I agree "Ignorance Is Bliss" and it's easy many times to not know the reality. But, when you know it , that hurts!
Enough philosophy, let's get on track.
What to look for ?
- RAM - Min. 512 MB (for less than 15K) recommended 768 MB , 1 GB for 15k-20k mobiles
- OS - Android Jelly bean, Windows 8
- CPU - At-least 1 GHz, recommended is 1.5 GHz, also look that Chip-set is good (Google about them)
Look and Feel
- Screen Size - Less than 4.5 inches else it's very tough to carry
- Display - look for PPI. Better the ppi, crisper the screen. More Resolution is of no use if ppi is less.
- Protection - Gorilla Glass is the best but minimum is Scratch-Resistant glass.
Camera (Nokia Lumia is the best here)
- Front Camera - 8 MP with FLASH.
- Secondary Camera should be there.
- Sweep Panorama is desired feature (optional)
GSMArena.com is the best site in the Internet to see specifications. Look for above features there plus your personal needs.
Example : http://www.gsmarena.com/sony_xperia_v-4958.php
Also, use Google to see reviews and best prices.
- SONY Xperia - E,L,U,J,V,SP
- Samsung - Duos, Grand
- Nokia Lumia - 520,620,720,820
- Google Nexus 4