT 2 Pro is the most premium smartphone you can buy in Realme’s 2023 lineup. Priced at Rs. 49,999 for the variant with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, you get an exclusive back in paper derived from renewable sources, with the white and green versions.
Adding to the design is a high-quality 2K AMOLED LTPO panel with a 120Hz refresh rate, ideal for watching videos and playing games. The phone comes with Qualcomm’s top-of-the-line Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC, which means there’s enough processing power for some hardcore gaming too. The cameras are pretty good for a smartphone in this price range, as is the battery life, thanks to the 5,000mAh battery. All in all, the Realme GT 2 Pro is hard to go wrong with and it manages to exceed expectations given its price.
OnePlus 10T 5G
The OnePlus 10T 5G is a good choice for certain niche buyers – those who want to brag, those who are crazy about games and those who suffer from severe battery anxiety. It’ll also be a solid upgrade from an older OnePlus phone if you want to stay in the family.
The company has promised three years of major Android updates and an additional year of security updates, which is a decent amount of time. There’s more than enough performance to keep this phone relevant for at least that long, and whether you buy the 12GB or 16GB RAM versions you shouldn’t have any issues even with the next heavy games. Fans of the brand will miss some iconic features like the Alert slider, and considering the price, we think the cameras could have done a much better job.
The iPhone 11 is no longer displayed on Apple’s official website, but you can often find it on sale online or even below Rs. 38,999. That’s just for the base 64GB variant, but it’s an iPhone and still makes a lot more sense over some of Apple’s newer models, like the third-generation iPhone SE (2022).
Although it looks a little outdated compared to the iPhone 12 and later models, it’s still a very practical device with high-quality cameras. The iPhone 11 introduced an ultra-wide camera to Apple’s non-pro models and features the powerful A13 Bionic SoC. Since this is an iPhone, you should expect to receive timely software updates for a few more years at least. Battery life is excellent and it’s available in a variety of colors. Just don’t expect a charger in the box!