The Indian smartphone customer has never been spoilt for choice as now, with newer companies taking on more established marques, the ultimate winner is the consumer. The Rs.8000 market is one such market where you see a ton of devices with each one battling the other in terms of value for money, features, and performance. But despite the vast majority of devices, some devices do stand out which ones they are? Read on to find out.

To help you find the best phone for your buck, we have done a boatload of research, reading through reputed websites and customer reviews from Amazon and Flipkart. So sit back and read through all the work that we have done to help you find the best phone under 8000.


Best smartphone under 8000

Redmi 6

The Redmi 6 starts at Rs.8499 and offers a blend of good features and performance at that price. You have a good quality display, a powerful processor and a long battery life to back up the performance. You get dual cameras as well that can take some great photos in good light and the phone comes in various colours as well.

That being said the design isn't unique anymore and the software does need some work especially when it comes to the bloatware part.

Pros

  • Decent pricing

  • Great performance from the Helio P22

  • Good battery life

  • Good display

  • Solidly built

  • Decent camera

  • Dedicated microSD slot

  • Dual 4G VoLTE

Cons

  • Dull design

  • Slow charging time

  • Still using the ancient micro USB

  • Software needs to improve

What's missing?

  • IR Blaster

  • Fast Charging

  • Front camera flash

  • Slow motion video capture

  • Wifi-ac

Where to buy them?

Best smartphone under 8000

Realme C1

Continuing Realme’s Xiaomi beating strategy of high performance at a low price is their Realme C1 smartphone. Priced at  Rs.7999, the C1 offers a large notched display, a Snapdragon 450 processor and a stylish design.

Recently the price has gone up a bit which has degraded its value for money appeal but you do get excellent battery life, powerful performance and a unique design. The two major drawbacks are the low RAM and low internal storage.

Pros

  • Stylish design and good build quality

  • Decent performance from the Snapdragon 450

  • Long lasting battery

  • Great display

  • Dedicated microSD slot

  • Dual 4G VoLTE

Cons

  • Back panel prone to scratching

  • Slow charging time

  • Still using the ancient micro USB

  • A few bugs in the software

What's missing?

  • Fingerprint sensor

  • IR Blaster

  • Qualcomm Quick Charging

  • USB-C

  • Slow motion video capture

  • Manual Mode in camera

  • Wifi-ac

  • Front camera flash

Where to buy them?


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


How we selected?

Our quest for the best smartphone started by reading through suggestions from other technology websites. Here we also looked through detailed reviews of products to see their flaws and merits.

Over the past year, we kept track of every smartphone launch to see what new features are launched and to understand the latest trends in the market.

Next, we headed over to Amazon and Flipkart to add some of the best sellers and any new products that have been launched recently.


Best smartphone under 8000 - in detail

Redmi 6

Specifications

Design and Build: Typical Xiaomi- well built but nothing unique

The Redmi 6 doesn't deviate much from the Redmi 5 launched last year. It carries the same modern 18:9 aspect ratio display with no notch, and a slim overall design.

The display dominates the front but with uniform bezels around the side. The top and the chin bezels do look a little ugly though. The glass although scratch-resistant isn't a branded one (like Gorilla Glass). But you do get an oleophobic coating.

Gsmarena found it to be put together rather well, but wasn't a fan of the plasticky build. But we'd forgive them for that, given the price and the fact that the competition isn't much better.

One thing we would like to point out is the slightly curved sides of the back which make it much more comfortable to hold than say the flat backed Redmi Note 4 and previous Xiaomi phones.

The Redmi 6 does get a fingerprint sensor (along with face unlock) and we really like the position of the sensor as it is far away from the dual camera unit.

Talking about cameras, the dual sensor camera is rare at this price and you can read below to see how it performs. But the sensor array is raised from the body which makes it more prone to scratching and will make the phone unsteady when kept on its back.

The phone does have support for a dedicated microSD card along with support for two sim cards (supports Dual 4G VoLTE as well). The arrangement for this is a bit weird, to say the least. The first sim and microSD card have one slot, while the secondary sim goes into another completely different slot. Although weird we are happy that there is functionality for all three.

On the front of the display, there is a notification LED as well along with the selfie camera and sensors.

Software: MIUI- features, bloat and ads

MIUI like most custom skins has had a divided opinion. People who love features and customizability love it, most others hate it for the bloat, too many changes over stock Android and improper Android version updates.

The present generation of MIUI does try to improve on the design front bringing in a more mature and minimalist design with better-designed system apps and an overall sprinkle of goodness with new animations and a new task switcher.

What has gone worse is the bloatware and a new type of irritation that Xiaomi has added in the form of advertisements in system apps including the settings app. While this has caused a backlash amongst users, Xiaomi in a statement to The Verge did accept to this and is working on ways to allow users to turn off these ads.

Being the latest version of MIUI you also get navigation gestures which allow you to use swipe gestures that can replace the back, home and multitask functionality of the navigation bar. You also have support for Oreo’s notification channel which allows you to have a greater control over the types of notifications an app can provide.

Despite all new additions, there isn't the most requested feature of a custom skin- the app drawer. But Xiaomi’s other phone company Poco offers a launcher that does support an app drawer and has all the other MIUI functionality. Click here to download it on your Redmi 6.

Given the 3GB of RAM and the ample performance from the P22 processor, both India Today and NDTV Gadgets found the software to work smoothly with no lags. Even scrolling through apps like Facebook and Twitter showed no slowdowns.

Using around 5-6 apps also don't slow down the phone and in general usage, there is no heating even after gaming. That being said opening an app is not as snappy as some high-end phones but it's not slow by any means,

Hardware: Good display and powerful processor

Gsmarena liked the 5.45-inch HD+ display sported by the Redmi 6 (and Redmi 6A). The display uses an IPS panel and the 1440 x 720-pixel resolution gives a pixel density of 295 ppi. They were pleased with the accuracy of the colours, the indoor and outdoor brightness and the viewing angles of the display.

This time around Xiaomi has gone to Mediatek for their processor, this comes after a long gap during which Xiaomi was barred (legally) from using Mediatek’s Chipsets in India. The Helio P22 chipset offers tremendous performance and is a huge boost over the previous Redmi 5 as well as its competitors from Realme and Asus. As benchmarks show, if you need the best performance at this budget then the Redmi 6 offers it in spades. Gaming is also possible with PUBG being playable at low settings with very little lag.

The loudspeaker is placed at the back which is not a great place especially in today's world. The sound quality is decent at best.

For connectivity, you have Dual 4G VoLTE, Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, GPS, AGPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, and FM Radio. Sadly this time around Xiaomi has dropped its IR Blaster feature that allowed you to use your phone as a remote.

For security, you have the usual fingerprint sensor along with an AI-based Face Unlock feature. Both function well but the face unlock is not reliable can be tricked with a photograph.

Camera: Twice the sensor, not twice the experience

Xiaomi has this time decided to bring in the dual camera experience to its lower end segments and the Redmi 6 does just that. You get a 12 MPx plus a 5 MPx depth sensor.

The camera app is the typical Xiaomi affair with modes like Panorama, Filters, HDR,  Beauty, Portrait etc. There is a manual mode that is properly kitted with controls for White Balance, Shutter Speed, ISO and Focus.

While it captures images with good dynamic range and good details occasionally the Redmi 6A inches ahead with its single 13MPx sensor as Gsmarena found. Under low light, noise does creep in but there is no aggressive noise reduction as reported by Gsmarena. But for the price under good lighting conditions, the camera performs very well.

NDTV Gadgets found the camera to struggle a little when capturing a macro shot, however, the portrait mode shots were good with proper edge detection and blurring.

Selfie come out great in bright light but do go down in quality at night but that's not bad given the meagre hardware (5 MPx f/2.2 camera).

Video recording supports a maximum of 1080p at 30fps and there is electronic image stabilization (EIS) which is great at this price point. While the quality is good the EIS gives the notorious jello effects.

Battery & Charging: Long battery life with long charging time

The two generation old Redmi 4 came with a 4000mAh battery, but recently Xiaomi has been cutting down the batteries on their phones. This means the Redmi 6 makes do with just a 3000mAh battery. But there is no need to worry as the battery life is still very good.

NDTV Gadgets looped a video and found the phone managed to play for nearly 14 and a half hours. This is very good for its size although it is almost 6 hours less than the Realme C1 which comes with a 4230 mAh battery. With general usage, you can easily cross a days worth of use.

The bundled 5W charger is slow as expected taking an hour to charge to 35%. Charging it to 100% can easily cross 3 hours.


Best smartphone under 8000- in detail

Realme C1

Specifications

Realme is an offshoot of Oppo and a company tasked to contain the domination of smartphone brands like Xiaomi, Honor and Asus. Their first product, the Realme 1 sold like hotcakes due to its low price and excellent performance. This prompted Realme to come up with three, yes three successors- the Realme 2, Realme C1 and Realme 2 Pro.

The Realme C1 is what we will be looking at today as it falls in the under Rs.8000 budget. The C1 like most Realme products has a unique design language that is an improvement over the drab looking smartphones presently available.

The rear is glass-like (plastic) which gives it a premium touch like most high-end smartphones, the front of the phone is taken up by the display with a small notch added to mimic the iPhone X design. Unlike the iPhone, the bezels are slim on the top and sides but there is a slight chin at the bottom. The phone is made of plastic including the frame which makes it light and easy to carry around as noted by NDTV Gadgets.

Upfront the Gorilla Glass covered 6.2-inch HD+ display is of great quality with decent brightness (360 nits), good sunlight legibility and pleasing colours (70% NTSC, Screen Contrast - 1200:1). NDTV Gadgets was pleased with its quality and even liked the screen protector provided in the box. There is a notch on the display which can divide opinions.

While most phones let you turn off the screen area around the notch, the Realme C1 sadly doesn't support that.

Performance is taken care of by Snapdragon’s mid-range 450 processor which uses eight Kryo 260 cores coupled with an Adreno 509 GPU. This makes the C1 more powerful than the Mediatek A22 and Snapdragon 425/430/435 but a little slower the Mediatek P22 powering the Redmi 6.

That being said while most apps like Chrome were found to run smoothly, demanding games like PUBG did feel slow even at low graphics as tested by NDTV Gadgets. They even found heavy games to affect the touch response also (but not always). But games like Candy Crush Friends, Subway Surfers and Temple Run 2 work flawlessly as found by The Mobile Indian.

The next bit of hardware is the RAM and Storage. Being an entry-level phone for Realme, the C1 has just 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, while there is a dedicated microSD card you have to accept the fact that the storage is too less. Add to that the usable storage is only 8.67GB and you strictly cannot use it for anything other than your basic usage.

For connectivity, you have Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, dual 4G VoLTE, USB-OTG support, and FM radio.

The software on the Realme C1 (and by extension most Oppo) isn’t its strong suit. It brings features that you get in popular custom skins like MIUI and EMUI but in a poor looking wrapper. There are basic missing apps and features like quick settings for wallpapers, themes, no notch hide option and an overall gimmicky looking design. The Mobile Indian found the UI to be slow and jerky at times with terribly implemented gesture controls. We wish Realme fixes most of these issues with software updates in the coming future.

The single bottom mounted speaker although loud isn't particularly good in terms of sound quality, lacking in bass and mids.

Camera duties are handled by a 13MPx plus 2MPx unit at the rear and a 5 MPx front shooter. The rear camera performs well giving you good details under bright light but lacks in colours according to NDTV Gadgets. Portrait mode is also present and while there is enough blurring effect, edge detection isn’t very accurate.

Once the sun goes down the camera starts to underperform with noise creeping into photos and focussing too taking a hit.

The selfie is good under good lighting conditions with good colours being captured. But the story is the same at night with noise creeping in.

Talking about video recording you do have 1080p 30fps support but given the lack of stabilization the videos are shaky and lack details.

But by far the C1’s biggest draw is the whopping 4230mAh, possibly the largest in this segment. The large battery couple with the efficient processor and HD+ display give you at least a day and a half worth of battery life. NDTV Gadgets looped a 720p video that ran for a total of 20 hours! That's insane.

Given the large 4230mAH battery and the 5W bundled charger and you know it's going to be slow to charge. How slow? Well, it takes four and a half hours according to NDTV Gadgets. But they did try to charge the phone with a 10W charger and found that it could charge in around three hours. That's a big improvement and if the charging speed bothers you, you must pick up the 10W charger.

Who is our best pick for?

The Redmi 6 is one of the cheapest smartphones with dual sensor camera for under Rs.8000. The great display, processor, and good battery life make it perfect as a daily driver that can occasionally be used for light gaming as well. The camera is also good for most social needs. All this combined make it a great daily phone for most people.

The Realme C1 has some very specific pros like the design which looks very premium, the excellent battery life and the good display. The battery life alone makes it possible for many use cases- from a hotspot to a secondary phone for calls. While the software isn't the best, the low cost of the phone combined with the decent performance really makes it a worthy buy.
 

Who is the competition?

Asus Zenfone Max M1

While the Asus Zenfone Max M1 is a good phone after its price cut it still lags behind both our best picks. Firstly the Snapdragon 430 processor is considerably weaker when compared to our best picks. It also packs in a single camera sensor while both the Realme and Redmi pack dual sensor. The Zenfone Max also isn't a looker with a dull looking design that's available in only a single black colour. The only redeeming feature then is the large battery.

Redmi 5

The Redmi 5 serves as the replacement to the hugely popular Redmi 4. The Redmi 5 boasts of a modern design, 18:9 display and an updated processor. While all that is good and it is a tangible upgrade over the Redmi 4, it falls short when compared to the Redmi 6. You get only 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and a single camera the same price as the Redmi 6.

Redmi 5A

Currently one of the most affordable phones by Xiaomi, the Redmi 5A is also their best selling models. It slots below the Redmi 5/6 and gives you 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage just like the Redmi 6 but comes with a 5-inch display with HD resolution and much weaker Snapdragon 425 processor and a 3000mAh of battery. Instead of this you can pick the Redmi 6 or try the Redmi 6A which is a good pick for around Rs.7000

Smartron t.phone p

Smartron is an Indian mobile company that's backed by the Master Blaster, Sachin Tendulkar himself. The Smartron t.phone p is their budget smartphone offering that comes with a massive 5000mAh battery that easily gives it two days of battery life. But apart from the battery there not much justifying the Rs.8000 price tag. The screen is small at 5.2 inches in the older 16:9 aspect ratio. The processor too is just a Snapdragon 435, a step up from the Redmi 5A but not as good as the Helio P22 or Snapdragon 450. The cameras too aren't that great so except battery life there's not much that draws you to the phone.

Infinix Hot 6 Pro

One of Infinix' latest smartphone in the market seems to have taken a different route over the Infinix Note 4 that we previously reviewed and genuinely loved. While the Note 4 boasted of a unique design with a gorgeous display and good camera. The Hot 6 Pro is neither that hot nor a pro at anything, making Infinix' current lineup seem more lukewarm than anything. While the screen has the modern aspect ratio of 18:9 you get only an HD+ resolution and the processor is a rather weak Snapdragon 425 and all this for Rs.7999 is not really justified.
 

Final Thoughts

Given the deep competition amongst device manufacturers, it can be rather difficult to find a smartphone that suits your needs. But with our thorough research, we have managed to find the best android phone under 8000.

The Redmi 6 offers a blend of great performance, great features, good cameras and best of all a true value for money price. It has one of the better displays in its category that's also backed by one of the most powerful processor in its class and has a good battery life. This truly makes it one of the best smartphone under 8000

The C1 cashes onto the style factor giving you a glass like back and the iPhone-like notch up front. While it's not as powerful as the Redmi, it is no slouch either and is backed by the large 4230 mAh battery makes a good alternative to the Redmi 6.

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