We talked earlier that the year 2020 has affected the midrange as well as budget segment smartphones. Though we are still good value for our money. But unlike 2019 this year we saw many cut-offs in the features, like Amoled display (thus, in-display fingerprint sensor), glass back, etc. And going through the current situation, nothing much will change in 2021 either.
But that’s not the case with the Value Flagship category. This category is formed in last few years and is growing good. Yes as compared to the changes between 2018-19, this year’s change is not that revolutionary. Still we saw some great smartphones in this category. Before we jump into this list, let us clear that the price criteria is between ₹30,000 to ₹45,000. So without further delay, let’s look at the top 5 value flagship smartphones in 2020.
OnePlus 8T (₹42,999) :
Just like last year, the first position in this category is conquered by OnePlus. In the 4th Quarter they launched their 2nd series of flagships i.e. OnePlus 8T. In the 1st Quarter they launched OnePlus8/8 Pro but the 8 Pro don’t fit in this category and regular 8 is simply not that great device, Good thing the OEM did this time is not launching unnecessary OnePlus 8T Pro. So that’s why this OnePlus 8T stands between regular 8 and it’s Pro version, and is a perfect value amongst the three. The 65W Warp Charge is the major upgrade from the predecessors, which is blazing fast to charge the device in less than 40 minutes. The design from black is also a bit refreshed, and looks different than other OnePlus devices. It also got 120hz refresh rate from the Pro, which means the future OnePlus devices will have this refresh rate. The camera is not a major upgrade from regular 8, especially the two unnecessary sensors and lack of telephoto lens still keeps it out from flagship race. And other features are typical OnePlus, like OxygenOS, flagship SoC, good update cycle, etc. Overall this is one of the best deal in this price range.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (₹40,990) :
Surprisingly the 2nd spot is gained by Samsung this time, because they understood the dominance of OnePlus in this segment and release the Fan Edition earlier as compared to it’s predecessor. The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is a perfect value flagship as a non-Chinese brand. It’s 120hz Amoled display is one of the best in this segment. It’s a complete triple camera setup with regular, wide-angle, and a telephoto lens. Also the image processing is done really well here. The OneUI is pretty fluid and stable in the device, and is one of the best UI after OxygenOS and Stock UI. Some extra add-ons like Samsung Pay, IP68 dust & water resistance, and fast wireless charging adds few cherries on top. But I personally think that IP rating is a necessity and in 2021 more and more smartphones should opt for it. The only drawback in this device is it’s Exynos 990 chipset. Though it’s a very powerful chipset but Snapdragon 865 is lot better in terms of battery consumption and heating, which results in good raw performance. Overall it’s one of the best value flagship smartphone of 2020, and we expecting it to get even better next year.
Mi 10T Pro 5G (₹39,999) :
If we are talking about value and not mentioning Xiaomi, the list would be a bit unfair. And that’s why the Mi 10T Pro 5G stands on the 3rd position. It’s the cheapest smartphone in India to have 108MP Camera. The images clicked with it are highly detailed and remains very clear when zooming in. And it supports 8K video recording as well. Other camera sensors are just normal, nothing special about them. It has a HDR10+ display with 144hz refresh rate, and along with Snapdragon 865 chipset this is a very good device for flawless gaming. It has huge 5,000mAh battery which is biggest amongst the others in this list. But a big subjective con with this device is it’s MIUI, which stopped it becoming big hit. There are MIUI fans as well as haters, and after the ad situation the haters increased quite a bit. Also Xiaomi smartphones gives a lot more value in midrange segment. So many people have a narrative that MIUI is meant for budget & midrange smartphones, and not for flagships. We hope that in 2021 Xiaomi will control it’s ad situation and improve the image of MIUI for flagships.
Google Pixel 4a (₹31,999) :
The year 2020 is a very rare year and that’s why even a Pixel smartphone is also in the list of value flagships. Google Pixel 4a is the only device launched by the company this year in India, and not Pixel 5. The Pixel 4a has the midrange Snapdragon 730G chipset which is good for casual use, but not for heavy gaming. So you all might be thinking that why this device with midrange chipset is in Value Flagship list? And my answer to that is it’s camera. Flagship smartphones are not just about flagship chipsets, but a flagship performance. And it can be related to anything. There are smartphones with Snapdragon 865 chipset but has mediocre camera. Same is with this one, it has mediocre chipset but flagship camera. It has a single 12MP camera that clicks some amazing photos and giving competition to phones of double price. Apart from camera, it has fully stock UI with Google’s quick & regular updates. So software and camera wise this phone will last very long. Also it’s one of the rare smartphone in this segment to have 3.5mm jack. Other specs are just normal, nothing much special there. This device is good for someone who want flagship camera and compactness at less price.
iPhone SE 2020 (₹35,900) :
Back in 2016, iPhone SE was launched by Apple for those who still love the older designed iPhone with 4.7 inch display. This phone was still on production due to it’s huge demand. And now after 4 years Apple decided to upgrade this device and launched iPhone SE (2020). This phone still retains that classic iPhone 7 design with no-notch 4.7 inch HD Retina display. It has that same front mounted Touch ID which every iPhone lover miss. And it’s very light weight at just 143 grams. It has single 12MP camera but that single camera can give competition to many flagships today. But there are few upgrades and downgrades as well. First the processor is A13 Bionic which is one of the fastest and most powerful processor. It comes with iOS 13 and with future updates for at least 4 years, this is a future proof phone. Now it supports the 18W fast charging but as we expect, the charger has to be bought separately. The downgrade here is lack of 3.5mm headphone jack, which is quite expected as it retains the design language of iPhone 7. Overall for those who don’t want to spend too much on iPhone and need a compact smartphone, iPhone SE (2020) is for them.
These are our picks for best value flagship smartphones of 2020. We saw some surprising entries like Galaxy S20 FE and iPhone SE (2020). And we hope that in 2021 we will see the competition in this segment a lot more. So what are your thoughts on this list? And what are your favourite 5 Value Flagship smartphones of 2020? Let us know in the comment section below. Do check out our other Best of 2020 articles for more quick-through of this year. Stay tuned with us for more information. And most importantly, be safe and follow all the safety protocols.
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