BEST SMARTPHONE IN INDIA 2023: As 2023 draws to a close, it’s time for our annual roundup of the latest and greatest smartphones that have graced our palms and pockets over the past twelve months. 

From foldables flexing their flexible muscle to old favourites stepping up their game, this year delivered more drool-worthy devices than ever. We swiped, snapped, scanned, and scrutinised our way through a multitude of mobiles to pick this year’s finest. Did your favourite phone make the cut? Let’s explore.


BEST SMARTPHONE IN INDIA 2023: The Redmi A2 isn’t just a budget phone, it’s actually the most affordable ticket into the world of Android, serving as an excellent proposition to feature phone users looking to make the switch – or those looking to pick up a backup smartphone.
Despite the bargain basement price of just Rs 5,499, the Redmi A2 punches well above its weight class. It’s no speed demon and gives a miss to features like full HD video streaming, but the phone’s got everything else you can possibly need.
The 6.52-inch IPS LCD is excellent as far as LCD panels go and the chassis feels sturdy. Xiaomi also promises regular software updates for two years, and battery life is quite ample thanks to the 5,000 mAh pack inside. As long as you set proper expectations around performance and camera quality, the Redmi A2 is a budget warrior that should satisfy most casual smartphone users.

Nokia G42 5G

BEST SMARTPHONE IN INDIA 2023: A brand that built up a reputation for overpriced handsets over the past five or so years, Nokia is now seemingly trying to turn things around for itself by churning out good stuff in the budget realm. 

The Nokia G42 5G is a fine testament to this change. Slotted at Rs 12,599, the phone brings a lot to the table in terms of battery life, software support, and physical resilience.
Physical resilience and build quality are strong points in particular for this handset (or any other Nokia phone, really) with a solid build that inspires confidence about its durability – and an easily replaceable battery only adds to its longevity. Nokia also talks up the G42 5G’s IP52 dust and water resistance along with its durable polycarbonate construction.
The large 5,000 mAh battery is claimed to deliver 3 days of use per full charge, while the Android 13 software with guaranteed updates for 2 years means the G42 5G should get better over time. 

On the flip side, the camera and gaming performance leave a bit to be desired compared to pricier rivals. But for an affordable all-rounder, the Nokia G42 5G checks off a lot of boxes.

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G

BEST SMARTPHONE IN INDIA 2023: OnePlus has always stood for value flagships that feel more premium than their price tags suggest and this ideology has been bleeding into its more affordable handsets too…well, sort of. The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G looks nearly identical to its much pricier sibling, the OnePlus Nord 3, despite its Rs 19,999 cost.
You’re treated to OnePlus’ OxygenOS software (based on Android 13), which has recovered from the ugly transition days to a mature skin. Plus, the Snapdragon 695 5G chip is known for its efficiency and delivers ample performance. 

The main weaknesses lie in the uninspiring LCD display and mid-tier camera setup. But for this kind of money, finding stylish phones with flagship pretensions usually requires far more compromise.

Motorola Edge 40

BEST SMARTPHONE IN INDIA 2023: What if you want a proper flagship design at half the price of the average flagship? The Motorola Edge 40 is built to fulfil just that need, with a metal frame sandwiched between suave vegan leather and glass, achieving an IP68 dust and water resistance rating – something unheard of at its Rs 26,499 price point. Add to this the fact it supports 15W wireless charging and that it tips the scales at a featherweight 167 grams.
That durable design houses the new MediaTek Dimensity 1080 chip for fluid performance, a sharp pOLED display with a silky 144Hz refresh rate, a capable 50MP main camera, and an ample 4,400 mAh battery with fast 68W charging.
The Edge 40 does reportedly run warm under pressure and battery life takes a hit accordingly. But for unmatched premium style and build quality in its segment, the Edge 40 warrants serious consideration. It’s actually one of our favourite phones this year.

Poco F5

BEST SMARTPHONE IN INDIA 2023: If you’re wondering why we’ve stuffed two phones from the same price point into this listicle, know that there’s a good reason for it. Where the Motorola Edge 40 excels in design, the Poco F5 is the perfect pick for fans of pure performance.
This device happens to be the sole offering in India boasting the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 SoC, which shares a lot of its DNA with the top-of-the-line Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip. The raw horsepower, combined with excellent heat dissipation, makes the Poco F5 5G a gaming powerhouse.
Meanwhile, the gorgeous 6.67″ 120Hz AMOLED display and slim profile also lend to a premium device that doesn’t feel budget. While the cameras and build quality could be better, the Poco F5 5G redefines what we should expect from a sub-Rs. 30,000 device.

Samsung Galaxy S22

BEST SMARTPHONE IN INDIA 2023: The Galaxy S22 remains one of the best compact Android flagships even after a year. Packed in a gorgeous metal-and-glass chassis that’s easy to use one-handed is the mighty Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 which delivers blazing fast performance.
The S22 also captures some of the most sharable photos in good light with excellent detail and dynamic range. The only downside is the small 3,700mAh battery, but the S22 makes up for it with faster 25W charging. At Rs. 39,999, it’s still a worthwhile flagship despite its sequel being out.

OnePlus 11

BEST SMARTPHONE IN INDIA 2023: With excellent design, blazing performance, and much-improved cameras, the OnePlus 11 at Rs 54,999 is an excellent Android flagship alternative to the Galaxy S22+, with its gorgeous 120Hz AMOLED panel and class-leading Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 speeds. The 5,000mAh battery also lasts longer thanks to refined software.
While still not quite as fluid as OxygenOS of old, Android 13 here is much more polished. If you want great ergonomics, superb charging, and excellent performance without breaking the bank, the OnePlus 11 delivers in spades.

Apple iPhone 15

BEST SMARTPHONE IN INDIA 2023: There is no doubting the premium experience offered by iPhones, and the iPhone 15 only builds on those strong foundations. The iPhone 15 now sports the Dynamic Island too, making its front almost indistinguishable from that of the iPhone 15 Pro.
But that’s not the only change closing the gap with the Pro this year, Apple claims that thanks to the new 48MP image sensor, the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus can now zoom in 2X zoom with very similar image quality to a dedicated telephoto camera. Beyond these perks, there is the benefit of the unmatched iOS ecosystem.

OnePlus Open

BEST SMARTPHONE IN INDIA 2023: Foldables are still establishing themselves, but the OnePlus Open makes a compelling case at Rs. 1,39,999. With a proven third-generation design courtesy of Oppo, it strikes an excellent balance between portability and screen size. You get leading specs like the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, fast charging, and excellent Hasselblad cameras.
Water resistance could be better – there’s a basic IPX4 IP rating, quite disappointingly – but the OnePlus Open moves the needle forward for foldables with its conventional smartphone-like design. When shut, you can almost forget you’re using a phone that unfolds thanks to the thickness of just 11.7mm and a weight of just 239 grams.
The Open also makes zero compromises in the camera department despite being a foldable (take a cue, Samsung), and is actually one of the best-performing camera phones we’ve tested this year. For those seeking innovation and the biggest screen possible in a manageable form factor, the Open delivers plenty.

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