Featured Smartphones

Keeping up with tech: How much should we spend on smartphones?

We have been spoilt with ‘super premium’ smartphones over the last year or so. But in light of all the affordable options available, is it worth sacrificing your hard-earned money to get a very expensive smartphone?

2017 became the year where flagships broke the $1k barrier. I’ve always kept up with the latest piece of tech but after last year’s bold move from Apple with the iPhone X, I got pushed away from the iOS world and jumped to Android in an attempt to keep my money from all that hype.

Going to a Samsung Galaxy S8+ showed me another world for a lot less money, but now the new Galaxy S9+ will cost more than its predecessor.

It got me thinking: how much are we willing to pay for our tech? Can manufacturers charge what they feel a product is worth and we should accept that? If not, are there options or should we just stick to what we have for a longer period of time?

A recent poll I came across on Twitter showed that many iOS users did not upgrade to the latest iPhone X due to a couple of factors: their current iPhone works just fine and the price for a new one is just too high.

The challenge of midrange smartphones

Looking at the past year in the smartphone world, it’s tough to pick a bad handset because the midrange contenders are providing more value than ever. I could go on here listing all of them, but let’s remember a few: One Plus 5T, Honor 7X, Essential Phone, HTC U11, LG G6 and even BlackBerry’s KeyOne.

We had a handful of really great phones for half the price of flagships out there. And when I say ‘midrange’, we all remember those are not ‘limited’ phones. Much to the contrary, these are great alternatives. I say that because they offer a lot of the same features, and sometimes even more, for half the price! Be it better battery life, faster processing or better productivity, these smartphones have challenged flagships on value for money.

Paying for minor hardware/software updates

Another scenario we should consider is the ecosystem; when we buy a phone, we’re also buying the environment in which it operates. If the ‘new’ software environment only features a few minor updates, is it worth upgrading to?

Equally from a hardware point of view, if the new version of a smartphone only has incremental upgrades over the predecessor, it’s usually worth holding off another year before changing your device altogether.

What’s your priority?

At the end of the day, it all comes down to what your priority is: keeping up with the latest tech without breaking the bank (with midrange smartphones), or sticking to your current ecosystem and upgrading in a longer period of time. Or perhaps getting your hands on the latest tech is that important to you, and paying the premium is worth it.

So how do you feel about this? Will you still keep up with the latest flagship technology no matter what?

Let me know down in the comments below!

By Ari Rando

Ari Rando is a tech enthusiast ever since owned the Ericsson T28 in 2000. iOS user since 2008, Mac OS user and frequently adventurous on Android! Follow him on Twitter: @AARHDREAL