These are the Best Android Phones to buy in India in 2021

These are the Best Android Phones to buy in India in 2021

If you’re in the Indian market for a new Android smartphone and are wondering what the best Android phones are across different categories, we’ve got you covered. We’ve compiled a list of the best Android phones in India you can buy right from the affordable budget segment to the premium flagships with top-of-the-line features and specifications. We’ve categorized the smartphones based on specific user requirements like gaming, cameras, etc., so there’s something for everyone.

Our attempt has been to try and keep this list as mainstream as possible and to make sure all the phones we mention are easily accessible. If you want something unique, we suggest you check out the best foldable phones as they offer a completely new experience.

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Best Android Phone Overall: OnePlus 9 Pro

Best Android Phone in India - OnePlus 9 Pro

OnePlus in its initial few years as a brand was known to produce flagship killers which were essentially phones with flagship specs but at a much lower price. In the last few years though, OnePlus has moved up several tiers and is now competing directly against other flagship smartphones not just in terms of specs but also the price. With the OnePlus 8 Pro last year, the brand included some vital features from other flagships like IP68 rating and wireless charging. This year with the OnePlus 9 Pro, they’ve gone all-in with the cameras.

Performance has never been an issue with OnePlus smartphones. In fact, they’re among the snappiest phones on the market. The OnePlus 9 Pro doesn’t disappoint in that regard either. The Snapdragon 888 is the best chip Qualcomm has to offer and when coupled with a smooth 120Hz QHD+ AMOLED display, the overall experience of using the phone is as premium as it can get.

Cameras have usually been the Achilles’ heel on OnePlus smartphones but by partnering with Hasselblad, they seem to have done a pretty good job this time around with the OnePlus 9 Pro. While the cameras weren’t extraordinary at launch, regular software updates have improved them considerably to a point where they’re now comparable with other flagship phones. The battery life is decent too and you get OnePlus’ 65W Warp charging which is super-fast, alongside compatibility with other fast charging standards too. Overall, the OnePlus 9 Pro offers a complete package and a no-frills experience for anyone who wants the best Android experience. This makes it our pick for one of the best Android phones in India.

If you’re an enthusiast and love flashing ROMs and kernels on your phone, this is a good option for you too since OnePlus phones generally have a bootloader that’s easy to unlock.

    The OnePlus 9 Pro is one of the best Android phones of the year and the overall best value for phone fans.

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Also Great: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

The Galaxy S21 Ultra loses out on the top spot due to the fact that it comes with the Exynos 2100 SoC in India instead of the Snapdragon 888 used on the US variant. The Exynos 2100 has improved quite a lot compared to previous Exynos chips found on older generations of Samsung flagships, but it’s still not up there with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 in terms of performance, especially for sustained gaming. The efficiency has been improved considerably though as the battery life on the Exynos variant is quite good. Other than that, everything else on the Galaxy S21 Ultra is top-tier.

The 120Hz LTPO panel with QHD+ resolution is one of the best you can find on any smartphone. As mentioned earlier, the battery life is good, and there’s support for fast charging along with wireless charging. It runs on Samsung’s One UI and will get three years of software updates. If you don’t play a lot of high-end games, you’re not going to notice a lot of difference in performance compared to the Snapdragon variant of the S21 Ultra.

It has the most versatile camera system around — four strong cameras that cover focal lengths from 13mm to 240mm (not even factoring in digital zoom). The main 108MP sensor captures razor-sharp photos during the day, and at night can make do without night mode trickery due to its large sensor size. The ultra-wide is not the best ultra-wide around, but it’s still very good in terms of maintaining the sharpness and keeping consistent color science. The two zoom lenses are the best the industry has to offer right now, especially the Periscope lens that can capture 10x optical zoom photos. In fact, even up to 20x digital zoom photos remain very usable for social media.

It’s even got support for the S Pen so if you miss the Note series of phones from Samsung and don’t want to splurge on the new Galaxy Z Fold 3, you can still pick up the Galaxy S21 Ultra and you can doodle around or take notes during a meeting. It’s got the smaller things covered too like wireless charging, IP68 rating, Samsung DeX support, etc. It’s a complete flagship phone in all departments

    If you care about smartphone photography, the S21 Ultra is for you.

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Note: The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra was our initial pick for the Best Android Phone but Xiaomi has no plans to restock the product in India anymore.

Best Affordable Flagship Phone: iQOO 7

iQOO 7 in Blue

Just like its elder sibling, the iQOO 7 provides excellent value for money which is why it’s the best affordable flagship smartphone to buy in India. The iQOO 7 carries over all the goodness from the Legend to a more affordable price-point with some minor changes that don’t really affect the overall usability a lot. The Snapdragon 870 comes in place of the Snapdragon 888 on the Legend which by the way is no slouch. The iQOO 7 can also handle extended gaming sessions with ease.

In fact, the Snapdragon 870 is one of the best flagship-grade chips this year since its performance is excellent and it manages to maintain good thermals. The Snapdragon 888 is infamous to touch high temperatures with extensive use, especially gaming, so the Snapdragon 870 is a great alternative with not a lot of differences.

What makes the iQOO 7 stand out from the crowd is a dedicated chip that drives the 120Hz AMOLED display. The primary camera is also the same 48MP shooter, so you can expect some good shots. The battery is slightly higher than the Legend at 4,400mAh with support for the same 66W fast charging. If you’re looking to buy a flagship smartphone without spending a bomb, the iQOO 7 is among the best Android phones in India in the budget flagship category.

    The iQOO 7 is an affordable flagship smartphone that gets most things right. If you want a flagship smartphone especially for gaming without breaking the bank, the iQOO 7 is for you.

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Also Great: OnePlus Nord 2 5G

OnePlus Nord 2

The OG OnePlus Nord was one of the most hyped phones of last year, and it delivered. The Nord 2, launched just a few days back, tries to build on that solid foundation and does a pretty good job. For starters, the mid-range Snapdragon 765G has now been swapped out for a flagship-grade MediaTek Dimensity 1200 SoC. What this means is the performance of the Nord 2 is now stellar and can compete against phones priced much higher as well. If you’re looking for a capable gaming phone at this price point and don’t really care about the bells and whistles the Poco F3 GT brings with it, the OnePlus Nord 2 will perform equally well.

Moreover, you get the same 50MP primary camera from the OnePlus 9 making this one of the best camera phones in this price range. There’s a 90Hz AMOLED display with a hole-punch cutout and while we wish it was 120Hz to match the competition, the smooth animations on OxygenOS almost make up for the slight reduction in refresh rate. Speaking of OxygenOS, this is the first phone from OnePlus to come with a version of OxygenOS that has its codebase merged with ColorOS so you will see a few changes in the UI. There’s a 4500mAh battery with support for 65W Warp charging.

You can know more about the OnePlus Nord 2 in our dedicated review but if we have to give you a quick idea about the device, we would say it’s one of the best OnePlus devices in the recent past that too at an affordable price range. You’re getting a clean software experience with ample horsepower under the hood for most tasks. The cameras are good for the price and the 65W charging just makes the entire deal sweeter. Overall, a great package and a strong contender for the best affordable flagship of the year.

    If you're looking for a good all-round smartphone around the Rs. 30k mark, the OnePlus Nord 2 5G is a great option with dependable performance and good cameras.

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Best Android Phone for Most People: Mi 11X

Mi 11X

The Mi 11X was recently launched in India alongside the Mi 11X Pro and Mi 11 Ultra. Out of the three, the Mi 11X is the most affordable smartphone and the one most of you should get. In terms of value for money and price to performance ratio, the Mi 11X offers a solid package that should suffice the needs of almost every smartphone user. The Snapdragon 870 is a flagship chip, there’s a 120Hz AMOLED display, 5G, and a 48MP primary camera.

For the price the Mi 11X sells for, it offers an experience most users will enjoy and most average users will not have anything to complain about. The glass back adds a premium touch and the powerful SoC means that mobile gamers will be happy too. MIUI on the Mi 11X offers a slightly cleaner experience compared to what you get on an affordable phone from Xiaomi, so that’s a plus. If you want a reliable phone that offers good performance, this is the one to consider.

The cameras aren’t the best on this phone but when you combine it with all the other goodness you’re getting in a package that’s quite affordable, it starts to look like a well-rounded device. You don’t have to worry about the performance of this device nor will you be disappointed with the display. The beautiful AMOLED display is a treat to the eyes

    The Mi 11X has a flagship chip, an AMOLED display, a 48MP camera setup, and a 4520mAh battery that lasts all day. This is more like a one size fits all kind of a device.

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Also Great: Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G

Galaxy S20 FE 5G

If you’re looking for a reliable phone from a reputed brand that can handle most of your day-to-day activities with ease, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G does a great job. Note we’re specifically talking about the S20 FE 5G since the 4G variant, which was launched earlier in India, comes with the older Exynos 990 SoC which is underpowered and chews through battery like nobody’s business. The 5G variant, on the other hand, has the exact same specifications but swaps out the inferior chipset for the Snapdragon 865 which performs really well and even offers 5G which is good for future-proofing.

You get a nice AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, a triple camera setup, stereo speakers, 4500mAh battery with 25W fast charging, wireless charging, and IP68 water resistance as well. There’s 128GB of fast UFS 3.1 storage on the base variant with 6GB of RAM. The selfie shooter is a 32MP unit and the phone also has an under-display fingerprint scanner. Be it for gaming, cameras, or just general day-to-day performance, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G ticks all the right boxes.

While there are similar phones to the S20 Fe 5G that either offer better specifications in some departments or are priced lower for the same or better package, this phone is primarily for those who want the brand value of Samsung along with all the software features of One UI. Needless to say, Samsung makes some of the best displays for smartphones which is another big reason to get the Galaxy S20 Fe 5G.

    The Galaxy S20 FE 5G is a reliable phone that gets most things right and offers a good experience overall.

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Best Phone under ₹20,000: Redmi Note 10 Pro Max

Redmi Note 10 Pro with a plastic back

It’s no surprise that Xiaomi generally offers some of the most value-for-money smartphones, especially in the mid-range category. This time though, they took it to a whole other level with the Redmi Note 10 series. The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max has everything you would need from a mid-range smartphone, plus more. The display is a gorgeous 120Hz AMOLED panel with a tiny hole punch. The primary camera on the rear is a 108MP sensor that shoots some of the best pictures in this price range.

In terms of performance, the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max gets the Snapdragon 732G which should be good for most people. However, this phone skimps out on 5G which, to be honest, is not a big deal at least at this point of time in India. There’s a large 5,020mAh battery with 33W fast charging which will get you through a full day’s worth of use. The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max offers a complete package for the price and you just can’t go wrong with this one.

Xiaomi has really nailed it with the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max this year. Not only is it one of the best mid-range of the year, but it’s one of the best mid-range phones that has even been launched in India under the price of ₹20,000. It offers such a good package under that price especially with the new upgraded display, a 108MP camera, and a solid battery all combined into a slim and light form factor. This phone is highly recommended.

    The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is an all-round smartphone that does almost everything right especially considering the price. If you want a great display and solid cameras, the Note 10 Pro Max is a great option.

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Best Phone under ₹15,000: Redmi Note 10

Redmi Note 10

As we mentioned earlier, Xiaomi hit it out of the park with the Redmi Note 10 series launch in India this year. Even the base Redmi Note 10 offers solid value for money especially in terms of display and cameras. You can get a Full HD+ AMOLED display which is quite rare in this segment along with a 48MP camera quad-camera setup that can shoot some good pictures. The build quality is also solid on the Redmi Note 10 thanks to a glass back.