The year 2020 saw so many smartphones in different price ranges, and as our tradition goes every year, here are the Gizmo Times Awards 2020 to choose and announce the best of the smartphones in every price range. We have categorized the awards based on price range, and we have listed the best phones, the only ones that we have tested, at least one of the reviewers, team members of Gizmo Times have tried and tested. Let’s go, check out who won in each category.
Gizmo Times Awards 2020 – Best under Rs. 10000
The market for smartphones under Rs. 10,000 has gained immense competition in recent times with more brands jumping into the affordability race. But the device that stands apart from its competitors is the Infinix Hot 10. Priced at Rs. 9,499/- it sports the Mediatek Helio G70 chipset and supports 18W fast charging. The Infinix Hot 10 is our top recommendation in the under Rs. 10K segment as it offers the best performance and is a very rare device that comes with fast charging support at this price.
The second device on our list is the POCO C3. With a price tag of Rs. 7,499/- the POCO C3 is the most affordable device by the company as POCO expanded its portfolio to this price segment with this smartphone. the Mediatek Helio G35 drives the device very well with MIUI, and the 5000mAh battery lasted consistently for 2 days in our testing. The triple rear cameras also impressed us making the POCO C3 a good overall choice.
The Moto G9 bags the third spot with its highlighted cameras and a good processor. The 48MP primary camera shoots some really good pictures as a part of the triple-rear camera setup. The Snapdragon 662 is very swift in terms of daily tasks and even gaming. The Moto G9 is priced at Rs. 9,999/- and retains the Moto goodies like Stock Android, Moto Gestures with simplicity as a plus point. The trump card of the Moto G9 is its 20W fast charging, which can do a 0-100% for the 5000mAh battery in around 100 minutes! That’s very impressive for a device in this price range as Moto bundles the compatible fast charger in the box itself!
When it comes to budget devices, you just can’t keep Xiaomi and Redmi out of the equation, and here comes the Redmi 9 Prime with its price tag of Rs. 8,999/- The Mediatek Helio G80 performed excellently in our testing with the very responsive MIUI. The quad-rear cameras and support for 18W fast charging on the 5020mAh battery make the Redmi 9 Prime a complete package for the price, a device that ticks every checkbox that a user would look for while buying a new smartphone.
Apart from our favorite devices listed above, there’s one smartphone from Realme that we award a runner’s up prize. The Realme Narzo 10A is a smartphone we felt worth a mention in this list as it gets most things right but falls back in certain aspects when compared to its competitors. The Narzo 10A is very good in daily tasks but lacked stability in gaming as we consider the Helio G70 present here. At Rs. 8,999/- it is a good option but the lack of fast charging support is what brings the Narzo 10A a little lower for overall rating.
Gizmo Times Awards 2020 – Best under Rs. 15000
The Rs. 15,000 market is the most competitive in India, with every device crushing the other’s toes in a neck-to-neck specs war. The POCO M2 Pro stands the tallest here with its complete package. At Rs. 13,999/- the device comes with the tried and tested Snapdragon 720G chipset which performs excellently in daily tasks, and handles gaming at good frame rates as well. The 5000mAh battery lasts really long, and the device is very quick to recharge itself with its 33W fast charging, with the charger bundled in the box! The POCO M2 Pro leads this segment and is our top recommendation on this list.
The Realme Narzo 20 Pro bags the second spot here, with its attractive design and battery performance. The device is priced at Rs. 14,999/- with its highlight of 65W Super Dart charging. The Mediatek Helio G95 gives a smooth user experience, and the 4500mAh battery compliments easily for a day’s intensive usage. The provided 65W Super Dart Charger charges the Narzo 20 Pro in just 90 minutes and is the only device in this price segment with charging speeds of this standard. The bezel-less design adds to the aesthetics of the phone with its unique back, and the Narzo 20 Pro was one of our favorite devices in this segment.
This one’s again from Realme, the Realme 7. At Rs. 14,999/- the device offers solid performance for a prolonged period with its combination of Mediatek Helio G95 and the 5000mAh battery. The Realme 7 with its 90Hz display feels very fluid to use, and the thin bezels make the experience of media consumption even better. The 30W Dart charging is quick to refuel the phone, and Realme again bundles the charger in the box itself. The cameras also gave great results, which makes the Realme 7 grab a spot in our list.
This choice was a hard take for us, with the Redmi Note 9 Pro at Rs. 14,999/- getting a worthy mention. The Snapdragon 720G makes up for a solid performance in all kinds of tasks, gaming, and more. The 5000mAh battery makes up for almost 2 days of complete usage, with even gaming. The quad-rear cameras also return with very good dynamic pictures, which if not better but are in contrast with every other device in this segment. So where exactly did the Redmi Note 9 Pro lack to top our list? It was the slower 18W charging, where all other competitors offering many better-charging speeds. If you are looking for an option from Xiaomi or Redmi, the Note 9 Pro is a very good option, one that lasts long and rests long.
Gizmo Times Awards 2020 – Best under Rs. 20000
The Rs. 15,000 – 20,000 is a segment that has flourished in the last 2 years, which was the case for the under 15K market a few years back. This segment has many devices to test with, and this was the segment where we reviewed the maximum number of devices this time.
The Realme 7 Pro was one of our favorite devices to use, by having a card up its sleeve that we haven’t seen yet on this list. At Rs. 19,999/- the Realme 7 Pro offers you an AMOLED display, on which we enjoyed media consumption a lot. The colors looked very vibrant and it felt refreshing to see an AMOLED panel at this price. The Snapdragon 720G again needs no introduction here, which compliments well with Realme UI for a good performance. The presence of 65W Super Dart charging on the 4500mAh battery means the Realme 7 Pro not just lasts longer on the pitch, but takes a very short refreshment break and is ready to rock again.
This one almost won our hearts but missed the trophy by a very short margin – the POCO X3. At Rs. 16,999/- the POCO X3 is one of those devices which ticks every checkbox. The Snapdragon 732G makes up for the best performance in all tasks, and we were really happy to see it at this price. The 6000mAh battery squeezed our juice while testing the device, while we were doing the battery drain tests on the POCO X3. It will easily last you for 2 days with normal usage and casual gaming. But this device has a caveat. The POCO X3 has a very large footprint and is conventionally heavier than other smartphones, which takes a while to get used to it. But within a week, the POCO X3 has everything to win your heart and make up for the second spot on our list.
The Redmi Note 9 Pro Max is a device that rectifies the drawbacks of its younger brother, the Redmi Note 9 Pro. At Rs. 16,999/- the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max delivers presents for a show of capabilities with the Snapdragon 720G. The quad-rear cameras turn up with great images and videos which we really liked. The presence of 33W fast charging makes its way here on the 5000mAh battery which makes up for a good balance between longer battery life and faster charging for another user session. The Redmi Note 9 Pro Max, with its big-name, is actually a big package for the price giving, taking the 2nd spot.
When companies like Xiaomi, Redmi, and Realme have been dominating the budget segment for a while, the old giant Samsung saw the potential here and gave its shot with the Samsung Galaxy M31s which comes up as an alternative if you looking for something from Samsung. The device definitely does not compete in the specs war, but it’s the brand value and trust of Samsung which makes the M31s a considerable option at Rs. 19,499/- The AMOLED display from Samsung gives the best experience of viewing content on your screen, and the 6000mAh battery ensures that you can have endless sessions of movies on this device. It also comes with support for 25W fast charging. The offline availability of the Samsung Galaxy M31s is another added advantage for users who are looking for a good device under Rs. 20,000.
Gizmo Times Awards 2020 – Best between Rs. 20000 to Rs. 35000
With the trend of smartphone pricing changing now and then, here’s a segment we came up with for making your purchasing decisions simpler, in the confusing market. This segment consists of devices priced between Rs. 20,000 – Rs. 35,000, which we have tested. And the winner here is the iQOO 3.
Emerging as a sub-brand of Vivo, iQOO recently made it’s way to India a few months back, and brought the iQOO 3 here which was one of the best devices we tested! It is the most affordable device with the latest Snapdragon 865 chipset available in India at just Rs. 31,990/- and even has a 5G variant priced a little higher. The AMOLED display again produces a wide range of colors taking your experience of media consumption to a step above. The quad rear cameras are capable of capturing great images, and the in-display fingerprint scanner gives you the latest tech feel as well. The device comes with 55W fast charging of the 4400mAh battery, which easily lasts you 1 full day with more than 30% power left. The iQOO 3 is not just the best device in this segment, but we would also give it the ‘Best Emerging Device’ award as well.
The Realme X3 comes second here, at Rs. 24,999/- with the best performance to affordability ratio. The Snapdragon 855+ makes for a cakewalk for any tasks, and the 120Hz display makes regular usage like instant messaging and social media browsing very fluid, giving ba butter smooth experience to the user. The battery life accounts easily for an entire day, with 30W Dart charging support which charges the device fully, just within an hour. The Realme X3 is a very good choice for users looking for the best performing device, at a budget price.
The OnePlus Nord gives us the feel of the OnePlus X which was the company’s attempt to make budget devices, apart from their flagship series. The OnePlus Nord carries a price tag of Rs. 27,999/- with the Snapdragon 765G chipset. The 90Hz display gives you the instant feeling of using a display with a higher refresh rate, and the AMOLED panel produces punchy colors that look pleasing to the eyes. The OnePlus Nord flaunts Oxygen OS which has a reputation of being a light and responsive user interface, appreciated by users all over the globe. The presence of 30W Warp charging can boost the device in a short time, and the overall package is a sweet deal, for an OnePlus device.
The Samsung Galaxy M51 makes its way on our list with an Easter Egg as well. Normally priced around Rs. 28,000/- the Samsung Galaxy M51 is currently selling at Rs. 22,999/- for a limited time. For the price, you get the Snapdragon 730G which makes up for the strength of the device, but the major highlight is the 7000mAh battery. This is the largest battery you can get on any smartphone in India and it should ensure you to last well over 2 days with all sorts of usage. The AMOLED display, again of Samsung origin means the media consumption is a breeze for your eyes. The brand value from Samsung, market reach, a well-performing chipset, and the humongous battery makes up for a good spot for the Samsung Galaxy M51 in our list.
The Realme X2 Pro is one of the first devices in India to come with 50W Fast Charging, which sets the standards for other companies to implement the same as a part of the competition. At Rs. 31,990/- the Realme X2 Pro is a good deal for power users with its Snapdragon 855+ which will account for endless hours of intensive usage, and the 90Hz display gives a smooth feel while using the device. The 50W fast charging accounts for a quick refuel session of under an hour on the 4000mAh battery. The overall device is a good option but faces equally heavy competition from other devices in this price segment.
The Google Pixel 4a made great headlines with its aggressive Indian pricing, a first time for a Pixel device, as they are normally charged much premium when compared to foreign markets. Google has priced the Pixel 4a at Rs. 31,999/- which we described as a feather that tickles every need of a smartphone user, with a smile. Why do you ask us? The device has very lightweight at just 143 grams with even weight distribution and comes in a compact form factor as well. The bezels are the narrowest from on all sides, which really looks cool. And, the cameras. Being a Pixel device, the magic of Google’s software presence can be experienced here with Google Camera, which produces images with the best dynamic range! The Snapdragon 730G performs well, like on every other device, and the QLED display makes the captured images look even better on the Pixel 4a. If you are looking for a compact device, with great cameras, the Pixel 4a makes an ideal choice with Google’s guaranteed software support as an advantage.
We have a notable mention here with the LG G8X. The dual-screen device that made everyone’s head turn while using it in public can be called a hybrid design as the secondary display is detachable, which means you can remove the display for an easier fit in your pocket when not needed. At Rs. 31,999/- the dual-display factor can be a productive move for certain audiences, and there’s no holding back in performance by any means. The Snapdragon 855 can easily drive both displays simultaneously, in both ways – treating both displays as one single screen, or two entirely different screens. The LG G8X made a worthy mention in our list with its unique yet practically engineered design and affordability.
Gizmo Times Awards 2020 – Best under Rs. 50000
The basic rule of smartphones is, ‘The more you play, you more you get’. And that’s what makes the final part of our listing, the under Rs. 50,000 segment. Devices here will not have major drawbacks, but each smartphone will offer and target a certain niche of an audience, with specialties in performance, display, cameras, all-round, or even just the brand value.
Starting, we crown our winner here to the OnePlus 8 priced at Rs. 39,999/- Why not the Pro, why not the 8T? The latter are advanced variants of the OnePlus 8 and should be better? We expect these questions from you. The OnePlus 8 offers the best balance between price and specifications, and we found it to be marginally better than the OnePlus 8T in our testing. The OnePlus 8 Pro is priced above Rs. 50,000 and hence misses out a spot here but is equally good. That’s why we mentioned at the start of this segment, ‘The more you play, the more you get’. The OnePlus 8 wins the race here with the Snapdragon 865 and Oxygen OS combination, offering the best fluid experience. The cameras also produce great results, and 30W fast charging on the 4300mAh battery makes the OnePlus 8 the best complete package in this segment, with a distinction in all ways.
The ASUS ROG Phone 3 ranks second in our list, at Rs. 49,999. Don’t get confused with the gaming scheme of this device, apart from that the ROG Phone 3 has a huge display footprint, an AMOLED panel that is capable of producing great colors that will be appreciated by your eyes. The cameras are a good upgrade over yesteryear’s ROG Phone 2, adding another checkbox to the ROG Phone 3. The 6000mAh battery and 30W fast charging also compliment for a good overall usage with the added advantage of multiple charging ports and headphone jack. The ROG Phone 3 is not just a phone for gamers but also can be preferred by uses who want an aggressively designed phone for media consumption. Basically, the ASUS ROG Phone 3 checks everything – gaming, media consumption, and cameras, and bags #2 in our under Rs. 50,000 list.
The Realme X50 Pro is the company’s flagship device and ranks third on our list. With the latest Snapdragon 865, the device has nothing to sweat about performance. The Realme X50 Pro’s 90Hz display is an AMOLED panel, which makes the screen stand out while scrolling. The 65W fast charging ensures the flagship experience, and surprisingly the Realme X50 Pro is the only device in this segment with support for the same. The rest have maximum speeds capped at 30W and here’s where Realme takes the lead with the X50 Pro. With a good set of cameras, quickest charging in the segment, and performance with nothing to worry about, the Realme X50 Pro confirms a spot in our list at third from our recommendations.
Coming to the final device, an overseas hero that falls short in India – the Samsung Galaxy S20+. The reason being, the presence of Exynos 990 chipset in India instead of Snapdragon 865 found in western markets. The Exynos counterpart of Samsung lags behind its Snapdragon equivalent in terms of battery efficiency and performance to an extent. Rest assured, the Galaxy S20+ gets all the same flagship-grade cameras, the best AMOLED display which makes it one the best devices with manual-camera controls for both images and videos. If you are looking for a flagship device from Samsung for its cameras and display, the aura of the Galaxy S20+ will be a perfect choice for you at Rs. 49,999/- with its offline availability being a great advantage for many.
Best Gaming Phones of 2020
With lockdown enforcements in this ongoing pandemic, we saw a lot of people jumping into the gaming scenario for safer entertainment options by playing games on their smartphones at home. We tested a lot of smartphones for their gaming capabilities on our secondary ally Gaming Josh, and here are the best possible options available in the gaming market.
The ASUS ROG Phone 3 stands tall and grabs first place as the Best Gaming Device, and this comes as no surprise. With the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset and liquid cooling technologies, the ROG Phone 3 not just delivered the best performance in terms of FPS in games like PUBG Mobile and COD Mobile but also maintained thermals very well. The software of the phone is also optimized at core levels with special gaming-centric features like the ‘X-Mode’ where the device allocates maximum network bandwidth to the game being played. The air-triggers are also a great added advantage, and the add-on accessories like a joystick and console controls make the ASUS ROG Phone 3 our favorite and the preferred choice of device for gaming.
The second spot is claimed by the Apple iPhone 11 Series in this list. Wait, why the iPhone 11 Series, why not the iPhone 12 Series? It’s newer, and comes with a more powerful processor so it should be better right? Apple’s A14 Bionic chipset is probably second to none in terms of RAW performance, but the newer chip is still not optimized for gaming. Game developers have still not figured out the perfect way to utilize this chipset to the fullest, so the iPhone 12 Series misses out its place here in favor of the iPhone 11 Series. The A13 chipset on the Apple iPhone 11 Series has all the potential to runs games at constant 60fps with amazing touch input responses making an account for a smooth gaming experience.
Don’t get us wrong here as the iPhone 12 misses out, it’s Apple and it’s a no brainer that developers will surely fix this very soon, making the iPhone 12 claiming the crown. Until then, the iPhone 11 Series is winning with not just it’s gaming capabilities, but also the extra option of recording your gameplay and directly streaming games through services like Omlet Arcade is something that the iPhone 11 Series can deliver without breaking a sweat. The base model of the iPhone 11 Series starts at Rs. 51,999/- with Pro and higher storage variants available at premium prices.
The OnePlus 8 Series gets the third spot in our Best Gaming Phones list, with again the latest Snapdragon 865 chipset and OnePlus’ reputed Oxygen OS known for its swift performance. We here pick the OnePlus 8 over the 8T series as both feature the same chipset with almost no difference in performance. The OnePlus 8 Series starts at ₹39,999/- and gives you the best balance between price and performance. Playing games on the OnePlus 8 was not just enjoyable because of the performance, but the display made the experience even better. The ‘Fnatic Mode’ in Oxygen OS is another ‘Made For Gaming’ feature for optimizing bandwidth consumption while playing games and the OnePlus 8 Series was again one of our favorite devices for gaming.