March 4, 2024

Nowadays, you can find flagship phones that are priced at over Rs. 1 lakh. But at the same time, there are some models that appear to have a list of high-end features under the Rs. 50,000 price segment. The smartphone market in India has not just grown in units sold, but also in terms of pricing. These phones can be termed “value flagship phones”. But are they worth picking against the premium phones — the iPhone 13 and the Galaxy S series — available in the country? We try to find out.

On this week’s episode of Gadgets 360 podcast Orbital, host Akhil Arora speaks with Senior Reviewers Aditya Shenoy and Sheldon Pinto to talk about value flagship phones — the best of the best under Rs. 50,000.

Value flagship phones are the ones that are available between Rs. 40,000–50,000 price bracket and carry a flagship-grade processor as well as an enhanced build quality, satisfactory camera experience, and comparable battery along with fast charging support. We can simply say that they should be the ones that can give you the maximum value for your money spent.

In the last few months, companies including Motorola, OnePlus, Realme, and Samsung have brought phones giving flagship-like experiences under the Rs. 50,000 price segment.

One of the decent options is the Motorola Edge 30 Pro that brings the top-of-the-line Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC at a price of Rs. 49,999. Alongside the top-notch processing unit, the Motorola phone carries a 144Hz pOLED display, triple rear camera setup with a 50-megapixel primary sensor, and a 4,800mAh battery with 68W fast charging support. It also comes with wireless charging and reverse wireless charging support.

Motorola Edge 30 Pro Review

Samsung also has the Galaxy S21 FE 5G in the same segment. It offers some of the features that are closer to the regular Galaxy S21, including the same Exynos 2100 SoC and even a larger 6.4-inch full-HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display with a 120Hz refresh rate. Although the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G was launched in India at Rs. 54,999, it is currently available at Rs. 47,990. This brings it to the value flagship segment.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G Review

The Chinese behemoth BBK Electronics has also started seeing the under Rs. 50,000 price segment as a sweet spot. It brought the OnePlus 10R 5G as well as the Realme GT Neo 3 as two models designed to take on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G and Motorola Edge 30 Pro. Both phones come with 150W fast charging support, and are powered by MediaTek Dimensity 8100 SoC. The OnePlus model even has some customisations on top of the vanilla MediaTek chip, and it is called the MediaTek Dimensity 8100-Max.

Realme GT Neo 3 (150W) First Impressions

While the Realme GT Neo 3 (150W) is priced at Rs. 42,999, the OnePlus 10R Endurance Edition carries a price tag of Rs. 43,999. Both phones have the 12GB RAM + 256GB storage configuration.

OnePlus 10R 5G (150W Endurance Edition) Review

Alongside the Android options, the market has the iPhone SE (2022) for people who are looking to have a brand-new iPhone model under the Rs. 50,000 price segment.

Officially starting at Rs. 43,900, the iPhone SE (2022) comes with the A15 Bionic chip that is available on the iPhone 13 models. It also runs on the latest iOS 15 version and wireless charging support. However, the iPhone SE (2022) design is identical to the dated iPhone 8. It also doesn’t include features such as Face ID and multiple rear cameras that you will get on most other iPhone models available in the market. Hard to call it “flagship” really.

You’re better off considering the iPhone 11 that is now sold under Rs. 50,000, or the iPhone 12 which dips below Rs. 50,000 during sales. Of course, both these phones are years old. The iPhone 13, the latest iteration, is itself nine months old at this point. Add a year or more for those before it. Most Android phones we’ve mentioned before this are 2022 launches, on the other hand.

Apple iPhone SE (2022) Review

On the podcast, we also talk about the key things to note while picking a value flagship phone, and the cons such as inferior low-light camera performance over premium models. We also discuss what all features you would get if you’re willing to extend your budget — by a bit or by a lot.

You can listen to all this and more in our over half-an-hour episode by hitting the play button on the Spotify player embedded above.

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New Orbital episodes release every Friday. Make sure to tune in each week.