A Complete Guide to Budget-Friendly Smartphones in 2024

Kanza Akhwand

10% of Oraan Savers saved to buy phones this December - here is a quick  guide on budget friendly smartphones to buy. Now you don’t have to compromise on features when looking at budget smartphones, budget-friendly options have become increasingly feature-packed, catering to a range of user preferences and needs. We know understanding what smartphone suits your unique needs can be a challenge especially considering you might not even be aware of what unique needs you have. Hence this article which aims to provide an in-depth analysis of four budget smartphones: the Xiaomi Redmi 13C, Realme C51, Samsung Galaxy A04, and Oppo A17. By examining their features, pros, and cons, we hope to assist you in making an informed decision based on their individual priorities and requirements.

Xiaomi Redmi 13C:
Price Rs. 32,999

The Xiaomi Redmi 13C is positioned as a budget powerhouse, offering a blend of affordability and functionality. Priced at Rs. 32,999, it boasts several noteworthy features.

Features of Xiaomi Redmi 13C

  • Large, smooth display: The 6.74-inch 90Hz display is great for watching videos, browsing the web, and gaming. It's also protected by Corning Gorilla Glass, making it scratch-resistant.
  • Decent performance: The MediaTek Helio G85 processor is capable of handling everyday tasks like social media, email, and light gaming smoothly. There are also RAM options of 4GB, 6GB, and 8GB, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your multitasking needs.
  • Solid cameras: The 50MP main camera paired with two additional lenses takes decent photos in good lighting conditions. It's also capable of 1080p video recording.
  • Long battery life: The 5000mAh battery provides all-day power for most users.
  • Expandable storage: Up to 1TB of expandable storage ensures you have plenty of space for apps, photos, and videos.
  • MIUI 14 based on Android 13: This latest software offers a clean and user-friendly interface with plenty of customization options.

Why should you avoid this phone?

  • Lower resolution display: The 720p resolution is not as sharp as some other phones in this price range.
  • Limited gaming performance: While it can handle light gaming, the processor may struggle with more demanding titles.
  • Plastic build: The phone is made of plastic, which feels less premium than some metal or glass phones.
  • Single speaker: The sound quality is not the best, especially compared to phones with dual speakers. But to be honest, you would be hard pressed to find a budget phone that has dual speakers.

Overall, the Xiaomi Redmi 13C is a good choice for budget-minded users who are looking for a phone with a large display, decent performance, and long battery life. However, if you're a power user or gamer, you may want to consider a more powerful phone.


Realme C51 128GB:
Price Rs. 34,999

In the competitive budget smartphone market, the Realme C51 128GB presents an alternative set of strengths and weaknesses when compared to the Xiaomi Redmi 13C.

  • Larger storage: The 128GB storage option is generous compared to the Redmi 13C's base 64GB, giving you more space for apps, photos, and videos.
  • Slightly faster processor: The Unisoc Tiger T612 processor might offer marginally better performance for some tasks compared to the Helio G85.
  • Faster charging: 33W SUPERVOOC charging is significantly faster than the Redmi 13C's 18W charging. 
  • Mini-capsule notch: Some users prefer the aesthetic of the smaller notch design compared to the Redmi 13C's waterdrop notch. But this is a purely aesthetic concern and like color shouldnt be the reason to choose or reject a phone.


  • Lower display refresh rate: The 60Hz display is not as smooth as the Redmi 13C's 90Hz display, which may be noticeable when scrolling or gaming.
  • Lower resolution camera: The 50MP main camera is paired with a lower-resolution secondary sensor compared to the Redmi 13C's triple-lens setup.
  • No expandable storage: Unlike the Redmi 13C, the C51 does not offer expandable storage, which could be limiting for users who need more space.
  • Limited software updates: Realme's update track record for budget phones hasn't been as consistent as Xiaomi's in recent times.

The Realme C51 128GB is suitable for users valuing larger storage, faster charging, and a slightly faster processor. However, drawbacks include a lower refresh rate and camera resolution.


Samsung Galaxy A04 4GB:
Price Rs. 35,499

Samsung's Galaxy A04 with 4GB RAM caters to users seeking a reliable entry-level smartphone with a balance of features and affordability.

  • Decent performance for daily tasks: The 4GB RAM helps the phone handle basic tasks like browsing, social media, and light gaming smoothly.
  • Large display: The 6.5-inch HD+ display is ideal for watching videos and playing games.
  • Improved battery life: The 5000mAh battery offers all-day usage for most users.
  • Solid camera for the price: The 50MP main rear camera takes decent photos in good lighting.
  • One UI Core 4.1: This lightweight version of Samsung's user interface offers a clean and simple experience. (Though if you don’t like the UI you can install a launcher)
  • MicroSD card slot: You can easily expand storage space if needed.
  • 7.8W Battery charging means its faster charging than the Oppo option but slower than Redmi and Realme by a huge amount. 


  • Slow processor: The Unisoc SC9863A processor struggles with demanding tasks and graphic-intensive games.
  • No fingerprint sensor: This is a common omission in budget phones, but it can be inconvenient for unlocking the phone securely. To be noted this is the only phone in the list without a fingerprint sensor. (The author bought this phone and believe me she misses having a fingerprint sensor! )
  • Lower resolution display: While the size is good, the HD+ resolution may not be sharp enough for everyone.
  • Only single rear camera: The lack of ultrawide or telephoto lenses limits camera versatility.
  • No gyroscope sensor: This means some apps like VR or augmented reality won't work properly.
  • No NFC: This means you won't be able to use the phone for contactless payments.


Oppo A17:
Price Rs 36,999

The Oppo A17 rounds up our exploration of budget smartphones with a focus on design, display, and affordability.

  • Premium design: The A17 boasts a sleek and stylish look that belies its budget price tag. It has a thin bezel design and a textured back panel for a good grip.
  • Decent display: The 6.6-inch HD+ IPS display offers bright colors and good viewing angles for everyday use. The 90Hz refresh rate adds a touch of smoothness to scrolling and animations.
  • Large battery: The 5000mAh battery offers excellent battery life, easily lasting a full day or even longer on moderate usage.
  • 50MP main camera: While not the most advanced, the 50MP main camera can capture decent photos in good lighting conditions.
  • ColorOS 12: The phone runs on ColorOS 12, which is based on Android 12 and offers a user-friendly interface with some helpful features.
  • Affordable price: The A17 is a very affordable smartphone, making it a good option for budget-conscious users.


  • Slow performance: The Helio G35 processor is not very powerful and can struggle with demanding tasks or multitasking. You may experience occasional lag or stutter.
  • Limited storage: The 4GB RAM and 64GB storage are enough for basic use, but heavy users might find it restrictive.
  • Basic cameras: The 50MP main camera doesn't offer features like night mode or ultrawide, and the 2MP secondary camera is quite limited.
  • No NFC: This means you won't be able to use the phone for contactless payments.
  • Slow charging: The A17 only supports 5W charging, which is quite slow compared to many other smartphones.

The Oppo A17 offers an appealing design, good battery life, and a decent display at an affordable price. However, users should be mindful of its limitations, including slow performance and limited storage.

Choosing the right budget smartphone involves a careful consideration of individual priorities and preferences. Whether it's the large display and long battery life of the Xiaomi Redmi 13C, the storage and charging speed of the Realme C51, the balanced features of the Samsung Galaxy A04, or the design-centric approach of the Oppo A17, each device caters to specific needs. By weighing the pros and cons and considering additional factors like brand preference and battery need, users can make an informed decision that aligns with their budget and usage requirements.

The prices mentioned in this article are valid at the time of posting and are subject to change. We do not receive any commission from the brands mentioned in this content

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