Updated: Apr 13, 2020
It is not uncommon these days to spend upwards of £1000 on a mobile phone. Stemming from the Invention of the modern-day smartphone, when Apple unveiled the iPhone in 2007, smartphones have become ever more feature-rich, from higher-resolution OLED screens to super-fast charging and 5g connectivity. Whilst many of these features were welcomed in the early years I believe it has got to the point where development has been stalling for some time, with every new iteration of smartphone having only incremental improvements that are not worth the hefty price uplift.
Every smartphone company is guilty. Let’s take a look at Apple as an example. Its flagship iPhone 7 was released in 2016 for £650, its latest 2020 iPhone 11 pro is priced at £1049. I am not saying the iPhone 11 pro is a bad phone but lets be real, 99% of people will be perfectly happy with the iPhone 7 and its features. It is difficult to justify paying that much extra for a slightly better screen, processor and cameras. Samsung and many other phone manufacturers also follow the same trend.
People with the least means often have the most expensive phones which I find interesting and everyone wants to have the latest and greatest tech the day. I don’t want to get into wider societal issues at this time, however, I think that before going out and dropping £1k on the latest phone it is worth exploring some other options.
We will start by looking at the budget flagships. Examples of these are the iPhone 11, Samsung Galaxy S10e and the Google Pixel 3a. These are usually at a slightly lower price point and have most of the top tier specs but make some sacrifices such as slower charging, smaller screens and batteries. Whilst these may be a good choice for people wanting to stay loyal to brands they know and trust, most of your money is still paying for the brand. It’s ridiculous that Apple has a £729 ‘budget’ phone and we need to stop normalising this. This is £144 more than the median wage earner’s weekly salary in the UK. That is over a quarter of monthly earnings spent - just on a phone!
As smartphones have developed, technological advancements have trickled down to even the most budget of phones. Let’s take a look at Xiaomi, for example, a Chinese smartphone manufacturer. If you look on their website right now you can pick up a phone with a large 4000mah battery, triple cameras, a 1080p screen, NFC, Android 10 and fast charging for just £149. To put this into perspective you could buy a decent laptop and a month’s groceries on top of this and you would still have change left over from £1k. Samsung’s Galaxy A range also has some good mid-range phones as well as some other manufacturers such as Oppo, Motorola, Realme, Huawei and Honor to name a few.
We all know that most of your time spent using a phone will be taken up on basic processing tasks such as mindlessly scrolling through Instagram and making stupid Tik Toks. So before you decide to drop a small fortune on the next flagship smartphone, ask yourself is it really worth spending that much on a device that will be redundant in a month when another phone comes along.