Smartphones trends and technologies are so fast changing it becomes difficult for a user to understand what is good and what isn't. At Hometop, we try to understand and replicate how the user uses a phone and review a product based on what information will be helpful for you.

Our tests are designed with heavy users in mind so we end up testing the phone for weeks, taking tons of photographs and trying out various apps to check the phones stability.

So sit back and read through all the work that we have done to help you find the best phones under Rs. 25000.

​Best smartphone under Rs.25000

Honor 8 Pro

The Honor 8 Pro comes with an enticing blend of a gorgeous screen, flagship grade processor, excellent cameras and good build quality. Until the release of the Honor View 10, the Honor 8 Pro was the company's flagship device in India. But with the recent price cut of Rs.5000, the Honor 8 Pro is much more appealing now.

Being a flagship level device the battery was not stellar. But we feel with light usage you should get through a days use.

​Best smartphone under Rs.25000

Infinix Zero 5

Infinix’ 3rd phone in the Indian market brings a lot of features with a more mature and solid build quality, good cameras and a stellar battery life. Infinix has put a lot more effort into the Zero 5 and the phone is a marked improvement over the previous Note 4 and Hot 4 Pro.

Given the price of around Rs.18000, the Infinix makes great sense if you need long battery life and a good selfie camera.


​This is a really long post! Use these links to jump around.


​Why Trust us?

For finding out which is the best smartphone under Rs. 25,000, we spent over 3 weeks testing two of the most popular phones online.

We put each phone through a series of tests that helps check the camera, battery, memory, software and processor performance. We even brought in a photography professor to experiment with the smartphones and gauge camera performance.

We also used each of the test phones as our daily driver to check for any glitches that may crop up with regular use.

How We Tested?

Given the number of phones in the market, we decided that memory, performance, camera, and battery-life were the most important features that could make or break a smartphone. To test each phone’s performance, we ran the most popular benchmark tests like Antutu, Geekbench, 3DMark, and PCMark.

However, this gives us only half the picture as benchmarks aren’t a true measure of real-world performance. So we simulated everyday use cases by running the phones through different scenarios like high-end gaming, movie watching, web surfing, and everyday browsing.

A high RAM capacity is essential for using several apps simultaneously without lag. To test this, we kept opening and switching between everyday apps and high-end games until the apps restarted. We then noted how many apps the phone can open simultaneously without a single app restarting. We used the same set of apps for each phone.

We performed all tests on a fully charged battery and ran the tests till the battery drained to 1%. We then charged up each phone to 100%. This gave us the screen on time and battery charging time. To gauge camera performance, we had a photography professor from a design college capture and assess the photos and videos we took at M.G. Road, Sankey Tank and a few selfies.

Based on this data, and an analysis of thousands of reviews, we arrived at our two winners.

​Best smartphone under Rs.25000

The Honor 8 Pro outperforms the competition with its excellent gaming and everyday performance, superb camera, gorgeous screen and great build quality.

Specifications

Pros

  • Sharp, Vivid and Bright 2K Display

  • A very good dual-camera system with 4K video support

  • Excellent gaming performance

  • IR blaster

  • USB Type-C connector and 3.5 mm jack for audio

  • 6GB RAM & 128GB internal storage

  • 18W fast charging

  • Already received the Android Oreo update

  • Google Cardboard VR kit included in box

Cons

  • Doesn’t have the latest 18:9 aspect ratio screen

  • Hybrid sim slot

  • Lacks a flash for selfies

  • Lacks front camera bokeh effect

  • Charging time could be faster

Design and Build: Stylish, Slim and Well-Built

Given how most smartphones today have the exact same designs the Honor 8 Pro does try to break away from the mundane. The glass front in the gorgeous shade of blue or the metal back with the curved edges and sides, all add a degree to style to the phone.

The Honor 8 Pro marks the departure of Honor phones from a glass back to a metal back. This actually makes the phone much safer to use than a glass back one, and also doesn't show fingerprints as much. The phone is however quite slippery in the hand, but a nice cover can remedy this instantly. 

The front is also protected from scratches courtesy of the Gorilla Glass 3 panel.

The volume and power button are well placed and feel solid. The power button also gets a texture, but feel the texture should have been more pronounced to justify it being there.

The top of the Honor 8 pro houses the noise cancellation mic and the IR blaster. While the bottom is rather busy with the speaker, another mic, 3.5mm jack and the USB-C port. What we really liked is that the phone sits flat on its back, which is due to a flush camera module.

Lastly, you have to appreciate the 7mm thickness of the phone, despite it packing a 4000mAh battery and a boatload of specifications and features.

Display: Best in Class Display

With a 5.7 inch 2K, IPS display the Honor 8 Pro is simply the best display in its class producing rich and vivid colors, superb brightness and excellent sharpness. We see many manufacturers cut costs when it comes to displays but not here, the Honor 8 Pro has a terrific display.

The brightness is very good maxing out at 560 nits, the screen also gets sufficiently dim for night usage.

Now as we said before, the color reproduction is extremely vivid almost AMOLED like, but this is an LCD panel. So that's good or bad depending on how you prefer your colors. But you can look at it this way, it gets excellent color and contrast like the AMOLED screens but has the great brightness of LCD screens so it's actually the best of both worlds.

Now with a 2K panel that gives you 515 ppi you are pretty much guaranteed to have excellent sharpness in every image and video you watch. But sadly what you gain in picture quality you lose in battery performance. As 2K LCD panels are known to suck on battery like a vampire.

The display is also a 16:9 aspect ratio one which results in thick bezels on the top and bottom. But despite that, it is a gorgeous, gorgeous display which will simply improve your experience with the phone.

Audio and Call Quality: Good audio and call quality

The Honor 8 Pro ships with a single speaker that is decently loud and sounds crisp and clear. The phone can also play high-quality audio (FLAC format) in the default music player. Audio through earphones was very good and yes the 3.5mm jack still exists on the phone.

The call quality was very good with clear sounds heard on both sides.

Software & UI: Lot of features but needs lots of work

The Honor 8 Pro shipped with the same EMUI 5.1 software as one the Honor 9i and Honor 7x.  You get the same great features like Picture in Picture video, Screen Record, Scrolling Screenshot, Camera light painting features etc..

There is a lot of Bloatware, some of which can be uninstalled.

The UI, however, isn't the most pleasing the notification shade is black while the settings page is white, there are a lot of such inconsistencies. Similarly, the camera has many features that will help a user get more from the excellent camera but there are quite a few representative features. The colors and icons used aren't aesthetically pleasing too.  

Despite the heavy skin, we did not face lags during use nor did we face any app crashes. However, during heavy multitasking switching between apps does take a second or two.

At the time of writing, the phone did receive the latest EMUI 8.0 update that is based on Android Oreo. Although the update process wasn't the fastest you do still get updates.

Hardware: Top notch processor with superb RAM management

Honor has used the Kirin 960 soc in the Honor 8 Pro and that is quite a powerhouse. With four A73 cores and four A53 cores it's a very good blend of raw power and power saving in one package. As we have seen before Kirin processors lack in graphical prowess, but this time Honor has solved it with 8 cores of the ARM Mali G71 GPU. This makes it's quite a good gaming phone despite the higher than usual 2K screen resolution. 

The usual set of apps like Facebook, Feedly, Chrome and even games like Asphalt 8, Subway Surfer, Pokemon Go all worked flawlessly.

Memory management is also excellent courtesy of the whopping 6 gigs of RAM. The phone could hold up to 17 apps in memory and switch between them with a slight delay, but at least it didn't restart them.  

The rear-mounted fingerprint sensor is really fast and unlocks the screen instantly. The fingerprint sensor also functions as a touchpad with the ability to swipe images by just swiping your finger on it. Other functions include clicking the fingerprint sensor to click pictures or take a call.

Camera: The one of the best smartphone camera we ever tested

The Honor 8 Pro was until recently the flagship phone of Honor and it really did have flagship-level features. The number of camera features is so long we actually made a list.

Rear Camera Features and Modes:

  • Bokeh mode

  • True monochrome mode

  • Pro Photo mode (With shutter speed up to 30 seconds)

  • HDR mode

  • 3D creator mode

  • Beauty Mode

  • Light painting effects

  • Panorama mode

  • RAW Image capture

  • Video capture at 4K@30fps, 1080p@120fps/60fps/30fps, 720p@240fps/30fps

  • Electronically Stabilised Video capture up to 1080p@30fps

  • Pro Video mode

  • Stereo audio capture for video

There is actually almost nothing that's left out except maybe optical image stabilization and optical zoom.

Coming to the picture quality of the Honor 8 Pro, in good lighting conditions the camera captures sharp images that are full of vivid colors. The images shot in daylight has a slightly warm feel to them but they come out really nice.

Taking selfies in broad daylight again gives good details on a subject's face but also smoothens the skin to give a very pleasing image.

Capturing bokeh effect images is reasonably fast with the camera managing to differentiate between the subject and background very well. Although some edges don't get blurred properly, the overall effect is quite good.

The panorama shot on this phone have good resolution and height but the skies tend to get washed away. The stitching of the images, however, is good with some rough edges present.

HDR images captured on this phone do possess the extra dynamic range and you can clearly see more details in the image.

Images captured at night do capture good details but we felt the flash was not bright enough as you can see the difference in the photos shot below.

With a well equipped Pro Mode and RAW image capture the camera will be a great tool for Photographers too. The Pro Mode give you excellent control (ISO, Shutter Speed, White Balance, Exposure) over the image before capture while the RAW image capture enables you to tune the image much more delicately in post-processing.

The phone also lacks front selfie flash but sort of makes up for it by turning the screen white during image capture. While doing this gives you good skin color reproduction the image itself does not carry a lot of detail and sharpness. A culprit here could also be the beauty mode which softens what little detail is captured.

Video capture on the Honor 8 Pro is such a joy as you not only get a vast support for different resolutions and frame rates, but the phone also packs in Electronic image stabilization for smoother video and stereo audio recording for better sound.

The 4K video capture has a lot of detail in it but you do have a little jitter when you pan the camera, this is because the electronic image stabilization is limited to 1080p@30fps.

The 1080p@60fps video capture is buttery smooth (in terms of frame rate) and this is the format most people will prefer to capture in.

The audio recorded is better than most phones we tested, the recording had a clear focus on human voices and almost no wind noise.

Now coming to the EIS videos, while they are noticeably stable than normal videos but they also get the “jello” effect in the video. Also, the fact that EIS is limited to only 30fps videos means you really cannot utilize the best that the camera can offer. We really wish Honor would have given an optically stabilized camera in this phone.

Battery: Decent battery life for a flagship

With the presence of the power-sucking display, the flagship grade processor, a large amount of RAM we were not hoping for stellar battery life but we did get decent battery life.

With a screen on time of 4 hours and 15 minutes the Honor 8 Pro performed better than some other Honor phones we tested. It managed to play a movie for 1:30 hours, play Asphalt 8 for 40 minutes, churn out some tunes for 30 minutes, play Subway surfer for 15 minutes and run a couple of benchmarks and tests for an hour.

With light usage, you can easily exceed a battery life of 12+ hours (or a days use)

The PCMark 2.0 battery benchmark gave the phone a score of 4 hours 54 minutes at max brightness.

Despite a Quick Charge 2.0 compatible 18W fast charger, the Honor 8 Pro was slow to charge in our extreme charging tests. It took about 3 hours and 20 minutes to fully charge. It looks like Honor reduces charging speed to prevent the phone from overheating due to charging.

Powering off the device and then charging saw a massive improvement in charging speed, with the phone now taking 1 hours 50 minutes to charge. This time is exactly as advertised by Honor.

Rest assured the phone does support charging and if you can charge it without using it too much you will get faster-charging speeds.

note on charging

Our phones kept for charging have the 4G hotspot turned on to simulate real-world usage. The phones also have 2x sim cards inserted, along with Bluetooth connection to a fitness band and GPS and Sync turned on.

In Short

The Honor 8 Pro manages to give you a lot of features for what you pay: An excellent display and camera, good build quality, superb gaming performance and a large 128gb storage. All that makes it a perfect phone for Rs.25000.

​Best Pick

Best Battery & Budget

Specifications

Pros:

  • Bright display with great viewing angles

  • Gorilla Glass 3 protection

  • Good build quality

  • Good camera with optical zoom

  • Good performance

  • Dedicated SD card slot

  • USB Type-C connector and 3.5 mm jack for audio

  • 6GB RAM & 64GB internal storage

  • 18W fast charging

  • Stellar battery life

  • Screen guard, Cover, Earphones and USB-c to micro USB connector in box

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have the latest 18:9 aspect ratio screen

  • Lacks IR blaster

  • Software needs improvement

  • Phone lacks the latest Android version

  • Bokeh mode capture time is slow

  • No 4K video or SLow Motion video capture

  • Fingerprint sensor is buggy

Design and Build: One of the best-built phone from Infinix

The last time we tested an Infinix phone we complained about its plasticky build quality, flimsy buttons and a lack of protective glass. But the Infinix Zero 5 feels like a phone from a different manufacturer, that's how good the improvement is. The front glass is a Gorilla Glass 3 panel, the phone itself is made of metal and feels solid with no creaking or flexing. The buttons also have a nice springy action to them and the power buttons come with a good texture.

Now coming to the design of the Zero 5, you can clearly see the Nexus 6P inspiration although there is no camera bump, which is a nice thing. 

Ergonomically we do have something odd we noticed, the power button is placed much lower than it should be. So your thumb automatically goes to the volume down button, this will take some getting used to.

The phone doesn't have any sensors or ports on the top but packs them all at the bottom. The USB-c port, 3.5mm jack, speaker, and mic are all placed on the bottom.

Display: Bright and Crisp display

The Zero 5 packs in a Full HD 5.99-inch panel that is very bright and has excellent viewing angles. The color reproduction is also very good.

Being a Full HD panel the sharpness is much less than the 2K panel on the Honor 8 Pro. But by itself, the Zero 5 screen is pretty good.

The Zero 5 also lacks a modern 18:9 panel and instead makes do with the conventional 16:9 aspect ratio screen. The phone also needs it as the bezels are pretty large, especially on the top and the bottom.

Audio and Call Quality: Decent audio quality with a loud single speaker

With a single bottom firing speaker, you maybe thinking it won't be very powerful. But no, the speaker is pretty loud for a phone of this size.

The quality, however, isn't the greatest, there is decent bass and mids, but the highs get sharp. Clarity of the audio is also not great. However, overall because of the loudness it does make for a decent listening experience.

Listening to songs via a headphone gives a much better experience and we suggest you stick to consuming your music this way.

The call quality is also loud although we would have liked a little more clarity.

Software: A big improvement in software, but still has a long way to go

The Infinix Zero 5 ships with the latest XOS 3.0 which is sadly based on Android 7.0. Infinix has promised an update to Oreo soon, so fingers crossed.

The Infinix Note 4 we reviewed sometimes back also had XOS, but an older version. There we complained about the sheer number of bloatware, the gimmicky nature of the whole UI and the slow UI speed. Well, the Zero 5 still has a lot of those issues but, this time there a a lot of improvements.

The camera app is brand new and much better to use, and also looks much more professional. The overall speed and app switching have improved tremendously. It can switch between apps much faster than the Honor 8 Pro, that's how good it is now.

Infinix was one of the few manufacturers who still had the app drawer in their custom UI. Now an app drawer is a very nice touch and something we are all used to in a phone. Our reason for bringing it up is, on the Zero 5 you swipe from the bottom to bring up the drawer, but you can't swipe down to close it. Instead, you have to click on the back button, this is counter-intuitive. This is just one of the little niggle we had with XOS. Thankfully Infinix has a fan forum where they do take suggestions from users and hopefully implement them in future releases..

Hardware: Good gaming experience with quick app switching

The Zero 5 ships with a Mediatek P25 processor, which is several notches below the Kirin 960. But the Mediatek P25 does do very well given that it has to power just a Full HD display. 

It manages to power through Asphalt 8 effortlessly without any lags or frame drops. General everyday use is also good with apps opening very fast.

The phone managed to keep up to 11 apps in memory and switch between them very quickly. A few apps we used were Asphalt 8, Pokemon Go, Subway Surfer, Facebook, Chrome, Feedly, Instagram etc. We could see a lag of 1-2 seconds when switching to Asphalt 8 on the Honor 8 Pro, but on the Infinix Zero 5 Asphalt 8 open end instantly. That is high praise for a phone with a mid-range processor.

The fingerprint sensor is now moved to the back like on most phones and it is decently fast to unlock. But we did face a lot of issues with the sensor failing to recognize our fingerprints many times. This can be a big issue when you need to access your phone quickly, hopefully, Infinix will have a fix for this issue.

Camera:  Good selfie camera needs work on video resolution

Armed with dual camera sensors, optical zoom and a 16-megapixel front shooter the Infinix Zero 5 does try a lot to help you capture better, and it actually does succeed to a large extent.

Starting with the rear camera, the Infinix has one 12 Megapixel shooter and one 13 megapixel shooter.  The 13-megapixel camera has a higher focal length and thus is called as the optical zoom sensor.

In bright light, the sensor does very well coming close to the Honor 8 pro in terms of picture quality. The details captured are good and good color reproduction. Where the camera falters is in the bokeh mode, where the capture time is so slow you will end up with blurred shots. The quality of bokeh, however, is decent.

Low light image capture is actually very good courtesy the strong flash that illuminates the subjects very well. Color reproduction is a little too vivid, more than most Honor phones. You can see this where the scooters color turns almost yellowish compared to the original orange color.

The 16-megapixel selfie camera gives you brilliant sharpness in images whether it is low light or good light. Where it loses out is again the color reproduction, under low light the person get a yellow hue which feels very unnatural. The selfie in daylight condition is much better with excellent facial hair details. The beauty mode also shows excellent restraint and does not simply soften all the details captured.

The panorama mode on the Infinix Zero 5 was actually pretty bad with insufficient image height, lesser resolution and color banding. Have a look at the image to know how poor it was. 

VIdeo quality on the Infinix is sharp for the 1080p footage, however, the video feels darker than that on the Honor 8 Pro. Audio capture is also good with clear sounds being recorded.

Battery: The Best Battery life on a phone we ever reviewed

MediaTek processor phones are known to give poor battery life and the last Infinix phone with MediaTek processor we tested gave a screen on time of just 3 hours. So when we got to review the Infinix Zero 5 we were expecting the phone to fall into that region of 3-3.5 hours.

But boy were we surprised after the battery test. Not only did it beat all the other 4000mAh phones like the Redmi Note 4, Lenovo K8 Plus and Infinix Note 4, but it outlasted the Mi Max 2. Let that sink in for a moment. The Mi Max 2 which is known for having one of the biggest batteries in the segment, a 5300mAh battery just got outdid by a phone having a 4350mAh battery.

With an impressive screen on time of 7 hours 21 minutes with extreme usage condition, the Zero 5 is our new battery champion. To put that figure into perspective, on a full charge you can watch a movie for 3 hours, play Asphalt 8 for 1 hour, listen to music for 45 minutes, Watch Youtube for 45 minutes and still have 2+ hours of screen on time remaining.

The PCMark 2.0 battery benchmark gave the phone a an impressive score of 9 hours 30 minutes at max brightness.

Despite having the Hotspot turned on the phone managed to charge in 2 hours 21 minutes, that's not bad eh? It's not as fast as the Mi Max 2 but fast enough.

In terms of battery standby, we did try a light usage cycle and the phone lasted around 14 hours and still had 50% juice left. So you can easily cross a days (24+ hours) use with it.

In Short

The Infinix Zero 5 with its massive battery life, good screen and camera makes for a great companion to people who love to travel a lot and are always away from the grid. 

Benchmark Performance

The gauge the phone's performance we  ran Antutu, PC Mark, 3D Mark and GeekBench. These benchmarks to a certain extent can assess CPU, GPU, storage, and battery performance. After the test, they give out a number which can be used to compare with other devices to know how well your device performs.

  • 3D Mark
  • antutu
  • pc mark
  • geek bench

As you see from the benchmarks the Honor 8 Pro is simply a beast in performance posted almost double the scores compared to the other phones.

The Infinix Zero 5 is far behind the Honor 8 Pro but in real usage the phone isnt slow by any means, instead we did notice that app switching was much faster on the Infinix.