The best cheap smartphones - reviewed

UPDATED with the Samsung Galaxy M40; Looking for the best low-cost smartphones? You've come to the right place...

Every year phones get better. But they seem to get more expensive too. Who has almost a lac to spend on an iPhone X or Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus without eating ₹20 Maggi for the rest of the year?

The good news is cheaper phones are improving too, often at an even faster rate than the big shots.

Nowadays you can spend under ₹15,000 and still get an ultra-sharp 18:9 screen, a good camera and even a phone made of glass and aluminium instead of plastic. It’s less a question of whether you can afford a pricey model splashed over billboards around town, and more: why would you?

Here’s a round-up of our favourite affordable phones of 2018.

*Additional words: Kaizad Billimoria, Ali Akbar Merchant, Burhanuddin Kapasi


Galaxy M40 in figures Operating system: Android 9.1 One UI • Screen: 6.6in Full HD+ Infinity O • Processor: Qualcomm 675 • RAM: 6GB • Camera: 32MP + 2 + 2MP rear + 16MP front • Storage: 64GB • Battery 3500mAh

Tech Specs

Redmi Y3 in figures Operating system: Android 9.0 MIUI 10 • Screen: 6.26in 1520x720 HD+ • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 • RAM: 3/4GB • Camera: 12MP+2MP rear, 32MP front • Storage: 32/64GB plus microSD • Battery 4000mAh


Realme 3 in figures Operating system: Android 9.0 Colour OS6 • Screen: 6.2in 1520 x 720 • Processor: Helio P70 • RAM: 3/4GB • Camera: 13MP + 2MP rear, 13MP front • Storage: 32/64GB plus microSD • Battery: 4230mAh


ZenFone Max M1 in figures Operating system: Android 8 • Screen: 6.26in 720x1440 • Processor: Snapdragon 632 octa-core • RAM: 3GB • Camera: 12+2MP rear, 8MP front • Storage: 32GB plusmicroSD  Battery 4000mAh


Moto G6 Play in figures Operating system: Android 8 • Screen: 5.7in 1440x720 • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa-core • RAM: 3GB • Camera: 13MP rear, 8MP front • Storage: 32GB plus microSD (Up to 256GB)