After extensively covering the most popular mainstream price segments in our smartphone buying guide, we felt it was time to tackle the higher-tier, premium segments too starting with the sub-Rs. 40,000 tier. For the longest time, OnePlus’ offerings have dominated this space, and for most buyers, the choice has been limited, yet simple. However, we now have a long enough list of phones worth recommending that warrants a brand new guide.
The Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro is one of the hottest new smartphones of 2021 and is making waves due to its very aggressive pricing and impressive specifications. OnePlus continues to be a household name in this segment thanks to its recent entry, the OnePlus 9R. Oppo also surprised us this year with the Reno 5 Pro 5G, as it’s one of the slimmest and lightest phones in the segment without compromising on a whole lot. Older models from Xiaomi, OnePlus, and Samsung are also part of our list as they have aged fairly well so far.
If you’re undecided on which smartphone is right for you under Rs. 40,000, then read on to see some of Gadgets 360’s top picks, in no particular order.
Best phones under Rs. 40,000
|Phones under Rs. 40,000||Gadgets 360 rating (out of 10)||Price in India (as recommended)|
|Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro||9||Rs. 39,999|
|OnePlus 9R||8||Rs. 39,999|
|Oppo Reno 5 Pro 5G||9||Rs. 35,990|
|OnePlus 8T||9||Rs. 38,999|
|Samsung Galaxy S20 FE||9||Rs. 37,990|
|Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro 5G||8||Rs. 36,999|
Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro
The Mi 11X Pro grabs the “flagship killer” title from OnePlus as it quite literally offers true flagship-grade performance at the lowest possible price. You get a top-tier Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC, a vibrant 120Hz AMOLED display, and impressive cameras. The feature list includes great design, a vivid display, good-sounding stereo speakers, and even an IP53 rating for basic dust and water resistance. The spammy nature of MIUI is possibly our biggest gripe with this phone, and the fact that it gets quite hot when it’s charging. Apart from these things though, it’s pretty much a slam-dunk through and through, and you can’t ask for more at this price.
The OnePlus 9R is sort of a peace offering from the company to its fans in India, which it hopes will soften the blow of the more expensive OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro. It’s a minor refresh of the OnePlus 8T with a new SoC and a different coat of paint, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The new Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 SoC in the 9R is essentially a tweaked version of last year’s Snapdragon 865+ SoC, which provides a slight boost in performance. However, not much else has changed from the 8T – the OnePlus 9R continues to offer 65W fast charging, the same set of cameras, a vivid 120Hz display, and very good software.
Oppo Reno 5 Pro 5G
The Oppo Reno 5 Pro 5G is one of the rare smartphones that manages to balance ergonomics and performance extremely well. If you’re someone who hates large and heavy smartphones, the Reno 5 Pro 5G with its 173g weight and 7.6mm thickness is just what the doctor ordered. However, Oppo hasn’t compromised much in other areas in order to offer this. The smartphone uses MediaTek’s powerful Dimensity 1000+ SoC, along with a bright and vivid 90Hz curved-edge AMOLED display. You get 65W fast charging, a good set of cameras, smooth gaming performance, and great battery life.
OnePlus continues to sell the 8T at a new lower price, even after it launched the OnePlus 9R. The OnePlus 8T is still a dependable smartphone with very good performance, support for 5G, a great display, decent cameras, and of course, one of the best custom versions of Android in the market. This phone is a bit on the chunkier side, and low-light camera performance is a bit average. However, other than these little issues, it’s still a very good smartphone if you wish to save a bit of money compared to the 9R.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE was an instant hit when it launched last year, as it offered all the essential features of Samsung’s S20 flagship line at a much lower price. With this phone, you get features such as an IP68 rating, wireless charging, flagship Exynos SoC, telephoto camera, and 120Hz AMOLED display all for well under Rs. 50,000. With the launch of the Galaxy S20 FE 5G this year, the older model has dropped even further in price, down to just Rs. 37,990 on online marketplaces. If you aren’t keen on jumping on the 5G bandwagon yet, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is still an excellent smartphone at its current selling price.
Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro 5G
The Mi 10T Pro 5G from Xiaomi throws in everything but the kitchen sink at an incredible price of just Rs. 36,999. It offers a flagship-grade 5G Qualcomm SoC, a 144Hz LCD display, a massive battery, and a very capable 108-megapixel camera that supports 8K video recording. If you can bear MIUI’s spammy nature and the 218g weight, then you’ll love the amount of value offered by this smartphone. Xiaomi hasn’t compromised on the build of the Mi 10T Pro 5G either, as the frame is aluminium and you get Corning Gorilla Glass on the front, back, and the camera module.