Budget 10-15K Help with choices in Android smartphones

Discussion in 'Mobile Phone Buying Advice' started by CapriAnupam, Oct 12, 2018.

  1. CapriAnupam

    CapriAnupam Well-Known Member

    Had to select the budget range from 10-15K, but I am looking for an Android smartphone around the range of 10-11K specifically, as that's the budget requirement for my friend.

    I have narrowed the choices down to a few popular smartphones that I searched for in the given budget. Need help with the choices in order to choose a good quality smartphone with good specifications, that will last for some years, as he plans to use the phone for quite sometime.

    Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 seems like quite a great choice with really excellent specifications... great processor, full HD display, massive 5000 mAh battery, stock Android.

    The 4GB RAM + 64 GB storage too comes at a cost of just 1K extra (10,999 Rs), so can go for that too.

    One drawback with the phone is that there is no corning gorilla glass. Would've been much better with it, since I prefer phones with it. However, since the other things are so great with the phone, this can be overlooked, and a tempered glass, or a good case can be purchased.

    Another concern is, will the Android updates be regular and on time? If anyone has experience of that with this Asus phones, or any other Asus phone, please post.
    Are Asus smartphones reliable?

    If these concerns of mine are solved, then I would prefer this phone over others, because of stock Android, and the specifications of course.

    Another choice that looks good is, Redmi 6 Pro. It too has great specifications, with a powerful processor, full HD display, good battery with 4000 mAh.

    It's not clear though, whether the phone has corning gorilla glass or not.

    Also, what is the situation for future OS updates with Xiaomi? Are the updates regular, and on time, and for what period? I know the phone doesn't come with stock Android, which is kind of a drawback, but still, if the specifications, and overall quality is good, with regular updates to the OS, I can think about the phone.

    I also read about the bloatware that comes with Xiaomi phones. Is that manageable? Does it affect the phone performance?

    Any other drawback or things to look out with Xiaomi phones?

    Another Xiaomi phone that I considered is Xiaomi Redmi Y2, and it has 4 GB RAM + 64 GB storage being offered at the price of around 10-11K, which seems really tempting.

    However, the battery is not that powerful with only 3080 mAh.
    There is no full HD, compared to Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro.
    And the phone too seems more focused on the camera.
    So, given the choice, I would prefer Redmi 6 Pro over this phone. Right choice?

    Oppo Realme 2 seems to have great specifications, but personally, I am not a very big fan of Oppo/Vivo phones. It is said to be a value for money phone, but I have my doubts.

    First, there is no stock Android. Plus, I don't know if the updates will be there regularly or not, for the OS.
    Also, is the phone reliable, and is the quality good?

    I can consider it, if I hear good things about the phone, but personally, I am not leaning towards it.

    Nokia 5.1 Plus didn't seem to feature in the list of best smartphones below 12K range, but I noticed it is in the range. It's a Nokia phone with stock Android, so I took it in consideration, but I noticed several drawbacks with the phone.

    There is no full HD display, plus no corning gorilla glass, which used to be in Nokia phones, atleast with this price range. So, quite disappointed there.
    The build quality doesn't seem to be as sturdy as other Nokia smartphones. The finish is glossy, and the reviews said that this makes the phone quite slippery.

    There is no option to hide the notch.
    Has a low battery of 3060 mAh.

    Reviews seem to call it a decent phone, but other phones like Asus Zenfone and Redmi 6 Pro seem to be better option than this one. Right?

    Lastly, there are two Lenovo phones, Lenovo K8 Plus and Lenovo K8 Note.
    Both phones seem to have decent specifications, and seem good enough, with stock Android, which is tempting.

    However, I saw someone mention in a thread that Lenovo phones are not that reliable, and tend to go bad really quickly. Is that true?
    The customer reviews on Amazon also surprisingly, don't seem to be too favorable. It's quite mixed with many negative reviews.

    Lenovo K8 Note seems to be from 2016, so even if it is now available with Android 8, I wonder if there will be further updates? Plus this phone doesn't have corning gorilla glass... so K8 Plus seems better.

    But again, will there be regular updates to Android in Lenovo K8 Plus? For how much period? It's not clear. Since Lenovo bought Motorola, they haven't been good with updates to the phones. I wonder if that holds true here too. If yes, then this phone wouldn't be a choice.

    My cousin bought this phone recently though, and it does seem like a decent phone.

    Suggestions would be greatly appreciated :).
  2. vyral_143

    vyral_143 Jarvis
    Section Mod

    On Flipkart with HDFC offers; these are not exactly within 10-11K but should be your choices IMO.

    Redmi Note 5 Pro - 11,670
    Asus Max Pro M1 - 9,900
    Nokia 6.1 Plus - 13,500
    Realme 2 Pro - 12,600

    With Xiaomi - you would not get latest Android versions (scenario might change after Project Treble) but MIUI tried to include nifty features. MIUI could be subjective about liking it or not. Nokia would have prompt updates. Realme one is with strong specs on paper and review does not mention much negative but personally I am skeptical with brand. Not sure about updates on Asus - have not read much on it though.

    I would suggest to skip Lenovo K8 Plus, Redmi Y2 and Redmi 6 Pro, Realme 2 and Nokia 5.1 plus. In Android, getting one update of Android version is max for most budget/mainstream phones. Hence, do not keep high hopes of getting another major software update, if there have been one already. It's different scenario for flagships and Android One phones though.
  3. ch@ts

    ch@ts Well-Known Member

    1) Get a phone that supports dual 4G/VOLTe.
    2) If your friend is okay with installing custom ROM's then get a Xiaomi, they're the only company that doesn't void your warranty the moment you unlock the bootloader.
    3) Gorilla glass is good to have, but a tempered screen offers decent protection too.

    My preference are:
    1) Moto X4 32 GB @11k on Flipkart, before discounts.
    2) Redmi Note 5 Pro
    3) Mi A2
  4. 6pack

    6pack Well-Known Member

    My Redmi Note 5 got updated to Android O - 8.1.0. with Sep update. Problem with Redmi pro version phones is they get updates 1-2 months late. Nokia says they are fastest in updating which seems to be the case but they disabled rooting the phone. Even Redmi is going Nokia way and is making it harder and harder to root the phone now. Plus Redmi is putting ads in everything now which can be disabled but it is a pain. Half of their apps are running all the time and from 4GB their apps use almost 1GB ram. Just removing their bloat made my phone faster and more responsive. I suggest stay away from Redmi if you don't want such ads etc in your phone.

    Redmi 6 Pro is just cosmetic update to RN5Pro. It comes out of box with Android O and will get P + Q too. If you want updates get this or Nokia.

    The full screen gestures in RN5Pro seem to be at par or better with Apple according to some guys on reddit who have used both. I'm using fullscreen gestures and its really responsive and smooth. Can't go back to buttons after using gestures.

    If you want camera quality then the Redmi Note 5 Pro or RN6 Pro. Both have EIS i think.
  5. OP

    CapriAnupam Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the replies guy, much appreciated.

    Yea, I know Redmi 5/6 don't have the stock Android, but even with MIUI, are there any updates to the OS at all?
    What about security patches?

    Nokia does have prompt updates, but 5.1 Plus lacks behind in specifications compared to other phones.

    I read today, that Android 9 might make its way to Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1, which will be great.

    LOL, you took out most of my choices :D.

    Redmi Note 5 Pro has great specifications, but it is out of budget, as it starts from 12,999/-.

    Why do you guys suggest Redmi Note 5 Pro, and not Redmi 6 Pro?

    No, I don't think we would install custom ROM.. just want a good quality reliable phone with good specifications to last long.

    Moto X4 does seem to be in range, and with good specs too, but I am not too keen on buying Motorola phones currently.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 12, 2018 ---
    Thanks for the reply @6pack , you replied to my queries :).

    What kind of ads are you talking about? In-app ads or in-phone too, like popping ads at some interval?
    Ads is kind of a downer, yes.... I get quite irritated with them. So, that way, Redmi doesn't seem like a good option.

    1-2 months update is fine, as long as the updates do arrive.

    So, all things considered, I think Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 looks like the phone to go for?
  6. 6pack

    6pack Well-Known Member

    Ads like Flipkart Big Billion Day ad in Themes, or other ads like what Amazon puts in between the description. (That reminds me, Amazon started putting auto playing video ads in their app in some listings like front page of Amazon app etc)

    imgg001.jpg imgg002.jpg
  7. vyral_143

    vyral_143 Jarvis
    Section Mod

    Yes, MIUI does get updates. Sometimes, it includes some very good nifty features which Android would support natively in later Android versions. But they might not change base Android version for MIUI at all after one bump.

    720p display kills it. Rest specs are decent enough.

    RN5 Pro - SD636, 20MP front camera
    R6 Pro - SD625, 5MP front camera

    One piece of advice for Android phone in context to updates, is to buy phone with either Android One or phone which has release with most recent OS. That way, you are sure for atleast one major update.
  8. OP

    CapriAnupam Well-Known Member

    Dang, that really sucks. Why do these companies try to destroy a good thing they have going. Isn't all the excellent phone sales enough for them? Xiaomi are like the top phone company in India now, and yet they employ such techniques to make money. Really, don't they have common sense or what?

    Auto play videos are the worst.

    I think I will go for Asus Zenfone, as that seems to be the best option right now.

    Will wait for more replies, and will take decision by night.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 12, 2018 ---
    Yes, that's a good advice. I have kept that in mind, and that's why I go for the latest versions of the phones, rather than phone released an year ago.
  9. vivek.krishnan

    vivek.krishnan If you cant see the green dot, I'm offline :P

    RN5P has dual volte while R6P does not.
  10. OP

    CapriAnupam Well-Known Member

    Good point.

    Man, it's really tough choosing smartphones, or any other electronics item these days.. so many choices, and so many factors to look at.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 13, 2018 ---
    Thanks a lot guys :), really appreciate it. We placed the order for Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1.
    #10 CapriAnupam, Oct 12, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
    tommy_vercetti likes this.
  11. vyral_143

    vyral_143 Jarvis
    Section Mod

    Nice choice. Do post your impressions of it :)
  12. OP

    CapriAnupam Well-Known Member

    Thanks to you all in helping with the choices :).

    Yes, I will post about the phone, once we receive it. I will also try to post about the phone in detail, although it will be with my friend who will own it.. but as much hands on I can get, and based on his experience too. Let's see.
  13. newuser990

    newuser990 Active Member

    ^ Hey I am also thinking about buying ASUS zenfone 6GB version , was considering redmi before but hate adwares so thats a no. From doing some reading about zenfone some people have complained about fingerprint sensor taking a little more time to unlock compared to redmi. Do post if you find some cons after using the phone.
  14. OP

    CapriAnupam Well-Known Member

    Fingerprint sensor problem can be because of damp or sweaty fingers. I have been facing this problem on my Nokia 7 Plus. With weather being on hot side, my fingers are often sweaty and the fingerprint sensor doesnt work then. It works fine with dry fingers. But on the phone page, Asus does say for Zenfone that it has damp finger recognition, so it should work in theory.

    Anyways, these things only come forward after some amount of usage, and not immediately.
  15. OP

    CapriAnupam Well-Known Member

    Well, I used the phone, Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1, for a bit of time, to set it up and install apps. I found the phone to be quite good.

    The phone comes with a back cover, and a hard cardboard fold-able stand for the phone, which was amusing.

    There is no USB-C connector for the phone.

    The build quality is good. The phone seems durable.

    We were lucky to get the model with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB of storage for 11K in the sale, and with 4 GB RAM, the phone operates really smooth, and seems fast.

    There is near stock Android, so that's good too. The phone comes with Android Oreo. Have seen reports of Android 9 being spotted on the phone, so let's hope that it gets the update.

    The security patch however was from May 2018 only, and there was no update after phone was started. So, that was quite disappointing.

    Also, on my Nokia 7 Plus, which has Android One, I was able to uninstall Google apps, like the Play Music, Books and all that stuff, but on this phone, there was no option to uninstall... only disable. So, that was disappointing too. However, there was not much extra crap installed, so that was good. That's the reason I give preference to near stock Android or pure Android on a phone.

    The screen size is great. Display is great too, with good colors. However, I found the brightness a bit weird. I mean I cannot explain it, but you might notice that only when you use the phone... but it might be personal, so that's not a big issue.

    We did run into a bit of a problem while setting up the fingerprint. We tried to set up fingerprint for one of his fingers, and the sensor just won't react. We tried a lot, by tapping and pressing hard and all. After several tries, it worked for one tap of the finger somehow, but again won't react for other taps. I thought there was some issue with the sensor. Then, I thought of restarting the phone. After restarting the phone, it worked fine. That was really weird.

    Well, after the fingerprint was setup, it works great. The phone opens instantly on the tap of a finger. So, that's working good.

    One odd thing I noticed about wallpapers. Normally, you get the access to wallpapers of the phone when you long press on the home screen and then choosing Wallpapers. However, they have put the wallpapers in the Camera folder of the phone, and you have to navigate to it, which I found quite odd.

    There are some good gestures on the phone. Like drawing C on the phone will open camera, and so on for a few apps. I like the gesture for double tap to wake up screen, and also make it sleep again. I have the first one on my Nokia, but not the second one.

    All in all, it's a very good phone in the given price range, and I will recommend it.
    6pack, newuser990 and vyral_143 like this.
  16. newuser990

    newuser990 Active Member

    Thanks for the review CapriAnupam. I will order it during Diwali. Hopefully it will have some discount then.

    Is it any good.. usable? or better to buy a back cover along with the phone? Also I think phone doesnt have gorilla glass so will need tempered glass.

    Does anyone know if its better to order back cover and tempered glass from flipkart or buy and get it installed at your local mobile market? I mean quality and price wise.
  17. OP

    CapriAnupam Well-Known Member

    The back cover is quite good. It's sturdy and not of thin material. But, yea, if you prefer even sturdier, or better, you may want to buy another. First have a look at it, before deciding to go for another one.

    Yes, that's one drawback of the phone that it doesn't come with gorilla glass, so a tempered glass is a must. We inquired at several shops, but they didn't have an exact size of tempered glass for the phone. Everywhere they told to make adjustments, and we refused. We got it done from one shop who knew my friend, and he had tons of tempered glasses. So, the one he got is quite good, and covers much of the phone, except a thin area at bottom. There is some air on one side of the tempered glass, but the shopkeeper said that's due to curved glass, and cannot be helped. Don't know if that's true. He took 50 Rs for the glass. Glass seems good enough, but I cannot say, as I know nothing about them.

    So, if you do not get the exact size of the tempered glass at your place, order it. Don't go for adjustment. One shop where they told we will adjust.. the glass was short at both top and bottom. Don't go for such glasses.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 24, 2018 ---
    The phone is on sale on Flipkart for 11K again, the 4 GM RAM and 64 GB storage model.

    #17 CapriAnupam, Oct 24, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2018
    newuser990 likes this.
  18. nRiTeCh

    nRiTeCh If you can see the green dot, I'm online ;-)

    Good review. But there are some cons of the phone:
    No fast charging support in this world of fast charging even if you try to charge it using other fast chargers results are same.

    No 5ghz wifi band support.

    No electronic image stabilization in video support which makes videos shaky during capture.

    Selfie camera performance is average.
  19. OP

    CapriAnupam Well-Known Member

    Good additional points.
  20. kidrow

    kidrow Well-Known Member

    Hi. Are there any other options around this budget that do not have the -ves you mention. I ask because I'm keeping an eye on phones in this price range as well. (I have a 4 year old Redmi 1s which I'm thinking might conk off anytime, :)). Thanks.

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