Best phones under Rs 40,000 (Aug-Sept 2021): Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro 5G, Vivo X60 to OnePlus 9R

The competition for places in the sub-Rs 40,000 segment in India is a bit too stiff at present. Choosing just five handsets in this crowded segment proved to be near impossible. Hence, we have chosen not five, but eight smartphones for you this month. There’s a full spread on offer, starting with a couple of handsets with Snapdragon 888 SoC, ample RAM and storage, one with 108MP camera, and high refresh rate AMOLED screens is a given. So, let’s see which phones made the cut this month.

Best phones to buy under Rs 40,000 in India

Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro 5G

Xiaomi’s Mi 11X Pro 5G flaunts a handful of features you’d expect from a genuine flagship device, starting with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 SoC. You get 8 GB RAM and 128 GB storage to go with it. You also get a 108 MP camera at the back to capture some impressive shots in different modes and lighting. It is accompanied by an 8 MP ultra-wide shooter and a 5 MP macro camera, and there’s also a 20 MP front camera for selfies and video calls.

Image: Tech2/Nachiket Mhatre

The display here is equally impressive. You get a 6.67-inch Super AMOLED Full HD+ display with a 120 Hz refresh rate, HDR10+ compliance and a theoretical brightness of 1,300 nits. The display and the phone’s glass back are protected by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 5. The bundled 33 W fast charger promises to charge the phone fully in under an hour. The Mi 11X Pro runs Android 11 with MIUI 12 on top.

Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro 5G price in India: Rs 39,999 for 8 GB RAM/ 128 GB storage

OnePlus 9R/8T

Again, both the OnePlus twins make it to our list. I call them twins because the OnePlus 8T and 9R are almost identical, barring a couple of minor differences. You get their 8 GB RAM and 128 GB storage variants in this budget, with the 8T selling for Rs 1,000 less. Both phones have 6.55-inch Full HD+ Fluid AMOLED displays with a 120 Hz refresh rate and HDR10+ compliance. There’s a 16 MP selfie camera located in a tiny punch-hole at the top. The metal frame and glass body protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5 gives both phones an elegant look.

Image: Tech2/Ameya Dalvi

You get quad cameras at the back with a combination of a 48 MP primary camera with OIS, a 16 MP ultrawide shooter, 5 MP macro camera and a 2 MP mono camera. The cameras manage to capture crisp images in different lighting and modes. The main camera can be smartly used to capture some high-quality zoom shots, too. Both phones are 5G-compliant, and while the OnePlus 8T is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 chip, the 9R has a slightly faster Snapdragon 870 SoC. Their 4,500 mAh batteries keep the phones powered for over 30 hours of moderate use, and the bundled 65 W Warp charger juices them up in just about 40 minutes. Both phones run OxygenOS 11 based on Android 11 out of the box.

OnePlus 9R price in India: Rs 39,999 for 8 GB RAM/128 GB storage
OnePlus 8T price in India: Rs 38,999 for 8 GB RAM/128 GB storage

Vivo X60

Probably the most stylish phone here, the Vivo X60 is just 7.4 mm thick. And there’s more to it than its good looks. Let’s start with the rear cameras that boast of Zeiss optics and click some excellent shots and videos. The 48 MP primary camera, 13 MP ultra-wide camera and 13 MP telephoto camera for 2X optical zoom do a commendable job across various modes. The 32 MP front camera is good enough to impress selfie enthusiasts.

Vivo X60 Pro. Image: Tech2/Jaison Lewis

Next, the vibrant 6.56-inch Full HD+, HDR10+ compliant AMOLED screen with its 120 Hz refresh rate is simply excellent. It is protected by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 6. Just like the OnePlus 9R, this phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 SoC, and you get either 8 GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage or 12 GB RAM and 256 GB of storage in this budget, following a recent price drop. Despite its slim body, you get a 4,300 mAh battery that lasts for over a day of moderate use, and a 33 W fast charger is present in the bundle. The phone runs Android 11 with FunTouch 11 UI.

Vivo X60 price in India: Rs 34,990 for 8 GB RAM/128 GB storage; Rs 39,990 for 12 GB RAM/256 GB storage

iQOO 7 5G/iQOO 7 Legend 5G

Two phones from Vivo’s iQOO sub-brand retain their spots on this list. The iQOO 7 5G is also powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 chip, and you have two variants to choose from with either 8 GB or 12 GB RAM with 256 GB internal storage. Yes, there is an 8GB/128GB variant available, but don’t bother with it if you have a budget of Rs 35,000 to 40,000. Its 6.62-inch HDR10+ compliant Full HD+ AMOLED display has a 120 Hz refresh rate for smooth scrolling in compatible apps.

iQoo 7

The 48 MP primary camera has OIS and is accompanied by a 13 MP ultra-wide camera and a 2 MP depth sensor. The 13 MP telephoto camera present in the iQOO 3 has been given a skip, but the addition of features here far outweighs that loss. Its attractive price tag makes the iQOO 7 5G a compelling choice in this budget. The phone runs Android 11 with FunTouch OS 11.

If you need more processing power and a few extra features, you can also get the 8 GB RAM and 128 GB storage variant of the iQOO 7 Legend in this budget. It has a more powerful Snapdragon 888 SoC and comes with a 13 MP telephoto camera for 2X optical zoom. However, you will need to shell out Rs 8,000 extra over the iQOO 7 with similar storage.

iQOO 7 5G price in India: Rs 33,990 for 8 GB RAM/256 GB storage; Rs 35,990 for 12 GB RAM/256 GB storage

iQOO 7 Legend 5G price in India: Rs 39,990 for 8 GB RAM/128 GB storage

Asus ROG Phone 3

Hello gamers! The Asus ROG Phone 3 is now available for less than Rs 40,000. This phone is powered by Qualcomm’s previous flagship Snapdragon 865+ and is accompanied by 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of UFS 3.1 internal storage. The ROG Phone 3 has a 6.6-inch Full HD+ AMOLED screen with a 144 Hz refresh rate and a 270 Hz touch sampling rate. It also supports true 10-bit colour gamut with HDR10+ compliance and a rated maximum brightness of 650 nits. The phone runs Android 10 with ROG UI. The Android 11 update has just started rolling out.

Image: Tech2/Anirudh Regidi

The 5G-compliant ROG Phone 3 boasts of a large 6,000 mAh battery for long gaming sessions. The bundled 30 W fast charger with QuickCharge 4.0 support enables brisk refuelling. The phone also has a pair of stereo speakers with dedicated amplifiers along with a bunch of gaming features and optimisations. The camera department is more than capable with a 64 MP primary camera, 13 MP ultra-wide camera and a 5 MP macro camera, all of which capture some impressive shots and record videos in up to 8K resolution.

Asus ROG Phone 3 price in India: Rs 39,999 for 8 GB RAM/128 GB storage

Apple iPhone SE (2020)

The mid variant of the Apple iPhone SE (2020) with 128 GB storage is available in this budget, and for a couple of thousand rupees less this quarter. The 2020-edition Apple iPhone SE is more of an iPhone 8 successor with a much more powerful processor. It is powered by Apple's previous flagship A13 Bionic chip that you get with all iPhone 11 series phones. This phone is a good option for those who prefer the older iPhone design with more recent hardware.

Image: tech2/Nandini Yadav

It has a 4.7-inch Retina LCD display with 326 PPI pixel density that’s typical of most iPhones. You get the ever-reliable 12 MP camera with OIS at the back, and a 7 MP selfie camera. This IP67 rated dust- and water-resistant iPhone runs iOS 13, and is upgradeable to iOS 14. If you wish to try your hand at the iOS platform without breaking the bank, the Apple iPhone SE is a good option.

Apple iPhone SE (2020) price in India: Rs 34,999 for 128 GB storage

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