If you are looking for excellent value and don't mind shelling out a bit more for solid camera performance, you have indeed come to the right place. The sub-Rs. 40,000 segment is all about premium features and value pricing. It's rare to find a smartphone in this segment that seems overpriced mainly because companies squeeze in more features and hardware than what most buyers would expect or have on their checklist.
Our latest entrants include the OnePlus 11R 5G and the Vivo V27 Pro 5G, both of which brings along a solid set of premium features to the sub-Rs. 40,000 smartphones segment.
Here are the best smartphones priced under Rs. 40,000 in India that are reviewed and rated by Gadgets 360, in no particular order.
|Phones under Rs. 40,000
|Gadgets 360 rating (out of 10)
|Price in India (as recommended)
|OnePlus 11R 5G
|Vivo V27 Pro 5G
|Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G
|Motorola Edge 30 Pro
|Xiaomi 11T Pro
|Oppo Reno 7 Pro 5G
|Realme GT Neo 3
The OnePlus 11R 5G will appeal to many OnePlus fans who have been waiting for something similar to the OnePlus 7T to come along — a phone with a flagship SoC under Rs. 40,000. If you play a lot of demanding mobile games and require good battery life, the 11R 5G will not disappoint. The main camera is also very capable, although the rest of them leave a lot to be desired. I think what many people are going to like most is the fact that the 11R 5G looks just like the more expensive 11 5G, giving it flaunt value. The OnePlus 11R 5G could have been better in few areas, but especially after last year's offering, I think it's a solid comeback.
The Vivo V27 Pro would be a good choice for those who want a phone with an excellent in-hand feel. The colour-changing trick is subjective but its novelty might wear off soon. The camera performance, especially the front camera, is also quite good for the price. However, it tends to feel warm quickly due to its slim form factor. While the display by itself offers a good experience and supports HDR10+, popular video streaming apps couldn't detect the latter feature which I felt was a letdown. What's an even bigger bummer is a single speaker setup in a phone at this price. There seems to be many ifs and buts with the V27 Pro, which is a little disappointing. If you are someone who does not care much about the phone's shortcomings, it can be considered.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G is the successor to the do-it-all Galaxy S20 FE 5G. Upgrades to the S21 FE 5G are mostly incremental, so the difference is mainly down to the slightly refreshed design and SoC. The Galaxy S21 FE 5G gets the premium Galaxy S22's contour cutout camera design with flat-finished rear panels and cutouts for each camera lens. It's also quite light and thin which makes it good for one-handed use. The big upgrade here is the Exynos 2100 SoC from the Galaxy S21 series and it does a good job with gaming. All the good stuff from the S20 FE 5G has been retained on the S21 FE 5G including wireless charging and an IP68 certification for dust and water resistance, which it now brings to the sub Rs. 40,000 segment.
The Motorola Edge 30 Pro was an incredible value for money product and offered good performance at launch. Today, it continues to do so after a recent price cut. The phone is available in a single 8GB RAM and 128GB storage configuration but at a very competitive price. It's no longer the flagship for Motorola, but still has a 144Hz AMOLED display, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC, two 50-megapixel cameras on the back, and a 60-megapixel selfie camera. There's a large 4,800mAh battery to alleviate your battery anxiety. Its design may be a bit chunky in comparison to the newer Edge 30 Fusion, but there is an IP52 rating for basic dust and water resistance, which seems like the bare minimum, but it's something. Motorola's near-stock MyUX software experience which comes with just one preloaded app is the cherry on top.
The Xiaomi 11T Pro doesn't stand out in terms of cosmetic design, even though its polycarbonate mid-frame sandwiched between two sheets of glass feels premium. However, it delivers good raw performance thanks to its Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC and is a good all-rounder.
Its attractive price and features make it a good deal. Its AMOLED display showcases accurate colours and is also one of the few Android smartphones with a Dolby Vision certification for streaming video. You get stereo sound with Dolby Atmos support, which makes for an immersive entertainment experience. Battery life is top notch and this phone offers up to two days of casual use on a single charge. You also get a 120W fast charger in the box. Camera performance is quite good, except for the quality of selfies in low light.
Design has always been a big talking point for the Oppo Reno series, and the Reno 7 Pro 5G sure looks the part with its glass back and a laser micro-etched finish. The notification LED strip around the camera module of the Oppo Reno 7 Pro is also quite unique.
The 6.5-inch full-HD+ 90Hz AMOLED panel delivers very good colours and contrast, and there's Corning Gorilla 5 for scratch protection. The MediaTek Dimensity 1200-Max SoC may be a bit old and seems a bit mid-range, but is said to have custom optimisations for a smoother gaming experience. While the phone was launched with Android 12, it was recently updated to ColourOS 13, which is based on Android 13. Battery life is solid, and charging is super-fast.
The Realme GT Neo 3 is all about speed. It surely looks the part with racing stripes on the rear panel. Then there's the large 6.7-inch full-HD+ AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The phone comes with a MediaTek Dimensity 8100 SoC which is good enough for gaming. The major improvements over its predecessor (the Realme GT Neo 2) comes in the form of upgraded cameras which perform a lot better as well.
We did test out the more expensive model of the GT Neo 3, which is equipped with a smaller 4,500mAh battery but supports faster 150W wired charging, but the regular model is no slouch either with a larger 5,000mAh along with 80W charging support.