“Point. Click. Shoot. Repeat.”
Over the years, smartphone cameras have progressed so much that the need to carry a standalone camera continues to diminish day by day. While they still can’t replace professional DSLRs, phones are now certainly capable of handling casual shooting. In fact, this year, devices like the Google Pixel XL (review), Samsung Galaxy S7 (review) and the Apple iPhone 7 Plus (review) have established new benchmarks when it comes to smartphone photography. But that’s not to say that affordable handsets don’t offer impressive images. Let’s take a look at some budget smartphones which can prove to be a delight for shutterbugs, all priced below Rs 15,000.
Lenovo PHAB 2 Plus
Lenovo’s latest phablet, the PHAB 2 Plus, comes with everything a photography enthusiast might need. In fact, what the PHAB 2 Plus brings to the table isn’t something many of its rivals can boast about – a dual-camera setup in a smartphone that costs just Rs 14,999. Yes, you read it right. The PHAB 2 Plus rocks a 13MP dual rear camera setup with f/2.0 aperture, laser autofocus, phase detection autofocus, and a dual-LED flash. Lenovo has also included an augmented reality mode in the main camera that lets you create photos and videos with superimposed effects like virtual backgrounds or cartoons. For selfie enthusiasts, the phone rocks an 8MP front snapper. Other specifications of the device include a massive 6.4-inch full HD display, octa-core MediaTek MT8783 SoC, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of expandable memory.
Current selling price: Rs 14,999
Lenovo ZUK Z1
The ZUK Z1 (review) from Lenovo is right up there when we talk about camera prowess. The handset sports a 13MP primary shooter with Exmor-RS CMOS sensor, and f/2.2 aperture. The highlight of the rear camera is that it comes with optical image stabilisation (OIS), leading to better shots in low light as well as more stable video footage. On the front, the ZUK Z1 boasts an 8MP selfie camera. And although the hardware on the Z1 is not the latest in the market, it’s certainly no wimp… boasting a Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB RAM, and a beefy 4,100mAh battery.
Current selling price: Rs 13,499
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3
How can a list consisting of budget smartphones be complete without the mention of any Xiaomi’s offering? The Redmi Note 3 (review) has been one of the most popular handsets from the Chinese giant, and for good reasons. Under the hood, the 5.5-incher comes with a Snapdragon 650 SoC, up to 3GB of RAM, and up to 32GB of expandable storage. The primary camera is stacked with a 16MP sensor, assisted by features like digital image stabilisation, and dual-LED flash. It comes with a host of different modes and features including Continuous shooting, Exposure compensation, Face detection, Geo tagging, HDR, and ISO control. And then there’s a 5MP front camera for selfie lovers. In a nutshell, the Redmi Note 3 is a complete package. But in case you want an even larger smartphone, you can have a look at the Mi Max which offers similar camera performance, but with a gigantic 6.4-inch display.
Current selling price: Rs 9,999 onwards
Lenovo Moto G4 Plus
The Moto G4 Plus is the third device from Lenovo to make our list… good going, Lenovo. The 5.5-inch display on the phone sports full HD resolution and offers a near-stock Android experience to the users. It’s armed with a 16MP Omnivision sensor with autofocus and dual LED flash, as well as features like face detection, slow-mo videos and a pro mode. The primary camera is aided by a 5MP front shooter for selfies and video calling. In our review, we found the cameras of the Moto G4 Plus to be pretty impressive, to say the least. Even the camera app is well laid out and simple to use. Other specifications of the device include a Snapdragon 617 SoC, up to 3GB of RAM, and up to 32GB of internal storage.
Current selling price: Rs 13,499 onwards
ZTE nubia Z11 mini
The ZTE nubia Z11 mini has all it takes to be a solid option in the budget segment. A 5-inch full HD display, Snapdragon 617 SoC, 3GB of RAM, a 2,800mAh battery with fast charging, and the next-gen USB Type-C port… you name it, and the Z11 Mini has it. While it may have “mini” in the name, the camera performance is something that can give its rivals a run for their money. Boasting a 16MP Sony IMX298 sensor at the back, the phone features phase detection autofocus as well as 3D noise reduction. The company hasn’t compromised with the front camera, as it comes with an 8MP sensor, enough to take some well-detailed selfies. If initial impressions are to be believed, the Nubia Z11 Mini is one of the best camera smartphones under Rs 15,000.
Current selling price: Rs 12,999
With its 13MP rear camera and 8MP front camera, the Honor 5C (review) is a decent device when it comes to camera performance. Not to mention that its 5.2-inch display size makes it perfect for one-hand usage.
Featuring similar specs in the camera department is the VIBE K5 Note from Lenovo. It is also one the few devices that come with 4GB of RAM in this price segment.
Lastly, the Le 2 (review) from LeEco is not too far behind with its 16MP / 8MP camera combo. Fitted with a Snapdragon 652 SoC, 3GB of RAM and a 5.5-inch full HD display, the Le 2 is quite a powerhouse.