• The Biggest Casualty in the War on Smartphone Bezels? Your Wallet.



    Last October I wrote about the egregious outright price of the Pixel XL in Canada—over $1,100 CAD for the 128 GB model. Midway through 2017 it seems that $1,000 USD is fast becoming the norm for a stretched display over a flagship phone. And if you happen to live in Australia and are a fan of the Galaxy Note series Samsung is expecting you to pony up $1,500 AUD for the latest version of that device.

    It's not just an Android problem, either... Apple is expected to début its 10th anniversary iPhone with a price tag in excess of $1,000 USD and, according to at least one survey, prospective buyers seem fine with that.

    I suppose an argument can be made that smartphone OEMs are merely passing on the R&D costs that make this product cycle's record-breaking screen-to-body ratios possible. But consider also that these same phones are in some ways downgrades from what came before. The Galaxy Note 8 has a smaller battery than the Note 7 (presumably so that it won't explode), Andy Rubin's high-priced Essential Phone has no waterproofing and neither it, the iPhone 8 or this year's Pixel series from Google will have a headphone jack.

    With these compromises in mind I have to ask: Are we actually getting a reasonable value from this year's near-bezel-less flagships?

    Links: 9to5Mac, reddit

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    This article was originally published in forum thread: The Biggest Casualty in the War on Smartphone Bezels? Your Wallet. started by acurrie View original post
    Comments 7 Comments
    1. aokusman's Avatar
      aokusman -
      The beauty is if you wait the prices will drop drastically. The unlocked s8 is $570. I bought mine at launch for $720. Just have to wait.

      Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    1. Skuzz's Avatar
      Skuzz -
      No, we aren't getting a reasonable value from these new phones, which is why I have stopped looking at new phone tech for the first time in over a decade and I am sticking to older models now. When friends and family ask for purchasing advice, I refer them to older models still being sold that still have basic features like a headphone jack, SD card slot, or removable batteries.

      These supposed "upgrades" are not worth the cost, especially when the tech has become so disposable and wasteful.
    1. aaronwt's Avatar
      aaronwt -
      And I'm doing just the opposite. I used to purchase older models or refurbished models. But since getting a new S6 two years and and the S8 this year. Now I plan on getting a new phone every two years. And just trade in the old phone toward the new phone.

      Since my costs went down so much from going to pre-paid. I can get the new phones and still pay much less than I used to when I was on post paid and purchased the older or refurb phones.
    1. Skuzz's Avatar
      Skuzz -
      Quote Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post
      Since my costs went down so much from going to pre-paid. I can get the new phones and still pay much less than I used to when I was on post paid and purchased the older or refurb phones.
      So in your case, you are now buying new phones because your monthly plan is cheaper. This doesn't really answer the question if we are getting value in dropping $800, $900, $1000 on a phone every 1, 2, or even 3 years. It just means you found a way to budget for new phones. (Which is totally awesome of course.)

      I have been using computers as a comparison device. It used to be one bought a computer and it would last 5~ years. You could swap the battery and upgrade storage and whatnot as you went along for it to continue to meet your needs.

      Now we are buying overpriced pocket computers and replacing them every 1, 2, 3 years. Even if we wanted to keep them longer, we can't very easily as they are increasingly designed to not be user serviceable. (Battery is glued in, display is integrated into expensive parts, etc.) Meanwhile, manufacturers keep trying to bump the price up every year with only incremental mediocre hardware updates if they aren't busy removing components.
    1. Ten Four's Avatar
      Ten Four -
      No, the value isn't there for most people if you look at just practicality. The average person does nothing on a new flagship that can't be done on a $200 phone. The only major difference in functionality is in superior cameras, but again the gains from say last year's flagships to this year's is very, very small. Most people don't value the camera that much and/or don't take pictures that require the gain. Some of my favorite photos were taken years ago on Lumias with 8MP cameras, no OIS, etc. Something north of 90% of all the time spent on smartphones is spent in just a very few apps, mostly Facebook, messaging, email, and a web browser. All of that can be done on almost any phone at any price level.
    1. aokusman's Avatar
      aokusman -
      6 plus, s6, 6s, s7, s8. These are my last 5 phones. All these phones still do 95 percent of what my latest phone does. Upgrading is personal choice. I dont drink or smoke so i guess phones fill that spot.

      Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    1. dragon2knight's Avatar
      dragon2knight -
      Not all of this years flagships have been totally over priced. And, as was mentioned already, all you need to do is wait a month or two for the prices to drop...sometimes significantly. I got the LG G6 this month for a whopping $450.00US...a serious drop on it's original list price. One of the best phones I've ever owned, it should do me good for a few years. Only the suckers and impatient jump at a phone when it's just released, it's those fools that egg them on to continue to do this....but the vast majority of us know better

      Patience is indeed a virtue

      As for the original question of if we are getting good value for the dollar with the current crop of flagships....depends on what you're looking for. It's gonna be different with everyone. Payment plans are the norm here in the US, and paying off a $1000.00 phone at only $30-40.00 a month is a good deal for many. Others want to pay it off quick, and it's those that heed the above advice. Value is in the eye of the beholder---or in this case the flagship buyer...