What you can expect from a phone at a cheap price.
Design: All types of design beginning from touch screen bar smartphones, through slider qwerty texting phones, unique swivel handsets and ending at small flip phones.
Call quality: All phones are intended to make clear calls. You should expect high voice quality conversations.
Color display: Absolutely yes, mono color phones are the thing of the past.
Multimedia: Yes, today smartphones and feature phones offer features such as: Bluetooth, camera or music player as a standard.
Good battery life: Fewer features and smaller screens drain battery slower. Additionally bulky, heavier phones carry bigger stronger batteries which last longer than ultra slim phones with less battery life. In most cases cheap phones are capable to run for over one day on one charge.
Discontinued phones: Phone models which are currently not offered by service providers and manufacturers that can be purchased at low price only from third party stores.
Old phones: Phones released a few years ago, no longer offered by mobile makers and carriers but still capable to deliver great user experience.
Used phones: Second hand phones or pre-owned phones that are still as good as new ones.
Refurbished phones: Phones professionally restored to factory cosmetic and working standards.
Big Savings: Phones that are easy on you wallet.
Why cheap priced phones are evolving faster than high-end premium devices.
Over the last few years, there has been an interesting trend in the cell phone market. The large gap between top-end and lower end smartphones has decreased dramatically as cheaper Android phones are creeping closer to high-end smartphones in terms of performance and set of features while maintaining the smaller price tag. Premium devices receive annual improvements but are falling marginally in comparison to the cheap phones running Android software. Why is this happening?
The Illusion of Innovation
Part of the reason lies in manufacturers’ desire to provide consumers with appealing innovations which matter. Every year, manufacturers try to ensure that their new devices offer new and exciting features and better hardware but they almost always seem to fall short of the mark.
A good, recent example of this is the finger-scanning technology. Since its introduction a few years ago, this feature has become popular among consumers however the usability isn’t perfect yet. Reliability and security are key flaws to the feature which hopefully in the coming years will be improved. Sadly, this not-quite-there yet innovation represents what could be the most significant of recent smartphone advancements.
Other observable trends at the high-end sector include increases in display resolution with some smartphones sporting 4K screens. These increases in display resolution however, provide consumers with what is happening on the screen just like phones with lower resolution displays, like 720 x 1,280 pixels. So while it’s not a new or really important feature, it is an improvement on what was already there.
Since their inception, smartphones have barely changed in any meaningful way. The HTC G1 aka “Dream”, the very first Android phone to be released back in 2008, had a touch screen, GPS navigation, microSD card support, Wi-Fi, and two cameras. When Android phones later added the second camera, improved user interface and other improvements, such as the “revolutionary” software provided in the past become a standard today.
Smartphone can run apps, take pictures, access the internet, send messages, make calls, and notify us of various things but so could phones from five years ago. None of these features have significantly changed to make older phones significantly less useful than a newest models. Security, camera quality, and even some of the latest apps may be an issue for older devices but nothing to sincerely write home about. Although modern flagships add new or improved innovations each year – 4K resolutions, dual-sided displays, curved displays, finger scanners, heart-rate monitors, etc. – they aren’t adding vital functionality to the phone but instead are making them look cooler and shinier than how they were before.
The Evolution of the Essentials
Instead of trying to produce new and exciting features to fuel marketing campaigns, cheap phones have relied on a different approach: deliver the essentials, improving them and sell them to masses for a budget friendly price. For this reason, budget smartphones market cap is growing at a faster rate than premium range devices. The HTC and Motorola are good examples as both companies struggled to sell their flagship smartphones, HTC One M9 and Moto X, for double the price compared to other phones which had almost the same capabilities as these ones.
Budget phones, including the OnePlus X or the Asus ZenFone 2, are doing everything a consumer needs and doing it well for an incredibly low price. The low-end devices are evolving in a different way than premium devices because there is a clearer understanding that the phone must improve and deliver essential features to consumers in order to keep their interest.
So, if you wish to spend more money to have the latest and greatest stuff, that’s your individual prerogative however don’t assume that spending more money gets you the better experience because that isn’t always true. Until manufacturers realize that focusing on improving the core experience rather than adding amenities that aren’t really useful will make high-end devices impressive once again, Android’s lower-end models will continue to thrive.