It is the best of times. It is the wor…no, it STILL is the best of times. If you are looking for a smartphone at a surprisingly low price. For, even as the world reels from the phone price tags from both Cupertino and the Googleplex, on Flipkart and Amazon, there is a whole stack of devices that are available at prices that are well below their regular ones. So if you seek a great phone at a great price, this is perhaps the best time to grab it. Feeling confused by all the deals out there? Well then, we are cherry picking the best ones for you.
(Note: we have gone with the most dramatic price cuts for devices that we think are worth purchasing. Also, we are sticking to the price cuts – you might get additional discounts on exchanges and type of payment options used. For example, Amazon is offering 10% instant discount for users with SBI credit/debit cards, while Flipkart is offering 10% discount for HDBC card users.)
Sub Rs 15,000: More than basics on a budget
Moto Z2 Play (Flipkart) – Nothing “mod”est about this one
The jury might still be out on whether mods are a “thing” or not, but even keeping the modular argument aside, there is no doubting that the Moto Z2 Play at Rs 9,999 (it was launched at Rs 27,999 but has since dipped to being in the vicinity of Rs 14,000) is a formidable deal. Yes, some will scoff at the 5.5-inch display which is not 18:9 in keeping with modern devices and there will also be some eyebrows raised at the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chip. But if what you are looking for is a rock solid device which does the basics very well and delivers good battery life, this one is a great option. It will not blow anyone away with its performance or specs, but it will just work. And that metallic design remains very eye-catching. Of course, if you feel like it, there are mods that will add new features to your device!
Note: The Flipkart sale on smartphones starts at midnight (11 Oct).
Honor 9N (Flipkart) – Wow at five figures, woah at four
The Honor 9N was quite a deal at Rs 11,999, given its extremely eye-catching design (glass body), 5.8-inch notched full HD+ display, dual cameras and very good HiSilicon Kirin 659 chip. However, at sub Rs 10,000, it pretty much gets close to the irresistible territory. The phone punches well above its weight in terms of performance – even the 3000 mAh battery lasts longer than on most other devices. EMUI remains one of the more user-friendly Android interfaces out there, and even face unlock and gestures work smoothly on this device.
Moto X4 (Flipkart) – Super good looking got super affordable
In terms of design, it was one of the outstanding phones of 2017 and even today, it looks a sight for sore eyes, with its curved glass back and spherical camera unit (complete with Swiss Watch-like notches). Incredibly compact, it comes with a 5.2-inch display which is still good enough to make people forget that it was not a “tall one” and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 chip delivers a very smooth performance indeed. The 12 and 8 megapixel rear cameras take some excellent snaps and excels at close-ups in particular. And with the 3000 mAh battery, you will be able to see off a day of use easily. It was decent value for money at its launch price of Rs 20,999. At almost half that price, it is an absolute gimme!
Rs 15,000 – 25,000: Even More Affordable flagships
Moto Z2 Force (Flipkart) – shatterproof display, no earth-shattering price
No 18:9 aspect ratio, no notch, but the Moto Z2 Force more than compensates with a ShatterShield AMOLED display that can survive most falls. Combine that with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, a very capable pair of dual cameras, very efficient battery life, a very distinct design, and support for mods (which let you add everything from extra battery to a projector) and you have a device that can deliver flagship-level performance, even while surviving falls like a boss. No, it cannot match the spec sheets of the Poco F1 and the Honor Play but it is no slouch!
Mi Mix 2 (Amazon) – an even greater mix of performance and price
The phone bezels love to hate. Yes, before the Mi Mix came along, bezels had space of their own all around the phone display. However, the first Mix got rid of most of them, showing the world that a phone’s front could be nearly all display, and well, its successor built on its success. It remains a delectable device in terms of style with that brilliant 5.99-inch display and a ceramic black on which sits a gold-tinted camera lens. Yes, some might find the 12.0-megapixel rear camera underwhelming and the 5-megapixel selfie snapper oddly placed (it is on the chin of the phone), but on the flip side, the presence of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip allied with 6 GB RAM and 128 GB storage ensures buttery smooth performance. One for the eyes and now, for the wallet as well.
Asus Zenfone 5Z (Flipkart) – the phone attains pricing Zen
For a short while (before the Poco F1 entered the frame), the Asus Zenfone 5Z was the most affordable Android flagship out there. And it did so without cutting any corners in spec terms – a 6.2-inch display with a notch, a Snapdragon 845 processor, 6 GB of RAM in the base model and a very decent pair of dual cameras. It was enough to make many OnePlus loyalists think twice at its launch price of Rs 29,999. At Rs 24,999, it will make Poco F1 fans wonder too. Yeah, THAT good.
Honor 10 (Flipkart) – gorgeous and more pocket-friendly than ever
If there was an award for the most gorgeous device of 2018, the Honor 10 would have been a frontrunner. Its glass front and back were beautifully crafted, and in a time when phones were on the larger side, the 10 was incredibly compact. And there was some serious hardware muscle behind all that beauty – the phone is powered by the Kirin 970 chip which is also seen in the likes of the Huawei P20 Pro, and packs in 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB storage, apart from two superb rear cameras of 16 and 24 megapixels. Many thought it was overpriced when it was launched at Rs 35,999. At its special price, we think it is a deal!
Rs 25,000 and above: Still premium, but you can keep those kidneys!
Samsung Galaxy S9 (Amazon): the flagship sails into OP waters
It rivals the iPhone in terms of performance and now with a special price tag, runs the OnePlus 6 close in terms of value for money. Considered THE Android flagship by many, the smartphone features dual 12-megapixel cameras on the rear, one with a massive f/1.5 aperture (one of the biggest in smartphones), and as a result, delivers some stunning photography, be it in normal or low light. Of course, the 5.8-inch Super AMOLED display remains one of the best you will ever see, with no notch to spoil the show either. Round that off with an eye-catching glassy, classy design that many think remains one of the best in Androidland, and you have an absolute deal at that price.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (Amazon): Still VERY Note-able
Yes, we know there is a new Galaxy Note in town. But that does not make its predecessor any less awesome. The S Pen on this one might not be able to function like a remote controller, but when it comes to sheer scribbling and drawing prowess, this one is no pushover. The dual 12-megapixel dual cameras still take very good pictures, the Exynos processor turns in a very good performance, and all those who complain about Samsung’s UI being overwhelming cannot deny that the 6.3-inch QHD display is one of the most striking in tech town even now. If the new Note intimidates you with its price tag, this is a great option and packs enough punch to still strike a high Note. Pun intended.
iPhone X (Amazon): Coming down a notch, pricewise, and still rocking it
While the prices of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus have been given a cut (the 8 is down to Rs 53,999), the kindest cut of all in our opinion has been given to the iPhone X, which has been pulled down from the Olympian heights of Rs 95,390 to the more Everest ones of Rs 69,999. No, we are not calling it inexpensive, but compared to its previous price, it is a positive bargain, not least because it remains a very formidable performer even now – very good cameras, distinct design, super secure face unlock. Most importantly, it clearly is the future of iPhones in terms of design, whether you like the notch or not – you can even pretend it is an iPhone XS if that suits you.