The budget range phones in India are difficult to pick, as every mobile is not complete. If you check Google for the key phrase, “best smartphone of 2016“, the top ten results list the different companies and their models.

search results for best smartphone of 2016 in Google

But how to decide? So after doing a little bit of self-research, I have come up with these 6 non-regular features, you need to look before you buy a smartphone for less than 15000 in March, 2016.

  1. Good Quality Camera
  2. Best Call Quality
  3. More Internal Memory
  4. More Battery Power
  5. Protective Glass
  6. Clarity in the Sun

There may be some ordinary features which are common to every phone and every review site may speak of. But the above list is which I prepared after using my Micromax Canvas A1 phone for 1 and half years. In this time, my office and home usage mainly was like an average user.

Good Quality Camera

With the advent of smartphones, the necessity for a separate camera to shoot photos was totally discarded. Most people use their smartphone to take pictures of their surroundings, relatives, friends and pets. So it’s highly important that you pick the right quality camera phone, before you decide to buy it.

Generally under the budget of Rs 15000, most of the phones offer 13 MP primary or rear camera and 5 MP of secondary or front or selfie camera. Also the video quality resolution is around 1080p@30fps. There are other features to check like – phase detection autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash, geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panorama etc.

Just for abstract understanding this is good enough. But for branded smartphones like Samsung, HTC, Sony etc, you may not get the same specs. So what is the difference? Don’t be just fooled by the higher number. If you really want to compare the camera features, then you should review the different pictures taken by those phones.

The most important point that makes a difference, is the picture taken in low or dim light. If you still get a good picture under that circumstances, you are good to go. But better check the quality of the photos in outdoor and sunlight also.

If you take the camera specs of a typical smartphone of 2016 like Lenovo Vibe K4 Note, the following are its features.

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camera specifications of a typical smartphone in 2016

Best Call Quality

In the earlier date range of 2004-2010, the number of mobile users were less and the networks were less congested. But in 2016, the number of mobile Internet users will reach around 370+ million by June, 2016. (Source : dazeinfo).  So if you have network congestion on a typical holiday or rush hours, your call quality is definitely going to drop. But with the increasing technology, this problem is already being taken care of.

With the advent of 4G, the network speed is also likely to increase. But before you buy a smartphone, you should decide whether it supports it. Otherwise, you may have all the fancy features in your phone, but you will miss the most important ingredient – call quality. Too much noise will have impact on your ear health and less noise can be annoying.

Internal Memory

In 2014, the maximum ROM or internal memory we could have was 4GB. This was for the non-branded smartphones from the companies of the like Lenovo, Micromax, Intex, Celkon etc. But there is a catch in this memory size. If the full capacity of the internal memory was usable, we could have full utilized its space. But the main problem is, many Chinese and Indian companies filled this memory with bloatware and adware apps. For example, Micromax Canvas A1 came with 4GB internal memory but only 2.36 GB memory was useful. The remaining part was filled with built-in apps.

Now in 2016, many of us have a wide variety of uses for their smartphones. Some use their apps for gaming while some use it for scientific purpose. For example Skype app can be used to collaborate with friends and professional people. But the size of the app varies from phone-to-phone and depending on the Android OS like KitKat, Lollipop and MarshMellow.

So coming to our purpose of what to look at the size of internal memory, it’s best if you have atleast 16 GB of internal memory. So even if 4 to 6 GB is lost in built-in apps, you could have a backup of 10 GB.

Battery Power

Most of the mobiles in 2016 which are non-branded and coming under budget range boast of power features like 3000mAh. But you also need to consider other features, before you just stick to the numbers. How much time it’s taking to charge the phone? How much time you can use the smartphone using 3G or 4G? Do you have power-saving features in the phone? How much time you can use it without adapter for gaming?

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Protective Glass

Some of the new phones in 2016, are coming with Corning Gorilla Glass. But phones like Redmi Note 3 don’t come with such protection. This is an essential feature you have to check before you buy any smartphone. Most importantly, if you are having kids, the screen glass is likely to break without any protection. The Corning Gorilla Glass has the following advantages over normal protection.

Glass designed with improved native damage resistance,

  • Enhances retained strength after use
  • High resistance to scratch and sharp contact damage

  • Superior surface quality

Though this protection gives impact and scratch resistance, it’s always better to buy the latest version. Also, having a tempered glass as a protective layer is double-proof protection.

Clarity in Sun

If you are a civil engineer and work outdoors, most of the time, this is a very important requirement. When somebody calls you, you might need to look up the screen in bright light. So before you make a purchasing decision, you need to check your phone’s performance in bright sunlight. If most of the apps and symbols are visible (at-least to some extent), you have good phone. Otherwise, searching for apps and options in light, may be an headache.

Most of the non-branded phones lack this feature. But some phones which score less on other features, have good points in this context. It all depends on your personal needs.


Before you decide to buy the best smartphone under a budget of Rs 15,000, you should essentially check the features mentioned above. Since you are asking for non-branding phone, you may not get all the spontaneous features in one particular phone. But at-least if your phone has an excellent rating in 2 to 3 features and good rating in other features, you should buy that phone.


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