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Best smartphones of 2016 Part-2: Lenovo Z2 Plus, Moto G4 Plus, Redmi Note 3

Best smartphones of 2016 in the mid-range and budget pricing options: Lenovo Z2 Plus, Redmi Note 3 and more.

Written by Shruti Dhapola |
Updated: December 29, 2016 9:09:39 am

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Smartphones have evolved considerably over the last two years. Sure the flagships have pulled ahead and become much more powerful, but the mid-range priced and budget friendly phones are not far behind. For those with a budget between Rs 15,000 to Rs 25,000, a smartphone no longer means compromising on overall performance. Better still, if you are buying a phone for under Rs 10,000 you don’t have to worry about being stuck with all-plastic, laggy device with poor performance and camera. There’s no doubt that players like Xiaomi, Lenovo and Motorola have changed the game in the budget segment in India.

Here’s our list of mid-range priced, and budget friendly smartphones in 2016 that were impressive. Just like with the flagship phones, remember this is based on phones that we reviewed this year.

WATCH | Best Smartphones Of 2016: The Affordable Ones

Mid-range smartphone (Rs 15,000-Rs 25,000)

Winner: Lenovo Zuk Z2 Plus

Why: If you are looking for a phone for under Rs 20,000, and still want high-end specifications and a performance to boot, the Z2 Plus is the clear winner in our minds. Z2 Plus, part of Lenovo’s Zuk brand, comes with a smaller more compact 5-inch full HD display, and sports the high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor coupled with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage.

Priced at Rs 19,999 for the 64GB storage version, this phone impressed us on the performance and camera front. It’s got a battery life that will easily last a day, and is a very capable device given the pricing. There’s also a 32GB that starts at Rs 17,999, so Lenovo has two significant price-points covered.

Runner-up: Asus Zenfone Max

Why: Asus was on a smartphone rampage this year thanks to a variety of the Zenfone 3 phones hitting the market this year. From Rs 60,000 to under Rs 10,000, Asus has covered all price points. For us, the Asus Zenfone 3 Max with its big 4,100 mAh battery is the one that impressed the most.

If you’re looking for a smartphone for under Rs 20,000, Zenfone 3 Max delivers on the battery front. It’s also got a stylish design thanks to the slim form factor.

ALSO READ: Best smartphone flagships for 2016

Honorable mentions 

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Oppo F1s

Oppo has made a stylish design and a great selfie camera as the USP of the F1 series. The F1s has a design similar to the iPhone 6s or iPhone 6 and given the Rs 17,990 price tag this is not bad at all. The F1s has an all-glass front panel, dual CNC-drilled speakers at the bottom, chamfered edges and comes with a 16MP front camera, which will make the selfie-generation more than happy. In our review, we liked the Oppo F1s for its overall performance, excellent front and rear camera and stylish design.

Vivo V5

Oppo is not the only one focusing on selfie cameras in the mid-range segment. Vivo V5 has a 5.5-inch display with curved edges and shiny lines running along the edges and over the back and looks quite classy. The front camera is 20MP and it costs Rs 17,890. In our review, we felt the Vivo V5 can handle multi-tasking and daily performance easily. As for the front camera, it can capture a lot of details such as texture and contrast, which is surprising at this price point. Overall this is a phone meant for the selfie fans.

Budget: (7,000-Rs 15,000)

Winner: Moto G4 Plus

Why: The budget category is the most competitive in India, there’s no doubt about this and it is hard to choose a winner, but we’ll have to go with the Moto G4 Plus. For starters, the Motorola’s G series has the edge at this price point simply because of software updates. Very few phones in the budget range get an OS upgrade and in October Android Nougat 7.0 was rolled out to the G4 devices in India.

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Plus, the overall performance of this phone was great during in our review, it comes with a clean, stock Android. The 16 MP camera on this phone is one of the best at this price range; it’s fast and can handle colours like pinks and reds, better than most budget phones. For us, the Moto G4 Plus is still the best phone to get under Rs 15,000.

Runner Up: Xiaomi Redmi Note 3

Why: Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 has become the best-selling online phone in India, and there’s good reason why. The phone which comes with an all-metal design and 4000 mAh battery proves that you can get unlimited battery life at a budget price. Starting at Rs 9,999 and going up all the way to Rs 11,999 for the 32GB storage version, this phone ticks all the right boxes.

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It delivers on performance, battery life and looks. The only problem is the camera, but given the price it is still better than what other devices offer.

Honorable mention

Lenovo Vibe K6 Power

Lenovo has been pretty aggressive with its Vibe K series in India, from the K4 Note which was launched in Jan of 2016 to the Vibe K5 and followed by the K6 Power. K6 Power comes with a 4100 mAh battery, and for those looking to buy a budget phone with unlimited battery life, the K6 Power is a worthy option. It’s also got a camera that is excellent for the pricing.

Coolpad Note 5

2016 was also the year when budget phones with a big battery were the rage. Coolpad Note 5 was another option with a 4100 mAh battery and a price of Rs 10,999. The phone impressed us with the overall performance, battery life and design, though camera was a disappointment.

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