It’s a new month and the festive season is here with us and it’s prime time to upgrade your current smartphone either for yourself or a loved one. We have compiled a definitive list of the best under 20K smartphones for you to choose depending on your brand preference.

Most of them are well spec’d with nice features, bringing dependable performance and more than good cameras. They come with decent screens and big batteries to keep them powered even for two days plus the included fast charging. The good thing is you won’t leave your pocket high and dry with our options of the best budget smartphones under 20K.

Infinix Note 12i – Ksh 19,999

When this phone landed on our review desk, I was excited by its high spec-to-price value.

The Infinix Note 12i is the entry-level device in the Note 12 series that includes the regular Note 12Note 12(G96)Note 12 VIP and the Note 12 Pro 5G. Even though the Note 12i is the smallest sibling it proves its mettle in the Note 12 series.

Here’s what you get:

  •  6.82″ LCD display and it’s a snappy panel at a 90Hz refresh rate
  • Android 12, XOS 10.6
  • Helio G85 processor
  • 50MP main camera with an additional 2MP depth sensor and QVGA camera.
  • 8MP selfie camera
  • 5000mAh battery and supports 18W fast charging. 
  • 4GB RAM with the additional 3GB of virtual RAM and 128GB storage

The Note 12i is clearly an improvement and would make for a fine purchase and the upgrades make it an enticing pick when put against its rivals in the same price range.

Infinix Note 12i Review: I for Incredible Value

Infinix Hot 12 Play – Ksh 19,999

Infinix Hot 12 Play is the company’s latest budget smartphone in the country. It succeeds the Infinix Hot 11 Play from late last year.

It comes with really nice upgrades compared to its predecessor such as:

  • 6000mAh battery
  • 720p screen with a 90Hz refresh rate and 180Hz touch sampling rate. 
  • Type-C port
  • Helio G85 Processor coupled with Mali G52 GPU
  • Android 11 and XOS 10
  • 4GB RAM with MemFusion feature that lets you expand RAM – you have the option to expand by 1GB, 2GB or 3GB giving you a maximum of 7GB.
  • 10W charging
  • Dual main camera setup which includes a 13MP and a 2MP additional lens
  • 8MP selfie camera

Read our reviews below:

Here’s how much the three models cost:

  • 4GB RAM and 128GB onboard storage – Ksh 18,499
  • 4GB RAM and 64GB onboard storage – Ksh 16,499
  • Regular Infinix Hot 12: 4GB RAM and 128GB onboard storage – Ksh 19,999

The Infinix Hot 12 series smartphones are available offline at the company’s retail stores countrywide and online too at XPARK – their official online store and other online e-commerce partners.

TECNO Spark 9 Pro – Ksh 21,000

TECNO Spark 9 Pro comes with a 6.6″ full HD display at 1080p resolution and though lacking a high refresh rate, is still a delightful screen to use for consuming multimedia content – watching movies, scrolling social media and browsing the web.

TECNO Spark 9 Pro comes with a Helio G85 chipset paired with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of board storage. You also get up to 3GB of virtual RAM thanks to HiOS Memory fusion feature.

Android 12 and HiOS 8.6 come baked in. TECNO ships the Spark 9 Pro is powered by a 5000mAh battery with support for 18W fast Type-C charging.

For cameras, we get a 50MP triple array that includes a 2MP depth sensor and VGA camera. The main star of the show is the 32MP front-facing camera.

Read our reviews:

Vivo Y22 – Ksh 19,999

Vivo Y22 is a really good smartphone and the company has crammed nice features – both hardware and software. Vivo Y22 comes with a 6.55″ screen with a notch for the 8MP selfie camera. The rear camera setup includes a 50MP main camera and a 2MP macro sensor.

It comes running on MediaTek Helio G85 processor coupled with a Mali-G52 MC2 GPU plus 4GB RAM and 64GB onboard storage. FunTouchOS 12 brings nice additions like the Extended RAM feature that adds 4GB of virtual RAM. Others include Nano-Music Player and UltraGame Mode.

Android 12 ships straight out of the box.

A 5000mAh battery powers the phone and it supports 18W fast Type-C charging.

Vivo Y22 Full Review: Gorgeous Looks, Incredible Performance

Realme 9i – Ksh 21,000

Realme 9i was launched early this year and comes with a 6.6″ FHD+ screen with 90Hz refresh rate. It comes powered by a Snapdragon 680 chipset paired with 6GB of RAM(5GB virtual RAM) and 128GB storage. It comes running on Android 11 and Realme UI 2.0.

For cameras, we have a 50MP triple array with additional 2MP macro and 2MP depth. A 16MP front facing camera takes care of the selfies. We also have a 5000mAh battery with support for 33W fast charging.

Realme 9i Review: The Dazzling Phone With A 50 MP Main Camera

Nokia G11 Plus – Ksh 17,800

Nokia G11 Plus was released early this year and rocks a 6.52″ screen with 90Hz refresh rate and is powered by Unisoc T606 processor paired with 4GB RAM and 128GB storage. It comes running on Android 12 and has a 50MP dual camera and an 8MP selfie camera.

It has a 5000mAh battery and 10W charging.

OPPO A17K – Ksh 14,000

This model retails at KES 15,000 at OPPO physical stores and KES 14,000 at Jumia.

Here are some of its specs:

  • RAM: 3GB
  • Storage: 64GB
  • Software:  Android 12, ColorOS 12.1
  • Battery: 5000 mAh
  • Camera: 8MP
  • Selfie: 5MP
  • Display: 6.56 inch, IPS LCD
  • Processor: Mediatek Helio G35
  • Connectivity: Dual sim, 4G, Wi-Fi
  • Colours: Navy Blue, Gold

Samsung Galaxy M13 4G – Ksh 20,300

Samsung Galaxy M13 4G has a 6.6″ 1080p screen powered by Exynos 850 (8nm) coupled with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. It comes running Android 12 and oneUI 4.1. For cameras we have a 50MP triple setup that features a5MP ultrawide and 2MP depth sensor. At the front we have an 8MP selfie camera.

Samsung Galaxy M13 4G has a 5000mAh battery and 15W charging.

Redmi 10C – Ksh 19,200

Redmi 10C was launched in March this year and comes rocking a 6.7″ screen. Snapdragon 680 chipset is at the helm and 4GB RAM and 128GB storage. It is powered by Android 11 and MIUI 13.

For optics we have a 50MP dual camera and a 5MP selfie camera. It has 5000mAh battery and 18W fast charging.


  1. How do you even get the guts to write 10w “fast” charging! A 6000mah battery will take approx 3hrs+ to fill. There’s nothing fast about that.

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