These are some of the best smartphones available in the market today. Instead of choosing arbitrary price categories, I’ve just listed all the phones I think are worth buying and the reader can choose whichever fits their budget. The phones are chosen based on my personal experience with them, unless mentioned otherwise. Below each are links to purchase them.
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
For a starting price of 4999, the Redmi 5A is shockingly good value, even by Xiaomi’s standards. Although I haven’t formally reviewed it, I did spend a decent amount of time using it and not once did it feel like a cheap budget phone. The build quality, display, performance, cameras and battery life are all very respectable, and that’s without considering the price. Factor that in and the Redmi 5A is criminally good value.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4
Although Xiaomi just launched the Redmi Note 5, it’s going to be a while before you are actually able to buy one. In the meantime, if you must buy a phone in this price range, the Redmi Note 4 is still a great phone that is more readily available and not considerably different from the newer model.
This is again a fantastic value phone that offers a ton of features and good performance at a really good price. Best of all, you can actually buy one whenever you want.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro
I’m reluctantly including this. Not because it’s a bad phone; it’s a terrific phone and you have to spend twice as much to get anything better. It’s because it is rarely ever on sale and that’s going to be the case for several months from now. If you manage to buy one, great. Otherwise, checkout the aforementioned Honor 7X.
Apple iPhone SE
The iPhone SE is the best small smartphone you can buy today. It might even be the only small smartphone that you can buy today. While most Android phones have now outgrown human hands, the tiny iPhone SE continues to soldier on and after all the price cuts has now become excellent value. The hardware might seem a bit dated compared to other iPhones but is still perfectly capable by today’s standards and definitely better than most Android phones on the market.
While much more expensive at launch, the recent price cuts have dropped the Nokia 8 under 30k. The phone is solidly built, has top-notch specifications and a close to stock Android. It’s stunning value for money and highly recommended.
This used to be my de facto choice in this price range, although it is a bit harder to recommend now that the Nokia 8 is a lot cheaper. Still, this is one of my favorite phones of last year, with great design, great display, excellent performance, good battery life and stupidly fast charging. OxygenOS isn’t as close to stock Android as Nokia’s ROMs but manages to pack in a lot of useful features while still sticking close to Google’s design language. I would recommend the cheaper 64GB variant over the slightly overpriced 128GB variant, unless you really need that extra storage.
Apple iPhone 7
Unless you are impatient and also happen to be super rich, the conventional wisdom has always been to buy the iPhone a year after launch after the prices settle down. The 2016 iPhone 7 is still a fantastic phone in every way and is now available for a much more reasonable price (which tend to go even lower during sales). The Plus model has unfortunately not seen the same price drops as the smaller model and if you’re spending that much you might as well buy the iPhone 8. The smaller iPhone 7 is good value though and for most people it is the iPhone to buy right now.
Google Pixel 2 XL
The Pixel 2 XL is the best Android phone on the market without question. Almost everything about it is exceptional. The only thing I wish was better was the display but that’s excusable. Recent price cuts make it better value.