This year the category of ultrabudgetary smartphone looks much more attractive than in the past. Progress is evident: going beyond the psychological threshold of 10 thousand rubles, not to just relax and choose the machines with “normal” characteristics – this can be found for 8-9 thousand, and with metal casings and Full HD displays. No, here already there are frills like dual cameras or more or less original design. Can not afford simply to choose the combination of price and quality, and to play a little snob and pay attention to details.

However, in General, changes in the category “10 to 20 thousand roubles” is not as noticeable as in ultrabudgetary – the choice is increased slightly, but the main players remained the same, albeit with new devices to repeat the last list still do not have.

As usual, for paradiopatra rules: only ten models (with one alternative for each item) and the relative freshness of the devices (smartphones two or three years ago don’t remember).

 Xiaomi Mi5s Plus

  • Operating system: Android 6.0 (c proprietary shell MIUI).
  • Display: LCD, 5.7 inch, 1920 × 1080.
  • Platform: Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 MSM8996 (two cores Kryo, frequency of 2.35 GHz + two cores Kryo, frequency of 1.36 GHz).
  • RAM: 4/6 GB.
  • Flash memory: 64/128 GB.
  • Camera: dual module, 13 MP.
  • Dual SIM card.
  • There is no slot for a memory card.
  • The fingerprint scanner.
  • Average price: 18 900 rubles.

Why buy: features of the flagship, 2016.

What can stop: the listed price – only “gray” smartphones; there is no slot for a memory card.

The traditional favourite of all the competitions in a clean combination of performance and price smartphone Xiaomi. And just want to give a spoiler – in this list will be two! While the company will not retreat from its aggressive policy of dumping in such ratings it will be to preserve maximum representation. However, it usually is about the price of gadgets, ordered from China, as in the case of Mi5s Plus.

Why is he here goes the first questions should not be – just look at the features: flagship platform last year with exhaustive memory, dual camera (not for show), a large and bright display. Not supported the memory card, but such detail in this case might be omitted, the benefit of minimal amount of internal memory is 64 GB.

Another thing is that the Russian office of Xiaomi is actively trying to block the grey channels of supply – and if it will turn out, Mi5s Plus the machine will drop off the list officially on sale for 24-26 thousand rubles.

Video alternative: Xiaomi Mi5s. The same joy as in Plus, and the same problems (the official price is 25 thousand rubles), but a smaller display (5.15 inch), design poizyaschnee and camera single (and ordinary).

Honor 8

  • Operating system: Android 6.0 (c proprietary shell EMUI).
  • Display: 5.2 inches, 1920 × 1080.
  • Platform: HiSilicon Kirin 950 (four cores ARM Cortex-A72, 2.3 GHz + four cores ARM Cortex-A53, 1.8 GHz).
  • RAM: 4 GB.
  • Flash memory: 32/64 GB.
  • Camera: dual module, 12 MP.
  • Dual SIM card hybrid slot for a memory card.
  • The fingerprint scanner.
  • Average price: from 19 500 rubles.

Why to buy: a custom design, a powerful platform, a really cool dual camera.

What can stop: low battery life, slippery and easily soiled case.

More recently, we advised 8 Honor in the category of “up to 35 thousand rubles,” — and it was reasonable: very bright and pleasant nearly a smartphone with flagship performance, but cheaper flagships A-brands in the 15-20 thousand… Now of course he is behind them is stronger – time spares no one, but with the release of Honor 9 it fell sharply. Now to find Honor 8 and less than 20 thousand.

However, to use it without a case is not recommended – the case is very easy to thalapathi and dirty, but dropping and elementary. There are also some problems with the firmware updates, but in any case, the device definitely will be relevant for at least another couple of years.

Video alternative: Honor 6X. Inferior in all characteristics, but more recent (7.0 with Android on Board) a smartphone with a larger (5.5-inch) display. The winner of our recommendations “Best buy” – and indeed one of the most logical choices smartphone for 15-16 thousand rubles. But with the sharp decline in the prices of Honor 8 he of course, looks not so appetizing.

Meizu MX6

  • Operating system: Android 6.0 (c proprietary shell Flyme OS).
  • Display: LCD, 5.5 inch, 1920 × 1080.
  • Platform: Mediatek MT6797T Helio X20 (two ARM Cortex-A72, 2.3 GHz + four cores ARM Cortex-A53, frequency 1.9 GHz + 4 core ARM Cortex-A53, 1.4 GHz).
  • RAM: 4 GB.
  • Flash memory: 32 GB.
  • Camera: 12 MP.
  • Dual SIM card.
  • There is no connector for memory card.
  • The fingerprint scanner.
  • Average price: 16 900 rubles.

Why buy: it looks and feels like a much more expensive smartphone, good camera, high performance.

What can stop: problems with overheating, a kind of control, not enough memory, no NFC.

Another camera from the series “get’ em cheaper”. And most likely, the latest Meizu MX series – so in its own historical gadget (okay, it’s more of a joke). If not for the platform Mediatek Helio X20, powerful but prone to overheating, and the combination of a small amount of internal memory with no slot for a microSD card to recommend, it would be possible without looking at competitors.

However, and so according to the official price of 17-19 thousand rubles to find something with such a impressive features is very difficult. Features highlight camera module, Sony IMX386 here is accompanied by a very good software processing. Also deserves praise for a decent powerful device with large screen the battery life.

Video alternative: LeEco Le Pro 3. Smartphone with very similar qualities (good build quality, large screen, good battery life), but with much better Snapdragon platform 821. So what’s the problem? That, he probably will soon die out along with the LeEco – the company has a lot of problems (one, two, three), and its devices to slowly disappear from the market.

Sony Xperia XA1

  • Operating system: Android 7.1 (the Xperia).
  • Display: LCD, 5 inch, 1280 × 720.
  • Platform: Mediatek MT6755 Helio P20 (eight cores ARM Cortex-A53, 2.3 GHz).
  • RAM: 3 GB.
  • Flash memory: 32 GB.
  • Camera: 23 Megapixel.
  • Dual SIM card, the second slot is connected with the connector for a memory card.
  • There is no fingerprint scanner.
  • Price: from 19 000 rubles.

Why buy: you want something Japanese.

What can stop: weird design, not the most outstanding features, there is no fingerprint scanner.

And here is the promised “snobbery” — this year’s Xperia series XA has been less than in the past: if the first version was one of the most charismatic smartphones of 2016, who wanted to forgive mediocre features, the XA1 has an original design, but slightly puzzling large spaces above the screen and below it.

But features slightly improved: it became more of RAM, the camera is noticeably improved (although it’s Sony, so it still shoots medium Japanese brand honors the tradition), the platform is slightly more powerful (but not much). Well Android the latest build, of course. Quite a normal choice for lovers of the brand-name original.

Video alternative: HTC U Play – Taiwanese restart its family of smartphones, and the younger U with difficulty, but fit into our rating. Another aesthetic device for people who are prone to nostalgia for the once great brands. The screen resolution is higher than that of Xperia XA1, memory more, but the weaker platform and battery, just no.

Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017)

  • Operating system: Android 6.0 (with a proprietary shell).
  • Display: AMOLED, 4.7 inches 1280 × 720.
  • Platform: 7870 Exynos Octa (eight cores ARM Cortex-A53, 1.6 GHz).
  • RAM: 2 GB.
  • Flash memory: 16 GB.
  • Camera: 13 MP.
  • Dual SIM card, the second slot is connected with the connector for a memory card.
  • The fingerprint scanner.
  • Average price: 18 500 rubles.

Why is worth buying: Samsung, AMOLED screen, compact.

What can stop: mediocre features.

The range of fans compact smartphones inevitably diminishes – there is no escape, people gradually “transplanted” on devices with displays over 5 inches. Nevertheless, while there are such – there is proposal. Other advantages the Galaxy A3, in addition to size: perfectly tuned AMOLED-matrix, good front camera, very nice design.

Disadvantages expected: mediocre platform, not enough memory, the main camera does nevadalas.

Video alternative: Samsung Galaxy J7. Smartphone with very similar characteristics, but much larger — with 5.5-inch display. If you want the machine cool of the brand and the AMOLED display, but do not appreciate the compactness of the Galaxy A3, the choice is obvious.

Lenovo P2

  • Operating system: Android 6.0, shell Lenovo.
  • Display: AMOLED, 5.5 inch, 1920 × 1080.
  • Platform: Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 MSM8953 (eight cores ARM Cortex-A53, 2.0 GHz).
  • RAM: 3 GB.
  • Flash memory: 32 GB.
  • Camera: 13 MP.
  • The fingerprint scanner.
  • Dual SIM card, the second slot is connected with the connector for a memory card.
  • Average price: 18 000 rubles.

Why is worth buying: battery life, AMOLED display.

What can stop: very thick and heavy (though not too).

The next generation of the best mobile-“longevity” on the market – this year he, however, was much more expensive, having to drop the price and squeeze we are interested in the price category only at the last moment. But it has got a AMOLED-display – and it affects not only work time but also the quality of images, primarily in its contrast, of course. The capacity of the battery, by the way, has only increased – now it is 5100 mAh. But more important capacity as such, and its combination with algorithms for optimization of energy consumption and the above – mentioned display-the device can actually live without recharging for 3-4 days. Other today not find.

Metal body, fingerprint scanner on the front, performance – average, but not disastrous. Some obvious disadvantages relative to competitors from Lenovo P2, in fact, not. As in themselves competitors, perhaps.

(Not really) video alternative: Nokia 6. Time of Autonomous operation “leader” returned Nokia, of course, do not argue with “survivor” by Lenovo, but the face in the dirt does not hit. His pros: great Assembly, a legendary, albeit faded, a name and a pure Android 7.1.1 c operational updates. Negative: weak performance.

Xiaomi Mi 2 Max

  • Operating system: Android 7.1.1, the shell MIUI.
  • Display: LCD, 6.44 inch, 1920 × 1080.
  • Platform: Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 MSM8953 (eight cores ARM Cortex-A53, 2.0 GHz).
  • RAM: 4 GB.
  • Flash memory: 64/128 GB.
  • Camera: 12 MP.
  • The fingerprint scanner.
  • Dual SIM card, the second slot is connected with the connector for a memory card.
  • The average price of 19 990 rubles.

Why buy now: six and a half inches.

What can stop: it’s huge.

Xiaomi promised the second in the list. The situation compared to last year has not changed – no one does big smartphones better phablets Chinese company. Well, at least no one makes them so successful and odnovremennogo: ASUS Zenfone 3 Ultra much more expensive Lenovo Phab 2 Plus inferior in characteristics.

By the way, Mi Max 2 boasts not only a giant display, but also the fact that, despite this, he lives easily on one charge two or three days (if not too active use). And the price shown above – just the same official. To squirm like a snake and look for “grey” Max 2 Mi to meet the coveted 20 thousand rubles, it is not necessary. But you can, of course, save money by ordering the device in China, however, have to reflash, that’s for sure.

Video alternative: Lenovo Phab 2 Plus. This phablet on average slightly more expensive with older version of Android, the battery is smaller, weaker platform, operational and non-volatile memory less… Honestly, I was trying to find its advantages, but could not. Only if you are allergic to Xiaomi.

ASUS Zenfone 3

  • Operating system: Android 6.0, proprietary shell Zen UI.
  • Display: LCD, 5.2 inch, 1920 × 1080.
  • Platform: Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 MSM8953 (eight cores ARM Cortex-A53, 2.0 GHz).
  • RAM: 3 GB.
  • Flash memory: 32 GB.
  • Camera: 16 MP.
  • The fingerprint scanner.
  • Dual SIM card, the second slot is connected with the connector for a memory card.
  • Average price: 19 000 rubles.

Why buy: good camera, nice design.

What can stop excessive set of software, usual features.

Another choice from the discharge is not the most obvious – the Zenfone 3 is not striking some otherworldly characteristics. But this is one of the most pleasant to use gadgets in today’s selection: quality made with an attractive design and with a very good camera.

Some distinct deficiencies had not – but always a matter of controversy branded shell Zen UI is very much overloaded with extra software and settings. Many, however, like. Another detail: the question here is about the version of Zenfone 3 with 5.2-inch display, while the 5.5-inch “zenfan” in the official retail until costs more than 20 thousand rubles.

Video alternative: ZTE Blade V8. Another non-obvious option – from the famous, but not A brand. Right tailored camera with a rather modest performance, attracting decent for this class of camera, fresh Android and price – it can be found for less than 13 thousand rubles.


  • Operating system: Android 7.0, a proprietary shell.
  • Display: LCD, 5.5 inch, 2160 × 1080.
  • Platform: Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 MSM8940 (eight cores ARM Cortex-A53, 1.4 GHz).
  • RAM: 2 GB.
  • Flash memory: 16 GB.
  • Camera: 13 MP.
  • Dual SIM card, the second slot is connected with the connector for a memory card.
  • Average price: 17 000.

Why buy: the screen on the entire front panel design as the flagship.

What can stop weak performance and camera.

A new trend in smartphone of higher society – the display format 2:1, occupying almost the entire front panel. These are the S8 and Samsung Galaxy, LG G6, so, apparently, the new iPhone. Exactly the same looks and LG Q6 – is his dignity. Still, of course, supplied fresh Android, A brand for the soul and pleasant experience.

On the other scale – mediocre characteristics: among the above devices, even the Snapdragon 625 can be considered something not very honorable, what can I say about 435 platform. Don’t possess a camera, which is unusual for a LG – usually from the Korean company in this plan all is well.

Video alternative: Doogee Mix. Another device with fashionable decision, this time the lack of a framework, as Xiaomi Mi MIX. Features fine (MediaTek Helio P25, 6 GB of RAM), but still display – AMOLED. The main list is stopping to get only the questionable build (a smartphone is really not too nice to hold in your hand) and a little known brand. However, the latter should not be a barrier – especially Doogee officially available in mobile phone stores, the company has been present on the Russian market.

Apple iPhone SE

  • Operating system: iOS.
  • Display: LCD, 4 inch, 1136 × 640.
  • Platform: Apple A9 (dual core, 1.8 GHz).
  • RAM: 2 GB.
  • Flash memory: 16 GB.
  • Camera: 12 MP.
  • One SIM card.
  • The fingerprint scanner.
  • Price: from 19 000 rubles.

Why buy: this is the iPhone, and the most beautiful.

What can stop a little iPhone, and outdated for a year (and the three).

Last year this place was rebuilt 5s. Well, time flies, older smartphones are getting cheaper. SE in the official Apple store is, of course, more expensive than 20 thousand – but to find a cheaper option. Another thing that we are talking about the version with 16 GB memory, and support memory card already and not talking – it’s Apple!

In addition, the need to use a smartphone with 4-inch display (that someone, on the contrary, a big plus) snag there – the filling is very relevant, with a fresh iOS, it will surely work for a couple of years, and the design is not obsolete.

Video alternative: the iPhone 5‘s. Not enough stars for performance, latest versions of iOS no longer work on it as it should, but only costs 16 thousand roubles and to look for such options is not necessary, a lot of them.


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