The premium smartphone segment is a tough nut to crack for most manufacturers. This is because smartphones are expected to perform on every front. There’s no room for gimmicky features either. Software is expected to be fluid and so is a device’s gaming performance. Cameras should be more than capable of shooting low-light photos, with higher expectations of video quality as well. People who are spending serious amounts of money still want great value. Maybe that’s why mainstream brands take a lot of time between releases to get things right. In fact, several of the smartphones in this segment are high-end premium models that have received a price cut.
Our latest additions to this premium smartphone guide include some really capable camera-centric smartphones such as the Google Pixel 7a and now also the Pixel 7. Available at Rs. 49,999, the Pixel 7 is clearly the better one of the two as we concluded in our Pixel 7a review, but the Pixel 7a will find its takers because it is filled to the brim with new features. Also on our list is the Xiaomi 12 Pro, which was launched as a high-end premium device, but has now received several price cuts after the introduction of its successor the Xiaomi 13 Pro.
Here are Gadgets 360’s picks of the top phones under Rs. 50,000 in India, in no particular order.
|Phones under Rs. 50,000||Gadgets 360 rating (out of 10)||Price in India (as recommended)|
|Google Pixel 7a||8||Rs. 43,999|
|Google Pixel 7||9||Rs. 49,999|
|Xiaomi 12 Pro||9||Rs. 44,999|
|Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G||9||Rs. 45,999|
|Realme GT 2 Pro||9||Rs. 49,999|
|OnePlus 10T 5G||8||Rs. 49,999|
|Apple iPhone 11||9||Rs. 38,999|
Google Pixel 7a
The Google Pixel 7a is one of the newer models to directly enter the sub-Rs. 50,000 smartphone segment. It offers a plethora of features and builds on the Pixel 6a, which was also launched at the same Rs. 43,999 price, but with underwhelming hardware.
The Pixel 7a’s design appears premium and more in line with the latest Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro smartphones, which belong to the higher-end of the premium segment. It’s also the first Pixel A series device to get 8GB of RAM and also wireless charging. Performance is top notch thanks to the Tensor G2 SoC which is available in other premium Pixel products. This processor also enables some new camera features which were previously not available on Pixel A series devices, such as Fast Night Sight mode, Long Exposure mode, and the new Photo Unblur editing tool. If software updates and good image quality are high up on your wishlist, the Pixel 7a should be an ideal choice.
Google Pixel 7
Priced at Rs. 59,999 at launch, the smaller Google Pixel 7‘s price tag has been fluctuating quite a bit. At Rs. 49,999 it makes for an attractive alternative to the new Pixel 7a even though it’s more than six months old.
What you get for that additional Rs. 6,000 is easily justified when it comes to its overall build quality, which we found lacking in our Pixel 7a review. Camera quality is also better thanks to hardware features like multi-directional PDAF and laser autofocus. The Pixel 7 packs in HDR10 recording capability which is missing on the Pixel 7a. Also better with the Pixel 7 is battery life. So, we would recommend the Pixel 7a only if you are on a strict budget.
Xiaomi 12 Pro
The Xiaomi 12 Pro is probably the most premium smartphone currently available in the sub-Rs 50,000 smartphone segment. This is mainly because it was launched as a high-end model to begin with. It offers an impressive set of cameras.
Despite lacking two notable premium features, wireless charging and an official IP rating, the Xiaomi 12 Pro still stands tall because of its premium build quality and impressive camera performance. It’s capable of shooting high-quality photos in any lighting condition. There’s a large and vibrant WQHD+ resolution (LTPO 2.0) 120Hz AMOLED display and a unique quad speaker setup which makes it quite the entertainer, plus Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support. The phone is quite capable when it comes to gaming as well and can handle most fast-paced 3D games without breaking sweat. Battery life is also quite solid. The included 120W charger takes just 27 minutes to get you to a full charge.
Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G
The Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G is currently the brand’s most expensive non-foldable smartphone on sale in India. While it features core hardware that has more in common with mid-range smartphones priced below Rs. 40,000, it makes up for that with its premium build quality and a fluid software experience.
Design is the highlight here and its high-quality 120Hz AMOLED panel with razor-thin bezels surely helps it stand out. Camera performance, while being up to the mark in daylight, isn’t the best in low light. Gaming performance on the other hand is top-notch. Battery life is one of the strong points of the Oppo Reno 8 Pro 5G and the same goes for charging, which is quite fast at 80W.
Realme GT 2 Pro
The Realme GT 2 Pro is the most premium smartphone you can buy from Realme’s 2023 lineup. Priced at Rs. 49,999 for the 8GB RAM and 128GB storage variant, you get a unique paper-like back that’s derived from renewable sources, with the white and green versions.
Design aside, there’s a high-quality 2K AMOLED LTPO panel with a 120Hz refresh rate that is good for viewing videos and playing games. The phone packs in Qualcomm’s top-tier Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC, which means that there’s enough processing power for some hardcore gaming as well. The cameras are quite good for a smartphone at this price point and so is battery life thanks to the 5,000mAh battery. All in all, it’s hard to go wrong with the Realme GT 2 Pro, and it manages to exceed expectations given its price.
OnePlus 10T 5G
The OnePlus 10T 5G is a good choice for certain niche buyers – those who want bragging rights, those who are crazy about gaming, and those who suffer from severe battery-level anxiety. It will also be a solid upgrade from an older OnePlus phone if you want to stay within the family.
The company has promised three years of major Android updates and an additional year of security updates which is a decent duration. There’s more than enough performance to keep this phone relevant for at least that long, and if you buy the 12GB or 16GB RAM versions you shouldn’t have any trouble at all even with heavy upcoming games. Fans of the brand will miss certain iconic features such as the Alert slider, and given the price, we feel the cameras could have done a much better job.
The iPhone 11 is no longer displayed on Apple’s official website, but you can often find it on sale online at or even below Rs. 38,999. This is just for the base 64GB variant, but it’s an iPhone and it still makes plenty more sense over some newer models from Apple such as the third-generation iPhone SE (2022).
While it appears a bit dated, compared to the iPhone 12 and later models, it’s still a very practical device with high-quality cameras. The iPhone 11 introduced an ultra-wide camera to Apple’s non-Pro models and features the powerful A13 Bionic SoC. Since this is an iPhone, you should expect to receive timely software updates for a few more years at least. The battery life is excellent, and it’s available in a variety of colours. Just don’t expect a charger in the box!